Dust is everywhere

All electronic products are exposed to airborne dust throughout their lifetime.

This is not generally a problem for most consumer products but for professional applications, such as museums or attractions, where projectors need to operate around the clock, the build-up of dust particles can potentially compromise the quality of the image projected, affect the overall performance of a projector and shorten its lifetime.


Dust-sealed filter-free design

Optoma’s ProScene laser projectors are precision engineered with a unique optical dust-sealed, filter-free design that prevents dust and dirt affecting the system. The projectors need very little maintenance as there are no filters to remove and clean, therefore minimising downtime for the venue.  In addition, Optoma’s ProScene DuraCore laser line-up all come with an IPXX independent dust resistant certification.


What is an IPXX certification

An IP rating stands for ingress protection and basically states how well the equipment is protected from dust or liquids.  The IP code, published by the International Electrotechnical Commission, rates the degree of protection given by the electrical equipment casings against dust or water. The standard provides consumers with more detailed information than vague marketing terms such as ‘dustproof or waterproof’. Independent Ingress Protection tests are conducted in accordance with IEC 60529.

 Optoma ProScene ZU850 laser projector

ZU850 gets top marks for dust resistance

We recently sent our 8,200-lumen ZU850 laser phosphor ProScene projector to an independent IP test lab. The researchers placed the projector in a dust chamber and exposed the unit to airborne circulating dust for 8 hours at 25 °C ± 10 °C.

On completion of the test the black unit was caked white with dust but was found to be dust tight with no dust passing through the airtight optical engine and functional operation unaffected.

The ZU850 was awarded the highest classification of IP6X – which offers a completely dust free protection for the device.



Laser-phosphor technology: science fiction now science fact

Laser-phosphor technology is advancing rapidly. But what is it, what are the advantages of this technology and for what applications is it best suited?

There are many advantages of lamp-less laser-phosphor light source technology.  For example:
•    There is no lamp and therefore maintenance requirements are minimal
•    Brightness is more consistent than lamp-based projectors, which are subject to brightness fluctuations as the lamp is used (brightness decay) and replaced
•    It is quieter due to higher efficiency and so less requirement for cooling
•    Colour reproduction is brilliant
•    Due to the solid state light engine, the projector is able to operate in unusual positions, including portrait and downward projection

As a result of these benefits, laser-phosphor projectors are ideal for venues where ceilings are high and the projector is fairly inaccessible for maintenance, such as university lecture theatres, digital signage applications and museums/professional installations where usage hours tend to be higher and there are accessibility/maintenance restrictions.

It is also ideal for quieter environments such as smaller meeting rooms or those with low ceilings.

With such a wide choice of projectors – lamp-based, LED and laser - it is important to look at the application and venue to ascertain whether a laser-phosphor projector is the best solution.

If the projector is needed for lengthy usage with minimal downtime or the projector would be fairly inaccessible after installation, then this may be the best option.  

Also if colour accuracy is important, it may also be the best choice – although the colour performance of lamp-based DLP projectors varies with the type of colour wheel used. Some, like Optoma’s EH7700, provide colour wheels options so the colour performance and brightness can be tailored to the application – so it is important to look at all factors.

Optoma has recently expanded its range of laser-phosphor ProScene projectors with the 6,000-lumen ZU650 and the ultra-wide short throw, ZH300W.

The technical bit
Unlike the laser beams you may have seen in Bond films, no raw laser light is emitted from the lens of the projector.  So how does it work and what is the difference between laser and laser-phosphor projectors?

With a pure laser - the red, green and blue light from three laser diode arrays (one each for red, green and blue) is combined then passed through an optical diffuser. It is this diffused light that is used to illuminate the projector’s DLP chip and produce the image.
A laser-phosphor projector is slightly different in that it uses one blue laser.  This blue light is diffused and used as the blue light component to illuminate the DLP chip. The blue laser is also used to energise a phosphor wheel that emits yellow light. This is then split into its red and green components and used to illuminate the DLP chip.

Stacking made simple

Ever more installations and exhibitions are choosing to stack projectors to generate a higher brightness.  Our blog looks at the benefits of stacking and how to do it.

Why stack projectors?
When a project needs greater brightness there are real benefits in stacking projectors. Stacking overlays images using multiple projectors to produce a higher brightness.  This has added benefits of reducing the overall cost of installation and increasing reliability.  

A single projector of equivalent brightness is generally more expensive and bulkier.  Stacking therefore enhances portability with smaller, lighter units which are easier to transport and install.  It improves reliability (if one unit fails, the second unit will still work) and it allows scalability with the ability to add more projectors if higher brightness is required.

What would I need to stack projectors?
Stacking can be achieved using a GEO board, the HQView processor range or the Chameleon GB-200 image blending and warping processor.

The GEO board is exclusively compatible with the Optoma EW865 and EX855 projectors, which are ideal for a side-by-side stacking setup due to their innovative airflow design.  The HQView range and Chameleon GB-200 are compatible with any projector.

Simple stacking
Simple stacking uses two projectors and overlays a master image with a larger second image, reduced in size to match the master.  This does not need a stacking frame and could use standard ceiling mounts. It needs just one GEO board, HQView processor or Chameleon GB-200.  

At ISE 2014, Optoma demonstrated simple stacking using two 6,000-Lumen EW865 projectors to project HD video content at 12,000 lumens.  Stacking projectors in this way significantly reduces the complexity and cost of a 12,000-lumen solution.

Advanced stacking
Where additional clarity and sharpness are critical, there is the added option for advanced stacking.  This gives sub-pixel control of the alignment of both images with up to 289 individual points of adjustment on each projector.  This uses warp grids via a PC tool and is possible with either the HQView range or Chameleon GB-200.  
Optoma provides a range of edge blending, stacking and mapping solutions, tailored to the exact requirements of each project.  Find out more about Optoma’s ProScene solutions.