We saw two main themes in projection at ISE this year. Texas Instruments 4K using XPR pixel switching technology was everywhere at the show, and Blu Laser-Phosphor light engines are both getting larger penetration and their first challenge from light engines including not just blue but red laser diodes.
Coretronics, the worlds largest DLP projector OEM/ODM, combines both themes in the R50K platform. It brought over only Laser platforms, not just in the larger projectors, but also in small ultra shorth throw projectors used in both class rooms aswell as in multi-projector museum exhibits.
The R50K uses both the TE660 DMD with optical pixel shift to double its 4.15 million pixels to 8.3 million pixels 'on the screen'. And Coretronics new MCLA architecture using red laser diodes to provide the red color. Instead of a combination of blu laser diodes with yellow phosphor with a filter to create green and red. Green light will also be purer as it is created from blu laser light with Green instead of Yellow phosphor with the need to filter out not just the red but also the green.
Dynamic on-off contrast is specified as 5000:1.
A Coretronic representative said he expects the 5K lumens R+B laser 4K to be available from Coretronic customers in the 8-10K range, this summer.
The light from the red laser diode array is not sent throught the first green/yellow/clear phosphor wheel, but directly sent throught the second wheel a filter wheel with green and red color filter. the light from the second blue laser diode array follows the longer path through the phosphor wheel to create yellow, green and pass blue to be combined prior to the filter wheel into four color light Yellow, Blue, Red and Green. The reduction in spatial coherence of the laser light also 'solves the speckle problem', according to the brochure Coretronic provided to explain its technologies on offer.
At the show DCI-Forum was initially told the second colorfilter wheel was optional. An option to filter reds in case a customer wants to hit a lower price point and therefor use less than maximal/optimal number of the more expensive red laser diodes. The brochure seems to contradict this. Dual wheel, dual laser array, seems to be a more likely approach.
The red diodes are more expensive, so how much? "We promote (the product of) our red diode supplier, so we get a very good price" says Willy Tsai, associate Vice President High Performance B.U. Projection. He also confirmed that at Coretronic research efforts have been directed away from the Philips High Lumens Density LED lightsource, the focus now fully at laser. "HLD is limited to 5000 lumens", a valid point from his high brightness business unit position.
BenQ is currently the only vendor to offer the 2400 (white) lumen Coretronic 4K HLD platform, besides a version with UHP lamp and blue laser-phosphor light source.
The XPR 4K is also used in the 4K Laser Cinema. Coretronics latest Ultra Short Throw laser-phosphor front projector with 100" grey anti-ambient-light-reflecting screen package. The panel seems to do its job, both reflecting ambient light, and retaining color over a relatively large viewing angle. The lobster in the Coretronic demoslides remains red when looked at from aside.
The 4K Laser Cinema should be available from Coretronics clients around June, probably around the $7000 mark, so similarly priced to the current 1080P versions, like the one sitting on a pedestal by Chinese brand JmGo.
The reds in the other displays were deeper, though. The 'Dual Laser' or 'Pure Laser' R+B laser light source are also part of a 10000 lumens ultra short throw demo geared to digital signage and a four way blend using four twelve thousand lumens projectors to create an 4K image.
Four way blend with four 12000 lumens MCLA WUXGA projectors
10000 lumens plus ultra short throw lens for digital signage with deeper reds:
The larger single DMD DLP projectors are limited to a native on-off contrast of 1200:1. According to Coretronic this can be increased to 10000:1 by using laser modulation. Judgement therefore has to be reserved till reviews of commercial implementations using Dynamic Black,to see if this dynamic light control works fast enought to be usable, as the current black floor and native contrast is limited. The same is true for the 4K (hometheater) projectors from Acer, BenQ, Casio, Coretronics subsidiary Optoma, and the 'teaser' by Viewsonic. These vendors all claim an higher contrast ratio
Projectors with the new Coretronic MCLA, or 'Dual Laser' also refered to as 'Pure Laser', Red and Blue diode array lightengine are currently shipping from Eiki. The 8000 lumens WUXGA and WXGA projectors list at €11995 plus VAT,plus between €1500 to €2500 excluding VAT for a lens.Linkback: http://dci-forum.com/d-cinema-home/11/ise-2017-coretronic-goes-red-blue/1715/