The AV industry has never backed down from a format war, protocol battle, or competing technology race. At the same time, the choice between lamp or laser projectors is a simple one, with limited overlapping applications, as noted by Mike Morin, Manager of Strategic Sales Development for Hitachi America, Ltd.
"When it comes to projectors, lamps and lasers each have their own space in the AV industry," said Morin. "They're truly designed for different types of installations, and the features reflect those differences." As a result, Hitachi and other manufacturers offer a comprehensive range of lamp-based and solid state light source (SSL) projectors, allowing for integrators to provide the appropriate solution to end-users.
Solid state light source optical engines are powered by lasers, rather than a bulb. Laser projectors have a typical life of 20,000 hours and require fewer instances of maintenance, and therefore lower maintenance costs.
Laser projectors are ideal for installations where the projector will be running for long periods of time, like auditoriums or for digital signage. SSL projectors are also ideal in installations where the projector must be mounted in a hard-to-reach place, like inside house of worship facilities.
Even with those benefits for laser projectors, the technology has improved over the years to also offer better total cost of ownership for lamp based models, with lower lamp replacement cost, new hybrid filters and longer lamp life. As such, lamp-based projectors are less expensive and may be optimal, where the projector is getting occasional use and is easy to access for lamp and filter replacement; these installations include mobile house of worship facilities, classrooms, and conference rooms. Other installation features that are ideal for lamp-based projectors are installations in rooms that must remain lit while using the projector.