Solid State Illumination (SSI) has been a topic of great discussion within the projector industry in recent years. The ‘hype’ surrounding the technology’s debut into mainstream segments failed to transform into significant sales, leading many to question whether it will ever become a genuine threat against lamp-based solutions.
Futuresource has recently undertaken an in-depth investigation to answer this question and gauge the level of opportunity presented by SSI within the next five years. The study found that demand for SSI across all segments is high, but is arguably greatest in installation and large venue applications.
“Demand here can be largely attributed to the feature benefits presented by SSI (and less by the TCO advantages commonly cited by end-users in more mainstream applications),” concluded Claire Kerrison, Market Analyst at Futuresource Consulting. “These include: no orientation limitations, increased reliability, excellent colour reproduction, superior contrast ratio, reduced ‘down-time’ for end-users and the ability to show 3D at much higher brightness levels whilst bypassing the rapid lamp burning common in dual lamp projector installations. Combined, these features not only produce a great end-user experience but also enable projection to enter new environments, with a more creative output.
The Casio Core series takes SSI to a new price-performance level.
“However, it’s only been in recent months that we have seen the launch of high-brightness products suitable for fulfilling this demand. This injection of laser-phosphor models, such as Sony’s VPL-FHZ700L, Panasonic’s PT-RW630/ RZ670 and Christies’ G Series saw SSI volumes rise 84% ‘QoQ’ in Q4. SSI currently represents 2% of overall >5k lumens sales, but this is set to rise rapidly following several launches of higher brightness models at this year’s ISE, with more expected at InfoComm,” says Kerrison.
The influx of new SKUs will drive a surge in adoption as it is expected SSI will quickly be perceived as the superior light-source. By 2019, Futuresource expects 68% of worldwide installation and large venue projectors will be SSI, with at least one vendor having switched its entire installation range to solid-state within this time-frame.
The impact of this mass-adoption will gradually filter-down to lower brightness levels with SSI ranges slowly beginning to match lamp-based line-ups in terms of resolution/brightness variety. However, this impact will be largely retained within the high-end of mainstream applications as entry-mid levels of the market will continue to be dominated by CAPEX, with such end-users holding little regard for the other benefits SSI has to offer. According to Futuresource, SSI is will hit only 10% of Mainstream B2B sales by 2019, but as the technology’s premium declines (due to economies of scale), adoption is forecast to mount.