Projector design, like all other aspects of technology, is adopting miniaturization. Components are getting smaller with the development of more advanced chipsets. The next frontier in projector technology is mini movie projectors. The hugely reduced size and minimal weight of the mini projectors make them super portable. Additionlly, the main discoveries in light projection techniques and technologies include:
- Laser Beam Steering (laser) projection
- Digital Light Processing (DLP)
- Liquid Crystal on Silicon (LCoS)
Mini projectors integrate many technologies to end up with a final working device. The core technologies utilized in mini projection also rely on connection technologies such as HDMI, USB, and SD cards. Specialized software is integrated into mini projectors to control all the components and keep them working in harmony. Let us now review each of these types of mini-movie projectors and their technologies.
- Laser Beam Steering mini movie projectors
The company that initially developed the concept of laser beam steering for mini projection capability is Microvision. The company successfully implemented scanning mirror technology, also known as the Micro-Electrical-Mechanical-System. This consists of a minuscule silicon component that oscillates a tiny mirror vertically and horizontally in the direction of a colored laser beam. The software redirects this beam to build the image pixel by pixel. The commercial version of this technology is called PicoP.
- Digital Light Processing (DLP) mini projectors
Invented and publicized by the hugely successful Texas Instruments company. Previous larger designs made use of spinning color wheels and lamp combos to run the mini projectors. The newer DLP concepts replaced the combined lighting system. The smaller models are made possible by extremely bright LEDs, which also make manufacturing very cheap. DLP works to create an image by directing the LEDs through tiny mirrors arranged in a matrix format on a semi-conductor called a Digital Micromirror Device (DMD). The result is smooth, stable images without the need for a bulb. This makes DLP the most popular technique for mini-movie projector design.
- Liquid Crystal on Silicon
LCoS is somewhat similar to DLP, with the only difference being in the way the mirror arrangement of LCoS utilizes Liquid Crystals. Mini movie projectors created using LCoS offer higher resolution, high-contrast images, and stable viewing. One benefit of this technology is its maturity, having been first developed by General Electric in the 70s.
Capabilities of mini-movie projectors
As time goes by, many gadgets are shrinking in size, and many can now fit in your pocket. Mini projectors are no different. The existing versions are well suited for multimedia presentations and low-quality videos. The benefits of mini projectors include small size and easy setup and integration. They also come with built-in sound and storage. The disadvantages of mini projectors include insufficient brightness, lowered resolution, and limited sets of features.
Mini projectors have introduced the significant screen experience to our homes. We are no longer in the days when the only place you could watch a movie was a theatre to watch a new movie. Mini movie projectors are brighter, lighter, and easier to install. Modern projectors are smaller, but thanks to visual and digital innovations, the quality of the images are comparable to that of movie theatres.