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Epson taps into live events with laser projectors

Epson has seen unprecedented growth in laser projector sales during the last year. Charlotte Hone, business manager Pro Displays at Epson Europe, told Access that between August 2015 and August 2017 its share within the installation market has more than doubled growing by 13.5 per cent.

The Japan-based manufacturer has been tapping into the live events market with the launch of high brightness laser projectors, such as the flagship EB-L25000U.

Charlotte Hone

“We have also recently launched a range of 15,000 lumen laser projectors, the EB-L1700U series. All deliver increased brightness, a robust chassis and intuitive features for demanding live productions and large venue applications; making them ideal for the events industry,” Hone said.

Since the launch Epson has seen major investments from leading rental partners across EMEA, helping the brand to establish a significant market share in the installation projector market.

“Although we are relatively new to the rental market, we have seen the likes of PSCo, MCL Create, Stage Sound Services, Big Purple as well as Universal Pixels making substantial capital investments in Epson’s laser projection ranges,” Hone said.

These customers, she added, have put Epson projectors to the ultimate test, using them for many high profile and demanding live events. Hone said Epson will continue to invest in projection technology to exceed the needs of the market, reinforcing our commitment to stay at the forefront of the projector market.

Good business

UK-based Universal Pixels purchased a range of laser projectors for use in some of the world’s largest music tours. The rental and video production staging specialist added Epson’s laser projectors to its product portfolio in September 2017, when it chose the EB-L25000U laser projectors for use as part of the staging for Radiohead’s world tour, Moon Shaped Pool, which included a headline performance at Glastonbury 2017 at the end of June.

EB-L25000U laser projector

From large-scale laser shows to custom stage projections, the projectors will be used on tour with the likes of James Blunt, Radiohead, Chris Rea and Rick Astley.

The decision to purchase the equipment was a bold move by Universal Pixel as the company established in 2017 as a bespoke video solution for the entertainment industry.

Oliver Luff, director at Universal Pixels, commented: “It was a no-brainer to invest in the kit. We were in a position, where, due to a healthy pipeline of projects, this investment made a lot of sense. Being one of the first to market with a viable 25,000 lumen product, Epson was the logical choice.”

Luff said that the company has secured a succession of global tour dates that require efficient load-in and load-out so they needed reliable projectors that its staff could install quickly and easily and that could also withstand the most demanding of locations.

“The ability of Epson’s projectors to adapt to different light and environmental challenges, plus the ease and speed of installation has been critical in this success. Looking to the future, we want to deliver projections in 4K and are confident that Epson will help us do so.”

Laser projection

Epson has been expanding its projector line-up in recent years. Hone told Access that in the past 12 months the brand has launched the world’s first 25,000 lumens 3LCD laser projector alongside two new 15,000 lumen laser projectors which provide the ability to remotely capture an image using the inbuilt camera.

The feature, Hone said, offers a great tool for those managing projectors at a single venue or across multiple sites. “The camera aids with diagnosis as it can control and monitor the status of the projector via a web based remote management browser, without needing an AV team to be onsite.

Epson has also been tapping into the entertainment market with the introduction of new resolutions, including the EB-L1715S a 15,000 lumens SXGA+ laser projector. The product features a 4:3 aspect ratio and high brightness.

In December 2017, epson debuted a new ultra-short-throw zero offset lens, designed to be used with its 12,000 and 15,000 lumens laser projectors and capable of delivering up to 1,000-inch images.

“Due to the increased demand for laser projector solutions we are anticipating further growth,” Hone told Access. “We also expect to see customers transitioning from traditional lamp solutions to laser over the years to come, due to several reasons including high picture quality, lower cost of ownership and longer warranties.”

Phil Mercer

Hone said customers tend to favour laser for installations where the projector is installed at height or in demanding environments, particularly scenarios such as live events where the projectors are being used for prolonged periods of time.

Commenting on the trend, Phil Mercer of Universal Pixel said: “The transition from lamp-based projectors to laser-based projectors will be a problem for all of the companies with large lamp-based fleets. The move to 4K will also be a challenge from not only a projector side, but also with distribution, payback and media management as we’re starting to see a demand for HDR support.”

Epson said the sales pipeline of laser projectors is strong and growing rapidly. “We’re working to fulfil several major projects in the live event industry, so we expect to see a strong upward curve,” Hone concluded.