August 22, 2006
Every year around mid-August as the football season is getting into gear, we begin to see significant increases in sales of home theater projectors. Sports programming, and football in particular, has always been one of the big driving forces behind large screen video systems and the conversion to high definition systems.
This year will be hotter than ever for two reasons: (1) the first crop of reasonably priced 1080p resolution projectors will hit the market, making 1080p a realistic alternative for many more buyers than it has ever been, and (2) prices on excellent 720p products will be more aggressive than ever before. These two developments will put large screen high-performance home theater projection systems well within the budget range of the mass consumer market. I am looking forward to the day when everyone who wants a dramatic 100" or larger home theater will have one. Given the rate at which prices are dropping and quality is accelerating, that can become a reality before too much longer.
The introduction of the HD-DVD and Blu-ray high definition DVD formats will also drive the demand for large screen systems. When 40" to 50" plasmas and rear-projection TVs are viewed at normal viewing distances, most people cannot tell too much of a difference between a good DVD and the HD sources. But HD technologies really pay off when pictures are blown up to 100" diagonal or larger. As long as high resolution and contrast is now available, why not go with the largest screen possible? If you don't have a large-scale home theater video system yet, and you have a room that can accommodate it, this fall is definitely the time to make the upgrade.
I am still working on follow-up comments regarding HD-DVD and Blu-ray, which I thought would have been posted by now, but we got sidetracked with some new product developments. Make sure to bookmark ProjectorCentral and check back frequently over the next few months. This is going to be an exciting time in the world of home theater systems.
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