We’ve seen impressive innovations and improvements in the pro AV field recently, and projection technology is no exception. To learn more about the latest projection AV trends, common mistakes and opportunities for IT solution providers, we had a quick conversation with Tom Jones, technology consultant II, ProAV/Digital Signage, Ingram Micro.
What are the top trends in projection solution technology that IT solution providers need to be aware of today?
Jones: When it comes to technology, we’ve seen a lot of growth in projectors that use alternatives to lamps/bulbs. The two technologies that are being used are laser and LED. Both offer improved color rendering, and both provide longer run times. In fact, some boast 20,000 or even 30,000 hours of near maintenance-free projection (i.e., no bulb replacements).
Another hot trend is ultra-high resolution projectors that are 4k/Widescreen Ultra Extended Graphics Array (or WUXGA). These projectors allow the viewer to see more information on a screen at a much higher quality.
Finally, new interactive projectors allow customers to project interactive images on screen and notate with a light pen (or other device) on the projection surface.
What common mistakes do you see IT solution providers commonly make with the sale and implementation of projection solutions?
Jones: Hands down, the biggest sales mistake is not selling the complete solutions for projectors. In many cases, we see the IT pro forget to recommend proper cable lengths, sell incorrect throw lenses or use inexpensive mounting solutions that result in a projector being unstable.
As far as implementation goes, the number one issue we see is customers not fully understanding the installation process. These new projectors require being setup at a specific distance and height from the screen and, if not done correctly, the resulting image is dull and illegible.
What markets are a particularly strong fit for projection projects?
Jones: While any market can benefit from the use of projectors, we see strong growth in a few areas. Education is always a strong fit for projection AV, and it’s especially strong now with the introduction of laser projectors that cost less over the life of the projector.
What is the #1 bit of advice you’d give IT solution providers to increase their chances of successfully selling projection solutions?
Jones: This sounds cliché, but the best advice is to listen to your customers to determine the best solution for their specific needs. We often go into a situation with preconceptions and often the customer has a situation that requires flexibility and creativity. Ultimately, this is where you can shine as a trusted advisor.