LCD/LED panels are infiltrating the corporate business market, but their prevalence mostly depends on the content. “If it is videoconferencing content then, yes, we see a lot of penetration using the flat panels,” says Sean Gunduz, product manager, Projectors at Epson America, Inc. “Watching a video or any moving object on a smaller TV, like 40-inch, 50-inch, 60-inch, it’s still very visible. As soon as you put computer content on it, such as a PowerPoint, an Excel file, a Word document or Web browsing, then the size really matters and you need to have a projector installed.”
The questions to ask when approaching the large format touchpanel vs. projector debate are: How big of an image do you need for the room? That information will be determined by the following question: How big is the room?
Professional A/V installers know how to install equipment and how to calculate image size based on the room configuration. There is a simple formula in the market. Calculate the height of the image as one fourth of the distance from the last row or the last person away from the screen. “For example, if you’re in a small meeting room and the last person in the last row is sitting about eight feet away from the screen, then your image size needs to be one fourth of that: two feet high,” says Epson’s Gunduz. “If you put it in to 16:9 LCD TV calculation, it will give you a 49-inch diagonal TV.” This applies to mostly computer content — PowerPoint and Excel documents — so as to be able to read the text.
If the last person is sitting about 16 feet away then the image size needs to be four feet high — equivalent to a 98-inch TV. “A 90-inch TV from Sharp is about $11,000 now,” says Gunduz. “That’s the main reason why the projector market is still growing and there is still a big need for the projectors in the meeting rooms: for that image size.”
The bigger the room is, the more it makes sense to go with a projector as opposed to a touchpanel. “A 50-inch touchpanel might work in a small conference room with maybe six or seven people working around it,” says John Glad, Hitachi America product manager. “But