Projection’s brightness, large image, sophisticated technology and cost-effectiveness wins out. If you want to make a big impact, projection can really get your message across. The latest super-bright, super-reliable projects can turn walls into giant advertising canvasses, make mannequins spring to life and create interactive experiences that make customers feel they’re walking through swirling leaves or leaving footprints on tropical beaches.
“Projection is very much up-and-coming in the retail sector and it’s a key growth area for us,” says Midwich business manager Ross Floyd. “The flexibility of projection is adding a large amount of value to retail stores.”
This drive can mostly be explained in one word: laser. Laser technology has improved vastly in the past 24 months, with increased brightness, a strong total cost of ownership message, and the possibility of 360-degree installation through any axis without the additional cost of different lamps. The latest laser models promise up to 20,000-hour lamp life and near zero maintenance, enabling retailers to effectively ‘install and forget’.
Add sophisticated projection mapping and edge blending software that enables multiple projectors to work as a team, even from different angles, and you can smear an image across virtually any shape and surface, often for a fraction of the expense and effort of installing a video wall.
Small can be beautiful, too, as the latest models shed the pounds. “Lightweight, low-noise projectors such as the new Epson LightScene and Panasonic Space Player ranges can be mounted on a lighting rack and used as spotlights or to create individual signage in window displays,” says Floyd.
“Ultra-short throw (UST) lens technology is also improving, enabling the projector to be positioned just a few inches from the screen so it doesn’t interfere with the store. Epson’s LX series offers a negative offset and an impressive lens shift range. The Panasonic LE030 install lenses actually enable to projector to be butted directly against the wall.”
The next major innovation will be native 4K resolution. “More and more content is being filmed in 4K, so it’ll be on many retailers’ shopping lists this year,” says Floyd. “Manufacturers are now starting to launch and integrate business models into their ranges as well as 4K home cinema projectors. Epson and NEC both launched native 4K models at ISE 2018. Epson’s EB-L12000Q is superb, a 12,000-lumen, 3LCD model that will be ideal for larger stores and shopping centres.”
Midwich offers a great range of both projectors and accessories. “We work with market leading brands in all product sectors, including Barco, Epson, NEC, Panasonic, and Sony,” says Floyd. “We have market-leading stock of high-end projectors, many available for next-day delivery. This is backed up with internal technical support on these key brands.”
A comprehensive range of project screens, mount and cabling solutions completes the picture. “The screen surface is so important,” says Floyd. “You can lose up to 50% brightness by not using the correct projection screen. We work with leading screen brands such as Draper with its TecVision range and the Legrand Group. We suggest that users spend a third as much on the screen as they do the projector.”
Midwich’s pre and post-sales technical teams work directly with resellers and their customers. “We’re technical specialists who are experts in video walls, image processing, warping and blending, signal processing and signal distribution, and control systems. Our technical team support our trade resellers to deliver outstanding audio-visual projects,” says Floyd.
“Midwich Technical is on hand to support our integration partners to design and deploy systems using the latest technology from our premium audiovisual brands, from how to control the content and switch a source to how to deploy hardware on a client’s network. Our commitment to supporting our clients helps generate extra sales for resellers. We become part of our partner’s team to ensure everything works to the user’s brief. We certainly stand by our motto, ‘our expertise is your advantage’.”
This article is from our AV Magazine Retail Special. Visit our Marketing Hub to view the whole supplement along with our other marketing materials, including guides and portals.