Cast a Giant Shadow

Digital Projection Mercury 5000gv
Digital Projection's new heavy duty Mercury 5000gv is ideal for immersive visualization, command and control, military simulation, small port cinema, power-user home cinemas and numerous staging and broadcast applications.
Just as the number of choices abound, so to the number and variety of places and organizations using projectors. Let's look at some examples. The European Parliament in Belgium has recently equipped their 30 meeting and conference rooms with projectors from Barco. Advanced network and central control capabilities where critical factors. The system can work with a broad mix of networks and can also manage all forms of connectivity, such as IP, ISDN and Ethernet. Companies such as the European firm Fluxys LTD and the Joint Research Center in Italy are also installing the system in their meeting rooms. Vodafone of Germany has recently purchased 26 projectors to equip its conference rooms.

Stateside, the Oakland A's Major League Baseball team has equipped its boardrooms and training facilities with projectors. Like most installations, the projectors are integrated in front and rear installations, and are used for presentations and videoconferencing. In educational settings, enabling effective presentations, training and distant learning applications is vital, which is why Case Western University in Ohio integrated 16 projectors in its classrooms and conference rooms earlier this year. In total, 100 projectors are planned.

Another example of how projectors are being used more and more is the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History in Washington D.C. It's the most visited museum in the world, welcoming more than 9,500,000 guest each year. The new Immersion Cinema has three 15-foot wide by 12-foot high screens installed in a dedicated space in the museum's Discovery Center. To be able to stand up to a nine-hour-a-day, seven-days-a-week projection schedule, and due to the difficult angles of the screens, the Smithsonian needed projectors that were quiet, small and light enough to enable three to be hung in close proximity to one another from the ceiling. The XT Series High Definition cinema projectors equipped with NEC's exclusive TriDigital Image Processing technology fit the bill. The show plays 20 times a day, attracting thousands of visitors per week to rave reviews.

Today's computer design technology has improved projectors and lowered costs, while advanced digital processing chips embedded within the products result in brighter, sharper images. More recently, wireless, networkable and Internet ready projectors have become more popular as well. So it's easy to see that projectors have not only become more affordable and reliable, and have also become more connected to the Web. If that weren't enough, some are so handsomely futuristic and sleek, it seems they have now even become works of art.

At the prestigious White Cube Art Gallery in London, as part of an electronic art exhibition, a Barco projector is utilized in a side-by-side projection of a wide-screen image of a moving piece of art. While you may not have such lofty artistic goals, if you're looking for affordable projectors to display your video and graphic presentations in class, meetings, on the road or at home, there are plenty of high quality choices in every price range.

Tom Patrick McAuliffe is a journalist and entertainer living in San Francisco. He has written about digital video and audio for over 20 years. Reach him at