Choosing the right projector: Superb Image Quality and Longevity

In mission critical environments of training and simulation; color and light output stability over the lifetime of the projector are important factors. Simulators are often multi-channel systems and differences in color and light output between adjacent projectors must be kept to a minimum. What factors influence the color and light stability of a projector?

The obvious target of any projector manufacturer is to create projectors that can operate for as many hours as possible without maintenance, whilst being able to run 24/7 and without limitation to installation orientation.

Semiconductors, lasers and LEDs are sensitive to temperature. Having a smart thermal design is critical when building the best possible projector for the simulation market. 

Understanding the different display technologies (LCD, LCoS and DLP™) and illumination sources (lamp, LED and laser) in the market is a key factor when designing a projector for optimal performance with regards to reliability, maintenance, service intervals and lifetime.

How do you design a projector to avoid rapid light output drop?

Understanding the root causes of light output drop and what must be engineered to improve light output stability over time is one of the most important factors when designing a projector for longevity. The LED and lasers  are sensitive to temperature and accurate cooling is one of the most important factors to keep a true solid state light source at a high brightness level for a long time.  Dust and gassing of optical components can also reduce the light output level and create scattering and ghosting in the projected image in addition to reducing brightness and color performance. A sealed optical engine combined with a controlled thermal environment ensures the continued high quality performance demanded in professional applications.

Imaging device is important for longevity

DLP is an all-digital, non-organic display technology, and the lifetime of the DMD device  can exceed 100,000 hours with proper thermal management. The DMD sits in a hermetically-sealed compound to ensure sustained performance over the full lifetime of the projector. A single-chip DMD design is perfect for longevity and an additional bonus is increased sharpness and image quality. 

Why is thermal design important in a projector?

When designing a projector for a long life system performance and low maintenance costs, the thermal design is very important. A fully enclosed powder-wick heat pipe technology results in no maintenance of the cooling system. To extract heat from the projector selecting fans that can operate for at least 50.000 hours are of course a given, and they should also be easily replaced – through a cartridge system.


Selecting a projector with the right imaging device and the appropriate light source is a critical factor when selecting a product for your simulation system. In our free checklist for selecting a projector for your simulator we cover many other topics in addition to the two factors we focus on in this article. 

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