The pico-projector is not an unusual device for sophisticated users while many of us look at such gadgets with genuine interest, which is due to their low popularity to a large extent. Even though the pico-projector is still a rare thing over here, there appear new makes on our a little retarded market from time to time. Initially they were only represented by niche brands but the situation has changed drastically over the past year since more widely known companies have presented their products.
Today we want to tell you about the pico-projector Samsung SP-H03 that looks pretty attractive if compared to other devices of the kind. The Korean manufacturer hasn’t managed to make a technological breakthrough as it hasn’t impressed us with some stunning technical features but the engineers worked a lot on its ease of use. The hardware of SP-H03 is the best application-specific device for displaying images of the kind.
It goes without saying that the pico-projector is unlikely to become the most important part of our home theatres as it looks more called for various mobile presentations. And it has everything needed for this: documents, presentations, pictures and videos can be uploaded into the embedded memory and displayed off-line. To put it bluntly, it is provided for working smoothly without a computer and a socket.
Everyone is sure to know what a regular projector is and when we speak of the pico-projector we speak of basically the same device but of a considerably smaller size. Most devices of the kind are designed basing on DLP (Digital Light Processing) technology. It was developed by Texas Instruments Inc about 30 years ago. Naturally, at that time they presented only a prototype that was perfected turned into an ideal within a few decades later. This method is based on using the active matrix with controllable mirrors - DMD (Digital Micromirror Device). Each mirror of the DMD is corresponded to each pixel of the image displayed. The standard resolution of a full-sized device is 1920x1080 pixels which is equal to 2073600 screen pixels.
It looks really fantastic but it’s not a problem for the modern technology. Basically the light generated by a powerful lamp gets on the matrix and the image is displayed on a screen with the help of lenses. There are two ways of displaying the three main colors. One of them is simpler and cheaper: a rotary polarizing filter is installed between the lamp and the mirror matrix. The filter cuts off the unnecessary part of the spectrum. The other more sophisticated way presupposes using three active matrixes at the same time, one for each color channel and the image is blended through a complex optical system. And this is classics.
How do pico-projectors work? Roughly in the same way. SP-H03 which is at issue in particular is based on a tiny matrix produced by Texas Instruments Inc, there is even a due label on the projector case. Its size is 0.3" and its resolution is 854x480 pixels. Why so few? We hope it’s obvious for you because it is logical that the smaller the projector is, the smaller its matrix is and consequently it’s difficult to put a lot of mirrors that can be rotated on its surface. Here we have found the first minus of the pico-projectors, which is their low resolution. The second, or rather the main drawback is related to illumination because light-emitting diodes are used instead of a lamp. Basically luminous flux can reach several thousand lumen (lm) ANSI, for the pico-projector it’s only on or two hundred. It specifies some usage criteria in the very beginning. Firstly, the light in the room should be subdued. Secondly, the screen should be perfectly white. And finally, thirdly, the maximum distance from the projector to the screen should not be long.
Of course, there are some pluses. Thus, classic lamps are short-lived. Their life time is 2000-3000, maximum 4000 hours. Life time of light-emitting diodes increases to 30000, which is, in fact, 10 times as long. A lamp is a consumable material in the case of the regular projector while the illumination of the pico-projector is designed for a whole life time period. And again it’s obvious that the smaller and more mobile the device is, the less bright luminous flux it can provide. The brightness of Samsung SP-H03 is only 30 lm ANSI. Even if we compare it with similar devices it’s very low because the industry of today can offer light-emitting diodes with high-power luminous flux of 200-250 lm. So, all the pluses and minuses are extremely understandable and clear.