Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Microvision: Laser PicoP Projector SHOWwx Has the Best Image Quality

First, let me clearly state again that PC Magazine Review of SHOWwx is full of crap, flawed and is biased.

Having said, let’s take a look at the projected image lumens issue again and explain why SHOWwx has the best image quality...

There are no industry standards [yet] for projected image quality!

However, projection industry players have aligned to set new standards. Here’s the link the article on this subject dated 1/7/2008…

http://news.websitegear.com/view/35069

This article states...

“From the classroom to the boardroom to the living room, vivid color improves communication-enhancing attention, comprehension and learning. Current industry specification metrics fail to highlight the differences in color light output among competing products and technologies -- leaving it virtually unreported. Despite the overwhelming use of color today, the industry has continued to rely largely on specifications that only measure black and white performance such as brightness and contrast ratio. There is growing consensus for the need for an effective, easy-to-use projector measurement metric -- Color Brightness.”

"Based on the existing industry-standard test, Color Brightness, like the current light output measure for brightness (white), is reported in lumens. Color Brightness specifies a projector's ability to deliver the primary colors of light. Today, all video; DVD, HD, digital camera and computer signals are encoded in an RGB color space. Color Brightness measures the brightness of red, green and blue, exactly matching the input signal. If a projector can produce bright red, green and blue equal to the brightness of white, it can reproduce the true color that the creators intended. If Color Brightness does not equal or come close to the white brightness, color images can appear dark, washed out and less accurate."

"Leading color experts agree. "Without this new metric, consumers are in the dark about color performance," commented Karl Lang, president of Lumita. "Two projectors that both advertise 2,000 (white) lumens can have vastly different color performance. Color brightness provides the information consumers have needed for a long time," continued Lang."

Currently, only psychophysical methods for estimating image quality are currently used and they are highly subjective. Here’s a quote from an industry expert on the subject…

“Don Williams, an image scientist from Eastman Kodak who facilitated the meeting, spoke both for imaging practitioners and for imaging scientists and other members of standards committees when he noted, "There appears to be somewhat of a consensus that there is not any reasonable way right now to look at all imaging performance measures without ambiguity."

“Subjective assessments are notoriously flawed, due not only to differences among human observers, but to limitations of devices that render images (monitors, printers), as well as the differences in ambient lighting in two or more viewing environments.”

“Intentional or unintentional use of imprecise terminology also creates ambiguity. For example, industry's marketing literature and our community's funding guidelines routinely associate image quality with unreliable metrics-such as resolution and bit depth. These performance characteristics refer to input settings and become ambiguous if used to describe output quality. The same source could be digitized by two systems that produce the same nominal results (e.g., 3,000 pixel, 24-bit RGB images) yet the quality of the images may differ significantly.”

The bottom line is, currently the manufactures [try] to differentiate their projected image quality in terms of “lumens”, “pixels” “bits”. That methodology may be fine for traditional bright lamp or LCD based image projectors. However, for laser projectors the use of lumens to define image quality is flawed… although the pixels and bits may still be useful metrics in defining the laser projection image quality.

First, let’s talk about “laser lumens” vs. “diffused light lumens”…

Laser light is very concentrated light at less than 1 degree deflection. So, 10 lumen laser light projected image [pixel by pixel] is 1,300 lumen light projection image from a traditional lamp/LCD projector about 100 inches away.

I am not the only one that agrees with that “psychophysical methods for estimating image quality”. Mr. Golan Manor, VP Technical Marketing for Explay, also happens to shares my views on the subject…

“As for actual image brightness, all of these devices project images in the range of 10 lumens. As Explay's Manor note, it's the equivalent of 1300 lumens projecting at 100 inches.”

Here’s the link to Mr. Golan Manor’s quote [at the end of the article]…
http://www.physorg.com/news94387529.html

I agree with Mr. Manor... not because he is right but also a picture speaks a thousand words.

Just take a look for yourself...
http://www.youtube.com/user/mvisvideo#p/a/u/1/F2qnrOsg6wg

or this...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RSz-gmF-UwI&feature=related

When it comes to Microvision corporate management, you have to cut some slack to these folks. They have been managing so many tough technological innovations to come together; for PicoP to come this far and become a reality. A few more weeks will not break the corporate treasury [with over $50 million in cash] or put the company out of business. The pico projector market is huge and the race to market has just begun.

Anant Goel
http://www.wealthbyoptions.com/