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Display Development Launches $7k In-Wall Projector That Won’t Overheat

At ISE 2013, Display Development introduced two value-oriented in-wall projectors, the IW7 and IW8, that can install in tight spaces without generating noise or heat.


At ISE 2013, Display Development launched diminutive, affordable IW8 in-wall projector.

At ISE 2013, I was chatting with video guru Jim Burns, principal of the projector manufacturer Display Development, about some of the new 20,000- and 40,000-lumen projectors being showcased at the Amsterdam show.

In particular, we talked about the very cool demo from Digital Projection, in which a 3.3-ton pickup truck rolls over a 20,000-lumen Titan Super Quad projector … and the unit keeps on projecting.

“Yeah, but how long will it last in a wall?” he asked.
That’s the problem with projectors—they tend to fry without the proper ventilation, especially in the case of home theaters where these hot little numbers are often obscured in a wall or ceiling.

“So just ventilate them,” I said to Burns, who looked at me like I was nuts (OK, so that’s not a stretch).

“How do you ventilate them?” he responded. How many fans do you need? Where do you place them? How long should they run after a projector shuts down?

“No one knows the answers,” he said. “Ask the manufacturers. They can’t tell you either.”

That’s one of the reasons Burns launched Display Development in the first place – to create projectors that could squeeze tightly into small spaces without blowing up themselves or the environment around them.

Display Development’s line of in-wall and in-ceiling projectors may be the most durable on the market – not that you can run them over with a truck, but you can install them in some pretty precarious places thanks to DD’s “smart cooling” technology.

Here’s how the company describes it:

The Display Development smart cooling system keeps the projector temperature steady to within 3 degrees Fahrenheit. The DLP chips have liquid cooling as well as peltier elements to monitor the DLP Cinema Chip’s temperature, transfer heat as required, and maintain a steady engine temperature. All of this is done to ensure a predictably perfect image and long light engine life.

Redundant power supplies have been available for years in many product categories but never for projectors.  Display Development is the only company offering optional redundant power supplies providing unequaled reliability.

Vents built into the in-wall and in-ceiling projectors enable them to connect with the whole-house ventilation system, minimizing the space and noise associated with typical projectors and thermal management systems.

The products are “dead quiet and super reliable,” says sales manager Scott Varner.

Because of their thermal properties, the projectors can be confined in walls and ceilings, but the products had to be designed to physically fit in such spaces.

To do that, DD oriented the projectors vertically, providing pop-out mirrors (and software as required) to project images onto the screen. The mirror system has “geometric adjustments” that add flexibility to the install location.

In the case of in-ceiling units—the IC-3 and IC-4, introduced at CEDIA 2012—the entire chassis can be obscured in the ceiling; only the motorized mirror drops down when the projector is in play. No more big bulky (and loud) boxes affixed to the ceiling or pricey lifts to lower and raise the heavy units.

Display Development IC Series in-ceiling projector

“All the heat and noise stays up there. It’s just the mirror that drops down,” Varner says.

In the past, DD’s in-wall projectors have been relegated to the ritziest home theaters, with prices starting at about $45,000.

But at ISE 2013, the company debuted two products, the IW7 and IW8, priced at $10,000 and $7,000 respectively.

Both systems include the single-chip DLP projector, a VP 100 video scaler, and Smart Cooling technology. Boasting 4,200 lumens, the IW7 is ideal for brightly lit family/media rooms, while the IW8, outputting 1,800 lumens, is appropriate for light-controlled environments.

At ISE 2013, Display Development launched diminutive, affordable IW8 in-wall projector. Pictured: Jim Burns, Pat Bradley, Scott Varner.

You’ll have to shell out $56k for the three-chip IW3, demo’d at ISE 2013


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Article Topics

News · Product News · Displays · Events · ISE · Projectors and Screens · Display Development · Ise 2013 · All topics

About the Author

Julie Jacobson, Co-Founder, EH Publishing / Editor-at-large, CE Pro
Julie Jacobson, recipient of the 2014 CEA TechHome Leadership Award, is co-founder of EH Publishing, producer of CE Pro, Electronic House, Commercial Integrator, Security Sales and other leading technology publications. She currently spends most of her time writing for CE Pro in the areas of home automation, security, networked A/V and the business of home systems integration. Julie majored in Economics at the University of Michigan, spent a year abroad at Cambridge University, earned an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin, and has never taken a journalism class in her life. She's a washed-up Ultimate Frisbee player currently residing in Carlsbad, Calif. Follow her on Twitter @juliejacobson. [More by Julie Jacobson]


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