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More than a Feature Request

Lloyd Stewart

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I sure wouldn’t want what follows to be viewed as someone trying to tell someone else how to run their business.  Lord knows I am in no position to do that!  So please consider the following as a mere suggestion or a wish.


Anyway, I've been thinking about what prevents me from using Watchout more than I do, and the answer is always the same: the astronomically high cost of high lumen projectors.  Why, I would have the city of Austin, Texas, USA simply ablaze with Watchout show after Watchout show, if only I could somehow acquire high lumen projectors.  And then I realize that that problem quite likely keeps many others from buying Watchout.  So then I ponder to myself, "I wonder if the amazingly sharp minds at Dataton could produce their own high lumen projector that would enable many more prospective buyers to purchase this incredible Watchout product?"  Panasonic just came out with one of those lamp-free projectors, but it's only about 3,000 lumens.  How about one of those lamp free projectors that is 20,000 lumens strong?

Really, if the brain power that produced Watchout could be focused on creating a projector that would work hand-in-glove with Watchout, well, as Louis Armstrong once sang, "What A Wonderful World" this would be.  Blackmagic came up with their cinema camera out of the blue, at a reasonable price, and it seems to be quite dazzling and popular.  So perhaps the good people at Dataton could set their sights on a closely related product as well.....a reasonably priced high lumen projector that would work well with Watchout!  


Perhaps some there in Sweden would be willing to reach for the stars?


In that regard, I would be freely at your service if there would be anything I could do.


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You certainly are a "forward" thinker, in the grandest sense of the word. But WATCHOUT is software and I's power is it's flexibility. Pushing media through an OS out to LED's, Plasma's, LCD, Projectors etc. ....all sizes, all types and all with the ability of being synchronized together. A veritable artists palette.  I like to say that WATCHOUT shows are like snowflakes...no 2 are alike. It seems to me that a WATCHOUT projector would certainly begin the process of tying a video designers hands.  

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Howdy Mark,


Thanks for the response.  One never knows if anyone really gives one's posts serious thought or not. So your reply was most welcome!  And I certainly understand what you are saying.  But the vast majority of Watchout shows that I've seen are via projector.  Of course, I'm just a sample of 1, so my experience alone is worthless.  But I suspect that I am correct.  And naturally, it wouldn’t have to be a required purchase when buying Watchout, and one could still easily use the other means of conveying a Watchout show.  Diversity and flexibility would remain.  And far from tying a video designer’s hands, I think powerful projectors at a reasonable cost would most likely untie his hands, putting another desperately needed tool into his hands.


And who knows whether some partnership with an innovative projector maker might one day work out.  And should that not work out, frankly, I'm of the opinion that if you were to put Mike F, Jonas D, Fredrik S, Jim K, and whoever else they’d want into a room with the objective of creating a reasonably priced 20,000 lumen lamp free projector, it would eventually appear.  And I know Fredrik would sell so many that he’d soon be bathing in money.  I just want to plant the seed, hoping that it takes root and somehow grows. 


In every Watchout show I’ve done, I’ve always had different people balk at the idea, usually doubting that it could be accomplished or that the outcome would be worthwhile or that it might turn out to be embarrassing somehow.  But I always respond with, “Well, it’s always easier to do nothing.”  Once convinced however, and once they see the show, they quickly forget their previous doubts and end up standing and applauding.  That has NEVER failed to happen so far.  


But look at me.  I’m a nobody and have absolutely no connection with Dataton other than being a consumer of their product……….well, and an unabashed fan.  Frankly, it’s foolish and silly for me to even suggest anything at all.  Still, one never knows what might blossom when even the tiniest of seeds is planted.

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You are not as far from the future as you expect and I anxiously await everything you suggested. In 1997 I paid $3500 dollars each for a 600 lumen, 200:1 contrast ratio LCD projector. Today, I can buy a 3500 lumen, 15,000:1 contrast ratio DLP projector for $700!  


Panasonic has 8000 lumen, 720P projectors with street in the $6K range. 


I prognosticate that in the very near future the following things will appear in some form in the projector marketplace


10,000 lumen, 1080P projectors for under $7000

It will have the hooks for a camera based auto calibration system

it will accept something like the new HDbaseT HD over Cat6 to receive the media over long hauls of 300+ feet or more.

Windows embedded on small form factor PCB's will have such blazing fast performance that they might be able to fit in to the input slot of most installation grade projectors. Watchout may actually run on this so the display machine might actually reside INSIDE the projector! Ok, thats ambitious but I can dream...

The light source in the projector might involve RGB laser diodes delivered over fiber from remote source racks.

All the color in all the projectors will match because of the shared massive parrallel blending of the laser arrays. And the gamut will be off the charts.


It's going to be fun !


Keep on dreaming

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I just got back from training WATCHOUT to students at CalArts in Valencia, CA. While training, I do not want to bring any of my "AV Baggage" into the class (something I can be guilty of from time to time). These kids don't know what can't be done.... I couldn't be more excited for our industry. 



"A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new." 
Albert Einstein
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