back to article Pocket DV cam packs pico projector

Tiny pico projectors provided some of the biggest buzz at this week's Computex mega-show in Taiwan, according to a report from that country's tech-news source, DigiTimes. In addition to powering pocketable projectors, pico-projection mechanisms and their optics are tiny enough to be incorporated into devices such as cell …


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  1. paul brain

    Novelty but useless

    Resolution too low for anything useful, only real world application is super wide screen p0rn in your hotel room.

    These pico projectors all sound great in theory , but the fundamental downside ( Besides tiny Res ) is the intensity of the image , the room has to be absolutely pitch black before you'll see anything, perfect for meetings where you cant see what you're writing......

    So , I go back to the porn in the hotel room market , should be quite sizable..

    The idea is fantastic , but we'll have to wait a few generations for anything bright enough with text we can read.

  2. Anonymous Coward


    The key thing here is the price tag. Its no good having the 300-600 dollar range - you can't get any acceptance until its 30-60 dollars. That goes double when you are looking at integrating with other devices, like a mobile phone. So who has a technology and the balls to really cut the sale prices to push the market?

    And who will pay $1000 for a room projector when the pico projectors are at $50?

    And who will pay $1000 for a 42" LCD if you can 100" of display for $50

    The only way these take off is if the eat the market for anything else.

  3. John Parker

    Battery consumption

    I'd be interested to know how much power is required to maintain this illuminated 50"image... as battery life is already the ongoing problem for all compact mobile devices...

    So we watch ten minutes of a video on the cafe wall, then my phone is dead til I can get home to recharge? Can't see people going for that... and if you can only run it at home plugged in, might as well just go for wired TV out through the data cable.

    Hmmmm.....not convinced all the tech is in place yet.

  4. Anonymous Coward

    This is not a DV camera

    The Reg needs to be more careful with its terminology considering it is a tech website. Saying it is a "DV cam" implies it uses the DV codec recorded onto tape or flash. Worse than that, there is a format called DVCAM which is the pro version of consumer DV. It is neither, it uses H264.

    So please be more careful.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Get a Life

    @AC 09:45 '"DV cam" implies it uses the DV codec recorded onto tape or flash.' No, it doesn't -- it's a generic term for Digital (not analogue), Video (not just stills), camera (not an audio recording device). The codec is irrelevant, it's still a digital video camera.

  6. popper

    the CODEC does matter AVC or NOTHING today.

    i disagree, the codec does matter, and it should s is the case here be and NOTHING BUT AVC/H.264 today, preferably realtime Hardware encoding to H@L4.1 D1 at least.

    the bigger problem with these so called mashup's is NOONE Sems interested in taking the generic AVC Encoded content and putting it inside a generic TS (transport stream) thats fed into an onboard mini ethernet SOC and out to anything you might like to stream it too, a simple VLC AVC TS multicast port for instance.

    powering these portable and indeed external static lower power devices can be suplimented by any cheap car/clothing PV pannels with the right adaptor id assume you get in the kit.

  7. Jolyon Ralph
    Thumb Down

    All that AVC bollocks...

    I hardly use my panasonic HDC-SD9 camcorder any more because the damn AVC files it creates are frustratingly difficult to convert. Some software sort of works sometimes. If you don't mind your converted video running at 2/3 the original speed.

    I can go back to the windows box and convert things eventually using some piece of crap software but apparently the formats are either too difficult or too restricted with patents for the free software community to build decent support into linux apps with.

    Whereas I tried a different cheap as chips DV camera the other day and it had .mp4 files which seemed to be openable and editable without problems.

    I hate AVC.


    ps. It might be that there's new software that does the trick properly with these files on linux (I haven't tried for a month or two) if so please let me know!

  8. Seán

    @Wankers etc

    It's no use as a replacement for a HD display. It's useful for clever ui and secondary output stuff and in a pinch watching the news beamed onto someone else's back or the roof of your car/office

  9. Haku

    Fricken lasers!

    After watching the (almost 1.5 year old) YouTube video of Microvision's pico laser projector:

    I can undoubtedly say: I want one! and why the flip aren't they on general sale to consumers?! sure the resolution may not be up to scratch with the LED projectors but it's very bright and doesn't need you to fart about with focusing the thing.

  10. Andy Moreton

    Not a DV camcorder - agreed

    @AC in the world of computers DV may mean digital video, but in the world of camcorders it relates to the media on which the video is recorded. You can get DV tapes and mini DV tapes. If you tell a camcorder enthusiast that a device is a DV camcorder they will expect it to take tapes. In any case 'Digital Video' is meaningless these days - when did you last see an analogue camcorder, or a camcorder that did not record video?

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Nothing but H264 today?

    It's interesting that consumers have been lumbered with H264 as it's a bitch to edit and pros won't go anywhere near it. Many of the low to mid range professional cameras actually use MPEG2 variants at high bitrates, eg XDCAM or the lower end HDV.

    Presumably the persistence with H264 is about using a codec that uses as little storage space as possible. Problem is that it is even more of a pain to edit with than the other HD codecs.

  12. popper

    AVC realtime editing is good, as is native AVC TS streaming

    @Jolyon Ralph , while its true there were problems with the software side of AVC editing inside Linux you seemed to have used?.

    thats my most basic point, a cheap mass produced realtime AVC Encoder/Decoder SOC (System On a Chip) realtime Hardware encoding/decoding to H@L4.1 inside every single new device is a very good thing to have TODAY, then any interfacing Software can then just get on with the real job of cutting and joining your AVC edits passing off the hard work of decoding/reEncoding to any genericAVC SOC you might have available.

    lets see some mass produced AVC SOC in all these new low power devices so others dont have to go through your pain.....

    BTW, you might not know it but searching on AVCHD native "MTS" and "M2TS" gets you far more information for these and other current AVC/H.264/AVCHD DV recorders and how to edit their generic AVC/H.264 files.

    in your case and your HDC-SD9 ,check out Kdenlive as "shadow" has posted a series of patches to FFmpeg to make the AVC SD9 fully supported now, thats progress for you in linux, hope it helps.

    and check out the Doom9 threads were all the serious x86 video devs hang out and post their free wares

    remember AVC is a very good thing, it even have an offiaicl lossless mode that profession grade freware x264 endoder can produce.

    remember, its the software thats let you down so far, not the AVC codec, we NEED these mass produced realtime hardware AVC encoders/decoder SOC portable and static low power devices to lighten the editing load, so make them and we will come.

  13. Lionel Baden

    @battery life

    The battery life shouldnt be a issue because they have been working on this for quite a while

    They were basically waiting till green lasers could be made at an affordable price.

    I really like this product but wont be quite replacing my moniters till they hit 1600x1200 (yes im still on good ol CRT)

  14. Stuart Halliday

    So why are webcams so damn low resolution?

    If they can make tiny cameras at HD-TV then why can't I buy a webcam above 640x480?

    It's not the limited USB2 bandwidth.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    nah its just cheap as shit to build like that

    and anyway would you try and upstream full HD video ??? and downstream not going to happen yet.

    i think usb2.00 probably would have issues streaming that along with whatever jusnk people have plaugged in

  16. David Hicks

    Love the idea, but...

    ... at 10-12 lumens, you'd need to sit in a darkroom to see the picture.

    When they're 10-100 times brighter and can do a slightly higher resolution, I'll gladly buy one. I've been watching this tech for ages and I want one, but at the moment they seem a bit useless.

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