Historic photography company Leica has teamed up with smart projector specialists JMGO for the new Leica O1 Pro ultra-short-throw LED projector – a device powerful enough to fill a wall with a giant, high-definition image from less than 30 centimetres away. Not only does this mean the increasing popularity of short-throw projectors just took a massive step into the higher-end, but it also offers a chance for anyone working with smaller spaces to built their own private home cinema.
What’s a short-throw projector you ask? Unlike a standard projector that needs to be positioned behind the viewing area, or mounted on a ceiling, it only needs to be placed on the floor just 30cm to 60cm away from the wall, or screen, on which the image will be projected. Especially for those who live in close quarters, this is a game-changer – no longer will slick home cinemas be exclusive to multi-million dollar mansions.
Ultra-short-throw projectors also have the added benefit of flexibility. Whereas a standard projector would need to be positioned behind the viewing space, the ultra-short-throw projector requires less room – behind say a couch or a set of chairs – and is less dependant on height, angle, and placement.
The O1 Pro has been in the works for at least a year, with the two powerhouses sharing what’s being described as an “intense collaboration.” The result is a smart projector that can produce an image measuring roughly 2.5 metres diagonally, from just roughly 20cm away, at a throw ratio of 0.21:1.
To give you some perspective, that’s almost 20% better than some of the latest smart projectors on the market.
Seeing as Leica are best known for their expertise in high-end cameras and lenses, it seems the company’s main contribution to the O1 Pro is further tweaking the short-throw ratio. Typically projectors have a projection ratio of 1.2:1, whereas the O1 Pro, as mentioned above, has a ratio of just 0.21:1.
With a resolution of 1920 x 1080p, and 4K support, the O1 Pro maintains a sharp image despite the impressive size of the screen.
Audio should also be equally crisp, given the device features built-in dual speakers calibrated by Dynaudio, with support for immersive Dolby Audio and DTS. You may not even need to set up as surround system for this one – although it’s probably a good idea to invest in a good quality set-up.
The projector also sports JMGO’s smooth operating system, which features Amazon Alexa for voice control, and both Bluetooth and HDMI connectivity.
While JMGO, a Chinese company, has already released the O1 Pro in China, the uncompromising projector is yet to see international availability, although reportedly that will happen later this year. There is currently an IndieGoGo page which also implies that the co-branded JMGO and Leica projector is the first in a planned series of ultra-short-throw projectors, including one capable of native 4K resolution.
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