Barco Secures US-FDA Product Variance for its First-In-The-World, Commercial Laser-Illuminated Cinema Projector, Assuring Hassle-Free and Worry-Free Installation

us-fdaBarco, a global digital cinema leader, is pleased to announce that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted a product variance for its brand-new 6 primary laser 3D (6P) laser-illuminated projector. The FDA has also granted approval for a predefined laser show variance, allowing US-based exhibitors to safely install the 4K Barco laser projector without excessive legal constraints and extra costs.

In this way, exhibitors who install the Barco laser projector do not need to prove compliancy with the same stringent regulations as laser light shows. Thanks to its fully integrated and inherently safe design – featuring unified laser light sources that are housed within the projector – the Barco laser projector prevents direct contact with native laser light, offering exhibitors worry-free operation and ultimate peace of mind.

“By receiving a US FDA product variance for our fully integrated laser-illuminated projector – the most compact and efficient 6 primary laser 3D (6P) laser-illuminated projector on the planet – we provide US exhibitors hassle-free and worry-free installation of our projector, delivering true peace of mind,” comments Goran Stojmenovik, Product Manager Laser Projection at Barco. “This is a great step in the right direction for laser-illuminated projection technology regulations worldwide.” Barco was one of the founding members of the Laser Illuminated Projector Association (LIPA) in 2011, striving for an internationally harmonized regulation and standard for laser-illuminated projection.

Designed from the ground up, the Barco 6 primary laser 3D (6P) laser projector features a fully integrated system with unified laser light sources that are housed inside the projector – making it the most compact and efficient 6 primary laser 3D (6P) laser-illuminated projector on the planet. This design is not only more durable, safe and efficient than fiber-coupled technologies, it also guarantees that no native laser light beams are emitted if the projector housing is removed for service purposes. The Barco laser-illuminated projector features Barco’s unique multiple-layer design that offers multiple levels of safety. Barco will provide dedicated training programs to inform exhibitors about how to safely install, operate and service their Barco laser projectors. These training programs include laser safety regulations and product installation requirements.

Product variance
The American FDA is a major player in defining the international regulatory landscape for laser equipment. The current regulations do not permit a high-brightness laser projector to be permanently installed in a cinema. However, the FDA allows ‘predefined laser show variances’ as an exception to the general rule for a product family. Thanks to this new Barco product variance, exhibitors who install a Barco laser-illuminated projector do not need to comply with the same stringent guidelines that laser light shows must adhere to – which range from securing a special license for each show, to having a specially trained monitor on-site during the show.

Laser safety
It is important to understand that traditional lamp-based projectors and new Barco laser-illuminated projectors – when of equal luminance power – emit almost identical radiance. Laser behavior and safety in the context of Barco laser-illuminated projection is more akin to Xenon lamp projection than it is to laser light beams. As Barco laser-illuminated projectors do not emit any kind of native laser beams, this calls for more flexible regulation, because Barco laser-illuminated projectors do not pose the same safety risks that the focused laser beams used at laser light shows do.

More suitable regulations
“LIPA is striving to have laser-illuminated projectors classified so that they comply with rules similar to those for lamp-based projectors. Today’s outdated regulations would burden cinema exhibitors who install laser-illuminated projectors with needlessly stringent and costly requirements,” says Bill Beck, co-founder and former chairman of the Laser Illuminated Projector Association (LIPA). “We have already come a long way and, as an international standard for laser-illuminated projection regulation is now within reach, we believe the future looks very promising.”

A new image quality standard
Showing stunningly bright and uniform images with crisp detail and exceptionally rich colors, the Barco laser projector radically improves the 3D and general cinema experience, and all of this with a single projector. The Barco projector is unique in its ability to minimize speckle – even on silver screens – eliminating the need for a mechanical screen-vibrating system to achieve the desired image quality. Enhanced with the revolutionary Barco Alchemy technology, it is the world’s first laser projector capable of displaying 4K HFR content (from 48 up to 60 fps) and 4K 3D content.

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