AV Interview: Simon Rogers, Epson Australia
Simon Rogers, General Manager of Sales at Epson Australia, describes its current product focus… with a surprise new vertical.
Interview:/ Christopher Holder
If it’s possible to have projection flowing through your veins, then Simon Rogers would be that person. For over 20 years he’s been selling projectors, and is now near the top of the tree at Epson Australia. AV.technology caught up with Simon at the Integrate expo to hear his thoughts on the market. I started by asking him how his Integrate presence illustrated Epson’s priorities:
Simon Rogers: We’re always trying to tell a story about where projectors offer solutions other technologies can’t. So we are still talking about digital signage as one opportunity for projection (with the EV-115). We’re always talking about the importance of image size, especially in immersive environments. We’ve got an Igloo visualisation dome here and we’re also talking about projectors in conference rooms and boardrooms again, which is exciting!
AV: What’s the reception been like for your EB-810E 21:9 Teams solution?
SR: It’s exciting for us because ultra short throw projectors remain strong in education, but we haven’t had projectors in boardrooms for 15 years — that space has been lost to panels for a long, long time. But with hybrid working and with UC being such an important part of every conference room and meeting room, big screens are important once again. So the idea of having a 65-inch panel and trying to put lots of faces up there doesn’t work. Meanwhile, the Epson ultra short throw solution can provide a 160-inch 21:9 image for only A$6500. Lots and lots of real estate is the crucial thing for those Teams meetings and this product (the Epson EB-810E) does that.
AV: Where’s Epson currently at with 4K?
SR: We’ve got native 4K coming, while there’s 4K enhancements across most of our range. 4K remains specialised, while brightness remains more important than pixels. The 21:9 is an example of that: for these applications our customers aren’t counting the number of pixels, they’re looking for a big image and lots of brightness.
AV: Some five years ago, or so, many predicted the demise of projection. How’s business?
SR: There’s no doubt the projector market is shrinking massively but business is good. We’re replacing a lot of lost volume with value. And that’s the opportunity for our channel partners, because the parts that are shrinking, are in the sub $1000 end of the market — we sell way fewer projectors through retail than we once did. The parts of the market that are growing are the higher value areas. In that ultra short throw category, we sell fewer A$2000 and A$2500 projectors into classrooms than we once did. But the full HD, the interactive, these ultra short throw conference room solutions, that’s where there’s still market growth. And in high brightness, we are now selling good numbers of 15,000, 20,000 and 30,000 lumen projectors and that’s where there is big opportunities. So while the the total numbers are down, the value in the market is still there. And I think you see that here at Integrate, right? The projector vendors are the likes of Panasonic, Barco, and Christie. W e’ve got some some good competitors in that space and this is where there is opportunity in the market.