Vue Entertainment has agreed a three year supply deal and strategic partnership with Xenon lamp manufacturer Ushio for their complete stable of projectors. The exclusive deal is for the UK and German markets, and makes Ushio the sole provider of lamps for Vue’s Sony projectors. Vue has used Ushio lamps before, and has tested a number of lamp brands, but has not signed such a strategic agreement until now.
This agreement is an interesting counterpoint to the current noise around laser illuminated projection. It is true that laser is arousing great interest amongst exhibitors, be that the high-end RGB laser or the cheaper laser phosphor machines, but they still represent a tiny proportion of the overall market for illumination products. Even if laser take-up grows rapidly, the market will not be fully driven by laser for many years yet, and this deal underlines Vue’s belief of that.
Other lamp manufacturers are also looking to strike long term exclusive deals with their partners, as a sign to the market that laser is not the only game in town and that Xenon is still by far the majority sector of the projector illumination market. An example is Philips’ exclusive deal with cinema integrator Bardan for Philips lamps in Latin America and the Caribbean, signed in February 2016.