PROJECTOR MOUNTS - THE FACTS
Slide Projector Introduction
The 1950’s saw the introduction of 35mm slide projectors which were the direct descendants of the larger format Magic Lantern first introduced in the 1850’s. They were mostly used in the home as a form of home entertainment but also gathered popularity in education and other institutional settings. The early 1960’s saw the introduction of carousel slide projectors which used a rotary tray to show 35mm slides. Up until then straight trays and horizontal feed systems had been used but the new system prevented jamming and slides falling out. The Kodak S Carousel had a horizontal feed rotary tray and the Sawyer Rotomatic had a vertical feed rotary tray but other manufacturers brought out their own versions based on these principals. In the UK, local councils specified what technical equipment should be adopted in the schools within their jurisdiction and the carousel slide projector, which had to be placed on a flat surface at desk height and at the front of the classroom, was introduced.
The First Projector Stand in the UK
In 1963, Oxford UK, Unicol was born out of a request from a father to his son to design and manufacture a stand to support a carousel slide projector that could easily be transported between school demonstrations. Thus the first projector mount in the UK was made, orders started to flood in and a thriving business began that along with other audio visual support equipment is still designing and manufacturing projector mounts today.
Advancements in Projectors
As technology advanced the 35mm Carousel gave way to video projectors which first used cathode ray tubes (CRT) to provide the colour output. These gave a large projected screen size but were bulky and therefore required a stand or trolley to support them. As previously mentioned many early projectors were taken up by education but along with TV Displays the Broadcast Industry also used projectors. The next range of projectors to emerge were LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) projectors, which were much smaller for the given light output and were able to be ceiling suspended and wall mounted. The major advancement from LCD was DLP (Digital Light Processing) and more recently LCOS (Liquid Crystal on Silicon) and LED & Laser Diode systems, all resulting in lighter smaller projectors with higher longevity. The projector is now used in every market place from a small classroom to painting a building in dynamic coloured light.
The Projector Mount
To service the huge range of projectors on the market today, mount manufacturers provide a huge array of mounting options from flight case rigs to camera screw projector mounts. There are the traditional stands and trolleys, wall mounted shelves and dedicated the wall projector mount to ceiling suspended versions where the projector can be hung upside down or right way up in a cradle or vertical. The projector has come a long way since the ‘Magic Lantern’ but has spurned a whole industry in how to support it in every way conceivable which simply is called a projector mount.