ProjectorCentral Prepares to Light Up

In a world of Amazon.coms and Wal-Marts, it takes a well-funded, compelling idea---or a very sharply defined niche market---to successfully set up shop. In the spirit of tightly defining a selling space, a new website has been launched by ProjectorCentral. The site is designed to create a very "vertical" Internet-based marketplace for buyers and sellers within the A/V and projection industry. It's intended as a "community environment" where industry professionals can trade ideas and information as well as products and services.

ProjectorCentral is a new division of Chisholm, which has served the projection industry for about 15 years. The move indicates a new direction for Chisholm---away from the manufacture and distribution of projection products under its own label and toward information and consulting services. Chisholm says it will continue to offer customer service and technical support for its installed base of projection products.

According to Evan Powell, general manager of ProjectorCentral, "The site is different from many of today's broad-based e-commerce sites that are either selling products from a specific manufacturer or merchant or selling everything from handbags to hiking boots. ProjectorCentral will provide in-depth, comprehensive coverage of the projector industry and its products and services, simply because that will be its only focus.

"We expect that ProjectorCentral will be the authoritative, independent voice of the industry and the place people go to get factual information as well as secure the best possible deals on equipment and services," he continues. "We think that ProjectorCentral also represents a new business model for the Internet. As the content component of the Web coalesces into a handful of mega-portals, there will be a growth of highly focused sites that will succeed by meeting the needs of specific audiences. ProjectorCentral is a prototype of this new kind of site."

Chisholm claims that the site will offer various free services and information to help visitors identify products, find suppliers, and solicit competitive price quotations online. The site will also enable users to post reviews and ratings of products. Powell says, "We believe this is the first time that buyers of A/V equipment will be able to reference current user-satisfaction information prior to making a purchase."

Information services on the ProjectorCentral site will include a product database, an integrated master dealer locator, and a technical resource library providing a wealth of information on LCD, DLP, and reflective projection technologies, as well as a buyer's guide to help determine which product might be right for a given application. The site will also feature a comprehensive Yellow Pages-style directory for the projection industry, with listings for dealers, vendors, consultants, publications, and associations related to the industry. A Calendar of Events will contain information on trade shows, seminars, and other events of interest to the community.