Barco Media and Entertainment’s invitation-only release of the DML-1200 digital moving luminaire at LDI 2007 in Orlando represents a turning point in the creation of technologies for projection and lighting combined. An amazing achievement in imaging, optics, and engineering.

The DML-1200 can operate in two modes: video and light. In video mode, it features a liquid-cooled, sealed DLP light engine that produces an SXGA+ (1,400x1,050) image that can be optically dimmed to true black from its 10,000 lumen brightness. In light mode, the unit produces a perfectly circular beam with a brightness equivalent to a 1,200W arc source moving head luminaire. A CMY subtractive color mixing system can operate in either mode. The unit uses DMX512 and carries an onboard media player that operates in both modes as well.

Chris Colpaert, director of product management at Barco Media and Entertainment, says, “With the DML-1200, we truly see a product that brings light and video together. Three years ago we met with lighting designers to brainstorm and understand what tools they dreamed of in this rapidly converging industry. Today, three years on, the DML-1200 is the result of these discussions and we are proud to be at the forefront of this exciting time.”

So the question is not whether the DML-1200 is the next step in the technological convergence of projection and lighting. The question is whether it’s a step too far. Does the world need a projector that is also a moving light at the price point of the DML-1200? Does the complexity of this unit make it a burden on the technicians who must program and maintain it? It is an incredible machine—could it be the finicky $250,000 Italian sports car of the entertainment lighting industry? The one that everyone wants, maybe?

I'll let you know if I find out.