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3M, Roku Team On Streaming Projector

NEW YORK – 3M and Roku formally launched at a recent press event, here, a family-targeted DLP Pico-class projector that will come bundled with a Roku streaming stick to access a range of online entertainment services.

Called the 3M Streaming Projector Powered by Roku, the tiny projector, which will carry a $299 selling price when it goes on sale exclusively through Amazon on Oct. 22, is being directed at home use, primarily for big-screen family movie nights and similar applications. Dormitories are also seen as a good location for the product.

The target segment has been successfully exploited in the past in larger projector models, like those in Epson’s MovieMate series that featured a 3LCD projector with integrated DVD player and Optoma’s Neo-i projector that integrated an iPod dock into a projector. General Imaging also recently unveiled its iPico mini projector with iPod/iPhone connectivity.

Using the Roku streaming stick with integrated dual-band Wi-Fi reception, the projector will connect to a Wi-Fi network in the home to access a ready supply of thousands of streaming videos from such services as Netflix, Vudu, Hulu Plus, Crackle, Amazon Instant Video and many others.

The projector is based on Texas Instruments’ Pico-class Micro Mirror Device display chip with WXGA (1,280 by 768 pixels) resolution. It will project a watchable image up to 120 inches in screen size.

The unit’s LED light source is said to produce a brightness output of 65 lumens at the highest setting or 50 lumens in an energy-saving setting.

The projector runs off of an internal lithium-ion battery with two hours and 45 minutes of average life per charge, or from an AC outlet using a power adapter.

Executives with 3M said the projector is available for pre-orders on Amazon now. Amazon will have exclusive retail distribution rights on the product through the holiday selling season.

The projector measures 7.8 by 7 by 4.5 inches and weighs 1.3 pounds.

The unit’s I/O ports include an MHLcomplaint HDMI port that is used to connect the Roku stick. A headphone jack is also included for use with headphones or powered external speakers (the projector also includes one smaller internal speaker as well).

The Streaming Projector ships with a standard remote and will be compatible with Roku’s optional Game Remote ($20), which adds motion-control and dedicated gaming buttons.

Amazon will also offer customers making pre-orders a $20 Amazon Instant Video credit.