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Castrade Co Ltd, a Japanese automotive device distributor, will release the "CV-MP02," an ultra compact projector with an LED light source, March 19, 2009.

Projectors of the same kind have already been on the market, but the company intends to differentiate this product from its competitors' at least in two points, use in an automobile and a low price.

Castrade plans to take advantage of its expertise as a distributor of automotive audio-visual equipment and monitors to market the CV-MP02 for use in automobiles. Though the projector can be used in vehicles "as it is," dedicated accessories will be released to promote its use in vehicles, the company said. Castrade also envisions its use for presentations by connecting it with a notebook PC.

The street price immediately after release is expected to range from ¥35,000 to 36,000 (approx US$355-366). Some of the competing products are sold for similar prices at retailers, but "we consider that our product is less expensive compared with competing products in terms of the price right after release," Castrade said. The company will make efforts to further lower the price, it said.

The CV-MP02 employs LCOS as its display element. It features 640 x 480 pixels with a panel size of 0.44 inches. The luminance is 10lm, and the maximum power consumption is about 10W. With a built-in secondary battery, the projector can be operated for about one hour. The outer dimensions are 115 x 50 x 23mm, and the weight is 160g, including the secondary battery.