For many years, high-end home theater systems and both commercial and academic presentations have used video projectors as a presentation tool. The majority of people can now afford and use video projectors, though. Some are blatantly affordable. Before purchasing your first video projector, consider these helpful hints.
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What Is A Projector?
The best way to think of a projector is as an inverted camera that emits light instead of receiving it from a lens. For the sake of this buying guide, we will be considering digital projectors—that is, projectors with video inputs that serve a similar function to a TV or computer monitor while offering several benefits, which may include:
- Larger image sizes
- Increased portability
- Flexible installation possibilities
All projector types can be used with the guidelines I’ll lay out below. However, it will help to start by dividing digital projectors into four categories:
- Pocket is also called “pico”
- Home theater
- Large venue and fixed installation (a subset of multimedia)
Undoubtedly, there will be overlap, and not all models will neatly fit into one category. For instance, multimedia projectors and home theater projectors are very similar. The type you require will, in most cases, be evident from your application. Presentations in boardrooms will be multimedia. Located in a living room: a home theater. Large venue for a 500-person lecture hall. The pocket or pico projector is ultra-portable and suitable for small screens.
Where Does The Light From A Projector Come From?
Two lamp types—LED and metal halide—are primarily used in projectors. Outside of pocket projectors, LED is still a rare technology. The majority of the remaining lamps are made of tungsten and use metal halide, which, when used at the recommended brightness level, can last anywhere between 2,000 and 5,000 hours. A few systems employ hybrid technologies that combine an LED light source with a laser light source.
Do I Need A Lot Of Brightness?
Brightness is the most crucial specification to get right, even though the throw ratio is very important. And this is where the third detail I mentioned, the amount of ambient light, comes into play. All other considerations are rendered meaningless if the image cannot be seen clearly. The biggest challenge with projectors is frequently getting enough light out of them, but keep in mind that it is nearly impossible to get a projector that is too bright. Turning down the brightness is always an option if a projector is ever “too bright.” however, brightening a projector that is too dim… good luck!
Projectors would always be used in complete darkness in the ideal world—the world in which we do not currently reside. The image’s contrast decreases and becomes more washed out as ambient light is added. Even increasing the brightness of the projector only partially resolves the issue because ambient light is interacting with the darker portions of the image and clouding them. Even though you won’t be able to get a perfect image when using a projector in natural light, you can at least get one that can be seen.
The ANSI lumen standard is used to measure projector brightness. Knowing the throw distance, image width, ambient light level in the space, and projected content are necessary to determine how many lumens you need. Using a projection calculator, a piece of software that performs the math for you, Projector Central is the simplest way to determine this. On their websites, many projector manufacturers offer calculators. If not, is a great resource, and offers projection calculators for nearly every projector model made.
Here are some examples of lumen counts that you might require.
- A living room where the lights can be turned off completely: 1500 to 2000 lumens
- A school classroom or boardroom where the lights can be dimmed, if not fully extinguished: at least 3000 lumens
- A lecture hall, church, or other larger venue, or an environment with high ambient light: at least 4500 lumens
- A movie theater or stadium: 20,000 lumens or more
How Can I Choose The Right Projector To Buy?
For Home Theater
You should purchase a home theater projector rather than a commercial projector if you want to have the best movie-watching experience possible. Amazing image quality with rich saturation, sharp contrast, and deep blacks is delivered to the user by the home theater projector. These projectors perform best in spaces with adjustable lighting. A 4K projector with HDR compatibility and a high contrast ratio is the best option. You can see sharper images of numbers, images, text, graphs, or videos when the contrast ratio is high.
Commercial projectors or projectors for offices are typically used for displaying static images, such as graphs and PowerPoint slides, though they can also be excellent for multimedia and entertainment use. The lumen output of office projectors should be your primary consideration. You have the option of using a short-throw or a standard projector for office use.
A gaming projector is ideal if your main activity is watching movies or playing video games on a large screen. Refresh rate, lag time, and resolution are the three crucial factors to think about when purchasing a gaming projector. If your gaming console has a 4K resolution, invest in a 4K projector to experience the best graphics.
Projectors in the classroom can make learning much more engaging and enjoyable. Although classroom projectors use low resolution, they have the same features as commercial projectors. Purchase projectors with built-in speakers to simplify presentation workflow in classrooms.
Things To Keep In Mind When Buying A Projector
A projector can’t show a bright image without adequate lighting. Even in a dark room, if the lighting is poor, the image will appear soft and blurry. Look at the lumens rating to learn more about the brightness and lighting. You can find out how much light a projector can produce by looking at its lumen rating. Brightness levels for home theater use are 1,000 ANSI Lumens or higher.
A key consideration is display resolution. A fixed number of pixels are included in both DLP and LCD projectors. Try to purchase a projector with high pixels if the majority of what you will view from a projector is HD. For DVDs, a resolution of 1024 x 768 pixels is adequate. 720p A 1280×720 pixel display is required for HDTV signals, while a 1920×1080 pixel display is required for a 1080i HDTV input signal.
The brightness and contrast ratio work together seamlessly. The ratio between the black and white areas of an image is essentially what is meant by contrast. High contrast ratios produce whiter whites and blacker blacks. If your contrast ratio is low, your image will appear completely washed out even if your projector has an amazing lumen rating. At least a contrast ratio of 1500:1 is recommended, but 2,000:1 or higher would be the best choice.
The reproduction of the color is yet another crucial factor to take into account. To get the best output from your projector, it’s also crucial to consider how colors appear in the darkest and lightest portions of the image. Look at the projector’s color depth and natural tones.
Make sure your projector always has all the necessary inputs. Projectors typically have HDMI, VGA, and DVI inputs. Making sure a projector has all the input connections you require is crucial when looking for one.
Not only for moving and traveling but also for installing and setting up, portability is crucial. Everything can be viewed anywhere, even on a plain white bedsheet, if the projector is portable.
You can buy the best projector by keeping the aforementioned advice in mind. For viewing in a theater with incredibly vivid images, LG projectors are the best. They’re entertaining for all your needs and are portable, wireless, and 3D compatible.
There are a lot of things to think about when purchasing a projector. The size of the screen required will largely depend on how much space you have available, regardless of whether you plan to project in your home or place of business. For instance, it might be wiser to spend more money on a laser projector that can handle high brightness levels if you need an ultra-bright projection for a large auditorium with lots of ambient light.