Projectors Shopping Guide
For those who think a big screen TV is simply not exciting enough, a home theatre projector is the solution to give a whole new meaning to TV shows, movies, and even video games. What’s even better, you can actually take it outside and enjoy a movie or exciting sports events with friends. With so many brands and models available on the market, it may be difficult to choose the right projector, though. This guide will help you choose the right type of projector by taking into account multiple factors for a bespoke experience.
The Type of Images You Intend to Show
This is one of the most important factors to consider before buying a projector. Even though all projectors can show all types of images, some of them do a better job than others for specific kinds of images. Many models are marketed for use as part of a home theater setting, whereas others work better for business purposes, as they do well with data images. If you are looking for a projector you can use for games, look for a models that can handle both data images and video content well, as video games require a combination of these two capabilities.
Types of Projectors
There are two main types of projectors to choose from: DLP (Digital Light Processing) and LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) projectors. DLP models project images by using a chip with microscopic mirrors, while LCD models allow light to pass through red, blue, and green LCD panels to project multicolor moving images. DLP projectors have high contrast ratios and produce highly accurate images with no shadows, while LCD models have great color saturation and high brightness capabilities.
Projectors range in size from small enough to fit in a pocket to massive models that require permanent installation. Pick the appropriate size depending on the way you plan to use the device. If you want a projector to use as a home theater and store it away when not in use, look for a light and small model. Alternatively, if you need a projector you can use on a daily basis for business meetings and presentations, you can opt for a large and powerful model that remains in a fixed position.
The brightness of a projector is measures in ANSI lumens – the higher the ANSI level, the brighter the images projected. When choosing the brightness, consider if you can control the light in the room, the number of people watching the images, and the type pf applications you intend to project. Opt for a brightness of less than 1,000 lumens if you buy a projector that you mainly use as a home theater in a dark room for best contrast. If you want to keep some of the lights on when projecting the images, say in a classroom, go for a projector with 1,000 to 2,000 lumens. For large conference rooms, choose a projector with a brightness of up to 3,000 lumens, as it will be able to cope with larger screens and natural lightning.
The number of pixels projected determine the resolution of a projector. With a higher resolution, you can obtain a sharper and clearer image. A projector with a resolution of 1280 x 720 is a good option for DVD and Blu-Ray video quality. For gaming systems and HDTV video content, a resolution of 1920 x 1080 would be a better option.
Aspect ratio refers to the relation of the height of an image to its weight. You can chose from three main aspect ratios when buying a projector: 4:3 projectors, which are mainly suited for business use with a computer, 16:9 projectors, mostly suitable for projecting DVDs and Blu-Rays, and 16:10 projectors, which are intended for widescreen computers. It is worth mentioning that most projectors are compatible with other aspect ratios, but using a projector to display a format other than its native one may result in missing parts of the picture or image stretching.
All projectors produce a certain amount of noise because they have incorporated fans. Some models are just as loud as a computer, whereas others are more silent. If you are looking for a silent model, opt for a projector that produces under 25db. Silent projectors are a good option for home users, as the fan noise might become a distraction when watching a movie.
Inputs and Outputs
Most projectors come with HDMI and VGA connection, but you still have to consider the device you want to connect them to when looking at inputs and outputs. Those looking to use the projector with multiple vide o inputs may benefit from a dual input projector.
Best Projectors to Buy for Home Use
The Celluon PicoPro laser projector is one of the best options around for those looking for a very portable device. Weighing just 7 ounces and fitting in a pocket, this projector has a built-in memory that allows users to project images without hooking up the projector to a computer. Reviews mention that there is no need to adjust the focus for this projector no matter how far from the screen you place it. If you are looking for a larger home theater projector with 3D capabilities, the Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 3500 projector is a good choice.
Best Projectors for Classroom or Business Use
Bright enough for a large room, the Epson PowerLite 4650 XGA 3LCD Projector comes with multiple connectors, excellent quality for data images, and a 2X zoom lens. The Hitachi CP-AX2503 projector is ideal for those looking for a ultra-short-throw projector with a high native resolution. This projector allows users to get big images in tight spaces, so you can place it just inches away from the screen for excellent results.
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