Looking to buy a new projector for your classroom, meeting room or home theater? Well you have come to the right place. The image you project on the screen is to make a great impression on your audience. It is important you realize not all projectors can deliver the same high quality image. Here I will give a quick overview of the important points to look for your next projector.
Things I Consider before Buying Projectors
Following are the topics we are going to discuss:
- Best Image Quality
- Color Light Output
- Instant Setup
- Image Alignment
- Lamp Maintenance
- Service and Support
Now buying a projector is pretty confusing. There are lots of big acronyms and technological terms but beneath all this things there three basic facts to consider while buying a projector.
- Image Quality
- Ease of Use
Best Image Quality
First and foremost the audience will be judging your presentation based on the image they see on the screen. So picture quality is your first purchase consideration. There are many things that impact picture quality, let’s look at a couple of major factors:
First is Resolution. Resolution is the number of PIXELS projected on the screen. Here bigger is better. The higher the resolution, the detailed information you will be able to show your audience. Computer and projector feature many different resolutions. But there are four that are the most common.
First is 800×600 pixels or SVGA Resolution and this is the minimum Resolution normally found in the business projectors. Then there is 1024×768 or XGA Resolution. It has higher resolution and its sharper and SVGA image. Both SVGA and XGA projectors project the 4:3 aspect ratio or moreover square shaped image. It’s sometime refer to as a standard screen size.
1280×800 pixels or WXGA Resolution is High Definition (HD) and its 16:10 aspect ratio or moreover a rectangle shape. The 16:10 aspect ratio is true widescreen and provides 30% more image area and a standard 4:3 image. 16:10 is also the most common aspect ratio for new computer monitors. With WXGA you can project the 780p HD image properly.
At the top of the range, it is 1920×1200 pixels or WUXGA Resolution. This is also a widescreen Resolution and can project true 1080p Full HD images.
Now after you find the ideal resolution and decide on widescreen or standard screen size, it’s time to choose the right brightness level which is used to measure in Lumens. Now the amount of brightness you actually need is determined by the room you are projecting.
For projector use in classrooms and conference rooms or rooms with outside windows, always choose a projector with a minimum of 2500 Lumens.
For home cinema projectors appropriate for theatre minimum you require around 1500 Lumens. However it is important to mention that Lumens or brightness is usually only a measurement of white light. It tells you nothing about the brightness of colors.
Color Light Output
Fortunately several major projectors manufacture has recently introduced the new metric called “Color Light Output”. Color Light Output provides valuable information about the projector’s ability to deliver bright colors which are critical for projecting photographs, videos and other colorful graphics. If you want projector for projecting images with color look for a projector with high color light output. Ideally the brightness of color should equal to the brightness of light.
Finally the image quality you see on the screen can be infected by the technology that under the hood. There are two technologies is used in the majority of all projectors.
- 1 Chip DLP technology &
- 3 Chip 3LCD technology
3 Chip 3LCD
The technology is a different the 3LCD projector use a 3 Chip design, this allows the projector to deliver bright and true to life images with high color light output as well as high wide light output. As an added benefit 3LCD is power efficient.
1 Chip DLP
1 Chip DLP technology uses a spinning color wheel to render color and as lower color light output and similar 3 LCD technology.
The great images meaningless if the project is too hard to set up and use. Look for a projector that has a wide variety of connectors. HDMI and USB can make your set easier. Projectors with USB plug & play are equipped to connect to a computer through a single USB cable. These projectors make your setup easy and provide instant connection to your projector.
Some projectors have a wireless features allow you to transmit from your laptop completely cord free but still some projectors enable you to play presentations or slideshows completely PC-Free, the only thing you need is a USB memory device like a pen-drive or digital camera.
Now that we have an image going to the projector, we need to align the image on our screen. You wanna projectors to make this alignment simple and hassle free. Automatic set up is a great plus. Manually set up should require only a few steps.
Having a physical adjustment button or a slider have always have into go into manual adjustment system. Most projectors have some degree of adjustability, some more advance than others. Here are few high rank features that are valuable alignment tools.
Vertical and Horizontal alignment which is also known as keystone correction, corrects images by transforming them into rectangle for proper viewing. Sometime these controls are automatic and sometimes are manual and auto sizing feature finds the edges of the screen and with the touch of a button create perfectly align images almost any projection angle.
Can you touch your projector or it is too hot to handle? Some projectors have instant on and off functionality which allows for Rapid starts up and short cool down time, some can go right on the desk with no waiting.
So by the time you must have found a projector with a great image that easy to set up and use. But if the projector is expensive to use but it’s not reliable ultimately you won’t be happy with your purchase.
Reliability on the cost of your projector comes down to mostly one factor call Lamp Maintenance. Look for a projector with longer lamp life at least 3000 hours is preferred. Filters protect the lamp and engine from dust build up. Keep your projectors running reliably and make for easy maintenance. Filters free projector has nothing to protect the expense lamp for the outside environment which may impact lamp life.
Service and Support
Finally, in case something does go wrong with your new projector, you wanna make sure you can get it fixed quickly. Service and Support specially is one of the critical issues to consider before buying a projector.
Buying a projector does not need to be difficult or complex. Consider the basic topic we discussed here, you will be able to buy the perfect projector which will be projecting brilliant images and impressing your audience in no time.