Have you ever felt perplexed by looking at the various catalogs of different projectors in the market and even more puzzled after watching their prices that are not very economical?
You, don’t worry. We’ve got you covered.
In this article, we’re going to run through various specifications and features that you should consider before buying a projector.
Video projectors have become more and more popular, as they’ve been used as a presentation tool for better teaching to students in schools and colleges and also for the meetings in corporate and management sectors. Moreover, masses of people also like to use it for entertainment purposes like watching a movie or playing a video game. Before purchasing a projector, you should be clear about your requirements.
The article covers the following topics:
- Types of projectors
- Pixel Density and Resolution
- Contrast Ratio
- Input Lag
- Hardware Interface
- Screen Size
Types of Projectors:
These are two types of DLP(Digital light processing) and LCD(Liquid Crystal Display), which includes LED, Lamp and Laser as the various sources of light produced by the projector.
These video projectors have lamp life up to 3000hrs to 20,000hrs or more, with less heat being produced and hence lesser noise interruptions. These have better portability and are cost-effective. The only limitation is the brightness. Hence, while buying, the major focus needs to be on the brightness levels and contrast ratio of the image produced by the asset with decent resolution video quality.
ANSI Lumens: up to 3000-4000
Lamp based Projectors:
These projectors run till 3000-4000hrs. They have better black levels than some of the Laser-based projectors. These have better color accuracy than LED projectors and are of lower cost than Laser Projectors.
These have a stunning video quality with perfect brightness, as the source of light is a laser. These have lamp life as much as 20,000hrs or more. Some of them do not have decent black levels.
In this article, we would majorly focus on LED projectors which are under 300$.
The Brightness factor is essentially important for a good viewing experience, as with sufficient light in the mornings the image quality is good enough than the one being formed in a darker room. Therefore, the best way to get a victory over it is to look for ANSI Lumens in the specification of the product. ANSI Lumens measure the overall amount of light output by a projector; the higher the lumen value the brighter the light it produces.
Ideally, for smaller settings such as a meeting room or a classroom with a screen size of 80″ and above, 3000 and above ANSI Lumens is exemplary. The factors like screen size, contrast ratio, distance, etc can also affect the need for having more lumens.
Tip: While screening, the difference between the brightness from the point at the center of the image and the farthest point at the corners should be as low as possible, we call it light deviation. One can measure it using the LUX meter by dividing the screen into 9 equal parts and then measuring the brightness by putting the LUX meter at the center of each part, noting the readings, and then calculating the differences.
Pixel Density and Resolution:
Pixels are the individual dots of an image that are then combined to form a complete image that is projected on the screen. While the resolution is the number of pixels that a projector can display in a single image. The higher the pixel density, the higher the quality of an image.
It is important to note that your input device’s (laptop, tablet, or PC) resolution supports the native resolution of the projector.
To begin with, for Movies and TV, most modern movies with an aspect ratio of 16:9 can run in either 720p (HD) or 1080p (Full HD). Hence, a natural pixel count of 1080p is a sufficient choice. On the other hand, for gaming purposes, one might like to go from a 2K (Quad HD) pixel count to a 4K pixel count for a better visual experience. Although, these have a higher price tag. For outdoor seating also, 1080p is a great choice.
Certainly, like the brightness level, the contrast ratio is equally vital. The black level, we talked about in the “the type of projectors” topic, is maintained by the contrast ratio. It is the ratio between the black and white levels of an image. Relative to a darker room, the 1500:1 ratio is considered good, but 2000:1 or higher is considered exceptional.
If someone wants a projector for playing video games, this factor is essential for them. Although, projectors for these purposes are expensive.
Furthermore, one should look for the response time and refresh rate in the specifications. So, a projector with a listed input lag time of 16 ms means a 16-millisecond gap between the time when a signal from the gaming console is received and the time when the resulting image is projected. Also, look for lower refresh rates (number of frames per sec).
Undoubtedly, one should inspect the input ports such as HDMI, USB, VGA as per their need. Nowadays, HDMI, USB are available in almost all the projectors in the market.
Last but not the least, Screen Size:
Be it a closed room of a meeting or an outdoor setting for chilling, the projector with the optimum screen size, of your requirement, would be able to provide a greater user experience. Hence, before buying it, make sure you’ve measured the kind of screen size, fabrics you want. The distance between your couch and the screen is also an important element to be dependent on. For a smaller room size, you can consider the Short Throw projector which can display very large images from a shorter distance.
Tip: You might want to add an additional speaker in LED projectors to experience a better sound quality.
To my way of thinking, these are the features someone should look for before buying a projector in the market.