Previously seen in corporate training rooms or rolled around on carts by teenagers, the projector has come a long way. Now, the modern projector is light weight, easy to use and has found its way back into homes to be the center of fun and entertainment for the whole family. However, it can be a challenge to get the right projector. Covered in marketing speak and cryptic acronyms, buying a projector can be a confusing prospect.
LED’s And More
The modern projector, called a LED projector has benefited from the advent of a little lighted diode, hence the name LED. Compact, and inexpensive, it uses less energy than bulbs making it ideal for visual equipment from flashlights to projectors. These little devices allowed projectors to get smaller and smaller while having a better picture quality than the older models.
LED projector performance is partially determined by lumens. Without going into a complicated explanation using math, it is basically how bright the picture is at a distance.
The more lumens, the brighter the picture, the larger the potential picture can be. However, lumens do not tell the whole store on the clarity of the picture, only how bright it can be. Picture quality is usually determined by the resolution.
When buying a projector, resolution is as important as lumens in determined the potential quality of the picture projected. Working like the resolution for your television, it is the measure in width and length as measured from corner to corner of the viewable area.
The higher the resolution, the sharper the picture will be. For example, a resolution at 60 inches of 1920 X 1080 would be the equivalent of your typical computer monitor projected to a size of 60 inches wide.
It’s All About the P
Referencing the example above, there are many different resolutions for LED projectors. Smaller, more compact, mini projectors usually do not a resolution as high as 1920 X 1080. They are usually in the 400-600 X 200-400 range. This is fine for some but to get the best picture, it requires the purchase of a 1080p projector.
The P stands for progressive scan. Without getting to technical, it is what allows the picture to move on the screen without motion blur or that ever so slight movement delay. The 1080 also means the resolution is a full 1080, which is the equivalent of 2.1 megapixels. Just like a camera, the lower resolution, the lower the megapixels.
Ports and More Ports
Lumens, resolution and picture quality are again, only part of the equation. Purchasing a projector with the right lumens and resolution is all fine well and good, assuming you can plug it in to your multimedia device.
Some projectors only have one or two ports and thus it limits there use. Some are only equipped with the standard AV set up or RCA connections. Others are configured for only SVGA, meaning it can only be attached to a computer via a monitor cable. It is important to not only get the right ports for what your intended use is but also for possible uses in the future.
Some projectors have USB ports so media can be taken directly from the drive. Typically, the port to have is the HDMI port. However, this is certainly a case where more is better. More ports, the more connections.
Note About Brands
More than likely, when looking to purchase a projector, you will encounter brands you have never heard of before. This is one area where brand shopping is just as likely to have you spending more for a name than quality.
Brands are not as unique as they once were in electronics but when it comes to the smaller electronics like projectors, it is even more convoluted due to the amount of original equipment manufacturers. In fact, it is quite possible to have a multiple brands come from the same factory.
Most projectors have about the same quality level, so it is best to go by the reviews found as they have used the projector under real world conditions.
When looking to purchase a projector, there no longer has to be any confusion. The more lumens, the brighter the picture at a further distance. Coupled with resolution, the higher the better, and the potential for getting a good quality, clear picture is the result. For the most versatility and perhaps for more fun, the more ports the better. The rest, is the devil is in the details.
Auto focus or manual focus, remote, no remote, all basically personal preferences but those can be important as well. Regardless, purchasing a projector is easy and getting the right one is not as hard as it used to be.