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  • Projectors Guide - How to choose a projector

    With so many different projectors on the market it is easy to become confused.
    Which projector should you choose from the over 300 models on the market?
    This quick guide has been created to help you choose. We will be answering a few questions to help you pin point the projector that will meet your requirements.
    Projectors are usually compared using four main factors: Once these factors have been considered, you can narrow down your choice further with secondary factors such as contrast ratio, warranty, lamp life etc

    Projector Brightness
    Brightness is measured in ANSI (American National Standards Institute) lumens: the higher the ANSI lumens level, the brighter the projector.
    So how bright should your projector be? First you need to consider the following factors:
    Can you control the light in the room ?
    How many people will be in the room ?
    What is your application ?
    Less than 1000 Lumens
    1000 to 2000 Lumens
    2000 to 3000 Lumens
    More than 3000 Lumens

    Projector Resolution
    The resolution is the number of pixels that make up an image - e.g. 800 x 600 means the picture is made of 800 columns of pixels by 600 rows of pixels; for a total of 480.000 (800x600) pixels making up the whole image. The larger the number of pixels the higher the resolution and the sharper and more detailed the image is.
    When comparing projectors, we are comparing their native resolution: most projectors are compatible with higher source resolution through the use of compression technology, but the native resolution is the actual number of physical pixels.

    What resolution is best for you?
    Projectors are compatible with different resolutions, converting different input resolution to the native output resolution. This process is called 'scaling'.
    However, scaling always causes a loss of picture quality: it is not as sharp and detailed. This happens not only when the projector is of lower resolution than the source but also when the projector is of higher resolution.
    Therefore it is always advised to match the projector resolution to the source's resolution (e.g. if you are using an XGA laptop you should if possible use an XGA projector). This will ensure you are getting the
    sharpest and cleanest image.

    Projector Aspect Ratio
    The aspect ratio is the ratio of the width of an image to its height.
    Projectors are divided between 4:3 (computer monitor shape) and 16:9 (widescreen TV shape) aspect ratios.
    The 4:3 projectors are mainly used for business purposes to use with a computer.
    The 16:9 projectors are used for home cinema or to project DVDs.
    There is also a 16:10 aspect ratio seen in widescreen business projectors. These projectors have been designed for use with widescreen computers, although they are also used by home users. Most projectors, whether they are 4:3, 16:10 or 16:9, are compatible with other aspect ratios. A simple option in the projector menu will switch the picture between formats. It is however not recommended to use a projector in a format other than its native aspect ratio as it will stretch the image or it will miss parts of the picture.

    Projector Weight
    The more advanced and powerful the projector, the heavier it is.

    To determine which one is best, you can also consider the following factors:

  • Technology

  • Contrast Ratio

  • Inputs and Outputs

  • Warranty

  • Lamp Life and Price

  • Audible Noise