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How to Choose a Projector: Your Definitive Guide

After all, there are so many options! This article is designed to help you choose the perfect projector for your unique needs. We first start with an introduction to what a projector is and how it works. Next, we talk about the different types of projectors available today. Finally, we will provide some recommendations on which projectors might be best suited for a variety of applications.

What is a Projector and How Does it Work

A projector is a device that projects an image onto a wall, screen or other surface. Projectors are used as visual displays for presentations and also in the entertainment industry sometimes projecting movies from DVDs less than movie theatres do to keep costs down.

In more recent years, they have begun to replace monitors with LCD screens because their images can be projected up close without being distorted by glare on the monitor’s glass panel. Some projectors cost thousands of dollars while others only run $100-$200 depending on features desired such as brightness levels, lamp life expectancy and input formats (VGA vs HDMI).

The projection distance between one foot away from the screen to ten feet away affects how large your display will appear so it’s important to consider this when selecting a projector.

Types of projectors

LCD: These projectors are the most popular. The downside is that they can suffer from a “rainbow effect” on their screens, due to how quickly each pixel changes color and because of this, many people find them unpleasant to view for long periods of time.

DLP: This type has been around since 1971 and uses an array of tiny mirrors mounted in-front of the light source. As you move across the projection screen these mirrors reflect different colors onto it and create pictures with very bright colors and dark blacks (depending on what settings you use).

LCoS or LCOS: A variant on digital micro mirror devices using liquid crystal droplets instead of silicon technology.

SXRD/XVGA: Sony’s proprietary version of the DLP device, which is used in high-end Sony projectors

Projection TV: A type of projector that creates a large screen as an image. They are typically used for watching movies. These do not require separate screens because they produce their own and can be hung on the wall or put up on stands to create different viewing angles if you want.

Front projection: This type projects images onto a transparent surface (typically glass) allowing them to float in space anywhere they want it. Note – this technology only works well with dark surfaces like blackboards or windows; also there are some issues when projecting onto reflective objects such as televisions since reflections often occur from other sources so make sure you have something solid behind your screen before setting up a projector.

Rear projection: This type projects images onto the back of a translucent screen, which is typically mounted on a wall or stand to create different viewing angles if you want that too.

LCD Projectors: These are sometimes referred to as “projection TVs” and provide an image by passing light from your computer through filters in front of tiny liquid-crystal displays (LCDs). The filter selects only one color at any given time out of the three primary colors red, green and blue – this creates an image composed entirely of those pixels being shown. Beware though! If you’re using a laptop with its own built-in LCD display then it will be difficult for others in the room to see what’s going on; also, the image quality will be lower because there is a lot less contrast and color range.

Home Theater Projectors

Home theater projectors are a type of projector that is used to show images on large screens, or in this case, the walls and ceiling. They have become increasingly popular for home theaters because they give viewers an immersive experience with their high definition images.

Office Projectors

Office projectors are a type of projector that is used in business applications. They typically have higher resolution than home theater projectors, and can be customized with different lenses to suit the needs of your particular office space.

The most important consideration when buying an office projector is its brightness. This will determine factors such as how much light it emits during use (and what kind of lamps you’ll need), the size of the screen it projects onto, how well text displays on-screen and more – so make sure to pay attention. For example: if you want to project onto a 92″ flat surface from across 180 degrees at full power then your projector needs to be at least 14,000 lumens so the light reaches across 180 degrees.

You can also take into account different types of projection: mirroring, or projecting an image onto a screen that is not flat; front-projection, where you project from the same side as your audience; rear-projection (where you project out behind your audience); and interactive projection which lets attendees interact with projected content on the go by standing in designated areas around it.

Laser Projector: This projector uses lasers instead of LEDs as its light source so you can get brighter clearer images even in daylight. But these projectors are still expensive and have a shorter life span than other types of projectors.*

DLP: Uses microscopic mirrors that reflect light to create the images on screen. They’re less susceptible to motion blur, but they can be more expensive as well.”

Portable Projectors

A portable projector is a device that projects an image or video onto a screen without the need for a physical connection. It’s typically battery-powered, and it can be used in any setting with enough light access including homes, classrooms, conference rooms, movie theaters and more. In addition to being highly versatile devices they are also known to have some unique benefits like portability which make them well worth considering as one of your project options when picking out new projection equipment.”

Portable Projectors Vs Traditional

Projection is traditionally done using either rear-projection techniques where images are projected through mirrors on to screens from behind or front projection by shining light directly at the user from in front of their eyes into their retina. Portable projectors are the newest innovation on the market and they offer a great solution for use in classrooms, conference rooms, movie theaters.


The resolution of a projector is how many pixels it can display on the screen. A higher number means that more detail will be displayed and that you’ll get a sharper image.”

Aspect Ratio

Aspect ratio refers to the proportions of a screen or image.

What are some different aspect ratios?

A wide range of sizes and shapes exist when it comes to aspect ratios that can be used for video display. The most common ones include: 16:09, which is the format used by many PAL televisions; 16:00 (or just “16”), which is mostly used in NTSC countries like North America; 25:17, which was originally developed as an alternative widescreen television standard for Japan called Hi-Vision, but has since been marketed internationally with varying success on HDTVs and computer monitors.

Brightness and Light Outputs

The brightness of a projector determines the level at which light is projected onto the screen. The brighter it gets, the lighter your images will be. Light output refers to how much light each unit produces, and should also match with what’s appropriate for your surroundings – if you’re in an office or classroom, pick something bright; when projecting outside on a sunny day keep this in mind as well.

Contrast Ratio

The contrast ratio is a measurement of the difference between white and black, or how well colors can be distinguished. The higher this number is, the better-suited your projector will be for watching movies in dark rooms without sacrificing image quality any more than necessary.

Throw Ratio

The throw ratio is the distance from your projector to the screen, and it determines how large an image will be. If you’re projecting in a small room with low ceilings, for example, pick something that has a short throw – if you need a bigger projection but have plenty of space try opting for one with more range.

Inputs and Outputs

Inputs: You’ll want to take into account the inputs your projector will be compatible with before making a purchase. They should match up with what you need them for, so if there’s anything specific about this that concerns you then make sure it’s addressed upfront. The basic types of input are HDMI, VGA and composite video – all three come in handy depending on what type or devices you’re connecting to the projector.

Outputs: There are also outputs, which is where cables connect to send information from another device over to the display screen (in our case, a projected image). For example, an HDMI output would allow sending pictures from computers and other high-definition sources while a component video connection could provide support for DVDs and video games.

Imaging System

The typical image system is called a “Direct-View” or “Rear Projection.” The projector may be on the ceiling, mounted to the side of the screen, or in front and below the screen. Prices vary greatly depending on what type you go with. A rear projection setup can have prices anywhere from $200-$2000; direct view setups will cost between $400-$5000+.

Some projectors are designed for business presentations which means they’re usually more expensive because of their durability. They’ll have brighter bulbs that disperse light over larger areas (a 160 inch max) but they also need large amounts of space since it’s necessary to place them away from any walls at least ten feet back.

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