Projectors have been used in cinemas since their inception and date back as far as Leonardo Da Vinci, who was believed to have a projecting lantern. Today they are a popular addition to people’s home cinema set-ups. In this blog, we’re going to look at projectors and what to look out for if you’re thinking of buying one.
Why a projector?
Previously the reserve of cinemas and boring work presentations, projectors are now used in home cinema setups to project onto a screen or a wall. It offers a less invasive way of the large screen experience without buying a TV the size of your wall.
Choosing a projector
There are many brands that produce projectors including Benq, Epson and Hitachi and like most devices, there are a host of options, so we’ll look at what the main things to look out for are.
This is probably the most important aspect of your projector. The brightness is measured in lumens. The higher the lumens rating the brighter your projector will be. Generally, brighter projectors are designed for better detail, so if you’re looking for the best experience with the clearest picture, then you’ll be looking for the brightest you can afford.
This is the format that the projector will output. 4:3 aspect ratio is the old standard for CRT TVs and old computer monitors. It’s almost square and isn’t ideal for watching TV or movies. 16:9 ids the standard widescreen format and is used for film and TV programmes. It is the current standard for TVs. 16:10 is similar to 16:9 but has an extra vertical portion. This is generally a standard for developers.
The higher the resolution, the sharper your projected image will be. The most common resolutions are SVGA (800×600), XGA (1024×768) and WXGA (1200×800) HD Ready (1280×720) and Full HD (1920×1080). There is a limited range of 4k projectors which have a resolution of 3840×2160. These are also known as Ultra HD.
How you connect to your projector is important. Generally, projectors will have either HDMI connectors or VGA connectors. Please check on the machine you’re using what graphics output they use otherwise you’ll be sitting with a very expensive lamp on your hands.
Some projectors come with a 3D facility so that you can project 3D films, just as you’d watch them at the cinema
These are colour processing technologies that affect how the colours are created within the projector before it is projected. DLP is an acronym for Digital Light Processing. These tend to have better contrast and solid blacks. 3LCD produce more vivid and saturated colours.