Even with the introduction of cheaper big-screen TVs, projectors have still had a wide range of applications in businesses, school, and even in homes. Projector can be defined as an optical device that projects an image or moving images on a surface referred to as a projection screen. Projectors create an image by shinning a light through a small transparent lens. There are also projectors in the market that can project an image directly using lasers. There are mainly two types of projectors;
- DLP projectors: These projectors employ a light source in combination with a color wheel and a chip that contains microscopic tilting mirrors. The light passes through the color wheel, reflecting off the mirrors, and is further projected onto the screen.
- LCD projectors: These projectors utilize a light source that passes light through 3 LCD Chips (which are the primary colors green, red, and blue) to create and project images.
A projectors performance depends on room environment, size and the type of screen it is paired to. Below are the guidelines on choosing the projector that best suits your need;
What to consider when choosing a projector
The things to be considered when choosing a projector can be classified into three broad categories with each category having its guiding tips as follows;
What the Projector is to be used for
A projectors use can range from business to do simple presentations, for classroom presentations to home theater for watching videos, movies or for even gaming. The guideline to choosing a projector that suits your purpose is resolution.
It is important to note that the higher the resolutions of a projector, the clearer the image and lesser possibility of pixilation. There is a wide range of projectors with resolutions ranging from 750p to 4k Ultra HD. The recommended resolution for various applications include
Presentations on smaller screens WXGA projectors
Larger screens and for video content 1080p projectors
Movies, very large screens and graphically-intense multimedia content 4K Ultra HD projectors.
What Type of Room the Projector is to be used
Are you going to use your projector in a classroom setup, home theater, conference room or a boardroom? This are the questions to ask yourself. After answering this questions there are guidelines to help choose a projector that best suits your location.
While selecting a projector, it is important to pick one that not only fills your room with optimum amount of illumination but also one that doesn’t cause eye fatigue due to prolonged viewing. How bright a projector is can be accurately estimated by the ANSI Lumen rating of the projector.
For light-weight and portable projection viewable in daylight 400-500 lumens for small group presentations
Non-portable projection typical indoor space use 3,000lumens
Bright large indoor spaces 4,000-6,000lumens
Very large spaces 18,000lumens for a single chip DLP projector.
This is the distance between the screen and the projection screen, most projectors have a throw of less than one meter. The size of the room hosting the projector should be considered in order to correctly position the projector for clear full screen images.
Size of the Screen to be used
This should be guided by the aspect ratio.
This refers to the rectangular shape of the image on the screen. The most common formats are the 4:3 and 16:9, content consumption ranges from sports, movies, videos etc. and mostly using apps. The 16:9 format is most recommended because it suits most of the content needs.
Additional Features Required
These are the extra features you may require your projector possess in order to well suit your need. These features may include;
Will you use your projector for a single fixed room, moving it from one room to another or a projector that can fit into your bag pack to carry around everywhere you go.
For a single fixed room you might consider a big projector mounted on the ceiling, for the projector to be moved from room to room consider a desktop tripod and for the portable projectors there are variety of portable projectors on the market.
You should consider the kind of media source you will be using for your projector, this will help you to know what kind of connectivity you need whether VGA, HDMI, or the wireless connectivity.