You probably love watching movies, or you need to make a grand presentation, so you might be thinking of getting a projector. Choosing a good and affordable projector may seem like an easy task, but it’s likely to prove just as complex as choosing any other important gadget.
With the variety of projectors out in the market with different features and capacities, it’s important to understand what to look out for in a projector. Your singular choice of a projector could be the difference between having a good presentation or movie encounter and having a sour one.
This article seeks to make sure your presentation is perfect and that your home entertainment experience is seamless by laying out all the necessary points to think about when choosing a projector.
Table of Contents:
1. Types of Projectors
2. What do you need it for?
3. Where will you be using it?
4. What size of projector do you need?
5. What type of light source does the projector use?
6. What is the projector's brightness?
7. What is the aspect ratio?
8. What is the contrast ratio?
9. What is the projector throw ratio?
10. What is the projector’s resolution?
11. What is the projector’s connectivity capacity?
But first, what are the types of projectors that are available in the market?
Types of Projectors
It’s only rational that you know the types of projectors first before you choose one. Essentially, there are two major types of projectors: DLP projectors (digital light processing) and LCD projectors (liquid crystal display).
The DLP projector uses a technology that simply combines the power of a color wheel and a chip that contains tiny mirrors so that when light passes through, it creates an image on the projector screen. DLP projectors are generally more affordable projectors.
The LCD projector uses a more powerful technology that utilizes the power of 3 chips which create an image on the projector screen when light passes through them. The LCD projector has three different variations that are now in the market which are: liquid crystal on silicon (LCOS), digital image light amplifier (DILA) and silicon crystal reflective display (SXRD). These variations are majorly formed by the combination of DLP, LCD, and new technologies, and are usually more effective.
Now that you know the types of projectors, begin to ask yourself the following questions.
What do you need it for?
Before looking at the price or even the specifications of any projector, you should first know what you want to use the projector for. If you’re going to be watching movies with the projector, it’s best to get a home theater projector with a high resolution just like the Goodee YG601 Updated LCD Home Theater Projector. If you want to use the projector for business, you might not need a projector with a very high resolution.
The purpose of the project will help you get a basic idea of what kind of projector you should be looking for. Nowadays, projectors are categorized depending on usage to make things easier for buyers. This will guide you in a more specific direction while thinking of the other things involved in choosing a projector.
Where will you be using it?
It’s also necessary to consider where you’ll be using the projector. If you will be using it outside, the best projector to get will be one with a resolution high enough to compensate for the image distortion caused by environmental light. We recommend you choose a Goodee projector with high resolution for this.
If you want to use your projector indoors, you can settle for a standard resolution projector. But be sure to take note of projectors that might make a lot of sounds, because they will be audible in an indoor setting. You should get a quality, silent projector for any indoor use.
What size of projector do you need?
Nowadays, projectors come in various sizes. If you’re going to be using it in a conference room, then you can get a large projector. But if you’ll need to be carrying it about, then you need a small, portable and affordable projector.
The choice for what size of projector you want depends majorly on how you want to use it. A nice example of a projector that’s well suited for carrying about is the Goodee YG220 Portable Mini Projector LED Video Projector.
What type of light source does the projector use?
Projectors generally have three types of light sources: an LED, a lamp or a laser. This is very important because these three light sources have their merits and demerits.
Many projectors that use lamp light sources generally do not last as long as laser and LED projectors. The lamp may last for 3000 to 4000 hours, and then it will need to be changed, while laser and LED projectors can last up to 20,000 hours or more.
Light intensity is measured in lumens, which represent the light output of the projector. Lamp light source projectors are also called metal halide lamps. They produce a lumen output of 75 to 100 lumen-watts. With this high lumen intensity, the lamp light doesn't last too long. The lifespan of the lamp is usually called its "half-life,” which is the length of time the projector will use until its brightness is reduced to half its original brightness.
Also, lamp projectors usually heat up after use, therefore requiring high-speed cooling fans to reduce the heat while they’re working. A major issue with the lamp projector is that it is prone to overheat after a long amount of usage causing it to shut down and thereby reducing its life span.
The LED projector is quite different and has fewer flaws than the lamp projector. It utilizes LED bulbs that render blue, red and green colors without splitting white into different colors. Like earlier said, LED projectors have a longer lifespan and last up to 30,000 hours. They do not overheat like lamp projectors and are easy to start and stop.
The laser projector which is very similar to the LED projector is more like an upgrade. “LASER” which stands for “light amplification by stimulating the emission of radiation” amplifies light and directs it into a beam of rays of light. It also has a long lifespan and produces little to no heat. The major challenge with laser projectors is that they are expensive.
What is the projector's brightness?
It’s imperative to find out the specifications of a projector. And one of the major qualities you need to consider before choosing a projector is its brightness. The brightness of your projector really matters because it helps with the image quality.
However, the brightness of the projector will also be affected by environmental light, which is why it’s important to get a projector with a high brightness level. Projector brightness is measured in lumens, and many projectors for business will have lumen outputs of 1000 or less. But a home theater projector that is to be used for gaming or movies should have a lumen output of 1000 and above. You can check out Goodee projectors that provide high lumen output now.
What is the aspect ratio?
The aspect ratio of a projector is linked to its resolution, but it is important to note that the display shape of any image projected is dependent on its aspect ratio. Different resolutions bring about different aspect ratios, while some might have different resolutions but the same aspect ratio. For instance, an SVGA resolution and an XGA resolution both have an aspect ratio of 4:3. Also, a WXGA resolution (1280 x 720) has the same aspect ratio of 16:9 as an HD 1920 x 1080 resolution.
The higher the aspect ratio, the higher the size. Therefore, it is important to keep in mind the aspect ratio. Even though you want to select a projector with a certain resolution, you still have to pay attention to the aspect ratio. This choice could also affect your selection of projector screen size.
What is the contrast ratio?
You want the best projector, so you should always consider the best. The contrast ratio of projectors is usually overlooked, but it really compliments the brightness of projection. Contrast ratio is the relationship between the black and white portions of the projected image.
When the contrast ratio is high, the white parts become whiter while the black parts become blacker. This makes the image look brighter and not washed out. Hence, even if the brightness of your projector is high, if the contrast ratio is low, you’ll probably still get a low-quality image.
A projector can be said to have a high contrast ratio when it has a ratio of 1,500: 1 or 2000:1. But prepare to be awed and have your mind blown away, because the Goodee YG620 Newest LED Video Projector has a 7000:1 contrast ratio!
What is the projector throw ratio?
If you have read about projectors, you have probably learned about throw ratio. But for the benefit of those that haven't heard about it, the throw ratio is the distance between the projector and the projector screen divided by the width of the projected image. Therefore, if you know the projector image width and the distance between the projector and the projector screen, you can determine the throw ratio.
With this knowledge, you will be able to select a projector considering the space you are working with. The throw ratio formula helps us to understand that if you will be placing the projector far from the projector screen then you will need to get a projector with a high throw ratio. Also, if you want a projector with a high image width then you will be looking for a projector with a lower throw ratio.
There are majorly three types of projector throws popularly known. They are long-throw, short-throw, and ultra-short throw. Long throws have a long throw distance and project large images. These kinds of projectors are used in large rooms.
If space is much smaller, it is recommended that you get a projector with a short throw. A short-throw projector projects large images over a short distance which makes its ideal for spaces like classrooms and small offices. They are generally more expensive than long-throw projectors.
Ultra-short-throw projectors are the most expensive types of projectors out of the three, making them majorly used for commercial purposes. Due to the power of ultra-short projectors to project high quality and large images over a short distance, these projectors are used in very tight spaces.
What is the projector’s resolution?
Another good thing to always check before buying a projector is the resolution. The best projector for watching HD movies or playing games is one with high resolution. However, specifically speaking, it is recommended that you get a projector with a resolution of 1980 x 1080 if you’re viewing is in HD or Blu-ray.
With full HD resolution, your images come out sharp and vivid. Projectors with resolutions of 1280 x 720 are also HD, but a lower range HD. A much higher HD resolution range is the 4K image resolution, which is the highest resolution range today. Due to the high-quality images that this resolution renders, they are still quite expensive and not readily available.
Another projector resolution that is quite popular is the WXGA (wide extended graphics array). With a resolution of 1280 x 1800, it is the closest to an HD resolution and is recommended majorly for video formats. This is because it projects a wide image because of its high aspect ratio of 16:9.
However, if your viewing is for a DVD, then you could settle for a 1024 x 768 projector known as XGA, which stands for extended graphics array. It is a lower resolution than HD, making it less expensive.
A major resolution in the projector market is the SVGA resolution which is 800 x 600. It is cheaper than the XGA but with less image quality. This is ideal for basic presentations that do not require high image quality, and for presentations in small spaces. For a low budget, this will be a good choice.
Please note that your device should have the same native resolution as the projector to get the best image projection.
What is the projector’s connectivity capacity?
You must also consider the kind of device you’ll be connecting with. Is it is a mobile device or computer that will be connected to the projector? This will help you determine how best to connect it to the projector. Many projectors have VGA ports, but nowadays, projectors use HDMI connection.
HDMI which is short for high definition multimedia interface is a standard for connecting high definition video devices. It is a proprietary audio/video interface for transmitting uncompressed video data and compressed or uncompressed audio from an HDMI compliant device, to your projector. Also, many devices like laptops and DVDs now use HDMI, which gives a high-quality video experience.
A VGA port is a 15-pin port usually found on your PC and projector. This is an older form of connectivity that is analog and renders a lower quality for videos compared to HDMI connectivity. One reason why people go for VGA connection is that its cable is less expensive than HDMI cable, and nowadays, many projectors come along with VGA cables. So, if you want to go for something more affordable or you have a limited budget, you can get a projector with a VGA port.
Another common type of connectivity is the USB connection. It allows you to connect your PC to your projector and transfer images, videos, and sound using a USB cable. There are also some USB connection ports that allow you to make presentations without a PC, using a USB drive or camera. All you need to do is to plug in the flash drive and get going. The USB port is very common in almost all projectors these days and has become a major connection method for many people.
Lastly, a new form of connection that some projectors possess is wireless and wired (LAN) connection. Projectors with wireless functions allow you to connect your device to the projector wirelessly over a network. If you don't like the cluster of cables hanging around, then the wireless connection projector is just for you. Apart from wireless connection enabled projectors, LAN enabled projectors allow you to connect several PCs to your projector. For some corporate places, these kinds of projectors with LAN connectivity might be necessary.
You want to get a projector with multiple connection capabilities, such as the famous Goodee YG620 Newest LED projector with a variety of inputs including HDMI, VGA, AV, and USB.
It’s true that choosing a projector can be quite a challenge, but if you can answer the above questions, you should be able to choose the best projector to suit your needs. To make things even easier, you can check out the Goodee projectors and projector screens which offer a variety of options all at the most affordable rates.