No matter if you’re trying to have a movie night or if you’re projecting business plans and PowerPoints, the right type of projector can make a world of difference. The problem is, you may not know what type of projector will fit your needs, so it’s important to understand what you’re going to be using it for as well as how to choose a projector properly. Some projectors excel at displaying movies, while others may be better for presenting PowerPoints, presentations, and other types of business-related information.
When you’re using a projector at home, you may be able to get away with a smaller display. However, display sizes at business meetings may need to be adjusted to cater for how many people will be watching. To make things simpler, we’ll show you the proper way of choosing a projector.
How to Choose a Projector: General Considerations
What Will You Use It For?
The biggest question that you’re going to need to ask yourself is “What will be the main purpose of the projector that I will buy?” As we stated earlier, it’s essential to have an idea of how many people are going to be watching, and what type of space you’re going to be projecting in.
If you’re going to use it for a home theater, then you may not need a bigger screen size, but if you’re using it for a business presentation, school, or in front of a large audience, you’re going to need to take that in consideration.
What are the Types of Projectors?
We’d like to think that one projector will fit all your needs, but sadly, that isn’t true. Projectors come in various resolutions, projection sizes, and different contrasts. In order to get a better idea of the types of projectors, we’ve made a comprehensive summary of projectors and what they are best at:
1. Home Theater Projectors
Home projectors excel at creating display screens of up to 36x larger than your average 50-inch TV. These types of projectors allow you to view your favorite sports, video games, and movies in high quality. They emphasize higher image quality and make sure the images have a profound contrast, unlike the types you’ve probably seen in your high school or middle school days.
Since they function in a darker environment, it’s best to use a home theater projector in a room where you can control how much light enters. While these models do have settings where you can adjust them to work in almost any lighting, it’s still recommended to watch in a dark room if you want the best results.
2. Business Projectors
The next type of projectors is for presentations, PowerPoints, classrooms, or any other kind of environment where you’ll be projecting graphs, statistics, and other information onto the screen. Business projectors provide more light output than home theater models, and they can be used even if there are other sources of lighting such as windows and classroom overhead lights.
They are designed to display images, statistics, and other graphics clearly. However, you can also use them to view pictures or watch movies. You’ll often find that most of these projectors have HDMI ports, but be sure to check the model.
3. Pico Projectors
The next type of projector is called a pico projector. These types of projectors are designed to be small and compact enough for you to use when you’re on the go. They usually weigh around three pounds, which make them easy to store away, pack, and use when you need a projector on the go. This can come in handy for meetings on or off-site, travel, or to a friend’s house for a quick movie night.
No matter what you’re planning to use them, these projectors have proven to be excellent for small group use, and they feature decent image quality. The only downside is that not all these projectors give the best quality of images or videos, so it’s not recommended if you need to view in HD.
While you may have a general idea of what type of projector you need, you still need to think about the accessories, types of connections, and features you’re looking for in a projector.
Here is a quick summary of the key features you should look for:
Often, we will see people forget to check what type of connection they will need for their projector. While most projectors use an HDMI cord, others will use DVI/VGA, or even Micro USB plugs. You’re going to need a converter for MACs and other devices. Just remember that most projectors often don’t come with the extension or converter cords required, so plan accordingly.
2. Projector Screen
While it’s not essential to purchase a projector screen, you’ll find that your viewing experience will be enhanced if you have one. There are a few types of projector screens available to you on the market;
- Motorized: These permanently installed, electrically operated screens are remote controlled.
- Fixed: Typically wall mounted, the screens are permanently on display.
- Pull-Down: Wall or ceiling mounted, these are the type of screens you’re used to in classrooms. They roll up and need to be pulled down when you want to use them.
- Portable: These are often small and are designed to be used when you’re on the go. Portable screens with tripods are available. Others can be suspended with string or rope or taped to walls.
Here is a short list of some of the available accessories that you can get for your projector:
- Projector Mount
- Universal Remote
- Audio Sound System
- Additional Warranty
You can have a great viewing experience by choosing a projector that meets your – and other viewer’s – requirements. Ultimately, lighting and where you situate your projector can be decisive in how well it functions.
While many projectors can be multi-purpose and work in almost any setting, you should still consider how far away the projector will be from the screen, how many people will be watching, and the level of lighting you will have in your viewing area. All of these play an essential role when it comes to how to choose a projector.