So you’ve decided you want a projector, but you don’t know where to begin?
Don’t panic, in reality, there are only a few simple decisions you need to
make, to know what projectors will be right for you. Before you begin, you
want to decide whether you will be using your new projector for displaying
movies, playing video games, or giving presentations. This will affect how
bright or dark your viewing room is and what resolutions you need, plus
things like connection options. Also work out where you want to place your
projector relative to its screen.
To begin with, you will need to consider brightness and contrast. Most
projectors have their brightness stated in two ways, Lumens and
foot-Lamberts. Sadly the Lumen rating is not a really useful gauge of
brightness, as it often does not take into account the viewing size of the
final image or reduction due to normal rather than max usage. In dark
conditions such as a dedicated home theatre room, look for a brightness
rating of around 40 fL, and increase it depending on how much extra ambient
light your viewing room will have.
Next you need to think about the supported resolutions you want to display.
The very best is 1080p,so called “Full HD”, and will allow you to display
Blu-Rays and other high-definition content properly. Most games and
computer presentations will only need 720p or 1024×768 resolution, so if
you won’t be primarily watching movies, save some money and go for a
lower-spec model. 1080p and 720p are both 16:9 widescreen resolutions,
whereas 1024×768 is 4:3, which is a more square standard used by many
computer monitors and older TV’s. Consider the screen you will be
displaying on. To get full use of the screen, make sure it’s resolution
matches that of your projector.
Contrast is often a more useful measure of projector quality than
brightness. A high-quality projector will have a contrast ratio of 5,000:1
or more, all though check to see if the projector uses a “dynamic iris” to
help boost its contrast range. These work by restricting the light output
in dark scenes, allowing the projector to produce “blacker blacks”. Many
such projectors will also just quote “on/off” contrast, which is the
difference between a full black and full white screen. A better measure is
ANSI contrast, which uses a chequered test pattern, and measures the
difference between the light and dark squares. This value will be
unaffected by any dynamic iris, and is usually a lower value.
Finally, make note of the “throw distance” of the projector. “Short Throw”
projectors are designed to be placed closer to the screen and still produce
a big image, whereas “long throw” projectors are the opposite. Also quoted
will be the amount of zoom available, which will allow you to grow or
shrink the image somewhat. Another useful feature on most projectors is
lens-shift. This will allow you more flexibility in placing the projector
relative to the screen by enabling you to move the image up and down or
left and right by a certain amount without distorting the image.
At Best LCD Projectors [http://www.best-lcd-projectors.com/] you will be
able to find many more articles about how to get the most from your digital
projector, as well as many other articles covering additional Home Theatre
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