LCD Multimedia Projector – 7 Tips to Help You Select the Right One

An LCD multimedia projector can be a great asset to you, or your company.
But, lets face it. They are not a dime a dozen yet, and most of them
require significant financial investment. You need to make an informed
choice.

There are a lot of makes and models around now, and you really need to do
your homework when you are looking around to purchase.

Here are the top 7 factors to take into consideration.

1) Environment you intend to use it

Of all the different things that need to be taken into consideration, this
is probably the most important, as all other factors are going to depend on
it.

Will you be using your LCD projector in areas where there is a high level
of ambient light ? Are you going to be doing presentations, or
predominantly showing movies ? Do you have to keep moving it, or is it
permanently installed in one location ? Will you always be using a single
PC as your video source, or do you wish to be able to connect several video
sources (either individually, or at the same time) ? Are you on a
restricted budget ?

2) Brightness and Contrast

This is probably the second most important factor to consider. You must
make sure that your projector has sufficient light output to be clearly
visible. If you are going to be using your unit in areas where there is
high background light then this is even more important. Nobody will enjoy a
presentation that they battle to see.

The brightness is measured in Lumens. A brightness output of 1000-2000
Lumens is usually fine for a smaller office or classroom environment, and
an output of 2000 Lumens or more is sufficient for bigger classrooms or
conference rooms. You should not be considering anything with less than
1000 Lumens of output.

The contrast is always expressed as the ratio between the lightest and the
darkest parts of the display. You should not be considering any LCD
multimedia projector with a contrast ratio of under 400:1, especially if
you are going to operate in an area with background light. Low contrasts
give a “washed out” looking display.

3) Maximum Resolution

The different models come with different resolution capabilities. As a
general rule of thumb, the higher the resolution capable then the more
expensive the unit.

Resolution is measured in pixels, and the most common resolutions are
800×600 (SVGA), 1024×768 (XGA), 1280×1024 (SXGA), and 1600×1200 (UXGA). The
resolution of the unit will determine how much you can “fit” on the screen,
and as a comparison you can use your own PC or laptop. If your own screen
resolution is say 1024×768 (most common in use today), then you will have
an idea of how big things are in relation to the full screen size.

The XGA resolution is fine for presentations, and numerical data, etc. and
nowadays you should probably be looking to this resolution as the minimum
to consider.

4) Weight and Carrying Case

If you are going to be carrying your projector around with you, then unless
you are Charles Atlas you want to make sure that it is not too heavy for
you to handle. Also, be sure to select a unit that has a decent protective
carrying case, to avoid damage when transporting it from location to
location.

5) Connectivity options

When you purchase your projector you want to make sure that it provides as
many different interfaces as possible for connecting different devices to
it. Common connections include 25 pin sub-D type connectors (the same as
the monitor connection on your PC), video and audio inputs and outputs,
HDMI connector, etc.

Make sure your unit comes supplied with all the necessary cables for the
different connection types.

6) Cost of ownership

There is an ongoing “cost of ownership” component, namely the lamp.

The life of the lamp is not infinite. It needs to be replaced from time to
time depending on how much you are going to use your projector. All
manufacturers will provide an expected “lamp life” in the specification for
each model.

Nowadays there are many models that have lamp life expectancies of over
2000 hours, and these are the ones that you need to be looking at when
doing your research.

7) Features

Whether you are a techojunkie or a technophobe, you want your LCD projector
to be as easy to use as possible. The last thing you need is to be 2
minutes from the start of an important presentation, only to find that you
cannot get your unit to function.

All models come with some sort of menu driven software embedded into the
projector hardware. Make sure you have a model that has simple to use
options.

Many models these days will also automatically detect the resolution of the
video source and adjust its own resolution to suit. This is an
exceptionally handy feature that you really should have in yours.

Beware of being driven by price alone.

You should not let your selection be driven primarily by your budget. What
you need to do is to carefully weigh up each of these factors above, and
then let your requirements drive your choice. If you just go out and buy
the cheapest one available then you may well have wasted your money. It
will probably not perform as you wanted it to, and you will end up with an
expensive piece of plastic and electronics instead of a really useful LCD multimedia projector .

Alan (aka. “Professor Gadget”) is a notorious technophile, and loves all
sorts of handy consumer electronic gadgets that make life easier.

Be sure to visit his site at [http://www.buylcdprojectors.net] for more
information, video reviews, and hundreds of great deals on a huge range of
different makes and models of LCD multimedia projector.

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