Setting Up a HD Projector Home Theater System

Many issues must be considered when opting to set up an HD projector home
theater system. Factors such as control over ambient light, dimensions of
the area that the system will be installed in, the format of the media
versus the format that the HD projector is optimized for, connectivity, and
optimal sound system setup are some of the major areas that should be
researched before installing an HD projector.

Brightness

A projector’s light output is measured in lumens. Most HD projector systems
operate in the 700 to 2000 lumen range. However, it should be noted that
that brighter is not always necessarily better. Ambient light can have a
drastic effect on the quality of the viewing experience. For example, if
the ambient light levels in the area are high or hard to control, (daytime
outdoors, a room with few curtains), then you will require a HD projector
with a lumen rating in the 1500 to 2000 range. Conversely, if the area has
a lower level of ambient light, then the 800+ lumen range should more than
suffice.

Area Dimensions

Nothing would be worse than purchasing a HD projector that is either too
small or too large for the area it is being used in. To combat this, most
retailers will provide a screen size calculator. The effectiveness of this
tool is contingent upon the purchaser knowing the distance from the front
of the projector to the area being projected upon. This value is also known
as the throw distance.

Format

Projectors come in two primary formats, 16:9 or 4:3. This is a reference to
the aspect ratio. 16:9 is the standard for HDTV, while a 4:3 aspect ratio
is used for standard television. It is wise to purchase a projector that is
congruent with the signal being projected. However, a 16:9 image projected
onto a 4:3 screen results in very little wasted screen space, optimizing
the cinematic experience.

Connectivity

Picture quality is determined by the source input. Naturally, an HD
projection system is optimized for a high definition input source, (Blu
Ray, Playstaion3, or HD DVD/ TV signal source). Keep in mind that most of
these sources will require a HDMI cable from the signal source to the
projector itself, to work correctly.

Sound

An HD projector is only a projector. Most of the systems on the market do
not include any sort of sound system. This means that sound from the signal
source will have to be directed into a separate sound system. As most HD
projectors are installed in relatively large spaces, a surround sound
system that can handle the acoustics of a large area is suggested. Large,
vibrant picture, mated with small, inadequate sound is surely an
undesirable union.

As the market stands, there are a plethora of manufacturers selling HD
projectors. Utilizing the aforementioned guidelines should make the
selection/installation process less daunting.

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