How to Choose a Projector Guide
- 08 May, 2019
Though the job of a projector may seem simple and straightforward, choosing a new one can be as complicated as choosing a new computer. With so many different manufacturers and models to choose from, it’s important to have a clear idea of what you’re looking for before you begin. We have put together a list of five aspects to consider to help you narrow down what may seem like an impossibly long list of options.
These days, projectors are available in a wide variety of sizes, ranging from large, high-end units for cinemas and large performance spaces to portable units small and light enough to fit into your jacket pocket, and all sizes in between. To figure out which size is best suited for your needs, ask yourself – where will I be using the projector? If you plan on installing the unit in a conference room, consider a larger ceiling-mounted unit. If you’ll be moving the projector from room to room, consider a medium-size tabletop unit. If you need something that fits in your briefcase for presentations to potential clients, consider a small, portable model.
Though often overlooked, throw – the distance between the projector and the projection surface – is as important as size. While most projectors will be able to ‘throw’ an image over an intermediate distance, say a few meters, only certain models are capable of projecting an image from a distance of less than one meter. If you anticipate using the projector in particularly tight spaces, consider a short-throw or ultra short-throw (UST) model. Some models are also able to project from odd angles, or onto non-flat surfaces.
Projectors are available in a wide variety of resolutions, from XGA to WXGA, to 720p, 1080p, and 4K-UHD. While the acronyms can be confusing, it’s best to start by thinking about how you’ll be using the projector. For simple presentations on smaller screens a WXGA projector will be just fine. Larger screens and video content will be better suited to 1080p projectors, while 4K-UHD projectors are the new trend for very large screens or graphically-intense multimedia content.
What brightness you need entirely depends on where you intend to use the projector and if you need it to be portable or not. If you need light weight and portable but still viewable in daylight, then the ideal brightness range is between 400 - 1000 ANSI lumens for small groups/presentations of 5 to 20 people. For non-portable projection, and typical use in indoor spaces, 3,000 ANSI lumens should be sufficient. For bright or larger indoor spaces, consider looking for at least 4,000-6,000 ANSI lumens, or even more for spaces receiving direct natural light. For even large venue applications, the brightness can go even go up to 18,000 ANSI lumens for a single chip DLP projector.
Last but not least, don’t forget to consider what kind of computer, mobile device, or media source you’ll be using and how to connect it to the projector. An HDMI connection is most common. Make sure to check whether or not your projector has wireless connectivity too. Most of our Ultra portable projectors come with wireless screen mirroring as standard. If your projector doesn't have wireless capability don't worry, there are plenty of solutions for adding this feature, consider using a wireless dongle or wireless HDMI.
I'm still unsure
While choosing the right projector can be a challenge, the guidelines above will help you determine what’s best for your needs and your space. With a wide range of models ranging from large, ceiling-mounted units to the Ultra portable projectors, Personal Projector Ltd offers something for every space and every budget.
If you are unsure on what is meant by Ansi lumens or would like to find out what lumens are, we have written a great guide which tells you everything that you need to know, you find it here.
There are a lot of makes of projector out there that will overstate their specifications, especially the lumen count, we have a handy guide on what to look out for and brands to avoid which you can find here.
Information sourced from Vivitek.