There are several varieties of projectors available in the market today. Depending on your purpose, you can get budget models with essential features suitable for home use or expensive professional models with full features.
But how exactly do you know which one is a great buy for your use case? Read on as we’ll discuss the key factors to consider when shopping for a new projector.
Your budget is one of the most important factors to consider when buying a projector. Due to the advent of new technology and improved manufacturing processes, projectors are now more affordable than ever. Where a good quality model used to cost over a thousand dollars, today there are much cheaper alternatives that can adequately provide clear images and good brightness levels.
There are also projectors with hefty price tags, which often means more features and improved tech specs like higher brightness, higher contrast ratio, better lenses, and switching capabilities.
Plus, you get access to product lines with reliable warranties, which can save you quite a bit of money in the long run when technical issues arise. So it is essential to know the amount you would like to spend beforehand to make the right decision.
Resolution is a crucial aspect of any projector. It refers to the clarity of the image projected from the device and can be measured in pixels per inch. The higher the projector’s resolution, the sharper and more vibrant images you’ll be able to achieve, making sure your artwork or presentation stands out.
Most projectors sold today offer at least Full HD resolution (1920 x 1080 pixels), but if you want higher quality images, you can go for projects that support 4K resolution (3840 x 2160 pixels) or 8K (7680 x 4320 pixels). If you want something higher, know that 16K resolution projectors are still in development.
Remember that these higher resolutions require more powerful hardware and are therefore more expensive than the lower resolution models. Depending on how often you plan to use it and what you’re using it for, resolution can play an even bigger factor in which projector you buy.
3. Throw ratio
Throw ratio is critical because it determines how far from the screen you should place the projector for optimal viewing angles and image sizes. It is a measure of the projector’s throw distance divided by the width of the projected image. Shorter throw distances typically mean less space is required between the projector and the screen, making them ideal for smaller areas or rooms with limited ceiling heights.
For example, if a projector has a throw ratio of 1.0, that means the projector should be one foot away for every foot of image width. However, most conventional projectors have a throw ratio of 2.0.
Longer throw distances allow you to position the projector further from the screen, which can reduce glare or ambient light issues caused by having too much space between the two objects. It’s good practice to measure your room before purchasing a projector to find out what throw ratio will work best for your situation.
4. Gloss levels
Similar to how you would want a brighter TV or smartphone, you should also go for a brighter projector if your budget allows. Refers to the amount of light output from the projector, measured in lumens. The higher the number of lumens, the brighter and more vivid images will appear on the screen.
Brightness also affects how far away you can sit from the screen while enjoying a good picture – higher brightness means more distance is possible. Therefore, brightness should be an integral factor when considering which projector is best suited for your needs.
5. Contrast Ratio
A projector’s contrast ratio relates to the difference in brightness levels between the lightest and darkest areas of a projected image. It is measured in terms of “full on” and “full off” states, which refer to the maximum and minimum brightness intensity that can be produced.
A higher contrast ratio is generally sought after, allowing anyone to quickly see details in an image by creating better separation between different parts of an image. Its importance is evident throughout any presentation, as it ensures that images with subtle disparities are preserved and are not lost due to overly strong lighting or minimized due to limited lighting.
6. Native aspect ratio
The native aspect ratio on a projector is the preset width to height ratio. This is crucial when selecting a projector, as poor image projection due to incorrect aspect ratio can ruin desired images, especially when watching movies. A projector’s native aspect ratio indicates whether it can accommodate various sizes and types of screens.
It is critical to ensuring optimized image quality, as it ensures that rectangular images appear correctly without distortion or stretching on the screen. It also sets the limits of the projectable areas, which helps reduce the shadows that the projector casts on your presentation.
7. Keystone correction
Keystone correction on a projector is a feature that allows image distortion to be corrected automatically, allowing projected images to appear correct and distortion-free regardless of the height of the projector screen. This is especially important when using projectors with walls or ceilings that are not straight, as it ensures that the image remains flush with the wall and therefore does not become undesirably distorted.
Keystone correction can be automatic, meaning it occurs without user input, or manual, where the user manually adjusts an angle of the projector to compensate for corner distortion. Having this feature in a projector is essential to ensuring effortlessly clear and consistent images or presentations at all times.
8. Connectivity options
Connectivity options are essential in a projector because they allow us to quickly transfer video or audio content from our devices. Input options used by most projectors include HDMI, DVI, VGA, and USB ports.
So you need to make sure that whatever type of device you plan to connect to your projector is compatible with its input options before you buy it. For example, if you want to connect a laptop or game console to your projector, make sure it has at least one available HDMI port before making a purchase decision.
Some newer models also offer wireless streaming capabilities via Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, which can be convenient if you don’t want to worry about cables running across your room.
Choose the right projector for your next presentation
Making the right projector choice can be vital to getting the most out of your movie night, business presentation, or multimedia gaming experience. Whether you’re looking for an entry-level model for home use or something more advanced with features like wireless streaming capabilities, today’s market is full of fantastic options.
So before you buy, remember to look at the specs we discuss here, such as brightness, resolution, contrast ratio, lumens, and keystone correction. Also, consider the type of connection your device requires. Doing this will ensure that you choose a suitable projector that meets your needs.