Guide to Choosing a Projector
Considering how many projectors are available on our site for rent, choosing just one can seem like a daunting task.
Let’s check out a few factors to help you make the right decision.
Main Factors to Consider
When choosing the perfect projector for your rental needs, consider the following four factors:
- Aspect Ratio
After you’ve considered these factors, it’ll be a lot easier to narrow down your choices, and consider other secondary factors.
The brightness of a projector is measured in lumens. Basically, the higher the level of lumens, the brighter the projector. When deciding how bright your projector should be, consider the following:
Your ability to control light in a room – Obviously, the best viewing is done in a dark room, but many times it’s impossible to get a space completely void of light. If you can’t completely block out all light from a room where the projector is going to be used, it’s recommended to get a bright projector like 2000 lumens or more.
The number of people in the room – Basically, the more people in the room, the bigger the image will have to be so everyone can see it properly. To make the image larger, the projector will have to be further back from the screen. This will inevitably reduce the level of brightness, since the light will be spreading over a larger area. So, consider a brighter projector (2000 lumens or above).
How you plan on using the projector – Will you be displaying graphs, charts, images, text, or other info from your computer? If so, your projector should be bright enough so that everyone in the room can make out the details more clearly. A certain amount of ambient lighting will also be required so people can take notes.
After you’ve decided on these factors, you can now decide what level of brightness is best for your specific application.
Less than 1000 Lumens – The majority of projectors in this group are used more for home cinema applications, and are used in dark rooms for the best image quality.
1000 to 2000 Lumens – Most projectors in this classification are used for business and educational applications, such as in boardrooms or classrooms. On the lower end of this range, lighting might have to be lowered for better results; on the other hand, projectors on the upper end of this lumens spectrum don’t really need a totally dark room to produce a clear image.
2000 to 3000 Lumens – These projectors are ideal for boardrooms and classrooms, as well as for portable use. These will be able to handle higher levels of natural and ambient lighting and a bigger screen.
Over 3000 Lumens – Projectors in this class are usually utilized in big venues, like places of worship or auditoriums where a big screen is needed.
The aspect ratio represents the ratio between an image compared to its height. Projectors are typically divided between 4:3 and 16:9 aspect ratios, with the first being the computer monitor shape and the latter being the widescreen TV shape. A 16:10 is also available, which is typically used for business projectors that are designed to work with widescreen computers.
The majority of projectors are compatible with other aspect ratios, though it’s not recommended to use a projector other than in the format of its native aspect ratio or the picture will look abnormally stretched out.
Which aspect ratio you decide on will depend on how you plan on using your projector:
4:3 projectors – Ideal for business presentations, classroom applications, and so forth.
16:9 projectors – Ideal for home cinema or for viewing DVDs with an audience.
16:10 projectors – Ideal for use with a widescreen computer.
The number of pixels that make up an image is what is known as resolution. The higher the number, the higher the resolution and the crisper the image will be. When comparing projectors, it’s important to compare their native resolution, which is the actual umber of physical pixels.
You can find projectors in a range of resolutions:
|SVGA||Entry level projector resolution; typically the most affordable.|
|WVGA||Entry level home cinema resolution.|
|XGA||The most popular resolution because of its compatibility with most computers and notebooks.|
|HD2||Mid-range home cinema resolution. Minimum resolution a projector requires to be HD Ready.|
|WXGA||Popular resolution for use with widescreen laptop computers.|
|SXGA+||High-range resolution used for very detailed applications.|
|UXGA||High-range resolution used for the majority of detailed applications.|
|HD||High-range home cinema resolution also known as 1080p..|
|2K||The highest commercial home cinema resolution; very expensive.|
You’d be well-advised to match the projector resolution to the resolution of the source. This will help make sure that you are getting the sharpest image possible.
Other Factors to Consider
In addition to the main aspects mentioned above, yo might also want to take a few other secondary factors into consideration when choosing a projector.
Technology – Two types of technology should be considered: LCD and DLP, which can both be used for all sorts of applications. DLP tends to be favored for video applications because of the smoother image they give, while LCD projectors are best for computer applications because the images are often brighter.
Contrast Ratio – This represents the ratio between black and white. The larger the contrast ratio, the better able the projector is at displaying subtle details in color.
Inputs and Outputs – A dual input projector is best if you want to use multiple inputs. This way, you won’t have to switch inputs each time you want to change the source.