Home theater projectors are the way to go when you ultimately realize your TV can no longer accord you an exciting viewing or gaming experience. For a long time, projectors have been reserved for commercial spaces, but its use is gaining currency inside the homes. You don’t have to break the bank to have them too.
While the traditional televisions can only get up to 75 inches, a projector gives you an unlimited display depending on the size of your wall. You can beam your images or Blu-ray movies from the home theater or even your phone in HD to add some life into your living room.
So, what should you look for when you are out shopping for the right projector for your home theater?
Features that set projectors apart
Firstly, it is critical that you understand what you need the projector to do for you. This way, you could easily search for a projector which addresses all your needs at a decent price.
- Determine the throw ratio
Very important to know is how far from the wall or screen the projector should be placed to produce high-quality images. To determine this ratio, ensure the projector is placed further enough from the screen or wall. The throw ratio is calculated by dividing the distance between the screen and the projector by the width of the projected image.
For example, if the throw ratio of a projector is 2:1, then the projector would have to be placed 10 feet away from the screen to produce a 5 feet width image.
For indoor use, short throw projectors are sure to give you the ultimate viewing experience. However, you would need a long throw projector for business presentations or concert visuals. The long throw projectors ordinarily require a space of about 6 feet to cast a 100” image on the screen.
- Keystone correction features
You would be interested to know how your projected image is adjusted to fit into the screen. If you are less interested in manually adjusting your projector every time you want to watch a movie, you could opt for the digital projector. Its digital keystone correction feature ensures the image is sized automatically to fit into the screen, even before it leaves the projector!
- Check for brightness
Projectors differ in their brightness levels. The types of projectors for classrooms, for instance, would require higher brightness levels (2000-3000 ANSI Lumens) than that of an indoor room with no windows (800-1000 ANSI Lumens). For this reason, the type of projector to buy should match at least the purpose it is intended to serve. Similarly, larger screens would need more brightness compared to smaller screens.
- Consider the available aspect ratios
Ever seen the black bars on the bottom and top of your screen? This happens because of the aspect ratio of the video or the television. The aspect ratio is simply the rectangular shape of the image cast. Regular TV screens have an aspect ratio of 4:3 while the wide screen televisions have 16:9. To remove the black bars, you would need to resize the image to cover the whole screen.
- Decide the type of projector you need
The projector market has two types:
The Digital Light Processing (DLP) projector
Now, DLP projectors are some of the most cost-effective video projectors in the market. They also produce sharper 4K videos that are compatible with wireless and gapless playback home theater systems like the YAMAHA YHT-5920UBL to give you an accurately synced video and sound. However, it may have lesser pixels limited by the number of mirrors in it. Similarly, it is less bright than the more advanced projectors.
The DLP projectors use mirrors to project the image onto the screen. Each mirror represents a pixel of the image, and the light from the mirrors is reflected away into the lens which beams the images on a screen or wall.
The LCD Projectors
Unlike the DLP projectors, LCD projectors use the Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) panels to project images. These images pass through the lamp, the prism and into the dichroic filters of color.
LCD projectors typically produce sharper images compared to the DLP. This is because they are more light efficient and can project more vivid images even with a dim output lamp.
However, LCD projectors are bulkier making them not as convenient as the DLP to move around.
The Liquid Crystal on Silicon projector is more of a hybrid of the DLP and the LCD projectors. They use both the mirrors and the crystal panels with the three primary colors of green blue and red. While they offer some of the best quality images, they tend to be pricier.
As a rule of thumb, projectors have different roles. For, example, if all you need is to watch HD movies or play games, you would require a 1920 x 1080 resolution projector. An office projector, however, could be a simple 800 x 600 or even the 1024 x 768 resolution.
In essence, after going through the five considerations, you should be better informed to make a better choice for a projector. You will have noticed that projectors come in various shapes, and they have different capacities. The choice is yours. Explore your options!