Buying a new projector and choosing the correct one can be hard at the best of times. There are many different types or projectors with each suiting a very specific application. There are entry level projectors, widescreen 16:9 projectors, standard 4:3 projectors, short throw projectors and more. This has been written to help you decide which projector is best for you. You need to know the following details when buying a new projector. What type of projectors are there? What is the projector being used for? How big of a screen do you want to achieve? How far from the screen can the projector be placed? What projector resolution do I need? How bright should my projector be?
We can help answer these question. This guide has been put together to help choose a suitable projector. Below are the most common type of projector categories.
What type of projectors are there?There are different type of projectors which do different things.
Data Projectors - This is your standard projector which can be either mounted to a roof or placed on a table in front of the screen. This is what you would use for a classroom, boardroom or small presentation. This is your most common type of projector. An entry level will set you back around $500.
Short Throw Projectors - Short Throw projectors are used for office presentations in a limited space. The short throw projector is mounted on the wall behind the screen. They have very short throw distances which means they can be very close to the screen and still achieve a good size projection image. Some short throw projectors are interactive which means the presenter and control the projection image with a pen or pointing device. They generally start at around $1000.
Installation Projectors - Installation projectors are higher end data projectors which are used for a larger audience. They tend to be brighter which means you can put them further away from the screen giving you a bigger image. Brighter projectors mean the image can be presented to a larger room. Installation projectors usually start from around $1500.
Large Venue Projectors - Large venue projectors are exactly that. They are used to present in large venues. They are much brighter, the lens will be interchangeable, they can project very large images and can project to very large audiences. They range is specification and price. This is a very specific type of projector and expert advise should be sought when buying.
Home Theatre Projectors - These projectors tend to be not to bright and have a high contrast. They are used solely for home theatre and are not really suitable for any other application. Good home theatre projectors go for around $3000.
What is the projector being used for?You will need to know what the projector is being used for so you can choose the correct one. Home theatre projectors will not work in an office environment when there is full light. Different projectors are used in different environments.
How big of a screen do you want to achieve?The bigger the screen you wish to achieve the further away from the screen the projector will need to do. The further away from the screen the projector is the brighter it will need to be. Audience size is also a contributing factor in choosing a screen size.
How far from the screen can the projector be placed?If you are limited for space then a short throw projector is the projector to use. As explained previously the further away from the screen the projector can be placed the bigger the picture. Short throws still give you a decent size picture with limited space.
Below is a list of webpages where you can calculate your throw distance and screen size using the official calculators supplied by each projector manufacturer.
What projector resolution do I need and what aspect ratio should I have?There are different types of resolutions for projectors. Its best to choose the resolution you require that is native to the projector. Most projectors are capable of doing multiple resolutions but its best to choose the resolution that the projector is designed to output. Below are some more common projector resolutions.
• SVGA (800 x 600) - 4:3 Entry level. Very low quality.
• XGA (1024 x 768) - 4:3 ratio used for square shaped presentations.
• WXGA (1280 x 800) 16:10 widescreen which is the most common resolution.
• 1080p (1920 x 1080) 16:9 Used in home theatre and video presentations.
• WUXGA (1920 x 1200) 16:10 Used in video and high definition presentations.