One the hottest pieces of computer peripheral hardware today is a multimedia projector. You can use a multimedia projector for a multitude of tasks, such as: presentations at conferences, board room presentations, projecting videos on to a wall in your home to watch movies, and more. There are a several types of multimedia projectors on the market today. The major question is which projector you should buy? There are many brands and four major types of multimedia projectors.
Multimedia Projector Brands and Types
There are many brands of multimedia projectors to choose from: Panasonic, Optima, Epson, NEC, Infocus, and many more from which to choose. Multimedia projector types include:
- Digital Light Processing (DLP): has deeper black background and more portable
- Liquid Crystal Display (LCD): better for color
- TFT (Thin Film Transistor) Active Matrix: a form of LCD
- HDTV home theaters: 480i, 516i, 540p, 720p, 180i, 1080p, 1080i, 1125i (i = interlaced video and p = progressive scan)
The major consideration is the purpose of the multimedia projector and uses in home or business; this will help you select the features you need. Features to consider include:
- Image Brightness: range 130 lumens to 6500 lumens
- Desired Display Area 5 to 6 feet: 500 to 1000 lumens
- Desired Display Area 8 to 10 feet: 1000 to 1500 lumens
- Desired Display Area 12 to25 feet: 2000 lumens or more
- Wireless: remote operation from computer
- Digital Zoom: for large room projections
- Keystone Correction: compensates for projectors position not being perpendicular to the screen
- Slim Size: business portability
- Projector Mount: needed for permanent installations, ceiling or wall
- Bulbs: typical UHP, UHE, Halide lamps, 1000 to 4000 hours, chose long life
- Business Use: movie clips, animation, photos
- Home Theater: LCD, HDTV, high resolution, high contrast, brightness 1000 to 2000 lumens
Resolution is the number of pixels that the projector is capable of displaying. Projectors with greater the resolution produce a better quality projector image because there are more pixels per square inch. A projector with less resolution will have a grainier picture, since there are fewer pixels per square inch. Resolution comes in a variety of selections; your choice of resolution is based on your use of the projector.
For basic power point presentations only, you can use a low resolution projector. If you use a lot color and videos, you will need a high resolution projector. Projector resolution ranges from 854 x 480 to 1280 x 1024.
Contrast is the ratio between the lightest and darkest areas of a picture. You will want to select a multimedia projector with a contrast 400:1 or better. Contrast ranges from 350:1 to 6500:1.
Buying a Multimedia Projector
Once you have narrowed your multimedia projector choice(s) visit your local store and check out its features:
- Projector Controls: ease of use
- Remote Control: ease of use
- Bulb: long life, bulbs are expensive
- Connections: cables for PC or MAC, DVD Player, Cable box, Satellite box
- Mounting Bracket: if needed for permanent installation
- Wireless: compatible with your computer
- Operation: salesperson demonstrate use and watch example projection quality
- Sound: is the fan noisy
- Size: size does matter when it comes to portability
- Weight: permanent installations are not really concerned, heavier models are not suitable for portable uses
- Carrying Case: provides protection when dragging through airports, etc.
- Prices: range from less than $630 to $17000 and more
Resolution and Contrast Considerations and Features.