Factors to look at before buying a Projector

Dear GB

I have been looking for a decent projector between 30000 to 40000 INR (~500 – 650$) for my personal use, in a family of four. Please suggest a good one and guide me on Factors to look at before buying a Projector? I am overwhelmed with all of the choices out there hence I seek your help.
Regards – Karthik S

Hi Karthik

Factors to look at before buying a ProjectorI am glad you mentioned your budget and as a matter of fact there is one that is in your expected price range. This one is picture-perfect so to say and before I suggest the model I will answer your question on what to see in a projector while buying.

Factors to look at before buying a Projector

1. The Projector Lumens.

Here too the Lumens choice is based on two factors – one is the the size of the projected image: and the other is the ambient light in the room. The larger the projection, the more lumens your need to for a bright image.

And if you need good visibility during daylight, or in a room that has a lot of natural light or lights that can’t be turned off then too your projector’s lumens value must be higher.

To minimize your cost I suggest going for mid range values so as to get a product within your budget for which you must reduce the projected screen size and try it in a dark room.

And good color lumens will be a big plus as seen in this image –

Factors to look at before buying a Projector2. The Contrast Ratio

Contrast ratio refers to the difference in brightness between the bright and dark parts of an image. A high contrast ratio ensures good image depth by showing shadow detail and deep black levels.

For business purposes, lumen output is more important than contrast. For Home theater projectors its the exact opposite – higher contrast ensures an immersive home theater experience.

3. Projector Resolution & Aspect Ratio

A projector’s resolution refers to the number of pixels per inch that it can display on a screen. Higher resolution images will appear crisper than those with a lower resolution, especially when projecting on a large screen.

Aspect ratio refers to the ratio between the width and height of the screen image. Traditional TVs have a 4:3 aspect ratio while modern HDTVs generally display a wider 16:9 or 16:10 image.

Then there are other factors listed below which we must look for –

4. Zoom lens:

Lets you adjust size of the projected image without moving the projector. Ideal for use in small rooms.

5. Keystone correction:

When you project an image from any angle other than 180 degrees (straight on), the image appears warped/distorted instead of square. Keystone corrects the warped effect.

6. Number of input ports:

Like VGA, HDMI, USB, this allows you to connect to multiple video inputs or computers simultaneously.


Coming to the products –

ViewSonic LightStream PJD5155 SVGA Projector

Factors to look at before buying a ProjectorKey Features:
  • Super-Color technology; Up to 3300 ANSI lumen brightness and 20,000:1 contrast ratio
  • 2 x VGA, Composite Video, S-Video, and 1 x VGA output, as well as Audio in/out, Mini USB and RS232
  • resolution of 800×600

If you are looking for a LED projector where the image is crisp, and the sound is loud and clear (indoors) then the Viewsonic PJD 5155 is the one to go to.

For outdoor use you may have to to hook up some decent amplifier + speakers – but that’s only for outdoors.

The Viewsonic PJD 5155connects easily to your Apple TV, iPhones/iPads, DVD players, and laptops. It is very easy to setup and light and convenient to move when you may need to.

I would highly recommend this to anyone who just wants something relatively inexpensive for setting up a home-theater or for watching movies to get a “big screen movie” feel. After all a trip to a Movie hall may not be that easy for all!


ViewSonic PJD5555W WXGA DLP Projector

Factors to look at before buying a ProjectorIf your usage is business-related, then this higher resolution projector is a good choice.  Of course, it comes at a higher cost, so you may need to decide which one fits your usage scenario and your budget, as it may set you back by a hundred dollars or more. 

Key Features:
  • Super-Color technology; Up to 3200 ANSI lumen brightness and 15,000:1 contrast ratio
  • Input compatible with HDMI and supports 3D Blu-ray ready;
  • Choice of 5 view settings for a variety of usage scenarios
  • Resolution of 1200×800
  • HDMI, 2 x VGA, Composite Video, S-Video, 1 x VGA output and Audio in/out
  • DynamicEco feature reduces power consumption by up to 70%

The first projector has a resolution of 800×600 while the other one is capable of 1200×800 – almost double as many pixels.


A small pointer to help you choose one – remember that for movies where you’re sitting far back from the projector, resolution makes less of a difference. Movies will be quite watchable, even at the lower resolution.

However if your usage is business-related, where you and your office colleagues or clients may be sitting closer to the screen in a conference room, projecting text and diagrams, then the higher resolution projector is a good investment.


 

Do let me know if you have any doubts and I will be glad to discuss with you on your concerns. Your comments and feedback motivates a lot!

GB.

 

 

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