Rules for choosing a projector

choosing a projector

With so many consumer products on the market these days, choosing a projector can be a daunting task. But do not forget that when you are armed with the necessary information – the choice of a quality projector becomes a simple and effortless process. In order not to make a mistake in choosing among a wide range of models, brands, and characteristics, the 4Club online store has prepared for you a number of answers to the most relevant and frequently asked questions from consumers.

The first step in choosing a manual projector screen is to identify its main characteristics and your needs.

To get started, you should to know:

  • Screen size (width, most important)
  • Distance between projector and screen (throw distance)
  • Estimating the amount of ambient light present in the room where the projector will be used

At this point, you may be thinking, “Great! But I can’t answer any of those questions.” Or: “I plan to take my projector on the road and use it wherever I want.” Then it’s worth starting with what a projector is and what it is eaten with.

What is a projector?

The projector can be best viewed as an inverted camera that spreads light from the lens. In this guide to buying the right one, we’ll be looking at digital projectors, i.e. projectors with video inputs that perform a similar function to a TV or computer monitor, offering several benefits that may include:

The principles we describe below apply to all types of projectors. However, it is worth starting with the division of digital projectors, which are considered in four categories:

  • Pocket also called “picot”
  • home theater
  • Multimedia
  • Fixed installation models

For example, home theaters and multimedia projectors are very similar. In most cases, it will be clear from your request which type you need. Conference presentations – they will be multimedia. In the living room, there is a home cinema. For a lecture hall accommodating 500 people, fixed installation models. Ultra-portable where small screen size is acceptable – pocket or pico projector.

Multimedia projectors

Multimedia projectors represent the largest category and are most widely sold in the Ukrainian and CIS markets. The multimedia projectors are versatile and are used for everything from giving PowerPoint presentations to screening video clips and slide shows at weddings. They are usually considered portable, weighing 3 or more kilograms for ultra-thin models. Their brightness ranges from 2500 to 4500 lumens or so.

They almost always have zoom lenses, but the zoom range is usually shorter than their home theater counterparts, from 1.2x to 1.5x. This means that special care must be taken when choosing to ensure that the screen size is compatible with the projector’s throw factor.

Multimedia projectors offer a range of inputs. VGA is still the main product, but digital inputs are available such as HDMI, DVI, DisplayPort, and even SDI. Many models also support interactive and wireless presentation functionality, as well as the ability to make presentations without a computer and more Connect iPhone to Projector.

“Why do screen size and knockback distance matter?” Or: “What is a throw ratio?”

Projectors, as you have already emphasized for yourself, have a very important specification called the throwing factor. Throw ratio is a specification determined by the first two pieces of information in the equation:

  1. How far is the projector on the screen (throw distance)?
  2. How wide is the screen?


The contrast ratio compares the darkest value a projector can produce to the brightest, which is about 500:1 to 100,000:1. This trend may be higher on DLP-based projectors. It is important to note that in many cases the contrast specified by the manufacturer is the dynamic contrast.

Dynamic contrast changes the brightness of a lamp between images (or scenes) based on the ratio of the brightest possible white that the projector can produce when the brightness is exceeded. This means that the advertised contrast ratio will only be perceived when a dark image immediately follows a bright image or vice versa.

What permission do I need?

Resolution matters, but less than you think. Most projectors these days have the smallest XGA resolution (1024 x 768) in 4:3 format, which has been a longstanding yardstick for PowerPoint presentations. A few entry-level models are still SVGA (800 x 600), and pocket projectors sometimes have funky, low native resolutions. Due to high-definition video, increasingly widescreen types starting with WXGA (1280 x 800) and 720p are replacing the legacy 4:3 standards.

Personally, we wouldn’t recommend going below XGA. At SVGA and lower resolutions, the pixelation in the image will be very obvious. In addition, many computer programs require at least XGA resolution to even run. You can cheat and set the computer’s projector output to XGA and let the projector upscale the image to its native resolution, however, the image will look washed out and small text will be unreadable.

In-home theater settings, the ratio of distances between screens and screen sizes is much smaller than for other applications – a taller image is obtained here. Otherwise, XGA is fine as a baseline. Ideally, we would recommend starting with WXGA and working your way up. Even if you’re a PowerPoint user, loading up to 16:10 doesn’t hurt, plus you’ll be ready if you want to display HD video on the go. For special applications, such as displaying photos, you will need a higher resolution: at least 1600 x 1200 (UXGA) for 4:3 or 1920 x 1200 for 16:10 (WUXGA), if not higher. In the case of home theater, it’s really a question of whether 4K is worth investing in or not.


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