Advances in projection technology have offered us lighter, smaller, brighter, higher resolution projection devices, however there are still many things to think about when purchasing or specifying a new projector.
- Projection Technology – This may not get talked about as much as it did a few years back however this is still a very important consideration when selecting a projector. The most common types of projection technology in the majority of today’s projectors are 1-Chip DLP and 3-Chip 3LCD. The 1-chip DLP system uses a spinning color wheel to render color which produces a lower color light output or color brightness than that of 3LCD technology. Brightness ratings, expressed in lumens for DLP projectors typically only refer to the white brightness level while the actual brightness of color may be as little as one third of the lumens stated. . Additionally 3LCD projectors are usually able to generate more vivid and saturated colors than DLP. While DLP projectors can be smaller and lighter than LCD projectors and can offer a higher contrast ratio, most people will find the benefits of 3LCD outweigh those of DLP.
- Image Position and Adjustment – In a perfect world you would not have to worry about projector placement relative to the projection screen, however things like light fixtures, and HVAC systems can prevent you from the perfect projector placement. While most projectors offer both horizontal and vertical keystone correction this is not always the best option as there could be an associated degradation in picture quality. The better if you need to place a projector off axis from the screen would be to look for a projector that offers lens shift (both horizontal and vertical) so that the image can be shifted with no degradation. Other features like ScreenFit and Quick Corner® found in many Epson projectors will aid in precise alignment with your screen.
- Throw Distance – Image size will be determined by the amount of distance or throw you have available in a particular room between the projector and the screen surface. Larger images require a longer throw and this needs to be considered when selecting a projector as often the room will dictate a limited area where the projector can be placed. Higher end projectors will offer different lens options to give you more flexibility, however if the projector you are considering does not offer lens options you are constrained to the throw ratio of the included lens. Thankfully, manufacturers offer us a wide range of options including short throw and ultra-short throw options without having to break the bank. You can use the Epson Throw Distance Calculator to assist with calculating proper throw distances for your Epson projector.
- Interactivity – Given today’s technology climate people expect to be able to interact with display devices whether it be in a corporate setting, educational, or other. Epson’s interactive projectors can make practically any surface interactive without the additional expense of an interactive whiteboard. Combined with an ultra-short throw form factor these projectors eliminate the glare or shadow effect experienced with standard throw projectors. Interactive options include either the use of an electronic pen or finger-touch.
- Resolution – Unlike the flat panel world in which you will no longer find 4:3 displays in production it is still quite common with projection systems, especially in legacy installations where you may be asked to replace a projector and still use the existing screen. While many people think of resolution in terms of 720p or 1080p business projectors typically are available in XGA (1024×768), WXGA (1280×800), or WUXGA (1920×1200). The important thing to note here is that both WXGA and WUXGA are actually in a 16:10 aspect ratio, not 16:9 which is common for home theater. This is very important to note if you are specifying a new projector and screen package or mating a new projector to an existing screen.
With any projection system there will be other factors to consider. Almo ProAV is a valuable resource to assist you as needed and welcome the opportunity.