How to Pick a Projector 101

Whether it’s in a large classroom, lecture hall, or boardroom, large projection images make viewing content easier for your audience. There are many types and sizes of projectors, so here’s an easy guide to selecting the one right for your organization.

Interactive Short Throw Projectors

Interactive short throw projectors are great in classrooms and boardrooms. The projector gets wall-mounted above a whiteboard and allows the instructor or presenter to annotate as well as present information to the audience. Because of the projector’s proximity to the wall—approximately 12-inches—the projector does not cast a shadow on the presenter, allowing interactive collaboration to occur with the content. Depending on the software used, annotation can be done with a pen stylus or your finger. Short throw projectors are typically around 3000 lumens or less in brightness.

Meeting Room Projectors

Meeting room projectors can vary in brightness and resolution. The typical range of brightness is 3000-5000 lumens and resolution can be WXGA or WUXGA, depending on your application. These projectors may also allow for optional lenses that give you varying ranges for optimal projector placement.

These are the types of projectors you usually see ceiling mounted in meeting rooms, classrooms, and even house of worship applications. These projectors are used to show spreadsheets, presentation slides, and more.

Large Venue Projectors

Large venue projectors are used in large auditoriums, boardrooms, conference rooms, houses of worship, or stage applications. These also vary in brightness and resolution and typically start at 6000 lumens for brightness. Just like the meeting room projectors, the large venue projectors have optional lenses that provide varying ranges for optimal placement of your projector. Be careful when choosing your large venue projector because there are many models that do not ship with a lens. This allows you to choose the correct lens for your application.

Laser Projectors

Many big-name brands offer laser projectors. These projectors use LED light engines instead of lamps to produce the light needed to show the image. These projectors are more expensive than other projectors, but the calculated ROI shows these projectors may end up costing you less over 5 years as there are no lamps or filters to replace. These projectors perform well in classrooms as well as meeting rooms and boardrooms.

LCD vs DLP

LCD projectors include glass panels through which the light from the lamp passes through. DLP projectors have a reflective surface that includes thousands of tiny mirrors, with each mirror representing a single pixel. LCD is like the technology found in TVs, while DLP technology is often found in movie theaters.

Small to medium venue projectors will have a single LCD or single DLP. Large venue projectors will have 3-LCD or 3-DLP chips. The biggest difference people see between LCD and DLP is the contrast ratio. DLP colors are vibrant, but tend to be slightly off; yellows may look a bit more like mustard. Keep this in mind if you are trying to match a specific color, such as your company’s brand.

Next Steps

Picking the correct projector for your application is only half the battle! Check out this blog regarding projection screens. Learn how they have evolved over the years and how the screen surface enhances your projected image.

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