It can be tough to get your head around all there is to know about projectors. Let’s explain some of the most common terms and learn the basics. Projector brightness is measured in ANSI lumens. Home theater projectors generally start out at about 1000 lumens and range upwards to 2500 lumens and more. Your viewing environment is the deciding factor on how many lumens your projector needs. Dedicated home theaters (rooms with controlled lighting and no ambient light) will not require as much brightness as a space with ambient light from windows or other household lighting.
Tip: In many cases, manufacturers rate projector lumen values based on data output, not video. Lumen output for video is typically not as high as data. For help determining which projector is right for your viewing environment, contact one of our Projector Experts. They have personally seen most units perform in video mode. What you are watching will make a big difference in the quality of your image. A low-quality signal fed to your projector will most likely look like a low-quality image when projected. This is even more noticeable on a larger screen.
HDMI inputs: Today it’s a good idea to choose projectors with HDMI inputs, even if you use computers that don’t output HD. If you have HDMI inputs, you’ll be able to take advantage of HD output as soon as you have computers that will output in HD. Right-size lens: Once you know where the projector will be installed, you need to make sure the screen size you want is possible from that distance away. On some high-end projectors, you can change lenses to allow more placement flexibility. However, if your projector is going to remain in a fixed place, just go for one with a lens that will project at the distance you need for the size you want.
LCD technology: LCD technology is generally favorable due to its superior color accuracy. LCD is also a must-have if your presentations are color sensitive due to color-coded diagrams, or graphic-design centered. The final must-have “feature” really isn’t a feature at all. Do not forget to order a spare bulb for your projector, or you could be forced to scrap an important presentation or wait while someone chases down a spare.
The size and form factor of a digital projector can also be important to consider. If you have a projector shelf in your home theater, you may be limited by the dimensions of that space. It is also possible to find portable digital projectors for business use. These projectors often lack the very high lumens and resolutions of larger models, but they can be very convenient if you travel a lot and give presentations on the road.