With over 200 projectors now on the market from an increasing number
of manufacturers how do you choose the best projector for your requirements?
The purpose of this page is to help you to make that choice and
to understand the main parameters involved.
are 5 major factors to consider in selecting the right projector
along with any number of minor factors to influence your decision.
The major factors are BRIGHTNESS, RESOLUTION, CONTRAST
RATIO, WEIGHT and BUDGET - the priority order
is down to you. Other factors include type of technology, number
of inputs, lamp life, cost of replacement lamps, manufacturer,
warranty, special features, supplier after-sales support, etc.
We address each major factor in turn.
BRIGHTNESS - The light output from the projector commonly expressed in ANSI
National Standards Institute measurement of candle power).
The choice here is determined by the environment - in a darkened
room a brightness of 1500 ANSI lumens will produce an acceptable
XGA image (subject to distance) and 3000 ANSI lumens is adequate
for short range projection in daylight conditions. Above 3500
ANSI lumens will produce good quality images in most meeting environments.
For conferences and larger venues with a capacity of 100+, 4000
ANSI lumens should be considered as a minimum and we recommend
a demonstration to assess the performance
prior to purchasing. Fixed installation projectors generally have
greater brightness (up to 15000 ANSI lumens for theatre/auditoriums) but with
a commensurate price tag. Often, the type and size of screen used can greatly
enhance the apparent brightness of a presentation but as a general
rule the larger the screen surface and the lighter the environment,
the greater the required brightness. It is also important to note
that a lamp slightly reduces in brightness during its life.
RESOLUTION - This relates to picture clarity and is expressed as the number
of pixels displayed. The following terms are applied:
SVGA = 800
XGA = 1024 x 768
SXGA+ = 1400 x 1050
UXGA 1600 x 1200
(4:3 aspect ratio aka "Video format")
SXGA = 1280 x 1024
(5:4 aspect ratio)
WXGA = 1366 x 768
Full HD = 1920 x 1080
(16:9 aspect ratio aka "Widescreen")
WXGA = 1280 x 768
WUXGA = 1920 x 1200
(16:10 aspect ratio aka "Widescreen")
The higher the resolution, the crisper the image (subject to distance)
- and generally the higher the price!. XGA is the most common 4:3 ratio resolution. Under normal presentation circumstances, XGA
will be totally acceptable but for fine line drawings or spreadsheets,
SXGA+ or UXGA is advised. Data projectors have a single true resolution
but may accommodate other resolutions using in-built compression
or expansion technology known as scaling. It is best practice to match your projector
with the native resolution of your computer or other input source.
RATIO - This is an indication of the dynamic range of a projector.
Very simply, low contrast ratios offer poorer distinction than
high ratios. This ratio, in combination with the brightness, resolution
and projection distance will determine the image quality. Ratios
of 1000:1 and above yield good performance for most applications
but if projecting over long distances or in daylight conditions
opt for the highest ratio you can. In churches it is often worth prioritising brightness over contrast ratio.
WEIGHT - Data projectors are generally categorised into 5 groups: SUB
MICRO PORTABLES, MICRO PORTABLES, PORTABLE, DESKTOP and FIXED
INSTALLATION. Each heading gives some clue towards the intended
application and weight.
Micro Portables are the latest development in projectors providing
convenience in a small package. Weighing in at under 2.0kg this
category includes both SVGA and XGA versions and are ideal for
ultra mobile requirements.
Portables are small enough to be classed
as micro without the increase in price attached to the Sub Micro
range. These projectors weigh in around 2kg to 3Kgs and as
with most projectors are available in both SVGA and XGA resolutions.
These projectors tend to have less features than their big brothers
in the Portables category.
Portables are the most popular choice in projectors for mobile presentations
due to the weight and features. Many of today's models offer high
brightness (up to 4000 ANSI lumens) and include a range of advanced
features. Weight range is regarded as between 3kg and 5kg and
most major manufacturers now offer these in XGA and WXGA resolutions.
If you need a projector with features for mobile presentations
then this is the best category for you.
Projectors are within the range of 5kg and 10kg and designed
more for office environments where a projector may be needed for
different rooms and occasional mobile presentations. Available
in all resolutions this category generally accommodate
higher brightness and more features than available on Portables
e.g. additional source inputs.
Installation projectors are 10kg and above and designed
more for presentation suites and conference venues. They can be
ceiling mounted or desk/table top and can offer the highest brightness
of all categories. Training suites and Auditoriums are best served
by fixed installation projectors. High in features and flexibility
they are also generally the more expensive category.
BUDGET - Often a decisive factor in choosing the right projector. In
general you get what you pay for - the higher the specification
the more it will cost but as with most technology related products
you get more for your money today than you did 12 months ago.
Ultimately the amount you spend on a projection system should
reflect it's importance to your organisation.
represent leading manufacturers of projectors in the UK. We conduct
extensive price checks every month to ensure a highly competitive
approach and offer spares and accessories to compliment our after
sales support. We will be pleased to offer advice and recommendations
appropriate to your needs.
feel free to call us on 0845 370 3220 if we can help.
DEMONSTRATIONS - We are pleased to offer free demonstrations on request.
All we ask in fairness is that if you decide to purchase, you
allow us the final opportunity to supply.
Projector demonstration subject to projector availability and your church's location in relation to our Midlands offices.