What Is a Projector?
A projector is an output device that can connect to a computer, which may be another option for a monitor or television in terms of displaying pictures to many people. It takes images generated by a Blu-ray player or a computer and projects them onto a large surface like a wall or white screen. Projectors come in many shapes and sizes and are used in conditions like a classroom, home cinemas, office training or presentation sessions, etc. The projector looks like the below picture.
Commonly, projectors come a few inches tall and about a foot long and wide. They may be portable and freestanding and can be mounted on ceilings. Ceiling-mounted projectors come in a large size with a long-distance like 30 feet or more. The main applications of these kinds of projectors are places of worship, conference rooms, classrooms, and auditoriums.
On the other hand, some of the projectors have the potential to support Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, and most projectors are designed in a way that they can have different input sources, such as VGA ports for older devices and HDMI ports for newer equipment.
In the early time, there were needed much high amount thousands of dollars for high-quality projectors, and more than a hundred dollars were required for bulbs alone. In modern times, the cost of projectors has decreased, like a bright, high-quality projector has been reduced to a few hundred dollars with the help of LCD and LED light sources.
Types of Projectors
Based on their display property, Projectors can be classified into three types. They are:
- Cathode Ray Tube (CRT)
- Liquid Crystal Display (LCD)
- Digital Light Processing (DLP)
Cathode Ray Tube (CRT)
A CRT projector is basically a video projecting device. It uses a tiny cathode ray tube that has high brightness for image generation. A Lens is kept in front of the CRT face which focuses the image and enlarges it onto a big projection screen.
A CRT projector focuses on the image or video by its lenses to project it on screen. These images are processed with help of three separate coloured (red, green, and blue) CRT tubes.
CRT projectors are not portable as they are huge in size and heavy. Their electricity consumption is also high because of three light guns. At the initial stage, it may be difficult and tricky to set up a CRT projector, but the users say that CRT projectors have brilliant and outstanding picture quality. People say that these projectors are nevertheless newer technologies and are compatible with new improvements.
Liquid Crystal Display (LCD)
The meaning of Liquid Crystal Display is approximately clear from its name. The word LCD resembles two states of matter, the liquid and the solid.
LCD projectors work by utilizing polarized mirrors that pass and reflect only certain colours of light. This causes each channel of red, green, and blue to be separated and later re-converged via a prism after passing through an LCD panel that controls the intensity and saturation of each colour.
Digital Light Processing (DLP)
Digital Light Processing (DLP) is a video innovation made by Texas Instruments that is utilized for front and back projection units.
DLP projectors can be classified as one-chip or three-chip. Each chip houses millions of mirrors that reflect light thousands of times each second. One-chip DLP projectors can produce more than 16 million colours while three-chip models can produce more than 35 trillion colours.
This allows DLP projectors to reproduce more natural and lifelike images. The closeness of each mirror within a chip makes it difficult to see any spaces separating the pixels and in turn, creates a more fluid and crisp image compared to LCD technology.
What Makes a Good Projector?
One of the basic things to know when choosing among different types of projectors is the throw distance of the various models. You will see it categorized as long throw and short throw. Throw refers to the distance needed between the projector and the screen you are projecting on (also known as throwing the image) to get the desired display size.
Whether a projector is classified as a long or short throw is determined by the amount of distance required to display a 100-inch image.
The throw distance is determined by the lens used in the projector, with short-throw projectors typically throwing a distance between 3 and 8 feet from projector to projection screen. The closer you move a long throw projector to the screen, the smaller the image becomes. A short-throw projector that can display the same image using less distance and is a good choice for small spaces, while a long throw projector is best for auditorium use.
In addition, to throw distance, you will need to be aware of the brightness needed for an effective display where you will use the projector. Brightness is expressed in lumens — the more lumens, the brighter the image. In a dark room, for example, 1,000 to 1,200 lumens should provide plenty of brightness, while a room with windows or more ambient light will require 2,000 lumens or more.
When considering the picture quality, look for projectors with the right resolution (expressed as a ratio, this is the number of pixels that a device can project) and aspect ratio (the shape that the resolution takes). There are a few different aspect ratios to consider:
XGA projectors have a resolution of 1024 x 768 pixels and an aspect ratio of 4:3, giving a nearly square shape that is ideal for basic PowerPoint presentations and other business applications.
WXGA projectors have a resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels and a 16:10 aspect ratio, which works well for spreadsheets or other wider projections in an office environment.
HD projectors have a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels with a 16:9 aspect ratio, which works best for home theatre, photography, or conference rooms where you need lots of detail and clarity.
4K projectors have a resolution of 4096 x 2160 pixels and typically have a 16:9 aspect ratio, which improves upon HD resolution with crystal-clear images and lifelike colour saturation.
Advantages of a Projector
The advantages of Projectors include:
- Large Picture Size
Front projectors generate the largest viable photo size. You can use them to create a very large display screen experience of a business film theatre in your own home. Most projectors produce stunning pictures at sizes of 90″ to 120″ diagonal, which is far large than something you can get with flat-screen TVs or rear-projection TVs.
- Best Alternative for Large Screen Television
A projector is a cheaper substitute for a 60″ plasma TV. The projected picture is typically very bright, and projectors can be used with some of the room lights on.
- Low Cost
Front projectors can be the least high-priced alternative for big display screen video in your home. Some projectors are constructed for devoted domestic theatre, and they have now dropped below $1,000, this price makes a good deal; less steeply priced than flat-screen TVs or rear-projection TVs.
Given the low price of many entry-level projectors, this is the least expensive way to get a big-screen experience at your home. Though you may have to attach an additional speaker, yet the experience you get is much better compared to the price.
- Space Saving
A small projector that is set on a rear shelf or bookcase or the ceiling takes up no floor space in the room. When not in operating mode, it is hardly visible.
- Easy To Install
They are lightweight, and one person can pull it out of the box, hook it up and get an image on the wall with little trouble.
When picking a projector, it is all about determining your specific goals or applications, the price you can afford, the available devices you have to accompany it like a sound system, or Wi-Fi, and so forth. Your budget is your best bet in making a shortlist of viable projectors to buy. You can further narrow things down by your personal preferences, whether you are willing to spend for a specific projector-type, or if you need a low-latency projector for online first-person shooter gaming purposes. Your financial circumstances and personal tastes should serve as your guide to getting the right projector for you.