If you're in the market for a projector, you may feel overwhelmed by the number of models available out there. Will you be using the projector for personal use, office use, or outside fun?
To make your life easier and help you know which projector to choose, our electronic technology specialists have put together a special buyer's guide.
In this guide, you'll see what features you should look for in a projector depending on your intended use for it, as well as things to consider if your projector will be for business use or outdoor use.
7 features to consider when buying the best projector
Choosing a video projector requires consideration of several points of comparison between the various devices available. Here are 7 features to consider when shopping for a projector:
1. Image projection technology
In the field of projectors, three image projection technologies are used by manufacturers: LCD, DLP and LCoS. It is crucial to consider this feature when choosing the right projector.
LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) projectors use a similar technology to LCD TVs. The difference is that in the case of projectors, the light passes through the liquid crystal rather than being reflected from it. LCD projection models are known to offer a very sharp and bright image, making them ideal for well-lit rooms.
DLP (Digital Light Processing) projectors have millions of "digital micromirrors" that reflect light to generate images. This is the type of technology most commonly used in movie theaters, especially because it offers the best color contrast and smoothest movement during action scenes.
LCoS (Liquid Crystal on Silicon) projectors use a combination of the other two projection technologies. These devices are often more expensive, which is because they are among the best projectors on the market. At Sony, this technology is called SXRD.
2. Projector resolution
The resolution of a projector is something that absolutely must be taken into account when choosing a projector. As is also the case withtelevisions, the resolution of a projector is the total number of pixels it can display, ranging from 480p to 4K to 1080p (HD).
For cinema use, full HD (1920x1080 px) is already a great resolution. But if you want to fully enjoy movies, series and video games that have been developed in recent years in 4K, a resolution in Ultra HD, or 3840x2160 px, will make you happy.
3. Projector brightness
The brightness offered by a projector is a very important selection factor, as it directly influences the viewing experience. A projector was often recommended for a dark room, but the increasing brightness of these technological devices allows them to be used today in any type of room lighting.
Higher brightness means a clearer and more accurate image, especially when viewing in bright environments or those with lots of natural light. A bright projector is best suited for a south-facing living room or any room that gets a lot of sunlight.
The brightness of a projector is expressed in lumens. The higher the number of lumens, the brighter the image provided by the projector. This is matched with the contrast ratio of the projector, to ensure that you get a highly visible image, regardless of the environment.
How many lumens for a video projector?
There are projectors available today that range in brightness from 550 to 4000 lumens. For a home movie theater projector, a minimum value of 1000 to 1500 lumens is recommended to ensure good visibility.
4. Projector throw ratio
The throw ratio of a projector determines how far it must be from the screen to achieve the desired image size. This is a very important feature if you intend to mount the projector on the ceiling or install it in a specific location. In these circumstances, you will need to ensure that it is the right distance from the wall or screen for the images to be displayed correctly.
The throw projection ratio is calculated by looking at the projection distance per foot of image width (projection distance: image width). This means that if you want to obtain a 10-foot-wide image with a projector that will be placed 5 feet away from the screen, you should choose a projector with a 2:1 projection ratio.
For this purpose, do not hesitate to call on specialists if you want to proceed with the installation of a video projector on the ceiling: they will be able to advise you on the projection ratio.
5. Contrast ratio
The contrast ratio expresses the difference between the brightest and darkest point of an image. This one is going to have an impact on the quality of the image projected by a projector, because the higher the contrast ratio, the deeper the blacks and the more vibrant the colors.
In this sense, those who play video games or watch movies in a dark room should opt for a projector with a high contrast ratio.
An ideal contrast ratio for a projector starts at over 800:1, but for effective contrast, go above 2000:1.
An ideal projector to recreate a movie theater atmosphere or play video games: the Samsung The Premiere LSP7T projector.
6. Projector light source
In most projector models, it is a lamp or bulb that provides the light needed to display images. There are different types of bulbs that can be used in projectors.
For example, LED bulbs are very popular today because they have a lifespan of up to 25,000 hours, as opposed to about 4,000 hours for traditional bulbs. LED bulbs produce less heat, which allows for quieter projectors since they don't need a fan.
There are also projectors that rely on laser technology as a light source (the Epson EF-100 projector for example). Energy efficient, they may well be a good option for many types of users.
7. Projector noise
Choosing the best projector also involves analyzing its noise level. Check the decibel level of the video projector you are interested in.
Several factors influence the sound emission: the brightness and type of lamp, the design of the projector, its brand, and so on. Remember, a projector with an LED lamp will be quieter.
The noise level of a projector is generally between 25 and 35 dB, a figure that can always be lowered by using an economy mode.
Determine the brightness, resolution and size you will need before you decide which projector to buy. To figure out which features you need, take the time to consider how you will use your device.
With these 7 feature considerations, you can choose the best home movie theater projector for you.
How to choose a projector for your home theater
For the best possible home theater experience, it is essential to choose a good projector. Compared to a TV, a projector can deliver a much larger, stunning picture.
Since you'll be using it mostly to watch movies or series, we recommend choosing one with the best possible image quality, and opting for 4K UHD resolution.
HDR compatibilityis another feature you should look for if you want to enjoy richer, more natural colors. By choosing a projector with high resolution, you'll be able to tap into the full potential of high-definition video sources (Blu-Ray players, advanced gaming consoles, 4K streaming, and so on).
The Epson Pro Cinema 4050 4K projector is one of our favorites in this category: in addition to being able to display native 4K images, it has a brightness of 2400 lumens and has a contrast ratio of 200,000:1, which is definitely enough to emit a clear image in rooms with fairly strong natural lighting. A perfect 4k projector to recreate a movie theater atmosphere.
Equipped with this projector and a good home theater audio setup, you'll never want to go back to a movie theater again.
How to choose the best projector for business
Do you think you will often need to present multimedia material in the course of your work? Then you'll need to choose a multimedia projector that fits this context perfectly. First, you should know that for a desktop projector, image quality is not necessarily a priority. However, brightness is still very important: you may need to use your projector in rooms with neon lighting, such as meeting rooms or classrooms. So choose a bright projector with at least 2000 lumens of light.
You may also need to carry your device quite often, so choose a portable, lightweight projector.
Choose a projector that is easy to install and has a removable lens. This will allow you to change the image projection depending on the location of the professional projector, which can be very useful if you plan to use it in several different locations.
How to choose the best projector for outdoor use
An outdoor video projector does not require a very high brightness, since it is usually to enjoy a movie after dark.
In addition to the factors mentioned above, the following points should be taken into account:
●The simplicity of transport
A projector that is easy to carry, small and whose connectivity does not require too many cables is the ideal device for outdoor use. A portable Bluetooth projector would do the job extremely well, such as the Samsung Freestyle SP-LSP3BLA portable projector, which allows you to enjoy a great image anywhere, with very easy accessibility.
Visit us in store for the best projector
To find the best projector for your needs and budget, nothing beats the personalized recommendations of our Fillion team. If you want to buy a video projector in Montreal, we are the specialist store you need.
You can contact us to benefit from our expertise in all things electronic, or come see us in store for personalized service. It is with a smile that we will help you choose the projector that best suits your needs and expectations!