Projector Features

Now that you know how projectors work and what you can do with them, you might be curious about some of the features that are basic to projectors and what they mean to you.

First, in looking at a projectors you will be interested in the display technology. We already explained LCD and DLP. If you don't want to go into the technical aspects of it, it is best to remember than LCD gives richer colors, while DLP gives more vivid colors and a smoother video display (though occasionally it may exhibit a rainbow effect under very specific circumstances).

Next, the type of display will specify, VGA (640 x 480 resolution), SVGA (800 x 600), UXGA (1600 x 1200), and even WSXGA (a whole ton of pixels). What these designations are really telling you is how many little segments the average screen is broken into. The more pixels per screen, the sharper the resolution. VGA is pretty much passe, but SVGA is still common and creates an acceptable image for most uses.

Some manufacturers will specify the number of colors that their projectors will show, for expample one model has on the side of the box, "16.7 million colors". For the most part, projectors (if not monochrome) will create seamless imagery where the number of colors appears to be infinite. In fact, the number of colors that can be displayed in most cases is largely limited by the format of the stored images. Just remember that the "16.7 million colors" is pretty standard and based on the base-16 designation that is used in most image storing formats.

Usually a projector will be designated to have a certain number of ANSI lumens. ANSI stands for American National Standards Institute. It approves the lighting format and measuring methods. Lumens is basically a measure of brightness of the light projected. The brighter the light, the better the projector will be able to deal with ambient light and the greater the contrast that will be available. This means that if you are looking for a projector that will be used in a fairly lighted space, you will want to get one that has higher lumens. Just remember that no matter how high the lumens, you are going to have a dim picture when the image is projected in bright light, especially sunlight.

The contrast ratio is basically the difference between light and dark. This is important for clear, crisp images and the higher the number the better the contrast.

When considering a projector, be sure that it has the proper connections for the device that will be the source of the media presented. You want to have hookups for computers, TV, etcetera. If you are planning on a home entertainment system, you might want to make sure that the projector is HDTV ready, so that high definition images can be used.

If you are planning on mounting your projector, say on a cieling, you want to be sure that the proper hardware is available. In the case of cieling mounts, especially in halls or churches, be sure that the projector works with a remote device. Most machines will come with an interface that will allow you to focus, adjust for the keystone effect and more.

Bulb life is significant, but not infinite, so you will want to get a few extra bulbs when making your purchase.

A good place to start searching for a projector is Amazon.com Amazon has most models available at good prices and each listing is often accompanied by one or more reviews as well as relevant details.

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Interesting Fact:

Proper mounting is essential when permanently installing a projector. Make sure proper mounts are used and the projector is situated in an accessible location in case maintenance is required.

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