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Home » Electronics » How to Buy a Projector: What You Should Know Before You Make a Purchase

How to Buy a Projector: What You Should Know Before You Make a Purchase

People often get bored of TV because it comes in a definite and there is no way the user can elongate it to maximize their entertainment session. Even though TV is a natural solution for entertainment but when you want to have a movie theater-like experience, then there is no alternative to a projector. As we all know projector holds the capability to bring out the best of out of any frame with top-notch visual quality padded with high detailed color. A home theater projector is something that you will love to have in your home because you can even use them in your backyard.
Projectors carry a lot of advantages which makes an inevitable choice for people who are bored of watching visuals in a concentrated area. Moreover, whether you buy expensive or best quality cheap projectors it will save a lot of your space in your home, and you can easily carry them anywhere you want. It can project every sort of graphics you want to project on the big screen without curbing down any of the details. Projectors are not only concentrated to home and offices; they are quite popular in the education sector, entertainment sector, medical sector, exhibitions, art galleries, etc.
It gets better here:
People have a notion that projector can’t bring out a polished look in any image or visual but this entirely a myth. A quality projector carries a right amount of lumens, contrast ratio, color space and native resolution which helps the lens to project the desired quality on the screen. Whether you go for DLP or LCD, both of the technologies will give you no room for grumble. Nowadays, some of the devices are coming packed with built-in speakers which relieve the buyers from extra hassle. However, like TV, the price of projectors also vary depending upon the projection technology, lens, specification, and brand.
Want to know the best part?
Absolutely Yes!
Now, you might be thinking that we have been talking about projectors and how it is popular among people but we haven’t talked how it works.

So if you are eager to know about it then let’s take a peek at its working process:

How Do Projectors work?

As we all know, the projector is an optical instrument which utilizes projection technology and lens to impart an image or visual on the screen. However, nowadays there are different types of projection technology that has their working process. LCoS, LCD, and DLP are the leading projection technology that is used in almost every projector in the market. So let’s talk each of them one by one:
DLP – Digital light processing projection technology is based on DMD chip, and this chip carries million of little mirrors which measures one-fifth of each human hair. So this chip utilizes the mosaic effect to project one color on each mirror which originates from the spinning color wheel. Almost every DMD chip carries 2 million mirrors, and every mirror depicts single pixel on the screen. So when they are thrown altogether on the screen, they create a lifelike visual quality.
LCD – Liquid crystal display technology is a favorite feature which catches polarized light from three liquid crystal panel and then depicts it on the screen. So the first panel carries a series of a dichroic mirror, and they split the primary color. Then the divided image passes through the second panel which again joins the color, and it is done through sharing the incoming ray into spectra. Later in the last panel, the lights are again combined, and the dichroic mirror joins all the primary color which is then projected to the screen.
LCoS -Liquid Crystal on Silicon is the most modern and complicated technology which uses liquid crystal chips for projection along with mirrored backup. It contains a series of reflective mirrors where the lights are blocked using liquid crystal. Basically, it is a hybrid of DLP and LCD which produces better color accuracy and clarity.
Now:
We know how the projector works but do you know what is the contrast ratio that we see in the specification list and which drives the image quality.
Then lets’ dig into it:

Projector Contrast Ratio

Contrast ratio defines color reproduction on the image that your projector depicts on the screen. It is basically the ratio of the light reflected from the white section of the photos and black part of the image. In the purest form, it is the measurement of bright whites to the deep blacks. A contrast ratio of a projector is depicted in the way of 10000:1 which means the white section is 10000 times vibrant than the black part of the image. So higher is the contrast ratio the higher is the capability of the projector to bring depth in the color and counter room ambient light.
Contrast ratio plays an important in most of the projectors, especially which are utilized for entertainment purpose. It brings crispness, highly defined shadow detailing and darkest black in an image. ANSI and full on/off contrast serve as the most prominent measurement standard in the market. However, Full on/off contrast is substantial than ANSI contrast ratio and this detailed often overlooked by many buyers. However, there is no particular industry standard for measurement which is followed by almost every manufacturer. Almost all the modern projection technology specially LCoS, DLP, and LCD uses high contrast ratio more than 20000:1 to bring richness to the image.
This is crazy, right? Yes!
Now, let’s take a look at following portion which will guide you in getting the projector with appropriate contrast ratio:

Projector Contrast Ratio Guide

Whether you buy an expensive gaming projector or any of the projectors under 200 dollars, the contrast ratio will play an important role. However, you should remember contrast ratio figure varies with price, type, and brand. When you are going to buy a projector, it is essential to always look for a projector with 10000:1 contrast ratio or above. A high contrast ratio will produce a clear image with lifelike quality, vibrant color, and thick black. Some brands often use modern techniques to enhance the contrast ratio, but they are provided only some specific names. It is always recommended that you should never settle for a projector with low contrast ratio.
Now, a question might have always come up to your mind that whether there is any screen that can project visuals by placing the projector on the screen.
Yes, there is an option for rear screen projection.


10th descriptive image of Dinly 130 inches LCD Portable Video Projector

Projector Behind Screen

Projector behind the screen is a standard method where a projector is placed behind a screen to create a polished environment for viewing. However, there is no difference in visual quality and clarity when the projector is placed behind the screen. Even though rear projection takes a considerable amount of space, but according to some experts, it produces the best picture quality. You might think back projection is a unique feature which requires a brand new projector but you will be happy to hear that you won’t have to change your projector. Almost every projector in the market has the capability for rear projection, and basically, it is just a simple setting.
When you choose the rear projection option, it just flips the visuals without hammering its quality. However, without proper customization, the image might look out of place, so it is recommended to choose the rear projection setting correctly. The only con that this setup has is space, but with modern throw ratio, things are beginning to change. But its drawbacks are driven away by its large number pros which include clean out, minimal noise, the absence of shadow, high brightness and absence of cable clutter. They are often used in various sectors, but they are mostly utilized in exhibition areas.
Till now we have covered some crucial aspects of projectors, now let’s dig more which will surge your inquisitiveness towards projector.
Now, here’s the kicker:
We all know 3D serves as showstopper feature in many projectors and it takes us into a different world when watching them.
But do we know how they work? No!
Then, let’s know how it works:

How Do 3D Projectors Work?

3D is a fascinating feature that transforms any 2D visual into lifelike three dimensions visual floating in front of our eye. 3D has come a long way, and nowadays it utilizes laser light sources to bring high clarity to the images. 3D contents are slightly different from standard 2D materials and either they are overlapped or placed side by side. With the help of 3D glasses, the projectors impart 3D images in your every eye and the overlapping frames finally produces three-dimensional visual depth. Previously anaglyph technology was utilized for projection, but nowadays manufacturers use the polarizing technique which yields far better quality.
In the polarizing technique, the projector sends the projection light through a polarizing filter which breaks the light into travel in two different directions. These two broken light rays are intended for both of our eyes which will ultimately create the 3D viewing. However, to preserve the two oscillated light ray a unique polarization screen is a screen required and 3D glasses deliver this screen. 3D glasses carry the necessary layer which picks up the light from the projector’s lens and then our brain combines both the visuals to recreate three-dimensional view. All the modern projector utilizes this technique to produce breathtaking 3D output that you always have dreamt of.
This is interesting:
When you go through the specification list, you will come across lamp hour, and you might have noticed people emphasizes a lot on this feature. But do you like to know how headlamp in projector works?
If Yes, then let’s take a look at its working process:

How Projector Headlights Works?

Projector headlight which is termed as lamp serves as crucial part of the projector and it is a high-pressure mercury vapor ARC lamp. However, some of the best projectors of 2017 also utilize metal halide lamps, and both the lamp type provides an efficient result. The working efficiency of the lamp is highly significant because it will define the performance of the projector. The lamp is responsible for the bright image that we see on a screen and without it, the projector can’t create any visualization.
In a projector, the bulb has an ARC gap which carries highly compressed mercury vapor, and this vapor is responsible for creating light. So when you switch on your projector, the lamp passes electric current in the pressurized ARC gap and this electricity escalates the mercury vapor which results in the production of the light ray on the projection panel. The amount of electrically to be passed in the ARC gap is controlled by a ballast which is located near the bulb. This is the most straightforward description of its working, but lamp utilizes a complicated process which is understood by experts.
Now, let’s talk about an interesting projection technology which is DLP that has dazzled everyone with its superior visual quality.
But don’t you want to learn how DLP projection work?
Definitely Yes, right!
Now, here’s the kicker:

How Do DLP Projectors Work?

Currently, DLP or digital light processing projector is a highly demanded projection technology, and every consumer is drooling over their performance. Texas instrument develops DLP, and it utilizes a complicated working process. When the projector is switched on, the lamp throws some light which passes throw a color wheel and then it reaches a DMD chip that contains millions of minute sized mirrors. Then lastly the light enters the lens which ultimately projects the visuals on the screen. However, the mirrors are switched on or off by electronic impulses but it entirely depends upon the requirement for color.
DMD serves as the primary highlighting point of DLP projection which carries millions of reflective mirror, and it is designed in such a way that every pixel is a reflective mirror. The number of micromirrors on the DMD chip depends upon the resolution of the projector as well as mirror tilt speed. The overall color production in this process entirely relies on the degree of mirror tilt along with speed of the color wheel. Then the light jumps from the tiny mirrors and then falls on the lens. The process takes places in a quick process, and mirror changes its tilt quickly as soon as image changes.
When light reaches the chip, only one color is shown at a time, but it changes quickly to another primary color. However, this change is so swift that the primary color quickly mixes to bring out the appropriate color which is required in the frame. Even though the images look vivid and bright, but specific section still flickers which is not visible to naked eye. Although the working process is complicated, you will be amazed to hear that this technology is based on old projection technology which was used in TVs.
Now we have to know the working process of DLP projector but do you want to know more about another popular projection technology.
If yes, then saddle up, and we will discuss the working process of LCD projector which is used almost every brand. This is an entirely a popular technology which is also used cheap projectors found on the market.

How Do LCD Projectors Work?

Almost everyone knows about LCD projection system which depicts its popularity in the market. LCD projectors quite cheaper than other popular projection technology, so it is available in a varied price range which includes projector under 300. LCD or liquid crystal display uses a simple process to project the desired image on the screen. It mainly uses three crucial liquid panels which are a filter, lamp, and a prism. Basically, the bulb throws a bright light through the prism and this prism then breaks the light into various color components. Then the split light passes through a panel that regulates the amount of light which will pass. Finally, it passes through the lens and falls on the screen.
LCD is always known for producing excellent visual quality as it uses a polarizing filter which only accepts the light is moving on the same plane. Then that light get meets large arrays of dichroic mirrors, and it allows some specific colors to get reflected while others are bypassed. It breaks the light into green, blue and red which then again get combined through the prism. The working process is quite simple, and the quality of an image is determined by the number of pixels carried by the projector.
Now, here’s the best part:
Lastly, we will talk about how the projector works with TV which serves as the primary source of entertainment for many of us.
Aren’t you excited?

How Do Projectors Work With TV?

Television serves as fundamental entertainment purpose but they are restricted to specific sizes and projector is the only option to maximize tv entrainment. Nowadays most of the TV comes with a lot of connection which allows you to hook your TV or set-top box to watch your favorite TV channels. HDMI and RCA serve as the standard connection port, and you just need to use the cable to connect them correctly. However just plugging the cable doesn’t end the task as you have to change the input source in the menu settings of the TV.
Finally, let’s get to know some frequently asked questions that are often popped by users when they opt for projectors.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How many lumens do you need for a projector?
The minimum amount lumens you would need is 1000, and it is strictly for home entertainment, but for the outdoor purpose, you would require a projector with more than 2000 lumens.

2. How to set up a projector?
Setting up a projector is quite easy, and you just need to follow the instruction manual adequately given by the manufacturer. You can even watch videos of setting up process provided on the manufacturer’s website.

3. What are the different kinds of projectors?
There are only three different kinds of projector currently available in the market, and they are DLP, LCoS and LCD where each offers different perks.

4. What is the best contrast ratio for a projector?
Contrast ratio defines the difference between bright white and deepest black of an image and a 50000:1 is often considered as the best contrast ratio for a projector.

5. How bright is a 200 lumens projector?
A projector with 200 lumens is bright enough to produce an image size ranging between 40 inches and 70 inches. However, these projectors are palmtop projectors that can be easily carried anywhere.

6. How many lumens are needed for an outdoor projector?
2000 lumens is minimum for an outdoor projector because there are high chances that projector has to counter a lot of ambient light.

7. How do you hook up a projector to cable?
You have to use HDMI or RCA connector to hook your projector to the cable, and this is quite a simple process as you have just to insert the connector in proper port.

8. How do I switch from computer screen to projector?
To switch from computer screen to projector, you just have to click the display option and then choose projector only selection in the menu.

9. How do I duplicate a screen to a projector?
You can easily duplicate a screen to a projector, and that can be done by choosing a duplicated option from the display options menu.

10. How do I connect my Powerpoint presentation to a projector?
To connect your Powerpoint presentation to a projector, first, you just have to plug both of them by VGA or HDMI cable. Then use the extended option which will open a new desktop on the projector screen.

11. How do you hook up audio to a projector?
You just have to use the long 3.5mm audio cable and connect to the audio port located in a rear section of the projector.

12. How do I connect my phone to a projector?
You can use wireless connectivity or MHL cable to connect your phone to your projector.

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About Mark Hanson

Hi, this is Mark Hanson, a financial advisor, tech geek and the chief editor of http://justinrange.com/ from Tempe, Arizona. Our aim is to provide you with genuine information, guide and reviews about the top-rated product you wish to buy and help to save your hard-earned money. We review honestly to ensure that you may select the right product that could fulfill your requirements.

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