There are thousands of projector in the market, you maybe confuse about what What are lumens? What type of screen should you have? How long do projector bulbs last? Read on to find out all the answers.
1. Brightness: brighter is not necessarily better when it comes to buying the best projector. A projector needs to produce enough light to fill a screen, without being so bright that it gets tiring to watch over time. Projector brightness is measured in lumens, and you usually end up paying a premium for a high lumen rating so don’t be dazzled by the numbers. For a projector that will be used in a darkened room, between 1,300 and 1,500 lumens is plenty. You'll only need more if there is more ambient light in your room.
2. Screen options: the cheapest option for a projector screen is to use a wall, although the quality of the experience depends on its smoothness, and obviously colour. You can improve this with special reflective paint, but it’s also worth considering a dedicated projector screen. Manual projector screens come in various types, including tripod or wall mounted. There are also motorised projector screens, including premium screens that can be stored away when not in use.
3. Connectivity: you can connect lots of different video and image devices to a projector, in the same way you would with an HD TV. Composite or component video handles the standard definition sources, while HDMI sockets are for high-definition video equipment, such as Blu-ray players, games consoles or a Sky box. It’s possible to show photos from memory sticks via the projector’s USB ports, or to hook up a PC or laptop using the VGA monitor sockets. You’ll want to secure and hide any cables if you choose to permanently-install your projector.
Other things to consider
1. Throw distance: To get your projector working effectively, you‘ll need to understand the optimum distance between it and the screen, known as the 'throw distance'. This impacts the size of screen you would need and where the projector can be placed. Many projectors have zoom in/out functionality to make minor adjustments to the picture quality without changing the throw distance.
2. Projector bulb replacement: You'll know when your projector bulb, or 'lamp', is running out, as the picture will get noticeably dimmer. Lamps can last between 700 and 3,000 hours, with an average life of around 1,500 hours. That might sound like a lot – but with the average Briton watching four hours of TV per day, that’ll give you just over a year of average viewing. A new bulb can cost over £200, which could be a significant annual expense. You can increase the life of lamps by allowing them to cool down properly after use and changing the dust filters regularly. Many projectors have ‘economy modes’ that can also preserve lamp life, and there is often a display showing a rough estimate of how many hours the bulb has remaining.
3. Fan noise: As projectors generate heat, they have fans to cool them down. These can be rather noisy on certain models, particularly the cheaper ones. If you think that noise could be an issue for you, go for a model with a quieter fan. It is also important to position your projector so it has enough space and air flow around it to ensure it doesn’t overheat.
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