Your home theater isn’t complete without a decent projector. Projectors allow you to experience movie night in a whole new way and if you like video games the action is going to be bigger, better and more in your face than ever before. However, shopping for a projector can be tricky if you aren’t sure what to look for.
We have some basic tips that will make it easy for you. Home video projectors are becoming more available and affordable for the average consumer and buyers are loving what they do for home entertainment.
Types of Home Theater Projectors
There are two main types of projectors available today: DLP (Digital Light Processing) and LCD (Liquid Crystal Display).
DLP projectors use a color wheel and a chip with small tilting mirrors. The light goes through the color wheel, hits and reflects off the mirrors and is projected onto your screen.
LCD projectors pass light through 3 LCD Chips to create and project images.
That’s all kind of technical, but it’s nice to know these things when deciding which projector is best for you.
Projectors use 3 different light sources. A lamp, LED, or a Laser. All three options have their pros and cons. There’s no clear winner. It’s just about preference. A lamp may need to be replaced after a thousand hours for instance.
Is It Portable
These days, projectors and portability go hand in hand. So decide if you want to take it with you or leave it in your home theater. It’s always nice to have the option of taking it to a friend’s house.
The better the light output, the brighter the picture is going to be. So check the ANSI Lumens rating. This will tell you how much light the projector can put out. A good rule of thumb is that projectors with 1,000 ANSI Lumens or higher have good brightness for home theaters.
Is The Fan Quiet?
Although most are quiet these days, some of the fans in these devices can be loud enough to distract you from the movie, so make sure that yours is quiet.
Make Sure It Has The Right Inputs
The projector needs to connect to your TV and other equipment that you have, so make sure that it has the inputs that you need. All video projectors today have HDMI inputs, and most projectors also have VGA and DVI inputs your computer. If your equipment is newer, that may be all you need. But if you have older components you will need to make sure that it has the inputs that match your gear. This is one of the most important factors.
Do You Have Enough Room?
You’ll need a bit of distance from the screen. Because “short throw” projectors can deliver a 100-inch diagonal widescreen image from just a few feet away, but many projectors need at least 10 feet for the same size image. Ultra-short throw projectors can give you a 100-inch image from as little as 4-5 inches away. This all refers to “throw distance”. You can use a throw-distance calculator online to see if you have enough space for the projector you are looking at.
Those are just the basics, but with these tips in mind, you can choose the right home theater projector for your needs. Shop around and don’t be afraid to ask questions. You want deep blacks and rich color saturation. Keep in mind that these projectors work best in a dedicated room where you can control the amount of light that enters from outside. Make it as dark as possible, then just kick back and enjoy the show.