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Frequently Asked Questions
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When consumers, businesses and other institutions go to purchase a projector there are a number of questions that they can run into. Some of these questions are more commonly asked than others. Here are some of the most commonly-asked questions that we receive regarding projectors and projector purchases.
Many people are concerned that projectors don’t offer the same image quality that flat screen televisions can provide. This assumption is far from accurate. When compared to flat screen televisions with specs that are similar, projectors provide images that are just as crisp and clear. With a projector, however, the image can be doubled or even tripled in size, making the viewing experience even better than you would find with a flat screen television. Projectors provide a theater-like experience in your home. The image quality is not compromised and is larger than life, making projectors a more affordable choice and providing a bigger screen than flat screen televisions can provide in even the largest sizes.
The aspect ratio that you want will depend on what you plan on using the projector for. If you want to use your projector for home theater use, it’s best to try to get one with a ratio of 16:9.
If you are purchasing a projector for business presentation purposes, the aspect ratio is not as important as it is for those who use the projector for gaming and/or home theater purposes. You would be fine with an aspect ratio of 4:3, 16:9 or 16:10.
If you are concerned about resolution, chances are that you will be using the projector for home entertainment or gaming purposes. The resolution that you need will depend on what you intend to do with the projector. The best resolution you can aim for is 1080p, but some people don’t have the budget for it. If you can’t afford a 1080p projector, try to find a 720p that fits your price range. If that isn’t possible, then go with a resolution of 1920x1080 or 1680x1050. Just make sure you are looking at native resolution numbers when doing product comparison.
If you are purchasing a projector there are a few accessories you may want to keep in mind. First and foremost, you should consider purchasing backup lamps, a projector screen and a projector mount.
Lamps can be a significant investment, but it is always a good idea to have them on hand for when the lamp you are currently using goes out. The last thing you want to do is have to search for a replacement lamp and then wait for it to come in when your existing lamp goes out. Because of this, always buy at least one or two backup lamps to keep on hand so you won’t be left in the lurch when it comes time to replace this vital accessory.
Depending on the room that you will be using the projector in, the brightness of the projector may become an issue if there is too much or too little light in the room. If the light in the room interferes with the amount of light produced by the projector, the difference can be offset by a projector screen that takes this difference into account. Make sure you understand your lighting needs before investing in projector screens.
If you do not have a projector with lens shift or zoom capabilities, a projector stand will provide you with added flexibility as to where you can place the projector in a room. Brackets and mounts will help you properly install your projector in the room that you will be using it in.
Projector carts, air flow filters, cameras and other accessories may also be considered when investing in a projector for your home or business.
Projectors run the gamut when it comes to pricing. You can get one for as little as a few hundred dollars to as much as a few thousand dollars. The amount you spend will depend on what you are using the projector for and the specs and features you are looking for. Remember, the most expensive projector isn’t necessarily the best. You should look first at the specs and features and then try to get the most for your money. You would be surprised at how much of a difference there can be in similar projectors that are from different brands. Never pay for a name. Always pay for features, specs and solution for your needs.
There are 3D projectors on the market and they have definitely come a long way from the 3D projectors offered just a few years ago. Nearly all of the manufacturers of home theater projectors offer 3D models. These projectors are more costly, but they have been dropping in price as 3D content becomes more readily available. Some models now go for only a few hundred dollars.
When you purchase a projector, lamp life is an important spec that you will want to look at. This is because lamp replacement is not cheap. To replace the lamp in a projector, it will usually cost between $200 and $400. If you see a projector with a lamp life of 5,000 standard hours and another with higher lamp life and there is a price difference of just a couple hundred dollars between the two, consider getting the projector with the longer lamp life as it can save you money over time, even if the initial cost of the projector is higher.
Because lamp replacement can be costly, you want to make sure that you aren’t replacing lamps more often than you need to. When purchasing a projector, make sure you purchase one that has a minimum lamp life of 4,000 standard hours.
How you install your projector will depend on a lot of factors, including how you intend to use it. If you intend to use your projector for home theater purposes, both table-top and ceiling mount installations have their advantages and disadvantages. It really comes down to personal choice.
If you will be using your projector for business purposes, you need to consider whether you will be installing a projector in a meeting room or whether you intend to move your projector from room to room within your business facility. If your projector will be stationary, then a tabletop or ceiling mount will be a good investment. Many companies prefer ceiling mounts as they keep projectors up and out of the way. If, however, you intend to move your projector from one area to another within your business facility, then a projector cart may be a better investment.
Projectors can be a significant investment, costing thousands of dollars. If you purchase a high-end projector or spend more than a few hundred dollars on the device, it is a good idea to purchase the extended warranty to protect your investment. The extended warranty will allow for the repair or replacement of your projector should things go awry after the manufacturer’s warranty has expired.