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Projectors usually come with instruction manuals that will help you understand how to use them and set them up. There are some basic how-to’s, however, that are not usually covered in these manuals. The following information will help you understand the basics of how to use and take care of your projector after you have made your investment.
Many people get concerned when they set up their projector only to find that the colors are less than accurate. Worry not. There is nothing wrong with your projector. You simply need to perform video calibration. Just as many televisions and computer monitors need to be tweaked to obtain the perfect color balance, your projector must be calibrated as well.
There are five things you must adjust when you perform video calibration on your projector, including the brightness, contrast, color, tint and sharpness. First, let your projector warm up for 15 to 20 minutes. Then, go to the brightness setting. Start by turning your projector’s brightness up to the maximum setting. Then slowly adjust it down until you are happy with the image. The goal is to have the deepest blacks possible with the image still intact.
Once your brightness has been adjusted, it’s time to adjust your contrast. Again, start by adjusting your contrast up to the maximum level. Then slowly turn it down until you can see details in the white areas. Once you have adjusted your contrast, go back to make sure that your brightness doesn’t need to be readjusted.
Once you have your contrast and brightness adjusted it is time to adjust your color. Start by turning the settings all the way up and then all the way down so you can get a feel for what is changing within the image. It’s best to use a scene from a DVD with flesh tones to calibrate the color of your projector. Adjust the color until the flesh tones on the DVD look natural.
After the color is adjusted it’s time to adjust the tint. To do this, once again turn the setting all the way up and all the way down to get a feel for how the adjustment works. Use the same scene from the same DVD that you used in the last step and, again, adjust the setting until the flesh tones in the scene look natural.
Sharpness is the final step of your video calibration. Again, turn the settings all the way up and all the way down so you can get a feel for what you are working with. The key is to bring the sharpness levels to a point where there are soft, distinctive edges forming your images. If you find that you are having a hard time adjusting the sharpness on your own, you may want to consider utilizing calibration software that will help you with this process.
There may be times when you want to hook up more than one device to your projector. In such instances you will either have to disconnect and reconnect the devices, or you can find a projector that has multiple inputs available. If you invest in a projector that has multiple inputs available, you simply choose which input you wish to connect each device to. The alternative option would be installing an A/B switch box to solve the problem.
You want to make sure that you clean your projector’s filter in order to protect your investment and increase its lamp life. To clean your filter, remove the filter and vacuum it with a device that is made for electronics, such as computers. Then replace the filter once it has been vacuumed thoroughly and is clean. How often you have to do this will depend on the environment that the projector is kept in. If your projector is in a home with animals, such as cats or dogs, you will need to clean the filter more often as the dander and fur will clog the filter if it is not cleaned regularly.
There are a number of ways to tell if the filter on your projector needs to be cleaned. Some signs to look for include a temperature warning light coming on, the projector turning off due to overheating, dust appearing on the projector’s fan exhaust, or the image produced by the projector getting darker.
You should clean the lens of your projector at least once per month. To remove the buildup of dust and debris from your projector lens, apply a non-abrasive lens cleanser that is formulated for photographic lens to a soft, lint-free cloth. Cleaning solutions and cloths made for lenses can be purchased at any photography or camera store and some electronics stores. If you cannot find lens cleaner, you can use isopropyl alcohol instead.
The easiest way to increase the lamp life of your projector is to operate the projector in its economy mode, if this is available. When a projector is run in economy mode it means that the lamp operates at a lower brightness for a longer period of time. While there is a reduction in the quality of the image that will be displayed, the lamp will last longer when operated this way.