Buying Guide: Projectors

Planning on buying a projector? Check out these 5 simple tips that will aid your decision.

Your Screen Reflectivity: This is the MOST important factor, as it dictates the brightness of your picture. It’s simple physics as the projected light must be reflected off the screen for us, the viewers to witness all the lumens the projector is outputting. Screens have a gain, which is a ratio of the amount of light reflected by it. A white, clean wall will do, but then some light gets absorbed, thus the trade off in crisp contrast.

Your Screen size: This is dependent on two things, the wall size itself and the viewing distance. The latter is discussed below, and is closely related to the screen size you can get. A normal screen size for average HT room in the city would be about 200 inches, and these days 16:9 aspect ratio is more suitable.

Viewing distance: Just having a good screen is not enough. Check the specs of the projector, and better still visit a site like, to gauge what screen size you will get with the amount of viewing distance you already have. Projector central has a provision called Projection Calculator where one can choose the model, enter the distance, and get optimal screen size The farther you move from the screen, the bigger the image, but of course you cannot go too far as you will lose focus and brightness.

DLP or 3LCD: This topic gets subjective and downright opinionated also. Thus, I hate sitting on the fence, so I will straightaway say that I prefer 3LCD, as the colors are just better, and the brightness they have rated is nearer to the truth. That doesn’t mean DLP is bad. DLP has some great models out there too, with very sharp and well graded colors due to the secondary colors in their color wheels these days.

Price: Again, how much money do you have realistically? There are 1080p projectors and 720p projectors. But then there are multimedia and Home theater models, with varying degrees of brightness ratings. So if you are only going to watch sports on DTH set top box, and no Bluray movies etc, then a full HD projector is really not necessary. Also your room, if it can be totally dark, with no windows, then you don’t need the brightest lumen spewing model out there, as those are really expensive.

Published Date: Mar 06, 2010 12:58 pm | Updated Date: Mar 06, 2010 12:58 pm