For the ultimate home theater experience, serious viewers need a video projector and screen combination. Nothing compares to the image quality and screen size that this type of set-up can offers. A variety of video projectors are now on the market, giving consumers many options for purchase. Today’s video projectors use different kinds of technology, including cutting-edge liquid crystal display (LCD) and digital light processing (DLP) methods, and each kind has its pros and cons. Most projectors are compact and easy to assemble, requiring replacement of a light bulb every thousand hours or so. For maximum effect, projectors are best used in a darkened room, just like a movie theater. Before making the purchase of a video projector, be sure to consider the factors covered below. The usual issues that apply to video devices also apply to projectors: Things like resolution, brightness, contrast, pixel ratio, color quality, number of inputs for external devices, aspect ratio and overall size are important. Of course, price counts also.
Because there’s only so much room in your home, think about how much space you’re willing to devote to the video projector set-up before buying. It’s wise to invest in a projector that’s compact and easy to move. Portability can make all the difference. A compact projector can be easily positioned in a room or completely dismantled. You can try out different arrangements at home and find out the most ideal location for viewing.
Before buying, look for what’s known as the ANSI (American National Standards Institute) Lumens rating. This rating indicates the brightness produced by the video projector. If the model has a rating of 1,000 or more, it will work well in your home. Keep in mind that the size of your screen and the distance you’ll be sitting from it have an influence on brightness.
Contrast ratio is another important factor to think about before buying. Contrast ratio works in conjunction with brightness to deliver a strong image. With a high contrast ratio, viewers experience images with bright whites and deep blacks. Decent contrast ratios start at 1500:1 and go up. 2,000:1 is ideal for home theater.
Pixel density is also critical to the quality of your projector. Generally speaking, a high pixel density equals a good picture. Viewers of high definition programming should be especially aware of pixel density when shopping for a video projector and find a model with a very high pixel count. A count of about 1024 x 728 is fine for regular DVD viewing. HDTV requires a count of 1280 X 720 or 1920 X 1080, depending on the signal.
Think about what the projector will be used for before deciding on a particular model. Most video projectors work best for showing DVDs of movies or special sports events. While prices for projectors are decreasing, on average, they now start at around $3000 and go up to $10,000.