Which Home Theater Projector Should I Buy?
If you are looking for a luxurious entertainment experience right at home, you may be wondering, ‘Which home theater projector should I buy?’ This question can be answered by looking at different factors like the budget, size of room, placement, type of entertainment (gaming or movies). But the biggest unknown is probably the projector. It is no secret that a good projector can cast images that are unmatched in size by any TV. How you pick the right projector for a home theater?
Type of projector
There are 2 main types of home projectors; Digital light Processing (DLP), and Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) types. DLP projectors show a smooth high quality image just like 35mm or 70mm film. Their disadvantage is the limit in pixels and brightness. They are more affordable than LCD projectors.
LCD projectors give larger and brighter images than DLP projectors. However, they have a shorter lifespan and their image uniformity is not as smooth as that of DLP projectors.
A projector needs to show images bright enough to overcome ambient lighting in a room. This is such that the images do not wash out or become muddy. The brightness rating of a projector is shown as ANSI Lumens. If your theater room has controllable lighting, a brightness rating of 1,000 lumens is good enough. If the room is large and depends on natural lighting and uncontrolled artificial lighting you would need 2,500 lumens and more.
Image quality and aspect ratio
The sharpness and quality of an image shown by a projector depend on its resolution. Common Wide XGA projectors have a resolution of (1280×800) which is good for DVD and Blu Ray images. 1280×768 projectors give a 16:9 ratio that usually coming from laptops and tablets for presentations. You will need 1920x1080p if you intend to use the projector for gaming and HD movies.
Are you planning to use the projector for multiple purposes including showing content directly from mobile? If so, ensure that it has all compatible inputs. Today’s standard input ports are VGA and DVI for DVD and computer input and HDMI for gaming system. You will need composite and S-video input ports for input from older components like VCRs.
Where do you want to place the projector? The throw ratio determines how you can place the projector. A projector with a throw ratio of 2 with a throw distance of 10 feet, then the biggest image it can show is 5 feet wide.