Is getting a projector worth it?

We all can’t go to the cinema at the same time and, considering the Covid situation, huddling up to each other in enclosed spaces may not be the best bet. Also with today’s technological advancements, you can watch your movies in great quality right from your TV and still get to enjoy them. However, it is very possible to replicate the cinematic ambiance wherever you might be with the help of an affordable projector.

 

In this article, we look at what a projector is, what considerations to take into account before making a purchase, how to get the best picture quality from your projector, and what are the available brands you can get right here in Kenya.

 

1.    What is a projector?

A projector is an output device that projects an image onto a large surface such as a white screen or a wall. Often it is used as an alternative to a monitor or television when showing the video to a large group of people.

 

2.    Types of projectors

Often they come in many shapes and sizes. These include :

  • Cathode ray tube (CRT)
  • Liquid Crystal Display(LCD)
  • Digital Light Processing (DLP)

 

Cathode Ray Tube(CRT)

This is a video projecting device that has a tiny cathode ray tube with

high-brightness for image generation. A lense is kept in front of the CRT face which focuses the images and enlarges them onto the projection screen. These images are processed with the help of the three colored CRT tubes – red, green, and blue. They are not portable as they are huge in size and heavy. Their electrical consumption is also high due to the three light guns.

 

Light Crystal Display (LCD)

The name suggests exactly how this projector works by using a liquid crystal to project an image or object. It is the same display panel as used in computers. Laptops, TVs, and portable video games. The displays are much thinner compared to CRT technology.

 

Digital Light Processing (DLP)

 

It is a video innovation made by Texas Instruments that is utilized for front and back projection units. It is regular for back projection in TVs and is also utilized in front projectors for units intended for organizations and classrooms. It comes in two noteworthy structures i.e 1 chip DLP and 3 chip DLP. They make use of micromirrors called Digital Micromirror Device to reflect light and shading onto a screen.

 

3.    What to look for when buying a projector

There are two major types of projectors available – Digital Light Processing (DLP) and Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) and then there are the laser projectors. For each of these, there are certain factors one has to consider before making that final purchase. Here are some of those factors.

Epson EB-X31 Projector 3200 lumens

  • Light Output and Brightness

With sufficient light, a projector will not be able to display a bright image. If the light output is too low an image will look muddy and soft even in a dark room. To determine how much light a projector outputs check the ANSI Lumens rating. Projectors with 1,000 ANSI Lumens have enough lighting for home

 

  • Contrast ratio

This works hand in hand with brightness. It is the difference between the black and white portions of an image. High contrast delivers whiter whites and blacker blacks. While a projector may have a great Lumens rating, with a poor contrast ratio your image may look washed out. The favorable ratio is 1,500:1 for a good enough image but 2000:1 or higher is considered the best.

 

 

  • Pixel Density and Display Resolution

The quality of the image that one gets on a projector is highly determined by the device that you are connecting it to. While LCD and DLP projectors have a fixed number of pixels, there are considerations to take when connecting other types.

 

If you are viewing from an HDTV get as high a real pixel count as possible i.e. 1920 x 1080. A natural pixel count of 1024 x 768 is sufficient for DVD. With a Blu-ray Disc Player, consider a projector with 1920 x 1080 real pixel and the ability to display the 1080 format.

 

  • Color Reproduction

Check for natural flesh tones and color depth, how colors look in the brightest and darkest areas of the image, and the degree of color stability from input to input as well as getting familiar with the types of picture sets that projectors offer. Everyone has a slight difference in color perception so be cautious about this.

 

  • Inputs

All projectors provide HDMI inputs and most have VGA or DVI inputs for computers. When shopping for a projector it is best to make sure it has the connections you need.

  • Screen size and type

Screens come in various fabrics, sizes and prices. The type of screen depends on the projector, the viewing angle, the amount of ambient light in the room, and the distance from projector to screen.

Some examples of the different screen types include ;

  • Permanent screens; used in fully dedicated projector
  • Pull-down screens
  • Portable screens; best used with portable projectors as they can be set up anywhere. They come in a pull-up, pull-down, or pull-out-configurations.

Office point 60x60 Wall mount manual projector screen

 

  • Portability

It is important and not just in terms of moving or traveling with your projector but in simplifying the installation and setup. It also makes it easier to try out different screen sizes, distances, and rooms to see which arrangement works best. With a portable projector, you can hang a sheet outside your house and enjoy football matches on a good day.

 

  • Lamp life

Those who use projectors more often, especially home theatre users, choose a make with longer-lasting lamps to avoid having to constantly spend money on replacements. Depending on the manufacturer, lamps have a lifespan of 2000 – 3000 hours. However, even the slightest drop in lamp brightness will require replacement.

 

4.    Advantages of a projector

  • Large picture size; front projectors generate the largest viable photo size and you can use them to create a very large display screen experience. Most projectors produce the best pictures at 90” to 120” diagonal which is far larger than any flat-screen TV or rear-projection
  • Low cost; Front projectors can be the least high-priced alternative for big display screen video in your home. Though you may also have to attach an additional speaker the viewing experience is much better compared to the
  • Space-saving; a small projector set on a rear shelf or ceiling takes up no floor space in the room and is hardly visible when not
  • Easy to install

 

Some of the top brands involved in the manufacturing of projectors that are available here in Kenya include ;

The price range is very wide with most being mid-budget, they range from Kshs. 10,000 to Kshs. 300,000. Often projectors are used in large settings such as drive-in cinemas, conference halls or in personal theatres. It is therefore safe to say in order to have a projector one needs to have as much space as possible to get the clearest and best picture quality.

 

Another consideration is that projectors do not come with their own sound system meaning that as a user you will have to invest in a soundbar or you could connect it to your home theatre system. For outdoor situations you can always

 

use A/V cables that allow you to link the connected devices as you level out the sound to give you the most favorable surround.

 

Wall or screen?

In a professional setup, the projection is always made on-screen as it offers a smoother projection with high reflectance, they reflect light better and even works in a bright room. While you can use a wall to project, the experience will not be the same. Also, the wall needs to be smooth and painted white. Its projection really isn't good on a yellow, pinkish or a coloured wall.

Target TP-080 Mini Projector

Essentially owning a projector will save you a lot of space in your area of residence or in the office as they do not require much except mounting. It also allows you to customize the image/video size depending on the size of audience viewing what is being presented at any particular time.

With the different kinds of projectors and projector screens available in the market today, it is advised that one gets to understand where they are going to place the device, how they intend to present their material and whether they will be using a screen or wall. Replacing a projector may be a costly affair thus ensuring you

get the best value for your money while at the same time getting a projector that will last you for a long time.

 

What are you waiting for, head on over to the Dukatech website right now, make your purchase and have it delivered at your convenience across the country.

Also check out more of our products that will definitely satisfy your shopping needs.