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Choosing a projector

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Choosing a projector can be a confusing task. Here we just want to cover the basic (most relevant) projector features, please see the individual guides for detailed information.  First write down all the features you need. We have over 500 projectors on the Projectisle site giving you the biggest selection in Australia. Each one has features you may or may not need. If your on a budget and you don't need a feature don't pay for it! e.g. if the projector is going to be ceiling mounted it doesn't have to be the most compact portable machine and if you have a dark room you won't need the Brightest projector.

 

OK, lets establish a number of facts before you start your search.

 

  • What do you want to use the projector for? Take a look at the projector categories page to see if there is a category that meets your needs
  • What size image do you need?
  • Will the projector be fixed or does it need to be portable?
  • WWill you need to integrate your new projector with existing equipment? Check the connections you have on your existing equipment.

 

Take your time, think ahead and consider the choice.

To help you in your task we have collated a number of manufacturer's details, including brightness, weight, resolution and price. There may be other factors which will influence your choice. But we have detailed what we believe to be the most basic relevant attributes.

 

Brightness


The brightness of projectors is measured in lumens. Generally, the higher the lumens rating the more you will pay. Choose the projector with the lumens rating you need.

Consider the following:

 

  • What size audience will the projector address? Larger audiences need larger images, larger images need brighter projectors, and brighter projectors have greater lumens ratings.
  • How bright is the venue? The lighter the venue, the brighter the projector needs to be to compensate.
  • What are you showing? Video or graphics tend to be shown in a darkened room therefore you need less lumens. However, if your audience needs to take notes or see the presenter, the room will be lit and you will need a brighter projector to work with the room lights.

 

Venue


If you plan to install the projector into a venue we have a number of categories for you to look at:



If you are looking for a projector for a confined space or require a short throw projector so that you can stand in front of the screen without interrupting the image look at:

The Ultra short throw projectors are also perfect for school classrooms. Alternatively we do have a separate category:

We also have portable projector categories:


Throw distance is the distance from the projector's lens to the screen. The further away from the screen the projector is positioned, the larger the image will appear and the greater the light source needs to be to compensate for the light dispersion. In certain instances you may need to chose a projector with optional lenses.

As a rule, approximately 1000 ANSI lumens are sufficient for a presentation to a small group of say 6 people. For groups of 20-25 people you would need around 2000 ANSI lumens and for larger groups you should consider 3000 ANSI lumens. The larger the audience, the larger the venue, and the larger the screen.


Resolution

 

The resolution of projectors is categorized like computer monitors. You can just choose a projector with the same resolution as the laptop you intend to use it with. You should also consider the type of presentations you might make on it.

  • PowerPoint – slides, simple clear graphics: choose SVGA.
  • Spreadsheets, more detailed graphics: choose XGA.
  • Large screen: choose XGA.
  • Very detailed images, CAD, architectural drawings: choose SXGA.

Weight

 

Will your projector be positioned in a venue on a permanent basis, will it move from room to room in the same building, or will it take to the road? Obviously the more your projector will have to be moved, the lighter it should be.


Just how portable a projector is can depend on who’s doing the carrying and how far the unit is being carried. Remember projectors are delicate machines and bumping down the stairs in a wheeled flight-case could prove to be expensive.

To assist you in determining your own criteria for portability here is a list of everyday items and their comparative weights.

Price


Don’t buy down to a price, buy up to a budget. Check the features and specifications before you decide and choose a projector with the highest spec you need and can use.


Fan Noise


There's nothing worse than sitting in a meeting or watching a movie with the constant humming of noisy equipment in your ear. An important consideration before purchasing is to check the Fan Noise rating. Each of the projectors listed in our database have their Decibel ratings listed if published by the manufacturer.

Here is a scale to help you put them in perspective.


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