Monday, October 1, 2012

Choosing a Projector

When it comes to projectors there are many choices and many considerations to be given.  One of the first things I like to do is check out reviews for any product I purchase.  What are the defects or faults noted by others about this product?  If a fault is noted by more than one reviewer, I take that information into serious consideration when making my purchase. 

With the option of showing data, video or photos on a projector there are many options on the market to suit your needs. Since we are discussing business presentations, we will be reviewing data projectors.

There can be many technical aspects when considering a projector, so use this simplified list to help you with your acquisition, especially if you are purchasing for the first time. 

1. Projector Resolution
Every projector has its own native resolution (standard). Look for a projector that has the native resolution to coincide with the resolution you work with on your computer.  I generally display PowerPoint presentations at 800X600, so I would shop for 800X600 native resolutions in a projector.  You may change the quality as you increase the resolution of your presentation from the native resolution of your projector.

2. Brightness
Measured in lumens, projector brightness is another important aspect so that your presentation so it can be viewed clearly.  For a typical presenter in a small to medium sized room I would recommend a minimum of 2600 lumens, which will handle most screens and hopefully you will have lighting control as well.

3. User Friendly
Generally speaking Projectors today are very user friendly.  Most remotes have slide progression, zoom in, zoom out, black out (blackens the screen), remote pointing device, sometimes a laser pointer and volume control.  Most remotes will also have the option to keystone.  Keystoning will allow you to reshape your image to fit appropriately on the screen, as generally your projector is at a different height than your screen.

4. Warranty
Stash your receipt somewhere for safe keeping.  This is a pretty big purchase and if there is an immediate problem within the first few days, you will want your receipt.  As for a warranty, I would say a primary large expense could be the projector lamp and although many should have a lifespan of 3000-4000hours, you just never know.  There is often a basic warranty which covers for a specific amount of time (with Casio here it is 3 year warranty and 180 days on the lamp).  If available, you could research an extended warranty.  http://www.casio.com/support/warranties/projector

Although my projector (Panasonic) is supposed to have 2000 hours of lamp life, at now over 1000 hours my lamp is beginning to fade.

5. Price
Price will be base substantially around your budget.  You should be able to pick up a decent Projector for $600-$800US that meets the criteria above.

Remember