The main advantage of an LCD projector is the ability to produce crisp, highly detailed images with better color saturation than other types of projectors (such as DLP projectors). LCD projectors are also more energy efficient therefore they require less power at any brightness.
However, there are some nuances to consider before diving into the game and spending a lot of money on features and aspects that you may not even need.
Square Space and Lighting
The first thing you need to consider is the amount of free space you have in the projection area, and lighting conditions during projection. These will greatly depend on what kind of projector specs you need.
You may only use the projector as a TV replacement on the weekends. So you will see a lot of things during the daytime with lots of sunshine. This is very different from using the projector as a cinema in the basement, where it will be mostly dark.
Similarly, the amount of space available in your living room may only be half of what is available in your basement. The more space you have, the larger the projection surface will be to make use of that space — and you’ll need a projector that can fill the entire surface with a crisp, colorful image.
Finally, where are you going to place the projector? Will it rest on a dedicated booth? Or will you mount it on fixtures such as a wall or ceiling? Do you need it to be portable or is it okay if it is permanently attached?
Once you’ve thought about these things, you can move on to the real little things.
Where are you planning to project the image? Because while it may not seem like it matters much whether you choose a wall or a screen, it is It has meaning and maybe lower the quality if you don’t remember the importance here.
For example, most people default to white as their projection surface color because it’s as close as you can get to a «blank canvas», right? Not really. The color of the surface will always affect the projected image, and white is not always the best way to go.
white surface good for natural color tones that are not too bright. It reflects colors most accurately, but colors can easily be blown away and lose contrast if the projector lamp is too bright. In addition, darker colors are more difficult to project onto a white surface because white lightens them.
On the other hand, black surface best suited if you really want to capture the darker colors of a bright image. And because black absorbs more light than white, black surfaces are great when you’re in an environment with a lot of ambient light (such as during the day).
But if versatility is your top priority, then choose gray surface . Gray is good because it balances out the highlights and shadows in the image, resulting in the image retaining good contrast. How dark gray? You’ll have to experiment, but in general, the brighter the projector’s lamp, the darker the grey.
Finally, matte or glossy? Glossy reflects light better — and therefore creates a cleaner image — but tends to create a lot of glare. On the other hand, matte light reduces glare by making the image hazy and losing color saturation. For home theater, we think the pros of matte outweigh the cons.
As far as the projector itself, there are a few specs that require the most of your attention.
Aspect Ratio: Projectors are mostly aspect ratio 4:3 (standard) and 16:9 (widescreen), which is the ratio between the width and height of the projected image. The rule of thumb is that the aspect ratio of the projector should match the most common video source you’ll be using (so if you’re projecting 16:9 laptop video, get a 16:9 projector).
Permission: resolution is the number of pixels that can be projected. The most common resolution is 1280×720, also known as 720p, which is a 16:9 aspect ratio. This is good enough for most DVDs and won’t cost you too much. A 1080p or 1920×1080 projector is obviously better (assuming you have a video source, also 1080p), but much more expensive.