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What to Look for in a Projector

April 20th, 2010

projector-review.jpgProjectors are used for projecting signals like videos and pictures from different devices like computers, filmstrips, and home theater systems. There are many kinds of projectors; for example, a video projector will display video signals from a computer or a home theater system whereas a slide projector will display still pictures from picture slides. Used for different purposes, projectors have become central to the way in which people communicate in professional and educational institutions, not to mention how they watch movies or play video games at home.

LCD, DLP, CRT and LED are the four major types of technologies currently used in projectors. All have their advantages and disadvantages. While a CRT (Cathode Ray Tube) projector can be bulkier than an LCD or DLP projector, it provides the largest screen size within a particular budget. LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) has become very popular in the last few years and has replaced CRT in a big way. You will find LCD in everything from clocks to gaming devices, computers, and televisions since they are more energy efficient. DLP (Digital Light Processing) is in competition with LCD, especially in digital cinema projection. LED (Light Emitting Diodes) are light sources unlike LCD and DLP (these reflect light rather than producing it), and last a lifetime so you do not need to replace them.

The LCD and DLP technologies are very popular with video projectors that are used for displaying video signals from the computer or home theater system in schools, offices, and homes. If you set out to buy a projector, these are the two technologies that you will encounter, so it is necessary to know what they imply. An LCD projector delivers richer colors in a space with ambient light, is more energy efficient, is quieter, and emits less heat. However, it also has more visible pixels with the slightest blur in video images, and the blacks in an image are a dark gray rather than a complete black.

A DLP projector, on the other hand, has better contrast, delivers smoother and better video images without a blur, and generates blacker blacks, though the reds and yellows are not commendable. It is a more compact unit than an LCD one. A DLP projector also has what people call the rainbow effect, where you see a rainbow from the corner of your moving eye, though few can discern it. The whir of this projector is slightly higher than that of an LCD projector. More lumens are required for rich colors in a DLP projector than in an LCD projector. That is, for an equal number of lumens, an LCD projector will deliver richer colors than a comparable DLP model.

Buying a projector is not necessarily a difficult task if you keep the above in mind. An LED projector would cost more than an LCD or a DLP projector considering the fact that its “lamps” do not need replacement. However, LCD and DLP projectors are more popular, and once you’ve decided which one suits you best, you can buy one from ProjectorCentral.com, MyProjectorLamps.com or ProjectorLampsWorld.com. All of these will give you a comprehensive list of projectors according to different brands.

Related article: Sharp Projector Lamps

This article was supplied by Nidhi Varma, who specializes in product reviews and travel-related literature.

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