Projectors: Which to Choose?

  • By: Bhumika
  • Date: April 8, 2022
  • Time to read: 10 min.

In recent times, video projectors have stirred more and more interest among the public, both for the method of use and for the relatively lower costs, especially when compared to those of a Smart TV . The differences between these two devices are in fact innumerable, and are primarily based on the development of applied technologies.

As we will see better later, in order to make the right choice when you want to buy a projector, there are some factors to take into account, in order to avoid running into any evaluation errors. What we limit ourselves to affirming for now, is that these devices can be widely considered as a real television, with its own advantages and disadvantages.


Absolute quality: Epson EB ‑ 2265U

The Japanese company Epson is a real guarantee regarding the development and production of video projectors, which is why its best devices have above-average costs. However, as far as the model reported here is concerned, its price is lower than other models on the market, but we have selected it for its high quality and functionality.

First of all, the primary convenience lies in the choice of its positioning , which can take place on any surface, or by fixing it to the wall. Its dimensions are quite small, but not small enough to make it fall into the category of mini projectors.

This model is characterized by 3LCD technology and a 0.71-inch panel, which combined with the WUXGA Full HD resolution , make it the ideal candidate for both work situations and home use. The first, however, intended as presentations and conferences, are the situations in which it is most used.

The aspect ratio is 16: 9 and the size of the screen on which it can project the contents reaches up to 300 ″. However, thanks to the HDBaseT technology it  is equipped with, it supports Ethernet connectivity, and allows the transmission of images up to 100 meters away.

Furthermore, thanks to the immediate adaptation function, thanks to the dedicated button, it is possible to readjust the images if they leave the projection field. As for the audio, this projector is equipped with a speaker with a power of 16 watts but, if you also want to increase the sound experience, you can connect external devices in the appropriate ports located on the back.

Finally, the aspect dedicated to connectivity also remains very complete. Thanks to the Screen Mirroring function , it is possible to connect different devices to project their contents on the panel, using only the wireless connection.

For work situations, the EasyMP Multi PC Projection function  is very useful and interesting, as it offers the possibility of connecting up to 50 computers simultaneously, and projecting their contents. Finally, the configuration of this Epson projector is very simple and intuitive thanks to the appropriate buttons; on the back there are two USB ports, a LAN port and two HDMI inputs.

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The economical: Epson EB-S05

This video projector, despite the extremely low cost, has some not indifferent qualities and characteristics, especially because it adapts perfectly to both the office and home environment. First of all, its configuration and transport are two aspects that do not raise the slightest problem, as they are designed for every situation and eventuality.

The technology remains the 3LCD , excellent for the projection of high quality images that do not tire the eyes. Moreover, thanks to the 3,000 lumens it is equipped with, the images appear bright and clear even in environments that are not suitable for its use.

The contrast ratio is 15,000: 1, offering true and detailed highlights and shadows. As for the projection dimensions, these reach up to 350 inches , offering images of a remarkable width. The resolution is the SVGA , a guarantee in terms of quality.

 

An interesting feature, for such an inexpensive projector, is the lamp life , which ensures prolonged viewing, up to 15,000 hours of use. Also from the point of view of connectivity this projector offers interesting features.

By connecting external devices, such as a USB key, it is possible to project your own multimedia contents, without the need to connect the PC. Finally, together with the projector, a special remote control is supplied , which also offers the pointer function, widely used in the workplace.

If desired, thanks to the USB-B input, it is possible to connect a mouse and use it as a second remote control. On the back there are several inputs: an HDMI, a VGA, an S-VIDEO and an audio input.

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Home cinema: Optoma UHD550X

This projector, despite not having an extremely high cost, offers interesting features in all respects. First of all, thanks to the presence of a flexible lens , its installation and use are very customizable, having a wide choice in terms of positioning.

The reason why we have selected it as the best choice in this category, however, is the high resolution of the images, being the UHD 4K . Plus, with HDR support , projections come to life, delivering crisp, detailed and colorful images.

As for the latter, Optoma has developed a technology that reproduces the texture exactly as intended by the director, offering completely natural and realistic colors and shades. In addition, thanks to Dynamic Black technology , contrast levels are highlighted more, with bright and brilliant images during bright scenes, and sharp and realistic details during dark ones.

As a projector performs best in a suitable environment, Optoma has developed Color Management System technology , which adjusts colors according to the brightness presented by the surrounding environment.

Another interesting feature is the ISF function, which allows settings to be saved day and night to best reproduce each content based on the time of day. As for the sound aspect, this is characterized by the presence of two integrated speakers , each with a power of 4 watts.

However, if desired, it is still possible to insert external devices thanks to the inputs located on the back of the device. The different ports arranged on the back further amplify the use of the projector, increasing its performance.

By connecting an MHL cable it is possible to play video games at a high resolution, thanks to the special Game Mode, which drastically reduces response times, offering fluid and realistic images.

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Tips for choosing your projector

As we anticipated at the beginning of the guide, there are several factors that must be taken into consideration before exposing oneself to the purchase of a video projector. As with televisions, the first aspect to carefully evaluate is the type of resolution applied to the images.

We tend to opt for Full HD or UHD 4K; already as regards the first, this allows a good projection of the contents, but if you want the best in terms of quality, UHD is certainly the most appropriate choice.

However, we would like to point out that, thanks to some applied technologies, it is possible to convert Full HD content to UHD. As for the projectors used for presentations or meetings, the parameters are slightly different.

The WXGA resolution is considered the basic one, W but still of good quality; the WUXGA and Full HD ones, on the other hand, offer better performance, especially as regards the projection of graphics, lists and videos.

Another important aspect is the aspect ratio , that is the projection format. In this case, especially for home cinema projectors, the most recommended size is 16: 9 , as most of the content is available in this format.

 

The level of contrast also plays an important role: for a projector to be defined as quality, it must at least have a contrast level of 10,000: 1 , so that colors, shadows and lights can be produced with extreme fidelity.

On the other hand, for projectors used in the business environment, it is sufficient that the contrast level is at least 3,000: 1. As for the projectors dedicated to Home Cinema, an interesting peculiarity is the availability of watching films in 3D , a feature that is now quite obvious within this market.

However, in order for this to be defined as quality, especially for scenes full of action and movement, it is important that the projector has the function of calculating the intermediate image, better known as Frame Interpolation .

The environment in which the projector is to be used also plays an important role. If the room in question has a good level of darkness, it is sufficient to move towards a projector that has 1,500 Ansi Lumen , while, if the room has a high level of brightness, it is better to move to a projector with 3,000 Ansi Lumen.

As for projectors for business use, on the other hand, since meeting rooms tend not to be darkened, it is better to consider models that have at least 3,000 Ansi Lumen, to give greater contrast and prominence to the projected images.

 

As for the components of the projector itself, it is important that it is equipped with a good compartment related to connectivity . If the projector has HDMI, rather than USB, you can connect external devices to it, to expand the offer in terms of content to be projected.

Through the connection with a Blu-Ray player, for example, there are no limits in the choice of films to watch, not to mention the high UHD resolution.

Furthermore, one of the sockets could be used for connecting audio devices . In fact, projectors are not known for having powerful speakers, and this could be seen as a limitation.

By connecting suitable devices, on the other hand, such as an AV receiver with  Dolby Digital  or DTS sound, the sound problem is largely overcome. Ultimately, these can be considered the fundamental elements to be taken into consideration for the right choice of projector to buy.


Room size

As previously mentioned, the size and light conditions of the room play an important role in the success of the projections. First of all, even before talking about the place where the projector will be used, it is necessary to make a distinction between those for the business and those for the Home Cinema.

For the former, the projections can take place on surfaces such as a cloth or a blackboard , but they rarely happen directly on the wall. For the projectors used in the home, on the other hand, the main surfaces that are used are white sheets and a rather large wall .

Clearly, before buying a projector, you need to make sure you have enough space in one part of the house, as the size of the projected content can go as high as 350 inches.

Subsequently, to understand what size to buy the cloth, if you wish to use it as a surface, it is necessary to know the projection inches of the projector. Finally, as far as the projection distance is concerned, the measures vary from model to model.

However, in domestic environments, a video projector is normally held about 4.5 meters away from the screen, placing it behind the sofa. In some cases, however, when the appliance emits a lot of noise, you can also consider the idea of ​​placing it sideways.

For the distance to be maintained between the projector and the wall, the zoom must be taken into account , otherwise you risk running into a poor quality vision. In order to avoid running into this situation, therefore, it is important that the projector has an optical zoom of at least 2x , which allows an excellent image yield.


Are there any Smart projectors?

The answer is no. Unlike Smart TVs, which offer a series of pre-installed applications and programs, no projector has pre-installed apps, not even those that offer streaming services such as Netflix, YouTube, Chili or Infinity.

This aspect, however, should not be considered a negative point in the least, as it is sufficient to have some external devices and connect them to the projector. In this way, the content offer remains unlimited.

Thanks to the HDMI input, for example, it is possible to connect your PC to the device, and display any kind of content on the wall of the house. Another valid option is certainly the Amazon Firestick USB key , which contains all the programs listed above and more, reaching a total of 4,000 applications, including gaming ones.

The Chromecast USB stick is also widely used in the video projectors environment, as it allows immediate navigation of the network, by simply inserting the device into the relevant input.

In this way, therefore, it is possible to make your projector an authentic Smart TV equipped with Internet and all the most popular and desired applications.

To view your photos or videos, the speech remains unchanged. In fact, even for some latest generation Smart TVs, it is necessary to insert the USB key in the appropriate input to be able to view your multimedia contents on the big screen.

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