We all love big screens, and although TVs are getting cheaper by the day, having a front projector is still better, in our opinion. A good projector can almost quadruple the image size of most big-screen TVs in the market. The good thing is that these devices are no longer that expensive and reserved only for big cinemas and theaters.
So, if you’re a fellow movie lover and you’re looking for a new projector to enrich your home theater with, you came to the right place. In this article, we’ll go over some of the most important features you’ll have to consider when buying a new projector.
The very first thing that you should consider, in our opinion, is the room where the projector is going to be used. What we mean by this is that you have to be aware of the lighting in your room and also the placement of your future projector.
The lighting—To achieve the best projector performance in your home theater, you should eliminate as much light as possible, whether it be room lights or daylight. If your theater is going to be used mainly for movies, then the best room you could pick is the one with the least number of windows. If it’s not possible to have a darker room, then you should consider getting a projector that has high light output – at least 2,500 lumens.
Placement—Based on the position in the room, you’ll have to choose between a short-throw and a long-throw projector. If you plan on putting the projector behind you or above you on the ceiling, then a long-throw model would be great for you. On the other hand, if it’s going to be closer to the wall or screen, then you’ll need a short-throw model.
There is a third option, however, in case you want your device to be as close to the screen as possible. For this, you can go for an ultra-short throwing laser 4K projector that can be placed right under the screen.
Another big factor you should consider is the light source in your potential new projector. Two of the most commonly used light sources for projectors are lamps and lasers, and we’ll go over the main differences between them.
Lamp—Models that use lamps as their light source are cheaper compared to laser projectors, but that also comes at a price: how long will it last? The lamp’s half-life is about 2,000-5,000 hours, after which it doesn’t mean that it’ll stop working, but it will get dimmer. The lamps are replaceable, but they’re somewhat expensive, and you won’t be able to change them on your own.
Laser—Projectors with this type of light source last much longer, up to 30,000 hours. They’re more expensive than lamp models, but their quality and brightness don’t deteriorate over time, and they require virtually no maintenance.
Now that you have narrowed down the models that match your needs and are good for your room setup, you can move on to image quality. Two of the most crucial specs when it comes to image quality are resolution and contrast ratio. A contrast ratio is much more important to consider when looking for a home theater projector compared to business projectors.
Resolution—One of the best ways to enjoy all the glory that projectors can offer is 4K resolution. And since it has become quite common with newer models, you won’t have many problems finding a projector that has this feature. In case you don’t want to spend a lot of money, you can find a budget-friendly model that offers full HD resolution.
Contrast Ratio—This specification tells you the difference between the brightest and darkest areas of an image. A projector that features a higher contrast ratio offers deeper black levels and better-defined shadows, giving you dimension and a sense of depth. Some newer models come with HDR technology which offers a wider array of contrast and color, making the image brighter and clearer.
We hope that we’ve helped in your search for the perfect projector to install in your new home theater. If money is not an issue, we’d recommend either a short-throw 4K model or a 4K laser projector; they have the longest light source life and the best image quality.