Thursday, June 29, 2006
These days, shoppers can choose from three different types of video projectors, including cathode ray tube (CRT), liquid crystal display (LCD), and digital light processing (DLP) models. All have their pros and cons, and some are more practical than others when it comes to day-to-day viewing. Consumers who watch primarily standard, analog TV might want to go with a CRT model rather than a DLP or LCD set, as the latter two have bulbs that are expensive and need to be replaced after 1,000-2,000 hours of use.
Factors to consider when shopping for a video projector include pixel density, scaling, contrast and brightness. Pixel density is critical to the quality of your viewing experience. Consumers who plan to watch lots of high definition (HD) programming should look for a projector with a high pixel count. A count of 1024 x 768 is good for DVD viewing. Keep in mind that 720 p HDTV signals must have a pixel count of 1280 x 720 in order to reproduce effectively. 1080i HDTV signals require a pixel count of 1920 x 1080. Most projectors come equipped with scalers that will adjust the signal so that it fits the pixel count.
Contrast ratio is also important in a projector. Look for a contrast ratio of 1500:1 or higher. 2,000:1 is a superior ratio. Good contrast means a better picture, with brighter whites and deeper blacks on the screen. Brightness is another issue. When considering projectors, look at the ANSI Lumens rating. Models that have 1,000 ANSI Lumens or higher will provide adequate brightness.
A few more basic factors to consider when looking at video projectors:
Inputs: You want to make certain that the projector is equipped with the inputs you want, including connections for composite and S-video analog components, as well as connections for DVD players and HDTV.
Size and weight: If you plan to take your projector with you when you travel, or want to move it from room to room, then you need to look for a model that‚Äôs portable and easy to set up. You‚Äôll want to consider the size of your viewing screen, the size of your rooms, and the distance you‚Äôll be sitting from the screen before buying a projector.