LCD and DLP are the most popular projectors
Data projectors, as the name suggests, project data from a source such as a PC, television or a video source such as a DVD player onto a larger screen. Typically, data projectors are used in teaching or business environments, but for those who can afford them, they also provide the ultimate experience in home theater.
There are two main types of data projectors. LCD projectors are best suited to still data and images and Digital Light Processing (DLP) projectors handle videos extremely well. Both LCD and DLP projectors can be purchased in fixed and portable models. Typically, fixed models are fixed to the ceiling.
What will it cost?
The prices of data projectors are gradually falling in a similar way to the price of PC's. It is now possible to buy a good quality DLP projector for around $2000 and it is predicted that these prices will fall dramatically within the next few years. Cheaper models do not necessarily sacrifice performance, but perhaps functions. For instance, you are not likely to find zoom functions, freeze functions or wide-angle lens functions on cheaper models but the actual projection may well work perfectly well. The quality of the projection depends on the resolution and the brightness of the projector, so it is obvious that brighter models with a higher resolution are more expensive.
Points to consider
If you are operating a projector with a PC, it is advisable to purchase a projector that will operate in the same resolution as the resolution that you run your PC in. For instance, if you run your PC in 1024x768, you should choose a projector with this resolution too. By doing this, every pixel relates to every pixel on the screen and the quality of the overall image will be clearer.
It is important to work out what you will most likely be using your projector for before you buy, so try to cover all eventualities. If you are likely to be doing a lot of traveling with your projector, it is important to choose a light model or portable projectors. Some projectors can fit into laptop cases although they are not the cheaper models.
The impact your presentations make can be greatly enhanced by a good quality projector. The brightness is an important aspect to consider. Try to find a projector that compensates for the natural light of the room it is to be used in. Projector brightness is measured in lumens, but be careful that you are aware of the difference between lumens and ANSI lumens before you make your choice. Wireless presentations are very impressive and also helpful for the user, so if you can afford a wireless projector it is worth the extra outlay. Some projectors can also read memory cards CD's or USB sticks, meaning that you won't even need to connect your computer to the projector at all.