Multimedia Projectors

A guide to choosing the right Multimedia Projector

Multimedia Projectors

There are several types of projector that allow you to project images and videos from multimedia sources to projector screens. The two most common types are LCD and DLP (Digital Light Processing) projectors, which both offer high performance combined with relatively good value for money.

LCD projectors are best suited to still images and graphics, whereas DLP projectors are especially good for video (including DVD) playback. This is due to revolutionary technology inside a DLP projector, called a DMD (Digital Micromirror Device) chip. This a small rectangular chip comprising of up to 1.3 million hinged micromirrors that flip between the on and off positions several thousand times per second. Each of these mirrors is less than one fifth of the width of a human hair and can therefore produce results with incredible detail.

Choosing a Projector

The type of projector that you choose will depend on what you are most likely to be using it for. If possible, it is probably better business to opt for a DLP projector as it will still be more than adequate at producing still images and graphics, but better equipped to deal with videos should you wish to in the future. Today you can probably buy a decent quality DLP projector for around $2000, although state of the art models are likely to be around five times that amount. Over the next couple of years, prices are expected to fall by around 50% of today's prices.

The successfulness of any presentations that you give depends on the brightness of the room and the strength of the projector. The brightness of a projector is measured in ANSI lumens, and if you are likely to be using the projector in a room with a lot of light, then you will need to get a very powerful model. Typically, a good quality multimedia projector will be around 3000 ANSI lumens. If you buy a very powerful projector, you might even find that you don't need to turn down the lights for your presentation to have good effect.

It is also important to think about the size of your audience. Obviously a bigger audience will require a bigger screen, and so the projector will need to be brighter to give an adequate performance over a wider area. The resolution of the projector is critical too. If you are using it in conjunction with a computer, then it is advisable to find a projector that operates in the same resolution as your computer. For basic PowerPoint presentations, an entry level SVGA 800x600 LCD projector should suffice, but for more intricate video presentations, you will need a more powerful model with higher resolution.

The connectivity of your projector is also an important feature. You may want to link up more than one computer to the projector, for instance if the presentation is being given by more than one person. In addition, you might want to link the projector to a separate DVD player for the ultimate home theater experience. Some projectors today can be used in conjunction with CD's and memory cards, meaning that you might not even need to link up a computer, which would be perfect for a touring presentation.

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