The technologies of the projectors progress quickly. As a result, prices have dropped significantly, making these devices more accessible. So what hardware to buy? Here are the key points for a good purchase.If you are interested in best outdoor movie projector please make sure you have read all the reviews before buying this on bestvela.
The six main criteria of purchase
- Image quality
The definition: we must focus on models in Full HD 1080p (1920 x 1080).
The contrast ratio: an essential characteristic to better understand the nuances of the images and the details of the movements. The higher it is, the more intense blacks and whites are contrasted.
Favor devices with a contrast ratio of at least 3,000: 1.
Brightness: it is expressed in lumens. The higher the brightness, the more the image is visible even in a bright room. It is considered that a power of 2500 lumens (equivalent to 2500 lux for 1 m2) can project an image in daylight.
The resolution: the higher it is, the more realistic and precise the images will be, even on a large projection surface.
- Short Focal
With short focal length models, you can project a large image with a small backward motion. And so place the projector within one meter of the wall without altering the quality of the image. Attention, it’s unrelated to the zoom.
- Video processing
This is a process that enhances the contrast of the image while reducing jerks. Each manufacturer develops their own system.
- Lifespan of the lamp
It varies between 1,000 and 5,000 hours. Attention, these figures are most often announced in the context of use in eco mode. Depending on the type of projector, the price of the bulb can vary between 200 and 600 euros.
- Fan noise
A video projector must be equipped with a fan to evacuate the heat emitted by the lamp. Problem, the friction of the blades produces a certain noise, which can be quickly embarrassing. The intensity is measured in decibels (dB). A quality device should not exceed 30 dB. In general, a good measure is between 20 and 30 dB. Depending on the location of the equipment, a model with side fan, front or rear of the unit will be preferred.
- Power consumption
It should be around 250 W. Most projectors now include a standby system, in case of absence of input signal, automatically switch to eco mode (after, for example, a minute of inactivity). In addition, the eco mode can also be activated if the ambient light conditions do not require strong illumination (the camera no longer needs to force contrasts).
The four indispensable connectors
- The HDMI jack
This is the equivalent of the Scart socket in digital version. Present on all recent projectors, HDMI (19-pin) is needed to enjoy high definition image quality and sound (HD). Attention, the HDMI cable is not always provided. Prices range from 3 to 50 euros for a cable of 2 m, no need to spend more. This cable should not exceed 10 m, otherwise the video signal may be corrupted.
- The USB port
If you want to connect an external hard disk or a USB stick on which you have stored a film, the projector must have a USB Reading port, the only one capable of transmitting data (the USB Display is only for connect a mouse.)
- VGA and DVI jacks
Simply put, they allow you to connect a computer that does not have an HDMI port by converting an analog signal to digital.
- The audio output
It looks like the headphone jack (6.3mm jack or mini-jack 3.5mm) and is used to connect the projector to the amp of the stereo.
Is it better to change the bulb or device?
In general, the bulbs are guaranteed until about 2000 hours of projection. At the rate of three films per week, this represents more than six years. For a device purchased less than 1,000 euros, even at 200 euros the bulb of 2,000 lumens, it is advisable to replace your old model with a newer one.
Are there wireless models?
First case, the device includes a Wi-Fi module. All you need to do is enter your password so that the projector can be recognized as any Wi-Fi terminal. Otherwise, you need to have a “dongle “, a kind of mini-adapter the size of a mobile phone, which plugs into the HDMI port of the projector. This module (about 200 euros), compatible with all brands, is used to carry the video signal.
To make the most of it
What about 3D?
Images displayed by a 3D compatible projector can only be viewed with dedicated glasses. 3D does not affect the quality of the image. It is simply a mode that one activates or not. In the absence of a 3D projector, you can opt for a model that has the 3D conversion feature and add an adaptation kit.
Can you use your projector to watch TV programs?
Nothing’s easier. Just connect your Internet box to the projector with an HDMI cable.
And to play video games?
The device then connects directly via the HDMI cable to a home gaming console (“Xbox” from Microsoft, “Wii U” from Nintendo or “PS3” from Sony). Advantage? The images are projected in wide-open version, which gives a feeling of immersion much more intense than with a television. Note that more and more games are compatible with the 3D format. But today, a 3D projector does not cost more than a conventional 2D camera. As well enjoy.
Should we necessarily use a screen?
Nothing prevents to project its images on a white wall, but if it is a little granular or presents asperities, it will be visible in the image. The best is then to equip. The most common models are manual screens that are fixed to the wall or ceiling (average price: 150 euros). Some have slides to adjust the screen depending on the location of the holes. There are also portable models. Last possibility, the motorized screen. Much more expensive, it is mostly used for a dedicated room.
What distance of projection should be respected?
For an image from 1 m to 1.4 m (wide), the projector should be placed 2 m away from the screen. This ratio image / distance is called “projection ratio”. From a desired image base, for example 2 m, we check the projection ratio of the device (generally between 1.5 and 1.8) and we multiply the base of the image by this ratio for get the projection distance. Here: 2 x 1.5 = 3 m.
How to choose the best location?
The unit must be placed at a reasonable distance from a power outlet and video sources (DVD player, console, etc.), preferably in the center of the room and facing the screen or white wall in order to avoid distortion of the image. Note: the projectors are more and more often equipped with a system called Lens Shift which allows, thanks to a displacement of the optics, to shift the image laterally or vertically without deforming it in order to adjust it better to the screen.