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TMCNet:  choosing a projector that suits your needs [Daily Monitor, The (Uganda)]

[March 17, 2014]

choosing a projector that suits your needs [Daily Monitor, The (Uganda)]

(Daily Monitor, The (Uganda) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Projectors play an important role in business, education and even home settings these days. With such a strong presence, projectors have somewhat become a necessity though they are many times seen as luxuries.


Projectors range in size and capabilities, from smaller handhelds that need a relatively dark room to deliver a viewable image to high-powered devices that produce images that are easily viewable in bright day light environments.

So the question is, how do you choose a projector for your intended purpose? First and foremost, these things don't come cheap. So first thing really is to decide on a budget. To do this with some accuracy, you must take into consideration primary use of the projector as it shall be the key cost driver, then the costs for peripheral items that might come into play, including the mounts and screen.Let's say you have Shs4m - Shs8m to spend just on the projector. The sky is the limit. With this budget, you can take a close look at all the available technologies to see which will offer you the most bang for your money.

Anything less than that, and you start sliding into compromises, and as you go further down on budget, features drop off including getting into lower resolution territory, projector brightness etc.

Choose the technologyThere are two types of technology, LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) and DLP (Digital Light Processing). Both can be used for any application and give good results.

However, DLP projectors are usually preferred for video applications because they give smoother and deep black images while LCD projectors are ideal for computer presentations because they are sharper and often brighter. There is also LED which gets its name from the light source and not the actual technology.

As you choose the technology, it's always good to have an idea of the features you might need. While most projectors have the standard expected features, there are some novel features such as wireless connectivity, HDMI, USB and Keystone correction which allows you to project from any angle rather than straight onto the screen. Except for LED, at every projector's heart there is a lamp.

All projectors consist of a lamp whose main function is straightforward and obvious, that is, to provide the bright and intense light that is necessary to have the images provided by the projector cast to the flat surface or screen.

The projector supplies the power that is needed to produce this bright light. Depending on the use of the projector, the lamp will have to be replaced from every few months to every few years. Most lamps last on average 2,500 hours while others claim to last up to 5,000 hours. LED projectors claim 20,000 hours due to their inherent light source being LEDs.

The lamp is always the kicker for every projector ownership experience. When your lamp is due, the price of a new one is always insane. Think printers and ink cartridges.

PurposeSo before you go and buy a projector, think of the primary application of the projector, this shall determine how bright you want the projector. Projecting text, graphs or any other detailed material from the PC will require a brighter projector because of the need to see and read the details of what is being projected.

Additionally, people will perhaps also require some amount of ambient light for taking notes and communication. Videos and TV do not need such a bright projector as they are visually less taxing and are many times shown in darker rooms.

Each manufacturer or vendor has a different warranty policy. It is important to ask and know what type of warranty you expect in case your projector develops a fault.

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