What to Know When Looking for a Home Theater Projector

What to Know When Looking for a Home Theater Projector

Once you have decided to have a home theater installed, you will likely be working with your audio/video installer to determine which components you need.  There are a multitude of different audio/video components at a wide array of price points and with various features.  The projector is arguably one of the most important components of a home theater but most people do not know what to really look for from a projector.

While the screen you choose is also incredibly important in the ultimate picture quality, we will just be examining home theater projectors for the purposes of this article. There are two ways you can install a projector – it can either be mounted on the ceiling or placed on a shelf.  The first thing that will influence which projector you buy will be the size and layout of your room.  The distance from the projector to the screen will impact the size of the screen and the type of projection you will be capable of in your space.  Digital Trends elaborates on the importance of choosing the right projector for the available space you have, “There are two distance points you need to think about for a projector: Throw distance, the distance between the projector and screen, and viewing distance, how far it is from your seat to the screen.  Thanks to “short throw” projectors, you can reliably get a 100-inch diagonal widescreen image from just a few feet away, but many projectors require at least 10 feet for the same-size image. Ultra-short throw projectors, like LG’s ProBeam UST, can achieve a 100-inch image from as little as 4-5 inches away, but are significantly more expensive. You’ll want to use a throw-distance calculator online to determine if you have enough space for the projector you are considering.Viewing distance has to do with how far you should sit from an image of a certain size, and there are online calculators for this as well. Typically, experts recommended that you sit 10 feet from a 110-inch screen.”

The next consideration will be projection technology.  Some of the most common types of projects include DLP (Digital Light Processing) Projectors and LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) Projectors but there are other things to consider as well like aspect ratio, resolution, brightness and contrast.  One of the major influencing factors in projector choice will be whether or not you have control over the lighting in the room.  For example, if the room has no windows you can achieve total darkness and have more options when it comes to projectors.  If your room has windows and you cannot completely darken them, you may need a projector that can adjust for the ambient light.  And, because we know it can be confusing to know what aspect ratio or resolution you want, we highly recommend consulting an experienced audio/video installer who can help you determine which projector is right for your home theater application.

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