Did you know that 95.9% of all US homes have a TV set?
Whether you host a family movie night or a business seminar, a presentation using a big screen is memorable. But without prior experience in picking one, you won’t know the right specifications to make it work. Worse, you’ll end up getting a subpar setup and have a troublesome time.
Don’t feel discouraged yet.
With this guide, you’ll learn how to get the best home theater projector. Read on and find out more.
Projector vs TV: What’s the Difference?
The former is a system with two components: the screen and the projector. The screen has different sizes and surfaces that can fit various projectors and room lighting conditions. Compared to TVs, home theater projectors will generally have fewer inputs.
Also, projectors won’t have internet and tuner capabilities. Regardless, it normally has two HDMI inputs used to connect Blu-ray players, as well as video game consoles, satellite receivers or cable boxes, and media streaming devices.
Ideally, homeowners should own both. The experience of home theater projectors is for movies. It’s when you’re watching something that needs immersion.
But if you’re looking to watch the news for a little while before sleeping, this setup is inconvenient. In this case, you’re better off using a television set.
Are Projectors Good for Your Room?
When considering a projector, you must be aware of a few things. Chief of these is your room’s lighting and your viewing habits. These will determine whether a projector will perform well once installed.
To make your home theater system perform at its peak, you must decrease or eliminate the light in your room. It doesn’t matter whether it’s artificial light or natural daylight. If you’re mainly using the projector to view movies, look for rooms with few windows.
A good example is a windowless basement. When lights go out, it becomes darker than a commercial movie theater. If this isn’t an option, limit your viewing at night so even when the room gets lots of sunlight, you’re unimpeded.
Most LCD projectors can make very bright images. This means they’ll look great even when shown in rooms with ambient light. It’s also the same with special ambient light rejecting screens since they use both optical coatings and multiple layers to get past ambient light.
Did you know that the average American spends 2 hours 46 minutes watching TV every day?
Depending on your viewing habits, most projector bulbs will have 2,000-5000 hours of lifespan. This rating is the lamp’s half-life, meaning it’s the point where its brightness gets halved.
When replacing the bulb, the picture goes back to its former glory. But since projectors use special bulbs, you’ll have to pay anywhere between $200 and $500. If you’re watching movies and special events, you’re likely using your projector for 8 hours a week.
With a 2,000-hour bulb, you’ll need replacements every 4-5 years. Otherwise, if you use your projector like normal television and rack up 4 hours each day, you’ll replace the bulb sooner. In this case, you’re likely to replace it within a year and a half.
How to Get the Best Home Theater Projector
Now that you know these factors, it’s time to compare home theater projectors. Take note, each model will have its set of strengths and weaknesses. It means no model will be your best pick for all applications.
Here are some specifications you must pay attention to get the best home theater projectors.
This term is the number of pixels on the imaging chip. The measurement is from side to side and top to bottom.
Projectors with high-definition have Full HD 1080p, meaning it’s 1920 x 1080 pixels. But if you want the top projectors around, go for 4K Ultra HD ones with 4096 x 2160 pixels.
As your resolution increases, the size of the individual pixels become smaller. This makes the images look more seamless since its pixel structure becomes less notable. Projectors have built-in scalers that convert all signals to ensure it matches its natural resolution.
Few manufacturers produce pixel-shifting 1080p projectors. These can work even when your video sources are in 4K. It means it will look much sharper than 1080p while approaching the image quality of an actual 4K projector.
Home theater projectors will normally have 700-2,500 lumens for its brightness ratings.
All projectors must have plenty of brightness since it enables you to watch movies in a dark or dimly-lit room. With a higher light output, the picture will stay crisp even when the room has more ambient light.
Do you want a projector that displays extra-large images? If so, invest in projectors with higher brightness. It’s especially important when the images are 110” or larger.
This is the most important factor when determining the quality of the picture. Its ratio spec will determine the variation between the darkest blacks and the brightest whites a projector shows. A higher ratio means showing pictures with more subtle color detail and deeper blacks.
Home theater projectors must have good contrast ratios. Most models will have settings that enable you to decrease the brightness while boosting its contrast. This ensures that you have the best viewing conditions in a dimly-lit room.
Some 4K projectors will have a built-in HDR (High Dynamic Range) feature. This aids in producing greater contrast extremes for pictures. This applies when it decodes HDR-enhanced video sources like 4K content from online streaming services like Amazon Prime Video and Netflix.
Projectors with 3D effects can make its projected images more convincing. It’s especially common for bright projectors since 3D glasses can make the images look dimmer.
Take note: This is an optional feature, so don’t sweat about it too much.
Get the Best Projector for Your Home Today
These are things you must consider when aiming for the best home theater projector. Use them to save you from a lot of trouble later.
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