This article provides a short overview of five important factors you need to consider before buying an LCD/ DLP projector for office use.
1. Brightness: Higher the brightness, better the picture visibility and clarity. Most of the projectors sold today have a very high brightness of 2000 to 4000 Lumens that might be sufficient even for large auditoriums. In an office, the output provided by these projectors could be viewed without switching off the lights, if the projector has a higher brightness rating.
2. Resolution: The resolution of the projector should ideally match the resolution of your computer or laptop. But this is rarely possible / feasible as projector resolution supported is XGA (1024 x 768), which is much lesser than the resolution supported by most of the laptops today. Its perhaps better to change the resolution of the laptop to XGA while presenting with a projector that supports native XGA resolution, to get the best clarity for words/ characters and pictures. DLP projectors are better when it comes to sharpness of the pictures.
3. Color reproduction: Yes, the color on the projector screen is somewhat different from what you find on your computer monitor/ laptop screen. LCD projectors are better when it comes to natural color reproduction. Its better to check this factor through a demo, before deciding on a particular model of a projector.
4. Lamp replacement: You might be surprised to know that projector lamps can cost up to 60% of their original cost! These lamps have a life of around 2000 to 3000 Hours, depending on the manufacturer and no vendor gives a warranty for the lamp for more than the initial 3 months/ 6 months or 500 hours, which ever is earlier.
So, if a lamp fails or its life is exhausted, its going to be a very expensive proposition to replace the lamp. But there is one thing you can do – Since the prices of the projectors are falling rapidly, it might be better to buy another projector after a couple of years (when the lamp gets exhausted) for a much lesser price, than to replace the expensive projector lamp.
5. Ceiling mount: Projectors do not come with a ceiling mounting kit. It needs to be purchased additionally, along with VGA / A-V cables whose cost could be considerable as well! But, its better to install the projector over the ceiling because it can be fixed permanently and it is out of the hands of most people.
Of course, you can also use the projector by keeping it on a table if you plan to move it to different rooms or even different locations, as most of the projectors are quite small and light these days. The length of the VGA cable from the ceiling mount to the laptop/ computer should be less than 15 meters (often much lesser) to obtain best quality images.
Its better to project the LCD / DLP projector output on a white projector screen specially manufactured for projectors because it can enhance the image and minimize reflection. Projecting the LCD projector output on a wall (even if its white in color) is not a good idea. You can either buy a movable tripod-stand based screen or you can buy a pull down screen which can be pulled back into the top enclosure to expose the board behind the projector. Yes, you need to write on the boards – Not on the projector screens! And don’t use permanent markers to write on the boards!
You might want to evaluate 18 features of LCD/ DLP projectors that could be useful to determine if a projector suits your business requirement. Don’t be surprised if you find that you need to be familiar with so many features before buying an LCD/ DLP projector for office use! You might also want to have a look at Wireless projectors, which can optionally eliminate the cables between the laptop and the LCD/ DLP projector.
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