Types Of Projectors
Last Updated on June 1, 2021 by Gabriel Goddy
Do you need to show a crowd of people a slideshow or video on a large screen? If you do, then there is a need for you to have a projector handy. Projectors come in various types, according to the way they are used. If you want to know the types of projectors, then you should read through this guide.
What Is A Projector?
A projector is an output device that takes images generated by a computer or Blu-ray player and reproduces them by projection onto a screen, wall, or another surface. In most cases, the surface projected onto is large, flat, and lightly colored. For example, you could use a projector to show a presentation on a large screen so that everyone in the room can see it.
Projectors can produce either still (slides) or moving images (videos). A projector is often about the size of a toaster and weighs only a few pounds.
A Projector has become an inseparable part of offices, schools, and universities. One can not imagine a presentation without the use of a projector. Almost all presentation rooms have projectors installed.
How a Projector Works
A projector is an optical gadget that projects a picture (or moving images) onto a surface, usually a projection screen. Most projectors create a photo by projecting a bright light via a small lens. However, some newer types of projectors can project the image directly, by using the usage of lasers.
A digital retinal display, or retinal projector, is a projector that projects a photograph at once on the retina as a substitute for using an external projection screen.
Now, Pico Projectors are also in great demand as they are very small (handheld) in size and offers high-quality image.
Applications of a Projector
The applications of Projectors include:
- In Classrooms
Projectors are used in the schooling area for describing a topic. With the aid of a projector, videos or photographs become more enjoyable and children can easily learn in a fun way. Further, we can easily zoom in or zoom out of the image to clear the vision and to search for minor points.
- In Companies
Projectors are used in big MNC’s and enterprises for meetings, presentations, and conference purposes.
- At Home
Projectors are even used as home theaters that permit you to see the movie or any serial on a massive display with a first-rate sound nice, which makes you feel like you are staring at life.
What Projector Specs Do I Need?
- Throw Ratio
One of the basic things to know when choosing among different types of projectors is the throw distance of the various models. You will see it categorized as long throw and short throw. Throw refers to the distance needed between the projector and the screen you’re projecting on (also known as throwing the image) to get the desired display size.
Whether a projector is classified as a long or short throw is determined by the amount of distance required to display a 100-inch image.
The throw distance is determined by the lens used in the projector, with short-throw projectors typically throwing a distance between 3 and 8 feet from projector to projection screen. The closer you move a long throw projector to the screen, the smaller the image becomes. A short-throw projector that can display the same image using less distance and is a good choice for small spaces, while a long throw projector is best for auditorium use.
In addition, to throw distance, you will need to be aware of the brightness needed for an effective display where you will use the projector. Brightness is expressed in lumens — the more lumens, the brighter the image. In a dark room, for example, 1,000 to 1,200 lumens should provide plenty of brightness, while a room with windows or more ambient light will require 2,000 lumens or more.
- Image Resolution
When considering the picture quality, look for projectors with the right resolution (expressed as a ratio, this is the number of pixels that a device can project) and aspect ratio (the shape that the resolution takes). There are a few different aspect ratios to consider:
- XGA projectors have a resolution of 1024 x 768 pixels and an aspect ratio of 4:3, giving a nearly square shape that is ideal for basic PowerPoint presentations and other business applications.
- WXGA projectors have a resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels and a 16:10 aspect ratio, which works well for spreadsheets or other wider projections in an office environment.
- HD projectors have a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels with a 16:9 aspect ratio, which works best for home theater, photography, or conference rooms where you need lots of detail and clarity.
- 4K projectors have a resolution of 4096 x 2160 pixels and typically have a 16:9 aspect ratio, which improves upon HD resolution with crystal-clear images and lifelike color saturation.
Advantages of Projector
The advantages of Projectors include:
- Large Picture Size
Front projectors generate the largest viable photo size. You can use them to create a very large display screen experience of a business film theatre in your own home. Most projectors produce stunning pictures at sizes of 90″ to 120″ diagonal, which is far large than something you can get with flat-screen TVs or rear-projection TVs.
- Best Alternative for Large Screen Television
A projector is a cheaper substitute for a 60″ plasma TV. The projected picture is typically very bright and projectors can be used with some of the room lights on.
- Low Cost
Front projectors can be the least high-priced alternative for big display screen video in your home. Some projectors are constructed for devoted domestic theater and they have now dropped below $1,000, this price makes a good deal; less steeply-priced than flat-screen TVs or rear-projection TVs.
Given the low price of many entry-level projectors, this is the least expensive way to get a big-screen experience at your home. Though you may have to attach an additional speaker, yet the experience you get is much better compared to the price.
- Space Saving
A small projector that is set on a rear shelf or bookcase or the ceiling takes up no floor space in the room. When not in operating mode, it is hardly visible.
- Easy To Install
They are lightweight, and one person can pull it out of the box, hook it up and get an image on the wall with little trouble.
Types of a Projector
Based on their display property, Projectors can be classified into three types. They are:
- Cathode Ray Tube (CRT)
- Liquid Crystal Display (LCD)
- Digital Light Processing (DLP)
Cathode Ray Tube (CRT)
A CRT projector is basically a video projecting device. It uses a tiny cathode ray tube that has high brightness for image generation. A Lens is kept in front of the CRT face which focuses the image and enlarges it onto a big projection screen.
A CRT projector focuses on the image or video by its lenses to project it on screen. These images are processed with help of three separate colored (red, green, and blue) CRT tubes.
CRT projectors are not portable as they are huge in size and heavy in weight. Their electricity consumption is also high because of three light guns. At the initial stage, it may be difficult and tricky to set up a CRT projector, but the users say that CRT projectors have brilliant and outstanding picture quality. People say that these projectors are nevertheless newer technologies and are compatible with new improvements.
The meaning of Liquid Crystal Display is approximately clear from its name. The word LCD resembles two states of matter, the liquid and the solid.
LCD projectors work by utilizing polarized mirrors that pass and reflect only certain colors of light. This causes each channel of red, green, and blue to be separated and later re-converged via a prism after passing through an LCD panel that controls the intensity and saturation of each color.
Digital Light Processing (DLP) is a video innovation made by Texas Instruments that is utilized for front and back projection units.
DLP projectors can be classified as one-chip or three-chip. Each chip houses millions of mirrors that reflect light thousands of times each second. One-chip DLP projectors can produce more than 16 million colors while three-chip models can produce more than 35 trillion colors.
This allows DLP projectors to reproduce more natural and lifelike images. The closeness of each mirror within a chip makes it difficult to see any spaces separating the pixels and in turn, creates a more fluid and crisp image compared to LCD technology.
Types of Projectors According to Their Usage
- Home Theater Projectors
This projector is a true investment in your home entertainment. It will show you images up to 36 times larger than a 50-inch television with excellent clarity. Along with viewing sports and movies, you can also play video games on the big screen for an immersive experience or enjoy a photo slideshow.
Most home theater projectors produce images with high contrast, resulting in vivid colors and rich blacks for theater-like qualities. They work best in a room you can darken much like a commercial movie theater. Most home theater projectors require little in the way of setup beyond connecting power and plugging into one of the HDMI ports. Some even feature USB inputs.
- Office Projectors
An office or business projector is ideal for both business and classroom applications. This projector is brighter than home theater models and works well in both business meeting and classroom environments. Some business projectors are even designed to be lightweight and portable, ideal for use on business trips or at seminars.
However, you may find that you need to sacrifice a bit on brightness or image resolution when you opt for portability. If your office projector is staying put in one room, it’s best to spring for a model that will really let your presentations shine.
While primarily made to display static images such as PowerPoint slides or spreadsheets, these projectors may also be used for multimedia display by connecting a DVD player, laptop, or another device via the HDMI port or USB connection. Connectivity is one of the most important factors to consider when choosing a business laptop.
In general, office projectors come with fewer bells and whistles than home theater projectors in terms of connectivity options. How are you going to use the projector to share your laptop screen with everyone in the room? Will you need additional cables, such as HDMI adapters for Mac users? Or would it be easiest to opt for a projector with a wireless option, provided you can use the projector close to a Wi-Fi hotspot?
- Portable Projectors
Also known as pico projectors, portable projectors are compact, lightweight, and lend themselves to presentations and screenings on the go. The average pico projector weighs in at just 3 pounds and is small enough to fit easily in a purse or briefcase for easy portability for both personal and business uses. They are ideally used with small groups of people to show presentations, movies, and sports games.
With the above guide, when it comes to selecting the types of projectors, you should easily do that. Depending on your need for a projector, you can select the appropriate one.