Choosing the Right Projector for You
Discover the qualities that will suit your meeting-room needs

You’ve been asked to purchase a new LCD/DLP projector for one of your company’s meeting rooms but you know as little about projectors as you do about the Hubble telescope. Choosing a projector that will never be used will not only waste your company’s money, but also reflect poorly on your decision-making skills. Read on for tips on how to choose the right projector for your meeting room.

NOTE: Your plans for the projector will determine how important each of the following qualities are.

Brightness
Consider how large the projected image must be in order for the audience to see it clearly, and whether you want to have the lights on during projection for attendees to take notes. These factors will help determine the level of brightness you require in a projector.

Projector brightness is measured in ANSI lumens. Generally, projectors run between 500 and 2100 lumens. If you are in a large conference room and you need an image bright enough to be seen from a distance without dimming the lights, you’ll need higher lumens since the light from your projector disperses over distance.

Here’s a guide:
500 – 1000 lumens: suitable for a 5' – 6' (152 cm – 183 cm) diagonal screen in a small room with about 5 – 10 people and no lighting

1000 – 1500 lumens: works well for a screen of about 8' – 10' (244 – 305 cm) in medium-sized room with about 10 – 30 people and dim lighting

1500 – 2000 lumens: best for larger screens of about 12' – 25' (366 cm – 762 cm) in large meeting rooms with regular lighting and 30 – 100 people in the audience

Above 2000: good for 12' – 25' (366 cm – 762 cm) screens and larger rooms with audiences of over 100 people, but can also be used in various room sizes with bright lighting

Resolution
Resolution is the clarity of the picture produced by your projector. The resolution you choose for your projector will depend on the computer you’ll be using. Your projector resolution must be equal to your monitor resolution. Most desktop computer monitors feature 800 x 600 pixel display or SVGA resolution. Laptops usually have 1024 x 768, (XGA resolution), or an even higher screen resolution of 1280 x 1024 (SXGA). If you want your meeting-room projector to offer guest laptop support you'll need to buy a projector with XGA resolution, rather than SVGA.

Another consideration when deciding on the resolution of your projector is that if you plan to project AutoCAD, video or other information that requires highly detailed image projection, you will need a projector with SXGA resolution in order to have a clear image.

Price and Brands
The price of multimedia projectors has dropped dramatically in recent years. Prices range from a low of US$2,000 to US$11,000 and up. Some of the more popular projector manufacturers include InFocus, NEC, Sharp, Sony, Panasonic and Toshiba.

Ceiling Mount
Are you planning to mount your projector on the ceiling of your meeting room? If so, be sure to specify that to a dealer because you’ll require a projector with an inverted lens.

Demonstrations
Before you buy, ask your dealer to give you a side-by-side demonstration of several projectors in your meeting room so you can compare them. Seeing a variety of projectors in action will help you decide which qualities are most important for your meeting-room needs.

Considering this information before you buy a projector will help you spend your money wisely and get better use out of your projector.

 


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