FutureFive NZ - How to buy a projector

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How to buy a projector

With the Rugby World Cup just around the corner, now is the perfect time to consider investing in a projector. Whether you’re looking to set up a home theatre (to host killer World Cup parties or movie nights) or for business purposes, we’re here to help you pick the right one.
This is one of the most important features to consider when purchasing a projector for home theatre use. Resolution describes the number of pixels displayed in the image. Put simply, the higher the resolution, the better the image. Obviously, you want the best possible quality, to capture the movie theatre experience in your own home.  Since most movies (as well as TV shows) are produced in a widescreen format, we recommend looking for a projector with a native 10:16 aspect ratio. This prevents you from dealing with those annoying black bars you often get with wide screen if you are not properly equipped, and allows you to maximize your screen space, viewing the movie the way the director intended.
For outstanding theatre quality, go for full high definition 1080p, which is best enjoyed on the big screen achieved only with a projector.
The contrast ratio describes the difference between the level of white and black produced by the projector. What this means is, the higher the contrast, the better the clarity in dark areas of the picture. You will notice this most when watching movies with many dark scenes (like thriller, science fiction and action films). When choosing a projector, look for contrast ratios of at least 2,000:1 or higher.
This is important for both home theatre use and business use. The projector must have the appropriate connectivity for the sources you intend on using. Since BluRay players use HDMI outputs, you should look for the same in a home theatre projector to make your life easier. HDMI is the best digital interface for AV equipment, and enables users to achieve the full high definition 1080p image mentioned above. Avid gamers will also want to make this a priority, as many high performance game consoles feature HDMI.  Gamers should also consider colours and response rates when projector shopping. Some projectors feature a gaming specific mode in which the colour settings are optimised to take advantage of the colours used in today’s games. Additionally, increased response rates mean that the projector reacts more quickly to the signal sent from the game console, resulting in a much more immersive gaming experience.
Since most offices are brightly lit (and bright lighting reduces the visibility of the projected image) you will need a fairly powerful projector that is equipped specifically for these conditions. 3LCD projectors produce a colour light output equal to their white light output. This results in bright, vibrant colours and images that really pop on screen, making presentations visually appealing and more effective.
As with the home theatre projector, resolution is important in the office as well. Although it is tempting to go with SVGA from a cost perspective, you may be sacrificing image quality. We would recommend stepping up to XGA or better still, WXGA (also known as widescreen) for the best visual presentation. WXGA is the same resolution as almost all notebooks these days, so by choosing a matching WXGA projector you are ensuring a seamless, easy to use and high quality combination.
Again, it is crucial to consider connectivity when buying a projector for any use. VGA suits most computers, however, if you want the easiest to use option, check out Epson’s USB Plug ‘n Play, which allows you to connect your computer (PC or Mac) to the projector via USB. Simple as!
Remember that choosing the right projector is an important investment that can enhance or decrease your home theatre or business presentation experience significantly, so don’t rush into a decision based on what might seem like a bargain. Do your homework and consider the points in this article before jumping into anything.
Happy Shopping!

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