If you’re in the market for a new home entertainment system, there are bound to be a lot of questions running through your mind. Of course, you’ll have to decide what kind of sound system, cables and how the entertainment system will be set up. But another important question you should be asking is what kind of projector you should buy. What features would best suit you and your home? What sort of picture clarity, screen size and price should you look for?
With so many brands and models to choose from, picking the right projector for your home is no easy task. Before you put down your hard-earned money, let’s take a look at some of the things to consider while buying a projector.
Why choose a projector for home?
- Aspect ratio: This refers to the rectangular shape of the image on the screen. The most widely used formats are 4:3 and 16:9. It is important to note that TV series and movies come in a variety of aspect ratios and hence, you should choose a projector with aspect ratio that suits the kind of content you will be consuming more. Today’s content consumption has expanded from movies, sports and videos to include games and more - all through apps. We recommend keeping your settings at 16:9 ratio since it’s designed to suit most of your needs well.
- Resolution: Here’s a simple rule to keep in mind while selecting a projector’s resolution: the higher the resolution, the clearer the image will be and lesser chances of pixelated content being displayed. There are a variety of projectors available in the market with resolutions ranging from 720p to 4K Ultra HD, and you should pick one that suits your requirements based on the content you regularly consume. Full HD or 1920x1080 is the most popular resolution made available today and works really well without burning a hole in your pocket.
- Brightness: While selecting a projector, it is important to pick one that not only fills your room with optimum amount of illumination but also one that doesn’t cause eye fatigue due to prolonged viewing. How bright a projector is can be accurately estimated by the ANSI Lumen rating of the projector.
Also one of the main points to bear in mind while choosing a projector is that brightness plays a strong role in determining picture quality. Brightness isn’t limited only to the white brightness (white light output), but also includes the colour brightness (colour light output). It also depends on the screen size and the image size.
The colour light output or colour brightness defines the colour reproduction capabilities of a projector. It is what determines how true-to-life the picture is because every image is a combination of vivid colours. The difference between a washed-out image and a theatre-like cinematic experience depends on how high both the colour light output and white light output are.
When purchasing a projector it is essential to check its colour brightness since an ideal projector has equal white light output and colour light output. The higher they both are, the higher the picture visibility and clarity. But most datasheets and technical specification sheets of projectors only highlight their white light output. People mistake “brightness” to mean both but some projectors only specify white brightness levels in their datasheets. Your visual experience takes a hit when this happens. You could visit www.colorlightoutput.com and verify the color brightness of the projector model you are considering. However, the 3LCD technology developed and perfected by Epson, ensure equal white and colour brightness ranging upto 3100 lumens. This means you can bring home a true-to-life theatre experience, with the best image clarity and colour.
Here’s a formula to determine the brightness level that you’d require for your home. Following this formula will ensure that you’re going for the right projector for flawless picture quality.
- Environment with zero ambient light: Width of the screen in ft X height of screen in ft X 20 = Minimum brightness required
- Environment with 10 lux of ambient light: Width of the screen in ft X height of the screen in ft X 10 x 5 = Minimum brightness required
With this formula, you can figure out the required brightness and decide whether to operate the projector in Normal or Eco mode.
- Contrast ratio: Contrast refers to the difference between the brightest and darkest parts of the image. In business projectors, lumen output is generally considered the most important, and contrast is considered secondary. But home theatre projectors are quite the contrary. Contrast ratio is arguably the single most important measurable quality in a home theatre projector. A high-contrast projector produces a picture with rich, deep blacks and clearly defined shadow detail. Contrast essentially gives depth and realism to images.
- Installation: Even the best projectors in the world are rendered unusable unless they can be easily set up and fit perfectly in your room. When it comes to projectors, there really isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. Altering your room to suit your projector can be impractical and expensive. It’s always a good idea to buy a projector with lens shift, keystone correction, useful throw ratio and a zoom ratio that you can tailor to suit any particular room.
- Light Source: People have misconceptions when it comes to projector lamps. Firstly, that lamps are expensive. Wrong. Lamps are affordable as the prices have plummeted to a median of Rs.5000/-. Secondly, lamps are fragile and difficult to maintain. Wrong again. Lamps are made to last for as long as 10,000 hours depending on the model and brightness mode of usage. Plus, replacement is no longer a costly affair. Lastly, you don't need a technician to replace your projector lamp as it's something you can do yourself in less than 10 minutes.
- Cost: One of the most common misconceptions people have when it comes to buying projectors is that they are extremely expensive to buy as well as maintain. But what people fail to understand is that projectors can cast a screen 3 times larger than the largest television screen at similar prices, while replacing the lamp of the projector costs as low as ₹4,899. Getting a large screen TV fixed or serviced can often cost almost as much as buying a new TV!
With all of this in mind, make sure to invest in the best projector for your home theatre system. Keep your entertainment on - even with the lights switched on! The Epson 3LCD technology makes sure your viewing experience is nothing but the best.