Everything You Need to Know About Projectors
Beginner’s Guide 101: Knowing what you need before selecting the right projector is key, but what do you need to know after the projector is yours? We have the answers!
Projectors are everywhere! We feel like some get a bad reputation because of poor application and care. Let’s be honest, most of the time it is you, not them.
Let’s start with the first question: Do you need a projector? With displays becoming less and less expensive, here are a few key reasons why one would choose a projector over a display (commonly referred to as TVs):
- If you need a large image on a budget. With a projector, you get a bigger image for less money.
- If you want to use the wall space for things other than a projection screen, such as a whiteboard, a projector would be a better choice than a display.
- If your room is long or large is shape or size, projectors can be a great option.
If your room is small with a lot of light, maybe a display (which is inherently brighter) is best for your business.
BEFORE YOU BUY
If you’re sure projection is right for your space, our team has a must-know list before you purchase.
There are places to skimp, but buying a projector shouldn’t be one of them. If you’re only looking at the short term investment, we can promise you that your long-term investment will be quite different when it comes to projection.
While projection is becoming more affordable as time goes on, cheaper projectors offered on websites for a low, low price lack reliability and lifespan. Investing in a more professional projector can mean brighter imaging and better customer service, if you happen to need it.
If you’re not sure what you need, ask a professional like the ones at Cory’s Audio Visual who can help you to figure out which projector is right for you. Our team also has buying power with top manufacturers to get you a better price than you can find online.
~Laser or not?~
Laser projection is the future of projection technology. Why? No more lamps! (We will get to that in a minute.)
Sure, the initial investment is more, but laser projectors can also more than pay for themselves over time. Many of them offer 10,000 to 20,000 hours or more versus a lamp projector with 2,000-3,000 hours.
Ask your preferred audio visual professionals if they think your space needs a laser projector. They will have the best idea of whether or not you are ready to advance to laser and can assess the status of your current system.
~Lens and throw~
Establishing your correct throw distance, or how wide the image will be, helps determine where to place your projector. When you don’t have a choice on the location, quality projectors can allow you to switch out the lenses to make the projector work for your business.
This is important to know before you buy so you don’t find your business with a projector that doesn’t fill your screen, without the option to switch lenses, and leaving a lot to be desired in projection.
AFTER YOU BUY
So you’ve found the perfect match. Now, how do you keep the projector happy and running efficiently?
~Let’s talk about lamps~
Lamps ( sometimes referred to as bulbs) are the most common headache associated with projection, but they don’t have to be! If you know a few of these helpful tips, lamp headaches can be a thing of the past.
- Tip #1: Buy your lamps from a trusted source
. This is not a job for Amazon!
- Tip #2: If you have more than five projectors at your place of business create a log with the lamp’s replacement date, hours, and current projector hours. Don’t forget to set reminders in your calendar to replace them!
- Tip #3: Don’t wait for the lamp to go out. This can cause damage to your projector. We’ve seen it all, and we want you to avoid the even bigger headache of ruining your projector.
- Tip #4: If you’re lamp is good for 2,000 hours, we recommend replacing your lamp at 1,000-1,500 hours. Hold on to the used lamp in case you run into a situation where you need one in a hurry!
- Tip #5: Auto-shut off is a lamp lifesaver! We’ve all been there. We wrap up the meeting, we gather our things, and forget to turn the projector off. Auto-shut off features will have you covered! We usually recommend a 15-minute shut off time so you have time to get everything hooked up after you first turn the projector on.
Generally, we don’t recommend purchasing a projector based on sound quality. Why? Because projector speakers will always leave something to be desired. We recommend basing your choice of projector on image quality and application, and then finding a solution for sound. Even a small computer speaker set can be a better option.
Speaking of hooking up to speakers, it is important to make sure your audio isn’t going to your projector by default. Always make sure that sound is set to come out of the headphone jack and not the HDMI if that is what you have plugged in.
~Aspect ratio & resolution~
If you ask an audio visual professional, there’s nothing worse than mismatched widescreen format and standard format content to screen. To avoid those black areas around the edges, match your content to your aspect ratio you will be working in. Most widescreen or high definition content is 16:9 or 16:10. Standard definition is 4:3. Programs like Powerpoint make it easy to create content using both settings. Still unsure of what that means? Here’s a demonstration!
Yes, projectors have filters. Without proper and timely cleaning of those filters, your projector can overheat, causing much bigger problems! A great way to clean your filter before needing to replace it is using a can of air duster to spray debris away from the intake and out of the filter. Works like a charm!
There you have it! Our guide to projection has been developed through generations of live events, rentals, support, and installation work. If your company has questions about projection, displays, and more, our team is ready to talk– and best of all, Cory’s Audio Visual’s phone support is free!