Wednesday, December 10, 2008

What inputs to look for in a projector

When it comes to hooking up a projector to your DVD player or your blu-ray player there is really only about 3 options to consider.

  • Composite- Composite Video is just a single video stream used for older devices like VCR’s and game systems. It is used to hook up a yellow RCA Cable that is carrying over video. This is the worst quality and should not be used to carry high quality video
  • Component cables- video feed is split into 3 different inputs (red, green, blue) instead of the normal 1 video input (yellow.) Make sure not to mistake the red, white, yellow inputs on your DVD player with these.
  • S Video- S-video cable will take the video and run it over one line. S-video will offer a better image quality over component cables.
  • HDMI- HDMI cables are the newest high definition connectivity. An HDMI connector is smaller and carries digital audio along with digital video.

The best quality is said to be found using HDMI cables, but the difference is negligible and only really there when you are talking about converting signals of 720p and 1080p.

Most of the time it really does not matter what connector you use. They all do the exact same thing and they do it well enough that you will not notice a huge performance gain. The only reason there is so many of the on your projector is so they can allow it to be plugged into numerous devices.

In today’s times almost every DVD and blu-ray player will have at least component cables and S-Video. So at least make sure you have these hook-ups on your projector. If you want to future proof yourself then aim fro getting an HDMI input. HDMI is being used more and more to transport HDTV signals and will soon phase out the competition.

Also if you are interested in hooking your projector up to a computer then look for a VGA or DVI input on the projector. This will allow you to plug your pc into your projector using a VGA or DVI cable just like you would a computer monitor.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

How much should you pay for your projector

How much should you expect to spend on a projectorThe main factor when anyone is looking at buying a projector is how much will it cost. This price range of a projector really reflects on the quality of the projector you will be getting. For anyone looking for a barebones home theater projector you will see a cost generally around $500 to $1000. This is a huge improvement from just 5 years ago when projectors starting price were around $2000. As projectors become more mainstream the prices have dropped dramatically. It is no longer a luxury item that is only affordable to the super rich and businesses, but now is a mainstream item that you can now buy a projector at almost any electronic store.

If you take a quick look over to you will see a long list of projectors that cost around $500. In fact 9 out of the top 10 projectors cost around $500! This is what confuses a lot of people when they are buying a projector. They often see deals like these and wonder why I should spend more on a projector when I can buy one for $500. Well for one thing a $500 projector is not really meant to be used as a home theater projector to display movies and definitely not blue ray. Almost all of these projectors have a native resolution of 800x600 for presentations. The entire projector is made for businesses to use for slide shows, not to play movies. So yes you can buy a $500 projector, but will you be happy, probably not.

The next main price range for a projector is usually around $700 to $1200. This is where you get into the really nice 720p (1280x720) projectors. They are actually designed to be used as a home theater projector. With this price you will see a lot nicer specs on the contrast ratio, lumen output, etc. The big improvement though is you now have an HD projector that can play movies at their native resolution of 1280 x 720. You will be amazed at how nice it is to see a movie on such a large screen and it look so good. These projectors will be able to run everything very smoothly from HD television, to watching DVD’s, and they are even a pretty good blu ray projector.

For a top of the line projector expect to spend $1200+. These are when you truly get to see the almighty power of a home theater projector. You will be watching a movie with your jaw dropped because of the true beauty of the picture being displayed. At this price range lighting and screen size will almost never be an issue because of the high lumen output. You will also notice a cleaner, darker, and crisper image that matches the quality of many high definition televisions. The main difference though is you will be able to play movies at 1080p. The fact is 1080p is not all it is cut out to be in home theater projectors. The true difference with 1080p is when it comes to watching blu ray movies. Blu ray is the only thing that truly broadcasts at 1080p. Make sure to check out our article to hear more about 720p vs 1080p. So if money is not an issue and you want the best image then this is your price range.

The last thing to remember when buying a projector is there is other expenses you need to consider. For one thing a projector uses a projector lamp that does not last as long as your average tv. An average projector lamp lasts around 2000 hours and costs around $400. Now this 2000 hours is when you almost have to replace it because its lumen output will become worse and worse as time goes on.

Another thing you need to consider is a projector screen. Yes you can just use a wall to project your image on, but if you want a better image you should really consider buying a projector screen. For more information check out post: what to look for in a projector screen.

I hope this helped feel free to leave a comment if you have any more questions.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Mitsubishi unveiled XD95U XGA Micro Projector

Mitsubishi XD95U DLP ProjectorMitsubishi has just unveiled a new high quality micro projector called the XD95U. Even though it might not be the lightest and smallest projector out does not mean it is not small. Weighing in at only 3.3 pounds and measuring 7.5 by 8.1 inches the XD95U Micro Projector is a small and very portable projector. It will certainly become a must have for business meetings because it comes with an impressive 2200 ANSI lumens. With such a high lumen output the XD95U allows users to present in almost any lighting situation. It is also has an instant shut-down feature that allows the user to make a quick exit without chancing damage to the projectors bulb.

The XD95U XGA Micro Projector comes with a relatively high resolution of 1024 x 768 resolution, making it one of the best quality micro projectors out on the market. It also delivers a contrast ratio of 2000:1. With the high lumen output the projector is able to produce up to a 200-inch viewing screen. Expect to see the XD95U out next month with a suggested retail price of $1,495.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Toshiba Makes A Projector That Talks

Toshiba has invented the first projector that comes with a new feature called voice guidance. Here is what it does: “The Voice Guidance feature provides ease of use, preventative maintenance updates and a lower total cost of ownership. The voice guidance system in the TLP-X200U directs users with an audible message through the projector’s operating instructions and system warnings, such as the on/off status, lamp life, air filter checks, and cooling fan status.” Source

Pretty much in plain terms the projector talks to you and warns you when something is wrong and tells you the state of a certain thing. Pretty much that is all this projector has to offer is less than useful gadgets and awful specs. It weighs 4.4pounds, it is wireless, has 3,000 ANSI lumens, 600: 1 contrast ratio, and a 1024 x 768 native resolution.

Retail prices on a projector that talks is $1,739, the price seems high for todays market. You can get a a projector with similar specs for a much more reasonable price of around $1000. So it looks like the main selling point here is the projectors voice guidance feature.

Friday, October 31, 2008

1080p vs. 720p - Which is Better?

Home TheaterAs of right now, 1080p is all the rage for any type of home theater entertainment system. Whether its a 1080p projector or a 1080p Plasma TV, they are selling like hotcakes due to their ability to provide the best video processing method on the market as well as some of the best pictures. Despite all the hype and enthusiasm surrounding the 1080p format, many users are finding that 720p is still the way to go.

Probably the biggest factor in deciding between 1080p or 720p is of course price. Quality 720p projectors have been falling in price and can now be found for under $1,500 and as low as $1,000. Standard 1080p projectors generally go for about $2,000 and prices can go as high as $4,000. In todays economy, many buyers are sensitive to price and some buyers don't see a $600-$800 difference between 1080p and 720p.

In addition, unless you have upgraded to Blu-ray you will not be seeing the full effects of a 1080p projector. If your viewing material is primarily DVDs with HD sports broadcasting, a 1080p projector will give almost no visual advantage in image quality and will be nearly identical to a 720p projector. The additional resolution won't add to the image quality of an HD sports braodcast since the actual resolution of the signals is limited to 720 lines per frame.

The story is a bit different when dealing with prime time television programming such as seen on NBC or CBS which primarily broadcast in 1080i. While a 1080p projector has the potential to create a sharper and clearer image when compared to a 720p projector, the difference won't be very big. The reality is that a 1080p projector will only give a slight advantage when viewing standard definition DVD's, TV, and HD broadcasting. For price conscious consumers not necessarily looking into Blu-ray, 720p is the way to go.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Panasonic PT AE3000 Reviewed

The Panasonic PT AE3000 is one of the best 1080P Projectors to date and it has a price tag to mach it. With the stunningly low cost of $3,499, Panasonic has set a whole new bar on pricing a top quality 1080P Projector. Where today’s market consists of $10,000 1080P projectors Panasonic is able to contend and if not beat them with a price tag of only $3500. So to start this review here is a quick list of the specs of the new Panasonic PT-AE3000:

Cost: $3499
Lumens Output: 1600 Lumens
Contrast Ratio: 60,000: 1
ANSI Contrast Ratio: 446: 1 (Sounds low, but is in fact the highest contrast ratio to date on a LCD Projector)
Video Compatibility: 1080P
Native Screen Ratio: 16:9
Connection Panel: Three HDMI 1.3 ports, one 15-pin VGA input, two sets of 3-RCA YPbPr component video, one composite video, one S-video, one 9-pin D-sub serial (RS-232c).

Well now that we know a little bit more about the specs on the projector lets talk a little about the numerous features that come with it. One new great feature is it comes with a new lens memory that can easily convert 16:9 widescreen format to the 2.35:1 format. It also comes with a new feature called side-by-side comparison. This feature is really amazing because it lets you tweak an image so that it looks better and when you are done you can compare it to the original image to see if you like the changes you have made. Also a feature that Panasonic is famous for is their smooth screen filter. Projectors are notorious for having pixilation problems, but smooth screen filter removes all signs of pixilation. These are just a few of the best features that come with the new Panasonic PT AE3000.

The Panasonic AE3000 is a must buy for anyone who wants the best projector. Everything is great on this new projector. I cannot find one true flaw about this projector. Everything is great about the AE3000 from the price, to the specs, to the features, and it even looks great. What more can you ask for in a home theater projector.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Mitsubishi announces FL6900U Projector

Mitsubishi FL6900U Projector Mitsubishi Digital Electonics will release the high-brightness 1080p resolution FL6900U projector this month. It will be priced at $9,995, and is the ultimate in commercial projectors. Featuring a built-in anti-theft alarm, this projector is designed for public settings with high ambient lighting.

The FL6900U can project a 1080p high-definition picture up to 250-inches measured diagonally. It boasts a brightness of 4000 lumens, and is perfect for applications ranging from classrooms and conference rooms to restaurants and sports bars. The alarm is an excellent addition since projectors in many of these locations are prone to theft. It is quiet enough to run in a whisper-quiet library without disturbance, estimated at approximately 29 decibels. Installation is quick and easy, with automated focusing and correction. The projector comes with a three-year warranty on parts and labor. Mitsubishi guarantees the utmost in quality and versatility with its most recent introduction, the FL6900U.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

LG Releases HS102 Projector that runs on Rechargeable Battery and comes with Divx Player

LG HS102 Projector

It is about time that we see a projector run on rechargeable batteries that are similar to that of a laptop’s battery! The LG HS102 comes with a two hour rechargeable battery. The only problem: it is only available in Korea right now. The projector comes with a Divx player built straight into the projector that plays files straight from a USB device. Some quick specs for the projector include a native resolution of 800 x 600, it supports both 4:3/19:9 screen ratios, contrast ratio of 2,000:1, and 150 lumen output. The specs are not too great, but the price is only $550. LG has not announced when the HS102 Projector will be coming over to the states yet.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Dell M109S Pocket Projector

Dell M109S Projector
Palm projectors have been seen on the net for a while now, but Dell is the first to offer a pocket projector to the mass market. The Dell M109S projector is small enough to fit in the palm of your hand (3.64” x 4.12” x 1.46”). The specs are nothing spectacular with a brightness of 55 lumens, resolution of 858x600 and a throw distance of 8 feet, but who cares when the projector is smaller than my hand. The main selling point on M109S is that it is tiny and has a weight of only .8 pounds and lets not forget the price either. With a pricetag of only $500 this is one gadget that will be on many tech enthusiasts holiday shopping list.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

What is a long throw Lens?

long throw lenseA long throw lens is a special type of lens that allows a projector to be placed farther back without stretching out the screen as far as a normal lens would. Long throw lenses are usually external lenses that are mounted on in front of the normal lens, like a pair of glasses. Some projectors will come stock with a long throw lens, but this is very rare and are often from name brands you cannot trust. Typically you can find a long throw lens from any where from $1000 for a very cheap one to all the way up to $5000 for a high quality lens for very long distances.

A long throw lens is typically used in a larger facility like a church. A church for example would not want a bulky projector in the middle of the church, but would rather have it placed in the back of the church where it is far out of site. Also University lecture halls, reception halls, and convention centers are often a common place for long throw lens due to the buildings large size. Another common place you might see a long throw lens is a school auditorium. If you have ever looked at the very back top corner of a school auditorium there is usually a sound and video box where a projector is placed. Now think of how big that projectors screen would be if it did not use a long throw lens, so in most cases like this a long throw lens a must have.

One last reminder when planning your budget and seeing how much money you want to spend. Consider whether or not you want a long throw lens.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

What to Look for in a Projector Screen

Projector ScreensAs projectors grow in popularity for home theater use, many people are deciding to get their money's worth and are completing the home theater package by buying projector screens. But just like projectors, projector screens vary from model to model and some of these differences shouldn't be ignored.

Like most products for sale, there are cheap, inexpensive options as well as higher priced, more expensive projector screens. The most glaring differences between the two being the quality of the material used in manufacturing and the quality of construction by the manufacturer. For fixed frame screens spending the extra cash usually translates to a more durable and taut screen. For screens built with extra sturdiness this means the screen will retain its shape longer, and will not warp from being held taught. Screens that are built with less sturdy material will often begin to lose shape over time and the screen material will become loose as it stretches which will result in a distorted image.

Velvet borders are also common in projector screens as they prevent light leaks off the side of the screen and provide the screen with a more finished look. As price goes up with a screen usually the quality and durability of the fabric used increases with it. Another fact to note is that many of the cheaper projector screen options are often manufactured outside of the United States. Draper and Da-Lite are two popular screen makers who offer tremendous products.

For those of you wondering just how much many projector screens are expected to cost, here is a general price breakdown for a few of the most popular screen options.

* Gallon of Matte White Paint: $20
* Screen Material (DIY screens): $12 per square foot ($300 for a 92-inch screen)
* Low cost Fixed or Pull Down Screen: $149 - $799
* Fixed Screen with Border: $549 - $2,199 (Draper Onyx)
* Electric Screen: $799 and up.

Source: Projector People

Friday, August 29, 2008

Epson EH-DM2 Reviewed

Epson has just announced a new projector called the Epson EH-DM2. The Epson EH-DM2 adds a twist in today’s world of projectors by now trying to market a projector as an all in one media player. Inside the new Epson EH-DM2 you will find a DVD player, 8w speakers, 1 USB port for photos, and a projector. This new concept sounds like a cheap bundle package you would find in the bargain section at Wal-Mart, but projector specs are not that bad either. The projector comes with 1,200 lumens of brightness, an HD compatible resolution, and it boasts 3LCD technology. 3LCD technology is pretty much a fancy new LCD projector that supposedly removes rainbow affects and offers more colors than known to mankind. The part that I like the most is the price of this new projector, with a cost of only $900 it sounds like almost to good of a deal.

Friday, August 22, 2008

How Many Lumens Do I Need?

Projector Lumens HelpA question that is asked over and over when it comes to projectors is how many lumens do I need? Well to answer this question we might want to start out by talking about what are lumens. Lumens is quite simply the measure of light output of projectors. Today’s projectors usually range in the number of lumens from around 1,000 to up to 10,000 Lumens. Another key item to remember when looking at the number of lumens is make sure measurement is in ANSI lumens. ANSI Lumens is a standard use of Lumen Measurement that was established by the American Nation Standards Institute. Some projector companies will try to make their numbers seem higher than they actually are using different methods to measure their lumens.

Ok now that we know a little bit more about lumens lets talk about how many lumens you will actually need for your projector. For starters to save money on your projector make sure you have controlled lighting. This is essential when setting up a projector because without controlled lighting you will need a lot of lumens to make your projectors image appear. Now if you do have controlled lighting here is a quick way to find the suggested lumens. The number of lumens tend to go with the size of your screen. For a 60-80 inch screen I would suggest 1000-2000 lumens, for a 80-120 inch screen your going to need around 2500-3500 lumens, and for anything bigger than 120 inches you are going to need 3500+ lumens.

Still unsure about how many lumens you need or have another question about projectors well feel free to call What better person to call about projectors than someone who deals with projectors everyday and has over 20 years of experience.

Toll Free 800-736-8772
Email: Tech Travel Agent

Monday, August 18, 2008

Projector Tips for PC Gaming

Gaming ProjectorsPeople have been playing video games on computers since before consoles where even invented. Today PC's are the top choice for gaming enthusiasts and casual players alike. However, those who are looking for the best possible gaming experience are turning to projectors for high definition, high resolution, immersive displays for their personal computers. For those of you wanting to purchase a projector and get the most out of your gaming experience, here are a few things to consider when looking at all the different projectors.

The first and foremost thing to consider when looking at projectors is the inherent video delay that will come with every projector. The transmission of the video signal is not instantaneous and there can be a brief and sometimes noticeable delay between the time a video signal reaches the projector and the time it is displayed on the screen. This is primarily caused by the projector having to scale a non-native resolution.

Many times users will not even notice any type of video delay when not playing games highly dependent on exact timing, such as World of Warcraft, Age of Empires or other non-fps type games. Even then, many popular first-person shooter games are not negatively impacted by video delays due to the actual delay being under 100 milliseconds. However if you are considering playing mutliplayer over the internet, video delay is something you should highly consider.

In online games there is a side effect of network play known as lag, which is caused by the delay of computers communicating with one another. One thing to note is that network lag will be far more noticeable than video lag, but if you purchase a projector that doesn't fare well in response times your multiplayer experience may not be the most enjoyable due to combined video and network lag.

If the video delay is starting to turn you off from projectors, don't sweat it. There is an easy way to completely eliminate or greatly reduce the inherent video delay. This is accomplished by simply sending the projector a signal that does not need to be re-scaled. In other words, if you have a 1280x800 resolution projector, perfect in-game video resolutions would be 1280x800, 1280x768, 720p resolutions, and XGA resolutions - all without needing to perform any re-scaling and keeping video delay to a minimum.

Apart from the usual concerns about contrast ratio, color, and lumen output, video delay should be the number one priority when looking at projectors for gaming as video delay could make or break the projector. When looking at projectors for gaming the most important aspects to look at will be native resolution, as you will be wanting to send a native signal whenever possible and the native resolution will dictate which in-game settings to use, and regular projector refresh rates.

Source: Pojector Central

Monday, August 4, 2008

NEC announces 2 new mobile projectors

NEC Projectors
NEC announced this has introduced two new projector models. Weighing at a remarkable 3.5 pounds the new NP41 and NP61 are better known as mobile projectors. With the dimensions of 9.7x7.1x2.9 in the two new mobile projectors are considerably smaller and lighter than most new projectors of today.

The two new mobile projectors are aimed at people wanting to take the mobile projector with their laptop on the road. These mobile projectors though are on the same level of quality as home theater projectors with a brightness of 2,300 and 3,000 Lumens and a contrast ratio of 1,600:1 with a 1024x768 maximum resolution.

The only difference that we could find between the 2 projectors seems to be the brightness with the NP41 having 2,300 lumens and a price of $999 compared to the NP61 having 3,000 lumens and a price of $1,399. Expect to see these two mobile projectors out early this fall.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Mitsubishi HC1600 Projector

Mitsubishi HC 1600 ReviewMitsubishi has once again built an amazing new projector for a very cheap price. The HC1600 Projector is a high quality 720p DLP HD home theater projector with an amazing price of under $1000. You will be able to see true HD images with 1700 Lumens, 2500:1 contrast ration, native 720p format display, and all in a quiet projector that you can barely even hear running.

Some great things about the HD1600 is with 1700 lumens you will not have to worry about this projector not having enough lumens. Also the HC1600 has very good color balance and grayscale tracking for the price. The price is the best thing about the projector. Seeing an HD 720p Projector in today’s market for under $1000 makes this a great buy especially when you compare it to the cost of a giant plasma screen or to the 1080p projectors.

On the downside this projector is quite known to produce slight rainbow effects on dark scenes. The rainbow effects make it not a good projector for gaming and watching sports games. Another problem which is around for most projectors though is the price for a replacement bulb which will set you back almost $400.

All in all the Mitsubishi HC1600 is a great entry level projector for anyone who wants a great projector, but does not want to put a huge hole in their budget.

Need a projector rental for a conference or a tradeshow? Visit our projector rentals page for a fast easy quote.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Holographic Handheld Projectors by 2010

An Indian Tech Giant called Infosys has patented a system that will enable a mobile handset to send and receive 3D holographic images, and could be on the market by 2010. This patented technology will capture and send 3D images from your surrounding world instantly to other handsets.

The holographic technology would see beneficial applications for professionals and individuals alike by sending realistic depictions of car damages, injuries, visual aids for educators, medical scans and many other uses. These mobile devices will also be capable of projecting 3D films, games, and virtual media quick and easily.

This technology works by taking a series of 2d shots taken from a digital camera, or other image capturing device, and turn these into 3D holograms using advanced technologies and calculations to build the 3rd dimension to produce a hologram. Devices running this technology will be able to both send and receive these holographic images and will display them using a laser projector and optimized holographic lenses.

"Holographic handsets have the capability of enriching the user experience with an actual 3D experience and higher-quality images," an Infosys representative said. "This gives users a more realistic experience in areas like gaming, medicine, movies etc."

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

R2-D2 Projector

Check out this amazingly real looking RT-DT projector. At a cost of $2,995 this projector comes with a remote controlled RT-DT, a sweet looking Millennium Falcon remote, and of course a projector. Sounds cool though, but who would of thought it would look as good as it does in this video. This is definitely not just another toy you buy for your kids.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

LED Projectors Coming Soon

LED Projector
DLP technology from Texas Instruments has made a full size lamp-less projector that utilizes LED’s. Led projectors have been out for a while now, but only for cellphones and Pocket Projectors.

These lamp-free projectors utilize a BrilliantColor chipset and a Phlatlight LED light source. So what are the benefits of having an LED projector over a lamp projector? First and foremost is the fact that no more replacing an expensive projector bulb every time you turn around. You will also benefit by seeing increased picture quality, mantaining 1080p resolution, reliability and value. Also worth noting is there will be no need for a fan so the projector will be silent and less energy consumption Texas Instruments also stated that “The reflective nature of the mirrors on the DLP chip allow more light to reach the screen resulting in a 50% increase in color gamut range producing more than 200 trillion colors and a contrast ratio in excess of 500,000:1.” Now that is impressive, expect to see the new Home Theater LED projectors coming out later in 2008.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Projectors Tips for Classrooms

Projectors in the ClassroomThese days as technology continues to expand and projectors become cheaper, many classrooms and auditoriums are starting to buy projectors for educational purposes. Projectors are ideal to have in the classroom as they are the most versatile when compared to chalk boards and white boards. Because most schools constantly find themselves on a tight budget or short on funds, we'd like to give you a few tips to give you're projector the best bang for your dollar.

First off, for use in a classroom you are going to need a bright, high-contrast projector that everybody in the room is going to see. The typical ANSI lumens recommended for a K-12 classroom is 800-1500, for universities and auditoriums you would want something around 2000-2500 lumens. When looking for the ideal contrast ratio needed for your classroom, it all depends on what you will be using your projector for. A contrast ratio of 500:1 is plenty if you are simply displaying text documents, power point presentations, or other static image data. However if you are going to be displaying video content, you are going to want something with a much higher contrast ratio.

The next thing you are going to want to consider for your projector is the resolution. Obviously it would be a waste of money to buy a full 1080p projector for use in a classroom, but just what is a good resolution? The typical SVGA (800x600) resolution is perfect for nearly all K-12 classrooms and will save you money when compared to buying higher resolution XGA or SXGA projectors. Also buying higher resolution projectors will less light output for the same price.

You should also consider the weight of the projector you are looking to buy. Some projectors weigh as little as 5 pounds, and while extremely convenient these come at an additional price. For classroom use, unless you plan to constantly move your projector, a heavier and bulkier projector will work just as well and can be less expensive. Selecting a projector that weighs about 20 lbs will give you reasonable portability and will save you money compared to the much lighter designs.

You should also pay attention to the bulb life of the projector you are looking at buying. Projector bulbs can cost upwards of $200 to replace and most projectors have a bulb life of about 3,000 hours. It may also be beneficial to run your projector in economy mode to preserve bulb life.

Short term Projector Rentals are also great for classroom-like settings where you are traveling to give a presentation in a conference room or auditorium.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Extend Bulb Life

Today’s projectors burn out after about 2000 hours of use and with an average bulb price being $350 don’t you think that you should try and get all 2000 hours out of your bulb. Well here is some easy tips to remember when using your projector to extend your project bulb life.

• Operate your projector in a clean dust-free environment.

• Keep your projectors air filter clean. Make sure to clean your projectors air intake filter ever three to six months. This varies on the amount of dust in your room.

• Keep the exhaust vent at least 2 feet away from any object. If your exhaust intake does not have adequate clearance, you risk the chance of your projector overheating.

• When replacing the bulb or handling the bulb do not use your naked hands/fingers, use gloves. Even the slightest bit of oil on the bulb can cause it to blow due to a hotspot forming on the bulb.

• Use “Lamp Economy Mode” whenever possible. If you use this feature you can see as high as a 50% increase in lamp life with only a 20% reduction in brightness.

• Do not unplug your projector until your projector has cooled off for 5 minutes. Hot Bulbs are very fragile and the vibration caused by movement can break the lamps filament.

• Once your projector goes off, do not turn it back on for at least an hour. A bulb must be stone cold when you start it, or the projector will send to much voltage early in the heat-up cycle, and you will drastically shorten the bulb life.

• Do not shake or jostle your projector. Projectors are sensitive to these types of movements, especially when the projector is on.

• Do not turn a projector on in cold weather. If it is 40 degrees or below, your projector lamp will have a tendency to explode if you turn it on immediately. Same goes for hot temperatures. Never leave your projector in a car on a hot or cold day!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Sports Bar and Restaurant Projector Tips

Sports bars and restaurants have always been a place where people go to relax and enjoy a sports game live on a big screen. Big screen bring excitement to local bars and apart from other establishments who have several small screens where many people have to strain their eyes just to see.

One of the best options to bring the big screen to a sports bar today is a projector. Projectors are sleek, lightweight, easy to install, and project stunning native 1080p high definition video. Here are some easy and quick tips to help install a new projector in your bar or restaurant.

Projector Resolution

There is not a whole lot of options as far as aspect ratio's. You can choose between the cost effective 4:3 resolution projector or the high quality 1080p widescreen 16:9 HD projector. When you are choosing for projects like this we recommend never going any lower than an XGA 1024x768 standard 4:3 resolution. At this level you are looking at a decent picture at an extreme low cost. If you go any smaller resolution will start to produce a grainy image.

For people looking for top quality, you will want a HD 1920x1080p resolution projector. These kinds of projectors create truly a stunning image. Prices are also going down on HD projectors due to the market becoming very competitive.

Projector Brightness

One of the most important things to consider in your primary viewing areas is the amount of lighting that is in that area. A good thing to look at when looking for a place to put your projector is a place that had controlled lighting. Controlled lighting will save you money and space. If you are capable of dimming your viewing area when you want to project an image, you won't have to purchase a super bright projector which will cost more and be larger in size.

When thinking of screen size make sure to properly light it with the correct amount of lumens. For screens smaller than 80 inches diagonal, 1000-2000 lumens is recommended. For screens that are 80-120 inches diagonal, 2000-35000 would be adequate, and 120 inches + would need a projector that has 3500 or more lumens. Of course you would need to take in consideration the ambient light of the room, which is why a controllable light source makes things so much easier.

Smoking Rooms

If your business if going to allow smoking indoors make sure to pay special attention to what type of projector you are buying because some manufacturers may not honor the warranty in a smoky environment as sometimes smoke may cause damage to the system. Your best choice is to buy a DLP projector as they are more resistant to smoke damage.

Another thing to keep in mind is that a white projector screen can sometimes become stained from constant smoke exposure which can then distort the color of your projected image. Your best bet is to either project on a grey screen or on a wall if possible.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

You Should Ignore Projector Contrast Specs

Now you may be asking yourself just why you should ignore the contrast specifications when looking at projectors. Well the answer is quite simple. They don't tell very much if anything at all about what kind of picture you should expect to see on the screen, and they say even less about how one model will compare to another. While vendors aren't posting distorted or false specs to try to make the projector seem better, its just that the contrast ratio is the least informative spec on the sheet.

Why Are Projector Contrast Ratios Worthless?
  • First and foremost, contrast ratios for projectors are not measured on the same basis and are influenced largely by many unstated variables. One of the most significant factors to consider are the projectors operational differences. Some projectors have dynamic irises that open and close to adapt to the amount of light that needs to be projected depending on a given scene. Others have color wheels with white segments that are turned off when dark colors are displayed and other projectors don't have any of these features. Because of this there is little to no basis of comparison between projectors.

  • There is another equally if not more important factor to consider that is often ignored on the projector spec sheet, and its known as gray scale. Imagine if you will you had a project that produces the highest contrast ratio on the market. Imagine it produced the darkest and deepest black you've ever seen and some of the most brilliant whites. Sounds nice doesn't it? Now imagine that this projector couldn't distinguish between subtle shades of gray. It would surely produce a horrible picture that you would have never expected by just looking at the contrast ratio.

  • When manufacturers measure contrast ratios for their machines they use special dark rooms with no ambient light to measure the contrast ratio. Unless you have a totally black room your own perception of contrast will not be nearly the same. Any amount of light that reflects in your room will cause the contrast ratio to drop in your projector. This light may come from light reflected from the projector screen, ambient light in the room such as windows that let in light, or light leaks from the projectors vents.

  • Another important factor to consider is the lumen output of the projector itself which will have an impact on how you perceive the contrast ratios. If you've got ambient light in your room one of the easiest ways to help solve this problem is to use a projector with higher lumen output. This is because light in the room defines the minimum black level, while lumen output from the projector determines the brightness of the highlights. In many situations it is often the projectors lumen output responsible for the range between the black and white on the screen and not the contrast ratio. However, there is a limit to how many lumens you should use. Using an extremely bright projector in a dark room will undoubtedly strain your eyes and give you a headache. Rapid transition from dark scenes to bright scenes that can often be distracting and painful.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Should I Get a Screen for My Projector?

Projecor ScreensThe quick answer is that most projectors are perfectly fine and produce a satisfying image on a plain white wall. However, those who want the best possible looking image will opt for a screen. In this HD driven market, high definition projectors are becoming cheaper and giving the consumer a few more dollars to ensure that their projector is producing the best image possible. But the question remains. Just how much will the image benefit from getting a screen?

Originally screens were developed to reflect more light from the projector and increase the brightness of the image. Today, projectors that are less than 1000 lumens are no longer being developed for business purposes and are even less common in home theater projectors. Currently white matte screens are the most popular type of screen keeping a bright, clear, and all around easy to see picture which works extremely well with already bright machines.

In home theater systems, gray screens have become all the rave because they improve contrast ratios providing deeper blacks, brighter whites, and richer colors. These screens also work extremely well in rooms where there is a small amount of ambient light as they will reflect less glare. Gray screens also minimize the appearance of the spaces in between pixels, which are black, and occur in both LCD and DLP projectors.

While there is no significant price difference between a gray screen or a white matte screen, they are both designed for completely different environments, room configurations, and projectors. When considering the two, it may be best to consult a projector expert who can help determine which screen would most benefit you.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Top five home theater projectors

A recent C-net article showed the top ten home theater projectors out on the market today. Even though you have to turn off the lights for these, you get in turn a 100-inch or larger television set any where in your house you decide to set it up. These projectors might not be cheap, but they come with the full 1080p quality of any HD television.

Sony VPL-VW200
Rating 8.7 Excellent
Price $10,420 - $15,000

This 1080p projector delivers one of the best pictures of any projectors on the market today.This projector is as good as it is going to get, but comes with a hefty price tag.

Sharp XV-Z2000
Rating 8.3 Excellent
Price $6,879 - $8,000

Sharp's XV-Z2000 is a top performer amoung 1080p projectors, and combine that with its sleek design makes this a great buy.

Marantz VP11S1
Rating 8.0 Excellent
Price $8,000

The Marantz VP11S1 produces a very sharp and defined picture. The projector shows an accurate color decoding and comes with an excellent feature package.

Sony VPL-VW100
Rating 8.0 Excellent
Price $4,000 - $5,000

The VPL-VW100 is one of the lowest priced 1080p projectors on the market . The project can reproduce deep black levels and comes with numerous picture tweaking options.

BenQ W10000
Rating 8.0 Excellent
Price $3,729

The BenQ-W10000 comes with a great lamp meaning larger screen sizes. It also comes with a solid feature package and a overall crisp and clean image.

A home theater projector is a great buy for someone who wants to get that movie theater feel at there house. These projectors come with great quality, but at a high price. I would love to see projectors like this come down to a more reasonable price someday. If you are looking to buy a projector like these above I would recommend doing a little more research, visit some forums, google a little about them, and just find one that is right for you.

best of luck

Friday, May 9, 2008

Samsung Showcases New Micro Projector

New Samsung Mini Projector - MPB 100Samsung has taken the next step in innovative mobile technology and has created the MBP Micro Projector. This little gadget projects a 10 ansi lumen beam and comes in a box measuring 2.8x2.8x2.1 inches, about the size of a cigarette pack, and produces an image that can reach up to 50" in size.

The MPB 100 has an approximate battery life of 3 hours and can run the length of a movie before needing to be recharged. These Micro Projectors have already become available in South Korea and the model is expected to reach Europe and the United States soon with a $200-$300 price tag.

Heres a video to see the Samsung MBP Micro Projector in action.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

New Projector Technologies

New Projector Technologies - DVD IntegrationNew Projector Technologies are Now Available For Use In Projector Rentals

  • DVD, HD-DVD, and Blu Ray players are currently being integrated straight into traditional LCD projectors. These technologies are now available and widely used during conventions, tradeshows, conferences and events for their enhanced picture quality and overall ability to attract large audiences.

  • New Wireless Projectors are using 802.11g Technology which allow a computer user to wirelessly connect to PDA's, laptops, and computers, and display information from these computers onto a video or projector screen. This technology also has the ability to connect with one PC to many Projectors, and many computers to one projector offering a wide variety of display and presentation techniques.

  • Large Venue Projectors are now available for cases when large audiences and venue sizes demand the most powerful projectors on the market. When displaying an image to a large audiences, on average it is recommended that a projector display 4500 to 25000 Lumens, depending on the magnitude, scale, and setting of your presentation.

If interested, all of these technologies listed above are also available in a Projector Rental.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

High Definition Projectors - 1080p

1080p High Definition ProjectorsProjectors are now following the latest trends of High Definition Media and many HD projectors are now available to the consumer at prices previously unheard of. High Definition projectors feature a resolution of 1920x1080 and all bring with it Full High Definition 1080p meaning they will look amazing when compared to a standard 800x600 SVGA projector.

When looking to buy a high definition projector, there are many various performance features and characteristics you should consider.

The first and most important aspect of a projector that everyone will notice the instant you power it up is the Sharpness and Clarity of High Definition Images. Something that must be taken into consideration is that it will be hard to compare image quality unless the source is from a 1080p format such as HD DVD, Blu-ray, or other equivalent. If a standard non-HD image is used for comparison, it will be nearly impossible to tell the difference between HD projectors. A HD projector that cannot fully handle a HD image will have an apparent softness, and the image will have a slightly blurry or cloudy look to it as well as display digital noise.

Other characteristics of a projector that should be considered before purchase is the Contrast Ratio, Lumen Output, Deinterlacing, Black Level, Zoom lens, Lens shift, Connectivity and Compatibility, Audible fan noise, warranty, and of course the price.

By taking all of these 1080p High Definition Projector Tips into consideration, and determining which features are most important to you, then you will will be completely satisfied with whatever purchase you decide to make.

Looking for a Projector Rental for your next event? Then call 800-736-8772 today.

Friday, April 18, 2008

3 Projector Rental Tips

There are a few things to keep in mind when renting a projector.

The most important thing to remember when renting a projector is that you need to match the brightness of your projector with the size of your room and audience. The brightness of a projector is measured in lumens as described in an earlier post. Most projectors range from about 1000 lumens to 5000 lumens. A 1000 lumen projector is very practical for giving presentations in some ambient light. A 5000 lumen projector would be used for large events like conventions and trade shows where there may be up to a thousand people viewing.

Another important thing to keep in mind is the portability of your projector. The more lumens your projector has, the less portable it is. High lumen projectors are often larger and weigh more leading to less portability.

The last thing to think about when renting your projector is whether to get a LCD projector or a DLP projector. In general, you will be making a decision between full motion video and static data. If you are presenting video with your projector then DLP is the way to go. If you are presenting a powerpoint or detailed spreadsheets, then LCD should be your pick.

Interested in renting a projector? Check out our DLP Projector Rental page or our LCD Projector Rental page.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Wireless Projectors - The Future is Here

Wireless ProjectorA few decades ago there's little doubt that a wireless video projector had never been envisioned. Now that wireless projectors are here, there can be little doubt that this is the standard that all future portable projectors will need to live up to.

Wireless projectors work using 802.11 technology. IEEE 802.11 is a set of standards for wireless local area network (WLAN) communication, usually referred to as just 802.11, or perhaps more commonly known as "Wi-Fi". Some other common Wi-Fi enabled devices include PCs, game consoles, cell phones, MP3 players and PDAs.

In the case of wireless projectors however, they are most commonly used in conjunction with a laptop, used to control and send the media the projector is to display. The obvious benefit of this duo is the portability and the ease of setup. The combined weight of a laptop and an Ultraportable Wireless Projector is less than 20 pounds, so it's as easy as carrying them in the door, setting them down, and turning on your laptop to begin with a presentation. The future is here, and it works without wires.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Final Four Projector Rentals

The Final Four is rapidly approaching, the semifinalists facing off this Saturday night; North Carlina will play Kansas, and Memphis will play UCLA. The victor of each game will compete against one another Monday, April 7th in San Antonio for the title of best college basketball team in the United States.

What better way to enjoy the game than an Ultra-Portable Projector Rental from Invite your friends over, procure some drinks, chips, and dip, and kick back to watch the game in true bigscreen format. stocks a full variety of projectors: Large Venue Projectors, Wireless Projectors, DLP Projectors, LCD Projectors, and DVD Projectors. Call today at 877-422-1907 to book your rush delivery Final Four Projector Rental.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

5 Projector Usage Tips

Projector Usage TipsHere are a few tips to help keep your projector running at its best.

1. Have your equipment powered down before connecting any cables. A signal cable carries a current while powered on and a sudden difference in electrical current can potentially burn out the projector lamp or cause other damage to projector components.

2. Use economy mode whenever possible. If your using a projector that has over 2000 lumens (a term used to describe the brightness of the projector), it usually has some sort of economy mode. If the event does not require full projector brightness use this mode to extend lamp life. Economy mode will lower the amount of lumens to save power and lengthen lamp life.

3. Avoid moving the projector as much as possible while it is powered on. The lamp, along with various other projector components, are sensitive to shakes or bumps. Any significant trauma could damage the projector and or lamp.

4. Do not unplug the projector after powering down. The cooling fan will continue to run in order to cool the lamp after shutting down the projector. It is recommended to keep it plugged in for at least another 3 minutes, doing otherwise could shorten the lamp's life or even damage the lamp.

5. Clean your projector. Dust is the bane of projectors when allowed to collect in the filter or on the lens. A microfiber cloth works well for cleaning the lens. If dust collects on the filter it will block the filter and decrease air flow which can affect the projector's cooling and can shorten lamp life.

You will have noticed in these tips that we pay special attention to preserving the life of the lamp. The reason for this is because the lamp is the most crucial part of the projector, and as such, is the most expensive component to replace. Projector costs have gone down significantly in the past few years, but replacement lamps have not. Lamps can cost up to $400 so you can see why it might be important to conserve as much lamp life as possible.

Friday, March 21, 2008

How SVGA, XGA, SXGA and UXGA Differ

A common question many people ask when looking for projectors is "What is SVGA, XGA, SXGA and UXGA" and "Which kind should I get". The type of projector you will be looking to buy depends on what you will need to do with your projector. In making this kind of decision its good to know the differences between each type so you can make the best choice.

In short these abbreviations are the main standards of resolution. A resolution is the number of pixels that the projector will be capable of displaying. Pixels are essentially small squares that make up an image, and the more pixels you have, the sharper and less blocky the image will be when viewing.

The following is the Standard Resolution of each type.

  • SVGA - Resolution: 800 * 600 - Total Pixels: 480,000
  • XGA - Resolution: 1024 * 768 - Total Pixels: 768,000
  • SXGA - Resolution: 1280 * 1024 - Total Pixels: 1,311,000
  • UXGA - Resolution: 1600 * 1200 - Total PIxels: 1,920,000
When buying a projector not only is important to note the resolution as this will affect the overall quality of the picture, but you must also make sure that your computer will be compatible with the projector.

For example, if your computer is trying to send information to a projector that is XGA, and your projector has a SVGA resolution then this could cause some problems. You will still see an image but you will not get the clearest picture because of compatibility issues.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Micro and Nano Portable Projectors

Micro and Nano Portable Projectors are not ready for prime time but will ultimately dominate small group projector needs.

Q: How does the nano projector work?
A: The nano projector engine is based on a technology called Laser Projection. In this technology, a laser-based light source is used as the illuminator for a micro display (0.24" diagonal) that acts as a transparent dynamic slide generating the image to be projected. This light is then magnified trough a projection lens and is projected on a screen or wall. Full Article

What is a Lumen?

In layman's terms, Lumens are the unit by which we measure how much light a projector puts out. This is important to know because when you are looking into buying or renting a projector, you need to make sure the projector you get is strong enough for the lightning conditions, the size of your audience, and the size of the room you are using it in. The larger your room or venue or the brighter your venue, the more bulb strength you will need.

Projector strength starts as low as 650 lumens and ranges as high as 10,000+. The biggest consideration you should be making, other than price, is your need for projector strength versus the portability of the projector. Generally, speakers prefer to make presentations in rooms with as much ambient light as possible, making some low-strength projectors unsuitable for the occasion. However, as a rule of thumb, the more powerful the projector the less portable it becomes.

Projector Strength Guide:

  • 650 - 1,000 lumens: suitable for presentations with low ambient light.

  • 1,000 - 2,000 lumens: the most common type of projector on the market today. Suitable for situations with some ambient light.

  • 2,000 - 4,000 lumens: smaller models in the professional projector class. Suitable for audiences of up to 100 people.

  • 4,000 - 6,000 lumens: mid-range professional models suitable for usage with audiences greater than 100 people.

  • 6,000 - 10,000 lumens: high end projectors suitable for large venues such as conventions or conferences where thousands of people need to see it at the same time.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Welcome to The Projector Blog

The Projector Blog - Projector News and Reviews !Welcome to our new Projector Blog. We hope to fill this blog in the weeks to come with useful information on AV products and their use for the business and consumer market. We promise this site will never be used for Google Adwords or other sponsored links. We will recommend at no charge those resources that can help our readers who are interested in projector technology and it’s practical application.