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.