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Breaking Down: Projectors

Updated: Sep 29, 2022

Projectors aren't too different from TVs, specifically in terms of types. Many people feel shopping for projectors can be overwhelming because of the vast amount of options. Even though TVs have many more options, they're generally pretty easy to research and find the best one for you. When you come to us, we ask the relevant questions to help you decide which projector is right for you. I'm going to break down five projector technologies and three projector types. These are not all there is, but definitely the more common and most popular. First, let's start with projector technology.

  • LCD (liquid crystal display) projectors are generally the cheapest option. They feature LCD panels that cast an image using the primary colors (red, blue, green). They're projected at the same time resulting in a fully colored image. Power consumption is pretty low, color accuracy is pretty great, but motion blur tends to be an issue.

  • LED (light-emitting diode) projectors, just like TVs, are more about the light source. These may be DLP or LCD projectors. LED projectors use high-efficiency bulbs, vastly increasing lamp life. Typical lamp projectors last anywhere between 1,000-5,000 hours, meanwhile, LED lamps last, on average, 20,000 hours!

  • DLP (digital light processing) projectors use tiny mirrors that reflect light toward the screen. Single-chip DLP projectors use one color wheel that spins inside the projector. Three-chip DLP projectors use the primary color chips to generate images. These are the most common types of home theater projectors.

  • LCoS (liquid crystal on silicon) projectors are a little of both LCD and DLP projectors. These projectors use chips that have reflective backings, almost similar to DLP (without the mirrors), that pass the light through LCD panels. This gives an excellent image quality but can be pricey.

  • Laser (rather than a lamp) projectors are slowly working to replace traditional lamps. Laser projectors last longer and are more energy-efficient than LED. They're also more durable. With lasers, exact colors can be created rather than using a color wheel or primary color panels. However, laser projectors are expensive. Since they're not yet widely used, the price starts at several thousand dollars.

Now, let's talk about three types of projectors.

  • Long-throw projectors are the average type of projectors. They're the ones that are at least six feet away and usually on a shelf above your seating or mounted to the ceiling. The further away the projector is from the screen, the bigger the picture gets. A dedicated home theater room or a large viewing room is ideal for this type of projector.

  • Short throw projectors work best when three to eight feet away from the screen. They create a 100+ inch image at this distance. These can be placed on a shelf or attached to a ceiling mount. Small living rooms or bedrooms would be ideal for this kind of projector.

  • Ultra short throw projectors are perfect for any size space and any preference. They have a wide-angle lens with mirrors to throw the image from a very short distance and use laser technology. You can place the projector on a TV stand or shelf inches away from the screen and have a perfect picture.

Even though the ultra short throw projector is pricey (because it uses laser technology), it just might be the best bang for your buck. You get a longer-lasting projector with the laser, a much better picture than lamp projectors, and a more aesthetic appearance (if that's your thing).

If you're looking into a projector or home theater setup, give us a call. We'll pair you with the perfect screen and projector for your uses and budget.


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