A projector is a great investment for your room and some compact models are also great to be used outdoors for a movie night experience under the stars. We’ve gathered the most popular projectors on the market to help you with your results for a model that suits your project, so let’s have a look at the alternatives:
Last update on 2019-03-18 at 21:44 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
What to consider when buying a projector?
A projector is a great upgrade for a home cinema and those projectors that feature android can even help you reduce the number of devices needed for playback video files too. Who doesn’t like playing gaming, watching Netflix or Youtube on a large projected screen? An android projector can help you use respected applications with no need for external devices. There are plenty of models to choose from which can make your decision challenging, so we will highlight a few things you need to consider before making your final decision.
The first thing you need to consider is the brightness of the projector. Look for a projector that has a high lumen output as the added brightness can help use the projector in areas with ambient light. Portable versions usually have fewer lumens output so if you don’t have a very dark room it might be a problem.
The contrast ratio of the projector plays a vital role in the ability of the projector to reproduce dark areas of the images. Higher contrast will allow for deeper black while lower contrast can result in washed out images in untreated rooms.
The size of the projector is also an important aspect to consider, especially if you plan to move the projector from place to place. There are plenty of really small projectors if you really want the improved portability, although you may need to make some compromised as far as brightness and contrast ratio is concerned.
If you plan on using the projector with external playback devices make sure that the projector has the necessary ports to plug in the devices of your choice. Most external devices need to be connected using an HDMI cable, so an HDMI port should be considered a must. Older devices might need VGA or DVI ports in order to be connected, so if you plan to use older external devices you have to make sure the projector comes with those connections. If you decide to go for an HDMI projector, you can also buy adapters for your older devices. Some projectors come with USB ports which can be very handy if you need to play video files from a USB stick. Moreover, Wifi connectivity is essential if you want to use applications like Youtube and Netflix that rely on the internet.
Keep in mind that even though some projectors have speakers they don’t provide good quality audio for cinematic experiences. Depending on your demands the onboard speakers can be plenty for your project but if you want a better audio experience look for projectors that can connect to external speakers through Bluetooth or standard wired audio connections. With today’s technology, you can find great Bluetooth enabled soundbars that will improve drastically your sound experience, so I would suggest you go that route if you want an immersive experience with your movie setup.
Some models need to be plugged in an outlet while some more compact models feature internal battery. Make sure you pick a model that matches your application. Keep in mind that even the models with internal batteries cannot be used for long periods of times. Most batteries will last for up to 90 minutes which is handy for some application offering great portability but might be not enough to power your movie night. If you haven’t made up your mind, I would suggest you don’t go for a portable projector, as these models usually are dimmer and in typical applications are not up to the task. After all, if you need a portable android projector you would already have made up your mind towards that direction.
Make sure that focus control is easily accessible especially if you move the projector from time to time or need to relocate it. Make sure that the focus control provided is also good enough for your needs as the cheaper models usually have poor controls that are a pain to set up, or even worse they don’t have focus control at all, meaning that you can only set focus by moving the projector back to front, which is quite cumbersome in most occasions.
If you plan to use the projector for movies make sure it has an aspect ratio of 16:9 for better viewing experience. Most models with give you the choice between 4:3 and 16:9 which is great if you want to switch for example between movie modes(16:9) and 4:3 to enjoy some older arcade games via emulators. Just makes sure that the aspect ratio you plan to use more often is the native aspect ration of the projectors as the alternative aspect ratio is usually a stretched version of the native one.
If you need to play movies in HD make sure you pick a model that can output a resolution of at least 1080p. Look for the native resolution of the projector as some models are not true 1080p and they have a lower native resolution which is not ideal if you want true 1080p. If you are on a budget I would suggest you look at projectors with a native resolution of 720p, which in many cases will be adequate and can save you some bucks. I would suggest you skip lower resolution models as you would be disappointed with your purchase in most cases.
If you need to connect the projector to the internet or your network make sure it comes with builtin wifi. I most cases users and manufacturers prefer Wifi so there are very few devices that are connected via ethernet cables. If you are not sure until know if you will be using internet connectivity or not, I would suggest getting a Wifi enabled model so that it will be futureproofed in case you decide in the future to get connected to the world wide web. An SD card slot isn’t a must but can be handy if you plan on using SD cards for your media.
Keep in mind that a projector with larger throw distance and higher lumen output will be much easier to set up on your room or outdoors while on the other hand, shorter throw or lower brightness will limit you placing the projector closer to the wall and eventually provide a smaller projected image. Projection calculators can be quite handy in order to find the suitable lumens and throw distance given the available space you have.
It is vital to pick a projector from a reputable manufacturer, that is also backed up by a long-lasting warranty. Some brands you should be looking for include Nebula, Epson, Sony or Optoma. As technology advances many budget-friendly alternatives have been introduced from Chinese manufactures that might worth a look. Just make sure you pick from a reputable source that you can return the product in case you are not happy with your purchase. If I were you, I would probably wait for a little more until I have the budget to go for a well-known manufacturer instead of trying cheaper models, unless you have look for models that have received good reviews from users in the past.