Projector Channel has gathered all the information related to projectors and 3D projectors. In addition, we have also included the criteria for buying projectors depending upon certain specifications. Let’s get on to the buyer’s guide for 3D projectors without further ado.
What is Projector?
A projector is defined as follows, according to Wikipedia.com.
A projector or an image projector is an optical device that projects an image or moving images onto a surface, commonly a projection screen.
What is a 3D Projector?
Many projector companies claim that their projectors support 3D display, which is true. DLP link technology is used in those projectors, but only with computer graphic cards and software. Most multimedia projectors support the “3D-Ready” feature, but if you are looking for the best 3D experience, you should go for the home theater projectors. Before buying a 3D projector, keep in mind that you are cutting the brightness in half, mentioned in the product description. For this exceptional case, a processor is needed to de-multiplexing the left- and right-eye streams from the HDMI signals. This problem can be solved by using two projectors in combination.
Types of Projectors
In simple words, it is a device used to project images on a flat screen, which could be either a screen or a flat color-specific wall, to see a larger size image or moving photos or videos. In addition, it is a source of entertainment and used worldwide. Commonly, cinemas use projectors to show a movie. Ordinary people also purchase home theater category projectors to enjoy a cinema experience at home or for any outdoor usage like backyards, classrooms, meeting rooms, and auditoriums.
Projectors are basically of three types:
- Real-Time Projectors
- Image Projectors
- Moving Image Projectors
Moving Image projectors are used widely all over the Earth for entertainment or educational purpose. The name says it projects images on the screen in real-time, meaning without gap or lag. The most common example is the projector that is used in the cinemas. These projectors project a real-time display of movies, trailers, and clips. On the other hand, image projectors and moving image projectors are not used nowadays because of technological advancement. Moving Image projectors can project all of the things. That’s why they are used throughout the world.
Projectors are also classified based on their size that is named as follows:
- Pocket Projectors
- Multimedia Projectors
- Short Throw Projectors
- Home Theater Projectors
1) Pocket Projectors
The name gives away a hint that the projector can be placed in your pocket, and you can take it anywhere for various purposes like group presentations or any other short briefings. Although they do not have much quality, they are portable, which is the concerning factor here. Pocket Projectors usually do not have high resolution, but they can still be helpful to many people.
2) Multimedia Projectors
Multimedia projectors have taken a prominent place in the projector industry as they are the most commonly used projectors. It can be used for PowerPoint presentations or a wedding movie show. However, they are also used as small-sized theater projectors for those who do not want to buy a high-end model and experience a more prominent screen display.
They are technically considered portable as they do not have much weight. However, their brightness ranges from 2500 lumens to 3000 lumens, suitable for even a backyard movie night. In addition, some of them have lasers, and others have metallic filament lamps used in them to produce light that creates a projection. However, connectivity is promising as they have standard VGA ports and digital connectivity options like HMDI, USB, DVI, and even SVI.
Multimedia projectors usually have a standard throw distance and have a virtually zoom lens that can zoom in to about 1.2x to 1.5x of the original image. If we talk about the resolution, they usually support computer VESA resolution. However, they do not support SD or HD resolution but can give an output of pretty good resolution for PowerPoint presentations or high-quality video.
3) Short Throw Projectors
Short Throw Projectors and the Ultra-Short Throw Projectors are considered the most critical category in the projector industry. As the name says, these projectors have a meager throw distance ratio between the projector, screen, and display quality. Short throw projectors have a throw ratio of about 0:5:1 while ultra-short projectors have a throw distance ratio of about 0:3:1.
Both are designed to project a display at a distance ranging from 18 inches to 2 feet. Pretty impressive. Isn’t it?
Short and ultra-short-throw projectors cannot be used for a more prominent display since the projector is near the projection screen. However, they do not have much more excellent brightness that ranges from 2200l lumens to 2500 lumen. Despite that, if you can place the projector accurately far away from the screen, you can get a bigger picture, but it requires a challenging skill that is impossible to have.
4) Home Theater Projectors
Home Theater projectors are used for large living rooms or a place with bigger space. They are often mixed with multimedia projectors, and in the future, they could both lie in the same category.
Home theater projectors usually have low brightness – about 1800 lumens – and a high contrast ratio. Some companies are telltale about having a home theater projector with more than 3000 lumens which are not valid.
They are mounted on the ceilings and get fixed at a particular place. The projector should be placed accurately so that there is no distortion in the display.
Home theater projectors are widely used across all over the world. They also offer LVC (Low Voltage Control), a very realistic feature that makes the projector work efficiently based on the ambient light or sunlight crossing.
Things You Must Observe
Projector Channel has summarized everything in the below section, and you need to observe keenly before you a 3D projector for you.
We have gathered you a list of various projectors categorized by premium, editor, and budget choice. You can also buy them with just one click. To see the article, click here.
As discussed earlier, projectors, either 2D or 3D, can have two types of light sources. The first is the “Bulb Lamp,” and the second is “Laser.”
Performance varies depending upon the type of light source used. When a metallic bulb lamp is installed in a projector, it will produce enough brightness, but it could cause distortion.
Lamp life is the most important thing you must keep in your mind. A metallic filament lamp offers a lamp life of about 3000 hours approximately, which means that LED bulbs must change them after 3000 hours of watching. Therefore it causes difficulty for the user. Most budget projectors also use metallic filament bulbs as their light source. If the bulb is not changed after the given time, it can cause circuit burn after 5-6 hours, making the projector completely useless.
On the other hand, premium projectors use the laser as their light source, which is much more efficient in the color display. However, the most significant advantage of the laser is its lamp life. Lasers have long lamp life usually – ranging from 18000 to 30000 – which cause customer relief from frequent changing of the light source.
Lasers have better CRI (Color Rendering Index), which results in accurate colors. However, lasers produce low brightness, which can cause a slight problem.
So, you must analyze the type of light source before buying a 3D projector for yourself.
Does resolution matter? Yes, it does. Resolution determines the number of distinct pixels displayed in each dimension. Most projectors nowadays have the least XGA (1024 X 786), a 4:3 aspect ratio that is has been a tradition of PowerPoint presentations.
Some of the new budget projectors also have SVGA (800 x 600) resolution, and some pocket projectors have a low key. I would personally recommend you to buy at least an XGA supported projector. Most computer programs require at least XGA resolution even to run. However, a projector with SVGA resolution will distort the pixels and ruin your watching experience.
Suppose you want to screen high-definition videos or picture exhibitions. In that case, you must choose a 3D projector with at least 1600 x 1200 pixels (UXGA) resolution for a 4:3 aspect ratio or 1920 x 1200 for a 16:10 aspect ratio. XGA is the lowest level of resolution you should go for, but I recommend you start from WXGA or more above than that.
If you are hunting for a home theater projector, you should choose a 4K supporting projector for the best visual experience at least 1920 x 1080. Or you can directly read about the top 4k 3d projectors by clicking here.
Some analysts say it is a meaningless feature, but it is not. The dynamic contrast is the difference visible between the dark levels and the bright colored levels of the display. Most of the HDTV projectors rely on this. But in 3D projectors, it may not matter as 3D displays distort the colors to an extent.
HDR: High Dynamic Range aims to be a dynamic contrast that gives an output in high-gamut color space for proper differentiation between image colors. There are two most efficient standards.
- Dolby Vision
|Minimum Resolution||3840 x 2160||38410 x2160|
|Brightness (Peak)||1,000 nits / 400 nits claimed||4,000 nits / 10.000 nits claimed|
|Color Depth||10-bit / 12-bit claimed||12-bit|
|Color Space||90% of DCI-P3||90% od DCI-P3 (REC. 2020 Proposed)|
The contrast ratio comprises 500:1 to 100000:1, which could be higher in DLP-based projectors.
Projector brightness is measured in ANSI lumens, and some people also use the units that are suitable units to measure intelligence. Lumens rating is calculated by the light reflected from the screen instead of the light emerging from the lens. Lumens rating can vary depending upon the flat surface of the screen. In the case of a less flat-surfaced screen, brightness is calculated lower than the original brightness.
Multimedia projectors have brightness ranging from 2500 lumens to 4000 lumens. It also depends on the distance between the screen and its angle. If a multimedia projector is placed far from the screen, then the projector will give you low brightness compared to the initially advertised value.
Most projectors come with a brightness value of 2000 – 3000 lumens. However, if you want to build a typical and high-end theater setup, the projector must have brightness up to 20,000 lumens.
Throw distance is the essential feature in a projector as it determines the distance between the projector and the projection screen. However, projectors with short or ultra-short throw distances cannot display more prominent than 100 inches. Thus, exceeding the limits could cause high image distortion.
Throw ratio is similar to throw distance, but it also considers the projection screen width and height. The first entity represents the throw distance, and the second represents the projection screen width. For example, a projector with a 1:1 throw ratio will produce 4 feet wide at 4 feet from the screen.
Short throw projectors have a throw ratio of 0:5:1 will produce a projection of 4 feet wide at 2 feet from the screen.
Ultra-short projectors have a throw ratio of about 0:3:1, which means they can create a 4-foot wide image at 1.5 feet from the projection screen. Still, it is interchangeable by using an additional zoom lens that could be pre-installed or bought separately.
A long-throw projector has a throw ratio of about 3:1 that will produce a 4-foot wide projection at 12 feet from the projection screen.
Multimedia and home theater projectors usually have a throw ratio of about 0:3:1 or more at the most comprehensive settings.
There are three types of chipsets described in the following section.
DLP stands for Digital Light Processing. They have other two types depending upon the number of chips. The first is the one with a single chip, and the second has three chips.
Single-chip DLP is most commonly used in projectors. It uses a combination of a color wheel and micro-mirrors to generate a projection. It is preferred over the LCD as it can theoretically produce better colors and contrast. DLP can dye the wheel to regenerate any color or tonal value it wants. DLP technology also cuts the rainbow effect – an effect produced due to the color wheel giving out different colors at different times. It also minimizes the side-door impact from the image as they can spin the color wheel rapidly, and there is less space between the projection pixels.
Three-chip DLP is not commonly used – quite rare – and molds the color wheel in favor of three arrays of micro-mirrors, one for each primary color. However, this technology is very costly. Therefore, it is not used often in projectors.
LCD or 3LCD is the most common projecting system used in multimedia projectors. The three-LCD utilizes a beam splitter like a prism to break the light into its primary colors, and then it sends each primary color to pass through a dedicated monochrome liquid crystal panel.
LCDs do not generate motion projections as they render the images line by line like a TV or a computer monitor. They are considered cheap compared to the DLP as they offer a much lower contrast ratio and produce a “screen-door effect” due to the greater pixel spacing.
On Sony products, liquid Crystal on Silicon is also called SXRD ( Silicon X-tal Reflective Silicone). LCoS is a reflective technology in which the light reflects from the three silicone-backed LCD panels rather than micro-mirror arrays – used in DLP technology. This technology gives out the least screen-door effect, and it is also free from the rainbow effect explained in the DLP section.
Keystone corrections is a digital process that counteracts the keystone effect to a specified percentage. Vertical Keystone correction is present in most projectors. Therefore it makes the projected image wider from the top when the projector is too low or vice versa.
Keystone correction also has a disadvantage which is the reduction of resolution of the projector as it is a digital feature.