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Projectors Buying Guide
Introduction: In all of our lives we need time to sett...
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Projectors Buying Guide


In all of our lives we need time to settle down, relax and just escape from the rigors and stresses the daily grind, one of the most common ways to do this is through movies. The majority of people out there love movies and TV, we all like to just basically vegetate in front of the television from time to time to just kick back and relax, it's nice not being able to have to worry about anything for a few hours.

I for one love to watch movies, and a few TV shows now and then as a way to relax for a bit and just escape from things and to help me wind down from a long day of working, for most people the standard TV works great for doing this but some out there like to create the theater experience in their own homes. One way of doing this is buying a large screen TV, but for some that's just not big enough, that's where projectors come in, they can create, literally, a wall of visual and audio delights for everyone to enjoy, there's nothing like sitting down and watching your favorite movie, but imagine watching that movie in the privacy of your own home on a 100+ inch screen? It's like having your own private movie screen in your living room.

Projectors are a great way to have your own little private movie theater and there are numerous choices out there, and as with anything not all are created equal. Projectors are expensive, they are coming down in price as their popularity rises but they're still considered a big ticket item and it's not something that you just want to run out and buy on a whim. Some people think that buying a Projector is like buying a TV, it's not, there are several things you need to consider when thinking about purchasing a Projector.

Things to Consider When Purchasing a Projector:

Video Input Options: When you're looking to purchase a projector one of the first thing you need to figure out is what you're going to use it with and what types of connections these devices use. Basically if your DVD player has outputs for S-Video and Composite then that's all you'll need, but if you want to think ahead you might want to get a projector with many input options as you most likely will eventually upgrade that DVD player, or maybe you'll want use the projector with a gaming system as well. This might seem like an obvious thing to consider, but some projectors only come with one type of input, why they do this, I'm not sure...

Projection Image Size: This is the size of the image that the projector projects onto your wall or screen, it can be anywhere from several inches to hundreds of inches in size. How big you want of course will depend on the space you have, just make sure the projector you decide on can product an image of the size that you want. This also sort of goes hand in hand with the next consideration as well...

The Location of the Projector: What I mean by this is: where are you going to be using the projector? The reason this needs to be taken into consideration is because not all projectors work well under all lighting conditions. Mostly all projectors will work great under low lighting conditions like if you're watching a movie at night with the lights off, but if you want to watch that same movie during the day where you have lots of ambient lighting then that same projector might not work well at all. You'll need to determine what conditions you'll be using your projector in to make sure you get the correct one for you so you'll be able to use it at all times of the day. You'll need to choose a projector with a high rating for its Lumens, or Light Output if you want one that will work in most all lighting conditions. This also applies to screen size as well, the larger the image being projected, the more light it will need to be produced. Normally anything over a 3000 Lumens rating will be sufficient for most any types of lighting conditions with a home theater and will be able to produce a large projected image clearly. Of course the higher you go the better off you will be, but with the higher light output also comes a higher price tag. If you intend your projector to be used for other purposes like a business board room for example where the lighting is bright, you will want to go even higher than 3000 Lumens for a large projected image, but of course if the image is smaller you won't need that much power, 3000Lumens is good for about 100 to 150 inch display in average lighting conditions.

Size and Weight: The size and weight of the projector is also something that you might want to take under consideration, but not that important to some, it will all depend on where you intend on putting the projector. Most projectors can be mounted from the ceiling, or they can just rest on a table if need be. If you plan on mounting it from the ceiling you'll need to take that into consideration as you'll most likely need to buy mounting hardware for it and have a ceiling that can support the weight. If you're not ceiling mounting the projector you'll need to have ample space around it for good airflow as they tend to get very warm when running.

Lamp Life and Replacement Cost: One of the biggest things that people overlook and gripe about before and after buying a projector is the Lamp cost and life. A replacement lamp for a projector can cost anywhere from a couple hundreds dollars to thousands of dollars, it's certainly not something that I would want to be changing frequently at that cost. The average Lamp life is anywhere between 1,000 and 2,000 hours with of course times where it may be higher or lower than that so you can do yourself a big favor and do a bit of research into the average lamp life of the projector you intend on buying. Of course you might want to look at the cost of replacing said bulb as well as that can be a very costly expense depending on the lamp being used by the projector.

--There are newer projectors on the market today that use LEDs instead of the traditional lamps, with these types you'll never need to replace the bulb essentially, most have a rating of 10,000+ hours on them but they're not really made for large screens but can do about 60 inches diagonally very well.

Features of the Projector: What features do you want or need in a projector? And I don't just mean options to change the settings, I mean like wireless capabilities, networking, security controls or even changeable lenses.

The Remote: This is probably the most overlooked thing when considering purchasing a projector, and probably the most minor feature as well, but a remote with back lighting can be a great thing if you are watching you're movies in the dark. You don't want to be fumbling around with a remote in the dark or have to turn the lights on to access the buttons do you? Make sure the projector you are interested in comes with a fully featured remote that includes back lighting to make accessing the remote functions much easier in the dark.

Of course the best advice I can give is to do some research into the Projector that you wish to buy, with the popularity of projectors on the rise many sites have sprung up online that specialize in projectors and there you can learn the pros and cons about them.

One of the best things you can do when purchasing a projector is to see it in action, if you can go to a store where they sell the projectors you are interested in, ask them to demo them for you so you can truly see how well they work under various lighting conditions.


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