Projector Buying Guide

Video Projectors are commonly used as presentation tools for business presentations, home theater systems, gaming events and classrooms. Whether for collaborative presentations or a movie night at home, projectors come in all sizes and styles.

A projector is an optical device that projects or “casts” an image or video onto a surface, often using a projection screen. Projectors create an image by shining light through a small transparent lens. Some projectors use a lamp, while others use a laser as the light source. There are still and real-time projectors such as the overhead projectors in classrooms, camera obscura, magic lanterns, and slide projectors.

Video Projectors are commonly used as presentation tools for business presentations, home theater systems, gaming events and classrooms. Whether for collaborative presentations or a movie night at home, projectors come in all sizes and styles to suit our daily lives. A presentation on a large screen can take things to the next level and leave a lasting impression.

Which Projector is Right for You?

There are many different types of projectors built for different display needs. Deciding how and where you want to use your projector is an important first step in finding the right projector for you, because specs mean nothing if you’re not using the right projector for your space. Below is a list of the different types of projectors and their key differences:

Business Projectors

For presentations, meetings, and interactive classroom instruction, you need a business projector. These projectors offer much higher brightness than their counterparts, which can be beneficial when viewing documents and presentations in larger rooms with a lot of ambient light. Since these projectors are not typically permanently installed in a room, they are designed to be lightweight and easy to transport, and can be easily set up by business users as they move between rooms or conferences.

Short-Throw Projectors

The outstanding feature of a short throw projector is not necessarily the way it displays images, but rather the distance from which it can display images. Standard projectors such as those mentioned above are typically installed more than a meter away from a display surface and must be mounted high on a wall or ceiling.

The advantage of short-throw or ultra-short-throw projectors is that they are very versatile and work at shorter distances, namely three to eight meters. These devices are ideal for use at home or in smaller rooms where other projectors do not have enough space.

Portable Projectors

If your office can do without installing a fixed projector, a portable projector is just what you need. Portable projectors are designed to be taken with you as needed. They are pocket-sized and compact, making them very easy to set up and transport. Portable projectors are extremely useful for schools or offices, as they allow presentations without having to install a projector in every room. Even though they are not as high quality as some of the standard projectors available on the market, portable projectors are very convenient for business trips and small group meetings.

Home Theatre Projectors

If you want to enjoy the cinema experience without leaving your home, home theater projectors are just what you need. These projectors are used instead of a regular TV and are designed for streaming movies and video games. Image quality is a very important factor when it comes to home theater projectors; they display videos and images in very high resolution, including 4K and Full HD.

Sound quality is another important feature of home theater projectors. The built-in sound capabilities are often better than most other types of projectors, and they can often be easily connected to soundbars and other speaker systems to further enhance the viewing experience.

4K Projectors

If you have the space and a good idea of how you want to set up your home entertainment area, a 4K projector is the projector for you. High-resolution 4K projectors allow users to bring a true viewing experience to life. These projectors are known for their excellent sharpness, quality, and detail. They can be used to create a mini home theater with high-definition video.

A 4K projector can sit on a table or shelf in the back room, or you can mount it on the wall or ceiling with a projector mount. As for the projected image from the mount, it shouldn’t be too small or too large. Fortunately, many 4K projectors have a zoom setting that gives you the flexibility to adjust the image size. Although prices for 4K projectors have dropped in recent years, Ultra HD 4K projectors still cost more than their 1080p counterparts.

Types of Projector Display Technologies

You may wonder why the display technology of a projector is important? The reason is simple. Users have different needs when it comes to projecting media. Therefore, it is important to know that there are different types of projectors that use different display technologies. Knowing the different features of each type will help you make the right choice for your display needs:

Digital Light Processing

They are an invention of Texas Industries and are used for front and rear projections. You can see this type of projectors in classrooms. These projectors use micromirrors to project images onto the screen. The micromirrors are arranged to tilt either toward or away from the light source in the projector to show light and dark pixels.

These projectors are available in two versions: 1 chip and 3 chip. One chip offers the sharpest quality and is the most commonly used. They offer 3D effects, sharpness, time-lapse and exquisite brightness. But everything has a dark side, and these babies offer poor emission of black color, rainbow effect and limited flexibility.

LCoS Projectors

They are called liquid crystal on silicon projectors. The light is reflected from a panel and creates the image on the screen. Three LCoS panels help reflect the light compared to conventional LCDs that use a single LCD panel. LCoS offers dark black colors, high contrast, and film-like images. On the other hand, they have blurring effects during fast movements, noisy 3D and are expensive.

Liquid Crystal Display Projectors

The name of the projector is pretty clear in itself. It is a projector that is both liquid and solid, meaning that it uses a liquid crystal to project the image material. They stand between DLP projectors and LCoS projectors. The advantages of LCD projectors are high brightness, good display of blacks and perfect motion display. However, they do not have LED or laser light options and have a noisy dynamic aperture.

Cathode Ray Tube Projectors

If you learned properly in class 10+2, you probably know what cathode ray tubes are. This projector is a simple interaction of three (red, green and blue) cathode ray tubes and uses a lens to project video onto the screen.

If you are looking for a portable projector, these devices may not be for you. That’s because the tubes are difficult to lift, and the whole process can become a tedious mess. But not everything about tube projectors is messy! They offer some of the best picture quality and video effects.

Important Projector Features to Consider

Evaluating a projector’s key features is the next important step in buying a projector. When selecting a projector for your needs, you want to be sure it meets everything you’re looking for by evaluating its features and functions.

Color Technology

Most home theater projectors on the market are Digital Light Processing (DLP) projectors. DLP projectors use tiny mirrors to reflect light. DLP projectors also use a color wheel (a spinning wheel with multiple color filters). Generally, these projectors are portable and produce higher contrast. What is important about color? Projector manufacturers usually use the standard red, green, and blue (sRGB) colors as the default setting. A video shot with this setting should reproduce on the screen with the same color accuracy as when it was shot.

However, projectors are more sensitive than other types of screens, depending on light output, contrast, and distance; all of these factors should be considered. Color is subjective; what looks bright red to you may be pink to others. That’s why it’s important to ensure a consistent color standard for everyone. Rec. 709 is a standard for the television, film, and AV industries that ensures the same color gamut, resolution, frame rate, and video specifications for all HD devices, including displays, DVDs, and Blu-ray.


How bright a projector needs to be depends on the environment in which you plan to use it. If you want to use your projector in a darker environment to watch movies or videos, you can choose a projector with lower brightness. As a general rule of thumb, the brighter your projector is, the better. The brightness of a projector is measured in lumens, which indicate how bright the projector is and how much light it can produce.

The higher the lumen number, the brighter your projector is. If you’re buying a home theater projector, the brightness of the projector won’t be immediately better, but you’ll want to have sufficient brightness for rich color contrast. If you’re buying a projector for your business, you’ll want to choose a projector with a higher lumen rating so it delivers brighter output.


The contrast ratio describes the difference in brightness between black and white. With a contrast ratio of 1000:1, the brightest point is a thousand times brighter than the darkest point. The higher the contrast of a projector, the sharper and more natural the projected image appears. How high the contrast values need to be depends on the application and the ambient brightness.

For home theater projectors, the contrast ratio is especially important for producing deep blacks. If you plan to use your projector mainly in daylight or artificial lighting, contrast is not as important. Most projectors on the market today offer a contrast ratio of at least 5000: 1.


The Resolution of a video projector is an important feature when choosing the right device for your needs. Resolution describes how clear a projected image will be based on how many pixels can be displayed on a given surface. Resolution, also known as native resolution, is defined as the number of pixels that make up a projected video. It is represented as the number of pixels on the horizontal axis divided by the number of pixels on the vertical axis.

The higher the Resolution of the projector, the more pixels there are in the image, and the more pixels there are in the image, the more detailed the image. The two most common resolutions are 1080p (also referred to as Full HD or FHD) with a resolution of 1920×1080 pixels, and 4K (also referred to as Ultra High Definition or UHD) with a standard resolution of 3840 x 2160. There are also 720p HD projectors, but with these it’s very easy to see the pixels that make up the image, and that can take you out of the immersive experience.

Aspect Ratio

The aspect ratio of a projector is the ratio between the width and height of the projected image. For video projectors, there are three common aspect ratios: 16:9 (HDTV, 1080p, 4K UHD), 16:10 (WXGA & WUXGA), and 4:3 (XGA & SXGA). By far the most common projectors are 16:9, and most television and streaming services are broadcast in this format. 16:9 is also the best ratio for displaying Cinemascope movies at 2.35:1 and 2.4:1, which is why it is the first choice for home theaters.

For office and presentation purposes, a 16:10 WUXGA projector is best. More and more computer monitors are using this aspect ratio, so naturally you’ll want a corresponding multimedia projector. Since the format is higher than 16:9, you can display more data on the screen at once, making it ideal for presentations. Your image will have the same number of horizontal pixels as 1080p (width), but will be slightly higher.

Television used to be broadcast in 4:3 format (standard definition), but has mostly switched to 16:9 (high definition). For this reason, 4:3 projectors are used less and less. Most classic slide projectors also use this format. Unless you plan to use mostly older media, we don’t recommend buying a 4:3 projector, as there simply isn’t as much content produced in this aspect ratio anymore.

Light Source

The light source is an integral part of the projector unit. The most common light sources are lamps, lasers and LEDs. Although they provide the same brightness, single-chip projectors are less expensive than three-chip projectors. Standard lamps are the most economical and pass their white light through filters before the individual colors are reflected back from the imaging chip.

The laser light source does not require bulbs, is more efficient, and produces a much brighter color image than any other. LED light sources are used in pico projectors and last long enough.


Make sure the projector has the inputs you need. These days, all video projectors have HDMI inputs, and most projectors also have VGA or DVI inputs for computers.

However, if you have older source components with composite, component, or S-Video outputs, you should know that many newer video projectors no longer offer these options or only have composite video inputs. When buying a projector, make sure it has the necessary connections.


Portability is important not only in terms of transporting or traveling with the projector, but also to simplify installation and setup. It also makes it easier to try out different screen sizes, distances, and spaces to see what arrangement works best.

If your projector is portable, you can hang a tarp on an outside wall (or garage door) in the summer and enjoy your own “drive-in” movies. Watching movies outdoors with a video projector can be a great experience.

Other Things to Take into Consideration

Room Size

Whether you live alone or with your family, the room where you place your projector is important to your viewing experience. Depending on the size and setup, the first thing you need to consider is where to place your projector: in the middle or on the side. Especially if you have a family with children, space may be limited.

If you want to place your projector on a table or on the ceiling, you should look for projectors that can adjust their image depending on the location. Short throw projectors, lens shift functions, and side keystone correction help adjust the image depending on the angle and location of the projector.

Ambient Light vs. Lumens

Projectors are sensitive to light. The brightness output is critical to how the audience perceives the image. So there is a difference between placing a projector in a location with lots of ambient light and placing it in a darkroom. As mentioned earlier, for brighter environments, a model with more than 3,000 lumens is best, while darker locations may only require a brightness of up to 2,000 lumens.


Projectors come in all shapes, sizes and prices, and depending on which one you buy, they have different functions. Maybe you have a family and want to enjoy movies together. Maybe you’re a gaming fan and want to invite your friends over to play multiplayer games together on the big screen. The latest sports competitions might have you gathering friends and family to watch the big game outside. Whatever the reason, you should choose a projector that fits your needs and requirements!

Where Should I Mount The Projector?

If you only want to use the projector in one place, a wall or ceiling mount is the best solution. With a projector mount, your projector will remain stable, secure and ready for use without you having to set it up or adjust the angle every time. You probably want to mount your projector above the audience’s head. This way, no one blocks the path of light hitting the home theater screen.

Projector Alignment

It can be quite a challenge to perfectly align your projection screen and video projector. Ideally, you should have the correct placement, throw distance, and center so that when you turn on the projector, the image appears exactly in the center of the screen. To properly align your projector with the screen, you will probably need to consider three things: tilt, rotation, and yaw of the projector. Tilt means that the front of the projection case is tilted up or down compared to the back. Roll is when one side is tilted higher or lower than the other. And yaw is the rotation around the vertical axis.

By adjusting the tilt, rotation and yaw, you can straighten the image displayed on the screen. Unfortunately, it is not always possible to align the device and the screen perfectly. This is where keystone correction and lens shift come into play. Both keystone correction and lens shift allow you to change the position and shape of the projected image without physically moving the device or changing the angle of the screen to better match the position of the projector.

Lens Shift

Lens shift, also known as vertical and horizontal shift, allows a projector to be positioned off-center from the screen without having to tilt the projector to bring the image onto the screen. This is done by mechanically shifting the lens in the projector body. Some projectors offer only vertical lens shift, while others offer both vertical and horizontal lens shift. The more lens shift a projector offers, the more versatile it is in terms of positioning on the screen.

Keystone Correction

Many projectors offer vertical and/or horizontal keystone correction to reduce the dreaded “keystone effect” where an image appears wider at the top if a projector is positioned too low or off center. Keystone correction helps minimize this effect, but only up to a certain percentage. When keystone correction is applied to an image or video, the quality decreases proportionally.

Keystone correction is important, but should not be used as the sole deciding factor. You can usually minimize the keystone effect by positioning the projector so that the lens is not below the top or bottom of the screen. If you need a projector that can be placed in a variety of environments, consider a projector with lens shift capability.

Price Range

Under $100

480p image resolution. Contrast ratio 2000:1. Must be used in the dark. Minimal speaker output. No wireless connectivity. No SD card slot.

$100 – $500

480p image resolution. Contrast ratio 3,000:1. Must be used in the dark. Support for HDMI, VGA, microSD and USB inputs. 3.5mm audio output for headphones and speakers. No wireless functionality.

$300 – $500

720p image resolution. Contrast ratio 3,000:1. Must be used in low light. Some wireless functions.

$500 – $1,000

1920×1080 image resolution. Contrast ratio of 15,000:1. Clear from most viewing angles during the day. Some wireless features. Good enough for gaming.

$1,000 – $2,000+

Creates a 4K image that is completely clear from all angles during the day. Automatically corrects image distortion. Connects to wireless devices. Ideal for gaming.


To find the right projector for you, you need to know the distinctions between various projectors and how they can affect your business or home theater setup. A projector or image projector is an optical device that projects an image onto a surface, usually a projection screen. Most projectors create an image by passing a light through a small transparent lens, but some new types of projectors can project the image directly, using lasers.

Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
The Bollyinside editorial staff is made up of tech experts with more than 10 years of experience Led by Sumit Chauhan. We started in 2014 and now Bollyinside is a leading tech resource, offering everything from product reviews and tech guides to marketing tips. Think of us as your go-to tech encyclopedia!


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