Projector tech explainer: All your front projection questions answered
Front projection is great, but before you jump into the ultimate big-screen experience, here are a few things you should know.
For the biggest TV, movie, and gaming experience, you need a projector. On top of all the "normal" TV jargon, projectors have their own buzz words and marketing fluff that must be navigated. Then there's the additional complexity of wiring and screens. None of these things are difficult, especially if you're armed with a handy helpful guide.
Hey, this is a helpful handy guide! Behold, all your projector tech questions answered.
By far, the most important aspect of picture quality is contrast ratio. This is the difference between the darkest object a projector can create, and the brightest. Unfortunately, no manufacturer is honest about their contrast ratio:
Projectors are a two-piece system: the projector, and the screen. Picking the right screen is crucial to the overall picture quality. Check outfor all the info.
The color temperature is important, as it's the "color" of white. You don't want it to be too blue or too red. Getting it right can make the image more realistic. So
There are three technologies used in all front projectors, and they each have their pros and cons: .
Many higher-end LCD and LCoS projectors have refresh rates higher than the "normal" 60Hz. So
Even though was written with TVs in mind, there's a lot of good info to help you decide how big a screen you should get for your room.
Unsure if a 80- or 90-inch LCD TVs are a better deal than projection? Check this out:
Most mid- and all high-end projectors are 1080p. Your cable box sends out 1080i. Guess what?
Just as with TVs, simply because you have an HD projector doesn't mean everything you watch on it is "HD." Find out
Every projector needs to convert whatever signal you send it to it's "native" resolution (1080p, WXGA, etc). This processing is called "upconverting." So
"4K" and "Ultra HD" are big buzz words this year. Sadly, the only 4K projector right now runs $25,000. Because while, 4K projectors are a great idea. I explain why in
Most projectors are capable of doing 3D. Pretty much all are active 3D. Here's the difference between (like many theaters have).
Here's how the 3D itself works on.
Setup and inputs
The best way to get an HD signal to your projector is with HDMI cables. You'll need a long runs from your sources (like your cable box) to your projector, but don't get suckered by ultrahigh prices. Here's the secret:
OK, technically it's not that simple. I go into even more (excruciating) detail inand
Your projector's settings play a huge part in how the image looks. Once the projector is installed, check outand (They're good for projectors, too!)
You also might want to consider getting your projector professionally calibrated. The pros and cons here:
I use my projector as a huge computer monitor for games and more..
Also check out all the.
I'm a huge fan of projectors (obviously). I've had one as my "TV" for over a decade. With a little research, you can have a movie theater in your home, too. Check out our picks for the Best home theater projectors.
Got a question for Geoff? First, check out all the other articles he's written on topics like , , , and more. Still have a question? Send him an e-mail! He won't tell you what projector to buy, but he might use your letter in a future article. You can also send him a message on Twitter: @TechWriterGeoff.