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Friday, June 11, 2010

Lessons of the Day: How to Choose an LCD Projector

As part of the IT Committee of my school, I was ask to attend an end user tech update of a known brand of printers and lcd projectors who just built a solutions center in Cebu. I was specifically asked to inquire about LCD projectors since the school may be planning to buy projectors to be used in an open area as well as a mobile projector.

I was one of the early birds and therefore I won a gift certificate for a body massage at a known spa. Of course, I cannot avail of that body massage unless I want to see how it feels when my kidney cysts burst. So I gave it to my wife who will avail of the service later because she still has sunburns from a previous outing with friends.

Back to the tech update venue. What immediately caught my attention were the projectors displayed and the product catalog distributed to us. I looked at the pages for projectors and the specs were laid out for each LCD projector.

The lumens I already have an idea. If you want a bright image, go for higher lumens. But what lumens exactly will be good for a venue which is not really enclosed like our school's main social hall which had no walls? I asked the tech support people and they said 2500 or 3000 ANSI Lumens and above. Hmmm... But I became curious because I saw in the specs "contrast ratio", "1024 x 768 pixel display" and "XGA Resolution".

I realized that laptops have different display size and I somehow got the point when I was told by a Ma'am Anniebeth that the newer laptops have a 1024 x 768 pixel display which is perfect for the LCD with the same pixel display. I remember the sight of my laptop display adjusting to other LCD projectors once it is hooked to the latter since they have different displays.

How about the contrast ratio? A high contrast ratio projector will allow the viewer to differentiate an object from a dark background like a person walking at night with few lights on. For usual presentation purposes a high contrast ratio is not a must but for home projectors I learned, it is ideal in order to enjoy movies at home.

Yes, LCD projectors can be used instead of LCD TV and the screen I imagine will be much bigger with the former and the cost cheaper. I think these are the kind of projectors rented by baranggay officials when they hold a free showing of a Pacquiao fight.

Now I know more than Lumens about projectors. I also learned there are filters in some LCD projectors and USB can be used to connect the laptop to the projector. A wireless connection may also do.

But I remembered there are two types of projectors. The LCD projector and the DLP which according to a colleague of mine was said to be the best in terms of clarity of projection.

A demonstration wherein an LCD projector and DLP projector showing the same presentation with pictures was made. It appeared that the LCD projector did better when colors were involved.

So it was recommended to me that for school lecture use an LCD projector with an XGA Resolution, a 1024 x 768 pixel display, 2500 Ansi Lumens and a 2000:1 Contrast ratio will be enough for the purpose and a higher 4000 ANSI Lumens be bought for the open venue.

I learned a lot today about choosing an LCD projector. And next week, I have to report to my boss and narrate my experience.  For now, all I have is smiles........

I just won a printer-scanner-copier in one from the event. Behold...


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