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Buying a Projector

Choosing the Best Projector for You

The first step in choosing the best projector for you is to know what you’ll be using it for, and what content you’ll be viewing. While it's likely that most TV projectors can handle any type of media, most projectors are designed to more effectively present one type of content than another. For instance, if you will use your projector to play games or watch sports, movies and TV shows, you will likely want an HD projector that will provide a high-quality picture with strong color contrast. Similarly, if you’ll be using your video projector outside, you’ll want one that offers a high brightness factor since you’ll have less control of the ambient light. If you are buying a projector for your business, you will want a multimedia projector that is bright enough that overhead lights won’t present a viewing challenge.

Which Projector Technology Should You Get?

The two main projector technologies are transmissive and reflective. LCD (liquid crystal display) projectors use transmissive technology. This means that the light passes through LCD panels. DLP (digital light processing) is reflective, meaning that these projectors use mirrors to direct light. LED (light-emitting diode) projectors can be transmissive or reflective. LCD projectors are a better choice for larger venues with greater projection distances. Generally, these projectors are less expensive as well. DLP projectors are best suited for smaller venues like your entertainment room, and tend to require less maintenance. The light source in LED projectors is intended to last as long as the projector, which is an advantage in multimedia business applications since it means lower maintenance costs. If you value being able to display documents, photos and videos directly from your devices, you’ll want to consider a Bluetooth projector.

TV Projector: Lumens, Aspect Ratio and More

No matter what technology the projector you choose has, you’ll want to consider its lumens rating, a measurement of brightness. The higher the lumens, the brighter the projector will be at a given distance. If you want a projector for business, or will be using it outside, you’ll want a projector with a higher lumens rating. If you’ll be watching movies, shows and other content inside, brighter is not necessarily better. Instead you’ll want enough brightness to supply vivid colors and rich contrast.

Aspect ratio is another factor. A 4:3 ratio is almost square, making it a good choice for business presentations, classic movies and DVD-based TV series. 16:9 and 16:10 are better-suited for widescreen DVD and Blu-ray displays. These ratios can also display content with a 4:3 ratio without distortion.

After choosing your ideal projector, you’ll want to turn your attention to selecting a projector screen. Generally, you will want a screen with the same aspect ratio as your projector. Screens come in various fabrics and sizes, and in a variety of styles, including wall-mounted, ceiling-mounted, self-standing, motorized and outdoor. You will also need to decide whether you want to use a permanent ceiling mount for projector, or would prefer to position your projector on a shelf or a table.

Getting the Best Home Theater Experience with Your HD Projector

Once you've decided on your projector and screen, you will want to select audio components that will provide sound to match the quality video. While many projectors have fairly impressive speakers, it’s hard to improve on the immersive audio provided by a quality home theater system. Then, you’ll want to consider finishing touches like home theater seating to ensure optimal viewing and listening comfort. You may even want a popcorn machine to provide an authentic movie theater atmosphere. You may also want to use smart switches to control the lights and audio level in your entertainment area via your smartphone or other device. Whatever you decide, Best Buy can help you find the optimal viewing experience.