With home theater projectors, setting up your very own little cinema has become truly easy and convenient. There are lots of models to choose from, and they vary in both price and capabilities. Most of them can take inputs from both your computer and other video sources, such as a DVD player or a game console. However, most of them are either optimized for PC use or for home theater; very few models are good at both. To make sure you decide on the right model for your needs, there are some things you should bear in mind.
The first one is resolution. Most frequent home theater projects have a resolution of 720p or 1080p. The higher the resolution, the more pixels are displayed, which makes the image clearer. High resolutions also work on HD sources, such as Blu-rays, Sky HD and PS3. There are still some projectors with a resolution of 480p. However, at least 720p are required for a home theater projectors. These are still very affordable, and 480p projectors have become very rare. Image quality also varies upon what you are watching. A low signal in your projector will produce lower quality, particularly if you are using a large screen and how to choose the best projectors for a home
The contrast ratio is also significant. This ratio refers to the difference between white and black parts within the picture. For instance, a ratio of 1000:1 means that the darkest black is 1000 times darker than the brightest white. Projectors with a big difference between the brightest white and the darkest black provide clearer pictures. One might ask why should there be any brightness at all in black. That’s because all projectors have what is called brightness leakage. More sophisticated projectors have a lower leakage and therefore the contrast ratio is higher. The newest models have a contrast ratio of up to 200,000:1, which means they can display really dark black.
Another thing you should take into account is brightness. Home theater projectors’ brightness varies between 1000 and 2500 lumens. Picking the proper brightness also depends on how much you can reduce ambient light that hits the screen. If you know you will not use blinds or something else to reduce the degree of light coming from outside, you should consider higher lumen projectors. For low ambient light environments, projector brightness should be somwhere between 1200 and 1600. If you have controlled lighting, anything above 1000 lumens is good enough.
The two types of home theater projectors that you can find DLP (digital light processing) and LCD (liquid crystal display). While there have been long discussions about which of them is better, they have both significantly evolved along the years and the gap between them is now rather low. LCD projectors produced by world-known manufacturers such as Hitachi, Epson and Sanyo have the advantage of being less expensive.
Apart from the projector itself, you also need a projector screen. When looking for one, remember that the screen’s aspect ratio should fit the one of the projector. An aspect ratio of 16:9 for both the projector and the screen is a widespread selection among home theater users. You also need to arrange for sound sources in case the projector does not have embedded speakers. Sound systems can range from mere stereo amplifiers to multi-channel audio-video receivers.