Set Up Your Home Theater With a Movie Projector – Part 1
These days, many people are setting up a home theater system with a projector instead of a TV because the quality you get is at a bargain price. If you buy a projector, it will give you a diagonal screen size of at-least over 84 inches at a price of $800-$2000 if not more. If you go for a plasma tv of 60-70 inches, it will cost you not less than $7000-$8000. And projectors are portable, don’t weigh much (5-10 pounds) and are easy to use and install. You just need a big room dedicated to your home theater.
Choose between LCD and DLP projectors. DLP gives a better picture quality but it is more expensive than LCD. These days, the quality gap between the two has reduced quite a bit. LCD projectors are great too, so don’t worry. Go for a projector with at least 1600 lumens. This is the brightness of the bulb. If you watch a movie in a completely dark room, 1200 lumens will also work fine. But in case you watch it with some amount of light/brightness, you need at least 1600-2000 lumens, more the better. Go for a resolution of at least 720p. A resolution of 1080p will be great, but these projectors are really expensive – starting from $999. But if you have the bucks, don’t think twice. For XGA resolutions, at least 1024×768 is a must.
Look at the lamp life. Make sure that is at least 2000 hours in normal mode and 3000 hours in power-saving or quiet mode. The lamps are the only replacement parts you will need every 2 years or so. And these are expensive. So if you have to choose between two projectors in which one offers 1000 lamp life hours more, go for that one. Contrast ratio: this decides how black will be the black color compared to the whites. For a contrast ratio of 600:1, it means that black will be 600 times blacker than the white levels. It decides how deep the black will look on your screen. The darker, the better. So, higher the contrast ratio, better the output on screen. Aspect ratio: Go for an aspect ratio of 16:9 because it is the de facto standard of games, movie dvds these days. You can view your TV and old tapes which are in 4:3 format via most projectors because settings are present to adjust the screen size accordingly.