There is an overwhelming notion that projectors belong in theaters and conference rooms. Since televisions are available in larger sizes at lower price points, it is easy to understand why projectors are often overlooked, but don’t count them out just yet. At Home Technology Experts, we like to consider all of our options and then choose the best solution for the project. Now and then projectors do trump televisions. When should a projector be considered?
WHEN SIZE MATTERS
Yes, the ability to manufacture enormous televisions does exist. If you’re in the market for a 370-inch display for $1.7 million, give us a call, HTE would love to sell it to you! If not, consider a projector.
Projectors allow the characters you’re watching to literally become larger than life. Especially when watching in HD or UHD, small details that often cannot be seen on televisions due to their limited size become noticeable on a larger surface.
We often have clients who want to make a BIG statement with their video. While we typically use projector screens, a blank wall can be used as the projection surface. We once used a large retaining wall to create a beautiful outdoor theater.
WHEN LIGHT ISN’T AN ISSUE
When comparing a television and projector of the same quality, the television will always have the brighter image. Even though televisions are bright, ambient light, especially sunshine, can cause the image to look faded or dull. This problem is even more noticeable with projectors. However, many homes have shades or curtains which solve the issue.
If you’re not competing with ambient light, projectors can look just as good as some displays. At Home Technology Experts, we have found that clients prefer projectors in areas such as basements, recreation rooms, and man-caves. These rooms are typically found on the lower level where there is less light and are designed for socialization where a larger screen comes in handy.
WHEN YOU KNOW NOT ALL PROJECTORS CREATE SHADOWS
Shadows occur when an object comes between the projector and the screen. The best solution, use an ultra-short throw projector. Sony’s 4K HDR Home Theater Projector is installed less than a foot from the wall and can create a 100-120 inch image. Not only does it eliminate shadows, but it also creates a beautiful high contrast image with TRILIMINOS™ Color.
While rarely used for residential use, rear projection is always an option. This design sets the projector behind a translucent screen. A very popular option in corporate settings or on stages since it allows for presenters to stand in front of the screen without creating shadows.
A properly designed system also makes a huge difference. At Home Technology Experts, we have taken over jobs where high-end homes have projectors sitting on half walls, or in cabinets instead of being mounted to the ceiling. Standard projectors must be set back a distance to fill the screen. The lower the projector, the greater chance of shadows. There are applications when a properly mounted projector reduces the occurrence of shadows so much that it is no longer an issue.
WHEN YOU KNOW, HD & UHD LOOK GREAT
It’s true back in the early days of single-chip DLP projectors you could “see the rainbow” but times have changed. Let’s be clear if you want the sharpest most dynamic image on the market, a projector isn’t for you, but HTE does have an array of OLED and QLED displays for you to pick from. However, if you are just looking for a crisp vibrant image that looks great, you might want to think about a projector.
As big screen TVs began dropping in price, the projector world took notice and stepped up their game. An off-brand LCD or LED projector isn’t going to give you a great image. But a quality DLP or laser projector will produce brilliant video.
If you are buying a High Definition (4k) or Ultra High Def (8k) projector, it is going to produce a stunning image. The video will look sharp with vibrant colors.
WHEN YOU KNOW, THE BLUR IS GONE
When LCD TVs first hit the market, sports fans hated them! The displays had a low refresh rate so even when you put them in “Sports Mode,” when images went speeding across the screen they would get blurry or leave artifacts. The same was true with projectors at the time; you would walk into a sports bar, see a wall with huge video of your favorite game, only for it to get blurry when the action got good.
Just like the refresh rates increased in LCD TVs as they evolved, eliminating the issue, the same happened with projectors.
WHEN YOU KNOW, THE SOURCES ARE THE SAME
Any source (cable box, TiVo, Kaleidescape, Apple TV, Roku, etc.) you can connect to a television can also be connected to a projector. Now and then our system designers are asked if there is such thing as a smart projector, the answer is yes, but why would you need one? Since we can connect any video source to the projector, your TiVo, streaming device or even your computer gives you all the capability of a smart projector.
If you have a Savant system, you can even add Savant Tiling. With multiple sources on a single screen, the extra real-estate gained by using a projector is greatly noticed.