Whether you’re buying a projector for business or education, it’s worth knowing what features and specifications to look out for. From lumens to lasers: read our no-nonsense answers to some of the most common questions asked by projector buyers.
- What does 3LCD mean?
In an LCD (liquid-crystal display) projector light from a single lamp is directed to a trio of miniature LCD panels that process the red, green, and blue light components separately. The pixels in each panel contain a liquid-crystal material that regulates the amount of light passing through them by twisting and untwisting in response to electrical voltages. After exiting the LCD panels, the three colored beams are combined by a prism and projected onto the screen by a lens.
White light – from the projector’s Ultra-High Pressure Mercury (UHP) lamp or laser light source, depending on the model – is split into three primary colours (red, blue and green). Each colour is beamed towards its own LCD panel that forms the image. Finally, the three primary colour images are recombined. 3LCD technology offers the benefits of high image brightness, colour accuracy and reliability over other projection technologies.
- What does DLP mean?
Most DLP (Digital Light Processing) projectors have a single chip and a spinning colour wheel that chops white light from a lamp into a sequence of red, green, and blue beams (sometimes yellow and white too). The beams are reflected from the chip which contains hundreds of thousands of tiny mirrors. These mirrors pivot thousands of times a second to control the brightness of the pixels and are synchronized to display a red, green, or blue projection that the eye blends into a full-color image.
- What image resolution do I need?
Resolution measures the amount of detail a projector can accurately display. It’s normally measured in ‘pixels’ – the tiny dots making up an image. As a comparison, your Full HD TV has a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. Projectors typically use measurements for resolution that are borrowed from the computer industry including SVGA (800 x 600), XGA (1024 x 768), WXGA (1280 x 800), WUXGA (1920 x 1200) and even higher resolutions up to 4K Ultra HD (3840 x 2160). The greater the resolution the sharper the detail you’ll see on screen, with higher resolution projectors typically costing more. Don’t compromise with anything less than the original resolution of any source you’re likely to be projecting – the resulting images will lack detail and sharpness.
- What is contrast ratio?
Contrast measures the difference – expressed as a ratio, like ‘2000:1’ – between bright and dark parts of an image being projected. The higher the contrast ratio, the more detail you’re able to see on the screen. Ambient light in the room will always reduce the effective contrast of your projector. In a classroom or office, you’ll struggle to tell the difference between models offering a high or low contrast.
A term defining how far the whitest whites are from the blackest blacks. If the peak white value is significantly different than the peak black value the signal is said to have high contrast resulting in well defined sharp colour's and shading. The Higher the better. A contrast of 400:1 means that the blackest black on the image will be 400 times darker than the whitest white.
The contrast ratio is an important specification to look at should you be looking for a home theatre projector or when you wish to project in a darkened room. It is not of much importance for data/business projectors though as the contrast is usually washed out by the ambient light in the room.
- What is throw ratio?
Dividing the distance from a projector’s lens to the screen by the width of the image tells you the ‘throw ratio’. This ratio is useful when you’re installing a projector, telling you how close the projector can be placed to the screen while ensuring clear images with no visible pixels. Some Sony projectors are compatible with optional interchangeable lenses with different throw ratios. This gives you more flexibility to install the projector closer or further away from the screen as you choose while maintaining image quality.
- What is Aspect Ratio (standard/widescreen)
The standard proportion in width to height for a projector used to be 4:3, but modern projectors have a widescreen format of 16:9 or 16:10. Almost all new computers are designed in the widescreen 16:10 or 16:9 formats so if the budget allows we normally recommend getting a 16:9 or 16:10 projector (which means a WXGA or WUXGA resolution).
- What is HDMI - High-Definition Multimedia Interface?
This connection has basically taken over and is now featured on almost all projectors. It is the highest quality type of connection and is widely used on home theatre equipment as well as on computers. Be sure to use a v1.4 HDMI cable if you wish to play 3D, the older v1.3 HDMI cables cannot transmit 3D signals.
- How is projector brightness measured?
The brightness of all Sony projectors is expressed as ‘colour light output’ and measured in lumens. It’s a more useful real-world measurement than the older ‘ANSI lumen’ brightness that simply expresses the brightest white the projector is capable of delivering. The brightness of Sony projectors ranges from around 2,600 lumens for easy-to-carry portable and desktop models, right up to 7,000 lumens for high-end projectors for permanent installation like the VPL-FH500L and VPL-FHZ700L.
Brightness : The brightness of the projector (ie how bright the image will be) is rated by ANSI LUMENS.
The recommended brightness level varies depending on use and room conditions.
- Home theatre projectors will range from about 2000 lumens up to about 2500 lumens brightness. When you're watching a movie you will most likely dim most of the light from the room, so a bright projector is not only unnecessary it will be overpowering in a dim room. Home theatre projectors generally focus on providing high detail, accurate colours, and high contrast to give the best picture possible.
- Presentations in a dim room allows you to decide from projectors around the 2000- 3000 lumen brightness level. Presentations require people to be able to read from charts sheets and other small texts and therefore you will need a little more brightness than home theatre.
- Presentations in a lit room will require from 3000 to 5000 Lumens brightness. This will ensure that the image is visible on the wall/screen in most lit rooms. Just remember the larger the screen and the brighter the room the brighter the projector will have to be. 3000 lumens is usually enough for a boardroom sized area, while 4000+ lumens is better for small halls or areas with lots of natural light.
- Larger venues presentations with a lit room/hall. In this situation I would recommend 4000 lumens and above. The larger the screen has to be and the more light that comes in the brighter the projector will have to be. For a 2m wide picture in a well lit room 4000 lumens is normally fine, for a 4m wide picture in a well lit room you would be best to jump up to around 6000 lumens or higher.
- What is keystone correction?
If a projector isn’t pointing directly at the screen, images that should be perfectly rectangular look distorted in an irregular shape known as a trapezoid. Keystone correction automatically compensates for this image distortion, ensuring projected pictures that are geometrically square and accurately proportioned. Be aware that this image correction does have a small (but effectively unnoticeable) effect on the projector’s resolution.
- What’s different about a laser projector?
Projectors like our VPL-FHZ700L and VPL-FHZ65 use a 3LCD laser light source instead of a conventional lamp. As well as excellent picture quality and quick start-up, you’ll enjoy low running costs and reduced maintenance, with up to 20,000 hours virtually maintenance-free operation… that’s around 10 years in normal use. Find out more about laser projection.
- What sources can I connect to a projector?
In most business and educational environments, projectors are often connected to a computer, server or local area network (LAN) to display PC presentations, documents and web sites. Depending on your projector’s input ports, you can also connect other sources like DVD or Blu-ray Disc players, video conferencing systems, set-top boxes and gaming consoles.
Our Projection Simulator app is a handy tool to help AV installers see the effect of throw ratios, optional lenses and available lens shift ranges. This can help with deciding which projector is most suitable for the buyer.
- What is lens shift adjustment?
Ideally, a projector is placed perfectly in front of the centre of the screen to produce a perfectly-proportioned image. In reality, the projector often needs to be positioned higher or lower, or to one side Lens shift adjustment allows the projector to be installed off-centre, either vertically or horizontally. This gives more flexibility during installation – and it doesn’t sacrifice the projector’s native image resolution.
- What’s an Ultra Short Throw projector?
Ultra Short Throw projectors are an increasingly popular choice for classrooms, offices and open-plan meeting areas. They’re a great way to project big, bright images onto a screen, whiteboard or wall without having to site the projector far away on the other side of the room. The projector is typically mounted on the ceiling or a wall very close to the screen – often a metre away or less. As well as taking up less space, there’s no danger of the projector beam being interrupted by shadows from other people in the room.
- What’s an Throw Distance and Projection Size?
One thing that can trip up customers is Throw Distance & Projection Size. Different projector models use different lenses, all with different zooms and throw distances. Each projector must be positioned within a certain distance for a certain image size. This distance can vary by quite alot between each model. Some projectors need to be very close (short throw) and some fairly far away (long throw). Just Projectors has a Throw Distance Chart available on the 'More Information' page for most projectors to allow customers to get an idea of installation size. If you are replacing an existing projector and want the new unit to sit at the same position you may get a different image size... if you must get the same image size feel free to contact Just Projectors staff so we can make sure whatever replacment you get will get you the correct picture size.
- How can I use my projector with Chromecast?
Chromecast is a wireless streaming technology by Google that lets you ‘cast’ video content from a smartphone or tablet to view on a projector. Most Sony projectors support Chromecast. Just plug Google’s Chromecast device – a USB dongle – into the projector’s HDMI port. Wireless streaming is controlled by the Chromecast app on your mobile device.
- What devices can I use for projecting wirelessly?
Traditionally, projectors have been connected via a cable to the source they’re displaying, whether it’s a PC or DVD player. But now wireless presentation is becoming increasingly popular, letting you project images directly from a laptop, smartphone or tablet with no cables. You may need to add an optional USB wireless dongle for the projector, plus our Projector Station app for your mobile device.
What is digital signage?
We are all familiar with advertising on billboards and posters...it's static and non-interactive. Now imagine having an LCD monitor in place of that paper poster...with an unlimited number of video, animation and design elements for you to make whatever you want. Imagine the possibilities.
Can my business or company benefit from digital signage?
Are you a business? Do you have message you want to get across to potential customers? Do you want to reach a captive audience using an effective and efficient method that will allow your company to up sell and cross sell either your product or service? Then yes, digital signage is right for you. MediaSignage makes the transition into the new medium effortless and inexpensive. Best of all with MediaSignage you can run your signage on any flash powered device including web, mobile and portable devices.
Where can digital signage be used?
Wherever you can hang an LCD monitor and reach potential customers...THAT'S where you can use digital signage. The possibilities are endless: Retail Education Leisure Public Transport Museums Entertainment Gas Stations Public Spaces Restaurants and menu systems Hospitality and more...
Is my information and content secure?
Media-Signage is powered by 128 bit SSL encryption. Multiple levels of authentication are used for user level access. Powered by RSA Authentication, all media is accessible using public / private keys allowing for the highest level of access restrictions for your private data. Our Adobe AIR application is SSL signed and approved.
What are the copyright restrictions and regulations?
It is your responsibility to ensure you follow your country's copyright laws. Media-Signage Inc. will not be responsible for any copyright infringements associated with your account. Be sure you receive full written approval for media and content used in your signage presentation. Media-Signage Inc. will remove content which was brought to our attention as a violator of any copyright laws
What should I keep in mind when purchasing a paper shredder?
You will want to be sure you purchase a shredder that meets your needs. You will want to be sure it handles your current volume of shredding, but also future volumes of shredding. These are a few questions you will want to ask yourself before purchasing a shredder:
- How sensitive is the material I will be shredding?
- What kind of paper will I be shredding?
- How often will I need to use the shredder?
- Do I want a large shredder, or several small shredders?
- How many sheets do I want to shred at once?
- How big is the paper that I will be shredding?
What security level shredder should I purchase?
Shredders are designed to destroy paper. Different shredders cut paper into different sized pieces. If you will be shredding sensitive material, that includes your social security number, account information, name, address and more, I would recommend purchasing at least a security-level three paper shredder. You will ultimately need to determine how sensitive the material you are shredding is before purchasing a shredder. Most companies that sell shredders should have representatives that can help you with your final choice.
Can a paper shredder shred all types of paper?
Most paper shredders can shred all types of paper. Some home-office paper shredders will have a difficult time shredding card stock. Some strip-cut shredders will have difficulty shredding glossy paper. Be sure you are running paper through the shredder. Most shredders cannot handle plastic, wood or metal.
How often should I oil my shredder?
If you use your shredder only a few times a week, it is recommended that you only oil your shredder once a month. If you use your shredder regularly, it is recommended that you oil your shredder every four hours. It is a good idea to oil your shredder every time you change your bag.
Can a paper shredder hurt me?
Most paper shredders have safety features built into them that prevent injury. Most paper shredders have an opening small enough that you cannot get your fingers caught. You will want to be careful when shredding if you have long hair, wear a tie or wear a necklace. The only type of shredder that you really need to worry about, when it comes to injury, are the industrial paper shredders. Although industrial paper shredders have safety features built into them, they are very powerful and have large cutting blades.
How do I oil my paper shredder?
There are a few ways you can go about oiling your shredder. The most popular way is to put oil on a sheet of paper and run it through the shredder. Once the paper has gone through, put the shredder in reverse to lubricate all the parts. Another method is to squirt the oil directly into the shredder, from left to right. Once the oil is in the shredder, put it in reverse for about 10 to 20 seconds. Not all shredders will allow you to squirt the oil directly in, which is where paper comes in handy. The most important thing to keep in mind is getting the oil over the entire blade, including the edges.
What should I shred?
I would recommend shredding anything that you would consider to be sensitive or to contain personal information. An example of this would be credit card receipts, applications, bank statements, invoices, receipts and more. Anything that contains your name, birth date, social security number, phone number, family information or any other personal information should be shredded.
From a business standpoint, I would shred anything that has customer or employee information printed. I would also shred anything that would be considered confidential to the business.
Should I buy a department store shredder?
This all depends on how much you shred. Department store shredders are usually used for low-volume shredding and are not designed for continuous use. Using a low-volume shredder for mid to high-volume shredding will burn out the motor. It could end up costing you more money in the long run by having to purchase multiple shredders.