DLP Home Theater Projectors – FAQs
(Frequently Asked Questions)
Selecting a home theater projector can seem like a daunting task, and there is more to consider than just “How much does it cost?” With all the options and features available today, here are a few things to consider when selecting a projector to get the maximum value for your home theater.
Are home theater projectors expensive?
The price of a DLP home theater projector is driven by a couple of key factors:
- 1. If you’re looking for a full HD projector, you need to consider at 1080p resolution system. There are many DLP projectors which feature full 1080p resolution. A more affordable HD projector will feature 720p resolution which is still High Definition and will suit the needs of most home theaters. HD projectors range start at around $500.
- 2. Projector features are also important. Make sure your projector has multiple inputs to allow for connection of a wide variety of devices such as computers, DVD players, cable boxes and gaming systems. Projectors with multiple HDMI inputs offer the most digital flexibility. Optics also play an important part in the price of the projector.
- 3. Some DLP home theater projectors offer high-end optical components which feature expanded zoom capabilities and even active ratio adjustments for different content. The more sophisticated the optics, the more expensive the projector becomes.
- 4. Most home theater projectors will feature brightness (measured in “lumens) around 1,000 lumens. This level of brightness is suitable for a dark home theater with complete lighting control. However, getting a home theater projector which features higher brightness (perhaps 2,000 lumens or more) allows more flexibility in the room for lighting without interfering with the picture quality. The rule here is: the higher the brightness, the higher the price.
What is the native contrast ratio?
This is key for picture quality. High numbers are better such as 2,000:1 or 3,000:1. Be sure that you mention “NATIVE”. Some LCD projectors might list a high contrast ratio, but then qualify this as “up to” depending upon what image is on the screen. Native contrast ratio is the constant, measured degree of black to white that is displayed continuously.
Does it require a filter?
Filters are usually required for LCD projectors to try to keep dust and dirt from reaching the imaging elements. DLP technology enables a filter free design and most DLP projectors do not require filters that must be cleaned and changed.
What is the optimal physical size projector for me?
The optimal size for a projector depends on how it will be used. If the projector is meant to be mounted to the ceiling to be in a fixed location, then the size is not as important as the rest of the projector’s features. If the projector will be moved from location to location, then a more portable projector should be considered. With total weight as low as two pounds and under, DLP projectors lead the pack for lightness.