Staples' Guide to Choosing the Right Projector for Your Business and Home

Want to ace your next sales pitch? Host the neighbourhood's best backyard movie night ever? You're in the right place, because nothing beats a projector when you need to shine big and bright. But, with so many projector models to choose from, the hardest part may be deciding which one is right for you. So here's an easy guide to help find the model that best fits your needs.

1

Where Will You be Using the Projector?

Office/Classroom

Today's multimedia projectors pack high brightness so your colourful content powers through any ambient light in the room. Plus, the image dimension of widescreen business projectors is designed to match up with modern laptops, eliminating black bars andsqueezed content.

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Recommended for:

  • Business meetings
  • Classrooms
  • Conferences
Installation Is Easy With The Right Projector Mount. Shop Projector Mounts

Home

Dedicated home theatre projectors feature dramatic colour and deep contrast for the ultimate cinematic experience. Many models are compatible with the latest 4K UHD and HDR content.

If you don't have a dedicated theatre room, don't despair. There are new high brightness models (2600 lumens+) with cinema-quality features so you can enjoy the immersive experience of the big screen anywhere at home.

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Recommended for:

  • Home theatre
  • Living room
  • Outdoor

Portable

Want to take your projector on the road? Portable models come in handy - and you don't need to sacrifice image quality. There are high-powered multimedia projectors thin enough to slip into your briefcase, but bright enough to project large, colourful images.

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Recommended for:

  • Small/medium rooms
  • Personal use at home or on the road
2

Understanding Image Quality

Brightness

Bright Rooms and/or Large Image Sizes

Projector brightness is the light output of a projector that is measured in lumens. There are two important brightness specifications, White Brightness and Colour Brightness.

Both of these standards measure the average brightness from nine points on a screen. The difference is White Brightness measures how bright the projector is when it is projecting a solid white image, whereas Colour Brightness measures the brightness when it is projecting colours. If you only see one "Brightness" spec published for a projector model, it is usually the White Brightness rating, the Colour Brightness of the projector may be much lower.

How many lumens of Colour Brightness and White Brightness do you need? Professional installers use projection calculators that factor in many variables, including the throw distance, image size, ambient light in the room, and projected content. But for general guidance, just remember you need higher brightness for larger image sizes and higher ambient light.

A Great Screen Can Enhance Brightness and Image Quality. Shop Projector Screens
Large,
Bright Rooms

4000+ lumens

Classrooms / Meeting
Rooms

3000+ lumens

Dark Rooms / Dedicated
Home Theatres

1500 - 2500 lumens

Contrast Ratio

Deep Blacks in Dark Rooms

Contrast ratio is the difference in brightness between the brightest and darkest parts in an image. The greater the difference, the higher the contrast. If you take the brightest white on a screen and the darkest black and compare the luminosity, you will get the contrast ratio. For example, a 1000:1 contrast ratio means that the brightest white is 1000x brighterthan the darkest black.

With business projectors, lumen output is most important with contrast being a secondary concern. Home theatre projectors are the exact opposite-contrast is especially important for the home theatre, where ambient light could make it challenging to see rich cinematic content if there is not a significant enough difference between whites and blacks. Therefore, a high contrast ratio means the projected image will have incredibly rich, crystal-clear detail.

Resolution

Sharp Details and Crisp Text

Resolution is simply the number of pixels that the projector can display. It can have a big impact on image quality, especially if you plan to project detailed charts or high-resolution photos or videos. The higher the resolution of the projector, the sharper the details will be - especially as the projected image size gets larger.

Business and Education
Resolutions

Home Cinema
Resolutions

Business/
Education
SVGA
540p+
XGA
720p+
WXGA
Widescreen
720p+
WUXGA
Widescreen
1080p+
Resolution Low High
Home
Cinema
HD720p
Widescreen
Full HD
1080p
Widescreen
UHD 4K
Class
Widescreen
3

Setup and Connectivity Features

Connections and Networking

There are many types of projector connections, including USB, VGA, Component, HDMI, Display Port, and wireless. Many connection types are cross or backward compatible using an adapter. Projectors with an MHL (Mobile High-Definition Link®) HDMI® port let you stream HD content directly from MHL-enabled smartphones, tablets and streaming devices.

Easy Setup with Sound: Built-In Speakers

If you plan to play a lot of video content but won't be permanently installing your projector into an A/V system, built-in speakers will make setup a lot faster.

Image Position and Adjustment

Projectors with keystone correction and lens shift give you more control over image alignment and make using your projector effortless.

Throw Distance and Positioning

The throw ratio of a projector tells you how far away from the screen the projector needs to be to give you a certain image size. Short-Throw projectors generally refer to a distance between 3 to 8 feet away from projector to screen, and Ultra Short-Throw projectors refer to a distance between 0 to 4 feet away from projector to screen, so you can project a large image even when the projector is positioned close to the screen.

Ready to put what you've learned into practice? Start shopping.

Office/Classroom

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