Interactive Vision Solutions

All About Projectors

April 8, 2015

So you're planning a remote presentation and have everything you need. You have your information memorized; your rebuttals to questions and you're ready to go. Well, almost. How will the viewers of your presentation see it without a projector? Choosing the right projector rental can be a tough decision if you aren't familiar with how they work. If the terms lumen, lens-shift and fast-fold are foreign to you, here's a short guide to help you better understand projectors. Thank us later!

The Basics:

The three primary factors in determining the best projector for you are:

Brightness – What kind of room will your projector be in? Are there a lot of windows? Will there be lights on? The brilliance of the image itself is perhaps the most important thing to consider with a projector. Lumens are the industry standard metric for determining brightness. Lumens are the amount of light emitted by a source.

Resolution - Native Resolution is the amount of pixels available to project your image. Choosing the best resolution is the close equivalent of figuring out how big you want a TV to be. If a projector is 1024x768, that means that the display is 1,024 pixels per horizontal row and 768 pixels per vertical column. It's all relative to your room size. The higher the resolution, the sharper your picture will be.

Throw Distance – The throw distance ratio is determined by the width of an image. The industry standard is 2.0. For every foot of image width, the projector should be placed two feet away.

Projector Screens

So, thanks to IVS you're now a mini-master of determining the best projector (you're welcome), but what about screens? Luckily, there's less technical jargon to remember with screens, but there are still things to consider. The size of the screen is all important. Do you have a large room and need the people all the way in the back to see those finance stats? Get a big screen. Conversely, if you're a teacher in a small room the last thing you need is your little ones straining their necks looking up at a huge screen. Make sure you choose the best screen for your room size.

For small and medium size projectors, there are tri-pad screens which use one tri-pad leg to stand up. They’re easy to travel with and set up. Do you want to place your screen in the middle of the room? Grab a fast-fold dual projector screen, which emits an image on both sides. Fast-fold screens are supported by an aluminum frame with legs on each side. The frames can be raised up to 5-10 feet off the ground or mounted on a truss or wall. They also come with the option of a full dress kit. Put a skirt or curtain around your screen to make it look snazzier!

Another important thing to consider is whether you want a white or gray projection screen. Will you be presenting in a room with lighting? Your best bet may be a gray screen. White screens are industry standard, but gray projection screens increase the contrast for an image, especially in rooms that aren't completely dark. Think of a room with windows or dim lighting. The gray color of the screen absorbs some of the extra light rather than reflecting it as a white screen would.

The 3 Different Types of Projectors

Small Projectors:

They're best suitable for smaller screens. These projectors generally aren't packed with a lot of Lumens, which means they're only really functional in dim light.

Brightness: 2500-3500 Lumens

Pros: The most affordable projectors for sure. They're the most practical option for a presentation in a small room. They're also the easiest to set up.

Cons: Deciding throw distance is a completely manual process with small projectors. Unfortunately, they offer limited zoom options. If you need to drastically enhance your image, you’ll need to move the projector itself.

Medium Projectors:

These offer very high resolution, allowing you to have excellent clarity if you're projecting a video. Don't just show them your photo collage, wow them!

Brightness: 4000-4500 Lumens

Pros: Medium projectors offer not only a high resolution but a very brilliant image, with up to 4500 Lumens.
Cons: With medium projectors, you can't change the lens. It's a better image, but you still have to manually affect the throw distance with these.

Pro Projectors:

Professional class projectors have a lens shift feature that allows you to control the throw distance without moving the actual projector. For instance, if you you were to mount a projector in a movie theater, you can simply install the best lens that fit your needs. To control the throw distance, you must use “Projection Calculator Pro”. This calculator helps you determine which lens to use. For instance, to cover a 9x12 ft screen from 50 feet away, the calculator will use your projector’s configuration to figure out which lens is best.

Brightness: 7200 - 20000 Lumens and up.
Pros: They're the best of the best. Pro projectors provide the best resolution and the brightest images possible. They're fully customizable and the aforementioned lens shift feature allows you to take that projector into just about any size room.
Cons: You get what you pay for, and with pro projectors, you'll be paying a lot.

Projection Mapping

Projection Mapping is an intriguing technology that offers a three dimensional, immersive experience. Using software in tandem with your projector, projection mapping takes your image off the wall, making it an interactive display. It can be used for projection on a building, large outdoor projection, or projection in a dark room, such as this awesome video. If you’re a car company, why not wow the crowd with a lifelike image of your car? If you’re holding a football awards banquet, you can make it feel as if we’re on the field of play with the athletes. The possibilities are endless with projection mapping.

IVS Screen Specials

Along with industry standard screens, Interactive Video Solutions offers these unique screens:

Electric Pull-Down Screen – These are ideal for classrooms or home theaters, especially because they’re permanently mounted. There aren’t available for rent, but we offer full installation and maintenance for all pull downs screens. We will consult you on which screen is best for you.

Glass Screen Projection – We can place a FlexGlass or Sticky Screen on your window, allowing you to project your images right from the glass! There are four versions of Sticky Screen rear projection screens: Shadow Grey, Ultra White Black Max and Holographic Clear. Each version allows different options, from higher contrast to invisible screens. Take a look at them in action!

Panoramic Screen – Our dynamic projector screens provide an immersive experience. Panoramic screens are best for large rooms or rooms with low ceilings. They allow you to provide one large, wide, interactive image for all your viewers.

Stretch Screens – These screens have a unique shape, allowing you to project images on a funky surface. If you’re planning a wedding or anniversary, you can use an LCD or DLP projector to showcase photos of your love against the screen. You can even reflect them against Gobo lighting to project a unique design and add a flourish to your event, or use an LCD or DLP projector.

Now that you know the basics about projectors and screens, choosing the best combination for your event should be 2,560 x 1,600 or in other words super clear!

By Andre Gee

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