A Front Projector is a two-piece system in which you have the Projector and a screen in front on to which the projector projects movies, TV programs or photographs. Here we will explain about the most important specs and features of a projector which determines the final picture quality on the screen and what makes the Projector picture look good, sharp and clear.
The Projector’s screen image is actually made up of millions of tiny squares in a net like pattern, known as pixels. You can see the Pixels in the picture shown here.
Pixel is the short form of ‘Picture Element’ where the ‘Pix’ stands for 'picture'. A Pixel is the smallest element which together makes the projector's complete image on the screen. If you go close up to the screen of the projector, you may be able to see the pixels similar to the picture shown here.
The more the number of pixels to make a projected picture the sharper it becomes. In HDTV there are 1920x1080 pixels with 1920 pixels arranged horizontally and 1080 pixels arranged vertically to make total of over 2 million pixels or 2 MegaPixels. A 4K Ultra HD picture has 3840x2160 pixels with 3840 pixels arranged horizontally and 2160 pixels arranged vertically to make total of about 4 million pixels or 4 MegaPixels. The 4K in the 4K UHD actually stands for the 4096 pixels in 4096x2160 resolution of early digital cinemas which got changed to 3840x2160 pixels in TV formats, but the 4K name continued to be used with this format.
The projector resolution is explained as the number of pixels horizontally multiplied by the number of pixels vertically. Thus for example the resolution of an HD projector will be 1920x1080.
There are various standard resolution formats for projectors like XGA (1024 x 768 pixels), WXGA (1280 x 800 pixels), HD (1920 x 1080 pixels) and 4K = (3840x 2160 resolution). The resolution in a projector is a measure of the clarity of the projector image being output.
The native resolution of a projector is explained as the actual number of pixels contained on the projection chip, the DLP or LCD chip for example, of the projector. The difference between resolution and native resolution of a projector is the resolution refers to the resolution of the picture on the screen whereas Native Resolution means the actual resolution of the picture element in the projector.
What is a good native resolution for a projector is at least a full HD full HD projector with 1920x1080 pixels resolution. Cheaper projectors with lower Native resolutions are available, but it is highly recommended not to go in for lower Native resolution projectors with less than Full HD resolution.
For those who can afford it, the best projector resolution available today is the 4K Ultra HD projectors with 3840x2160 pixels. The picture produced by higher resolution projectors is much smoother and a pleasure to watch. See the example above of the eye of a person magnified to compare the eye in the HD picture with the eye in the 4K UHD image. These pixel patterns will only be visible once you are very close to the screen. At recommended viewing distances (see below) of about 10 feet for a 100 inch projector screen, the pixelation on projector screens will not be seen, but the 4K picture will look slightly better.
THX considered the world's leading authority on TV and Projector Viewing best practices, recommends the best projector viewing distance depending on screen size as follows:
Divide the size of your screen by 0.84 (screen size is measured diagonally). For example, a 65-inch TV divided by 0.84 equals a 77-inch viewing distance (6.5 feet).
THX also recommends a minimum viewing angle of 40 degrees, that is the angle formed by lines drawn from the sides of the screen and meeting at the point where you are watching the movie (see the drawing here). When moving closer to the screen the angle will increase, and that is what is recommended. Also do not get closer than your comfort level.
Aspect ratio of projector screen means the ratio between the width and height of the projector screen. High definition or HD picture has an aspect ratio of 16:9. In the old days TV programs used to be transmitted in the 4:3 almost square like shape, but now the vast majority of TV transmissions are in HD aspect ratio of 16:9. The picture here compares these two aspect ratios and you can see that the wider aspect ratio of 16:9 is more pleasing to watch with less eye strain. Almost all modern home movie projectors come in the 16:9 aspect ratio. When a 16:9 movie is squeezed and compressed into 4:3 format, people and objects look very thin, this phenomenon is known as an 'Anamorphic Video'.
The Contrast ratio in a projector is explained as the ratio of the light reflected from an all white image on the projector screen to the light reflected from an all black image. So if a projector claims a contrast ratio of 10,000:1 it means that a white image in the projectors picture will be 10,000 times brighter than a black image. The higher the contrast ratio of a projector, the better the quality of the picture from that projector.
With a good quality 3D projector good 3D movies are fantastic to watch. But many use the 3D feature very rarely after the novelty of it rubs off in a few weeks. So it is a personal whether the extra price for a 3D projector is worth it. If the price is not a factor, then it is always good to have a Projector with 3D feature together with the required 3D glasses.
How 3D movies work is that there are actually 2 images being shown on the projector screen simultaneously, one for the right eye and the other for the left eye. The trick in shooting a 3D movie is that they are filmed with 3D cameras which have two lenses side by side, at about the same distance apart as our eyes are. The images from the left and right lenses are recorded separately and when 3D movies are shown on screen, first the image for left eye is shown followed immediately by the picture for the right eye at the rate of about 24 frames per second for each eye. Special 3D glasses allow the left eye to see only the pictures meant for the left eye and similarly for the right eye. This results in us seeing 3D images just like we see 3D images daily without any glasses.
When we talk about Projector Screen size, it is the diagonal length of the Projector screen from corner to corner. It is possible to calculate the diagonal (d) by knowing the width or bredth of the wall (b). To make the calculations of the projector screen diagonal size, we make use of the Pythagoras method as shown in the picture here.
Most projectors now come with HDTV 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio. Below we have an example of how to calculate the size of the projector screen when you know the width of the wall space you can spare.
The most common situation is when you know the width of the wall space you can spare for a projector screen and you want to calculate the maximum diagonal projector screen size you can have. This is how the caclulation is done. 'd' is the diagonal, 'b' is the bredth and 'a' is the height of the screen. Suppose the maximim wall width available is 8 feet, then we calculate the diagonal size of the screen as follows:
b=8 and since b:a is 16:9 for a HD screen
the height a=8x9⁄⁄16 =4.5feet
Now the diagonal d will be the square root of 92+4.52. This can be calculated to give 10.06 feet or approximatly 120 inches.
The best place to buy Projectors and Projector screens is the Amazon online store in your country. Amazon is best to buy online Projectors and Screens because not only are they very competitively priced, but you also have the assurance of service, and in the worst case, even return for a refund in case you are not satisfied.
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