By definition, a home projector is an optical device that protrudes an image (or moving images) onto a surface, commonly known as a projector screen. The image must be shone through a sealed tube or frame when passing through the lenses (one concave and one convex - to focus the image and then magnify it out to the screen).
Home projectors used to be only for the weekends when going to the movies. But that has changed and now they are everywhere. From the theaters, to the office, in religious households, educational institutions, entertainment halls and also at the comfort of our own home. So, with all their functionality, how many projectors are there and what do they do?
1. Types of Home Projectors
There are two common types of projectors and they include DLP (Digital Light Processing) and LCD (Liquid Crystal Display). In the beginning, there only used to be CRT (Cathode Ray Tube) projectors which used only three tubes for each primary color.
The images projected onto the home theater projector screen from the projector are formed from the projection source using reflective technology called Digital Light Processing.
i) Single Chip DLP – The DLP processing board uses a DMD (Digital Micro-mirror Device) which acts as a light switch. Inside each DMD chip are many tiny mirrors which make up one pixel of light on the image projected. The tiny mirrors tilt towards, or away from the light source thousands of times a second to produce up to 1,024 shades of gray.
In a single-chip DLP system, a color wheel is added to convert the monochrome picture into color. When the color wheel spins, it causes the red, green and blue light to fall in a sequence onto the DMD chip.
Through this method, a billion colors are created.
ii) Three-Chip DLP – in this system, white light is passed through a prism that divides the light into red, green and blue. Each chip is therefore dedicated to a primary color. The red, green and blue reflections from the 3 chips are combined and passed through the lens to project an image made up of more than 35 trillion colors.
As opposed to DLP technology where light is reflected from DMDs, LCD technology passes light through a polysilicon LCD channel and is therefore known to be a transmissive technology.
LCD vs. DLP
For over 20 years, 3LCD has been the trusted projection technology. Using special optics, it divides lamp light into three beams of light. Red, green and blue passes through 3 liquid displays and are eventually projected onto the screen simultaneously. It results in ultra-fine, vibrant and beautiful images.
In contrast, the one chip DLP projector uses a fast spinning color wheel that breaks the lamp light into short bursts of color. It displays colors only sequentially which results in color breakup and compromising the smoothness of gradation and tone on the image quality.
The 3LCD projector has color light output equal to white light output such that colors appear bright, balanced and captivating. The DLP however, has color light output which is significantly lower than white light. Hence, the dull and dim colors.
2. Home Theater Projector Sizes
a) Pico Projectors – A pocket projector, also known as a Pico Projector, is a small hardware device made to act as a normal projector by showcasing content from a smartphone, camera, tablet, notebook or memory device onto a wall or any significant flat surface. They are battery-charged and portable with an ability of displaying up to 150 inches of screen size, making them the best alternative to a normal bulky projector
b) Pico Pocket Projectors – while Pico projectors weigh just under 3 pounds, Pico Pocket Projectors weigh even as low as half a pound. The problem is that Pocket and other small LED projectors are mistakenly called Pico projectors
c) Projector Screen – these are the biggest in terms of size and are often found in movie theaters, in the backyard of our homes or in the huge rooms depending on the size of your household. Projector screens work best with the room size, ambient light and luminosity.
d) 4K Projectors – these are the new revolutionary projectors that display picture qualities of up to 4K resolution, twice the size of 1080P.
3. Advantages of Home Projectors
a) Affordable – compared to LCD flat screen TVs, home projectors are far much frugal and affordable to purchase. They are alluring to the eyes and often times give the impression that you are rich but in real sense you did not spend a fortune buying it.
b) Fun Factor – a home theater projector will set out the fun that you need with all of your family members. Being wider and still cheaper, a home projector will provide the kind of fun that you cannot share with an LCD TV. They also give an exhilarating feeling when playing games and watching movies on the projector screen.
c) Business Optimization – with presentations on PowerPoint showing graphs and statistics, projector screens will give you the added advantage of presenting a good pitch to your colleagues. They can also be used in other institutions such as churches, schools and public events.
From that knowledge, you can determine which projector to purchase according to your convenience in terms of size and functionality. In my opinion, 3LCD projectors are the best to purchase. Besides, there many factors to consider as there are quite a lot of projectors out there. They include;
• Laser Projectors
• 3D Projectors
• Video Projectors
• Digital Projectors
• LED Projectors
• Portable Projectors
• Multimedia Projectors
• LCoS Projectors
• Handheld Projectors
• HD Projectors