Projector Buying Tips

Read these 17 Projector Buying Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Projector tips and hundreds of other topics.

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How can I buy a projector for less money?

Projectors for less: SVGA Resolution Projectors

SVGA resolution projectors will save you several hundred dollars over XGA resolution projectors. If you will be projecting small to medium sized type, or very detailed images, SVGA resolution projectors may not be for you. However, if the majority of your projector presentations will be PowerPoint presentations with large text and images, SVGA resolution may work, and will save you plenty over a comparable XGA resolution projector.

   
Should I consider a wireless projector?

Advantages of Wireless Projectors

Wireless projectors are becoming more widely available as more people are using wireless in their laptop computers and other technology. The main benefits of projecting wirelessly is as follows:
1. Cabling issues are eliminated which makes your workspace tidier, less confusing, and signal loss through cabling is no longer a problem.
2. Another advantage of projecting wirelessly is that you can switch between multiple PC servers easier.
3. Another advantage of wireless projectors is that the presenter will also be able to have better mobility while presenting without walking around or tripping over wires.
Which wireless projectors are the best for your application?

   
How can I buy a projector for less money?

Projectors for less: Projector Size matters

Digital projectors just like most technology products are becoming more compact and much lighter. Today, there are several digital projectors that are less than three pounds, and even a couple that are less than two pounds! Problem is that as the weight goes down, the price of digital projectors goes up. You can save hundreds or even a thousand dollars or more by purchasing an DLP or LCD projector that weighs six to ten pounds, rather than one that weighs four pounds or less. If your shoulder can bear the extra poundage, you'll save plenty of money.

   
How can I buy a projector for less money?

Projectors for less: Demo Projectors

How do you save money when buying a car? Buy a used car, rather than a new one. The same can be true for projectors, however you must be wary of your source. You assume great risk by purchasing a used projector from the classifieds or eBay. The price may look attractive, but the used projector you receive may not be.

Look to a reputable source for demo projectors. Demo projectors are better than used, because rather than being used by individuals where you don't know the history, they are only used by a business to demonstrate the projector to a few customers.

   
What are the different types of resolution for projectors

Resolution For Projectors

The two most common resolutions for projectors are SVGA (800x600) and XGA (1024x768). Higher resolutions like SXGA (1280x1024) will dramatically increase the price you should expect to pay, simply because the quality is outstanding. VGA (640x480) has been used for many years in the past, but is no longer an acceptable resolution and you would be hard-pressed to find modern projectors that support it. XGA is generally thought to be the standard and can accommodate 95 percent of all applications.

   
How can I buy a projector for less money?

Projectors for less: Fewer Projector Features

Do you remember the pen that was also a radio, a flashlight, a cigarette lighter, a pocket knife and a videogame? The joke that went around was, “Yes, but does it write?” Today's projectors have features that are great selling points, but you have to ask yourself if you'll actually use each of the projector features. Rather, start with a quality projector that projects a clear, bright image and if it has a few bells and whistles, make sure that those projector features don't make the price climb too high.

An example of a feature that many people pay for, but rarely use is a PCMCIA slot on a digital projector. This feature allows a presenter to store a presentation within the digital projector, without having to bring your laptop! A great invention that adds several hundred dollars to the price of the projector, however, most people never utilize its advantages, making the PCMCIA slot useless.

   
Should I consider a wireless projector?

Disadvantages to Wireless Projectors

With the advantages that wireless projectors offers, there are a few disadvantages as well.
1. With wireless projection, there will be a slight delay when you give the projector a signal.
2. You cannot project full motion video in real time when projecting wirelessly.
3. The wireless projector will cost a little more than an equivalent projector that is equipped with standard cabling.
4. There are possible security issues with wireless projecting.

   
Should I choose a projector with a manual zoom lens?

Projector Zoom Lenses: Manual Zoom Lens

Most projectors have a zoom lens, allowing the adjustment of the image size without moving the DLP or LCD projector. A projector with a zoom factor of 1.2x will allow you to adjust the picture by only 20%. Look for a DLP or LCD projector with a higher zoom, as it will allow you to present an image that will match most any screen size.
Some zoom lenses are maneuvered manually. For these manual zoom lens projectors, you typically adjust the zoom above the lens.

   
How can I buy a projector for less money?

Projectors for less: Lower Lumen Projectors

A lumen is a measure of the projector brightness. A digital projector with 2000 lumens is twice as bright as a projector with only 1000 lumens. Digital projectors are often compared using the formula of “Price per Lumen”. Therefore, everything else being equal, a 1200 lumen projector, will be a little more expensive than a 1000 lumen projector.
Talk with a sales consultant that understands how much projector brightness you need for your environment. Once you've nailed down the number of lumens you need, make sure you don't pay for excessive brightness over that count.

   
Is there a difference in projector warranties?

Projector Warranties: Dead on Arrival Warranty

Several projector manufacturers offer a projector warranty protecting you if you plug in your new multimedia projector and it does not work. This situation is rare, but it does occasionally happen. With the Dead on Arrival Projector Warranty, you simply return the non-working projector and the manufacturer will rush another new model multimedia projector to you.

   
Is there a difference in projector warranties?

Projector Warranties: Repair or Replace Warranty

Simply put, if your LCD projector is not working, an audio-visual technician will try to offer a solution or repair the projector over the phone. Once the audio-visual technician determines what needs to be done, the technician will come to your business to fix it. If the technician cannot fix the LCD projector, the manufacturer will replace the projector with a new one.

   
How long is the warranty for a projector?

Warranties For Projectors

Warranties play a big role in the ROI on projectors. Projector warranties range from one to three years on parts and labor, depending on the manufacturer. When offered, standard bulb coverage tends to be for 90 days. Also, check the vendor's return policy. It's a good idea to inquire with the manufacturer about whether an extended warranty (especially on lamps) is available, as this will help to maximize your ROI.

   
Is there a difference in projector warranties?

Projector Warranties: Projector Lamp Warranty

Lamp warranties range from 30 days to 6 months. If you are putting your digital projector into a rigorous environment, it may be worthwhile to find a projector with a better projector lamp warranty. Also, the some new inexpensive projectors tend to have a very short lamp warranty, as well as repair warranty. Look at this carefully when choosing a digital projector, because the immediate savings may result in a hefty repair cost down the road.

   
Should I choose a projector with a power zoom lens?

Projector Zoom Lenses: Digital Zoom Lens

Most projectors have a zoom lens, allowing the adjustment of the image size without moving the DLP or LCD projector. A projector with a zoom factor of 1.2x will allow you to adjust the picture by only 20%. Look for a DLP or LCD projector with a higher zoom, as it will allow you to present an image that will match most any screen size.
A digital zoom lens on a projector allows you to further move into the frame by having the DLP or LCD projector continually resize the image. It is a nice feature to have in conjunction with manual/power zoom because as you move into the frame, the screen size remains the same.

   
Is there a difference in projector warranties?

Projector Warranties: Swap Out Warranty

This warranty is the best type of projector warranty, but not the most common. If your digital projector is in need of repair, a technician will first determine the problem over the phone. Next, you can send the digital projector to the manufacturer to fix and at the same time, they will send to you a loaner projector to use while yours is being repaired. You usually receive the loaner projector the next business day. The loaner projector is typically a used projector, but it will work well until you get your projector repaired. Obviously, once you get your original digital projector back from the manufacturer, you are responsible for returning the loaner projector.

   
How can I buy a projector for less money?

Projectors for less: Refurbished Projectors

Another option to look at is to purchase a refurbished projector. A refurbished projector is simply a new DLP or LCD projector that had to be rebuilt by the manufacturer. It has a brand new projector lamp and parts, and in most cases refurbished projectors ship with a solid warranty. One way to look at it, is that DLP or LCD projectors that are refurbished have been quality-control checked by the manufacturer to make sure they are in top working condition.

   
How can I buy a projector for less money?

Projectors for less: Projector Leasing

Leasing a projector allows you to acquire the multimedia projector that you need today and use the projector cost-effectively until it no longer meets your needs. At that time, you can then upgrade your multimedia projector to one that has more features and probably costs less.

Another way that projector leasing can save you money is that you may be able to expense your monthly projector lease payments rather than depreciating the equipment cost.

   
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Guru Spotlight
Barbara Gibson