How to choose the right projector

Planners face a dizzying array of options when it comes to choosing the proper projector for their meeting. It helps to understand some basic terminology and technology.

Resolution Requirements
First, determine what kind of resolution you need. Resolution is the clarity of the picture produced by the projector. The resolution you need depends on the computer your speaker will be using. The projector’s resolution must be equal to the monitor’s resolution. Most desktop computer monitors have 800 by 600 pixel displays or SVGA resolution. Laptops usually have 1024 by 768 (XGA resolution) or an even higher screen resolution of 1280 by 1024 (SXGA). If you want the projector to support laptops, you’ll need a projector with XGA resolution, rather than SVGA.

Brightness Considerations
When you are renting a digital light processing (DLP) or LCD projector, you will need to match the brightness of the projector to the size of your audience and room. Projector brightness is measured in ANSI lumens. Most projectors run between 500 and 12,000 lumens. If you are in a large conference room and you need an image bright enough to be seen from a distance without dimming the lights, you’ll need higher lumens since the light from the projector disperses over distance.

Rules of thumb
A 2,000 lumen projector is very common and makes a great choice for meetings and dinner presentations with an audience of as many as 100. A projector with a 3,000 lumen output is ideal for audiences of up to 250 or any smaller gathering where the extra brightness would help counterbalance an outside light source. With 5,000 lumens, you can expect to accommodate any medium-sized event, such as one that might be held at a convention center, a small concert hall or even an outdoor venue with as many as 500 people

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