If a picture tells a thousand words, then a large screen displaying 30 pictures a second speaks volumes. An office projector is a relatively inexpensive way to show large-format content from videos to presentations to employees and visitors.
A projector offers several advantages over TVs. It is less expensive than a large-format TV screen with an equivalent-sized image, if you're able to source a TV that large in the first place. It offers an adjustable image size to suit different audiences and room setups, along with wide viewing angles for gatherings of people. That's especially important in a pandemic environment where people want to keep their distance.
While a projector can be a valuable office asset, choosing one might not be as straight forward as you would like. Here are some things to consider.
There are two main kinds of projector technology: digital light processing (DLP) and liquid crystal display (LCD). The first uses a myriad of tiny mirrors and a spinning colour wheel. LCD projectors shine light through a liquid crystal screen.
While LCD screens often have a higher contrast ratio than DLP units, the latter are often mostly maintenance free without the need to change filters and deal with dust buildup. DLP devices often cost more but typically feature better quality images with the option for higher resolution.
Consider the image brightness of your projector, which is typically measured in lumens. Some permanently installed projectors offer up to 20,000 lumens, but kind of brightness is more appropriate for large gatherings such as conferences and entertainment events.
When choosing your brightness, consider factors such as audience size and ambient lighting. A picture between 60 and 80 inches is suitable for a conference room of 25 people, requiring 2-3,000 lumens of output.
The size of your presentation room makes a difference here. If you're packing people into a smaller space, your projector might be closer to the screen. That means buying a unit that can project a wide enough image over a shorter distance. If you're in this position, look for a projector with a short-throw lens.
Consider what will connect to your projector, and how. The best wireless connection these days is HDMI, which carries high-definition video and audio, and which should be standard on most units. Consider two of these if you want multiple AV inputs, or if you're connecting an extra computer, you might explore a DisplayPort option.
For environments where people will want to share the contents of their own laptop screens with the rest of the room, a wireless projector is worth the investment. These take wireless input from laptop or mobile devices. Technologies supporting this include Miracast (which is built into Android and Windows devices), WiDi, and Google's Chromecast (which plugs into an HDMI port). Some projector manufacturers also have their own technologies and mobile apps to support wireless casting.
You can get advanced features on projectors, including support for multiple devices at once via split-screen projections, and interactive protectors that function as whiteboards thanks to the use of compatible digital pens.
Just one tip:
if you're investing heavily in projection technology, especially fixed installations, consider working with a professional installer. A company like Probrand with expertise in audio-visual setups can create an optimal environment for your boardroom, classroom, or presentation area.