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Choose The Right Projector for Your Home Theater

How Do You Know Which Technology Is Best for Your Needs And Space? This Primer Guides You Through the Options.

Choose The Right Projector for Your Home Theater

The design and installation of a private cinema involve blending many technologies, including the room's acoustics, surround sound speakers, and even the theater-style seating. But, of course, the heart of the system is the projector, as it generates the images that transport you into the fantasy world on screen.

There are many options for projection, and the different models, types, and technologies can be a bit confusing. For example, you may be asking yourself, how bright is bright enough?  Why are there more than one 4K formats? Should we be using a lamp, LED or even laser-based units?

Are you looking to learn more about video projectors and how they affect the viewing experience in your Frisco, TX smart home? In this post, we explain the different options. 

See Also: Now’s the Time to Boost Your Entertainment with Control4

The Basics

There are three basic types of projectors; each has advantages and disadvantages depending on the room they are to be placed in. The essential factors to note for each are brightness (measured in Lumens), life span (measured in running hours), color accuracy, and maximum resolution\ image size.

Bulb Based

Lamp-based units use Ultra High Pressure (UHP) bulbs to deliver 1,500 to 2,000 lumens. The brightness is fine for generating relatively sharp 4K ultra-high-definition images for small to mid-sized rooms. While the technology initially has relatively low investment, they require cooling and placement close to the screen. The bulbs only last for 5000-9000 hours of total running time; in addition, they start to lose intensity from day one, and the degradation gets worse over time.

LED Light Engines

LED (Light Emitting Diode) units use a smaller ‘light engine’ that runs much cooler and lasts for tens of thousands of hours with only minor quality loss over the projector’s lifespan. While the colors are often better than a bulb and even DLP units, they have a lower contrast ratio than models lower in price. The 3,000-lumen projectors are brighter but can suffer from motion blur (streaking images), with fast-moving video such as sports. 

DLP Micro Mirrors

Digital Light Processing (DLP) models are based on a micro-mirror technology offering better contrast and a broader spectrum of colors while generating a very bright 4,500 + lumen image. The technology furnishes crystal clear, blur-free video when watching content like football, hockey, and formula 1.

Lasers Lead the Way

Laser projectors (also called LCoS for Liquid Crystal on Silicon) technology is a hybrid of LCD and DLP.  These units generally meet or exceed the brightness and quality of commercial theaters. While LCoS and DLP models produce 4K UHD and Cinemascope quality 4K DCI, the higher-end laser models can exceed 10,000 lumens for a truly stunning image. The better resolution also comes with unparalleled true-to-life colors, resulting in more immersive moments.

Go With the Pros

For an authentic cinema experience, working with a professional audio-visual installer assures that the system you watch is calibrated perfectly for maximum enjoyment. Are you ready to upgrade your existing installation or build a new room?  Give us a call at (972) 757-4002 or contact us online for a custom solution.


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21st Century Audio Video, LLC
Frisco, McKinney, Allen, Plano, Dallas and most of the DFW Metroplex

Phone:  (972) 757-4002

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