Just Projectors are here to set the record straight on what we consider to be the top 10 projector myths. Buying a projector can be hard if you have no knowledge of projectors & there is a lot of choice out there. Here at Just Projectors we get asked all the time about these following myths, read our explanations on all of them.
We will discuss the following Projector Myths:
- The more lumens, the better the projector
- All HD projector’s are HD
- Using a white wall is as good as using a Projector Screen
- You can use a usb slot on a projector to make an image
- USB reader means you get full power point slides
- Unknown brands aren’t as good as more well known ones
- Using an SVGA Projector with a Mac
- The higher the Contrast, the better
- Rainbow effect on DLP Projectors
- DLP projectors have poor colour reproduction
Projector Myth 1 – The more lumens the better the projector
The common misconception with this myth is that normally the more lumens on a projector, usually the more expensive they are, which means people usually think that because they are spending more on a projector that this is better. This isn’t always the case. There is a certain number of lumens needed to produce a certain image size, the bigger you want the image, the further back your projector will have to go. This means the number of lumens needed will need to be higher to be able to show a bright enough image from further away. For instance, if you have an average size bedroom and there’s only going to ever be 2 people watching the projector, you don’t need 5000 lumens, this is far too many as the projector will not be far away from the screen & lighting can usually be controlled in a bedroom. If you are using an ultra short throw projector this situation will change as they can produce a bigger image from not as far away, therefore not needing as many lumens.
Another example of this is when buying a projector for home cinema, if it is in a dedicated room you will not need high brightness, what is more important is to get a high contrast ratio for the definition of blacks on the image when watching movies. Lower lumens projectors will normally give you a higher resolution and therefore better blacks.
Projector Myth 2 – All HD Projectors are HD
This is a common misunderstanding for consumers looking to buy a projector, not helped by the number of false advertisers out there who will brand their cheap £200 projectors as HD when they are merely SVGA projectors with a HDMI connection on the back. The main misunderstanding is that just because you link a projector to a Full HD source, the projector will not produce a Full HD image unless the projector’s native resolution is 1920×1080.
Projectors can only be branded as HD Projectors when their native resolution is 1920×1080. Any other projector with a hdmi conenction can only be classed as HD Ready. Beware of this fact as a lot of the false advertisers will put in the small print that the projectors they advertise will only support HD, this is tell-tale sign that the projector isn’t actually HD. You will not be able to get a HD Projector for under £400
Projector Myth 3 – Using a White wall is as good as using a Projector Screen
This is one of the most common of false economies executed by projector consumers in today’s market. A lot of home cinema users buying projectors will plough all of their budget into buying a really high end projector then just display the image on to a plain white wall.
Consumers ask us though, won’t displaying an image from the projector on to a white wall be fine? We can’t argue that displaying your projector on to a white wall will give you an image but it’s like having a formula 1 car & fitting used tyres on to it. It will go round the track but not give you optimum performance. If you are buying a good projector, buying a projector screen will reduce white hotspots, & at the same time contrast and colour saturation will be vastly improved. Projector Screens can cost under £50, not much money but will make your image a whole load better.
Projector Myth 4 – You can use the USB slot on a projector to make an image
This one quite can be quite confusing, there are two types of usb connection one being USB-A, the other USB-B.USB-A can be used to connect a cable from your laptop to projector which then enables you to use your projector remote as a mouse for using on the screen.
In terms of USB-B, only about 2% of projectors can use this connection to be able to create an image. The majority of projectors will only connect via VGA, HDMI or DVI connections. People’s mistake is that you can plug in your USB to your projector to then make an image, this functionality on a projector is very, very rare so take a lot of time if you’re looking at this functionality.
Projector Myth 5 – USB Reader means you get full powerpoint slides
Unless you have specific software like Epson Easy MP Software loaded on to your computer or laptop with the powerpoint slides on it, you will not be able to do this. A USB reader on a projector only means that you will get a slideshow. This myth is one to clear up for the mobile projector user and businesses and schools using projectors hoping to show their full powerpoint slides without having to link to a laptop or computer. You will not be able to get such powerpoint effects such as fade out etc. so that means the only way to show your powerpoint is by saving a snapshot of each slide as a jpeg.
Projector Myth 6 – Less well known Projector Manufacturers aren’t as good as more well known ones
When it comes to buying a projector, people automatically think that because they have heard of brands like Acer, Casio etc. that they are better than less well known projector manufacturers like Viewsonic, Infocus etc. Companies like won’t be as well known as the others because they specialise in projectors.
What it isn’t fair to say is that lesser know projector manufacturers like Viewsonic or Vivitek make worse projectors than brands like Hitachi or NEC. For instance Vivitek is part of the group that make components for some of the more well known projector brands. Brands like Viewsonic are specialists in the projector world, they only make projectors and visual equipment and aren’t as well known to consumers as they don’t have their fingers in as many pies. This is why you can pick up great deals on these brands as you are not paying that little bit extra for the brand name as you may do with others. Brands like Casio are well known for making calculators, this doesn’t hold any relevance to making projectors. Just because you haven’t heard these names before, doesn’t mean you should write them off because they are projector specialists.
Projector Myth 7 – You can use an SVGA projector with a mac
If you buy a SVGA projector and try to use it with an Apple Macbook, this is the easiest way to make your image look like a kid’s jigsaw puzzle. There is no other way to put it but the image will be horrendous. An SVGA projector resolution is 800 x 600 pixels, the macbook’s standard resolution is 1280 x 800 pixels, the minimum resolution projector you need to use for a macbook is an XGA Projector. Anything less and you will be highly disappointed.
Projector Myth 8 – The higher the contrast ratio, the better
Here at Just Projectors, we get asked a lot about contrast ratio and the most common question is why is it so much higher on some projectors than others? One of the main reasons is contrast ratio gets measured in different ways on DLP & LCD Projectors, this means that you couldn’t directly compare an LCD Projector’s contrast ratio against a DLP Projector’s contrast ratio. You should only ever compare contrast ratio on an Lcd projector against another Lcd projector or a DLP Projector against another Dlp Projector. Contrast ratio will only usually become an important factor when deciding upon a projector when buying for home cinema use.
Projector Myth 9 – DLP Projectors show the rainbow effect
This Projector myth has been around for a while, the rainbow effect as it’s known is when ‘shadows’ of green, red or blue are perceived to have been seen by the eye when the colour wheel of a dlp projector isn’t fast enough. This is true in some cases, however, if the dlp projector has a high speed colour wheel, it will not show the rainbow effect on the image. DLP projectors seem to have been generalised so it is believed that all of them have this effect but since advancements in technology and improvements in the speed of the dlp colour wheel, this is now unfair to say as this effect has now greatly been reduced. However if you opt to go for a cheap dlp projector you will often see the rainbow effect still.
Projector Myth 10 – DLP Projectors have poor colour reproduction
Yet again, another unfair statement to make about DLP Projectors. As said before, LCD projectors will provide better colour reproduction than their DLP counterparts but Just Projectors are here to set the record straight on DLP Projector colours.
Different projectors will have a different number of segments in the colour wheel. So like a paint box, the more colours available, the more colours that can be reproduced. As time goes on DLP projectors are being produced with more and more segments in the colour wheel meaning the gap between dlp and lcd projectors on colour reproduction is narrowing. We at Just Projectors think that LCD will always be the superior out of the two but in no way do modern DLP projectors produce poor colours.
Now our Top 10 myths have been uncovered and set straight by the Projector Experts at Just Projectors, we hope this helps you on your purchase of a projector in the future. If there are any more questions you have or want to see our full range of projectors, projector screens, projector lamps, visualiser & interactive whiteboards, find our website below or call our experts today:
Tel: 0800 027 7785 / 01189 070703
Author – James Tyrrell | Just Projectors | www.projectors.co.uk