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The ultimate guide to choosing the perfect projector for your home

  • Ideas & Inspiration
Jun 28, 2023
Ultra short throw projector by BenQ - Beautiful Homes

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After three awestruck hours of watching a jaw-dropping movie like Top Gun or Avatar, the visuals are etched in our memory for days to come. Though, we fail to notice and appreciate the device that projects the movie in the required quality, that further enhances our viewing experience. We are talking about projectors!

 

Projectors play a pivotal role in any media room, be it a small DIY setup created at home or a professional home theatre in an expansive apartment or bungalow. Choosing the right projector for your media room can seem daunting at first, but with a bit of knowledge and some projector setup tips you'll be able to find the one that's perfect for you. Here is a guide to provide you with a step-by-step procedure to make the right projector choice for your space.

 

WHERE TO START?
 

1. Room Dimensions

Before making any decisions, measure the size of your media room and what type of content you plan on experiencing. Will it primarily be for movies, shows, presentations, or a combination of these?

 

2. Screen or Wall Dimensions

Next, measure the length, width, and height of the wall where the screen is to be placed or where you plan to project the image. Pro Tip: you can convert your blank wall into a screen too.

 

3. Determine the Throw Ratio

Starting with a better understanding on what is a throw ratio. It is the distance between the projector and screen for optimal viewing and the width of the image it will project. Let’s look at an example, a projector with a throw ratio of 1.5:1 means that for every 1 foot (or meter) of image width, the projector needs to be placed 1.5 feet (or meters) away from the screen. For instance, if you want to project a 6 ft wide image, the projector should be placed at a distance of 9 feet (1.5 x 6) from the screen. Once the distance is determined and the exact measurements of the room have been taken into account, we can proceed with determining which type of projector will be ideal for your room.


 

SELECTION OF PROJECTORS

1. Long Throw Projectors

Mainly used for large spaces, amphitheatres, or dedicated cinema rooms, Long Throw projectors have a throw ratio of 2.0:1 or higher, with a throw distance of 12-15 feet depending on the model. 

 

2. Medium Throw Projectors

Installed in medium-size media rooms or home theatre setups which can cater to seven to ten people, medium throw projectors have a throw distance of 9-11 feet depending on the projector model and its throw ratio ranges from 1.2:1 to 2.0:1.

Home Cinema series of BenQ - Beautiful Homes

TK700STi model from the CineHome Projector range has 4K picture quality and built-in Android smart TV.

Short throw projector by BenQ - Beautiful Homes

Short throw projector like the GV30, can be used to project the image on a plain wall, dedicated screen or your tent at a camping site.

3. Short Throw Projectors

Short throw projectors are ideally used in compact rooms with an approximate size of 100 sq ft. They have a throw ratio of less than 1.2:1 with a throw distance of four to seven feet.

 

4. Ultra-short Throw Projectors

With a versatile and flexible nature, Ultra-short throw projectors have a throw ratio of less than 0.4:1 with a throw distance of 1.8 to 3.5 feet depending on the model. The best part is they can be placed right against the wall and provide competent visual quality.

Brightness and Lighting

Once the above steps are done, the next most important aspect is to check the brightness in a projector. The projector brightness is determined by the light output it produces. It is measured in ANSI Lumens. ANSI lumens provide a consistent and reliable way to compare the brightness levels of different projectors, regardless of the technology used or the manufacturer. It represents the average amount of light that a projector emits across the entire image.

 

Another critical consideration is the lighting conditions in your media room. For dedicated dark rooms, projectors with lower brightness levels that are more capable of delivering excellent colour output can be considered. Conversely, if the room is well lit or has large windows, selecting a high-brightness projector (2500 ANSI lumens and above) is recommended to maintain image quality”, says Naveen Tiwari, Senior Product Manager at BenQ India.


 

Selection of Projectors as per Room Sizes

Now comes the part of deciding the particular model and brand that fulfils all your requirements. One name that is synonymous with projectors is BenQ. The Taiwanese manufacturer is one of, if not the only manufacturer to comprise projectors in every category. You can find their products being used in homes, educational institutes, corporate environments and many more. Its wide range of products coupled with stellar image quality makes it a worthy pick. Here are product recommendations suitable for different room sizes.

1. Dedicated Cinema / Media Rooms

Rooms that are 20 by 20 ft or ideally 40 by 40 ft require a long throw projector with 12-15 ft distance between the screen and the projector. The Home Cinema series of BenQ provides the perfect immersive experience. It comprises projectors dedicated to both dark rooms and bright rooms. We recommend the model W4000i for dark rooms and model TK850i for bright rooms.

Long throw projector by BenQ - Beautiful Homes

W4000i model is a long throw projector used for large spaces.

 

 

CineHome Projector range by BenQ - Beautiful Homes

TK700STi model from the CineHome Projector range has 4K picture quality and built-in Android smart TV.

2. Medium Size Rooms

For rooms that are 200 to 400 sq ft in size, a minimum of 9-12 feet distance is required between screen and the projector. In most cases medium sized rooms switch between a media room and a living room, varying the lighting requisites. Hence in these rooms, we need to look for projectors with flexibility in terms of brightness and picture quality. We recommend the TK700STi model from the CineHome Projector range that has 4K picture quality and built-in Android smart TV making it the perfect companion for dedicated movie nights and leisure TV time.

3. Small Size Rooms

This category is a perfect example of how myths are broken with advancement in technology. There was a time when projectors required a certain room size and space for installation, and setting up a home theatre in a small 10 by 10 ft room was considered a far-fetched idea. Progress in technology has made it possible to set up a projector literally 2 ft away from the screen and portable enough to carry it with you in a tote bag.

 

Short throw and ultrashort throw projectors are game changers for those who crave big screen immersive experience but lack the space required. These projectors can be used to project the image on a plain wall, dedicated screen or your tent at a camping site. They come with inbuilt speakers along with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity for instant streaming of videos and movies. 

Ultra short throw projector by BenQ - Beautiful Homes

GS50 model comes with inbuilt speakers along with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity.

Along with projectors, BenQ also offer their Ambient Light Rejection or ALR screens that are used in rooms with ambient light without compromising image quality or necessitating a darkened environment within a few inches from the screen. We recommend GV1 and GV30 models for ultra-portability and the GS50 model for outdoor camping and indoor purposes.

 

Through the course of this research and speaking to the experts in the field, we found that setting up a home theatre is as easy and similar to buying a new TV. With the vast advancement in technology, connectivity and relevant pricing, projectors make a compelling case for themselves. 

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