Home Cinema Projectors

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Home Theater/Home Cinema Projectors:


As technology gets bigger and better, home theaters are more and more able to emulate a big theater experience.

This is due in part to improved home theater projectors, which have gone from being huge, bulky, power hungry things to sleek, slim, efficient units with much more affordable price tags. Unlike television sets, which have the image enclosed within a box with the viewer outside, home theater projectors envelop the room with the image.

There are some important factors to take into consideration when choosing a home theater projector. The first thing to look for is what format you prefer the image to be displayed in. You can choose either a 4:3 standard format (like television), or a 16:9 widescreen format (suited for movies). Choose the format based on what you will be viewing most with your projector.

Secondly, you need to take into account the brightness, contrast ratio, and color reproduction of the home theater projector. Brightness of home theater projectors is rated in ANSI lumens. How many ANSI lumens your projector needs to have depends on the size and darkness of the room you will be using it in. 1000 ANSI lumen projectors are generally sufficient. Contrast ratios should be at least 1000:1, but preferably higher - the better the contrast ratio, the whiter your whites will show and the blacker your blacks will show, resulting in a crisper picture with richer colors. Better color reproduction will give more natural flesh tones and better color depth.

You'll also want to consider the inputs the home theater projector can take. Home theater projectors have a variety of inputs they can take - regular television, high-definition television, computers, VCRs, DVD players, and game consoles. Consider what you want to use your projector for when you look at what inputs a home theater projector can take. It may be nice to have the option of having the ability to plug in your game console or computer, but if all you're really going to use your home theater projector for is watching DVDs, it isn't worth paying an extra price for extra inputs.

Finally, you'll want to decide on a type of home theater projector. The two main types of home theater projectors are LCD projectors and DLP projectors. LCD, or liquid crystal display, projectors work by passing a powerful light through an LCD chip and through a lens to project a moving picture. Since the LCD chip is very small, LCD projectors tend to be light, compact, and highly portable, with an affordable price tag.

However, LCD projectors have some disadvantages. Since the chip is made up of pixels, the projected image often has a 'grid' effect. If one of these pixels burns out, there will be a blank space where that pixel was, and the only way to fix it is to replace the entire LCD chip. They also have a fixed resolution, and picture signals of a different resolution than what the projector handles have to be scaled to fit the projector's resolution.

DLP projectors work in a similar fashion to LCD projectors in that they use a chip of pixels, but in this case each pixel works as a reflective mirror. These micromirrors tilt rapidly to reflect light off of a spinning color wheel to create the image. DLP projectors have very high resolutions, and project a smooth, rich image. They are also very compact and have a low power consumption.

But like LCD projectors, DLP projectors are limited by their resolution. DLP projectors also something exhibit a 'rainbow effect', a brief flash of colors seen when the viewer looks rapidly side to side. Both types of projectors need to have their light replaced every 1000 to 2000 hours.

A wide variety of home theater projectors are available to fit most home theater needs. With careful thought to your home theater needs, you can choose a projector that will give you a great picture and hours of enjoyment.

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