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Projector buying guide

The 5 most important features to look out for when buying a projector.

There’s something very appealing about enjoying your favourite movies, TV shows and games on a gigantic screen. Projectors can provide the full cinema experience with a bit of help from a projection screen or just a blank wall. Our buying guide covers everything you need to consider when choosing which projector to go for.

Picture quality

Picture quality is really important if you want to watch films, look at photos or display presentations using your projector. A 720p HD projector will give you crisp, detailed images, but if you’re after a really high quality picture, then consider a 1080p Full HD display. This makes every image look smoother and a lot more detailed. Everything you watch will become more immersive, bringing all your favourite movies to life.

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Maximum screen size

Unlike a TV, you can change the picture size by moving the projector closer or further away from the projection screen or wall, then focusing the lens. This scaling isn’t infinite however, so you’ll need to check the maximum size possible if you plan on projecting onto a large surface. Some of our projectors go up to a maximum of 316 inches, which isn’t too far off a small cinema screen!

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If you’re going to be using your projector in a brightly lit space or you want to enjoy a similar picture to a TV screen, then bulb brightness will make a huge difference. Bulb brightness is measured in Lumens, and the higher the number, the brighter the picture. 500 Lumens is good enough to create your own home cinema, but numbers as high as 3,600 will create a really mind-blowing entertainment system.

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Projectors need to be connected to a device to be able to play videos or display presentations and pictures, such as a computer, tablet or smartphone. Standard connections include VGA and higher quality HDMI cables, but some projectors let you connect via Bluetooth. With a compatible device, this will help you to stay wire free, useful for presenting or selecting another movie without having to get off the sofa!

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Contrast ratio

As projectors rely on beams of light rather than a backlit LED to to produce images, it’s important to have a good level of contrast between dark and light colours so the picture doesn’t seem faint or washed out. This deeper contrast is measured using a contrast ratio. The higher this ratio, the more capable the projector will be at creating darker blacks and brighter whites. 15000:1 or 20000:1 Is a good ratio, but you’ll get a much better picture with a ratio of 25000:1 or higher.

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