Monitors & Projectors
What is Projector?
Inside the projector, light is concentrated at a solid angle determined by an optical system with mirrors or lenses. There are ground or telescopic tripod projectors and wall projectors so that the latter can be installed both indoors and outdoors. Outdoor projectors can be used for public lighting (e.g. for a stadium) or residential lighting. Indoor projectors can be used to illuminate dark rooms (such as nightclubs or cinemas), plants, or other things, but the intensity of the light is generally lower than for outdoor use.
DLP, TRI-LCD, LED: Which Technology to Choose?
Two technologies share the consumer market: DLP (digital light processing) technology and triLCD (liquid crystal display) technology.
DLP projectors and triLCD projectors work differently to create images, but their performance in terms of differences is less significant. DLP models cause visual discomfort and headaches for some users due to the rainbow effect (or AEC). However, this phenomenon is rare and tends to disappear as the colour wheel rotates faster, and ore segments are used (for example, 6 instead of base 3). Therefore, we have to test this technology to know if we are sensitive to this optical phenomenon. Alternative triLCD technology does not create a rainbow effect.
Video projectors, generally equipped with an ultra-high pressure (UHP) lamp, see their light intensity diminish over time. The lamps are consumables with a lifespan of 2,000 to 6,000 hours in normal operation. To extend its use, it is recommended to use the economy mode, which reduces the light intensity, power consumption and ventilation noise. Some models are equipped with (very expensive) laser or LED lamps that last 10 times longer than conventional UHP lamps (i.e. 30,000 hours). The projector then heats up less, which saves energy and reduces ventilation noise.
Where do you place your video projector?
Before choosing the model, you must have identified the part in which it will be used. What image size do you want? What is the distance between the screen and the projector? Will they put it up front? Will it be glued to the ceiling? Depending on the design, you choose a classic model, a model with “lens shift”, which allows a distortion-free image change, horizontal keystone correction, a powerful zoom, an ultra-short focal length … The ideal place to place the projector is well ahead of the canvas; otherwise, you will have to choose a model that has certain settings that will increase the score. The Classic models require 10 feet of kickback to get an 8-foot (2.50m) diagonal or 100″ diagonal image when an LED TV rarely exceeds 60″ on the same budget. Ultrashort Throw projectors are positioned 10 to 50 cm from the screen, which means shadows of people moving in the room and noise from ventilation are not embarrassing. On the other hand, the small defects of the projection support stand out.
To find out if the projector you choose is suitable for your installation, you need to know the basic width of the screen and the projection ratio (or focal length) of the projector. Multiplying the minimum throw ratio by the width of the screen gives you the minimum distance the device should be placed. The maximum projection ratio multiplied by the width of the screen gives the maximum distance between the screen and the projector. If the distance specified in your settings is between these two values, the projector can be adapted to your room.
Would you like to connect your video projector to a DVD player, a Bluray, a computer, a box, a game console, a touch panel, a USB memory …? The more devices you want to connect, the richer the connection should be. Unless you go through an amp? To avoid multiplying the cables, you can choose a model with WiFi, but the option is expensive. Now all video projectors incorporate at least one HDMI socket.
High Definition and 3D
For home cinema use, opt for Full HD (1980 × 1080) projectors to enjoy all the details of DVDs and Blurays. The “HD Ready” and lower resolutions have the advantage of being more affordable. Remember that the larger the image, the more pixels will be visible.
4K projectors are rare and expensive, and not enough content is available to enjoy; Also, based on our review of 4K vs Full HD TVs, users see no real difference between the two.
3D projectors are common, but glasses are not usually supplied: there must be a supplementary budget to equip compatible pairs.
Brightness and Contrast: Thee War of Numbers
Two characteristics should guide you in your choice: brightness and contrast.
Brightness corresponds to the intensity of the light generated by the video projector and is specified in lumens. The larger the projected image and the brighter the room, the brighter the projector needs to be: 1,000 lumens is a minimum, 1,600 or even more than 2,000 lumens provide additional comfort. In real-life conditions, the measured light levels are lower than indicated, so feel free to close the blinds to plunge into the dark and improve the immersion.
In contrast, manufacturers are waging a ruthless war over who has the best ratio between the brightness of a lit point and that of an unlit point. If conventional lamp projectors show contrasts between 100,000: 1 and 35,000: 1, the LED models in our test offer contrast ratios of 150,000: 1. Typically, the higher the contrast, the deeper and more detailed the black tones are. Unfortunately, our tests under real operating conditions show a difference between the measured values and the declared values, the latter being carried out with “extreme” settings. Please note that deep blacks can only be achieved in a dark room.
The Noise from Ventilation
Projectors need a lot of ventilation to keep the UHP lamp cool. The inexpensive model allows noise reduction, which is why sometimes this noise level stands out in products. Manufacturers usually indicate a level of the order of magnitude of 2535 dB, which goes unnoticed. The continuous hum is masked by noise in action scenes but can be annoying in quieter scenes, especially when the projector is close. Ultra-short throw projectors, which are placed directly at the bottom of the screen, keep unpleasant noises as far away as possible.
A Screen or a White Wall?
In addition to the video projector, projection support is required. A matte white wall can get the job done (there are also certain points). The stretch sheet technique can have folds, and through transparency, we can see the objects on the back. The best is still a truly dedicated canvas and is designed to preserve colours and shine.
Depending on the room, you can choose a roll-up screen (motorized or not), a fixed screen on a frame, a pull-up screen, or a screen on a tripod. The fabric can be micro-perforated to allow sound to pass from the speakers placed behind it. Anyone who opts for a motorized screen will appreciate the presence of a “trigger” output on the video projector: as soon as it is turned on, the screen automatically unfolds.
The size will vary based on room, your setback, and the projector. Having a little mishap doesn’t seem too big to make viewing uncomfortable. The ideal is a kickback equal to 3 times the height of the screen. For the format, 16/9 is recommended for movie screenings and 4/3 or square for office use.
How to choose your PC screen? – PC monitor buying guide
To properly select your PC game, office, or content editing screen, you need to recognize your needs and understand the various technologies available to you. Before deciding on your PC monitor, determine which features and technologies are right for you. Choose a tile that meets your expectations and find out the right price.
Manufacturers are aware that PC displays are drastically changing the comfort and enjoyment of use. In addition, the possible uses and preferences are diverse. This creates a market full of opportunities. But what are the most useful functions to use? How do you choose the right PC screen? Do you need 8K, 5K, 4K, Quad HD, Full HD, or HD only resolution? How can updated rates and response times influence your purchase decision? More like 16: 9 or ultra-wide? Multi-display configurations are now more common and offer unmatched convenience and productivity.
Is HDR worth it? It is increasingly present, but the quality of HDR playback on PC screens is still limited. Are features like Flicker-Free, Low Blue Light, GSync, and FreeSync really important? And what are your needs if you are focused on gaming, multimedia, office, or business?
Buyer’s Guide – Top Points for Choosing the Right PC Display
Determine the Primary Use of Your PC Display – Gaming, Professional, Office, or Multimedia
Generally, Gamers Prefer Refresh Rate, Response Times fast and low latency. In contrast, image professionals will prioritize definition and colour reproduction. Finally, general users have less specific needs but often choose an LCD monitor with a VA panel that offers high contrast or IPS. Usage is an essential criterion for choosing the right PC monitor.
The higher the resolution, the better the image quality.
The resolution of a PC screen indicates how many pixels a monitor has in long x wide format. The minimum you’ll need is 1920 x 1080, also known as 1080p or Full HD (FHD). But you get sharper images with a 2Kor 4K screen.
For gamers, however, a compromise between resolution and refresh rate is generally necessary to select the correct PC monitor. FPS players tend to prefer WQHD (1440p). When 4K 144Hz hits the market, the cost will remain high, whether you’re buying the monitor or its graphics card.
Response time – the lower the number, the better for gamers
This indicates how long it takes for a pixel to go from black to white or from one shade of grey to another (GTG response time ). Long reaction times can make them blur with quick movements. For this reason, it is an important criterion for choosing the right PC gamer screen, especially for competitive games (shooting games, FPS, battle royale and others …). The response times given by the manufacturers for the screens of PC gamers are usually between 1 ms and 5 ms, but this value is not representative. Focus on the value we measure in our tests.
This tells you the maximum number of images that your PC screen can display in one second. It is measured in hertz (Hz), so 60 Hz means a maximum of 60 fps. The higher the number, the smoother the image will appear to you. If you are a gamer, the refresh rate is especially important. Therefore, it is preferable to choose a PC monitor with a minimum frequency of 75 Hz.
PC gaming displays today offer a frequency of 144 Hz or more. When you’re not gaming, a 60Hz refresh rate is sufficient. A frequency of at least 144 Hz is recommended for fast and competitive gaming. For the most demanding and competitive gamers, it is possible to reach up to 240 Hz or even 360 Hz.
Panel technologies: TN
TN monitors are also the fastest and cheapest, but the colour reproduction is not strong, and the viewing angles are very limited. IPS displays have consistent good response times. In addition, the IPS benefit from good colour rendering. But monitors with VA panels have better contrast and better peak brightness than IPS displays. However, VA tiles are prone to ghosting in dark tones. These three types of panels are part of LCD technology; today, mini LED backlighting improves contrast and brightness peaks. But the mini LED barely ends up on PC screens, and the prices are still high.
A curved PC screen or not?
Many will tell you that a curved monitor is useless if it measures less than 30 inches. If you’re not sure, give it a try and see if you notice a difference. Otherwise, with a 24-inch or 27-inch screen, you no longer have to spend on it. Starting at 34 inches, the curvature ensures visual comfort and better immersion. On the other hand, the immersion in 49-inch screens and their 1000R curvature is exceptional!