Choosing a projector
Choosing a projector can be a confusing task. Here we just want to cover the
basic (most relevant) projector features, please see the individual guides
for detailed information. First write down all the features you need.
We have over 500 projectors on the Projectisle site
giving you the biggest selection in Australia. Each one has features you may or
may not need. If your on a budget and you don't need a feature don't pay for it!
e.g. if the projector is going to be ceiling mounted it doesn't have to be the
most compact portable machine and if you have a dark room you won't need the
OK, lets establish a number of facts before you start your search.
What do you want to use the projector for? Take a look at the
projector categories page to see if there is a category that
meets your needs
What size image do you need?
Will the projector be fixed or does it need to be portable?
WWill you need to integrate your new projector with existing
equipment? Check the connections you have on your existing
time, think ahead and consider the choice.
To help you in your task we have collated a number of
manufacturer's details, including brightness, weight, resolution and
price. There may be other factors which will influence your choice. But
we have detailed what we believe to be the most basic relevant
The brightness of projectors is measured in lumens. Generally, the
higher the lumens rating the more you will pay. Choose the projector
with the lumens rating you need.
Consider the following:
What size audience will the projector address? Larger audiences need
larger images, larger images need brighter projectors, and brighter
projectors have greater lumens ratings.
How bright is the venue? The lighter the venue, the brighter the
projector needs to be to compensate.
What are you showing? Video or graphics tend to be shown in a
darkened room therefore you need less lumens. However, if your
audience needs to take notes or see the presenter, the room will be
lit and you will need a brighter projector to work with the room
Projectors for different sized venues
If you are planning a fixed installation, we have a number of
categories to help you narrow your search depending on the venues size:
Home Theater - lower lumen projectors that focus on great colour reproduction with high contrast
Small Venue - School classrooms and conference room projectors a brightness up to 4500 lumens
Medium Venue - School classrooms and conference room projectors with 4500 to 8000 lumens
Large Venue - Universities, Auditoriums and Outdoor projectors 8000 lumens and up
If you are looking for a short throw projector for a confined space or need to speak in front of a class
without interrupting the image look at:
Short Throw - 0.5 - 1.0:1 Throw ratio (0.5:1 = 2 meter image width at 1 meter throw distance)
Ultra Short Throw - below 0.5:1 Throw ratio (0.5:1 = 2 meter image width at 1 meter throw distance)
Interactive projectors - below 1:1 Throw ratio (0.5:1 = 2 meter image width at 1 meter throw distance)
Throw distance is the distance from the projector's lens to the screen.
The further away from the screen the projector is positioned, the larger
the image will appear and the greater the light source needs to be to
compensate for the light dispersion. In certain instances you may need
to chose a projector with optional lenses.
As a rule, approximately 1000 ANSI lumens are sufficient for a
presentation to a small group of say 6 people. For groups of 20-25
people you would need around 2000 ANSI lumens and for larger groups you
should consider 3000 ANSI lumens. The larger the audience, the larger
the venue, and the larger the screen.
resolution of projectors is categorized like computer monitors. You can
just choose a projector with the same resolution as the laptop you
intend to use it with. You should also consider the type of
presentations you might make on it.
PowerPoint – slides, simple clear graphics: choose SVGA.
Spreadsheets, more detailed graphics: choose XGA.
Large screen: choose XGA.
Very detailed images, CAD, architectural drawings: choose SXGA.
projector be positioned in a venue on a permanent basis, will it move
from room to room in the same building, or will it take to the road?
Obviously the more your projector will have to be moved, the lighter it
Just how portable a projector is can depend on who’s doing the carrying
and how far the unit is being carried. Remember projectors are delicate
machines and bumping down the stairs in a wheeled flight-case could
prove to be expensive.
Portable - All under 4KG
To assist you in determining your own criteria for portability here is a
list of everyday items and their comparative weights.
Don’t buy down to a price, buy up to a budget. Check the features and
specifications before you decide and choose a projector with the highest
spec you need and can use.
There's nothing worse than sitting in a meeting or watching a movie with
the constant humming of noisy equipment in your ear. An important
consideration before purchasing is to check the Fan Noise rating. Each
of the projectors listed in our database have their Decibel ratings
listed if published by the manufacturer.
Here is a scale to help you put them in perspective.