Decades ago, projectors were so bulky and expensive that only businesses and organisations had them. As a projector is able to project images onto a large screen or surface, it is usually used for presentations to large groups of people. But these days, they are a lot more affordable and portable, so it’s not uncommon for families to have one at home.
HOW IT WORKS.
Images are magnified onto a large surface or screen using a bright light bulb and lens. How big the projected image is depends on the resolution, brightness of the bulb and the distance of the projector to the screen. Usually mounted from the ceiling, at home, it may be used to watch movies or live sports when there’s a large gathering. Some home users are even doing away with the TV set, in favour of this device.
ASK BEFORE YOU BUY.
There are three main features one should look out for in projectors: resolution, bulb brightness and bulb longevity. In summary, the higher the resolution, the sharper the image.
Bulb brightness is measured in lumens. If you’re using the projector during the day, you would need a brighter bulb. If the viewing environment is dark, most portable projectors with lower lumen ratings would be sufficient.
Bulb longevity is measured in “bulb hours”. A good bulb should last between 10,000 and 20,000 hours before it needs replacing. If you aim to project onto a large screen, go for a projector with a high resolution and a very bright bulb.
Canon Rayo i8, $749
This lightweight and compact projector is ideal for travelling. It can run on its built-in battery for two hours on a single charge, comes with stereo speakers, wireless feature, HDMI input, and a highdefinition link (MHL) cable for connection to smartphones. The Rayo i8 offers 854 by 480 screen pixel resolution, continuous brightness at 100 lumens and projection images of up to 4m.
Sony MP-CL1A, $549
This projector offers Bluetooth audio out connectivity, and HD resolution (1920 by 720 pixels). It also features a kickstand that doubles as a lens cover, and comes with a carrying pouch. Weighing only 210g, it is small and portable, yet capable of displaying a screen size of up to 3m at a distance of 3.45m, and a 1m screen size from a distance of 1.15m. Its built-in Wi-Fi function allows you to wirelessly mirror content from a smartphone or tablet device.
LG Probeam HF80J, release date in Singapore and pricing unavailable at press time,
This latest projector by LG has been touted as the lightest full HD laser projector in the brightness range of 2000 lumens – bright enough for viewing in the day in most living rooms. The Probeam offers Bluetooth streaming, in addition to mobile-phone mirroring. Weighing 2.1kg, it boasts a full list of smart TV features, making Internet streaming easy.