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3 Key Considerations When Choosing AV Projectors

November 30, 2017

Although many AV customers have begun opting for digital displays over projector systems, the latter market continues to grow at a steady pace. In fact, research indicates that the global AV projector industry should see a compound annual growth rate of more than eight percent in the period of 2016–2020, proof that many facilities still benefit from these flexible, lower-cost displays.

Related: 10 Things to Consider When Selecting Projectors for Your Projects

For value-added resellers that offer projector technology, the systems represent an opportunity to meet the needs of a wider range of customers, including those with smaller facilities and tighter budgets. However, projector systems still require careful design and consideration. Be sure to keep these three key items in mind when designing your next projector install:

1. Ideal screen size

Projectors are used in rooms and facilities of all sizes, and it’s important that the screen, the projector and the viewing distance are all customized for each customer’s needs. This typically isn’t something you can simply eyeball; if you take the time to calculate the ideal settings, the end result will be a much clearer picture and a more successful installation overall.

A quick Google search will yield several easy-to-use projector design calculators. These handy tools allow you to calculate the following:

  • The ideal screen size, based on the size of the projector
  • The viewable area of a screen, based on any one dimension (e.g., width, height or diagonal length)
  • The optimal seating distance of the audience, based on the screen size

These tools enable you to determine the ideal projector for a given space and then work the rest of the project around it. In the end, you’ll be able to make the technology work for the room, no matter its size or layout.

2. Optimal throw distance

Throw distance is another factor that impacts the success of a projector project. The term refers to the distance between the projector and the screen. Each type of projector has a recommended throw-distance range, within which it can create the clearest possible images.

Today’s projectors offer throw distances of all sizes, from short throw (18 inches to two feet) to long throw (100 feet or more). Many can also make use of interchangeable-lens systems, which allow you to adjust the projector’s throw distance.

Again, the optimal throw distance comes down to a few simple calculations. If you know the size of the room and/or the size of the screen, you can easily determine the ideal distance between your projector and the screen. Then, this will help you decide which device fits your customer’s needs.

3. Amount of ambient light

Consider how much natural and artificial light will be present in the room. This will have a direct impact on the type of projector you choose, because certain devices are better for coping with challenging lighting conditions.

Fixed-installation and large-venue projectors are often used in facilities where the amount of ambient light can’t be controlled—for example, a large conference hall with lots of windows. That’s because these devices can still achieve a high-quality picture. In these cases, look for the highest lumens that your customer’s budget can afford—some of today’s metal halide projectors exceed 20,000 lumens.

In facilities where ambient light is less of an issue, you can select projectors with anywhere from 1,500 lumens to 5,000 lumens. You can also improve the room’s lighting condition with curtains and screens, dimmable lights and other options. In some rare cases, you and your customer may realize that a projector system simply can’t work due to the amount of ambient light. In those environments, a digital display will likely be your best bet.

Of course, for portable projectors, this factor is a bit of a wild card. Again, opt for the highest lumens the budget can afford. And offer your customer tips for minimizing ambient light on the road, such as using portable drapes or screens.

Are your AV customers still receptive to the idea of a projector? Or are most of them dead set on a digital display?