The purpose of this article is to give you a good understanding of the differences between the home cinema projectors out there and which features are more important that others when choosing.
Different Types of Home Cinema Projectors
A home cinema projector produces an image on a projection screen by sending light across the room and the main difference between models is the way in which that light is transmitted. Currently the main three types of home cinema projectors are called:
• DLP (Digital Light Processing)
• LCD (Liquid Crystal Display)
• LED (Light Emitting Diode)
• CRT (Cathode Ray Tube)
Each of the terms in brackets is the type of technology used to transmit the light and you really don't need to understand the technical differences between them all to enjoy a great movie experience.
I have listed below each different type with the pros and cons in each case.
DLP home cinema projectors are usually the smallest of the bunch and give out a really good picture quality for the price. They create the image by using millions of tiny mirrors which reflect each pixel of light to produce the image you see. The drawback to this technology is that it cannot transmit red, green and blue (RGB) all at the same time and in doing so can give a rainbow effect if you move your eyes from side to side quickly during the movie. This can get quite annoying and some people are more sensitive to this effect than others.
This technology requires a light source (lamp) to produce the image and unfortunately these lamps work on the same physics as normal lamps and so you are going to have to replace it every year or so to make sure you keep the best high light level projection.
This technology was around before DLP but actually came into its own in the home cinema projector world afterwards. It sends the images by projecting a light source behind a transparent sheet which continuously redraws the image.
This technology is now quite popular in the home cinema circles but once again you will need to change the light source (lamp) every year or so.
LED home cinema projectors are relatively new at the time of writing and are still quite expensive. They produce the image by using many small LEDs which can produce RGB light at incredibly high speed. The added benefit of this technology is that the projectors don't require a separate light source.
CRT home cinema projectors are rarely seen much anymore as the technology is quite old and bulky and does not fit in with today's lifestyle. At one stage they were the only technology out there.
3D Home Cinema Projectors
I'm sure you've heard of 3D technology as there have been a lot of new films produced which use this technique but what exactly is it and how does it work. Also, is it worth you paying the excess to get hold of it?
Well, at present there is not much content (DVDs, Blu-ray discs) to be able to use this technology to its full but it can be fun to add it to your specification. The problem is because the technology is new, the cost is high and so you will need some deep pockets to pick one up.
You will still need to wear the 3D glasses to get the best out of this new home cinema projector technology and so if you can get over the way you look from the outside whilst wearing them then this may be for you.
Whatever type of home cinema projector technology you decide to go for you need to make sure you get out to your local specialist to see it with your own eyes. At the end of the day you should go for the one that you like the look of best and this can only really be achieved by getting out there.