There are a lot of presentation making software out there that come in really handy when you need to present an idea or any other sort of information to an audience, PowerPoint is by far the most popular and most widely used presentation maker in the entire world. A well designed and thought out presentation can captivate your audience and encourage them to listen and process whatever you are presenting, but you can’t just present on a computer or TV screen, leading to the question: what kind of projector do I need for PowerPoint?
Projectors are great for displaying images and videos on a larger scale, most projectors perform well enough. Currently, there’s a vast number of projectors available in the market in all shapes and sizes, some of them are suitable for viewing movies and videos while others are better suited for presentation use. This abundance of choice makes it hard to pick the right projector, so let’s break the selection process into three categories to make it easier to identify the right projector for you.
The first question that you need to ask is what kind of native resolution do you need? Projectors have a broad range of resolutions to offer, but if you’re looking for a presentation orientated device, then there’s no need for a full HD projector, as long as a projector is able to display text and images clearly you should be good to go. But this doesn’t exactly mean that you should go for the cheapest projector available, your resolution needs will be determined by what kind of content do you wish to present, if your slides are full of videos, detailed images, and small text then a low-resolution projector won’t work for you.
Currently, the two most popular options for projector resolutions are WXGA and XGA, WXGA projectors have a native resolution of 1280×800 and have an aspect ratio of 16:10, making them perfect for presenting high-quality slides. WXGA projectors are usually under $1000, making them a good option for a budget buy, they’re also pretty bright which makes them suitable for use in large and well-lit areas.
XGA projectors have a resolution of 1024×768 and have an aspect ratio of 4:3, their format is pretty old but is still popular since it’s suitable for presentation use, these projectors usually cost within $500.
Once you’ve decided on the resolution that you’ll need, it’s time to pay attention to brightness levels. A projector’s brightness is rated in lumens and measured by foot-lamberts. Having the right amount of brightness is incredibly important as a projector that is too bright for a room can project images which strain the viewers’ eye and a projector that is too dull can’t project clear pictures in a well-lit room.
Before deciding on the brightness level that you need you should first decide where you want to place the projector and then take note of the lighting in the room. A projector’s brightness can also be affected by the type of surface on which it is projecting, projector screens tend to reflect projections better, resulting in more defined colors and a more visible picture overall.
The last thing that you need to consider is throw distance, this is the distance between the projector’s lens and the screen in which a projector can provide satisfactory image quality. The throw distance of a projector depends on what type of lens does it have, projectors with short throw lenses can be placed closer to the screen without reducing the size of the projection. Short throw projectors are ideal for use in small spaces but perform quite poorly in larger rooms.
If you’re planning on placing the projector in a larger area then a long throw projector is better suited, their distance to projection size ratio provides great results even when the projector is placed far from the screen.
By shortlisting projectors according to these three characteristics you’ll have a much easier time picking the right projector for you, one that can help you present your PowerPoint Slides appropriately and fully captivate your audience.