Whether you’re a mobile DJ looking for a projector to add some visuals to your set or an event organiser managing wedding venues and other gatherings, choosing the right projector is a tricky task.
For most people, it’s the variety of different working environments you could be operating from that proves to be the biggest challenge. The key is to find a projector that can cope with them all.
The Projectorpoint experts have the experience and knowledge to help you select the perfect projector, taking into account your individual requirements and need for versatility. Read on for a handy guide on the factors you need to consider when buying a projector.
Choosing the right projector
Brightness is always a top consideration when making a projector purchase, but variation in installation settings within the events industry makes this particular factor crucial here.
Here's a quick list of brightness tips to get you thinking:
In general, brightness means looking at the number of lumens a projector offers. The higher the lumens, the higher the brightness. But blacks and colours are important too if the unit will be used after dark. Look out for colour brightness in some specifications, this tells you how bright a projector is through the colour range, not just pure white light.
Ambient light is the main factor you need to consider when choosing the number of lumens in your projector: the greater the light pollution the higher the brightness should be.
Also, consider how big the projected image will be and therefore how far away the projector is from the screen. The bigger the image, the more brightness output you’ll need.
For office or home cinema use, a projector can be purchased based on the specific light levels in the room it's to be installed in. But as an events professional, you don't always know where you'll be working from each day.
High levels of natural light, fading evening light, erratic weather conditions and even electric lighting levels that for one reason or another can't always be controlled … You’ll face some dramatic changes in the environment from event to event, even from hour to hour. Your projector needs to be able to deal with these.
A good rule of thumb is to purchase a projector that will be able to cope with the highest levels of ambient light you think you might encounter. For example, if you’re a mobile DJ specifying for a wedding and running a set from early afternoon through to the evening, then buy a projector that will stand up to the afternoon sun streaming through the windows.
For a 2.5 metre wide image, that could mean a 6,000-lumen projector rather than a 2,000-lumen device if you want to be guaranteed a good show. If you’re working with smaller screen space, you’ll be able to get away with fewer lumens.
Resolution is your second big consideration for one simple reason: high resolution means better quality, crisper images. Take a look at our basic resolution tips to get a better understanding of your resolution requirements:
There are many terms used to refer to different types of resolution, but most modern events professionals will be looking at 1080p (1920 x 1080) and 4K (4,096 x 2160) to guarantee impressive images.
In general, the higher the projector resolution the higher the price, but greater competition across the projector market means a high resolution is now an option even on a budget.
Resolution is affected by what you're projecting from as well so take into account the source device and content. A 4K projector displaying Full HD content will work to scale up the image. Whereas a 4K source – like a UHD Blu-ray player or some computers – will deliver native 4K content, guaranteeing a top-quality image as it was intended to be viewed.
It's easier to know the type of content you're likely to be projecting than it is to know the ambient light levels of your potential venues. But just as you should with brightness, it’s advisable to choose your projector based on the most detailed content you need to display and the highest quality source content you'll be working with.
Presenting video as part of an outdoor cinema screening or background to a DJ set? Make sure your projector is least Full HD to showcase the video in its best light and really grab the audience's attention.
Space is a consideration for all projector buyers, but perhaps none more so than events professionals. Here are three key factors influencing your projector purchase:
Consider the size of your screen – if you’re aiming for a large image you will need a few metres of space between device and screen.
Alternatively, short throw and ultra-short throw devices could be the answer to projecting in a confined space.
Don’t overlook installation – make sure you select a projector that offers flexible installation if you’re not sure what type of venue you’ll be using.
In general, each projector manufacturer (and every projector page on our website) will provide detailed information on how far their device should be placed from a screen in order to achieve a particular screen size and the best quality visuals. But how much space you need can be hard to pin down if you’re unsure what size or even style of venue you’ll be working in.
If you find that you’re generally working in smaller venues or you're likely to be confined by chairs and other events equipment, it might be worth considering a short throw or ultra-short throw projector.
These devices are specifically designed to allow flexibility of installation in even the tightest of spaces. In fact, some of our ultra-short throw models can project a 50-inch image from just 15 inches away, making them an ideal option for anyone in a tight spot.
With your projector chosen, don't forget the accessories you need to get the most out of your investment.
The projector you choose will have a huge impact on the quality of your visuals, but you might be surprised what a difference a projector screen can make too. Using a professional screen can boost clarity and increase colour contrast, making brightness even more brilliant.
A long-term investment is key here. Skimping on a projector screen means losing detail and clarity in your images by making do with whatever wall or blank space is available on the day.
If you're not sure about buying a screen yourself, then give your regular venues a call and see if they'll consider hiring a screen, installing one or at least setting aside space.
In larger venues, this may be as simple as plugging into a ready-installed system. However, if you’re a mobile DJ or event organiser running a pop-up event, things might not be so simple.
Wireless projectors are ideal for this type of situation, allowing you to minimise set up time. Wireless projectors also mean the projector can be operated from afar, again increasing flexibility when you're working in an unknown venue.
Wireless projectors projection used to be in-built and expensive, but now you can achieve a wireless projection solution by bolting on accessories to a projector that meets your needs. This means you’re unlimited in the range of resolutions, brightness levels and even throw distance, so you can still select the right projector for your events without sacrificing easy, wireless installation. Read our wireless projection guide for more in-depth information.
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Want more information?
Choosing an event projector is a complex process that requires careful forethought. If you would like more advice on choosing the best projector for your requirements, please send us a message or call us on freephone 0800 0730833.
Need your events solution installed? No problem we have an experienced installation team who can install your projector, screen, display, audio and/or interactive TouchScreen for you. Please call for details