New Buying Guide for Holidays 2012
Once a premium-priced item, the latest generation of digital projectors show outstanding quality while prices are dropping. Some cost about as much as a smart phone! Here are some of the best digital projectors available now.
Think you can't afford a digital projector? Think again! Prices are falling and quality and features are getting better. In fact, the latest generation of digital projectors is more affordable than ever. Why get a digital projector, especially if you already have a HDTV? One of the primary reasons is that a digital projector provides a larger viewing area, so that more can see the video (or—gasp!—a slide show). Couple this with a degree of portability that a HDTV can only dream of and you can see more options opening up.
The Consumer Market Opens Up
For instance: This past summer, a neighbor hung a white bed sheet over his garage door and projected a Disney film on it with his digital projector, and invited all the children (and childlike adults) in the neighborhood for a free evening outdoor show. Could this be done with a Flat Screen TV? Sure, but it would have taken a great deal of effort, and it still would have been a smaller image.
With the cost of a digital projector starting at less than a smartphone it can be a second TV so that if your team makes the World Series or the Super Bowl? A party to end all parties could be in order. The uses are only limited by your imagination.
More Affordable for Business Users
Then there is the professional side to the digital projector market. Do you travel and make presentations? A laptop of a tablet really does not have the space for a wide audience, and of you are going to make a presentation to an auditorium full of people the only solution could be a projector that has the capacity to broadcast an image size that is viewable by all. By having a lightweight portable digital projector there is no issue with incompatibility or lack of equipment when you arrive to make your presentation. And with the prices falling, you can more easily justify the business expense.
That said, let’s take a look at some of the options available, starting with the lower-priced models. Also, remember that Adorama carries an extensive lineup of digital projectors. Be sure to visit the Multimedia Projectors and Display Monitors Department at Adorama for the complete selection. Prices and availability are accurate as of November 2, 2012.
Let's start with the Adorama-priced $369.00 Optoma DS626 3D-Capable Home Theater Projector. This multimedia projector has a 1024 x 768 VGA resolution and a 2500:1 contrast ratio. Using the Optoma S626 provides a feature that in a HDTV would cost you a good deal more: 3D! The latest sports and movies actually leap out of the screen while you are viewing them.
The Sony VPLEX100 XGA 2300 Lumens Portable Projector is a high-quality system at the Adorama price of $489.00 that features a 1024 x 768 resolution with a 2200:1 contrast ratio. It includes an Eco mode to save energy and is designed not just for portability in the local neighborhood but also with support for NTSC, NTSC 4.43, PAL, PAL-M, PAL-N, PAL-60 and SECAM video signals and a 20 language onscreen display it can be used around the globe as a perfect work tool.
The Vivitek QUMI LED Pocket Digital Projector, available from Adorama for $499.99, brings 720p HD capabilities to the big screen with its robust capabilities. It is 3D-ready via DLP Link technology and has both USB and MicroSD slots for additional memory for presentations as well as a HDMI connection capability.
Looking for a very mobile solution? Then look at the Adorama-priced $499.00 BenQ Joybee GP2 Ultra Portable Mini Projector. A key characteristic to this small and very portable device is that it is designed to work with an Apple iPad or iPhone with a compatible dock. There are connectivity options for other tablets and smartphones as well. This makes carrying and displaying video and photos from these devices a piece of cake. It also has the ability to connect into and serve with a home entertainment system, pulling double duty.
The LG Electronics PB61U Micro-Portable LED Projector is a top-notch projector. With an Adorama price of $599.99, it offers 1280 x 800 resolution that uses an LED light source similar to the kind used in top-end HDTVs. Also, as with HDTVs, it has a built-in digital HDTV tuner. The 3D projector comes with LG’s Auto Digital Keystone Correction technology that LG’s digital helps ensure that the projected image will always fit the area on which you are projecting.
The Sharp 3D Ready BrilliantColor DLP Projector, available for $749 at Adorama, is a 3D ready projector that supports both 720p and 1080p HD broadcast quality video, and is designed for use as either a personal entertainment display for home or as a high-resolution projector for the corporate road warrior. It includes a built-in speaker system and is NTSC, PAL and SECAM compatible; it includes a power supply that can handle 100 to 240 V AC, at 50/60 Hz for around-the-world use.
In higher end digital projectors additional features and capabilities increase, as in the Optoma TH1060P, a digital projector that has the same 1920 x 1080 resolution as any top of the top of the line plasma displays touting 1080p. It has a 2500:1 contrast ratio and is designed to support multiple peripherals with two HDMI ports. And, at an Adorama price of $1,499, it cost about as much as a low-end digital projector would have cost a few years ago.
Sony is targeting the sleek, high-end Adorama-priced $2,999.99 Sony VPL-HW30ES ES Home Theater 3D Projector at the home enthusiast that wants the true big screen experience without cutting corners. It can display 720p, 1080i and 1080p high definition images and its international capabilities include being able to automatically select and project NTSC, NTSC 4.43, PAL, PAL-M, PAL-N, PAL-60 and SECAM signals. It has a Real Color Processing (RCP) function to adjust the color and hue of each target color of the projected picture independently. The 3D capable projector has two HDMI ports and Sony’s Bravia Sync to easily sync multiple peripherals for the entertainment system.