How to Find the Right Projector for Your Needs

Your Guide to buying the best Projectors


Projectors are an essential tool for businesses, schools, and home theaters alike. From presentations to movies, they can be used to display visuals in any setting. But with a variety of projector types and features available, it can be difficult to know which one is best for your needs. This buying guide will provide helpful tips on what to look for when shopping for a projector, including tech specs like resolution and contrast ratio, as well as features like HDMI and 3D compatibility. With this guide, you will be able to find the projector that will be the best fit for your needs.

Key features

  1. Projector Type: Consider the differences between a home entertainment projector, a business projector, and a short-throw projector to determine which one suits your needs.
  2. Resolution: Resolution is crucial for displaying quality images. Look for projectors with at least 1080p (1920x1080 pixels) resolution, but 4K or UHD (Ultra High Definition) resolutions offer the highest possible picture quality.
  3. Brightness: Measured in lumens, brightness determines how well the projector can be seen in a variety of lighting conditions. Look for a projector with a minimum of 2,000 lumens for a room with some ambient light, or 3,500 lumens for a room with more light.
  4. Contrast Ratio: Contrast ratio measures the difference between the brightest and darkest parts of the image. Look for projectors with a high contrast ratio of at least 10,000:1.
  5. Throw Distance: The throw distance is the range of distances the projector can be placed from the screen. Look for projectors with a wide throw distance range suitable for different distances and/or room sizes.
  6. Connectivity: Look for projectors with multiple input and output options, including HDMI, USB, and audio/video ports. Some projectors also come with Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connectivity.
  7. Compatibility: Make sure the projector is compatible with your device's operating system, as well as any other software you plan to use with the projector.

See the most popular Projectors on Amazon

Important considerations


  • High picture quality: Projectors usually offer a higher picture quality than television screens, allowing for larger and more detailed images.
  • Flexible installation: Projectors can be installed in a variety of positions, including ceiling, wall, and desktop mounted.
  • Large image size: Projectors can usually project images of up to 100 inches or more, which is larger than the typical television screen.
  • Portability: Projectors are often smaller and lighter than television sets, making them easier to transport and install.
  • Low cost: Projectors are typically much cheaper than television sets, making them an attractive option for budget shoppers.
  • Wide range of inputs: Projectors typically support a variety of input sources, including HDMI, VGA, USB, and more.
  • Energy efficient: Projectors are usually more energy efficient than television sets, which can result in lower electricity bills over time.


  • Light Output - Projectors typically range in brightness from 1,000 to 30,000 lumens, and it's important to select one that's suitable for the room size and lighting conditions. Too much light can wash out the image, while too little light may make it difficult to see.
  • Throw Distance - Since projectors are placed at a distance from the display surface, the throw distance needs to be taken into account. This will affect the size of the image as well as the brightness. It is also important to consider the placement of the projector and the need for a mounting system.
  • Resolution - The resolution of the projector should match the resolution of the source material. Lower resolutions can lead to a fuzzy or grainy image, while higher resolutions can require more powerful hardware. It is important to make sure the projector is capable of handling the resolution of the source material.
  • Inputs - Projectors typically have multiple inputs such as HDMI, VGA, and composite. It is important to make sure the projector can accept the type of connection needed for the source material.
  • Cost - Projectors can range in cost from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars. It is important to select a projector that fits the budget and meets the needs of the user.
  • Maintenance - Projectors require regular maintenance, such as cleaning and replacing the bulb. This can be a costly and time-consuming task for some users.
  • Noise - Many projectors generate a significant amount of fan noise, which can be distracting and reduce the enjoyment of watching a movie or playing a game. It is important to take this into account when selecting a projector.

Best alternatives

  1. LCD Display - A flat panel, liquid crystal display that encases a light source and creates a digital image.
  2. LED TV - A television with an LED backlight, providing enhanced brightness and contrast levels.
  3. Plasma TV - A flat panel television display that uses a plasma gas to create an image.
  4. Home Theater Systems - A combination of audio and video components designed to create an immersive home theater experience.
  5. Smart TVs - A television with built-in streaming services, allowing you to watch shows and movies directly from the internet.
  6. Projector Screens - A specialized surface designed to optimize the image from a projector.

Related tools, supplies, and accessories

Remote Control - used to change the settings and adjust the projector from a distance Cables and Connectors - used to connect the projector to a computer or other device Ceiling-Mount Brackets - used to mount a projector to the ceiling for a permanent installation Portable Cases - used to store and transport the projector safely Screen - used to project the image from the projector onto a surface Tripod Stand - used to set up the projector on a table or other flat surface

Common questions

  1. What types of projectors are available? There are three main types of projectors: LCD, DLP, and LED. LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) projectors use a liquid crystal display to project an image onto a screen. DLP (Digital Light Processing) projectors use a semiconductor chip to display an image. LED (Light Emitting Diode) projectors use an LED light source to display an image.
  2. What factors should I consider when buying a projector? When buying a projector, you should consider your budget, image brightness, image resolution, throw ratio, keystone correction, connectivity options, sound quality, setup and portability.
  3. What is the difference between a home theater projector and a business projector? A home theater projector is designed to provide a cinematic viewing experience and is typically brighter than a business projector. Business projectors are designed for presentations and typically have higher resolutions and more connectivity options.
  4. What is the difference between a short throw and a long throw projector? Short throw projectors can be placed close to the projection screen and still provide a large image. Long throw projectors require more distance from the screen to project a large image.
  5. What is keystone correction? Keystone correction is an image adjustment feature available on some projectors that allows you to correct the shape of the image if it is distorted.
  6. What is an anamorphic lens? An anamorphic lens is an attachment for a projector that allows it to display an image with an aspect ratio wider than the projector's native aspect ratio.


In 2003, the Guinness World Records recognized the world's largest projected image, created by using the world’s most powerful projector. The image was created at the San Diego Supercomputer Center and measured 8,290 square meters, equivalent to about 1.7 American football fields. The projector used to create the image was called the LLE Optical Train, which is a research tool used for studying atmospheric optical phenomena in a laboratory setting. The projector was developed by the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California and was able to project an image up to 800 meters away. The record still stands today. Source:

Disclaimer: This buying guide was not created by humans, and it is possible that some of it's content is inaccurate or incomplete. We do not guarantee or take any liability for the accuracy of this buying guide. Additionally, the images on this page were generated by AI and may not accurately represent the product that is being discussed. We have tried to convey useful information, but it is our subjective opinion and should not be taken as complete or factual.