Buying Tip #3
Does the projector offer interactive features (and do interactive features matter to you)?
Many ultra-short-throw projectors (and a smaller number of short-throw projectors) offer standard or optional interactive features. These features allow the presenter and even viewers to use an interactive pen to annotate and collaborate, right on the screen. Think of the pen as a mouse, except it doesn’t need to be connected to a laptop, and it can write like a stylus.
“Ultra-short-throw projectors add new levels of flexibility and interactivity to classrooms, meeting rooms and a range of commercial applications, transforming most flat surfaces into interactive screens,” says Sander Phipps, senior product manager, Professional Projectors for Sony Electronics. “The newest models add interactive writing capabilities and simultaneous, dual-touch, interactive annotation on the projection screen with a special pen and drawing software.” Determine if you’d like to pay a premium for interactive features and purchase accordingly.
Buying Tip #4
What is the projector’s brightness? A projector’s brightness spec can provide useful information for comparison’s sake. Brightness is usually measured in lumens, or light output, with many projectors in the short-throw and ultra-short-throw categories offering 3,000 Lumens brightness. Consider that the average. As a rule, “the larger the screen and the more ambient light in the room, the more lumens you will need,” says Phipps.
Buying Tip #5
How important are energy savings to you? If your organization is looking to cut costs or become more environmentally friendly, you’re not alone. Many short-throw and ultra-short-throw projectors boast energy efficiency features. Seek them out when considering different models. “In conventional projectors, energy use is primarily from the lamp,” says Phipps. “So the more efficient a projector is at turning the lamp wattage into available light on the screen, the more energy efficient the projector is.” Newer models that use LED and/or laser are more energy efficient in addition to being easier to maintain. Phipps adds, “Another maintenance issue that should be considered is filter cleaning cycles. Projectors that only require filters to be cleaned or changed at the same intervals as the lamp can lessen maintenance headaches.”
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