Projectors 101 Glossary of Terms
The light output of projectors is measured in lumens, a unit of light intensity. The more lumens a projector emits, the brighter it will be. How bright your projector needs to be depends on the venue where your presentation will be held. If presenting to small groups in well-lit rooms will be your primary venue, then you probably need a projector with 1,000 lumens. But if your presentation venues will be in bigger rooms, or vary from day to day, consider a projector with at least 1,500 lumens to make sure your presentation will be bright enough for most situations.
- How bright does my projector need to be?
A big consideration to make before buying a projector is to ascertain whether it will be for strictly "in-house" use (possibly permanently installed) or used for travel, or some mix therein. If employees who travel a great deal will use the projector, obviously size and weight will be important factors. Most projectors manufactured today weigh between 6-12 pounds, but there are "ultra-portable" models that weigh as little as three pounds. The smaller and lighter projectors are ideal for people on the road a great deal, but may not have features commonly found on the standard size models.
- Which size projector is right for my purposes?
Resolution is the measurement of an image and is calculated in pixels. The more pixels, the better a presentation will look. Most projectors have 800x600 or 1024x768 resolution. The important factor when considering resolution is matching it to the computer with which it will be used. If your organization will be using more than one computer with the projector, select a projector with a resolution that matches the computer with highest resolution.
- Resolution: How many pixels are enough?
ANSI American National Standards Institute. Created the ANSI Lumens scale.
A measurement of brightness created by the American National Standards Institute that allows consumers to compare brightness between projectors.
The relationship between the width of the image and height of the image.
The relationship of the brightest and darkest images a display can reproduce.
DLP (Digital Light Processing)
DLP technology is an all digital chip that uses millions of micro mirrors that reflect light to create lifelike, razor-sharp pictures with vibrant colors and high contrast ratios in projectors.
A measurement in which the frequency of an electrical signal or event is expressed in cycles per second. (See also KHz and MHz)
A measure of frequency equal to 1,000 cycles per second. (See also Hz, MHz)
LCD (Liquid Crystal Display)
A form of visual display in which a liquid crystal is sandwiched between two transparent electrodes, controlling the light passing through it.
The light output of projectors is measured in lumens, a unit of light intensity. The more lumens a projector emits, the brighter it will be. See also ANSI lumens.
A measure of frequency equal to 1,000,000 cycles per second. (See also Hz, KHz)
NTSC (National Television Standards Committee)
Video and broadcasting standard common to the United States and Japan.
PAL (Phase Alternate Line)
Video and broadcasting standard common to Europe; color information in alternate lines is inverted in phases.
The smallest area of illumination on a display screen.
Resolution is the measurement of an image and is calculated in pixels. The more pixels, the better a presentation will look.
SVGA (Super VGA)
A high-resolution graphics standard for monitors and display screens.
S-Video (S - VHS)
A video signal that separates luminance and chrominance signals.
A data I/O port linking a computer to other computers or peripherals such as a projector.
VGA (Video Graphics Array)
A standard for defining color display screens.
XGA (Extended Graphics Adapter)
Graphics standard that includes VGA and extended resolution.
A cable splitting the monitor signal to work with both a monitor and LCD panel simultaneously.