Saturday, December 10, 2022

Best advice on in-home projectors

 Projectors as an alternative to other means of accessing internet are extremely cheap. 

There are a dizzying number of new brands out there with strange names, each one with a variety of models.    The projectors vary greatly in their capabilities.

So there are pitfalls in choosing and installing the device.  And there are a lot of other things you need to do in preparation for the device.

Most important you first need a dark room. That means equipping the room ahead to make it dark in an effective way. That means an easy and quick way also.

Blackout curtains are a start.

And then you will be fumbling around in the dark trying to operate your remote unless you mirror your screen from your smartphone to the stick you will be using.  Or from your iPad, my preference.

You may want to dedicate a smartphone to the purpose. Search phones can be had from QVC for way under $100 even with a Year's service. But you won't need that service.

I also use a targeted lamp where I am viewing, PLUS Alexa to switch the room lights off and on.

Then you need to choose a short or long throw projector. 

What does that mean?

It means you need to size the projector to the room. Otherwise you may have a projector  that you need to place in the middle of the room in order to get a small enough picture.

A short by throw projector has a throw ratio between 0.4 and 1. The throw ratio is calculated using the distance from the projector to screen divided by the maximum projected width of the image.

So you need a short throw projector. Newer projectors have adjustable lenses down to 3.8 ft from screen to device.

These were formerly very expensive but now are dirt cheap.

I bought a short throw Vankyo for $35 with nothing on the back side so that I can stand it up and display to the ceiling.

I also bought a large RCA for $29 which was luckily able to work in my 8-ft wide rim.

Next you need to provide a stick which works well with your particular device.  I also wanted to use both speaker and headphones with the stick.

The Roku Express worked well with everything, except for headphones.  I needed to substitute the standard Roku remote for a Roku remote which enables plug-in to remote for headphones.

The Amazon fire stick does have the ability to connect with headphones by Bluetooth but did not work with my RCA projector. The Google TV stick also has the ability to connect Bluetooth.

The TiVo 4K stick worked well with my RCA except for headphones.

Projectors are getting better and better. The Yowick projectors are probably the most promising new ones. I have not ordered one yet.  

This product has the best user guide I have seen for projectors. Using the controls is going to require some effort and this guide simplifies the process.  You can download this guide from Amazon for the Yowick DPO2W.

This device promises 1080 resolution for the number of dots per inch.  Generally though you will not find inexpensive projectors with this resolution.  Inexpensive projectors do run 1080 but they do it by downsizing to 720.

The 720 only falls short when you are looking at a travel video showing a vista of scenery.   Standard TVs up to 32 inch have only 720.

You certainly don't need high definition for talking heads.  You also do not need 720 for motion pictures which generally are not that high definition  anyway.

Expect to spend a lot of time just figuring out your best arrangements and choices. Not as simple as hanging a flat screen on your wall but nowhere near as expensive.