There is nothing like the big screen to watch a movie. Though televisions are becoming bigger and bigger (there is a 90-inch one in the market) there is always a question mark over whether they are worth the money. Think projectors, which could be just right in your quest to balance lower costs with an experience closer to real cinema. Primarily designed for business presentations and classrooms, projectors moved into homes quite a few years back. Projector glossary
People set up enviable home theatres with relaxing massage chairs, great sound, and even butler-served popcorn! Over the years, projectors have become more affordable, there is a greater variety on offer, and if you have a wall large enough to project your favourite movie on, read on. And we are running a glossary to help you learn the technicalities in identifying the best machine. Halo effect
Price: Rs. 60,000
The latest kid on the block is the W750 from BenQ. It has an attractive price tag, a 13,000:1 contrast ratio and 10-watt built-in speakers. Lamp life — the bugbear of projectors — is an extra-long 6,500 hours, thanks to its smart economy mode. It has two HDMI 1.4a ports, and supports single-feed 3D projection. It has other analog inputs to connect more devices, and can be mounted both on a desk as well as the ceiling.
BENQ claims it can project an image as large as 300”. The downside is that it supports a maximum resolution of 1280x720 — meaning that it is HD-ready, not full HD. It can emit 2,500 ANSI Lumens though, and is one of the better entry-level projectors. BENQ also bundles one set of 3D-glasses with the projector, and you can pay for more.
Price: Rs. 1,70,999
A full-HD projector, the TW-8100 has 2,400 ANSI Lumens brightness, a full resolution of 1920x1080 (1080p) and an image-size range of 30’’ to 300”. The lamp has a rating of 4,000 hours in normal mode and 5,000 in the economy mode. Epson claims it has a 10,000:1 contrast ratio, and its colours are vivid. The TW-8100 also supports 3D and comes with one of the lightest 3D glasses we have seen, with a sound battery life.
The TW-8100 ships with a manual lens shift mechanism that lets you fine-tune the focus in case the projection wall is not levelled. One endearing feature of the TW-8100 is its split-screen functionality, whereby we can project two images at the same time via two sources — say a cricket match and your favourite Hindi serial. The TW-8100 has 2 HDMI ports and a couple of analog ports.
Sony VPL VW 1000ES
Price: Rs. 14,99,900
There is no typo in the price. That is indeed the price. But Sony gives something that no one else does: it is the only 4K projector available in the market. The term 4K means ultra HD: you can go up to a resolution of 4,096 x 2,160, and get really rich content, say an image shot in a full-frame digital SLR camera zoomed into the finest of detail, or a 4K movie. The lamp is rated at just 2,000 ANSI Lumens, but the image that the 1000ES puts out is stunning and rich in detail. Image size ranges from 60” to 300”, and the projector comes with two HDMI slots and a couple of analog inputs.
It also has a dynamic contrast ratio of 1,000,000:1 (That’s right. A million to one. See glossary). Sony does not specify the lamp life, and the projector does not support 3D, but for that kind of money, those are least of your worries!