Consumer Use of Home Theatre Projectors On the Rise

Growth of the Projector Industry
According to Stanford Resources, a San Jose-based market research firm, the use of front projection systems in the U.S. will increase to three million units by 2006, reflecting a grow of 19-percent per year. The Asia-Pacific market will show a similar increase, with an estimated three-quarters of a million projectors shipping in 2004.

Analysts believe this growth is due to way digital projectors are being used today as compared to just a few years ago. Then, projector use was fairly limited to the boardroom or corporate training facility. Today, end users include movie theaters, shopping malls, the wired home, the video industry and home theatre users.

Home Theatre Users
The use of digital projectors is growing at astonishing rates in the home theatre business. But how to get started building your system? First, a portable front-projection system is a good choice for new consumers. You can buy projectors that use either the LCD or DLP technology (replaces liquid crystal with silicon chip technology). These projectors are small, lightweight and can actually be hidden in a typical home setting so they’re completely out of sight.

When shopping for your projector, remember that not all projectors are equal. In fact, one of the most important features to look for is resolution—the number of lines of picture image displayed on the screen. A standard TV has 480 lines of resolution, HDTV has more than 700. SVGA (800×600) and XGA (1024×768) are the most common projector resolutions. An XGA projector has about twice the number of pixels of an SVGA projector. Although XGA costs more, it doesn’t make sense to buy a projector that has a lower resolution than your HDTV!

Next, check out the brightness, measured in lumens. If you have a dedicated dark room environment, you won’t need as many lumens as a home with ambient light. A good rule of thumb is: if you have a dedicated space, you can use a 700 lumen projector; if you have a lot of external light coming in, shoot for 2500.

Other features to consider are easy toggling between HDTV and NTSC broadcasts, full function remote, cinema mode, and easy-to-follow menus.

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