The digital projectors category includes the latest in home theater projectors, portable projectors, and even digital cinema. See below for a list of digital projector reviews and information pages.
Let’s start out, by defining digital projectors. Truth is, the term generally applies to projectors that can handle digital source material. These days, that’s basically just about every projector.
As such, the phrase Digital Projectors is basically synonymous with Multimedia Projector, and Video Projector, as well as mind you, many projectors that aren’t purely digital, but that can project digital content, such as digital data from a computer, HDTV signals or Blu-ray movies.
The age of advanced digital cinema technology is here. Most home theater projectors are loaded with true HD 1080p resolution, and we’re getting a first generation of home theater projectors offering digital 3D performance.
Portable digital projectors are practical for presentations and integration with device applications on the iPod or iPhone, for picture / media enjoyment on a larger display screen. These video projectors are now being used with gaming systems, hand gesture recognition, and webcam technology.
Digital projection has evolved through several technologies including: DLP Projectors, DLP 3 Chip Projectors, LCD Projectors, and LCoS Projectors. Arguably the two DLP technologies are the only truly digital devices themselves, as the DLP chips – Digital Micro Devices – are off/on – digital.
A few popular digital projector brands: Sanyo, Epson, Dell, InFocus.
In terms of selecting a digital projector, key decisions will be based on the type of use you plan, be it presenting, teaching, watching movies and sports, playing games, and so on. The type of room or rooms you will be using are also big factors, especially in terms of how much brightness you need. Questions like how large a screen, and how much lighting control all weigh in. Will you need exceptionally accurate color? These questions and more, and especially budget, will affect your choices.
The term Digital Projectors is typically used loosely to include any projector capable of connecting to a computer, or other device displaying data. However, for a projector to be considered truly digital, theoretically it would use a digital device, such as a DLP chip as opposed to LCD or LCoS panels, and would be equipped with an LED light source – instead of a conventional lamp that is considered analog. The completely digital projector would also require digital source material coming over to the projector via a digital connection such as HDMI or DVI. The idea would be for the content to be in digital form from capture to delivery on your screen.
Most of us, though, are more concerned with getting the right feature set, for the right price.
As much as the DLP crowd would argue that LCD panels are analog, rather than digital, the bottom line, they’re all basically comparable. What matters is the end result – what ends up on your screen. And while each technology has its advantages, no technology is in all major ways better than the others.
Here’s an example of three projectors I’ve reviewed that are the most technically digital:
- Vivitek H9080FD Projector One of the first LED projectors for home theater, using DLP technology. Impressive picture quality, ideal for dedicated rooms and smaller screens. However, it’s pricey due to the 20,000 hour LED light source.
- Casio XJ-140 Portable Projector Casio’s Green Slim series digital projector uses a hybrid light source of LED and Laser for 20,000 hours life. Casio has lowest total cost of ownership around. Excellent, portable or mountable, 2:1 zoom. Most impressive!
- Optoma PK301 Pico Projector This is our favorite Pico projector so far. Up to 50 lumens – way more than almost all others, lots of everything. So far, it’s “THE pico to own.” LED light source and DLP technology. 20 lumens on battery, but 50 with AC or lightweight battery pack.
Epson Powerlite Pro Z8000WU NL – This is Epson’s flagship digital projector. It sports outstanding 1920×1200 resolution, has a dual lamp design, and offers lots of networking capability. At just over $20,000 list price, it is actually priced very aggressively compared to the competition.
3M MPro110 Projector– This tiny LED projector weighs barely half a pound, and is rated 10 lumens. What’s special about the 3M compared to other Pico projectors, however, is that it has a VGA input.