NC State Extension

Guidelines and Recommendations for Evaluating and Purchasing an LCD Projector

The purchase of an LCD projector must be carefully considered. There are many projectors on the market beginning in price around $1,000 and escalating upward into many thousands of dollars. Therefore, it is important to take the time to determine how you plan to use a projector and in what circumstances it will be used.

For example, a projector that has high lumens (2000 and greater) is very bright. These projectors work well in very large rooms such as auditoriums, where there is poor light control. However, these units tend to be the more expensive. Weight is another important consideration. If you plan to travel with the projector or anticipate moving it from facility to facility it is best to choose a lighter projector. Less weight also tends to increase the price of a unit, especially if the unit also has high lumens. Units that have lower lumens but are not as expensive, generally are a good compromise. If you need to choose between a projector with higher lumens or auto zoom, pick the projector with the higher lumens.
While it is important to consider price, lumens, and weight; some other questions that should be asked include:

  • What are the maximum colors that the projector can display?
  • What is the maximum true resolution that the projector can support?
  • Does the projector support sound/video projection? (Most do but some of the lower priced models do not.)
  • Are all cables included in the price of the projector?
  • How much does it cost to replace the lamp and what is the expected life of the lamp?
  • Does the projector come with a hard carrying case which would make storage and transport easier and safer?

LCD projectors are no longer covered on State Contract. There are many reputable brands and models of LCD projectors, so selecting a model may seem daunting. Before you buy, talk with a qualified sales individual about the strengths and weaknesses of the unit you are considering. If possible, you should see a demonstration of the unit. If that is not possible, search for and read LCD projector reviews online. When you find a model you are interested in, find some online sellers and read buyer reviews carefully.

Written By

Photo of Mike VysockaMike VysockaBusiness and Technology Application Specialist (919) 513-3362 mike_vysocka@ncsu.eduExtension Information Technology - NC State University
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