Projector People’s Home Theater Savings Guide

Writing inspiring copy about why you should buy a projector is no easy task this holiday season. With belts and wallets tightening and a challenging outlook for next year, we know your projection needs might not be at the top of your list. But for those of you who are looking for a great excuse to stay in and save for the next year or two, we are now offering our deepest discounts ever on a wide selection of projectors in our Inventory Clearance Sale. So, just to be sure you spend your hard-earned money on the right stuff, we’ve put together a handy Guide to Savings for Home Theater Projectors. Read on.

The Basics of Brightness

Our Projector Experts don’t go a day without answering questions about brightness. That’s a good thing, because it’s one of the most important questions to ask when buying a projector. As projection technology has improved, brightness has been one of the areas that has improved the most. Hence the difference between the suggested lumen numbers you might have seen a year or two ago. Here is a “new” chart for you with brightness suggestions for 2008, and probably 2009.

[ Photo : The Panasonic PT-AX200U is a 2000 lumen 720p projector, but it also has Light Harmonizer technology for an extra kick of brightness when the lights are on. ]

Home Theater Projector Brightness Recommendations
Room Type Recommended Brightness
Small Theaters* 900 – 1200 lumens (or more)
Large Theaters** 1200 – 2000 lumens (or more)
Outdoor Theaters 1500 lumens (or more)
Media Rooms*** 2000 lumens (or more)

* Dedicated space with controlled lighting and a screen under 100-inches.
** Dedicated space with controlled lighting and a screen over 100-inches.
*** A media room as defined here is a space with windows that is used for multi-purpose entertaining.

SAVINGS TIP : Don’t buy more lumens than you need unless you plan to use the projector in multiple locations. Darker rooms with controlled lighting may require less brightness than specified above, especially if the viewer is not particular. Ask a Projector Expert if you have a question about your environment.

Resolution and Recommended Usage

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In many cases, a buyer’s choice for resolution is based entirely on price. The higher the resolution, the higher the cost. If money is no object, true HD (1080p) images look spectacular and you should just go ahead and buy it. If your budget is tight, see the recommendations below for a little guidance on the resolution question. Remember there are now several 1080p projector options well under $2,000.

Home Theater Projector Resolution Recommendations
Resolution Recommendations
XGA (720 or 480p) A low cost option for watching 4:3 material. Brighter projectors with this resolution cost less, but you will see large ‘black bars’ along the bottom of the image.
WVGA (480p) An excellent choice for a kids playroom or a low-budget outdoor theater. WVGA projectors with built-in DVD players and speakers (like the Epson MovieMate 55) are also a good choice. Not HD.
WXGA-H (720p) 720p native projectors can typically scale to 1080p, but with some artifacts. Many HD channels broadcast 720p native signals.
HD (1080p) Best for true HD theaters. The best image quality when used with a 1080p source and source material.

SAVINGS TIP : A WVGA projector should cost a couple hundred less in the short run, but as technology progresses it may not be supported as HD becomes the standard for broadcast. If your purchase plans are cheap and short term, there are some bargains to be had in both WXGA-H (720p) and WVGA (480p). If your plans are long term, HD is a good choice and there are several options for well under $2000.

Connection Suggestions

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If you’re buying a projector as a gift for the holiday’s, don’t forget to make sure you have the right kind of cable on hand. Projector People carries professional grade cable which is recommended for permanent installations because it provides better shielding from electronic interference in the home. Call a Projector Expert for assistance if you’re not a cable pro and you have more questions. You can also view our handy Cables and Connections Guide if you’d like to learn more about projector connections.

Connections You’ll Want
Connection Type Recommendations
Dual VGA / component flexibility Good option for projectors meant to be used with a computer (as well as work/home projectors).
Component Video Carries HD analog video. Either HDMI or component video should be used for an HD source. Component video may be better if a cable run is longer than 30 feet.
HDMI Becoming the most common connection type. Carries digital HD video and audio, so best used with a receiver.
S-Video A great back-up for older video sources. If you take your projector with you to a holiday party, S-video may come in handy, although there is a noticeable decline in the image quality.
Composite Video Like S-video, a great back-up for older video sources. It’s the lowest common denominator for video.

SAVINGS TIP : A little planning ahead of time can save you money. Use our throw distance calculators (on most of our product pages) to determine the distance your projector will be from the screen. This may prevent you from buying 35 feet of cable when you only need 20 feet.

FEATURED CLEARANCE HOME THEATER PROJECTORS

The Joys of Package Deals
Home Theater Packages

Another way to save is to purchase a package deal. Remember you can always call a Projector Expert who can put together a custom package for you. Our Package Deals may not fit exactly what you are looking for but they might. If they do, you’ll usually save money that you wouldn’t if you purchase each item seperately. That may take some of the fun out of shopping for the bargain hunters, but it saves time for buyers who prefer a one-stop-savings-shop. Check out our packages below :

SAVINGS TIP : Due to manufacturer regulations, authorized resellers have to be a little creative in order to offer you our best price. So add your projector to your cart to see the lowest prices on most projectors. Or request a quick quote for a Sanyo product to see the lowest price. Packages are also a good way to find additional savings. Call for the most up to date pricing or to create a custom package.

FEATURED PACKAGE DEAL – Panasonic PT-AE3000U Simple Bundle includes :

  • Panasonic PT-AE3000U projector
  • Sanus Universal Projector Mount, Black
  • Liberty HDMI Cable (10 meters)
  • AccuScreens Fixed Frame 106-inch Screen with Velvet Frame
  • Package Price : $2699
  • Click for details »
  • Hopefully this has been a helpful guide to projector savings. As always, please feel free to call and speak to a Projector Expert for more detailed information, and for specific advice about your home theater space.





    Projector People’s Guide to Savings : Business Projectors

    [ This is a reprint of our Business Edition Projector People Post Newsletter sent this month. We publish our tech stories here, but newsletter subscribers will get the messages sooner and will receive additional information including our Top Five best selling projectors, presentation tips, or customer home theater examples. Sign up here. ]

    Writing inspiring copy about why you should buy a projector is no easy task this holiday season. With belts and wallets tightening and a challenging outlook for next year, we know your projection needs might not be at the top of your list. But for those of you who do have a little bit of budget left to invest in your business, or who are looking for a great excuse to stay in and save – we are now offering our deepest discounts ever on a wide selection of projectors in our Inventory Clearance Sale. And just to be sure you spend your hard-earned money on the right stuff, we have put together a quick and easy buyers guide for you.

    Business Projection Savings Guide

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    Projectors for business are now more versatile then ever before. There are now network ready projectors available from just about every major manufacturer and most of the kinks and glitches from the first generation products have been smoothed out. Wireless projection has not come as far as we might have hoped, but is more than adequate for business presentations without video. Both wireless and network technology can save you money. Wireless, obviously saving you the cost of cables, and adding a projector to a network allows for more efficient management. And, of course, the best news is that both features have also become less expensive since their introduction. But wireless and network compatibility are extra features that can be elminated in the interest of savings. Here is a quick look at what can’t.

    The Basics of Business Projection : Fast and Easy

    Brightness
    Room Size Lumens Suggested
    Small Conference Room 2000 lumens
    Large Conference Room 3000 lumens
    Auditorium / Classroom 3500 lumens

    SAVINGS TIP : Don’t buy more lumens than you need unless you plan to use the projector in multiple locations. Darker rooms with controlled lighting may require less brightness than specified above. Ask a Projector Expert if you have a question about your environment.

    Resolution
    Resolution Recommended Usage
    SVGA Only for use with older sources such as VCRs, older computers, etc.
    XGA A better choice for 4:3 sources such as NTSC DVD players, many laptop computers.
    WXGA Best for widescreen laptops
    SXGA+ Best for applications that require high-detail

    SAVINGS TIP : An SVGA projector might cost a hundred bucks less in the short run, but as technology progresses it may not be supported by newer sources (computers, etc.). If you have 4:3 sources, investing in XGA will be more “future-proof.”

    Connectivity
    Connection Type Good to Have Because
    Dual VGA / component flexibility. Most common connection type.
    HDMI Playing video. Common on newer video sources – DVD players, etc.
    S-Video A back-up for older video sources. Particularly useful in school settings.

    SAVINGS TIP : If you plan to sneak the projector home on weekends for some movies and gaming, an HDMI connection is a plus. However, a dual component / VGA connection will do the trick if your source (receiver, gaming system, DVD player) has component video out.

    OUR CLEARANCE BUSINESS PROJECTORS

    So there you have just a few of the basics of business projection. Still have questions? Call a Projector Expert for more advice and information. Now we’ll touch on cross over and home theater products. Watch for a more comprehensive Home Theater Guide on our blog next friday.

    Cross Over Projector Guide

    There are fewer manufacturer specifically targeting the cross over buyer these days. That is partially because most business projectors do a reasonable job producing video, particularly for those who are not picky about their image. And now with more widescreen business projector options, you can even get true widescreen (and even HD) images from a business projector. The video quality, however, is not (even close to) optimized. The greatest advantage of a cross over projector is probably the brightness. Home theater projectors are tweaked out to produce higher contrast ratios (deep blacks and rich colors) and sacrifice brightness to achieve them. Here’s the quick list of things to look for in a cross over projector.

    What to Look for in a Cross Over Projector : Quick Look

    • WXGA (720p) resolution
    • HDMI connection
    • Lens shift / zoom lens
    • Better video scaling technology (promotional materials usually mention it if applicable)
    • Contrast ratio of 2500:1 or better

    Of course, for those who are not particular about the image, just about any projector will reproduce decent video and a very big image.

    SAVINGS TIP : Manufactures who make both business and home theater projectors are more likely to have a good video processor in them, as are projectors with a widescreen native chip in them.

    OUR CLEARANCE CROSS OVER PROJECTORS

    HD Home Theater Guide

    HDTV logo

    Here’s a quick look at what to look for in a home theater projector. We are just hitting on the basics, since we will be covering this more fully in the Home Theater version of our newsletter next week. Check our blog next Friday afternoon if you are interested in reading more about HDTV projectors. Until then, here is our quick take on what to look for in a home theater projector.

    Resolution
    Resolution Good to Have Because
    HD (1080p) Offers the best readily available image for the money.
    WXGA-H (720p) 720p native projectors can typically scale to 1080p, but with some artifacts. Many HD channels broadcast 720p native signals.
    WVGA (480p) Good for backyard theaters or kids rooms. Not HD.

    SAVINGS TIP : If your primary source (receiver, cable box, DVD, gaming system) is not 1080p, you may do just as well with a less expensive 720p projector. However, if you are likely to upgrade in the future, 1080p provides a significantly better image.

    Resolution
    Room Type Recommended Brightness
    Small Theaters 1000 lumens (or more)
    Large Theaters 1500 lumens (or more)
    Outdoor Theaters 1500 lumens (or more)
    Media Rooms 2000 lumens (or more)

    SAVINGS TIP : Controlled lighting will make all the difference in the world in a home theater space. Lower lumen projectors can produce a great looking image in a dark room. However if you want to leave the lights on, more lumens are worth the investment.

    OUR CLEARANCE HOME THEATER PROJECTORS

    That’s all we will cover in this newsletter, but watch out our Projector People Blog for a more comprehensive Home Theater Guide next Friday. We’ll discuss the value of 1080p projectors beyond resolution, discuss screen sizes, and much more. Thanks for tuning in!

    And if we don’t see you before, here’s wishing you a Happy Holiday and a Wonderous New Year!

    Business and Home Theater Projector Clearance Sale!

    It’s hard to believe it’s that time again. It seems like just yesterday when we were paying over $4.00 a gallon for gas, Hillary was sure to be the Democratic nominee for President, the Patriots were the (almost) SuperBowl champions, the Tampa Bay (Devil) Rays stunk, and the world’s heaviest man was a swingin’ single.

    Projector Inventory Clearance Sale

    A lot has changed over the course of the year, and just as we have had to adjust, so must prices. Over the past two days we have dropped prices on loads of projectors for business and home theater use. See our list below:

    Business Projector Price Drops

    Here is our list of business projector price drops. Product is followed by the amount we slashed off the advertised price on our site.

    Home Theater Projectors

    Here is our list of home theater projector price drops. Product is followed by the amount we slashed off the advertised price on our site.

    Home Theater Accessory

    These prices good while supplies last and are subject to change without notice. Many of these products are only available in limited quantities. Act now.

    [ See complete list with discounts ]