Tech News: Resolution Evolution

For several years resolution has been a predictable projector specification. Most business projectors were either SVGA (for PowerPoint presentations) or XGA (for spreadsheet and detailed images).

This has changed over the past three years, as home theater projectors were developed with widescreen resolutions (WVGA, WXGA, or WXGA-H) to meet the high-definition demand. We now appear to be reaching a new plateau, where SVGA becomes obsolete and brighter, more portable widescreen products and higher resolutions like SXGA+ offerings enter the marketplace.

Adieu SVGA

While it’s not extinct like the Tyrannosaurus Rex, SVGA looks like the latest victim of advancing technology. Most manufacturers have been removing SVGA models from their product lines, focusing more on XGA and higher-resolution machines. SVGA products are now available for as low as $599, just a couple hundred bucks more than a replacement lamp. If all you want is a cheap projector, now is the time to buy. They can’t get much cheaper than they already are, and there will be far fewer SVGA models to choose from in the coming months.

XGA is the new SVGA

You may have heard the saying, “30 is the new 20” or “brown is the new black” Well it looks like XGA will soon be the new SVGA. There are loads of fantastic XGA values available in the portable and installation categories, including many more options in the 2000 lumen and brighter range. As SVGA exits the marketplace, XGA will remain the optimum choice for value and performance for business projection.

Quick Tip: Unlike SVGA, XGA projectors can produce high-resolution video display. The black bars produced in widescreen mode are not desirable to a home theater enthusiast, but for road warriors who enjoy taking their projector home once in awhile, it’s a nice perk.

The Widescreen Scene

Laptop computers with widescreen monitors have become more popular in recent years, possibly due to the addition of DVD drives as standard hardware. There haven’t been many video projectors with a widescreen native format developed for business presenters, as most of the focus has been placed on home theater units. Home theater products are typically not as bright in order to preserve contrast and heavier to reduce fan noise and production costs.

If you are looking for a WXGA (1280×768 pixels) business projector, the new Mitsubishi HD4000U is one product that may just fit the bill. It’s got a lot going for it with widescreen (WXGA) resolution, 2000 lumens, 7 lbs. chassis, excellent video quality with DLP technology, and a competitive price. Widescreen projectors like this used to be much heavier and were twice the price of this model.

Just Say SXGA+

The selection of SXGA+ (1400×1050 pixels) projectors has significantly improved over the past two years. We are now reaching a point where there will be bona fide options as manufacturers release more SXGA+ products this year.

The first to hit the streets with an incredibly competitive model is the Optoma EP910. It’s got more features than any other model in its price range, including DVI input with HDCP compatibility, 3W speakers, RS232 control, and a 2500:1 contrast rating. It’s also reasonably portable, at just 10 pounds.

Quick Tip: SXGA+ projectors are designed for high-resolution applications such as control rooms, medical installations, digital photographers, engineering, and other situations where fine details are desired in large images.

Still have questions about projector resolution? Call a Projector Expert today!

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