Solving the Problem of Projectors and Bright Rooms

It seems that more and more schools are being built with big windows and better lighting. This theoretically creates a better environment for increasing moods and productivity. Unfortunately, copious amounts of ambient light can be a projectors Achilles heel and a presenter’s nightmare. Many standard classrooms don’t come with a dimmer or the ability to control the amount of ambient light shining in the room. Because of this, the average projector with low lumen output can be easily outshined. Luckily, Hitachi has designed its Collegiate Series projectors with enough lumens to outshine most ambient light. The Hitachi CP-X5022WN, for example, is an LCD projector with a total of 5,000 ANSI lumens of brightness (if you are not sure how bright that is, imagine 5,000 birthday candles lighting up your room!). The high lumen count combined with 1024×768 resolution has the ability to transform classrooms, auditoriums, and lecture halls into powerful learning centers regardless of ambient light. So if you are battling low lumen projectors and bright rooms, consider one of Hitachi’s high-lumen Collegiate Series projectors.

This Hitachi CP-X5022WN has high lumens and outshines most ambient light.
This Hitachi CP-X5022WN has high lumens and outshines most ambient light.

If you are not sure how many lumens you’ll need, give our experts a call at 1-888-248-0675.

Halloween, Projectors and AtmosFX – What You Need To Know

Halloween is almost upon us and all your neighbors are doing the same old decorating they do every year – some fake cobwebs, a silly black cat in the front yard and the obligatory carved pumpkin on the porch. You want to do something really different and cool, but you don’t want to spend a ton of money or wind up with giant spiders and witches with no where to put them after the holiday is over.

Well, we have just the solution for you. All you need is a projector, some AtmosFX DVDs and some inexpensive material to project on. We’re going to tell you everything you need to make your Halloween home the talk of the neighborhood this year.

 What is AtmosFX and why should I care?


You know in those scary movies, how you’ll see a silhouette of some crazy axe murderer walking past the window, or a terrifying image of a ghost looking down on you from some run-down asylum? Well, the folks over at AtmosFX have dedicated themselves to recreating all of those scary Hollywood scenes and bundling them together in video sets specifically meant for projecting onto surfaces like your windows, your walls, mesh material hanging in open spaces, and even uncarved pumpkins. The results are nothing short of amazing and must be seen to be believed.

 What kind of projector do I need?

The type of projector you need depends on a few things, which I’ve listed out for you below:

  • Lighting conditions – the darker the environment the better, indoors and out. If you’re next to a streetlight, your best bet is to use on a window farthest away from the light or stick to indoor projection effects.
  • Indoor or outdoor projection – if you’re planning on projecting these Halloween effects on outdoor pumpkins or more advanced hanging mesh displays, you’ll probably want to stick to something more portable, and consider how you’re going to protect it from the elements (or naughty tricksters who might want to grab it on the go)
  • Will you need a zoom feature? depending on what you’re projecting onto, placement of the projector should be considered. Most projectors come with at least some zoom functionality so you can dial a smaller or larger image, but knowing how big an image you need will help you make sure you don’t get a projector that won’t work for you. (tip: use the projector calculator on our product pages for an accurate measure of each projectors throw range and zoom)
  • Resolution – we recommend going for a projector with HD resolution (1920 x 1080), though you probably can get away with one that is lower resolution than that if your projected image is far enough away from the viewer. We choose HD simply because we’ll be using the projector for watching movies and sports well after Halloween is over.

For projector lumens, it does depend a lot on your environmental lighting conditions. If you have total control over lighting and can make things dark or at least dim, you can get away with a projector with less than 1500 lumens. If there will be some ambient lighting around, choose a projector with a bit more power. There is probably no need to get a projector with more than 2500 lumens however, unless you plan on projecting very large images. Of course, if you have any questions, give our projector experts a call at 1-888-248-0675. They live for this stuff.

How to create an intense window projection effect

zombie-windowFor some of the AtmosFX window projection videos, a more relaxed setup can actually create a more realistic effect (see the Axe guy in the picture above?). Loosely draping a semi-transparent screen material, like the AtmosFX window projection material, creates a great surface for silhouettes and less detailed images. From outside, it really looks like there are creatures lurking around inside your home.

If you want a more shocking and in-your-face effect, then stretch the material tighter across the areas you’re projecting onto. This will create a great canvas for more detailed projections, like witches, ghosts and zombies to pop up and scare the candy out any trick or treaters who dare enter your domain.

 Projectors in space? Well, kind of…

By now, you’re probably super-psyched to get this gear and try it out for yourself. But if you’re still on the fence about it and are thinking there’s nothing that revolutionary about projecting onto a window or a wall, then consider projecting ghostly apparitions in the middle of your hallway, or out in your yard. Simply drape some holusion mesh material between a doorway, turn off the hallway lights and then project ultra-creepy videos on life-like spectres.  It’s guaranteed to make even the most manly man scream and jump back in fright.

4K at Home for less than $10k? Yes, please!

Coming soon to a home theater near you: true 4K projection! With Sony’s launch of the captivating VPL-VW350ES projector, you can bring vibrant, true-to-life video to your home for less than $10,000 for a limited time.

Our friends at Sony stopped by to give us a demo of this AMAZING projector and we were not disappointed. Check out this video to get the inside scoop from the experts on 4K content, technology and more:

You may already know that 4K projection boasts four times more pixels than 1080p, but have you seen the difference yourself? Check out this video, shot on a Canon 4K camera in both 4K and HD to see the difference the extra pixels can make. Since you’re probably not watching this on a 4K monitor, the video shows a 5x zoom for each shot so you can clearly see the difference in clarity.

(Thanks to Mashable for this enlightening clip!)

2015 to Bring a Feast of 4K Content


Forget everything you’ve heard about the lack of 4K content. This year, providers are releasing a wealth of new 4K movies and shows. The Sony 4K player already offers access to more than 200 true 4K movies from the Sony online store, plus on-demand streaming services, satellite and cable providers are quickly adding new 4K content to keep up with consumer demand.

Connect your Blu-ray player to the Sony 4K projector for an affordable near-4K experience. “Mastered in 4K” Blu-rays work like a computer ZIP file by compressing the 4K image. When played on the Sony VPL-VW350ES, movies that are mastered in 4K are up-scaled to near-4K quality and boast a richer colorscape and cleaner, more detailed images. Plus, a line of 4K Blu-ray discs are slated to be released by year-end.

While you’re waiting for more true 4K content, enjoy the jaw-dropping quality of HD content, which looks even more colorful and life-like on your 4K projector.

Screen Tips for 4K

To best enjoy the clarity of 4K, we recommend using a screen that is 100”-150”. Use the chart below as a rough guide to choose a screen and viewing distance for your unique home theater needs.


Standard 4K resolution has a native aspect ratio 1.89:1, slightly wider than the 1.78:1 (or 16:9) aspect ratio of 1080p and 720p. This means true 4K content won’t perfectly fit on your 16:9 screen.

Want to use your 16:9 screen with a 4K projector? Sony integrated two features to the VW350ES to help you deal with this situation. The first is a pair of guidelines in the lens adjustment pattern that indicate the borders of a 1.78:1 image. These lines help you center the 16:9 image on your screen perfectly instead of just eyeballing it. The second is a blanking feature that “blacks out” the remaining pixels, creating a blacker black bar. Once blanking is engaged, the extra pixels are very easy to ignore. Blanking allows for separate adjustments to each edge of the image, so it’s also useful for anamorphic widescreen movies.

Bottom Line: The Sony VPL-VW350ES is an incredible deal for true 4K projection. If you’re looking for a truly immersive, theater-quality experience in your home, this projector is a terrific investment.

Why Price isn’t Everything

You’ve been thinking about getting a projector for a while and have spent time researching the perfect projector to suit your needs. After comparing prices online, you stumble across an amazing price and place your order. Sure, you’re ordering from some company you’ve never heard of, but the price was great… what could go wrong? As it turns out, lots.

We all want the best value for our money, but if the price seems too good to be true, it probably is. Unauthorized resellers sometimes offer deeply discounted prices on equipment, but they aren’t purchasing direct from the manufacturer, so its buyer beware. Here are just a few of the risks associated with buying from unauthorized resellers online:

  • Once your credit card is charged, you may never receive the product (unlikely, but it’s happened).
  • You may receive a refurbished, counterfeit, stolen or international product (with different specs), or a projector that’s missing a lamp or other key components. Always be sure to check the product description to ensure your projector includes a lamp!
  • Manufacturers may not honor warranties for products from unauthorized sellers, so if the equipment is defective, you could be stuck with a broken projector.
  • You probably won’t have access to any tech support, so you’ll be on your own if you have questions not covered in the manual.
  • If you decide you want a different projector, you may not be able to return it or may be charged a large restocking fee once you’ve opened the box.
This could you be you if you buy from the wrong place.

We always recommend spending time researching both the projector and the reseller! Buying a projector (or other big ticket item) from an Authorized Retailer ensures you’ll receive the product you ordered, with the specs, warranty and technical support you expect. Why take the risk when you’re spending so much money?

How can you tell if you’re purchasing from a reputable dealer?

  • Is it easy to get in touch with a real person? You should be able to quickly/easily reach someone via phone in case you have questions/issues after your credit card has been charged.
  • Does the reseller list a physical address? If it seems shady, plug it into Google Maps to see if it’s a real store or someone’s apartment.
  • How long have they been in business? It’s super easy to set up a professional looking online storefront in just a few hours. Don’t be fooled by a slick looking site.
  • Do they claim to be an “Authorized Dealer” for the projector you want to buy? If not, steer clear, as the source of the projector will likely not be the manufacturer. If you aren’t sure, check the manufacturer’s website for a list of Authorized Dealers.
  • What is included in the cancellation/return policy? Are you allowed to return your projector if it’s defective? Will you be charged an extra fee if you’ve opened the box?
  • Is the site selling lots of random/unrelated products? If so, the salespeople are likely not experts in projector technology and probably won’t be able to offer much expert advice or support after the sale.

What should you expect from an Authorized Dealer?

  • Brand new projectors direct from the manufacturer with full specs and warranty. Some dealers (like Projector People) negotiate better-than-standard warranty terms with manufacturers!
  • Customer support and expertise before, during and after the sale. If you have a question about the product, you should be able to easily connect with someone to help you. Being stuck with a projector that doesn’t work and no way to get help is no fun!

So, when buying a projector, be sure to do your research: on both the equipment and the reseller! Don’t make the mistake of trying to save a few bucks and end up with a low quality or broken product. A good reseller will be able to help you with your projector research by providing expert information before, during and after the sale. With just a little extra effort, you’ll be sure to end up with a projector you’ll love for many years. Happy projecting!

Projector People Gives Back


To honor and support our troops this Veteran’s Day, we pledged to donate $5 to the Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) for every online order placed between November 4 and Veteran’s Day (November 11). Thanks to you, we’re pleased to announce that we’re donating more than $800 to WWP.

Wounded Warrior Project serves veterans and service members who incurred a physical or mental injury, illness, or wound, co-incident to their military service. WWP takes a holistic approach when serving warriors and their families to nurture the mind and body, and encourage economic empowerment and engagement. Through a high-touch and interactive approach, WWP hopes to foster the most successful, well-adjusted generation of wounded service members in our nation’s history. WWP programs include a combat stress recovery program to help Veterans learn coping mechanisms for dealing with PTSD, economic empowerment and job training, physical health and wellness classes and more.

We’re proud to be able to support our nation’s heroes through this awesome organization.