Screen Your Skills: Video Projector Buying Guide Quiz

By: Staff
Image: refer to hsw

About This Quiz

There are a lot of features and specifications associated with video projectors. Do you know enough to choose the projector that's right for you? Check out our quiz to see!

Which of the following key features is always important when buying a video projector?

While brightness and contrast are important, their level of importance varies depending on where and how you'll use the projector. Aspect ratio, though, should play a role in every video projector purchase decision.

True or false: Contrast is expressed in a ratio between the brightest white and darkest black.

True! The ANSI standard for finding a contrast ratio involves using a checkerboard pattern of black and white blocks.

Which of the following video projector aspect ratios is commonly used in movie theaters and on the latest DVDs and Blu-ray discs?

While 1.78 is widescreen, today's movie theaters now use an even wider geometry on their screens -- 2.40. This is reflected as those movies go to DVD and Blu-ray disc formats.

Why are brightness and contrast measurements for video projectors often unreliable?

Brightness and contrast measurements are best used in combination with other measurements and features when determining the right video projector for a particular environment.

True or false: You won't be able to view a 1080i HDTV video with a video projector that's only 1280 by 720 resolution.

You can view the video, but you won't be viewing it at it's highest resolution. You'll need a projector with 1080 or higher as its horizontal (as in 1920 by 1080) in order to view the 1080i video at its highest resolution.

What unit do video projector manufacturers use to indicate a projector's brightness?

While foot-Lamberts (fL) is a way of measuring the brightness of the final projected image, lumens are used to measure brightness from the projector itself. A watt is a measure of power, not brightness.

Which term describes the distance between a video projector's lens and the screen onto which the image is projected?

One way to remember this term is to imagine the video projector literally throwing the image at the screen.

True or False: Brightness is more important than contrast for video projectors used in classrooms.

Brightness is more important than contrast when the room is large and ambient light could be an issue.

Which of these are characteristics of an HD video projector?

HD quality video must have an aspect ratio of at least 16:9 (or 1.78) and a resolution of at least 1920 by 1080 (typically labelled as 1080i or 1080p).

About how long does an LCD or DLP video projector's lamp last before it should be replaced?

When the lamp has about 2,000 to 4,000 hours of use, it dims to about half of its original brightness. This causes picture quality to suffer until you replace the lamp.

True or False: To ensure HD quality, you should use an HDMI cable between the video source and the HD video projector.

As of this writing, HDMI is the only cable standard capable of carrying HD-quality video (1080i or 1080p). If you use VGA, DVI or other standard video cables, the HD video projector will not receive a true HD-quality image from the video source.

In the U.S., about how much does it cost to replace a lamp in an LCD or DLP video projector?

While the lamp will last through a couple thousand hours of use, you'll want to budget for this costly replacement.

Which of these additional costs replaces buying a screen and mounting mechanism for portable video projectors?

Portable projectors fall into about the same price range as other video projectors, and are just as likely to require replacement lamps and filters over time. Unlike other projectors, though, a portable unit needs a well-constructed carrying case to protect it during transport.

True or false: If you decide to go 3-D with your projector, the costs of setting up and maintaining your video projector will be higher.

For 3-D video projectors, you'll need additional and replacement 3-D glasses, and you might have to purchase a 3-D video card if you're using a PC 3-D ready projector.

An increase in which of the following seems most closely related to increases in price for video projectors?

The contrast ratio seems to be more closely tied to the price of a video projector than either aspect ratio or throw distance. Higher contrast ratios are associated with better picture color and quality, particularly for home theater use.

True or false: It's best to purchase a video projector online once you know what you want.

If you aren't familiar with setting up video projectors, speaking to an expert face-to-face can help you match your purchase to your environment and ensure you buy all the right mounts and cables. They may even offer installation services at little or no cost with the purchase of your projector.

Which of the following is the most reliable way to select the best video projector for your environment?

Price, contrast ratio and brightness don't always make for the best video projector. Instead, look at user reviews, particularly from those using the projector in settings similar to your own.

True or false: Contrast is not as important as brightness when purchasing a video projector for your living room at home.

Contrast is more important than brightness in small home-theater settings.

What are the three most common image projection technologies you'll find in video projectors?

Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) is the most common and least expensive projector technology, followed by Digital Light Processing (DLP), and then Liquid Crystal on Silicon (LCoS). HD and 3-D are types of projectors, and VGA, DVI and HDMI are standards for connecting video between devices.

Which of these features is most important for portable video projectors?

Portable projectors need to be small, light and sturdy, and they should be bright enough to work in a variety of unpredictable lighting conditions. A good warrantee also helps keep maintenance and replacement costs under control through all the projector's bumps and scrapes.

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