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Preventative Maintenance for an LCD Projector

Projectors are not inexpensive - even though they have dropped considerably in price over the past decade, these devices still require a significant investment for a high quality machine. If you've chosen to own a projector as opposed to renting projectors on an as-needed basis, here are some tips you need to know in order to keep your unit in top working condition.


Store your projector properly between uses. Ideally, if you've invested in a high quality projector, you would be using it at least weekly, in order to justify the high investment cost. But if you find you are not using your equipment quite as often, you would be wise to store it in a case, in order to prevent dust from building up alongside sensitive working parts.

Bulb Replacement

Don't wait until your bulb blows out to find a replacement. In many cases, you will have to order replacement bulbs online and await their arrival, so you'll want to have replacements on-hand when the inevitable occurs (otherwise, you'll pay a fortune in overnight shipping, or run the risk that the bulb you need is out of stock). Replacing a bulb requires a steady, gentle hand, plus the manual for your specific projector unit. How often you will have to change the bulb depends on many factors, including what kind of projector you own, how often you use it, and whether or not it is used for extended periods at a time.


Be sure to read your owner's manual carefully - removal of certain parts or panels by anyone other than a certified repair specialist may void your warranty. Be forewarned - repairs can be expensive.

Prepare a Plan B

What is your backup plan in case your primary projector is not functioning when it's time to prepare for your big presentation? A rental projector (from a company who offers guaranteed next-day delivery) may be your best bet for a backup plan. Always test your equipment a day or two in advance, so that you can make any necessary repairs, secure any replacement parts you may not have on-hand, and call in a backup plan if necessary.

For occasional use, renting a projector is often much more affordable and cost-effective than purchasing a unit outright. Whether you need a plan B or it just makes sense financially -- renting a projector when and where you need it is the most cost-effective solution for most businesses.


Video Projector Buying Guide

In the past, video projectors were limited to high-end home theater installations that were very expensive, but today these same types of high definition projectors are available for less than $2,000.

Whether you plan on using a video projector for professional or personal use, a projector can provide you with many benefits. Depending on what you will be using the projector for, there are certain things you should look for before making a purchasing decision.

Below you will find a set of questions that our product specialists ask our customers before recommending a projector for them to buy.

How much light is in the room you plan on using the projector in? Generally, the more light that enters the room the more Lumens you will need a projector to have. The more Lumens a projector has, the brighter the picture will display, making it easier to see when in a room with a lot of light. Note that a projector with less than 1000 Lumens might require you to block out almost all of the external light in order to be able to see the picture clearly.

What aspect ratio do you want the projector to display in? The two main types of aspect ratios are either 4:3 (standard) or 16:9 (widescreen and HDTVs). Most people now are choosing projectors in the 16:9 format for their home theaters, while a few prefer the 4:3 format as many movies created before 1953 are in that format.

Do you plan on taking the projector around with you? If you want a projector that is easy to take around, from room to room or office to office, consider the size and weight of the unit. The lighter and smaller the projector, the more portable it will be.

Do you care about the contrast of colors in the picture displayed? If you want a good contrast in your colors, such as blacker blacks and whiter whites, then take a look at the contrast ratio of a given projector. The range of contrast ratios is anywhere between 500:1 and 5000:1 and more. The higher the contrast ratio is, the higher the amount of available colors. Therefore the higher the contrast ratio is the more life like images the projector can produce.

How do you plan on connecting to the projector? Make sure that the projector in question has all of the inputs you plan on using available. These include S-Video, Composite, Component, HDMI, as well as many others.

What type of accessories do you want with the projector? Projectors can come with many accessories, including the necessary cables to make a connection such as an s-video cable, HDMI cable, or something of the like. Make sure the projector has the necessary cables when purchasing a projector. Other accessories can include remotes, lasers, lens cap, etc.

Lumens: The unit of measure for the light output of a projector.

S-Video (Separated Video): An analog video signal that carries the video data as two separate signals.

Composite: A single video connector that combines all the color and brightness signals into one cable using a single RCA male connector. Often color-coded yellow, it is the most common type of analog video connection between older VCRs and TVs.

Component: Video signal in which the luminance and sync information are recorded separately from the color information. Component is superior to composite.


HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface): HDMI supports standard, enhanced, or high-definition video, plus multi-channel digital audio all on a single cable.

4:3 Standard Aspect Ratio: The shape of standard (non-widescreen) TVs, which simply means the picture "frame" is 4 units wide for every 3 units tall.

16:9 Widescreen Aspect Ratio: The shape of widescreen TV's, which simply means the picture "frame" is 16 units wide for every 9 units tall. This ratio is used for high definition televisions.


People Can Put on a Big Show with a Ceiling Projector!

In the ever-competitive arena of home entertainment devices, ceiling projectors continue to hold a niche with homeowners. Long-toothed and evolving, this fringe home-electronic product group is gaining popularity.

People can acquaint themselves with ceiling projectors by reading this article.

What Is a Ceiling Projector?

A ceiling projector is any projector that a user can mount to his or her ceiling. People currently use ceiling projectors to view photo albums, videos and even broadcast television.

This niche item has been available in various forms for many years.

How Long Has this Type of Projector Existed?

While not nearly as old as chairs and ornate flatware, ceiling projectors have been available for several decades. With the proper mounting hardware, almost any projector can become a "ceiling projector".

Like any type of electronic product, projectors intended for home use have evolved through the years.

What Has Changed in Recent Years about Ceiling Projectors?

Compared to earlier models made of transistors and metal, today's ceiling projectors appear diminutive. Thanks to continued advances in micro-electronics, a "small" projector can now pack a "big" punch.

Ceiling projectors now project high-definition images from digital sources. Through HDMI connections, modern ceiling projectors can cast recorded and live events onto a screen or wall.

What Size Room Suits a Ceiling Projector?

No ceiling projector will work in a small room. Homeowners should consider placing projectors in their great rooms or in any room that has three or more walls wider than ten feet.

The ideal space would be a terraced room, but most homes do not have terraced floors. Homeowners can create a theater-seating effect by placing comfortable bar chairs behind a cushy sofa and fun beanbag chairs in front of it.

In lieu of a ceiling-mounted, retractable projection screen, a wall painted white works quite nicely with a ceiling projector. Some homeowners paint a colored border around the projection wall's white portion.

How Is this Type of Projector Better than a Television?

People weighing a ceiling projector versus a large, high-definition television should consider these points in the projector's favor:

* Projectors give homeowners large "screens" for less money

* Ceiling projectors take up much less space

* Televisions are easier to damage

Ceiling projectors are the versatile choice!

Where Are Ceiling Projectors Sold?

City dwellers and their suburban neighbors will find a full selection of ceiling projector models at their local electronics retailers. Shoppers who live in rural areas should venture online to gain access to all the latest models. Any person interested in the widest selection of models and prices should shop online for a ceiling projector.

With a homeowner's preferred unit installed, "big productions" can be screened!


The Advantages of Using a Ceiling Mount Projector

Projectors have become a necessary piece of equipment in any business or home office. They make it possible to give presentations to groups of people in a clear and understandable way. They can be used for teleconferencing, collaboration or even entertainment during a party. Several types of projectors are in use today. One of the best options is a projector that is mounted to the ceiling. These are becoming more common in all types of offices. A ceiling mount projector has a number of advantages.

Create More Usable Space

Tabletop projectors can take up a large amount of space. This can start to cause problems in smaller conference rooms or home offices. The projector could become a liability that stops viewers from have the space needed to take notes or follow along in accompanying literature. A ceiling mount projector will create more usable space for everyone. The projector does not need to sit on a table. This extra space can be invaluable in smaller workplaces.

Increased Security

Projectors are relatively small pieces of technology that can be hard and expensive to replace. Theft of a projector has to be a concern for any business. Projectors that are left in supply closets or sitting on conference tables can become targets for thieves. The projector could easily be picked up and placed into a bag in just a few seconds. A ceiling mount projector helps to add some security in the office. The projector is high up on the ceiling. It cannot be causally taken. It would require someone conspicuously standing on a chair or ladder. Ceiling projectors are very difficult to steal.

Keep Wires and Cables Hidden

Many types of projectors today require a number of wires and cables in order to work properly. They need network lines, power lines and sometimes audio lines to the speakers in a conference room. Some might need to be connected directly to a computer. All these wires will need to be out in the open with a tabletop projector. A ceiling mount projector can have the cables run along the ceiling or behind the paneling. The wires will be invisible and out-of-the-way. They can be connected to other services through connections inside the walls. This creates a more organized space.

Prevent Wear and Damage

The reality is that accidents happen all the time in a workplace. A tabletop projector could become damaged during a normal business day. It could be knocked onto the floor. Someone could trip over a cable and fall. Food or beverages could be dropped onto the projector. A ceiling mount projector is positioned safely out of the way. It cannot be physically damaged by careless employees.


Save Money - Use Projector Bulbs

Halogen lights have become popular as an overhead projector light. These projector bulbs provide high-intensity light that gives the presentation better lighting and dimming that ensure positive image precision. Here are the characteristics of the projector bulbs that you should consider in purchasing one. The projector bulb comes in many design, brand names, model, wattage and voltage. To identify whether the projector bulbs would fit your projector equipment, make sure learn your projector bulbs before purchasing. These bulbs have been used in:

- Business presentations
- School reporting
- Home-based cinema

1. Type and Shape

Check the base and note its type and shape. Make sure you know what the brand and model number of the projector bulbs for your projector - they should be listed in the user manual. If you happen to have lost your user manual, try the company website - they likely offer for download the user manuals that you can print off. This would ensure you don't go to the store and end up coming back with an incompatable bulb. If you are not aware of the brand, describe the shape of the projector bulbs base to the attendant at the light store. You could specify by telling the assistant about the shape of the bulb itself.

2. Size Matters

The size of the glass bulb is important. Basically, projector bulbs differ in the sizes of the bulbs' envelope or casing. The size of the projector bulbs would distinguish your bulb purchase if it is a foreign brand, if your projector is used in movie projectors or for slide show projector alone.

3. Knowing Is Half The Battle

The tungsten filament is a wire that reacts to the heat that occurs when the lamp is turned on. The shape of the filament would help you ask for the exact model or projector bulbs. Since each model makes use of varieties of wires and places the wire in different locations on the bulb, it would be easier for you to break down your choices for your projector bulbs' purchase.

4. The voltage and wattage

These items determine the overall output of the projector bulbs. The projector bulb that gives out brighter light does not necessarily mean that the wattage is higher than the bulb that produces a dimmer light. Make sure that you are aware of the consuming voltage and wattage of your projector bulbs.

All of the bulbs that are purchased for projectors are coded into three letters (e.g. ELH, DEK). These letters are assigned to all models that have the same filament reactivity, wattage and voltage. Since the material of the glass base does not have anything to do with the codes, you could choose your own style and could still purchase the exact bulb needed. These codes have no connection with the brand of the projector bulbs. This is done because choosing the perfect projector bulbs is vital in the handling of the projector, the bulb manufacturers follow a coding for their costumers to purchase easily and avoid confusion. Knowing this three letter code would be an advantage for you and the assistant at the store.

- It is advisable to purchase a lower-powered projector bulb
- Bulbs last up to 2,000 to 4,000 hours, depending on the usage amount of the projector
- Projector bulbs are made up of halogen lights


Should Businesses Buy A Projector Or An LCD Display?

With the price of large (>32") LCD displays decreasing rapidly and new functionalities being added to LCD displays, does it still make sense for businesses to buy a projector vs. an LCD display?

Some of the variables to consider when evaluating this question are product quality, price, picture quality, screen size and other such considerations. We discuss these and other factors from a typical business organization perspective. Read other articles and make your informed judgement.

Product Life: LCD TVs or displays typically have a backlight life of 30,000 to 60,000 hours (ie, if you have the display on for ~6 hours every day, the backlight will last for 16 years). Even then the backlight can be replaced in most LCD displays. A projector bulb typically has a life of 2,000 hours.

Price Considerations: A basic projector can be found for INR 25,000. However, if the projector is going to be used for video conferencing or board room presentation, a high resolution, good contrast ratio and saturated colour projector would be required. The cost of such a projector is close to INR 1 lakh. Thereafter, you need to factor in the prices of projector bulb and projection screens. A typical projector bulb needs to be replaced almost every year or two with bulbs costing Rs 20,000+ per bulb. We have added these costs over a five-year period to compare a projector vs. an LCD (see chart below). With 46" LCD TV or display costing around Rs 135,000 - Rs 150,000 and dropping, price becomes less of an issue when considering whether to buy a Projector or LCD display

Figure: Total Cost of Ownership Comparison for Projector vs. LCD Display

Basic Device capital cost for projector is INR 70,000 and that of an LCD display is INR 150,000, Projector Screen Capital Cost (Wall Mount Screens INR 5-15K) is INR 10,000, Consumable cost of the projector is 20,000 x 3 = INR 60,000, Consumable life of a projector is 2,000hrs and that of an LCD display is 60,000hrs and the Cost of Ownership of a projector is Rs.140, 000/- and Rs.150, 000/- for an LCD display.

Assume: 5years of usage @ 5hrs a day ~ 6600hrs of use. This translates to 4 lamps in 5 years requiring the customer to buy 3 lamps in addition to 1 supplied with machine.

What is clear from the above figure is that a Full High Definition 46" LCD Display is, at best, only marginally costlier than a XGA Projector of ~2500AL. Additional costs of low screen installation costs and lower device loss costs are purely additional.

Picture Quality: Projectors such as a DLP or LCD projector use glass panels to combine red, green and blue colours to create the image. When sitting close to screen, the viewer can see the different colours at the borders of an image, aptly described as the rainbow effect. The rainbow effect takes away from the image quality and can give headaches. High-end projectors have been able to reduce the rainbow effect, however the problem still remains and these high-end projectors cost more. LCD TV or LCD displays do not have rainbow effect issues and the quality of the picture is good at close range.

Rather, projectors cannot compare with the picture quality for an LCD display. The vividness of the colours, the contrast ratio, the colour saturation and image sharpness are much better for an LCD display than a projector. When viewing a projector image, especially in ambient light, the viewer has to dim the lights or close the curtains unless the business has purchased an even more costly higher lumen projector. Not true with LCD displays, as the brightness and colour quality are much better.

Viewing angles used to be an issue with LCD displays but this issue is no longer true. Most LCD displays can be viewed from up to 176 degrees.

Dead or Stuck Pixels: Projectors can suffer from dead pixels and LCD displays can suffer from stuck pixels. Both dead pixels and stuck pixels result in white spots in the projected image. However, the manufacturers of both technologies have worked hard to minimize such issues and in most cases they provide warranty against such issues.

Screen Size: A common thought is that screen size is not an issue for most projectors as the thinking is that the projector image can be made larger by moving the projector away from the screen. This is not true as the image quality deteriorates as the image becomes larger. With projectors, most buyers opt for maximum optimized projector image sizes from 76-inches to 120-inches and the actual working normal projection image used is much smaller. Today, if businesses need a large LCD display in the maximum projector image size, a wide variety of competitive LCD displays can be found in this range.

Portability: Projectors are easy to carry and move around. For a business this could be a value-add or a drawback. LCD displays are durable and can be moved however they are not as light as projectors.

Power Consumption: Projector power consumption varies more from unit to unit, with brighter conference projectors requiring more power than smaller portable projectors. It is hard to compare the two technologies on this performance parameter.

Connectivity: Most LCD displays have more number and different types of ports than projectors. As a result more types of devices can be connected to an LCD display than a projector.

Other Value-Add Features: New features are appearing in LCD displays that could be quite valuable for businesses. For example, touch screen features on LCD displays allow for LCD displays to be used as digital whiteboards where the data written on the display can easily get captured electronically in a text document.

For more information on Sharp's LCD monitors, check out Sharp's official LCD monitor site! http://lcddisplay.sbsil.com/


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