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The rapidly changing world of home projectors

Updated on February 3, 2020
Doc Andersen profile image

i am a long-time avid technologist. i began my tech career in the Apple world but moved to Enterprise Solutions later.

Streaming on the go, literally!!!!

Do you have a projector?

It seems an odd question and one that requires a little explanation. I got my first home projector when we moved to a house in Indiana, we had a basement room that had a nice wall, and it became my media room. I installed a ceiling mount for a projector, and away we went.

Before getting one for my home, I used them for years in meeting rooms, conference halls, and other places. The home market projector is very different than the ones in a conference room or a large auditorium.

The projectors used in conference rooms, large auditoriums, or churches are much larger and tend to be able to project an image further. But they have the same concept as what we are talking about the only difference is the application. How do you plan on using your projector?

  1. I love to go camping, so I want to be able to have my projector with me outdoors and play movies and other things either from my phone or directly on the projector.
  2. I want to set up a viewing area in my house or apartment to replicate the movie experience.
  3. I want to take my projector with me when I go on work trips, but I will be in an office and don’t need a battery.

How you want to use the projector is very important. You need a brighter projector in a conference room than you do in a tent at night. Depending on how large and how far away the projector is from the screen in a viewing room, you need more light.

choosing the right projector for you!

Stand-alone projectors have an operating system on the projector. The Operating System is often the Android TV OS. Android TV lets you quickly use your projector as a device connected to many different streaming services. If it is available in the Google play store, it will eventually be available on Android TV. Stand-alone projects come in two flavors — ones with, and ones without batteries. The need for batteries has only to do with how you intend to use the projector. If you are carrying in a bag to use it in a room without an existing projection system, having a battery is critical. If you intend to connect the projector to your laptop or a video/audio system in your home, you need an HDMI port. You need a USB port if the projector supports either the Apple or Android version of “device play.” With device play, you turn on the projector, plug a USB cable into the projector, plug the other end into your phone, and it shares the phone’s screen via the projector.

Mounted projectors can be used as standalone projectors but also operate in-home media rooms mounted on the ceiling. Or they are sitting on a table. If the projector is going to be left where it is and never moved, the option of using or considering a laser projector is an option. Laser projectors project much higher quality images than traditional LED or bulb projectors do.

The last category is the first one listed above, portable and standalone. Standalone in that it operates just like a stand-alone projector listed above. But portable in the sense that it has an integrated speaker and battery. It also allows you, if the projector supports it, to plug your cellular device (Apple or Andoird) directly into the projector via a USB cable, or via the screen sharing application available on your phone itself. Many years ago, I coined the concept I called then, the Screen as a Service. In that concept example, you are sent a spreadsheet while out with only your mobile phone available. The spreadsheet has between 2000 and 10000 lines, and you are asked to review the sheet right away.

Now. With the new projectors, you plug your phone into your projector directly, and you can see that 10000 line spreadsheet on a wall. You don’t have to scroll, zoom, and squint to see the images on the smaller phone screen. You can use a much larger screen.

The evolution of projects has continued over the past four or five years. At the same time, the cost of these devices has gone down. All you have to decide which do the three listed scenarios apply to what you do and will a projector make doing that a little easier!

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 DocAndersen


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