Display Technology – Part 2

In a previous blog post we covered the differences between projectors and monitors and looked at the advantages and disadvantages of current technology including analog verses digital technology. In this issue we will look at the features of brightness, resolution, and size.

The brightness of the display is measures in ANSI lumens. It is very important that the projection system be matched to the projection environment. If the room lights will be off, then you can get by with less brightness. If the room lights are on you will need more brightness. So how bright is bright? As a rule of thumb, if the room lights will be on, 600 lumens is not bright enough and 2000 lumens is probably ok.

What about resolution? The actual size of the individual picture elements (pixels) determined the resolution. The size of the pixel is determined by the number of horizontal rows times the number of vertical lines. The higher these numbers, the smaller each pixel, thus the better the resolution. Following are common resolutions and the corresponding pixels:

VGA = 640 x 480 pixels
SVGA = 800 x 600 pixels
XVGA = 1024 x 768 pixels
SXGA = 1280 x 1024 pixels
UXGA = 1600 x 1200 pixels

The final consideration is Size. Projectors come in three main categories.
♦ Ultra portables, which weigh 4 to 8 pounds, provide 500 to 1000 ANSI lumens and VGA ad XVGA resolution, and cost between $2,500 and $6,000.
♦ Desktops, which weigh 10 to 20 pounds, provide 600 to 1300 ANSI lumens and VGA to SXGA resolution, and cost between $2,000 and $14,000.
♦ System integration/large venue projectors, which can weigh up to 50 pounds, provide 2,500 to 5,000 ANSI lumens and video to super high resolution, and cost between $5,000 and $100,000.

Now, you know the difference between digital and analog (if not call and we’ll send you a copy of the last issue) as well as the effect of brightness, resolution, and size. So what does all of this mean? First, advances in technology will soon make it possible for every business to have their own projection display system. Second, only through a careful analysis of you company’s needs and requirements can you purchase the technology appropriate for you facility. Don’t be fooled by all of the buzzwords. And if at all possible conduct a side-by-side comparison of your top two or three choices. The old adage that you get what you pay for does not necessarily apply and you may find that a lower cost system will more than meet your needs.