Beginner's Handbook of Projector Terminology

Whether you're a home theater enthusiast, a business professional, or someone simply curious about projector terminology, we've got you covered. 

In the ever-evolving world of technology, staying informed and understanding the jargon can often feel like learning a new language. But fear not, because this article is your ultimate guide to mastering projector terminology.

We'll break down complex terms into digestible explanations, helping you navigate your way through the projector landscape with ease.

So, buckle up and get ready to embark on a journey that will transform you from a novice into a well-informed projector connoisseur.

Let's dive in!


Table of Contents:

  • The Importance of Understanding Projector Terminology
  • Essential Projector Terms You Should Know
    • Types of Projectors
    • Features of Projectors
    • All About Projector Screens
    • Evaluating Projector Performance
  • Top WEMAX Projector Bundles to Elevate Your Viewing Experience
    • WEMAX Nova 4K UHD: A Luxurious Home Cinema Experience
    • WEMAX Dice 1080p: Portable and Powerful
  • Wrapping It Up


The Importance of Understanding Projector Terminology

Understanding Projector Terminology

When planning to invest in a projector, understanding the terminology associated with it is crucial. This knowledge empowers you to make an informed decision, ensuring that the projector you choose aligns with your specific needs and expectations. 

Whether it's the type of projector, its features, or the screen specifications, each term provides valuable insight into the projector's performance and functionality.

By understanding these terms, you can compare different models accurately, avoid unnecessary features, and ultimately choose a projector that offers the best value for your money. This understanding also aids in the proper setup and optimal usage of the projector post-purchase, enhancing your viewing experience. 


Essential Projector Terms You Should Know 

Before diving into the world of projectors, it's important to familiarize yourself with the key terms that will help you understand their functionality and make an informed purchase decision.


Types of Projectors

Wemax Home Theater Projectors

Projectors can be classified based on their usage, light source, and throw ratio. 


Classification by Usage

  • Home Projectors: These are typically used for watching movies or gaming in a home theater setup. They offer high-quality images and rich colors. These projectors are designed to work best in dark rooms.

READ MORE: Does A Home Theater Have To Be Big?

  • Portable Projectors: Portable projectors are compact and lightweight, making them ideal for on-the-go presentations or outdoor movie nights. They often come with built-in batteries and speakers for convenience.

READ MORE: How Portable Projectors Make Road Trips Better

  • Outdoor Projectors: Outdoor projectors are designed to be used outside, often boasting higher brightness to combat ambient light. They are perfect for backyard movie nights or outdoor events.


READ MORE: Things To Consider When Choosing An Outdoor Portable Projector 


Classification by Light Source

WEMAX ALPD Laser Projector Technology
  • LED Projectors: LED projectors use light-emitting diodes as the light source, offering longer lifespan, lower heat output, and energy efficiency.
  • Laser Projectors: Laser projectors use lasers to produce images. They offer superior brightness and color accuracy, making them ideal for high-end home theaters or professional use.
  • ALPD Laser Projectors: ALPD (Advanced Laser Phosphor Display) is a technology that combines the benefits of both lasers and LED light sources, offering high brightness, excellent color performance, and a long lifespan.


Classification by Throw Ratio

  • Long Throw Projectors: Long throw projectors need to be placed relatively far from the screen, making them suitable for large rooms or auditoriums.
  • Short Throw Projectors: Short throw projectors can project large images from a short distance, making them ideal for small rooms.
  • Ultra Short Throw ProjectorsThese can project a large image from a very short distance, often just a few inches from the screen. They are perfect for tight spaces and can often replace a large TV.


READ MORE: The Ultimate Guide To Projector Throw Type


Features of Projectors 

Understanding the features of a projector is crucial in choosing the one that best suits your needs. From brightness measurements to resolution types, each feature plays a significant role in the overall performance and functionality of the projector.

Let's delve deeper into these features.


Understanding Lumens

WEMAX Dice 700 ansi lumens projector

Lumens are a measure of the total amount of visible light emitted by a source. In the context of projectors, they indicate the brightness of the image that the projector can produce.

  • ANSI Lumens: Defined by the American National Standards Institute, ANSI Lumens is a standard unit of measurement for brightness. The higher the ANSI lumens, the brighter the projector. This measurement is particularly important when you're using the projector in a well-lit room or for large screens where a brighter image is necessary for clear visibility.
  • LED Lumens: This is a measure of brightness specifically for LED projectors. LED lumens are not directly comparable to ANSI lumens due to differences in light source technology. LED projectors often have lower lumen ratings, but they compensate with a wider color gamut and longer lifespan.
  • Light Source Lumens: This is a general term for the brightness output of the projector's light source, regardless of the technology used. It's a useful measure when comparing different types of projectors, such as LED, laser, or lamp projectors.


Color and Contrast

WEMAX Projector Color and Contrast

The color and contrast of a projector significantly impact the quality of the projected image.

  • Color Temperature: This refers to the color of the light output, measured in Kelvin (K). A lower temperature produces a warmer (redder) image, while a higher temperature results in a cooler (bluer) image. The ideal color temperature depends on the content you're viewing and your personal preference.
  • Contrast Ratio: Contrast ratio is the difference between the darkest black and the brightest white a projector can produce. A higher contrast ratio results in a more dynamic image with greater depth. It's especially important for dark scenes in movies or detailed graphics in presentations, where subtle differences in color and shading can enhance the viewing experience.


High Dynamic Range (HDR)

HDR is a technology that allows a projector to display a wider range of colors and contrast, resulting in more realistic and vibrant images. It's particularly beneficial when watching 4K content, where the increased detail and color depth can truly shine.

HDR content is becoming more common, with many streaming services and Blu-ray discs offering HDR versions of movies and TV shows. 


Resolution Explained

Projector 1080p vs 4K Resulotion Display

The resolution of a projector refers to the number of pixels it can display, which directly impacts the detail and clarity of the image.

  • 1080p ProjectorsThese projectors display Full HD content with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. They're a popular choice for home theaters and business presentations, offering a high-quality image at an affordable price.
  • 4K ProjectorsThese projectors display Ultra HD content with a resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels, offering four times the detail of Full HD. They're ideal for high-end home theaters or professional settings where the highest image quality is required.
  • 8K Projectors: These are the highest resolution projectors available, with a resolution of 7680 x 4320 pixels. They offer incredibly detailed and lifelike images but require high-quality 8K content to take full advantage of their capabilities. While 8K projectors are still relatively rare and expensive, they represent the cutting edge of projector technology.


Keystone Correction and Zoom Lens

These features offer flexibility in how and where you can set up your projector.

  • Keystone Correction: This feature adjusts the image being projected to ensure it's rectangular, even when the projector is at an angle to the screen. Keystone correction is particularly useful when the projector cannot be placed directly in front of the screen, such as in a small room or when ceiling-mounted. Some projectors offer automatic keystone correction, while others require manual adjustment.
  • Zoom Lens: A zoom lens allows you to adjust the size of the projected image without moving the projector. This is especially beneficial when the projector's placement options are limited, or when you want to switch between different screen sizes for different types of content. A larger zoom range offers more flexibility, but it's also important to consider the lens's quality and the image clarity at different zoom levels.


All About Projector Screens 

WEMAX Projector Screens

Choosing the right projector screen is as important as selecting the projector itself. The screen size, aspect ratio, setup type, function, and technology can all significantly impact your viewing experience. 


Screen Size

The screen size, measured diagonally, is one of the first things to consider when choosing a projector screen. The ideal size depends on your room's dimensions, the projector's throw ratio, and the viewing distance.


READ MORE: How To Choose The Right Screen Size For Your Home Projector


  • A 50-inch screen might be perfect for a small room or a portable setup.
  • A 100-inch screen offers a more immersive experience, suitable for a medium-sized room.
  • For a large room or outdoor setup, a 120-inch screen can provide a truly cinematic experience. Remember, a larger screen requires a projector with higher brightness (measured in lumens) to maintain image quality.


Aspect Ratio

The aspect ratio is the width of the screen relative to its height.

  •  A 4:3 aspect ratio, once standard for television broadcasts, is now commonly used for presentations and data displays.
  • A 16:9 aspect ratio, also known as widescreen, is the standard for HDTV and most digital content today. It provides a more immersive viewing experience, especially for movies and games.
  • The 2.35:1 aspect ratio, also known as CinemaScope, is often used for cinematic presentations, providing an even wider field of view. 


Types of Screen Setups

  • Fixed-Frame Projection ScreenPermanently mounted to a wall, ideal for dedicated home theaters.
  • Retractable Projection Screen: Can be rolled up when not in use, offering flexibility for multipurpose rooms.
  • Floor Projection Screen: Stands on the floor and can be moved around easily, ideal for temporary setups or outdoor use.
  • Projection Screen with Tripod: Portable and easy to set up, perfect for presentations or outdoor movie nights. 


Screen Functions

  • Electric Projection Screen: Can be raised or lowered with the push of a button, offering convenience and a clean look when not in use.
  • Tensioned Screen: Provides a flat, taut surface for optimal image quality. Can be either fixed or retractable.


Screen Technology

  • Ambient Light Rejecting (ALR) Screens: Designed to reject light coming from angles other than the projector's direction, improving image quality in bright environments.
  • Ceiling Light Rejecting (CLR) Screens: Reject light coming from above, making them ideal for rooms with overhead lighting.


READ MORE: ALR vs CLR Screen: Do You Need An ALR Or CLR Screen?

The right projector screen can significantly enhance your viewing experience. By considering the screen size, aspect ratio, setup type, function, and technology, you can choose a screen that perfectly matches your projector and viewing environment.


Evaluating Projector Performance

Evaluating WEMAX Projector Performance

When assessing the performance of a projector, there are several key factors to consider. These include ghosting, input lag, and projector offset, each of which can significantly impact your viewing experience.


Ghosting and Its Impact on the Viewing Experience

Ghosting refers to a faint duplicate image that appears alongside the original, creating a blurred or double-vision effect. This typically occurs due to slow response times in the projector's display technology.

Ghosting can be particularly noticeable during fast-paced scenes in movies or games, where it can detract from the overall viewing experience. High-quality projectors often have features to minimize ghosting, ensuring a clear and sharp image. 


Input Lag and Its Impact on Gaming and Fast-Paced Content

Input lag is the delay between a signal being sent to the projector and the result being displayed on the screen. This is a critical factor for gaming and other real-time content, where a high input lag can result in noticeable delays between a player's actions and the corresponding on-screen response. 

For gamers, a projector with a low input lag is essential to ensure smooth and responsive gameplay.


READ MORE: Best Portable Projectors for Gaming


Understanding Projector Offset in Projector Setup

Projector offset refers to the position of the lens relative to the center of the screen. It's expressed as a percentage, with a 100% offset meaning the bottom edge of the image is in line with the center of the lens. 

Understanding the offset of your projector is crucial for proper setup, as it determines how high or low the projector needs to be in relation to the screen. A correct understanding of projector offset can help you avoid image distortion and ensure a straight and well-aligned projection.

By understanding these terms and how they affect projector performance, you can make a more informed decision when purchasing a projector and ensure optimal setup and performance.


Top WEMAX Projector Bundles to Elevate Your Viewing Experience

Top WEMAX Projector Bundles

Navigating the world of projectors can be complex, but understanding key terms such as resolution, lumens, and throw ratio can significantly simplify your decision-making process.

WEMAX offers a range of projector bundles that are designed with these considerations in mind, ensuring you get the best combination of projector and screen for your needs. Let's explore two of WEMAX's top offerings.


WEMAX Nova 4K UHD: A Luxurious Home Cinema Experience

The WEMAX Nova 4K UHD ALPD UST Laser Projector Bundle offers a true 4K, ultra-short-throw projection with a 120" Electric Floor Rising Tension ALR UST Screen.

With 2,100 ANSI lumens, HDR support, and a 3,000:1 contrast ratio, it delivers vibrant, lifelike images. The screen rises within 8 seconds, supports 4K UHD, and is active 3D-ready. This combo is perfect for creating a luxurious home theater experience.


WEMAX Dice 1080p: Portable and Powerful

The WEMAX Dice 1080p Portable Projector Bundle includes a 120" portable screen, offering full HD resolution and 700 ANSI lumens for bright, clear images. With 4-point keystone correction and a built-in Android 9.0 TV, it provides a versatile, high-quality viewing experience. The projector's portability makes it ideal for outdoor movie nights or on-the-go presentations.


Wrapping It Up

Understanding projector terminology is the first step toward making an informed purchase. This guide has aimed to demystify these terms, helping you navigate the world of projectors with confidence.


Whether you're setting up a home theater or need a portable solution, you're now equipped with the knowledge to choose a projector and screen that best suit your needs. Happy viewing.


Related Blogs from WEMAX

Why You Need To Upgrade To A 4K Laser Projector

Is An Ultra Short Throw Projector Worth It?

Lights, Camera, Budget: How To Create A Budget-Friendly Home Cinema

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