Celebrating 20 Years
Top 10 Find a Projector Reviews Throw CalculatorCalc Buyer's Guide Expert Blogs Projector Forums

Buying Guide for Business Projectors

This projector buying guide will help you find the right projector for your business and commercial use. There are over 2000 projectors currently on the market so buying a projector can be a daunting task. This guide will show you how to simplify the buying process by using ProjectorCentral's Projector Database to find the ideal projectors for your presenting needs.

This Projector Buying Guide reviews the following topics:

1. What Native Resolution do I need?

For a discussion of Resolution and your various options, click the Native Resolution link in the Contents box above.
2. How Bright should it be?
Projector brightness is rated in ANSI Lumens. Picture brightness is measured in foot-Lamberts (fL). To see how many lumens and foot-Lamberts you need, click Brightness in the Contents box.
3. What Throw Distance do I need?
Most projectors are only able to throw a limited range of image sizes from any given throw distance. To make sure the projector you choose will fill your screen from the throw distance you have available, click the Throw Distance link above.

Once you sort out these basics, buying a projector is a lot easier. Use the Projector Database as guide to your options, then check the Projection Calculator to make sure your chosen projector will fit in your space.

Thanks for using Projector Central!

Next Page
Native Resolution
Contents: Buying Guide Native Resolution Brightness Throw Distance
Comments (4) Post a Comment
Ed Dusang Posted Mar 14, 2019 10:07 AM PST
I have two long throw Infocus projectors with a long through lenses. our screens are 110" and 53' ft distance in our church. We need to replace them with either new or used in our budget.Help
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Mar 16, 2019 9:43 AM PST
Ed, there's a lot more that goes into this decision than knowing screen size and throw distance. I suggest you get in touch with local integrator or contact one of our authorized resellers to talk you through it.
Tony Chalinor Posted May 24, 2019 11:27 PM PST
our community theatre has currently an IN 42 In-focus large venue projector, it is limited to 1080i fed by component. Would like an idea of a current projector with HDMI input and other modern input features. The projector struggles to provide sufficient light output for current use.It is throwing the picture about 20 metres and screen size is approximately 6.5 x 3.5 metres high. Do not know what the roll down screen ratio is. Has a relatively new light source in it. regards A.J.Chalinor
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted May 25, 2019 8:47 AM PST
Tony,your IN42 is rated for 3,500 lumens brightness with a new lamp, and according to our projection throw calculator it's not really even capable of an image of that size from that distance (about 65 feet?. So even if you're mistaken about the precise detail here it's obvious that the projector is woefully inadequate to the task...and that's without even knowing if you are using it with modest ambient light.

If you've shared truly accurate information about image size (rather than overall screen size) you would need a really large and bright (and expensive) projector to pull it off. I'm guessing though, that if you've been making due with your IN42 it's a much less demanding setup in reality and a step up projector in the 5,000-6000 lumen range will probably work for you. You really should bring in an A/V pro to assess it though to be sure.

I don't know what your budget is, but I would look through the scroll of the projector Road Tests that you'll find on our homepage and look for something rated for 5,000 lumens or higher range. You probably want at least WUXGA resolution at this point, which is basically 1080p. If you opt for spending on one of the less pricey laser projectors that have come out recently, you'll be able to justify the higher up front cost by avoiding the purchase of new lamps later -- you never have to replace the bulb in these units, which is usually several hundred dollars per replacement. Also, if the 5,000-6,000 lumens is adequate to the task and gives you some real punch, and you get at least WUXGA resolution, you may expand your possibilities of renting your space for entertainment or business presentations/events to help recoup costs. You've had a 3LCD projector all this time and I'd recommend you stick with that for a couple of technical reasons given your setup. The Epson 610U($3,500 street price) would probably work well if you could swing that. But there are others out there in this brightness/resolution category that use lamps if you're looking to save money up front, as well as projectors offering resolution similar to your IN42 (WXGA by today's widescreen standards, 1200 x 800 pixels) that would cost less. The main thing here is lumen output mated with a projector that can give you the image size you want from your established throw distance. Measure those things out carefully, select a couple of projectors to look at, then find them in our Throw Calculator to see if you can get the image you need at distance.

Post a comment

Commenting on this article is easy and does not require any registration. Your email address is necessary for you to activate your comment once it has been submitted. It will not be shown to other site viewers. ProjectorCentral reserves the right to remove any comment at any time for any reason. Foul language is not permitted, nor are personal attacks. No HTML allowed. All comments should remain on topic.


Email Address:(used only to confirm your comment)

Your Comment:

(Enter the numbers as they appear to the left)