How to find the best smart projector for your home — a buying guide by expert

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How to find the best smart projector for your home — a buying guide by expert
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  • Reportedly, projectors are taking over entertainment at home.
  • Projectors witnessed high demand because of the interactive features and immersive viewing experience.
  • Below, read how you can find the best projector for your home in simple steps.
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The guide is created by Sushil Motwani – Official India representative of XGIMI and an expert on projectors.
The pandemic brought home to us the need to find substitutes for all the things we could not have access to. So kitchen gardens replaced strolls in the neighborhood park, Zoom calls replaced Monday meetings, and projectors replaced the first day first shows. Home entertainment became a critical component of survival strategies during the lockdown.
For those who discovered immersive entertainment on larger-than-life screens, watching a favorite film, or a much-awaited sporting event was never the same. And suddenly, big-screen televisions became obsolete. Still, investing in a projector seems daunting to the uninitiated, so here are some simple things like features, specifications, and cost-effectiveness to consider before you go shopping.

Ease of use


So, let us start at the very beginning. Ever wondered why most living rooms are arranged around a bulky TV set? It is because you cannot relocate a TV according to your convenience but instead have to always rearrange your viewing time according to the location of the TV. If you buy a smart portable projector, this lack of portability may be a thing of the past. Right at the onset, it is important to ensure that the projector you bring home is a top-of-the-line, ‘Let’s go placed’, plug and play, with in-built Android TV, fully portable, an easy installable device that can offer you the brightest possible picture whether you are in your backyard or on a camping trip. Without the fuss and bother of tangled wires and cumbersome technology.

Questions to consider


Ask if a projector has a powerful built-in battery and the smartest screen adaption technology. How many hours of uninterrupted playtime does it offer? What does the projector guarantee, and what is the after-sales service like? You will also have to learn what terms like lamps, LEDs, and lasers mean in the context of a projector. Ask yourself if you would rather buy a device you have to arrange your life around or one that adapts itself to your needs at the touch of a button, even on the go. Which one would be more cost-effective and convenient in the long run?

Brightness, contrast, and clarity


Is your projector the brightest ever but still ensures you don’t get eye fatigue? Does it offer enough clarity, contrast, and depth of color that you will need to enjoy immersive and spectacular big-screen entertainment during different times of the day and at night? Does it have intelligent Screen Adaption (ISA) technology to simplify usability? What about the processor speed, the ease of autofocus, and the Automatic Keystone Correction that aligns the image in keeping with the projection area? You will need a projector with Obstacle Avoidance technology and Intelligent Screen Alignment features. Aspect ratio, pixel density, and resolution are important points to consider when you want the best visual experience for approximately the same price as a high-end TV.

Quality of screen and sound


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Needless to say, if you want to replicate a movie theatre experience at home or enjoy a Karaoke night with friends, you need the sound quality to be extraordinary. While buying a projector, check if you can amplify your favorite music via a Bluetooth connection and if the speakers emit clean, distortion-free Hi-Fi sound with ample bass response. No theatrical experience is complete without a screen, and in case you want to sit outdoors to watch a movie, you may have to invest in something more than a sheet and instead buy a screen meant to be projected upon. You can always choose a fabric and size that most appeals to you. When indoors, even if you don’t have a large wall, an ultra-short-throw projector can be the perfect fit for your space.

Access to apps and gaming


The content consumption model has changed fundamentally; hence, every projector must provide seamless access to thousands of apps, including your favorite ones. A projector with an in-built Android TV will be a great add-on. It would help if the projector has a Chromecast built-in, a Google Assistant, and can wirelessly cast apps, games, and more from Android or Apple devices. If you are a gaming fan, check if the projector can offer you a high-resolution Game Mode, high refresh rates, and low latency. HDMI and USB ports and VGA or DVI inputs make connectivity easy.

The perfect lamp/light source


An ultra-efficient, durable and eco-friendly LED lamp is good for the environment and your projector. And even the replacement of the lamp is not as cumbersome and expensive as some cynics believe, and the warranty is also usually pretty competitive though many prefer projectors that use LEDs or lasers as a light source.

The Cost Factor


A good projector with high-quality specifications and features that provides a top-notch experience will cost you similar to a high-end smart TV. So why do we need to consider a TV when the projector would be a better bet. Costs of high-end projectors start ranging from half a lakh to a few lakhs. The higher the specification and features, the higher the cost. However, one should consider the cost factor depending on the kind of projector one needs and not go by the trend.
Many buyers are also opting for a hybrid home entertainment model where a TV and a projector serve different needs but still, in the long run, they find that having a projector is far more convenient and cost-effective.

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