More and more teachers are now using technology to enhance the classroom experience. They know that using projectors and sound systems can boost the interest, engagement, and attention levels of their students. Selecting and buying a projector can be challenging, especially for those without the knowhow. There are multiple brands out there with different models. This can leave your average non-technical person confused with all the options.
In this article, we will discuss the crucial factors to consider when selecting a projector for purposes of education. Here are some of them:
The Projector’s resolution determines how good the quality of the images it displays are. This is important so that students seated anywhere in the classroom can see and understand the information presented by the Projector. Having clear and readable images displayed can also help your students pay more attention and retain the information they’ve learned. The higher the resolution, the sharper and clearer the image displays, but be aware that the higher you get, the higher the cost of the Projector will be. Here are some examples of projector resolutions.
- SVGA (800 x 600 resolution)
- XGA (1024 x 768 resolution)
- WXGA (1280 x 800 resolution)
- WUXGA (1920 x 1200 resolution)
- HD 720p (1280 x 720 resolution)
- Full HD 1080p (1920 x 1080 resolution)
- 4k Ultra HD (3840 x 2160 resolution)
- Native 4k (4096 x 2160 resolution)
The best budget-friendly projector resolution that is suited for the classroom environment is XGA (1024 x 768 resolution) which is 4:3 aspect ratio, these resolution and aspect ratio are very common in laptops; and WXGA (1280 x 800 resolution) which is 16:10 or widescreen aspect ratio. These two are a common choice for classroom projectors as they can display large, clear, readable images at an affordable price range. More budget-tight schools can opt for the older generation SVGA (800 x 600 resolution) but at the cost of image quality. Anything above these resolutions may be overkill if used primarily in a classroom environment.
Projector Input Options
Your Projector will need an input source to receive the images and information to display. Multiple projectors have different input options, make sure that the Projector you choose can accommodate the primary input source you’re using. Whether you’re connecting it to a personal computer/laptop or your tablet. The more input options the Projector has, the more flexible its connectivity is. Here are the input options you may encounter when selecting a projector.
VGA is a 15-pin port found in your personal computer or Projector. These are the most common type of connection used in projectors and personal computers. Due to it being analog connectivity, the VGA displays a lower quality image. If you’re on a tight budget, a VGA connection may be enough for your needs. They might even be packed together with a projector as a bonus.
HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface)
The HDMI provides high-definition images and multi-channel audio. It is commonly found in laptops, PCs, Blu-ray players, etc. The HDMI produces a much higher quality image than the VGA and thus will cost more. It is an excellent investment to make if you can afford it.
If you’re planning to use tablets and mobile devices to connect to the Projector, the USB is the ideal choice of input connection. You can use a USB cable for your tablets and phones to connect to the Projector or straight up use a USB Flash drive.
If you’re aiming for a no clutter wireless experience, you can opt for a projector with a WIFI connectivity option. This eliminates all needs for wires and the potential hassle that can come with it. You can conveniently connect your mobile devices and tablets through the WIFI connection straight from the Projector, saving time from setting up. Take note; a WIFI input option can increase the cost of a projector, so it may be best to consider getting one only if truly necessary.
Projector Lamp Lifespan
The Projector lamp lifespan tells how long the lamp that provides the light source of the Projector to display the images will last, which are usually measured in hours. You should consider the Projector’s lamp lifespan because replacing lamps can cause money and will increase the total cost of ownership of the Projector.
Schools should consider not only the initial purchasing price of a projector but also the total cost of ownership across its life cycle. Purchasing projectors that use energy efficiently can save a lot of money in the long run. This can help lower energy bills and lamp replacements for the Projector.
There is a multitude of projectors out there to choose from with different features and options. Still, hopefully, the factors listed above can help you choose the right Projector for your classroom environment wisely, enhancing the ways your students can learn and saving you time and money.