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Question on Lumens... pardon my ignorance

05-22-2005, 04:34 PM
I have seen that some projectors with lower lumens (750) are higher priced than other, comparable projectors with 1100 or even 1600 ANSI and I'm just wondering if ANSI is really what I should be looking for if I am looking for the best picture when I am comparing projectors with similar native resolutions (in this case 800x600). So I'm just wondering, If what my budget calls for is a lower grade projecter with an SVGA resolution then is it true that the higher the ANSI the better the picture, or is there some limit to this truth?

05-22-2005, 05:59 PM
Assuming that your main use for the projector is home theater, lumens is just one of several key specifications you need to study to determine what's the best picture for your situation. Contrast ratio and aspect ratio are also important with contrast ratio performance having a direct relationship with a PJ's lumen output. There can be many reasons why a PJ with lower lumens is more expensive than a higher-lumen PJ. A higher lumen rating does not necessarily produce a better picture. I'm curious as to why you are considering an 800x600 PJ as oppose to a widescreen 854x480 PJ. If you haven't already done so, I suggest you do some research over at Projector Central, which is a good site with lots of basic info. Follow these sample links to get an idea what's important to you beside a great picture as well as reviewing specific projectors:

Highly Rated Home Theater Projectors (http://www.projectorcentral.com/home-theater-projectors.htm)
Choosing the Resolution of your Home Theater Projector: 480p, 576p, or 720p (http://www.projectorcentral.com/choosing_resolution.htm)
The Technology War: LCD vs. DLP (http://www.projectorcentral.com/lcd_dlp_update.htm)
A Key Decision: 16:9 or 4:3? (http://www.projectorcentral.com/formats.htm)
Aspect Ratios vs. Resolution (http://www.projectorcentral.com/format_resolution.htm)
Let us know if you have any further questions.

05-22-2005, 06:12 PM
Thanks a lot... yeah, I did see 16:9 but I wasn't sure if that was a better resolution or not and whether or not you could use it for everything. Plus, the projectors I was looking at were actually 4:3 AND 16:9 so they did have both. Thanks a lot tho for the advice...

05-22-2005, 06:15 PM
If watching widescreen DVD movies and HD programming is important to you, 16:9 should seriously be considered. This format will continue to become common on TV as time goes on.

05-22-2005, 06:41 PM
Also there are two methods used by different manufacturers for measuring contrast ratio, "Full ON/ Full OFF" and ANSI. Be sure to find out how the manufacturer did their testing. Commonly the "Full ON/ Full OFF" will provide approximately 25% larger number than the ANSI method. The ANSI method is the only fair test.

Lumens as has been stated is only one parameter. Screen gain is yet another. A good discussion on this subject (in addition to PJ Central) is also located here: http://sromagazine.biz/mag/killer_projected_images/