Not long ago, home theatre enthusiasts had to shell out a pretty penny for a digital projector if they wanted a cinema-like experience in their living room. But these, days some of the top-rated models range from about US$700 (Dh2,571) to $2,200, down from tens of thousands of dollars less than a decade ago.
Size is the main advantage with projectors made by companies such as Optoma, Epson and BenQ. Their machines typically connect to a DVD or Blu-ray player and then project a movie at a size upwards of 200 inches on a wall.
The latest features normally take time to reach the home cinema market, and new 4K digital projection technology is just appearing in local theatres in the Emirates and improving the quality of films screened in 3D.
Of course, the householder who buys a projector will also need to purchase a proper audio system and screen, although a room's basic white wall may suffice at the start. A bigger concern is ensuring there's enough space in a room to place a projector on a high shelf or to hang it from the ceiling, as some models have limits on how close a projector can be to the screen.
Householders should also keep in mind that they'll have to choose between two major kinds of technology, much like the decision to go with a plasma versus liquid crystal display (LCD) big-screen TV. The two main types of projectors are LCD and digital light projection (DLP). Differences in the viewing experience tend to be minimal, experts say, but the two projectors function very differently.
LCD projectors tend to be a little brighter and rely on crystals that manipulate light to create different shades of colour or black. DLP projectors rely on a spinning colour wheel, with light produced from a high-intensity bulb. Either way, consumers seem to be pretty evenly split between the two types.
The Quote: “Every time I go to a movie, it’s magic, no matter what the movie’s about.” — Director Steven Spielberg