Along with assessing whether your needs call for an interactive, short throw or networkable projector (or one that combines all three), several key specs impact a projector’s overall picture quality. These include:
Resolution. Higher resolution delivers a greater degree of image clarity and detail. For most K-12 material, however, ultra-high resolution isn’t necessary; exceptions can include specialized science, technology or math classes with high-detail content.
Contrast Ratio. While an important spec for home theater and high-end use, a high contrast ratio is less critical for a typical K-12 classroom, where the projector will be used with some degree of ambient light. For these needs, contrast ratios in the range of 4,000:1 – 10,000:1 will be more than sufficient to deliver a satisfying visual experience.
Brightness. Classroom instructors generally prefer to maintain some lighting during projection to allow for eye contact, interaction and safe movement around the room. Projectors with a mid-range brightness level of 2,500-3,500 lumens are ideal for flexible use in these environments.
Aspect Ratio. Aspect ratio determines an image’s shape and positioning on the screen. Most classrooms today use 4:3 VGA aspect ratio. Upgrading to a projection that offers the popular 16:9 WXGA aspect ratio is more suitable since WXGA resolution allows for more content to be displayed on the screen.