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The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Business Projectors: Part 1

By David Orella
The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly of Business and Education Projectors

If the procurement process of a business projector happens everywhere, like I have seen at any of my Fortune 500 clients’ businesses, it is safe to assume the process is somewhat one-sided. By that, I mean, purchased by one group and figuratively thrown over the wall to be used by completely different people. As a consultant, I have been on the receiving end too many times, so please allow me to help you break that cycle.

Let me fill you in on what the other side of the wall, the end user of too many business and conference room projectors thinks. In a similar fashion to how I would approach this issue with my clients, I will approach this decision on which projector to use in your business setting. That is, in true consulting fashion, with a framework. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of business projectors, broken up into a three-part series.

The Good

It seems like each year there are more and more options of projectors to choose from. More niche offerings, selling points and choices to be made. What should you focus on that will really standout as a good feature that others will notice? What leaves the end user happy with their experience and feeling that their time in that conference room was well spent. In my mind they are:

Intuitive Controls

The most likely way to avoid a meeting delay or other issue is to use a projector with intuitive controls. If the user interface or controls make sense, most other issues can be alleviated without IT support. This can be hard to grasp by pictures alone and, as such, I would recommend checking out our reviews or YouTube channel to dial this in.

Ultra-Short Throw Projectors

In many situations, this rapidly growing segment can be a dream solution for all. Ultra-Short Throw (UST) projectors as shown in the image below can be mounted directly in front, below or above the screen which can solve many of The Bad and Ugly issues I dive into later.

A few features that I would like to highlight now that adds UST projectors to The Good section is the ability to eliminate blinding the presenter with light and the cost/space savings by a more simplified mounting options. One of the other capabilities that can accompany UST projectors is full interactivity. You can overlay on a screen and manipulate what is shown with a variety of inputs that vary from a pen to your fingers or even an app.

A ceiling mounted ultra-short throw projector in a conference room
A space-saving ceiling mounted Ultra-Short Throw (UST) projector, just inches away from the screen!

Lower Maintenance Requirements

Ensuring you understand the maintenance requirements before purchasing anything can both save you a significant amount of money as well as time. The last thing you want to do is spend time responding to work orders for repairs and keeping the projectors operational.

One of the most important components to look for is a longer lamp life. The life of project lamps often ranges from 3,000 to 6,000 hours with some even beyond that range on both sides. Knowing which side your choice falls on before pulling the trigger can save a lot of headache down the road.

The alternative to limit maintenance is usage of a projector with a laser or LED light engine. LED projectors do not require bulb replacement and can typically last 16,000 – 20,000 hours. Laser projectors also require no bulb replacement, and their light engines can last 20,000 – 30,000 hours. When multiplied by the number of projectors in your fleet, these types of light engines can provide significant savings in time and cost.

Wireless Connectivity and Sharing Capabilities

The only thing better than having cables available with all necessary adapters is not needing them at all. Opting for a projector that has wireless capabilities can truly simplify the process. It can even enable multiple screens to be displayed or for the seamless switching of devices.

If this is desired but does not come standard on the projector you have your eye on it is worth looking for the existence of a wireless add on module. For example, Epson’s $99 wireless module plugs into approaching 100 different projector models.

Thanks for reading The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly of Business Projectors. This has been Part 1 – stay tuned for Parts 2 and 3, where we get into The Bad and The Ugly of Business Projectors. The story continues in just a few days!

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