A word of caution to folks who are considering purchasing a projector with smart capabilities, we recommend looking to a projector company that has embraced a third-party operating system, like Google, Amazon or Josh.ai. The reality is projector manufacturers don’t have the resources or capabilities to build intuitive smart control features into their products at the level of Google or Amazon. However, it’s important to distinguish the fact that a good projector manufacturer can make a projector work incredibly well with an existing operating system, like Android TV. That in particular is what we’ll be focusing on in this next section.
There are currently two ways to get a smart projector. First is the humble TV OS dongle, like Google Chromecast or Roku. The dongle is great because it’s so simple to install, but the question then becomes whether or not you can take advantage of the cool TV-focused features, that requires a specialized hardware device that has a TV operating system natively installed. After all, once you have access to nearly limitless programming, the challenge is no longer finding what you can watch, but discovering which out of the thousands of options excites you or your family. Roku, Amazon’s Fire TV, or Apple TV, Android TV, and others are essentially useless if it’s challenging to navigate their menus or operate the dongles in which they typically come delivered in.
In response to this, forward-thinking projector manufacturers have begun adding native support for these smart TV operating systems. For the consumer, this is a huge win. Now not only do you have one less remote control to operate, but you also get the benefits of well-thought-out user interface between the projector manufacturer and the operating systems they support, offering more streamlined access to content than ever before. When you plug in a dongle into a projector, you’ve added another remote and operating system inadvertently into your home theater, and that type of learning curve isn’t always the easiest. The benefit of buying a projector with smart capabilities already built in is you do not have any additional remotes or new user interfaces to navigate, you get one seamless experience. And once you master a voice control platform, maybe no remote controls at all.
Exclusive content is another area of native support for smart OS platforms becomes an attractive value proposition. Projector manufacturers are now adding their own in-house content to what already comes standard in a content marketplace like the Google Play Store with the goal of providing their customers when even more content options that are unique for the family and other niche entertainment.
This makes buying into a particular projector brand not only an investment in great technology, but also an investment into exclusive content that can be exciting for the family. This is something we expect to see more of moving forward as projector manufacturers embrace content as a way to get people with families and other interests attracted to a specific platform.
This combination of forethought from the projector manufacturer and the robust capabilities of smart platforms like Android TV as a whole make the smart projector an incredibly powerful all-in-one entertainment tool. Given the portable nature of projectors generally speaking, it’s now possible to have amazing entertainment experiences in a single box that’s easy to use, simply integrated into new and existing home entertainment systems and offers incredible picture quality no matter where you are.