Help choosing a projector for PowerBook

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by aurora borealis, May 5, 2009.

  1. aurora borealis macrumors newbie

    Mar 9, 2007
    Hi there! I am not new to Macs but I am new to projectors of any sort. I find myself in need of one for a course I'm teaching.

    I have a PowerBook Titanium G4 running Tiger. My budget is not too big, and I don't need a top of the line machine anyway. What would you suggest for a relatively simple projector that's also reliable?
  2. lucidmedia macrumors 6502a

    Oct 13, 2008
    Wellington, New Zealand
    how large is your class?

    My usual class size runs between 15 - 20 students. I like to run projectors that are between 2000 - 3000 lumen. This insures that the projector is bright enough to work in a not-so-dark room.

    I have had good luck with Epson LCD projectors, all portable in size. I did use a DLP projector once and did not like it - i am one of the people who can see the "rainbow" effect of the spinning color wheel... not everyone sees it, but I found it really annoying.

    Make sure you dig up the DVI to VGA adaptor! You will need it. I could make a killing renting out laptop dongles to teachers about to walk into their lecture hall without one!
  3. MisterMe macrumors G4


    Jul 17, 2002
    Not if the OP buys a projector with a DVI port.
  4. aurora borealis thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 9, 2007
    Thanks for replying! My class will be from 5-10 students, and the room is probably only about 15x15, something like that. I should probably look ahead, though, to future classes that might be in a bigger room.

    Thanks for the hint about the adapter. I will keep that in mind. If anyone else has suggestions, I'm still listening.

    Thank you!
  5. arjen92 macrumors 65816


    Sep 9, 2008
    Below sea level

    it's very important that you have a strong (lighty) beamer (oh sorry, that's the dutch word, I mean projector). Many projectors have a lot of pixels, but that's not necessary for presentations, or for standard definition video's (sd). Well most of the projectors are getting higher resolution and are more expensive. What you wanna do (which is what we did with our church) is buy a low resolution projector but high light output (ansilumen). I think 2500 ansi lumen is perfect for a darker room. But if you'r class-room has big glasses on the sun-side, I would go for 3500 or more ansi lumen. I think viewability is more important then space for presentations.

    DLP has more light efficiency. It's the most common one, you won't often see LCD. But DLP suffers from the rainbow effect. LCD will give less light with the same lamp. DLP has the rainbow effect. DLP is a chip made out of many mirrors (I think around the amount of your pixels, but I suspect more because of keystone) working together with a colour wheel (the more expensive or "cinema" dlp projectors have 3 chips and a prisma, each colour has one). More information on check LCD turns the light with filters, or uses the fact that light are waves which don't/do passes certain filters, filtering the right colour (I don't know exactly cause I don't understand it really).

    p.s. sometimes resolutions are named by For example vga is a resolution of 640x480, xvga is a higher resolution, hxga again higher and so one. Don't know the exact names. But the cable is just called vga. It will be able to transfer any resolution. But VGA is more common.

    VGA 640 x 480
    SVGA 800 x 600
    XGA 1024 x 768
    SXGA 1280 x 1024
    UXGA 1600 x 1200

    Read the manual, it's useful :D . Use the keystone. It takes to long for me to explain, check google.

    hope it helps.
  6. aurora borealis thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 9, 2007
    Wow, thanks for all the good info. That really helps. I'm discovering that I'm probably not going to be able to get a decent one for under $300. That's what I was shooting for, but it may not be realistic.
  7. notjustjay macrumors 603


    Sep 19, 2003
    Canada, eh?
    I wouldn't totally discount it. My local Staples regularly runs SVGA projectors on sale for around the $400 mark. The nice thing about a place like that is that you can try the projector out and return it if you really don't like it.

    Things to remember, especially when buying a "cheap" projector:

    - the bulb brightness is only ever going to get dimmer over time, so whatever you buy, if your first thought is "gee, that's not very bright" or "those colors don't look right", then pack it up and return it right away.

    - resolution is going to be lower on cheaper projectors (usually SVGA, 800x600). This is generally not an issue unless you want to project something that NEEDS a higher resolution to work. iMovie, for example, refuses to run unless you've got a 1024x768 display.

    - cheaper projectors may skimp on the number of inputs, the number of ways you can adjust the image, stuff like that. Again, you may not even care if all you ever do is present in the same place.

    Projectors are pretty much commodity items these days, I'd say pretty much any model, any brand will work well for your purpose. If you wanted something for your home theater, well, that's a different situation, but what you want it for (teaching, presentations) is what every projector is designed to do...

    Buy from a place that lets you return it, and you'll be fine.

    (By the way, with respect to DLP versus LCD - I'm one of those guys that sees rainbows too, but these days the projectors have faster color wheels with multiple segments, so the rainbows are MUCH less noticable now.)
  8. aurora borealis thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 9, 2007
    I really appreciate the suggestions, notjustjay. Now I just have to decide whether I'm going to spring for a little better one with future needs in mind or go as cheap as possible. I suppose the axiom "get the best quality you can possibly afford" applies here as with so many other things.

    Thanks! :)
  9. aurora borealis thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 9, 2007
    I bought an InFocus LP530 last night on eBay! Got it for about $350 - it was $400 once a remote and shipping were added, but I think it was a great deal. Apparently it was $4,800 new and has very little previous use (I guess that could be good OR bad...)

    Anyway, thanks for the info - it really helped when checking specs and stuff! I can't wait to get it and start playing with it. I mean working.

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