Mini projectors are all the buzz at the moment, giving people the ability to project their favourite shows streamed onto their bedroom wall or ceiling in high-definition resolution straight from their mobile device.
This is a welcome relief for those who have become accustomed to dropping their phone on their face in bed or on the couch when the blood drains from their hand.
Mini projectors first burst onto the scene around 2003 with the introduction of the handheld pico style projectors. By 2005 more and more products were being released onto the portable media market, they now come under a range of different names including:
- Pocket projectors
- Mobile projectors
- Pico projectors
- Mini beamers
- Smartphone projectors
They come in a variety of different shapes and sizes. Some as small as a phone, and some a more traditional projector size with all the modern features.
Micro projector technologies
There are three major image technologies generally used in a mini projector:
- DLP or Digital Light Processing by Texas Instruments
- LBS or Laser Beam Steering by MicroVision Inc
- LCoS or Liquid Crystal on Silicon
LCoS manufactures include Syndiant, Himax, Micron Technologies and Omnivision. Most mini projectors employ one of these technologies in combination with RGB LEDs in a single or triple architecture format.
Mini projector applications
Unlike the bulky and cumbersome projectors of the past, with a multitude of cables and sensitive lamps, the new generation of mini projectors offer a high-quality, reliable performance without the need for excessive cables and a mains power source.
The current models on the market are versatile and portable, and sometimes battery-powered, making them perfect for a range of applications.
We all love to binge-watch our favourite shows on our mobiles, and can’t wait to enable our friends to share your viewing addictions.
Smartphone projectors make this an easy thing to share by having a portable projector that fits into your backpack or pocket ready to project your favourite media onto any appropriate surface with your friends or family.
Large scale portable entertainment
How many times have you wished you could attach your 75″ flat screen to the roof of your bedroom? Well, this dream is now a reality with Mini projector technology.
You can now project all your favourite shows onto any light coloured flat surface without the risk of being crushed mid-movie.
Meetings and presentations
Gone are the days of having to hire expensive equipment for a short product release to potential buys. You can now quickly and easily project your pitch or PowerPoint presentation onto a basic office or boardroom wall.
This is also a great aid to educators and presenters to use in short courses or the classroom. Never before has it been easier to share vital information with the masses.
Remember plugging in your old consoles and squinting with your friends trying to command control in intense, weekend multiplayer standoffs?
Now you can project your favourite games onto the wall in High-definition and argue about who let the platoon down in Call of duty or who is the rightful Mario Kart champion of the world for 2020.
Mini projectors give you the ability to up the ante when you finally get a chance to share the 1000 photos you took on your European holiday or ski trip to Japan.
Therefore, no more endless swiping, scrolling and magnifying to find all the best bits. There is nothing better than reliving your treasured memories with loved ones on the big screen wherever you go.
Maximising your Mini projector
You will often see that many mini projectors are in high definition resolution. This is referring to the amount of dots or “pixels” that are making up your picture. The more pixels there are the clearer and sharper the image.
High definition is usually measured at 1280 x 720p pixels, and full High definition usually measures at 1920 x 1080p and above. The “p” at the end refers to “progressive scan” which refers to how the processor creates the image.
This is easy to see on a flatscreen LED television. However, the quality of a projected image, even though it is technically in high definition can be significantly affected by the surface the image is being projected onto.
Use a dark room
Your LED flatscreen TV is backlit, which gives it the ability to have clarity, even in a bright room. A projector, however, is projecting its image across the space of the room.
Any light in that room acts as competition and compromises the quality of the image. The darker you can keep the room, consequently the closer you can get to a high definition image.
A traditional projector was usually accompanied by a custom projector screen, just like at the movies. Projector screens are made from dense materials like WraithVeil, canvas, rubber or high-grade plastic.
The projection surface is white and smooth so as not to distort any of the images around the surface’s texture. A white wall or ceiling usually is sufficient to get a clear picture for basic projection.
Be aware that if you are unable to get a good picture quality, it may have nothing to do with the projector itself. The smoother and lighter the surface you are projecting onto, consequently, the clearer and sharper your picture will be.
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