Monday, June 15, 2015

Play Larger-Than-Life Games Using Projectors

Video gamers live life vicariously through their on screen avatars. To immerse themselves deeper in the action, they are not above lavishing thousands of dollars on the latest consoles to better simulate their desired realities.


Now is an even more exciting time for gamers. As they get better and cheaper, projectors are fast positioning themselves as superior display devices to televisions. While the biggest TV screen maxes out at 90 inches or so, a projector can produce a 300-inch wall of sight and sound—Raccoon City and the Halo rings will never look better.

When you buy a projector, you are buying its picture quality foremost. You have no doubts about the size of the image because you can zoom it in and out as you please. With a TV, the cost is proportional to the size of the screen. In other words, you’re buying the screen size, not the image quality.

Get the picture? Before you make a dash to the nearest appliance store, learn what kind of projector fits your gaming needs.

1. Resolution

Game developers raised the bar in verisimilitude by not only showing movie-like title sequences but also enabling three-dimensional imaging. In turn, projector developers have released models to complement such games. The most affordable projectors designed for 3D gaming yield images in 720p format, but for a higher cost, you may opt for 1080p. Otherwise, you get a no less riveting experience with a simple high-definition (1920 x 1080) projector.

2. Brightness

If you use a projector for movies, you may buy a model with relatively modest radiance, as long as you black out the windows and swear off ambient lighting for a while. If you’re an occasional gamer, you may need a brighter projector because console controllers are not always back lit. Unless you can memorise the buttons, you need some lights. In such lighting conditions, the projector should emit a minimum of 1,500 lumens or above 3,000 if you have all the lights on.

Your brightness requirements also change according to the size of your projection. The larger the projection, the more lumens you need. If you intend to swathe an entire wall, for example, you need at least 2500 lumens. If you’re content with a 50-inch projection, then 1,000 lumens is viable provided no light leaks into the room.

3. Lamp life

Another factor to consider is the projector’s lamp life, especially if you’re a hardcore gamer who devotes most of the week playing. You must know that projector bulbs, on average, extinguish themselves after 2,000 hours or earlier if you take into account the amount of dust, frequency of cycle power etc. If you’re the type who could play nonstop for 83 days, then have a replacement bulb on hand. You would not want the picture to suddenly bail out on you when you’re on the game’s penultimate level.

4. Refresh rate

Video games show images so fast that if your projector can’t catch up, your game-play would be somehow compromised. To avoid potential mishaps, invest in a projector with a high refresh rate, i.e. a great ability to process fast-moving pictures. The least jumpy projections come from models with a 480 Hz refresh rate. If the projector’s rate is below 120 Hz, the picture would certainly lag.

5. Contrast ratio

There are times when gamers have difficulty telling areas on the screen apart from each other. Fans of survival horror games should know; they must reckon with dark images all the time. This is where contrast ratio comes into play. A high contrast ratio helps you make out the blackest blacks and greyest greys on the screen. Ideally, your projector should have a contrast ratio of 100,000:1, but you can settle for 40,000:1.

6. Throw ratio

You also need to consider the distance between your projector and intended screen. If you’re playing in a room no wider than 10 feet, you definitely need a short-throw unit or one that can throw projections in constricted spaces. Some of the shortest-throw models can project from only several inches away. Find these, or move to a bigger room.

Reminders

Projectors can be used for everything - watching movies, playing games to showing slideshows at parties. For each purpose, the dynamics change.

In gaming, make sure at least that your projector has an HDMI connection. At best, go for a projector that offers digital connectivity, so it synchronises with the console’s signal formats. Speaking of formats, pick a projector with a widescreen resolution. Lastly, don’t rely on your projector for good audio. To savour the game, the sound should be as important to you as the video; invest in some quality speakers.

Happy playing!

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