Category Archives for "projectors"

How To Clean Projector Lens

When preparing for important presentations, you have to make sure everything is perfect and that includes making sure your projector is working well and that the lens are well-cleaned. Dirty lenses are the last thing you want to use to project your business proposals; you would not even want dirty lenses when you’re playing video games through a projector. Simply put, projectors may not require heavy maintenance but they still have to be cleaned every once in a while.

The problem, however, is that many projector owners do not know how to properly clean their projector lens; some end up using the wrong cleaning tools which may damage the lens or the projector, itself.

We do not want that to happen; hence, we have come laid down a guide on how to properly clean a projector lens.

Things To Remember

  1. You want to make sure that the projector is turned off and unplugged.
  2. Make sure the projector is not heated up; if you have just used it, give it time to cool down before proceeding to clean it.
projector lens cleaning kit

Projector Lens Cleaning Kit

Things To Avoid

  1. Avoid using alcohol to clean the lens.
  2. Avoid directly applying cleaning solutions to the lens.
  3. Avoid the use of harsh chemicals as cleaning solutions as this will definitely destroy the lens.
  4. Avoid using abrasive cleaning tools to clean the lens as this may cause scratches.

What To Do

  1. Use cloth that is lint-free and soft to clean the lens. You may purchase this type of cloth from any shop which sells camera lenses.
  2. Using the cloth, gently wipe the projector lens in circular motion. Do not be too harsh in rubbing the lens; otherwise, you might end up with scratches.
  3. After cleaning the lens, avoid touching the lens using your bare fingers as this will leave fingerprint marks.
  4. Make sure you place the lens cover back on the projector lens to avoid dust build-up.

How To Get Sound From Projector to Speakers

Aside from connecting the projector to your laptop, it is also essential to know how to connect the projector to the speakers because what good is your projector presentation if it misses out on sound effects.

For most presentations, sound effects would play an important role especially if the presentation is for educational purposes or if the projector is used for video games or movies. This is exactly why knowing how to properly connect the projector and the speakers are important.

See related - ​Best Bookshelf Speakers.

Here are a couple of very basic steps to follow when connecting the devices:


Before performing the steps below, you need to make sure that the projector, as well as the speakers, are turned off. You also have to know your speaker’s audio cables and locate the audio “out” port of the projector.


Plug the speaker’s audio cable into the audio “out” port of the projector, which you may find in the connection panel.

watching movie in projector screen


In turn, simply plug the opposite end of the said cable into the audio “in” port of the speakers.


Finally, turn on the projector as well as the projectors; you should now hear the sounds from the projector playing through the speakers. In some instances, you might have to press on the “source” button of the projector in order for the speakers to successfully connect.

Types of Paint to Use for Your Projector Screen

Steve Scott

If you want to achieve the best picture on your DIY home theater screen, then the type of home projector paint you choose matters. You won't get a high quality picture even from the best home theater projector if you don't pick a suitable screening option.

There are various HI-RES screen paints available on Amazon, ranging in price between less than $50 and more than $200. This article will help you choose the best screen paint with optimal value for you. It also offers some other helpful tips for painting a home theater screen to maximize its function and aesthetics.

painted projector screen


Benefits of Painted Home Theater Screens

Many people believe that painting your own home theater screen is much better than buying one made of vinyl or other projector screen materials. Perhaps the most surprising of these is that a painted movie theater screen can actually produce superior visual depth and picture quality when compared to most other projector screens.

Home projector paints are formulated with titanium oxide and other compounds that produce very sharp, high-resolution pictures that even the most expensive physical screens cannot.

These paints are made with ultra-smooth pigmentation that reduces surface texture irregularities and produces higher picture clarity.

Home projector paints have superior leafing properties, more binder density, and smaller particle sizes than traditional screens do.

These and other factors lead to rejected ambient lighting and an absolute neutral greyscale spectral response that practically eliminates hot spotting and color shifting.

Home projector paints are pricey as “paints” go. However, they are not like traditional paints. They are high-tech formulations that contain compounds that work with various light inputs to maximize the quality of your viewing experience.

 A painted home projector screen is much more complex than a simple white-painted wall space.

Painting your own DIY home theater screen typically costs hundreds of dollars less than other available solutions. Further, painted screens last a lifetime without any need for repair or the risk of malfunction.

The only maintenance they require is periodic washing with only soap and water. They weigh nothing, take no space, are latex and water-based, and can be placed without the need to modify any carpentry.

projector screen cleaning

Painting a DIY Home Movie Theater Screen

Home theater projectors are expensive units designed to deliver high-resolution videos and pictures onto a wall in your home. By adjusting the projector distance, you can increase or decrease the size of the area it displays on. Generally, the closer the projector is to the wall that is used a screen, the better the picture quality is.

For example if a room where you plan on screening movies is pretty small, you better look for the best short throw projectors.

So, the first step of painting your own home theater screen is to choose the wall that you want to paint it on. Of course, the wall will need to be big enough to accommodate the size of the picture you want. For many people, bigger is better here.

However, you have to be realistic about the maximum distance that your projector can produce a high-quality picture. Cheaper projectors usually are limited to smaller picture sizes.

Once you know which wall you’re going to make your home theater screen on, then you should paint the entire surface with a quality white primer. Primer paint is heavily-pigmented and produces an excellent starting ground for your DIY projector screen surface.

Choosing a Home Projector Paint

After the primer dries, it’s time to apply the projector screen paint. Many people get confused about whether to use silver, grey, or white.

Here's a good general rule to consider: If your projector has an output of 3500 lumens or more, then grey is the best choice. If it produces less than 3500 lumens, then white is probably your best choice.

Now, it gets a little more complex. Hi-Res home theater screen paints are available in various increasingly-dark shades of grey. Like white reflects more light than grey, a lighter shade of grey reflects more light than a darker shade of grey. If the projector screen is too dark for the projector being used, the picture will be washed out and dull.

projector screen paint

You should also consider the amount of ambient light that will affect your projector’s picture. Light entering the room from windows, skylights, and other sources will detract from the vibrancy and quality of the picture.

Many people construct special light-controlled rooms for home theaters. The less light that gets in, the better the picture quality and cinematic experience will be.

Note that a white projector screen will produce very vibrant pictures but not show black or dark grey areas of the picture very well. Comparatively, a grey projector screen will show black and other dark colors well and have an excellent contrast ratio.

However, it will not produce as vibrant a display as a white screen will. Personal preference is often the determining factor here.

You’ll also need to think about how much 3D you watch when deciding on the color to paint your home theater screen.

The tint of the 3D glasses you wear to watch these movies makes the pictures on the screen appear darker than they do without the glasses on.

So, if you want to watch a lot of 3D content, then you may want to go with a brilliant white projector screen paint to maximize your enjoyment. And if you're looking for the best 3D projector, check out our guide on that.

Merlin Portable 3d Projector

Projector Screen Paint Comparison

Following are details of several of the best-selling projector screen paints on Amazon. Remember that a higher price is not always indicative of higher quality or a better choice of paint for your unique home theater setting and situation. Take your time selecting, and your DIY theater screen will serve you for many years!

1. Digital Image Projector Screen Paint - High Definition | 4K - Ultra White

  • Low odor
  • One gallon costs $159.95 plus s & h ($10.99) and covers two coats on a 16 x 10 wall screen
  • Recommended for churches, conference rooms, hotels, and classrooms
  • 50% brighter than a standard white wall
  • Cured and ready to view on in 24 hours
  • No volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
  • High contrast/high resolution 1080p
  • Roll on or use a sprayer
ultra white hd screen paint

2. Pro Screen HD Projection / Projector Screen Paint 1080P Full HD Quality

  • Formulated with ultra-high titanium dioxide with powdered glass additive
  • 1 quart costs $59.95 and covers 80 square feet of wall area
  • Compatible with 1080p, 4K, 3D, and Blu-ray
  • Reduces ambient lighting effects
  • Neutral light-grey finish
  • Apply with a foam roller

3. Paint on Screen Projector Screen Paint 3D4K Light Grey Silver with 2.4 Gain

  • Compatible with 1080p. HD, Active 3D, and 4K
  • Provides the most value to large venues
  • Most demanded digital screen paint
  • Available in quart and gallon sizes
  • 1.5 gain or 2.4 gain formulations
  • Absolute neutral color shift
  • Costs $189 per quart
  • Roll or spray on

Once you have the paint, take some extra time prepping the wall space that you will use as your movie screen. Use a sanding pad to smooth out any rough-textured areas.

Fill in small holes with drywall mud and sand smooth before applying the white primer coat before the actual screen paint. Going the extra mile at this stage makes a lot of difference in the quality of the final product.

before vs after

In Conclusion

High-tech projector screen paints like those listed above can maximize the enjoyment of your home theater setup and save you a lot of money in the long run. Choosing the best home projector paint for your budget and setting is important.

Even the most expensive and feature-loaded home projector cannot create a stellar picture when the screen it is aimed at is inferior.


My name is Steve Scott. Father of 2 and owner of Outdoor Movie HQ. I’ve been involved in the A/V industry for most of my life and built this blog to help people better understand projector technology. Please leave a comment if you have any questions.

How to Connect a Projector to a Laptop

Steve Scott

Projectors work for a large variety of functions; business meetings, home theater projectors, gaming projectors, and other multi-media activities. Given the wide range of activities and equipment that can be used, connecting to a projector can vary from device to device.

In the case of laptops, some have HDMI ports available, while others utilize VGA or other connection types.

Connecting your laptop to a projector

  1. Identify what ports your laptop has available.

The picture below shows the side of a laptop with a VGA and HDMI connector.

VGA and HDMI connector.
  1. Identify what ports your projector has available.

The picture below shows a projector with both HMDI and VGA connections. Either connection will work; it will usually depend on what connections your laptop has available.

  1. Turn your laptop on and place it in a safe place that is close enough for your display cable to easily reach the projector. If you plan on using your laptop for an extended period of time, you may want to plug it into its charger.
  2. Ensure the projector is properly plugged in and turn it on.
  3. Locate either the VGA or HDMI port on your laptop and projector and properly insert the cable.
    • Note that VGA cables have two screws built into each side of the cable. Hand tightening them can ensure the cable remains connected if either the laptop or projector is bumped slightly.
  4. If the projector is not displaying your laptop screen, look for an ‘INPUT’ or ‘SOURCE’ button on the projector and make sure that it is set to your connection type. Modern projectors take multiple types of inputs, so if you are connected to the HDMI port, change the input to HDMI. Same for VGA.
  5. Adjust the projector my moving it further or closer to the screen and focusing the device by focusing the lens. Change color, sharpness, and other settings if desired.

Note that if the projector does not display your laptop screen when connected, ensure that the cables are properly connected (and fully inserted) to both the laptop and projector. 

You may also need to check the ‘Display Settings’ on your laptop to ensure that the screen will either ‘Duplicate’, or ‘Extend’ your laptop screen. Google and YouTube are always great sources if you are still having issues connecting and need to diagnose the problem.

Top projector brands

Depending on your intended use of the projector, you may want to spend more or less money to get a higher resolution projector that has other display enhancement features.

As an example, if you are getting a portable projector that can display presentations in a business setting, you may not need the top of the line equipment.

However, if you are buying a projector for your home theater or gaming setup, it may be worth paying a higher cost to get the best possible picture and clarity.

The two main technology types that are used in home or business projectors are LCD and DLP. 

DLP is typically more expensive but offers higher quality images. LCD projectors can still offer a high quality picture. However, it may not have quite the as vivid of an image.

If you're interested in knowing more about this topic, check out our guide on DLP vs LCD projectors

You can use this information to narrow down what options are best for you. Below are some of the best brands available for projectors.

BenQ projectors

BenQ PB7200

Available on amazon prime and often listed as an editor’s choice or gifted the ‘Amazon Best Selling’ tag, BenQ offers a large range of projectors with excellent customer service.

BenQ prides themselves on customer satisfaction and provides a large portfolio of options, from effective low-cost options, and high-performance models that offer up to 4K resolution and are considered one of the best 4k projectors

Their projectors run on DLP or Digital light processing, which is the highest quality available short of LCoS, which is only used in projectors costing thousands or tens of thousands of dollars; not the average home theater.

Whatever your need and price range are, BenQ is as good of a choice as any.


SONY-VPL-HW45ES projector

A well-established electronics company, Sony is known for the highest quality of projectors on the market.

A heavy majority of their projectors are made for the home theater space and are available in 1080p, 4K as well as 2D and 3D options. 

They do offer options for business and education, however, only a few of their offerings fall below the $1000 mark. The difference between their low end and higher end offerings are the technology under the hood. 

The lower end offerings utilize LCD technology while the higher end uses their proprietary SXRD technology.

If you’re in the market for a high-end projector, its hard to go wrong with Sony. The price reflects their use of high-end technology.

Optoma projectors

Optoma-UHL55 projector

Optoma offers a wide portfolio of DLP projectors and even offer outdoor movie projector options. Optoma should be seriously considered if you are looking for a high-end home theater option

Optoma UHD60 is among the highest selling 4k models due to its powerful technology at a more reasonable cost. Praised for its value, Optoma has won numerous awards from Best Buy,, and WhatHiFi.



If you’ve been in large academic or business settings, you’ve likely seen a projector turn on with a large centered ‘EPSON’ on a blue screen.

Epson is one of the longest standing manufacturers of projectors in the US and considered to make one of the best business presentation projectors.

Given their price ranges, they are effective for education (as low as $300) and offer high-end products in the thousands or tens of thousands of dollars range.

Epson is most commonly known for its durability and value, as their lamps are known to last for a very long time (minimum two years).

It’s hard to go wrong with Epson; the only challenge may be finding the best projector that they offer for your personal situation given their wide array of choices.


Canon LX-MU800Z projector

Like Sony, Canon is a well-established electronics brand known for cameras and printers as much as their projectors. Canon specifically focuses on education, business, and medical applications, and also offers compact options.

While they may not be a suitable option for a high-end home system, they make a strong case to be used in the classroom or on the road for business. Their projectors use LCD technology while still offering high resolution.

Another bonus with Canon is their lens technology, that is rapidly replaceable. Most projectors on the market involve a rather laborious effort to replace a lens or lamp.

My name is Steve Scott. Father of 2 and owner of Outdoor Movie HQ. I’ve been involved in the A/V industry for most of my life and built this blog to help people better understand projector technology. Please leave a comment if you have any questions.

How To Connect Your Personal Computer To A Projector

If you thought that projectors can only be connected to laptops and not to personal computers, you thought wrong. Although it might not be that common as seeing projectors being connected to laptops, projectors can also be connected to desktops and the steps on how to do it is quite simple.

  1. Make sure your PC is turned on.
  2. Plug in the projector and connect the power cable to the port of the projector.
  3. Turn the projector on; usually, you will see a green light which signals that the projector is now on.
  4. Know that there are different types of cables which can connect the projector to the computer. Some of the most common cable types are VGA and HDMI.
  5. Find the RGB or VGA “in” port in the projector and insert one end of the VGA cable to said port.
  6. Find the proper RGB or VGA “out” port at the back of your CPU and connect the other end of the VGA cable to that port.
  7. The projector should now display whatever is in your computer screen.

Connecting Projector to Desktop

And there you go, you have now successfully connected the projector to your personal computer. Connecting it is very easy. Perhaps, the only challenge you will encounter is determining which proper ports to connect to especially at the back of the CPU where a significant number of different types of ports can be found. Once you’ve located all the correct ports, you will have no problem proceeding with the presentations, games, or images you wish to be projected.

What Is A Good Contrast Ratio For A Projector?

Steve Scott

Now that you have your projector, how can you get the most out of your purchase in terms of picture quality? Perhaps you are using it for a big outdoor movie marathon or simply a new indoor visual experience with gaming.

When dealing with either of these activities and many more, the ability to see all the minute details inherent within the entertainment may be overlooked if not calibrated correctly. 

Needless to say, we all want the best possible quality available from our projectors.

The right resolution, appropriate sharpness, and the correct vibrancy of the colors all play a significant role in creating a memorable viewing experience, however perhaps the most important of these to consider when creating aspiring towards that beautiful image is the contrast ratio.

Remember, even the best home theater projector won't be able to meet your needs if it's not set properly.

projector contrast ratio

Contrast Ratio

Contrast ratio is essentially the reflection of light from an all white and black image. To better simplify this concept, all you need to really understand is that the most intense white in contrast to the darkest blacks will give you a much sharper picture; bringing out all faint colors and tiny details found throughout the image.

The ratio for this contrast is given in a numerical value such as 1,000:1 where the 1,000 represents the white of the image while 1 serves as the black.

Therefore, if you are presented with a 2,000:1 contrast ratio than it is simply stating that the white of the image is 2,000 times brighter than the black.

So what influences the contrast ratio? Primarily, light affects the contrast ratio the most severely. You could have determined the perfect contrast ratio for you to thoroughly display your power-point presentation within a classroom; however, natural light beaming through a simple open window would without a doubt disrupt the quality of the picture significantly.

Thus, when determining what contrast ratio best suits the environment that you chose to utilize your projector in, you should pay close attention to what light sources may come into play during usage. Some methods to remedy this, chiefly with indoor areas. 

high vs low contrast ratio

Removing All External Light Sources

Beginning with covering all windows and switching off any electrical lights that will be abrasive to not only the image but also to yourself as well.

Choose, if possible, a darker room for the projector. It is recommended to appropriate a space that is painted with a darker tint of color; thus, when all light sources are eliminated the space is then completely filled with darkness.

Finally, instead of using a unspecialized flat surface, such as a wall within the room, invest in a projector screen.

All of these methods, though simple, will aid in minimizing any additional sources of disturbance affecting your overall picture quality.

The Best Ratio

Contrast ratios upwards of 10,000:1 are highly recommended when beginning to find that exact ratio that best suits your individual preference; really, the higher the ratio, the better as a rule of thumb.

However, this is not always the case depending on your environment. If you are utilizing a dark enclosed space, you will find that your image quality will not be drastically affected by your modifying of the contrast ratio.

So, in essence, you will spend more time perfecting your surroundings, ridding them of any intrusive light sources, rather than you will adjusting your projector’s contrast ratio.

brightness level

In the end, the perfect contrast ratio falls upon your individual preferences, and what you personally view as the best picture quality you have produced through experimenting and fine-tuning the ratio.

You may discover that a 9,000:1 contrast ratio creates the ideal visual image for you specifically, however, your audience may find that the image is a bit off in their opinion; leaving them with a far less enjoyable experience.

In Conclusion

The best solution for this issue is to find a happy medium where both you and your audience are satisfied. 

If you alone are the only one that will be using the projector you will have no problem here and should be able to find that perfect contrast ratio without ever having to make alterations to it in the future.

However, learning what best ratios fit for every situation will be the best course of action; for you will always be prepared to produce the ideal visual for a variety of conditions quickly and with great results. 

My name is Steve Scott. Father of 2 and owner of Outdoor Movie HQ. I’ve been involved in the A/V industry for most of my life and built this blog to help people better understand projector technology. Please leave a comment if you have any questions.

How To Connect Your MacBook Laptop To A Projector

Steve Scott

You just got that shiny new projector and are wanting to start to enjoy your preferred media or visualize your professional presentation on the big screen as soon as possible.

Lucky for you, this endeavor is one that is simple for those unfamiliar and veterans of technology alike.

While the process is rather straightforward, there are parts of it that do require a bit of extra consideration before jumping right into connecting hookup this to that and vice versa.

Note that unique to the MacBook laptop in comparison to other brands of laptops is the input/output port; this, in turn, makes the connection procedure a little more complicated for first-timers.

macbook pro

Due to this uncommon attribute, the MacBook port needs a particular VGA or HDMI, depending on your projector, adapter to be linked to the projector.

What further complicates this link is that adapters vary from one MacBook model to another; leaving the consumer in charge of making sure they obtain the correct adapter that coincides with their model of MacBook.

A simple way to look for an adapter that is compatible with your MacBook is to identify if your model has either a thunderbolt or mini display port. However, do not rely solely on this identification.

macbook and projector cable

To avoid purchasing an adapter that does not correctly work with your MacBook model do a small bit of research before finalizing your purchase as there are a variety of adapters to choose from.

Once you determine which adapter works with your model of MacBook proceed down to the quick guide to get your projector started and functioning smoothly.

Quick Guide to Connecting Your MacBook to a Projector

  1. Make sure the MacBook is ON.
  2. Plug the projector into a wall outlet and leave it powered OFF for now.
  3. Insert the smaller end of the MacBook adapter into the thunderbolt or mini display port.
  4. Connect the wider end of the adapter to the VGA or HDMI cable of the projector.
  5. After all, is connected, power ON the projector
connecting macbook to a projector-min

Displaying Your MacBook Screen through Your Projector

  1. Click on the Apple menu found in the upper left corner of your laptop screen and a drop-down menu will appear. From this drop-down menu select “System Preferences.”
  2. Within the “Systems Preferences” window you will be shown multiple icons. Of the displayed icons, find the one that is in the shape of a monitor and says “Displays”
  3. You will now be in the “Displays” window. In this window, near the bottom left corner will be a “Mirror Displays” checkbox. Check this box. (This will project whatever you see on your MacBook screen through the projector)
  4. After several seconds, and if the connection was successful, then your MacBook home screen should now be mirrored through the projector screen.

In Conclusion

Congratulations, you have now successfully connected your MacBook laptop to your projector! This will open up new avenues for watching your favorite movies, playing games, viewing pictures, displaying presentations, and much more! 

My name is Steve Scott. Father of 2 and owner of Outdoor Movie HQ. I’ve been involved in the A/V industry for most of my life and built this blog to help people better understand projector technology. Please leave a comment if you have any questions.

How Many Lumens Do I Need For My Projector?

Steve Scott

The first time you buy a projector and screen might feel a bit overwhelming. Why are there so many choices? Does it really matter which I go with? The short answer is yes and no.

Certain specifications will make for a great viewing experience; however, there is no hard and fast rule. 

With the right screen and lighting environment, you can make your projector project an image well. When it comes to your home viewing experience or business presentation, you can choose what matters most to you.

You can think about the importance of brightness, color visibility, and picture quality.

Out of all the specifications and choices you can make, calculating the right lumens for the projector should be a top priority. By focusing on lumens, you can get a lot of other things right.


What Are Lumens?

Lumens refer to the amount of light projected by a light source or the unit measure of projected brightness. So, a projector that gives off 1,500 lumens will not be as bright as a projector that gives off 5,000 lumens.

Typically, projector customers will think that the brighter a projector can be, the better. This is not always the case.

By assuming that brightness is the key identifier needed to buy a projector, they oversimplify how one actually works.

Why Are Lumens Important to Projectors?

​Think about the room where your screen will be. How much natural or artificial light is already in that room? Take note of all the windows, light fixtures, and any connecting rooms.

 A good rule of thumb is that the more light you have in a room, the more lumens you’ll need.

So, if you set up your home movie theater in a room with blinds or curtains, you don’t want the greatest number of lumens possible. That would just hurt your eyes.

projector lumens

Brightness can also distort the quality of an image. Colors might look washed out, or certain images might become difficult to see.

The ideal number of lumens will depend on where and for what purposes the projectors will be used. Furthermore, the projector screen size will also be an important factor to consider.

Ideal Calculations

Because there is so much to consider, many customers don’t worry about their lighting or screen size. That’s fine.

However, knowing the right number of lumens would be very beneficial as to provide your audience - be that for an outdoor movie screening (see also best material for outdoor movie screens), work presentation, or private in-home viewing session - a pleasing experience of the movie, presentation, or game with the projector and the projector screen.

To really understand the relationship between lumens and your screen, take a look at the below chart that details indoor and outdoor light conditions and the matching number of lumens needed.

Light and Screen Conditions

Number of Lumens

9x5 ft Outdoor Screen

1,500-2,500 lumens

16x9 ft Outdoor Screen

3,000-4,500 lumens

25x14.5 ft Outdoor Screen

5,000-10,000 lumens

Indoor Low Light

1,000-2,000 lumens

Indoor Medium Light

2,000-4,000 lumens

Indoor Bright Light

4,500-6,000 lumens

projector lumens

In reality, it is not necessary to set the perfect lumens for your projector. If you remember one thing from this article, remember that brighter projections will not always be better.

Remember that brightness isn’t as good for color and picture. Too much brightness can hurt your eyes as well. The comfort of your audience is the most important to consider when buying a projector.

There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to projector settings. Though certain numbers have been said to be ideal (as disclosed above), you can definitely depart from the numbers as they are merely meant to serve as your guide.

Play around with the projector settings until you find what works best for you and your audience.

Buying the Right Projector

When you’re ready to buy your projector, there’s an easy way to figure out the number of lumens you’ll need. Consider the following questions before you head to the store and then let customer service point you to the right projector.

  1. Where will I put the projector?
  2. What’s the distance between the projector and the screen?
  3. How much natural light is in the room?
  4. Do I want to keep the lights on or turn them off when using the projector?
  5. How large or a screen do I want or already have?

With these 5 questions, you’ve already narrowed down the number of lumens you will need.

For instance, let’s say you’re putting together a home movie theater in your living room.

You’ll put your home theater projector on the back wall to face the screen, so it’s about 10 ft of distance. The screen is about 100 inches tall. There is natural light from the windows, but all indoor lights will be turned off when you watch movies.

Projector Screen for Home Theater

Since the screen is on the smaller side and there is some natural and artificial light, you would go with Indoor Medium Light on the above chart and find a projector that gives off 2,000 to 4,000 lumens.

This way, you can keep lights on if you want or turn them off for movie nights.

Because there are so many options to choose from, you have the flexibility to find the best projector for your needs.

Try one out and if it doesn’t work, take it back to try another setting. The home theater, presentation, and gaming experience are unique to the viewer.

In Conclusion

Only you can decide how brightly you want to see images and how much it matters to see true quality colors. For some, just being able to see the screen is enough.

For the aficionado, they may want to get down to the nitty-gritty details. There is no right or wrong answer.

If you want more information on the different types of projectors, screens, or more home viewing tips, hover over the tabs at the top of this page. I wish you the best of luck in building your home theater.

My name is Steve Scott. Father of 2 and owner of Outdoor Movie HQ. I’ve been involved in the A/V industry for most of my life and built this blog to help people better understand projector technology. Please leave a comment if you have any questions.

How To Hang A Projector Screen – A Quick Guide on How To Do It Yourself

A projector screen is a must if you wish to have a cinematic experience at home for movies or even for gaming purposes. Fortunately, hanging a projector screen does not have to be a grueling experience although it will definitely take some effort. Here are simple steps you should follow:

Steps to Follow

  1. Determine the exact location where the projector screen should be hung from and use a ladder to properly determine these critical areas.
  2. Use a stud sensor to determine which parts of the ceiling joists are appropriate for the screen to hang from.
  3. Mark the areas of the ceiling which the stud sensor indicates as the appropriate places to hang the screen from. You will know these places by the sound of beeping noises coming from the sensor.
  4. Use a measuring tape to determine the width of the screen and use the determined width to mark the area of the ceiling where the next mounting should be attached.
  5. When all the appropriate areas of the ceiling joists are marked, place the brackets at the center of each joist so that the screws will anchor the bracket.
  6. Once centered, mark the holes in the bracket where the screws will go through and you can now start drilling holes. Make sure you drill vertically; otherwise, the screws will be slanted which will be problematic.
  7. Use a screwdriver to screw the bracket to the stud. It would be better if the screws on each side of the screen would be tightened alternately with the help of another person. Make sure you do not over tighten the screws.

Hanging A Projector Screen

Finally, you now have the projector screen ready for use. Test it out to see if it works well and if it does not, do the necessary adjustments.

During the process of hanging or mounting the screen, do not forget to check out the manual that comes with the projector screen. Sadly, there are times wherein the manual that comes with the projector is not really of great help even if you’re buying the best projector brand. However, most of the time, the manual usually lays out important tips you should follow in hanging the projector screen. Hence, you should still not skip on it as there may be important details highlighted in there.

Optoma GT1080Darbee Review

Steve Scott

The Optoma GT1080darbee Gaming Projector is a mostly great device. It is a great projector for gaming and produces gorgeous visuals. The projected image is very bright, Full HD, and has extremely vibrant colors.

This projector is any gamer’s dream come true. However, it does have quite a few issues holding it back from being perfect, like occasional lamp failure and a lack of a zoom ring.

Overall the GT1080 is a great pick for either home theaters, gaming or outdoor projector setups. 



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Key Features

  • 3,000 Lumens
  • Contrast Ratio: 28,000:1
  • Resolution: 1920x1080p (Full HD)
  • Lamp Life: 8,000 hours
  • Short Throw Ratio of .49


  • Really bright
  • Better than average contrast ratio
  • Full HD visuals
  • Long enough lamp life
  • Compatible with almost everything
  • Enhanced Gaming Mode


  • Visual noise appears on darker tones
  • Early lamp failure
  • No zoom ring
  • Flickers after a few hours of use
  • Very weak audio

Gorgeous Gaming Graphics

The Optoma GT1080darbee Gaming Projector is an overall terrific device.

It produces some of the most gorgeous visuals for gaming compared to other projectors. ​Being a projector, it produces an image much, much bigger than any TV screen possibly can. 

Imagine playing video games like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild on a movie theater-sized screen. That is basically what a gaming projector can allow you to do.

As a gamer myself, this is something I have always wanted to try. Not only is this projector great playing video games on a large screen, but it lets you enjoy especially great visual quality as you do so.

It is also amazing for watching TV and movies, business presentations, and any other visual media you plan on using a projector for. This is a great option for a home theater projector

3,000 Lumens

This thing is really bright. The projector’s lamp uses 3,000 lumens. The more lumens a projector uses, the brighter it is.

The average projector lamp uses between 1,000 lumens and 2,500 lumens. There may be a lot of other projectors out there that are much brighter than this one, but this one is still a lot brighter than the average.

optoma gt1080 darbee actucal viewing

Being this bright is helpful for a lot of reasons. For one, it helps you to see the screen clearly even when the room is not super dark.

It is also better for your eyes. The brighter the projected image is, the less your eyes have to strain to see it.

Colors Really Stand Out

The contrast ratio of this projector is 28,000:1. This particular contrast ratio indicates that that the whitest whites seen on the projected image are 28,000 times brighter than the blackest blacks.Because of this, each of the colors pop a lot more and stand out from each other.

This prevents colors from blending in with each other or appearing washed out.

This contrast ratio is much better than what most other projectors offer, and it helps to create a beautiful picture quality to look at.

Full HD Visuals

optoma gt1080darbee game viewing

The projector has a resolution of 1920x1080p. This is considered to be Full HD. Full HD graphics always look incredible.

This is why HD has become the standard for visual media devices such as video game consoles, DVD and blu-ray players, televisions, and projectors.

HD graphics are what make your playthroughs of PlayStation 4 and XBox One look so realistic. Take a glance at our BenQ W1070 Review.

The fact that this projector is able to produce gorgeous HD visuals is incredible since it allows you to see those awesome images on a much larger screen than you otherwise would be able to. It adds a sense of realism and more enjoyment to anything you play or watch on this projector.

More HD projectors here

Great Lamp Life

The lamp life of this projector is 8,000 hours long. There are definitely many projectors out there that have lamps that can last a lot longer than this. They can sometimes even last up to 50,000 hours.

However, these 8,000 hours certainly are not anything to scoff at.

Think about how long the lightbulb in one of the rooms in your house lasts. It is most likely nowhere near 8,000 hours, and yet you only have to change it maybe once or twice a year at most.

Also think about how much time you actually spend watching movies and playing video games. 8,000 hours would take an awfully long time to get to.

You probably will not have to replace the bulb for quite a long time.

Short Throw Ratio

The Optoma GT1080darbee Gaming Projector has a very short throw ratio of .49. The throw ratio of a projector indicates how far you need to have the device set up away from the wall or screen you are projecting on to.


A throw ratio that is this incredibly short means that you are able to set the projector up on a coffee table, desk, in the center of your living room ceiling no problem.

This short throw ratio allows you to set the device up fairly close to the wall or screen and still get a huge, gorgeous picture. This is absolutely perfect for those looking to use it for gaming in dorm rooms, bedrooms, or any other smaller space.

Just be warned that if you do have the projector too far away from the wall or screen, it can cause the projected image to appear much blurrier than you would want.

If you want more check out our guide to the best short throw projectors

Compatible With Most Devices

This projector is also compatible with just about any other kind of device. You can use it with video game consoles, DVD and blu-ray players, TV sticks, smartphones, tablets, laptops, and more. Even though this is a great gaming projector, it can be used for almost any function involving visual media.

Enhanced Gaming Mode

optoma gt1080 darbee gaming

One of the features that makes this projector so great for gaming is its Enhanced Gaming Mode. This Enhanced Gaming Mode enables best in class performance at 16ms. This mode helps with getting better frame rates and reducing lag to a minimum.

Input lag and low frame rates can hurt any gaming experience and make or break an online match when you are about to win, so this mode is a saving grace.


Visual Noise

Even though this is a fantastic gaming projector, it does have its fair share of problems. Visual noise can often be seen on the darker tones on the projected image. In other words, a lot of blacks or dark colors on the screen can look staticky.

This can certainly be annoying and even break immersion into your video games and movies. It can also make some important items hard to see when it happens.

Early Lamp Failure

Another problem that this projector can sometimes suffer from is early lamp failure. The lamp life of the projector is indeed 8,000 hours long. However, it does not always come close to reaching that length of time.


This device has been known to have its bulb die out after 50 to 100 hours, causing you to have to replace it a lot sooner than you really should have to. This does not always happen, and when it does, replacing a bulb after 100 of use is really not the end of the world.

No Zoom Ring

A truly annoying issue this projector suffers from is the lack of a zoom ring. A zoom ring on a projector allows the user to adjust the size of the projected image just by simply turning a dial or knob around the lens of the device.

It is there to make things easier. Most projectors tend to have them these days.

Because this projector does not have a zoom ring on it, in order to adjust the size of the screen, you have to physically pick up the projector itself and move the whole thing. This can cumbersome, and almost impossible for some people depending on their living space.

Flickering Issue

This projector has a bad habit of flickering after a few hours of use. If you plan on having particularly long gaming sessions, they can be interrupted by annoying flickering.

This can cause headaches and break your immersion into your video game or movie. If this happens, it is recommended to shut the device off until it cools before using it more.

Weak Audio

The Optoma GT1080darbee Gaming Projector has especially weak audio for a projector. It does come with a built-in speaker, which is nice. However, it is so weak that it is difficult to hear anything out of it. This is awful when you are trying to hear your game’s audio.

I can see it being a huge issue if you are trying to communicate with teammates in an online video game like Call of Duty. It is heavily recommended that you use some sort of external speaker for this projector.

​In Conclusion

Ultimately, the Optoma GT1080darbee Gaming Projector is a pretty decent projector for playing video games on. It is not the absolute best choice for a gaming projector, but it definitely gets the job done.

It has gorgeous HD visuals and a helpful short throw ratio, allowing anyone to be able to play video games and appreciate the best out of modern gaming graphics. It does have some major issues, but some are easy fixes or just inconveniences more than anything.

If you are willing to shell out around $800 for your gaming projector, this one would not be a waste.

Let us know what your opinions of the Optoma GT1080darbee Gaming Projector are in the comment section.