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.

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.

What Type of Paint To Use For Projector Screen

Setting up your own mini-theater at home will also entail choosing the best projector screen aside from selecting the best projector. Needless to say, walls are perhaps the most convenient and probably the cheapest option out there for a projector screen. The only thing you will have to worry about is the wall paint; fortunately, this issue is really easy to solve.

Importance of Wall Color

The wall color actually plays a crucial role in order to achieve a great experience when projecting images for movies, games, and other presentation purposes. That said, you will notice that when projecting in walls which have darker colors, there are differences as compared to when you project the images in walls which have brighter colors.

If you are willing to invest for the wall you wish to use as a projector screen, it would be best to go for wall paints which are specially intended for projector wall screens. These paints ensure the right translucence and reflective features.

projector screen wall setup

Choosing the Right Color

As for the color, many mistakenly think that white walls are the best for projector screen usage. However, the truth of the matter is that it will depend on different factors. One of the most important factors to consider is the type of room where the wall is situated. If the room is lit, it is best to go for gray-colored walls because this will make the black color look blacker.

When projectors project images which are black, they do not actually project black colors on the screen. To project black images, the projectors simply do not project any light in that particular area of the screen. It is much safer to go for gray walls since projecting on white walls would make black images appear grayish whereas projecting on gray walls would give black images a darker look which makes it look more contrasted.

In rooms where there is very little to no lighting at all, perhaps, white walls will work alright.

How To Easily Connect Your Laptop To A Projector

Projectors play a very important role in school, for educational purposes, in work places, for business meetings and conferences, and even at home, for movies, games, and other entertaining activities. With that in mind, it is, therefore, important to know how to properly connect the projector to a laptop so that when you find yourself in an important business meeting or a graded school presentation, you will no longer be struggling with the cables and the ports.

Below are very easy steps that will guide you in connecting your laptop to a projector:

    1. Turn your laptop on and place it beside the projector.
    2. Place the projector in the appropriate area facing the screen where it will project.
    3. Make sure you plug in the projector and turn it on.
    4. Locate the VGA “in” port in the projector and attach one end of the VGA cable to that port.
    5. Find the VGA “out” port, usually at the right side of your laptop, and insert the other end of the VGA cable to that port.
    6. The projector should now display what is on your laptop screen.
    7. Make your final adjustments as to the distance between the projector and the screen by moving the projector further away from or closer to the projector screen.

Projector and Laptop ports

If the projector is not displaying what you wish to project, make sure the cables are connected properly the port since an interruption in the display may be caused by cables loosely connected to the ports. Finally, you may also adjust the settings for the colors, sharpness, and the resolution to improve the quality of the projected images.

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?

To get the best projector experience whether for outdoor movie marathons or indoor gaming nights, you need to be knowledgeable about the basic projector specifications. One of the technical-know-hows you need to be good at is how to select the best contrast ratio for your projector.

Needless to say, we all want the best quality from our projectors. The awesome quality will only be possible if we land with the right resolution, the appropriate sharpness, the correct vibrancy of the colors, and most importantly, the proper contrast of the deep blacks and the bright whites. All these will contribute to the pleasant-looking images that will be projected.

contrast ratio chart-min

Contrast Ratio for Projector

Contrast Ratio

The contrast ratio is the ratio of the light which reflects from a solid white and a solid black image. Thus, a 2,000:1 contrast ratio simply means that the brightest white image is 2,000 times brighter compared to the darkest black image. The importance of greater contrast ratios is that it will give you more details of the projected image; this is because contrast enables us to see a wide array of color shades.

To determine the right contrast ratio, it is important to know the factors that will affect it. For indoor projectors, the biggest factor that will affect it is no other than room light. When room light finds its way inside, the contrast will surely drop even if you have the best contrast ratio. Light, in general, coming from the windows or any other source, will dramatically affect the contrast ratio for indoor or outdoor projectors.

Projector’s Contrast Ratio

Best Ratio

A contrast ratio of at least 10,000:1 is highly recommended which means that higher contrast ratios would be very much preferred. Note that these contrast ratios will not really matter if you are setting up your projector screens in areas which are really dark because the darker the areas, the more you will get good contrasting regardless of the contrast ratios. You will, however, face the challenge of getting rid of other sources of light which might affect the contrast level.

Furthermore, the best contrast ratio will also depend on your taste and preference. You might find a 9,000:1 ratio perfect but your audience may not agree with you on that. The best way to go is to level the playing field and keep the numbers safe at all times.

How To Connect Your MacBook Laptop To A Projector

Connecting your MacBook laptop to a projector is quick and easy if it is not your first time doing it. However, for first timers, it might be just a tad bit challenging considering that although the MacBook laptops have output ports which allow it to be connected to a projector, the port actually differs from other laptop brands. That said, you have to make sure that you have the correct Apple adapter for this since the adapters also differ among the various MacBook laptop models.

Here is a very quick and straightforward breakdown of what you need to do to connect your MacBook to a projector:

  1. Make sure to turn your laptop ON.
  2. Plug in the projector and turn it ON.
  3. Insert the smaller end of the VGA MacBook adapter to the thunderbolt or mini display port.
  4. Connect the wider end of the adapter to the VGA cable of the projector.
vga adapter

Macbook Adapter For Projector

  1. Click on the Apple menu found in the upper left corner of your laptop screen and select “system preferences”.
  2. Select “Displays” and click on the “Arrangement” tab
  3. Check the “Mirror Displays” box found in the lower left corner. Wait for a few seconds.
  4. Once the laptop and the projector are successfully connected, you will now see the screen of your laptop projected against the projector screen.

Now that you have successfully connected your laptop to the projector, you can now project movies, games, pictures, or other presentations.

How Many Lumens Do I Need For My Projector?

If you are a newbie when it comes to projectors, it might be quite challenging to figure out what projector and projector settings will work best for you. Among the many specifications which you definitely need to know, calculating the right lumens for the projector should be on top of the priority list.

What are Lumens?

In the most basic terms, lumens refer to the amount of light projected by a light source or the unit measure of projected brightness.

When it comes to projectors, it is important to determine the appropriate lumens as this will determine the quality of the images that will be projected. The ideal 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

Most of the time, people are actually not so engrossed on achieving the perfect lumens for their projector. For as long as you can see the projections clearly without straining your eyes, you’re usually good to go. However, knowing the right amount of lumens would be very beneficial as this would help provide the audience a pleasing movie or gaming experience with the projector and the projector screen.

Here is a quick break down to give you an idea of how the measurements work:

For outdoor projectors used for outdoor movie theaters or any outdoor presentations, the ideal calculations are as follows:

  • 9 x 5 ft. Projector Screen – 1,500 to 2,500 lumens
  • 16 x 9 ft. Projector Screen – 3,000 to 4,500 lumens
  • 25 x 14.5 ft. Projector Screen – 5,000 to 10,000 lumens
Elite Screens outdoor

Projector For Outdoor Movies

For indoor projectors used for business or educational purposes, the ideal numbers are as follows:

  • Home Theater Screen – 1,000 to 1,200 lumens
  • Well-lit Office – 2,000 to 3,000 lumens

In reality, it is not necessary to set the perfect lumens for your projector. The important thing to remember is that brighter projections will not always mean that it is the better setting since too bright would definitely strain the eyes. The comfort of the audience is more important and thus, it should always be considered.

There is really no hard and fast rules when it comes to projector settings albeit having ideal numbers laid down by experts. You can definitely depart from the numbers set forth above since they are merely meant to serve as your guide in playing around with the projector settings until you find what is best for your taste.

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

Overall Impression:

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. 

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. It 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.
optoma gt1080 darbee actucal viewing

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.

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.

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.

Our Final Thoughts:

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.

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.