Projector Expert Questions & AnswersQ:
I keep reading about projectors for home and projectors for office, and some projectors claim to be good for both. Bottom line, what constitutes a "home" versus an "office" projector?
~ B. FuddledA:
Dear B. Fuddled,
The primary distinction between home and office projectors is their native resolution or aspect ratio.
What is 'native aspect ratio'?
Projectors most often come with native aspect ratios. Our most popular are 4:3, 16:10 and 16:9. That means that the chip (or panel) inside the projector is shaped in the specified 4:3, 16:10 or 16:9 proportions. Think of the chip as a miniature version of the image you will see on your screen.
A 16:9 native aspect ratio projector is designed primarily for home theater use. This is because widescreen Blu-ray and HDTV signals are broadcast or encoded in this aspect ratio. Home theater enthusiasts tend to prefer 16:9 aspect ratios because they are closer to the movie's original format.
Most computers output in a 4:3 native aspect ratio. However, many newer models geared toward entertainment use also output in 16:10 or 16:9.
Most projectors, regardless of their native aspect ratio, are able to display 16:9, 16:10 and 4:3 content. However, you will see black bars either on the sides or at the top and bottom of your image (see illustration).
If you are looking for a projector for both home and office, make sure your projector has the capability to display all formats.