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What is a Multimedia Projector?

By Bryon Turcotte
Updated May 16, 2024
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The delivery of visual media through projection is an effective way to entertain, educate, and communicate with people on a large scale. The use of a multimedia projector gives the presentation agent a number of options when configuring a stage for the viewing audience. Whether conducting a presentation in the corporate environment, educational programs in the classroom, projecting motion pictures in front of a large audience, or in the home, the multimedia projector is a valuable tool for communication and entertainment.

At its most basic, a multimedia projector simply projects an image on a screen. There are a number of features available, however, that expand this basic functionality. Some multimedia projectors can be configured to project a computer's video signal, outputs from DVD players, and also direct connections from cable and satellite systems. Depending on the needs of the user and their project, there is a projection device designed for almost every application, level of quality, and size of audience. The prices of these devices can fluctuate greatly depending on its specifications.

A multimedia projector processes a specific video signal and projects a corresponding image on a large screen using a lens system. Video projectors incorporate the use of a very bright light to display the image. The video signal rides along a special digitized light that is then projected on thousands of reflectors within the projector, which then shine the image onto a screen. Many intelligently designed projectors can correct inconsistencies and distortions in the projection. Depending on the specifications of the multimedia projector, its resolution capabilities and cost, a unit can reproduce the input with sharp detail and clarity.

These projectors are capable of numerous display resolutions, including 800 x 600 pixels (SVGA), 1024 x 768 pixels (XGA), 1280 x 720 pixels (720p), and 1920 x 1080 pixels (1080p). Most importantly, the cost of a projector is not only depended on its resolution, but also by its light output. A high lumen output is essential for viewing on larger screens or in locations that contain a high level of ambient light.

An output level between 1500 to 2500 lumens suitable for smaller screens with controlled lighting or low ambient light. In a room equipped with a medium-sized screen, ambient light, or dimmed light, a 2500 to 4000 lumen level is a good choice. A projector with a 4000 lumen output level should work well with very large screens such as those used in a large conference room with little or no lighting control.

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Discussion Comments

By lonelygod — On Jul 06, 2011

I remember that I had this one professor in college who loved to use his multimedia projector in all of our classes. While most professors used the old traditional projectors and just showed us still images and text, he really went all out with videos and music, as well as showing us websites that were applicable to our course.

For myself the class was one of my favorites because the additional material really seemed engaging and was much better presented. It was easier to follow a lesson with more exciting moments and outside resources I could look back on.

Has anyone else run into great usage of a multimedia projector?

By wander — On Jul 05, 2011

Having a multimedia projector if you are an educator is a fantastic tool to take advantage of. I teach English to children and adding video, pictures and music to their lessons makes class a lot more fun than it would be if I were just having them work out of a textbook.

For myself I have found that if you can hook your projector up to a laptop computer you're all set for everything you need. Working on the computer makes it easy to control all of your visuals and to make a seamless presentation.

If you are looking for fun educational games, you can also find these online. Many are made specifically with multimedia projectors in mind.

By m3g4n — On Jul 05, 2011

I have a multimedia projector (it’s actually a home theatre projector) in my house. I have a home theatre set up with 7.1 surround sound and a huge projection screen. It gives me a perfect movie theatre experience, without the expensive tickets, long lines, or rude people.

I have a 5 year old, so it’s great that I can pause the movie if he needs to go to the bathroom or something in the middle of it. I love my home theatre!

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