Mark Ivens explains how resellers can help customers choose the right projector
‘A picture is worth a thousand words.’Whether presenting new ideas, a sales pitch, a company profile or staff training material, a few visuals can enhance the most carefully chosen words. But what’s the best way to deliver the image?
As ever, the art of selling is to start off by asking the right questions. There are several considerations for you to guide your prospects through as you help them find the right projector for their needs.
What size image do they want to project?
Different projectors are capable of projecting different size images.
How much space is available?
While space in meeting rooms and training ooms should not be an issue, it’s always worth checking. Space in syndicate rooms and living rooms can also vary widely. In such cases your customer should consider the focus function, a short throw or even an ultra-short throw projector.
Will the projector be a fixed installation or moved from location to location?
Fixed on a podium or hanging from the ceiling are popular choices but won’t suit every application. Projectors may need to be moved from room to room, locked away when not in use or even taken outside the building for mobile presentations, sales pitches, events or holiday homes. In these cases, size and weight become important criteria.
Consider whether the projector will simply need to be loaded into a car or whether it will need to be carried some distance, on the train or the tube. Consider also exactly who will be carrying it. When it comes to portability, there are medium weight options – around 3kg for a traditional style projector – and ‘Pico’ or pocket projectors that weigh 350g or even less. The Philips PPX4010, for example, weighs an incredible 83g. Projectors this light can be carried around at all times in your laptop bag.
What sort of light conditions will be present when the projector is in use?
In most cases, your customer will be able to control light conditions via light dimmers, curtains or blinds, but cinema conditions may not always prevail. If your customer is carrying a projector into a variety of scenarios they have to be prepared for the unexpected. In these cases, the brighter the better. Projector brightness is measured in lumens, so a projector with 3,000 lumens will project a brighter image than one with 2,000 lumens. In a dark room this will not be important but in daylight conditions it could make a big difference. In general, the bigger or brighter the room the more lumens you should recommend. However, if your prospect also wants portability or mobility there will be a trade-off between size and weight, as smaller, lighter products don’t have such a high lumens specification.
This is a good time to mention LEDs and bulbs. Some projectors use LEDs as the light source. Such projectors don’t get so hot and don’t require such heavy, noisy fans to cool them down, so they can be built smaller and lighter. LEDs will last longer than a bulb, typically 30,000 hours, longer than the lifetime of the projector. Bulbs will deliver a brighter image but will need to be replaced from time to time. If you are trying to steer a customer towards an LED projector then the cost of replacement bulbs will help your case.
What connections will your customer require?
These days most devices can be connected via HDMI and it is useful to have several HDMI ports if your customer is going to be regularly switching between TV source, DVD player, games console or anything else. It is also worth asking about any other connectivity requirements, like VGA and WiFi. Wirelessly connecting to a source like a smartphone or tablet is a good way of sharing on a big screen all the digital content that people collect: photos, videos, movie clips, training material, YouTube clips and other web-based content.
Last but not least, what resolution will your customer need?
There are a few 4k projectors available for customers with a higher budget. Alternatively, there are plenty of HD projectors on the market.
These days everybody wants a bigger screen; whether at home or at work, they want more impact, more excitement and a more dynamic, immersive experience, whatever they are watching. The plethora of flat screen TVs available serve the market well, but once they get to 65 inches or larger, they become particularly expensive. A good quality projector will deliver an immersive, large screen experience that TVs cannot match. And for mobility or portability the projector is the only solution.
Here, in my opinion, are some interesting projectors it’s worth taking a closer look at:
Philips Screeneo 2.0; pretty much unique for its lounge-friendly Ultra Short-Throw delivery of a 100” HD image from just 44cm away from the wall.
Epson EB-S31; Long Throw office projector delivers 3,200 lumens for less than £300.
ACER Predator Z650 Full HD Gaming Projector; a striking design and short throw projection make it ideal for gaming in bedrooms.
Philips PicoPix PPX4010; no bigger than a computer mouse and weighing only 83g, yet capable of delivering a 100 lumens, 120in image. Perfect to keep with your laptop for impromptu presentations.
Sony VPL-VW 4K projectors; with four in the range, costing from £5,849 to £50,000, there’s something for everyone who needs 4K resolution.