Understanding Projector Resolution [The Complete Guide]

A lot of people who decide to buy a new projector wonder if they should be investing money in getting a high-resolution one.

It’s known that projectors aren’t the best when it comes to resolution. However, things are a little more complicated than this. In this article, we will help you figure out which resolution is more convenient for you.

Understanding What Resolution Means

projector resolution

Resolution means the number of pixels that can be displayed in one image. The more pixels the projector can fit into the image, the higher the resolution of the image.

How is this important? Well, this affects the details of your image. If more pixels appear in the same space, more details can be added, and your image becomes crispier.

Aspect Ratio

From what is mentioned above, you can see that understanding the meaning of resolution is quite simple. However, things can be confusing when you consider aspect ratio as well.

The aspect ratio is the ratio between the width and the height of the projector screen.

It could be 4:3 16:10 16:9 or even 17:9

We will give you more information about the aspect ratio after we go through the most popular types of projector resolutions.

Different Types of Projector Resolutions

You might have heard about any of the available projector resolutions, namely: SVGA, XGA, WUXGA, 1080p, and 4K UHD.

With the evolution of technology, Full HD – or 1080p – has become widely popular. Before, when people could only use XGA, the image was disappointing and pixelated.

Now, you can easily get a clear and detailed image while using your HD laptop that you connect to your HD projector. And although 4K UHD projectors were confined to cinemas, they are now being used at home theaters and offices.

Resolution and Aspect Ratio Chart

Now that you have a better understanding of the most commonly used projector resolutions let’s take a look at their aspect ratios and the total pixels they have.

Here are the resolution charts according to Projector Point

Video Resolution (4:3 aspect ratio).

ResolutionPixels HorizontallyPixels VerticallyTotal Pixels
SVGA800600480,000
XGA1024768786,000
SXGA+140010501,470,000
UXGA160012001,920,000

Widescreen Resolution (16:10 aspect ratio).

ResolutionPixels HorizontallyPixels VerticallyTotal Pixels
720p1280720921,600
1080p192010802,073,600
4K Ultra HD384021608,294,400

Widescreen Resolution (17:9 aspect ratio).

ResolutionPixels HorizontallyPixels VerticallyTotal Pixels
Native 4K409621608,847,360

This is important because the resolution of the projector doesn’t only affect the image. It is crucial to keep in mind that the resolution is compatible with your computer. So, if your projector has an XGA resolution and your PC has a Full HD resolution, things won’t go too well.

Compression Technology

As we just mentioned, it is better to get a projector that has the same resolution as the device you connect to it.

However, a lot of projectors nowadays have a compression technology to fix this issue. If you get a projector that has this feature, it will be able to receive resolutions that are higher than their native resolutions.

If you are going to be using this projector to display images or videos, then this technology will help a low-resolution projector get the job done.

On the other hand, if you are planning to get a projector for your office to display documents and texts, you will have an issue with this technology as well, and the projector will be useless in most cases.

How Much Should You Spend on a New Projector?

One thing that we need to agree on is that the prices of projectors don’t merely depend on their resolution. In fact, the overall display when it comes to color accuracy and contrast has its fair share in determining the price of a specific projector.

But since this is not our main topic, for now, let us focus more on how the resolution affects the prices of different projectors.

You can get a good XGA projector for £300. Yet, we think it is a better option to pay an extra £100 for a 1080p resolution.

Moreover, if you consider other aspects when it comes to pricing a projector, you might find yourself paying thousands of pounds for getting a Full HD resolution in addition to the features mentioned above.

Deciding where you go with this is a matter of perspective. Some people might prefer paying thousands of pounds to get a good Full HD projector; others think that since you are paying much anyways, you might as well invest in a 4K UHD projector.

Should You Get a High-Resolution Projector?

To cut through the hassle, yes. But honestly, this will depend on how you use the projector. The reason we recommend you to get a projector with high resolution is that most of the time, you will need to connect it to a device.

This device could be your laptop, iPad, or any other input device. And most of these devices are high definition, so; it is more convenient to get an HD projector as well.

Even if your current device that you will be connecting to the projector isn’t HD, chances are, you will soon replace it with the device that is.

Final Words

To make an informed decision about the projector that you should get, set up a budget, and try to get as much value for your money as possible.

Also, consider that you are making a long-term investment, so; it is never a bad idea to spend more on the projector.

And last but not least, make sure that whatever you are going to get is compatible with the devices you have, and you can make good use of it.

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