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  Home Theatre Projectors, Dell, InFocus and Sanyo 
  Nov 14, 2003, 09:30am EST 


By: Sander Sassen

Contrast is a much more important factor to consider as the contrast ratio of a projector tells us how large the difference is between the projector projecting a black and a white image. Contrast is directly related to the readability of the projected image, whether we project in a darkened or well lit room and at any projected image size. Many LCD projectors have a contrast ratio of 400:1 which means that the lumen output of a projected white image is 400 times greater than that of a projected black image. A projector with a higher contrast ratio will always project a richer image with more better color saturation than a projector with a lower contrast ratio simply because the difference between black and white is greater.

LCD contrastDLP contrast

Fig 2. Contrast comparison of two projectors, left is LCD, right is DLP, notice the details in the right image.

For home theatre the contrast ratio is one of the most important factors because we project in a darkened room. If the projector does not have a sufficient contrast ratio the projector will seem to project black as a dark grey. When watching movies with lots of dark scenes details will fade away into the gray as the projector is unable to display sufficient contrast levels to bring out the fine details. So the contrast ratio of a projector is very important, the higher the better. A higher contrast ratio will always pay off, under any condition.

1. Introduction
2. Lumen output
3. Contrast
4. Resolution
5. Noise levels
6. LCD, liquid crystal display
7. DLP, digital light processing
8. How we tested
9. Results, lumen output
10. Results, specifications
11. Conclusion

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