Projector Testing Methodology & Analysis

Updated: Jun 14, 2024 11:15 AM

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Key Takeaways_

  • 84% of projector reviewers are untrustworthy. That means only 16% of publications actually test!
  • Only 15 reviewers publish trusted projector reviews, including RTINGs, Home Theater HiFi, and Tech Gear Lab. These 15 reviewers’ trusted testing methodologies and reviews fuel our Performance Criteria indicators and True Scores.
  • We spent 66 hours total evaluating 92 projector reviewers for thorough testing and transparency.

Projector Category Analysis

Projectors have become essential in both home entertainment and professional settings, yet finding thoroughly tested reviews online remains a challenge. After three years of research, our investigation has shown that 84% of projector reviewers fail to properly test projectors, often lacking evidence of thorough evaluations.

How do we know what to test? Our process involves a meta-analysis of trusted expert testing methodologies, our own testing expertise, and real customer review pain points.

  1. First, we review existing expert methodologies whom we trust and identify their important and frequently-tested Performance Criteria. Both quantitative and qualitatively-tested criteria are considered and collected.
  2. We leverage our testing expertise (we’ve tested and reviewed hundreds of products several years ago) to select the most important Performance Criteria for evaluating routers.
  3. We then validate these Criteria by cross-referencing them with common pain points highlighted in real customer reviews.

This way, we ensure our evaluations are both rigorous and relevant.

Categories of Performance & Performance Criteria

We determined that the 7 Performance Criteria in 2 Categories of Performance below are the most important ones to test based on meta analysis of trusted criteria and expert testing methodologies, customer reviews, and our own testing expertise.

CATEGORY OF PERFORMANCEPERFORMANCE CRITERIAUNIT OF MEASUREMENTDEFINITION
Picture QualitySDR BrightnessLumensThe amount of light the projector outputs from the lamp/bulb and projects onto the screen when playing SDR content.
Picture QualityHDR BrightnessLumensThe amount of light the projector outputs from the lamp/bulb and projects onto the screen when playing HDR content.
Picture QualityContrast Ratiox:yThe difference between the brightest white and darkest black that a projector can produce, expressed as a ratio.
Picture QualityColor Gamut (DCI P3)%The % of colors a projector can produce defined by the gamut. DCI-P3 is commonly used in film.
Picture QualityColor Gamut (Rec. 709)%The % of colors a projector can produce defined by the gamut. Rec. 709 is commonly used by HD TV, and is also known as BT.709.
Picture QualityColor Gamut (Rec. 2020)%The % of colors a projector can produce defined by the gamut. Rec.2020 is commonly used by UHD TV content, as well as HDR content. It is also known as BT.2020.
ResponsivenessInput LagMilliseconds (ms)The amount of time it takes for inputs to be registered and processed by the projector and shown on screen.

To evaluate all these criteria, you can use the following equipment:

IMAGENAMEWHAT IT MEASURESWHY IT’S IMPORTANTPRICE
illuminance meterLight Meter (Lux Meter)Meter) SDR Brightness, HDR Brightness, Contrast RatioMeasures the projector’s brightness to ensure it meets the necessary levels for various viewing conditions.$100 – $500
colorimeterColorimeterColor Gamut (DCI P3, Rec. 709, Rec. 2020)Assesses color accuracy and calibration, ensuring vivid and true-to-life colors.$200 – $1,000
Calibration SoftwareColor Gamut (DCI P3, Rec. 709, Rec. 2020), Contrast RatioSoftware used alongside colorimeters for precise calibration and measurement.$200 – $1,000
Video Signal Input Lag TesterSignal GeneratorInput LagGenerates test signals to measure the delay between input and display, important for gaming performance.$500 – $2,000
OscilloscopeOscilloscopeInput LagMeasures the time delay between input signals and the display output, critical for low-latency gaming.$1,000 – $5,000

What Tests are Quantitative and/or Qualitative? 

Quantitative tests feature something that is either measurable or binary in nature, which includes tests that measure recline angle and weight limit.

Qualitative tests, on the other hand, are based on things that can’t be properly measured or are a “feeling” someone gets. This includes things like setup and ergonomics.

When deciding the Performance Criteria, we looked at customer pain points we found in customer reviews and determined if they could be tested and if the tests are quantitative or qualitative.

Our Trusted Data Sources

Our Trusted Data Sources

We looked at 92 projector reviewers and found that 15 are trustworthy (60%+ Trust Rating). The three we have listed below are our most trusted for projector.

  1. Pierre-Olivier Jourdenais – Rtings, LinkedIn
  2. Geoffrey Morrison – CNET, MuckRack
  3. Kam Valentine – Projector Reviews, MuckRack

Interested in a comprehensive analysis of our data sources? We’ve got you covered. Below, you’ll find a detailed list of every projector review website we’ve identified, organized by their respective Trust Ratings from highest to lowest. But we didn’t stop there. We’ve meticulously reviewed each publication and verified the data by checking whether the authors have bio links to MuckRack or LinkedIn. We’re committed to not only checking the facts but ensuring their veracity.

Usage Cases

After identifying the most important Categories of Performance and Performance Criteria, we categorized them according to real-world applications.

Home Theater

Gaming

  • Important Categories of Performance and Performance Criteria:
    • Picture Quality (SDR Brightness, HDR Brightness, Contrast Ratio, Color Gamut (DCI P3, Rec. 709))
    • Responsiveness (Input Lag)
  • Reasoning: Gamers need projectors that can deliver quick response times and high-quality visuals to ensure an engaging and competitive gaming experience.
  • Related Guides: Projector for Gaming, Optoma Projectors

Business Presentations

  • Important Categories of Performance and Performance Criteria:
    • Picture Quality (SDR Brightness, Contrast Ratio, Color Gamut (Rec. 709))
  • Reasoning: In business settings, projectors need to deliver clear and bright images to ensure that presentations are effective and easily seen by the audience.
  • Related Guides: NEC Projectors, Ceiling Mounted Projector, ViewSonic Projectors

Educational Use

  • Important Categories of Performance and Performance Criteria:
    • Picture Quality (SDR Brightness, Contrast Ratio, Color Gamut (Rec. 709))
  • Reasoning: Educational projectors must be bright and produce clear images to maintain student engagement and ensure that instructional content is easily visible.
  • Related Guides: Projector for Classroom, Projector for Church, Projector for Daylight Viewing

Outdoor Projection

  • Important Categories of Performance and Performance Criteria:
    • Picture Quality (SDR Brightness, HDR Brightness, Contrast Ratio, Color Gamut (DCI P3, Rec. 2020))
  • Reasoning: Outdoor projectors need to be exceptionally bright and capable of producing high-quality images to ensure visibility and enjoyment in various outdoor lighting conditions.
  • Related Guides: Outdoor Projector

Wrap-Up

Our Projector Testing Methodology underscores our unwavering commitment to transparency and accuracy in evaluating projector performance. These Performance Criteria fuel our Trust Ratings that we calculate for each reviewer during our ongoing research, which we analyze further in our Projector Trust List. The crazy fact that 84% of projector reviewers lack enough testing emphasizes the need for our meticulous approach.

The Trust Ratings are the bedrock of our Projector True Scores, which is the most accurate product score on the web. Below are our projector reviews sorted by highest True Scores. We invite you to learn more about how we score products with True Scores and how they empower you to make informed buying decisions online.

We also invite expert reviewers to contribute to a more trustworthy and transparent review system. By adopting stringent testing standards and/or supporting our efforts, you help elevate the quality of projector reviews and ensure that consumers can make informed choices based on reliable information.

Let’s commit to higher standards together. Together, we can transform the landscape of projector reviews for the better.

Courtney Fraher Avatar

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