Buying Guide: How to choose your projector

What brightness? What resolution? Which additional features? Our buying guide helps you select the ideal projector for any environment – from offices, boardrooms and public spaces to classrooms, auditoriums and lecture theatres.

Banner graphic representing a buying guide to Sony's professional projectors.

What kind of projector should I buy?

It depends what you need it for. Our compact desktop and portable projectors are easy to carry between meeting rooms. For larger venues like lecture halls, you’ll need the higher light output, advanced features and greater connectivity options of our installation projectors.

 

Interior of a modern boardroom, with a projector mounted to the ceiling.

Portable projectors

Designed to be mounted on a wall or ceiling, installation projectors tend to be bigger, brighter and heavier. If you want a projector that can be moved easily between small classrooms and meeting spaces, portable models such as our light and compact VPL-CWZ10 comes with 5,000 lumens of brightness and features such as quick start-up.

Meeting rooms and classrooms

In compact spaces, a bright and stable image is essential for ensuring that the audience stays focused.

Our industry-first compact 5,000 lumens compact laser projectors are perfect for this, with instant on/off function and minimal maintenance allowing for seamless meetings and lessons.

Large venues

In large venues like lecture theatres and churches, the projector will likely need to be installed further back from the screen. If you choose a standard throw projector, you will need to consider the audience sizes, as explained below.

Empty presentation space, with rows of chairs facing towards a podium and a projected screen depicting business data.

How many people will be in the room and how big is it?

The more people in the room, the bigger the picture will need to be. Image size and projection distance are important factors to consider as a greater throw distance means the luminosity decreases while travelling to the screen.

Up to 20 people

For an audience of 10–20 people in a small conference room, 3,000–3,500lm should be sufficient. Our versatile VPL-CWZ10 delivers 1.29:1 to 2.07:1 and a 1.5:1–2.2:1 throw ratio that can accommodate most classrooms and meeting rooms.

Up to 50 people

For a medium-sized meeting room or classroom with up to 50 participants, 5,000lm would accommodate the larger projection dimensions. Our 5,000lm P-series laser projectors produce high-contrast images with sharp clarity, perfect for corporate and education environments.

Up to 100 people

In larger rooms with audiences of around 100 people, an ultra-bright projector with 5,000lm upwards would provide increased brightness and image clarity. Our F-series laser projectors emit up to 13,000lm – ample brightness for large lecture theatres, auditoriums and public venues.

How bright is the room?

The brightness you require of your projector will also depend on lighting conditions in the room in which you intend to use it. The brighter the ambient light in the room, the brighter the projector must be.

Image showing the difference between a dark and a light room.

Ambient light and lumens

If you have a home cinema in which lights can be completely dimmed, 1,500lm would be sufficient. However, in business settings with a lot of ambient light, high luminance of at least 3,000lm will display stronger contrast. Our VPL-FHZ58 projector has 4,200lm of brightness, whilst the Bright View feature of the VPL-PHZ60 and VPL-PHZ50 delivers easy-to-see images even in the brightest of environments.

Ambient light and contrast

A contrast ratio of 3,000:1 is usually enough for rooms with ambient light, however 5,000:1 would offer greater clarity in daylight or artificial light conditions. The higher the contrast, the sharper and more natural the image will appear. Our VPL-EX455 has a high 20,000:1 contrast ratio, ensuring images and text are crisp and detailed in any environment.

Image showing the comparison between a blurred photo of a mountain climber, with a mountain in the background, versus a crisp HD one.

What will you use the projector for?

The type of content you intend to display will affect the resolution required. Higher resolution means sharper graphics, which can be important when projecting detailed charts, text or high-definition videos.

WXGA for presentations

WXGA (1280 x 800) is ideal for delivering high-resolution presentations direct from a laptop or PC, including spreadsheets and numeric data. Our VPL-CWZ10 model delivers detail-packed images with rich, stable colours. At 80% of the quality of 1080p, WXGA offers a high-quality, lower-cost alternative to 1080p, perfect for education settings.

WUXGA for high-definition content

If displaying more detailed images with technical data, small text or professional photography, WUXGA would be best suited. WUXGA (1920 x 1200) models, such as the VPL-PHZ12, give even more detail and greater brightness than Full HD, perfect for showcasing business and professional content.

Native 4K for large installations

Native 4K (4096 x 2160) is a popular future-proof option for high-end home cinema and visitor attraction applications. Our range of 4K SXRD laser simulation projectors deliver bright, high-contrast images ideal for museums, galleries and planetariums.

Which additional features do you need?

Our projectors have an array of additional features to support different requirements. Whether you need a multi-screen display or flexibility to change lenses for different applications, there’s a range of optional elements to consider.

Abstract graphic showing possible features and settings of Sony projectors, including 4K HDR.

Edge blending and warp capabilities

Our VPL-FHZ75 and VPL-FHZ70 have edge blending and warp capabilities, enabling seamless joining of images from multiple projectors. This is ideal for super-size displays in corporate and education settings and for visitor attraction installations.

Intelligent Settings

Intelligent Settings offer presets that optimise brightness, colour, cooling and other settings to simplify installation and ongoing operation. Selected projectors such as the VPL-FHZ131L, VPL-FHZ101L and VPL-FHZ91L are equipped with an Advanced Intelligent Settings function to control the temperature of the environment and other parameters for long-term stable operation.

Interchangeable lenses

Models such as the VPL-GTZ240 and our F-series laser projectors offer optional lenses for broader application possibilities to suit different sized rooms and throw requirements. Typically, these are used in auditoriums and museums where there are space constraints and the projector might need to be installed further back from the screen.

Lens shift

Usually a projector is installed centred horizontally with the screen. However, if it needs to be off-centre it will need to be turned, which will cause the image to become a trapezoid. Lens shift is a mechanism included in models such as the VPL-PHZ60 and VPL-PHZ50 that preserves the quality and aspect ratio of the image, allowing it to be moved without tilting the projector.

Front-facing image of a Sony laser projector.

Explore our range of projectors

Affording brilliant image quality, reliable operation and a choice of additional features to suit any application – discover our full range of projectors.

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