Different Types of Projectors: That You Should Know

Types of Projectors

The first time around, when I was looking for a projector, I came across numerous projector types and models. After going through so many options, I could only think: how many kinds of projectors exist?

Thereafter, I finally compiled a list to make a more informed buying decision. It is what I will share with you today.

Top 10 Projector Types and Their Features:

1. LCD Projector

LCD Projector

LCD refers to the light source of the projector. Generally speaking, such projectors consist of three liquid crystal display lamps.

While they might not provide you with high contrast output, they are better than the earlier slide projectors and can reproduce color effectively.

2. DLP Projector

DLP Projector

DLP stands for Digital Light Processing. It is named so because light passes through reflecting mirrors and the color wheel (not necessarily in that order) before passing through a lens.

These modulate the light to ensure that the display is accurate. DLP projector is popular because of its portability as well as lightweight design.

3. LED Projector

LED Projector

An LED projector is arguably one of the most modern projectors you can go with. It is easy to connect with any device like a laptop or mobile. Whether you want to project a video image, it can do so at high resolutions. It will most likely come with a remote when you buy one, making it easy to operate.

Whether you want to take it with you or mount it on a ceiling, you can do so easily.

The only downside is that the fan inside produces a bit of noise. However, fan noise is negligible if you go with the more expensive models.

4. LCOS Projector

LCOS Projector

LCOS is the abbreviation for Liquid Crystal on Silicon; it is somewhat similar to the LCD projector. The difference is because it splits the light into the red, blue, and green components. After that, the light is passed through three different LCD imagers. These images pass them through the LCD cells and project them.

The high resolution and precise color reproduction have made these projectors famous.

5. CRT Projector

CRT Projector

CRT stands for Cathode Ray Tube. The name is derived from a cathode ray tube inside the projector. It generates images with excellent brightness. On the front, a lens focuses the image onto the screen.

6. 4K Projector

4K Projector

4K refers to the resolution here. In a nutshell, it can project images and videos at 4K resolution. Since it is one of the latest projectors available, it offers a USB port and even Bluetooth connectivity in some instances.

These projectors are famous for their small size and excellent portability. You can mount them on the ceiling or use them on a stand-alone basis.

7. Laser Projector

Laser Projector

Want a projector that can deal with high contrast?

If so, a laser projector can serve you well. Also, they have an extensive operating temperature range making them perfect for any outdoor use. The low-maintenance design and vivid color reproduction indeed help them stand out.

8. Pocket Projector

Pocket Projector

True to its name, it is a projector which you can easily carry around in your pocket. While it might not offer high resolution, it certainly works well for a portable projector.

9. Short Throw Projector

Short Throw Projector

Short throw projectors are specifically designed for indoor use. They are used to project the image or the videos onto the screen pretty close to the projector. The usual throw distance is 3 to 4 feet.

These projectors aim to project without producing any glare effect. That is why the visibility is excellent.

Often, even at a short distance, they can generate an image of 100 inches. It makes them perfect for classrooms, commercial applications as well as offices.

There is also another subcategory known as ultrashort throw projectors among this category.

These ultrashort throw projectors work efficiently from 3 inches to 20 inches. At this short distance, they can project 100 inches of the image pretty clearly.

Thus, this type is categorized by the shortest distance to project the image without glare.

10. Long-Throw Projector

Long-Throw Projector

Many times, the distance between the screen and the projector is high. It is when you need a long throw projector. Usually, such projectors can project at 6 feet from the screen. They can easily project an image of 100 inches at such a distance.

When dealing with large crowds or wanting to project images or videos outdoors, that is when these projectors come in handy.

How to Choose Between Different Projector Types?

Are you confused about the different types? If so, there are a few tips which can help you choose the right one.

Consider the Application

Always choose the projector according to the application for which you will use it. That way, you can select the projector to conduct presentations, video conferences, and so on.

Do Not Ignore the Cost

Theoretically, it would be best to always go with the best projector. However, that means you will have to spend a lot. Considering the same, you have first to determine the budget and make a buying decision.


Many times, you need to use the projector in a single place. In that case, wall-mounted projectors are a good choice.

If you’re looking for a portable one, ensure it is lightweight and easy to carry. Considering these three factors, the task of choosing a projector becomes easier.

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. What is lumen in a projector?

Lumen is the measurement of the brightness which the projector can project. To give you an idea, the brightness of a candle is around 14 lm, and the brightness at the movie set is about 1000 lm.

2. How many lumens do you need for a good projector?

The brightness requirement of a projector can vary according to the application. If you’re buying one for your home theatre system, the minimum brightness needed is 1500 lm. For classrooms, the same is 2500 lm.


Personally, after understanding all these types of projectors, making the buying decision was easier for me. I hope that once you go through the buying guide above and the different options available, you can choose the right one.