A projector’s resolution is the number of individual pixels it can display onscreen. Higher resolutions offer clearer and sharper images, so projecting an image in HDTV quality, for example, is a lot more detailed than SDTV quality.
It’s also important to know what native resolution means. This resolution displays at the size the projector starts operating at its best. If you don’t select this size when you set up your projector, it may not work as well with different types of content. Here, we will explore projector native resolution vs. supported resolution.
What Is a Projector’s Native Resolution?
A projector’s native resolution is the number of pixels found in its DMD chip, expressed as horizontal pixels multiplied by vertical pixels, for example, 1280×800, or 1920×1080. This is the maximum resolution it can display. So if you are considering purchasing a new projector and want to be able to watch high-quality images, you need to make sure the native resolution is adequate for your needs.
What Is a Projector’s Supported Resolution?
Most projectors list three resolutions: their native resolution, maximum supported resolution, and minimum supported resolution. While your projector doesn’t have to have the same resolution as your TV, you will usually want to set it at a close level. Still, if you buy a projector with a lower native resolution than that of your TV, then you can use the image scaler on your television to make up the difference. To do this, you will need to find out what resolutions are supported by your TV and ensure that the native resolution of the projector is supported.
Supported resolutions are often listed on the projector’s product page. You can find this on the manufacturer’s website and online retailers like Amazon.com. On some products, you will have to look under the technical specifications section. This is usually toward the bottom of the page. If you don’t know what resolutions your projector supports, you should check your manual or contact your provider.
Difference Between Native Resolution and Supported Resolution
Projector native resolution is the number of pixels in your projector, while projector supported resolutions are the maximum or minimum numbers of pixels that your screen can accept. Most projectors have support for a range of resolutions, so as long as you choose a setting within this range, your image quality should be great.
Native Resolution vs. Supported Resolution: Projector Image Quality
Certain image qualities project better with higher native resolution, while others work better at a lower resolution. Image quality is related to these two factors: pixel density and the amount of light that passes through the lens. If a projector has a higher pixel density, the images are clearer and appear more natural, like those of an HDTV. If the projector has a lower pixel density, then the images are not as detailed. Base your choice on the type of image you plan to project.
For instance, if you’re planning to watch many movies, then buying a projector with a high native resolution will be best because movies have a wide range of colors and noticeable amounts of action. However, if you plan to watch regular TV shows or sporting events, it won’t be as necessary. These types of content don’t need as much detail, so images that are less detailed but easily recognizable are acceptable.
Native Resolution vs. Supported Resolution: Which Should You Choose?
This will depend on several factors, including your viewing needs, budget, and the equipment you already have. If you’re planning to buy a projector to watch HDTV content, you will want to check out the native resolution first so that your image can be as sharp as possible. Also, if you have a large screen or plan to purchase an additional screen in the near future, it would be best to consider if the projector supports resolutions within this range.
If you’re looking for the best projector for home use, you will have to make sure that both native resolution and supported resolutions work well. It’s also important to make sure your projector works with the display capabilities, such as the HDMI port, aspect ratio, and screen size. We’ve found the best 4K projectors for home theaters under $2,000, for the higher end of the spectrum.
Scaling Effects on Projector Image Quality
Scaling will give you more or less detail with the same image. The quality of the image on your screen is directly linked to the resolution of your projector, and when this changes, the image quality may change as well. This can happen because your projectors’ native resolution can be different from supported resolutions and vice versa.
Some projectors have a less detailed native resolution, while others have a higher native resolution. Because your magnification also relates to your projection distance, you may end up with poor image quality if you choose the wrong scale for your projector. That means it won’t be able to show all the detail of your movie on a large screen when you scale it down.
While higher native resolution typically leads to better image quality, this isn’t always the case. Your projector’s native resolution could be less detailed than its supported resolutions. This means you may need to use a different setting when you want to watch movies. In addition to this, make sure that your screen is big enough for your projector and that you have a compatible connection. Also, check the product page of the projector you are interested in buying to see if its supported resolutions are within your budget and how it will work with your existing equipment.
Best Selling 4K Projectors
- ✶【380 ANSI LM & Portable Native 1920*1080P & 10000:1 Contrast Ratio】AYO1 outdoor projector adopts the exclusive optical system and BSCO panel to increase 30%+ brightness and light utilization, depicts crystal clear and bright picture. Innovative space tech packs bold sharper, brighter and more colorful image into a small body, achieve only 2/3 the size,weight and budget of the other 1080P projector. Send with an extra bag to carrying your ultra portable 400” big screen anywhere.
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- ✦【400 ANSI lumens & Native 1080P & 12000:1 Contrast Ratio】Our ONO1 movie projector equips 400 ANSI lumens brightness, 1920x1080P high-definition, contrast ratio of 12000: 1 and outstanding color reproduction, depicts crystal clear and vivid picture. Tiny hair of a bird and a man’s subtle expression can be clearly visible. 300’’ big projection screen brings stunning, immersive viewing experience, not only suitable for watching movies, but also perfect for playing games and watching sports competitions.
Best Selling 1080p Projectors
- ★【Full HD 1080P Resolutions】Projector upgraded brightness 250 ANSI, ultra high contrast ratio of 12000:1, focus and ±15° keystone correction,adopts innovative high-refraction 6 layer lens design, gaming or watching movies with immersive visual experience presenting a real dynamic and color vibrant HD images.
- ★【200" Giant Size】Projector ranges from 36" to 200" for home theater and outdoor movie, comes with built-in dual 5w speakers stereo, feature the original audio fidelity. Projector bluetooth features can connect to speaker wireless or soundbar for presents more detailed sound effect.
- 🔥 【Native 1080P HD & Unique Big Lens Design】- Adopt unique large lens design, the latest Bluetooth projector provides 9500 lumen&12000:1 high contrast&16:9/4:3 aspect ratio, with a native resolution of 1920*1080. LCD color calibration and adjustment technology can restore more complex color details. All these functions and features make the VISOUD projector image sharper and more detailed than other portable projectors, which provides the ultimate outdoor home theater movie viewing fun for you.
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Best Selling 720p Projectors
- HD Viewing: Cutting-edge DLP technology projects a vividly-detailed 720p, 200-ANSI-lumen image up to 100 inches big. Ideal for use in low-light environments.
- Instant Clarity: Get an ultra-sharp, rectangular image from almost any angle with Capsule Max mini projector’s keystoning in and one second autofocus technology
- 【Plug and Play】A newbie for using a projector? Take it easy, this mini projector is design for you! Really easy to set up and use, just need to power on the projector, connect the input source, and then you can start watching. The projector is featured with HDMI, USB, TF Card, VGA, and AV interface that could meet most customer's need.
- 【Small Room Enjoy Big Screen】The portable mini projector has a 32~200 inches projection display size with 1m~5m projection distance. No longer limited by space and distance, you could DIY a perfect home theater. Enjoy a big projection display to watch the video you like at anywhere!