TV vs. Projector: In 2020, What’s Best for Your Conference or Meeting Room?
For as long as humans have been having meetings, visual aids have been essential for delivering the message. Cave paintings, chalk boards, flip charts, overhead transparencies, slides, film, whiteboards, projectors, televisions…
What solution makes the most sense in 2019?
SPOILER ALERT: It’s not the same for everyone.
There are a wide variety of options to consider in 2019. Visual aids have come a long way, especially over the past couple years. Today, companies typically choose a solution from one of two categories.
Meeting Room Projector
Projectors are the most common display in today’s meeting rooms—and with good reason. They are by far the easiest and most cost-effective way to get a big screen in your meeting or conference room. With an adjustable projection area, they offer great flexibility when it comes to maximizing the space available in your collaboration space. However, they require a bit more build-out and investment to seamlessly integrate into your room. To get a true plug-and-play experience, you’ll want your projector to be ceiling mounted and the necessary power and display cables routed (preferably through the ceiling/wall) to a convenient location, allowing you to easily connect it to a dedicated presentation PC or laptop. A ceiling mounted projector and screen combo can also free up a ton of real estate by eliminating the need to leave dedicated space for a cart to be parked in the middle of the room. It could also block someone's view (which is one of the most common mistakes when planning a meeting space). That said, built-in isn’t always necessarily the way to go. If you often find yourself changing the room layout and the direction your presenter typically faces when delivering their content, a mobile solution might be just what the doctor ordered.
There are a few key factors you’ll want to consider when shopping around for a meeting or conference room projector:
- The Lighting Situation: Projectors are great tools when the conditions are right. If your meeting or conference room has an exterior wall (or two) you’ll want to look at projectors with at least 2500 lumens of brightness. Anything less, and your content will be washed out and very difficult to see.
- Startup Time: Because many projectors still use traditional lamp bulbs, they take a bit of time (sometimes upwards of a couple minutes) to heat up to full brightness, which can be a bit annoying if your team needs to get down to business right away at a moment’s notice.
- Heat: This is probably one of the most often overlooked side effects of having a projector in your conference room. Projector lamps generate considerable heat. If you’re working in a smaller space, you can rest assured things are going to get toasty after an hour or more.
RELATED READ: 5 Ways Video Conferencing Tech Can Improve Your Meeting
Meeting Room TV (or Monitor)
As the prices of high-definition and ultra-high-definition screens continue to fall, it’s become more and more common to see TVs as the dedicated presentation display in meeting and conference rooms. When looking to replace their aging projectors, many organizations are opting to make the switch to large televisions. The most common reason: It’s typically an overall better experience. We’ve all been in those meetings, squinting to make out what’s on the pixelated projector screen on the other side of the room. The image quality and pixel density of a backlit 4K (or 8K) monitor or TV is miles better than any meeting room projector. A high-resolution display is an essential piece of meeting room tech if your projects require color accuracy or your team is working with small text. They’re also a bit less finicky when it comes to initial configuration than their projector counterparts we mentioned above. Setup is much easier, with no worries about calibrating focus, projection picture area, or bringing in an electrician to run wires your ceiling mounted projector and retractable screen. Most televisions also come with built in speakers, so there’s no reason to worry about finding an add-on audio solution either.
That said, using a television as your dedicated presentation display doesn’t come without some compromises. A better picture comes at a premium; most decent projectors can typically support a projection area of about 100 inches. High definition TVs that produce the same size image often cost at least 5 to 10 times as much as their projector counterparts. If you have to move your technology from room to room, a big-screen TV on a mobile cart is far more unwieldy to maneuver and work around than a projector. BUT, you don’t sacrifice seating room in the middle of your space or have to worry about participants in the middle having their view blocked. This is definitely something to keep in mind if space is a precious resource.
When vetting a TV for your meeting or conference space, you'll want to account for the following factors:
- Pixel density: Though the price of that 65 inch TV may be enticing, you'll want to ensure that your screen is a high enough resolution to read small text from across the room. At screen sizes of 65 inches and larger, you'll definitely want the picture quality of a 4K (also known a UHD or ultra-high-definition) display.
- Mounting flexibility: You'll want to be sure your screen support the industry VESA for maximum compatibility with floor, wall, ceiling, and mobile mounting solutions.
- Port placement: Depending on what mounting solution, port placement can be a make-or-break factor in the usability of your new display.
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