Now You See It

When it comes to choosing between a projector and a flat-panel display, experts advise looking at screen size, viewing angle, life span, and durability. They also suggest doing a total cost of ownership, which includes the price of replacement projector bulbs. Sometimes, though, it’s easier to get the facts from your colleagues. That’s why we asked a couple of teachers to tell us…

Why I Like My Flat-Panel Display…

¦ Students love looking at it. “Every student wants to look at a large and beautiful screen,” says Chris Craft, a sixth-grade Spanish and Latin teacher at CrossRoads Middle School in Columbia, South Carolina. “They are unusual in classrooms, so they’re motivational.”

¦ The diverse input set. Teachers appreciate being able to connect the display to a variety of inputs. “I can hook it up to our computers, to cable, or to our in-house video service to deliver media content,” says Steven Anderson, district instructional technologist at Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. “It does a lot more than just display images from a computer. It’s versatile.”

¦ The fantastic sound. “Because the display is mounted, the built-in sound bounces off the wall and fills the room,” Craft says. “When I’m playing a video, every kid can easily hear what’s going on.”

¦ It is user-friendly. “You plug in the computer, hit two buttons, and it’s fired up,” Anderson says.

¦ There are no awkward moments. No matter how close he gets to the display when pointing out content, Craft doesn’t have to be concerned about something projecting onto his back.

¦ It handles high-definition content. “Our digital document cameras have high-definition lenses, so the detail we can see on threedimensional objects and through microscopes is incredible,” says Anderson. ”When viewed through a projector—even ours, which have high lumens levels—there is still a great amount of detail lost. When viewed with our highdefinition flat-panel displays, very little if any detail is lost.”

¦ It makes financial sense. “Three years ago we had 51; now we have more than 60,” Anderson says. “They keep getting bigger, but the cost has stayed the same.”

Why I Dislike My Flat-Panel Display…

¦ The comparatively high initial cost. The up-front cost is higher than that of a projector, according to Anderson. Because of the high price of replacement bulbs, however, a projector costs more in the long run.

¦ It can be hard to see. “It’s a learning process of where and how high to hang them,” Anderson says. “Sometimes the only available wall has sunlight coming in. Projectors can be moved around.”

Why I Like My High-End Projector…

¦ The wand. Craft’s projector has a wand that functions the way a Wii remote does, letting him interact, at a distance, with his board or with content.

¦ The diverse input set. The many inputs include HDMI and VGA.

¦ The terrific projection. Craft’s projector is short throw and can display a large image from a short distance away.

¦ It handles high-definition content. “A lot of good content is being made available in HD,” says Craft. “For example, I use carefully selected YouTube videos that are available in full HD. I can easily embed them into my lesson and play them in full HD.”

¦ Today’s projectors have cool features. Craft loves the moderator feature, which enables him to display the screen from any laptop connected to it (via a network). The narrator feature turns down the video so that he can be heard above it.

Why I Dislike My High-End Projector…

¦ You have to replace the bulb. The life expectancy of the average projector bulb is 2,000 hours. “Bulbs are outrageously expensive—especially the high-end ones, which cost $700 or $800,” Anderson says. “You pay for the projectors five times over because of the bulb replacement.”

Buy Projectors from:

¦ Boxlight
www.boxlight.com

¦ Canon
www.usa.canon.com
¦ Casio
www.casio.com

¦ Christiev
www.christiedigital.com

¦ Dell
www.dell.com

¦ Dukane
www.dukane.com

¦ Epson
www.epson.com

¦ Fujitsu
www.fujitsu.com/us

¦ Hitachi
www.hitachi.us

¦ InFocus
www.infocus.com

¦ Mitsubishi
www.mitsubishi-presentations.com

¦ NEC
nec.com

¦ Optoma
www.optoma.com

¦ Panasonic
www.panasonic.com

¦ Sanyo
us.sanyo.com

¦ Sharp
www.sharpusa.com

¦ Sony
sony.com

¦ Toshiba
www.toshiba.com

¦ Viewsonic
www.viewsonic.com

Buy Flat-Panel Displays from:

¦ Hitachi
hitachi-soft.com

¦ LG
lg.com

¦ Mitsubishi
mitsubishi.com

¦ NEC
nec.com

¦ NextWindow
nextwindow.com

¦ Panasonic
panasonic.com

¦ Samsung
samsung.com

¦ Sony
sony.com

¦ SunBriteTV
sunbritetv.com

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