Our FAQs

Tips for projector care

One of the most common areas we are called on to support with is projection. Lamps can blow and images can become blurry and a lot of this can be avoided with the correct care. Of course, if there is a serious issue with your projector, we can offer maintenance support but these little tips may save you time and money looking for unnecessary replacements, whatever brand your projector is.

  1. Let your projector lamp cool – This is one of the most common reasons for shortened lives. Make sure that you do not move the projector when it is in a power down mode and if you have an older model with an on/off switch, turn the lamp off first and then the rest of the projector.
  2. Clean your projector filter – Dirty filters can cause the projector to overheat, which can lead to burnt out lamps. By using a can of compressed air once every couple of months, you can avoid any build up and save money on replacements. Make sure the environment that the projector is located in is also clean. New builds can often affect projectors due to brick dust or air pollution.
  3. Take advantage of Eco-mode – Not only does using Eco-mode help boost your green credentials, it could also help your projector last longer. This setting uses less brightness from the lamp, so if you don’t need optimum brightness and can settle with this, it’s a great way to save energy and longevity.
  4. Do not move or shake the projector – Lamps are very sensitive to movement, so do not move your projector when the lamp is on, or even powering down. It will shorten the lamp life, or burst it completely. The electronics in the product are equally as sensitive, so don’t think that a wallop will help!
  5. Give your projector space – The fan on your DLP or LCD projector needs room so that the heat of the lamp can be dispersed. Keeping the fan exhaust a couple of feet away from surfaces will prevent your projector from overheating.
  6. Safely change the projector lamp – changing your lamp can be simple for the most part but if you are stuck, we can arrange for one of our engineers to help. There are a few factors to bear in mind when changing the lamp yourself. Make sure you check the instruction manual before attempting, as it is a very fragile lamp and although it only requires turning a few screws, all projectors are different. DO NOT touch the glass housing on the lamp, as oils from your fingers can cause the bulb to burn out. Handle with care using the metal housing for optimum lamp life.

What is 4K?

You may also hear the terms Ultra HD or Quad HD used but all of these mean the same thing. 4K products, which so far mainly involve screens that have a resolution of 3840 x 2160 instead of the usual 1920 x 1080 res found on current Full HD televisions. It gives the picture a lot more clarity and detail due to more pixels and makes 3D viewing a lot more comfortable. As screens get bigger, 4K will be a necessity so that the image can stretch across wider surfaces. 4K content is still rather uncommon but this is likely to change as experts are already discussing 8K (double the size of 4K!)

What are IP specifications (e.g. IP55, IP48 etc)?

IP (Ingress Protection) codes define how well a piece of equipment is protected from the external environment. The first digit defines the protection level against “solids”, the second against “liquids”. Below is the breakdown for the digits:
For the first digit:
0 = No protection
1 = Protected against objects greater than 50 mm diameter (hands)
2 = Protected against objects greater than 12 mm diameter (fingers)
3 = Protected against objects greater than 2.5 mm diameter (tools)
4 = Protected against objects greater than 1.0 mm diameter (small tools)
5 = Dust protected
6 = Dust tight

For the second digit:
0 = Not protected
1 = Protected against dripping water (i.e. vertical plane)
2 = Protected against dripping water up to 15 degree angle
3 = Protected against spraying water
4 = Protected against splashing water
5 = Protected against water jets
6 = Protected against heavy seas
7 = Protected against effects of immersion
8 = Protected against submersion

What is Scanning Frequency?

Different source devices’ outputs have different vertical and horizontal scanning frequencies. For example, VGA (640 x 480 resolution) can be as low as 32 Hz Horizontal and 60 Hz Vertical, and SXGA can be up to 81 Hz Horizontal and 76 Hz Vertical. In order for the display device to be compatible with your source device, it must have a range that covers your requirement.

How do DLP (Digital Light Processor) projectors work?

In DLP projectors, the image is created by microscopically small mirrors laid out in a matrix on a semiconductor chip, known as a Digital Micromirror Device (DMD). Each mirror represents one or more pixels in the projected image.


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How do LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) projectors work?

LCD projectors employ a three-panel LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) system, referred to as 3LCD. LCD projectors crisply reproduce bright, naturally colored images that are easy on the eyes. LCD projectors are also capable of detailed shadow reproduction that is ideal for demanding business and home theatre applications.

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What is the difference between HD 1080i and 1080p?

1080i and 1080p are both High Definition display formats for HDTVs. 1080i and 1080p signals actually contain the same information. Both 1080i and 1080p represent a 1920×1080 pixel resolution (1,920 pixels across the screen by 1,080 pixels down the screen). The difference between 1080i and 1080p is in the way the signal is sent from a source component, or displayed on an HDTV screen.

In 1080i each frame of video is sent or displayed in alternative fields. The fields in 1080i are composed of 540 rows of pixels or lines of pixels running from the top to the bottom of the screen, with the odd fields displayed first and the even fields displayed second. Together, both fields create a full frame, made up of all 1,080 pixel rows or lines, every 30th of a second.
In 1080p, each frame of video is sent or displayed progressively. This means that both the odd and even fields (all 1,080 pixel rows or pixel lines) that make up the full frame are displayed together. This results in a smoother looking image, with less motion artifacts and jagged edges.

What are the differences between HDMI 1.3 and 1.4?

  1. HDMI 1.4 has a much higher resolution compared to 1.3.
  2. HDMI 1.4 totally supports 3D while 1.3 only supports 3D in 1080i.
  3. HDMI 1.4 is equipped with an audio return channel not present in HDMI 1.3.
  4. HDMI 1.4 has an Ethernet channel while 1.3 does not.
  5. HDMI 1.4 defines a newer cable standard than in 1.3.

How can I remove permanent ink from a SMART Board interactive whiteboard?

You can use a cleaner such as Expo Board Doctor or, if you have dry-erase markers (but not non-scented markers), you can cover the permanent ink with the ink from a dry-erase marker, and then wipe the surface with a soft cloth or paper towel. If any trace of the original permanent ink remains, spray a cloth with standard glass or whiteboard cleaner and wipe the area clean.

What is touch resolution and what level is required?

Touch resolution is the level of precision available for touch control on a SMART Board interactive whiteboard. Most projectors have a resolution of 800 × 600 or 1024 × 768. The SMART Board interactive whiteboard has a touch resolution of at least 2000 × 2000, which is roughly five times that of the highest resolution commonly provided by a projector. Greater precision is not required.

How can I make my screen image fit the interactive whiteboard?

Try using the zoom lens or moving the projector to enlarge or reduce the image size.
If that doesn’t work, the image resolution of your computer may not match that of your projector. Change the computer resolution to match the projector’s optimal resolution. To find out what the optimal resolution is, consult the documentation that came with your projector.

To change your Windows computer resolution setting:

  1. From the Start menu, select Settings & Control Panel
  2. Double-click Display on the Windows Control Panel
  3. Click the Settings tab on the Display Properties dialog box.
  4. Drag the slider to adjust the resolution setting to match your projector resolution.
  5. Click the Apply button, and then click OK.
  6. Restart your computer, if prompted.

What causes the projected image on my interactive whiteboard to shimmer?

The projected image may appear shaky if the computer was turned on before your projector. Turn off the computer, restart the projector, and then restart the computer and any other components you’re using.
If the image is still shaky, read your projector manual to find out if you can adjust the projector to correct this issue. Also make sure that the resolution of the computer matches the resolution of the projector and change it if necessary. To find out what the optimal resolution is, read the documentation that came with your projector.

To change your Windows computer resolution setting:

  1. From the Start menu, select Settings & Control Panel.
  2. Double-click Display on the Windows Control Panel.
  3. Click the Settings tab on the Display Properties dialog box.
  4. Drag the slider to adjust the resolution setting to match your projector resolution.
  5. Click the Apply button, and then click OK.
  6. Restart your computer, if asked.

You must orient the interactive screen after you’ve changed the resolution. Press the SMART Board icon in the system tray, select <strong>Orient</strong> and follow the on-screen instructions.

Which orientation precision should I use?

You can choose an orientation level that best matches your need for time and precision. You can choose:

  • Quick orientation, which requires four presses. This setting is handy if the interactive whiteboard gets moved or jostled during a presentation.
  • Standard orientation, which requires nine presses and provides a slightly higher level of accuracy.
  • Fine orientation, which requires 20 presses and is recommended for higher-resolution systems.

To change the orientation level, open the SMART Board control panel and select SMART Board Settings. In the SMART Board Settings dialog box, select Alignment/Orientation Precision from the list.


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