I’m ditching projectors.

I’m pretty well done with projectors in a classroom. Here’s why:

  1. Expensive (especially the limited-lifetime bulbs)
  2. Fragile- knock on off the desk it’s on and you’ve got a dead projector
  3. Slow to warm up
  4. Slow to cool down
  5. Slow to switch between sources
  6. Terrible black rendition
  7. Limited lumen output
  8. Require a clear line-of-sight to the projection surface
  9. Require a projection surface

And so on. Up until now, there had been very poor options to replace projectors- in fact, projectors really were the best option we had available. But with the ever falling price of LED displays, it’s gotten to the point where there’s some price overlap.

In our testing, we’ve found that the minimum size screen that offers readability from the back of a classroom is 70″. Your mileage may vary given room sizes, but in our situation that seems to be it. I have always maintained that for classroom purposes larger displays are always better. The price curve of LED displays is such that as of this writing, the cost of a 70″ is in the $1400 range (ish). The next 5″ to a 75″ will cost a couple thousand more, and the 5″ to a 80″ will bring the total cost to $6000. So 70″ it is.

At that size, you’ve bought a screen that’s as large in display area as most of the staff will have set their projectors to. It’s roughly the size of the workable area on an Interactive White Board. It’s about an even swap.

Cost wise, it seems to be radically more expensive, but it’s not: The cost of an HD Projector is in the ballpark of $800. Add a spare bulb to that ($350) and a mount ($450) and you’re at $1550.

See what I mean?