What projectors work best with AtmosFX digital decorations?

The AtmosKIT Plus is a perfect all-in-one solution for decorating, but there are lots of projectors in the world designed for a wide variety of uses. If you're considering a new projector, this article can help you find the perfect option for decorating.

The first question to consider is how you will play the decorations, but we'll also consider topics like resolution, brightness, projection size, and audio options.

AtmosFX Digital Decorations are downloadable video files that work with almost any projector. Many projectors can play these files internally, or you might connect a different device to play the videos if needed.

Playing Decorations on the Projector

Playing digital downloads directly on a projector is the most convenient method for digital decorating. You’ll need to check for the following features/settings on the projector:

  • Accepts storage media like USB or SD card
  • Plays .mp4 files, the video format we use for digital downloads
  • Has a "repeat" or "loop" function to continuously play the decorations

If the projector can do all three of these things, then you’re ready to grab some digital downloads and start decorating!

Playing Decorations through Video Inputs

If your projector can't play the decorations internally, find out what type of video inputs it has. An HDMI connection is ideal, because it can accept full HD quality video and audio over one convenient cable.

You can use the HDMI input to connect a video device like the Sprite Media Player to play the decorations. Many laptop computers today also have an HDMI video option, or you might need an accessory cable to make the connection. If you need to shop for a different video player option, just be sure the device can play .MP4 files, has a loop/repeat function, and features a video output option that matches your projector.

If you have an older projector that only features standard definition connections, you still have many options. The chart below explains some of the most common video cables used in the home today.

What is Resolution and How is it Measured?

AtmosFX decorations are HD quality, so getting a true HD projector will deliver the best high-quality effects. Nearly all of our decorations are 1080p HD except for our three oldest collections; Triple Thrill Pack, Shades of Evil, and Blood Walls which are only 720p HD.

If you're shopping for projectors online, buyer beware! Quite a few budget projectors on the market today describe themselves as being HD projectors because they can play HD video files. However, just because they accept HD quality videos, doesn’t mean you get an HD quality projected image. Look for the “Native Resolution” information in the projector’s description. If the second number in the resolution is any lower than 720, the projector is not HD.

1080p quality is 1920 pixels by 1080 pixels (pixels can also be written as 1920px by 1080px). The first number measures the number of pixels from left to right, and the second number measures the number of pixels from top to bottom. 720p (1280px by 720px) is the minimum resolution is to be considered HD video, so anything lower than that is considered standard resolution. Here's a comparison of the most common resolutions:

How Can I Compare Brightness?

If you're considering multiple projector options, brightness is one of the most common factors to consider but also one of the most difficult to compare. Multiple factors affect brightness, including contrast ratio and lumens measurements, and projector manufacturers often model these measurements differently. If you find a budget projector with very high numbers that seem too good to be true, they probably are. It's often better to judge a projector's quality by qualified reviews than by comparing their specifications.

To learn a bit more about projector brightness and how to measure it, ;please visit our Help Center article "What are "lumens" and how do they measure brightness?"

How Long is the Lamp Life?

Most projectors today use long-lasting LEDs instead of old-fashioned bulbs, which needed frequent replacement. The amount of time your projector’s LED will shine before it burns out is called the “lamp life”. If you want to use a projector year after year, lamp life is very important. For example, the AtmosKIT Plus projector has a lamp life of 30,000 hours. That means if you were to keep an AtmosFX projector on every night for 12 hours, the LED can last almost 7 years. That’s a lot of decorating!

What is the Projection Size?

Throw describes the distance of the projector from your projection surface, as well as the size of your projected image. For more information, please visit our Help Center article "How far away should I place my projector from the projection surface?"

What are the Audio Options?

Last, but certainly not least, find out what kind of audio options are available on any projector you’re considering. Having both a built-in speaker and a headphone jack is very helpful. Some projectors even feature wireless speaker options, like Bluetooth. If a projector does not have wireless audio but does have a headphone jack, you can connect a wireless transmitter of your own for the same experience.

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