What type/brand of projector do I need to project AtmosFX digital decorations?

AtmosFX Digital Decorations work with almost any digital projector. Our Digital Decorating Kits are a great all-in-one solution for decorating, but some decorators may need the versatility of a high-end home theater projector or a portable micro-projector. Or, you may have received a projector as a gift and want to use it for digital decorating.

To determine if a projector can play AtmosFX decorations, you'll need to take a look at its compatibility and video input options. To understand how well the projector will perform and how good your decorations will look, you should also consider other factors including throw, brightness, lamp life, and audio options.

Compatibility and Inputs

A great place to start picking a projector is to figure out how to connect and play your AtmosFX digital decorations! There are two methods of connecting you should look for. We recommend finding a projector that can do both, but having only one method to connect can work fine.

  • Method 1 - Connecting a USB stick or SD card to play digital downloads directly from the projector
  • Method 2 - Connecting cables and video inputs on the projector to an external video source

Method 1 - Playing Digital Downloads

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!

Method 2 - Video Inputs

Most projectors have at least one video input option. An HDMI connection is ideal, because it can accept full HD quality video and audio over one convenient cable. Plus, HDMI is the most common connection available on video devices today, including laptop computers.

If you have an older projector that only features standard definition connections, you still have many options to use AtmosFX digital decorations. Try searching for terms like "digital media player" or "HD Multimedia player" on your favorite online electronics store. You will find a number of devices which can be hooked up to a TV or projector to play video files (like our digital downloads) stored on an SD card or USB stick. Just be sure the device can play .MP4 files, has a loop/repeat function, and features a video output option that matches your projector.

The chart below explains some of the most common video cables used in the home today.

Other Factors

Throw Distance and Throw Ratio

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 " What is "throw distance" and how does it work?"

Brightness

While you are selecting a projector, brightness is possibly the most important factor of all to consider. For more information, please visit our Help Center article " What are "lumens" and how are they measured?"

Resolution

Resolution is a description of video quality, measured by the number of pixels in your video image. For more information, please visit our Help Center article " What is "resolution", and how is it measured?"

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 Digital Decorating Kit and Digital Decorating Kit Plus have 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!

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 the Bluetooth feature on our Digital Decorating Kit Plus. 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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