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What Is A Smart Projector?

What Is A Smart Projector?

No matter the gathering or occasion, a projector can always come in handy. 

However, you generally need a laptop, an HDMI cord, and a bulky projector to put that image on the wall. In the end, the hassle of a standard projector might be too much.

Look no further than the newest technology: smart projectors. A more powerful, portable, and user-friendly advancement in the projector industry.

Great for indoor and outdoor use as well as simple streaming functionality, a smart projector’s entertainment value is nearly unmatched. With all its versatility, smart projectors can make events more enjoyable–whether it be a movie on Netflix, a video game stream, or a photo slideshow. 

Knowing the in’s and out’s of a smart projector and how it works can be a loaded question. Understanding all of its functions will help you understand why it’s labeled as a completely different product than a standard projector.

This article will break down the main features of a smart projector and what to expect.

What Makes A Smart Projector Different Than A Standard Projector?

You can slap a “smart” label on any product these days and it will attract both appeal and confusion. But what does it mean and what makes it different from a standard projector?

Smart projectors have many new features but the main takeaway is that smart projectors have their interface, operating system, apps, and Wi-fi capabilities. That alone makes them very versatile and rids the need for various accessory products. Instead of hooking it up to your laptop or other devices, the smart projector uses its own computer to download and stream apps like Netflix, Hulu, and HBO Max (plus many more).

Its built-in Wi-Fi connection allows for endless possibilities. Along with app capabilities, smart projectors can connect with gaming consoles without the need for an HDMI cord, Roku, or Amazon Fire TV Stick.

While that is the main feature of these next-gen projectors, there are so many consolidated improvements that give its “smart” moniker.

1. Portability

portable projector

Some of the smallest ones can weigh as little as a pound, making them portable enough for outdoor use. In contrast, most old school projectors are about the size of a textbook.

2. Resolution

Some smaller smart projectors compromise for their portability by sacrificing resolution. Other more high-end smart projectors have 4K Smart LED displays that are more detailed no matter the size of the screen.

It mostly depends on where the consumer would like to use their smart projector and how much they are willing to pay for it. Those planning on using a smart projector outdoors may settle for a lower resolution while those looking to upgrade their home theater will pay for the higher quality visuals.

3. Light Source

projector lamp

Smart projectors replaced LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) lamps with LED (Light-Emitting Diode) lamps equipped with DLP (Digital Light Processing) technology. While all those terms sound very technical, it results in a better product with numerous benefits.

DLP projectors are made with millions of tiny mirrors that produce a sharper image, have a longer lifespan, and do not dim over time. They are also more environmentally friendly because it no longer requires a glass bulb, which contains mercury.

4. Lumens

Lumens or lux is the unit of measurement for illumination or brightness. 

A higher amount of lumens is required when in brighter spaces, such as outdoors. As such, fewer lumens are needed for darker rooms like home theaters. 

Smart projectors are expected to be 2,000 lumens or higher but smaller smart projectors compromise for their portability. However, they should still be around 1,500 lumens.

5. Voice Control

remote control and projector

Smart projectors are compatible with Alexa, Siri, and other speech recognition software. You can command your smart projector to turn off/on and other remote functions (pause, resume, volume up/down, etc.).

6. Built-In Speakers

Another perk of smart projectors is the speakers, which eliminates the need for a Bluetooth speaker device. While it does not have a high range of sound (another setback of its smaller stature), it has standard speakers on par with smartphones and tablets.

7. Image-Correction Features

The process of setting up a projector and manually focusing the image may prove bothersome.

Other convenient features of smart projectors include auto focus and auto keystone. Smart projectors not only sharpen the image for you but corrects to a rectangular shape when at an angle.

8. Short-Throw

short-throw projector

Another huge pain of using a standard projector was moving it far enough from the wall to project the image large enough to your liking. Others found a solution by mounting the projector.

Smart projectors have “short-throw” features that require only some inches from the wall to blow up that image.

9. Eye-Protection

On the off chance, someone stares into the projector, built-in ultrasonic sensors temporarily shut off the lens when objects come too close to the lens.


Those are the main capabilities and improvements of a smart projector and what sets them apart from their older counterparts.

Be aware that not all smart projectors will have all the same features. The models with more features and higher-end specs will cost more.

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