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Tuesday, 19 June 2012

TVs vs. Projectors

One of the practical considerations in the deployment of the project was on the visual output method we would use when deploying the WebBox in the classrooms of low-income schools.

Since the WebBox doesn’t have its own display we need to provide either a projector or a television on which the content can be displayed.

We decided that televisions were the more practical choice based on multiple factors:

  • Image Quality:  The first, and most visible, benefit is the superior image quality of the content on the television, as compared to the projector.
  •  Convenience: The WebBox is attached to the output device by a cable. A  Projector would be at the back of the classroom and away from the projected image – thus the teacher would not able to be close to the projected image to teach and use the WebBox at the same time. A TV will allow the teacher to be near the displayed content so he/she can use the WebBox optimally, within the flow of their class.
  • Bundled Unit: A projector would require a screen to project on, as well as speakers for audio output. TVs have the benefit of bundling all of these into a single unit, making it easier and more organised to use.
  • Ease of Use: A TV is far easier to use than a projector, especially in terms of people’s familiarity with the device. With projectors there are often issues with the settings, focusing the lens and adjusting the location of the projector to set the image size.
  • Image Disturbance: Projectors require the lights to be turned off; light entering the room also causes problems with brightness of the projection. Additionally anything in front of the projector casts shadows on the projection. The image on a TV is not as dependant on external factors.
  • Cost: As mentioned earlier, image quality is superior on a television. Projectors with comparable quality as a TV are considerably more expensive than the TVs themselves. Additionally, a good image quality also depends on having a high end screen to project on - which also drives up the cost.

Although projectors have the advantage of being portable, as well being able to display a larger image, we felt that these were not insurmountable issues and ultimate the benefits of TVs outweighed those of projectors.