When it is time to add or renew the display technology in a classroom, the first choice is usually between whether to install a TV (sometimes known as a Display) or a Data Projector.
This guide provides a list of things to consider and in which ways either a TV or Projector might best meet your needs.
As with any technology decision, you should also consult with students and teachers and connect with other schools to ascertain their experiences. Specialist audio-visual companies will also be able to give further advice and recommendations.
When it comes to the time to install the projector or TV you should ensure the usual classroom teacher has plenty of input so that the image position and size are suitable and the cables are run to a suitable point in the room.
Teachers may need some training to help them understand how to use the technology that is implemented so remember to factor-in some professional learning time.
The major factor to consider when choosing a projector or TV is simply the image size. Unless it is very large, small detail on a TV screen is not easy to see from the back of a classroom. Commonly, websites do rely on small details so a TV may not be appropriate. If the main purpose for the TV or projector is for small groups, large images or if the room itself is small then a TV might be more suitable. If the room is large then a projector may be preferable. Or, you could consider purchasing two TVs connected with an HDMI cable that both show the same image.
A good viewing experience requires you to also carefully consider glare, reflections, viewing angle, height, and the viewer's distance from the screen.
|On-going costs|| |
Power usage high
Replacement bulbs (although newer laser projectors have much longer lifetimes)
Power usage low
No on-going costs
|Other potential costs|| |
Theft prevention measures eg window locks, window bars, security cages, alarms, CCTV, tags, leashes
Getting a power supply to the projector
Getting a VGA and/or HDMI cable to the projector
Mobile trolley if required
Theft prevention measures eg window locks, window bars, alarms, CCTV, tags, leashes
Getting a power supply to the TV
Getting a VGA and/or HDMI cable to the TV
|Image size||Adjustable – Medium to Large||Fixed – Medium|
|Image brightness||Initially good but fades||Bright image that stays bright for a number of years|
|Mobility||Relatively mobile (unless wall/ceiling mounted)||Not easily mobile unless mounted onto a specialist mobile trolley|
|Annotation||Can project onto a whiteboard and annotate using a whiteboard marker||Can only annotate on the device being displayed, for example, tablet, laptop, and so on|
|Ease of installation|| |
Can be difficult if room is not suitable eg high or low ceiling, wall space not available, difficult to get cables to teacher’s desk, and so on
Tends to require a specialist installer
Needs a suitably sized separate screen/flat and reflective surface
Can look obtrusive in the room
Tends to be easier to install but takes up significant wall-space
Could be done by a caretaker
Tends to be unobtrusive on a wall
|Robustness and Ease of Use|| |
Can be prone to brackets becoming loose
Fans can be noisey
Can give out a lot of heat
Can take some time to start up
Vibrations can easily affect image
Shadows can be annoying
Poor image brightness can mean you need to turn off the lights or close the curtains
Requires maintenance like cleaning or replacing filters and bulbs
Silent to operate
Doesn’t give out lots of heat
Sturdy when properly mounted
Shadows are not an issue
Little maintenance required
|Additional possible features||Interactivity either built-in using special pens or via an IWB Projector|| |
Internet capabilities and apps
Subscribe to the newsletter.
Note: You can manage your email subscriptions using the links provided in the email footer.
Quickly access ideas and resources to teach with, through, and about digital technologies.
Join these groups to participate in topical discussions with other teachers/educators.