U.S. schools and businesses are quickly discovering that modernizing their spaces is the best way to engage people, but there is some on-going debate between interactive flat panels vs. projectors and interactive whiteboards. There are many factors to consider before making a choice, and consideration is needed, because these systems do represent a significant investment. Not just a financial investment, either, as the people who will be using them have to be trained in their function, and this takes time. However, the payoff is well worth it, as schools and businesses who adopt advanced presentation technology have noticed improved engagement from students and employees.
What are the differences between interactive flat panels vs. projectors and interactive whiteboards?
At a glance, it may not seem like there’s much separating the systems, and they even share a lot of similarities visually. However, there are significant differences in how the technologies function, what they cost, and how easy they are to use. Some of the most notable factors to consider include:
- Price – while ideally cost wouldn’t steer the decision, the fact is that a lot of schools and businesses need a system that won’t stress their budget. In general, projectors are the least expensive option at purchase, but when considering the overall cost of ownership, LED screens are the least expensive over the long-haul. This is because they require little maintenance and no lamp replacement, unlike other display options.
- Audio and visual quality – LED screens offer the clearest audio and video quality, and also offer the greatest range of resolution settings. An LED screen, specifically, can typically scale up to 1920 x 1080 resolution, or even 3850 x 2160 in some cases, allowing presenters to take full advantage of HD imagery. In general, the other options only scale up to 1280 x 800, though there are a few that can go HD. However, they tend to be much more expensive.
- Shadows – LED screens are not affected by shadows, as their display image is backlit into the screen. Systems that aren’t backlit like this (even those with extremely short throws) will be marred by shadows to some extent, and make presentations more difficult.
- Brightness and longevity – LED screens do not fade and degenerate over time, and can hold onto their crisp image for around 50,000 hours before they need to be replaced. Other systems, though, usually only last up to 8,000 hours, and their image quality fades as they age.
- Touch controls – LED screens allow for the most complex touch controls, and can even permit up to 10 separate touch points. This is especially important for schools and organizations using Windows 7 or 8, as both operating systems require several touch points for some gestures.
- Connectivity – LED screens are on the cutting edge in terms of connectivity, as they usually come with several HDMI ports, as well as a Display Port or DVI, and VGA (Video Graphic Array).
When it comes to interactive flat panels vs. projectors and interactive whiteboards, there are merits on both sides. And no matter what option an organization goes with, they will have a valuable piece of technology for their presentations.