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What is a Smart Projector? (And why you'll want one)

Qu'est-ce qu'un Smart projecteur ?

We all know more or less what a Smartphone or Smart TV is.

But what is a Smart projector or intelligent projector (in French)?

This is usually a portable device that combines the latest display technologies with smart built-in features.

The latest generation connects to:

  • your mobile devices
  • your home network
  • your streaming content services

You'd be amazed what the right projector can do for your viewing experience.

Keep reading to find out why Smart Projectors are on the rise. Or take a look at the Pocket HD , an example of a next-generation smart projector.

Smart Projectors make your life easier in many ways. They are portable enough for outdoor parties. They stream images directly from your phone. New technologies allow them to shine permanently, instead of fading over time.

Smart Projectors are capable of doing everything a Smart TV can do, but on a much larger screen. These projectors are defined by their portable design, lampless technology, voice control, app integration and streaming functionality.

Many projectors claim the title of "Smart Projector". But “smart” means more than just an integrated computer. It is therefore important to know what to look for when purchasing a Smart Projector. Considering what you're going to use it for will give you the right combination of features.

Portable design

Smart Projectors are much smaller. The smallest ones weigh no more than a kilo, and can even fit in your pocket. Home entertainment projectors are much larger but still offer a portable design. Usually through a handle.

In what situations will you use your projector:

  • Moving ?
Does it have a carrying handle? Or can it fold into a travel-ready container?
  • On your coffee table?
Make sure it says "short range".
  • Outside ?

Make sure it has enough lumens to do the job.

Knowing exactly how you're going to use a projector makes a big difference in purchasing the right device.

The advantage of the Smart Projector: its portability

LED light source

  • Smart LED Projector:
Equipped with the latest DLP projector technology. This technology offers a much longer lifespan, making it a much better investment.

  • Traditional bulb projectors

Darken over time, have a very limited lifespan which results in high maintenance costs.

Smart Projectors stay bright. Second generation LED projectors are now available, combining red, green and dual blue light sources for increased color saturation and brightness.

LED technology avoids problems with projector dimming, which
allows smart projectors to stay bright for up to 20,000 hours. It runs much cooler than bulb light sources (which means less fan noise).

They are also environmentally friendly. Without a lamp, no glass bulb is needed, which means no mercury.

The advantage of the Smart Projector: Constant brightness


Smart Projectors have much smaller form factors than standard projectors. Resolution is therefore the first criterion to take into account. For those who love camping and just want to have fun by the campfire, a lower resolution is fine.

Mini projectors struggle the most with resolution. But not all Smart Projectors suffer from poor resolution. FHD smart LED projectors are now on the market. If home entertainment is your preferred use, go for FHD resolution. The most high-end Smart Projectors are called “True FHD” projectors.

This means that the image does not use scaling technology. Rather, it is a true FHD: native 1920x1080p with 2.07 million pixels. Smart Projectors offer a lower cost per inch (compared to a Smart TV) without compromising picture clarity.

The advantage of Smart Projectors: Real FHD resolution


Lumens measure the light output of a projector. Smart Projectors generally use LED light sources. Thus, Smart Projectors often mention LED lumens. See the attached white paper for the difference between ANSI lumens and LED lumens.

The brighter the room, the more lumens you will need. Dark rooms need fewer lumens, allowing you to focus more on other specs (like contrast). Look for a contrast ratio ≥3000:1 for dedicated home theater projectors. To learn more about contrast ratio, click here.

Advantage of Smart Projectors: highly saturated colors provide a better image.

App Store

Your projector is as smart as the applications that run on it. So it makes sense to enable an app store on your projector. Does the projector you are considering purchasing have an app store?

To work with apps, activate voice commands, and stream movies (all at once), look for a smart projector with sufficient processors, memory, and storage.

Smart Projectors are a smart choice because there is no need to use additional devices to stream entertainment. Of course, they integrate easily with most devices.

Advantage of Smart Projectors: integrated application store

Voice control

In addition to the built-in App Store, voice control is another thing to consider. No need for a remote control anymore. Simply turn your projector on or off by asking Google or Alexa to do so.


If you like streaming, look for a Smart Projector that connects directly to your phone or laptop. If the projector mentions Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, you're in luck. Make sure the technologies between the two devices connect. Some Smart Projectors go even further. They allow you to turn your smartphone into a remote control.

Short throw spotlight

Gone are the days when you had to mount a projector on the ceiling. Smart Projectors offer better options. “Short range” is important if you want to stream directly from your coffee table. “Ultra-short throw” allows you to place your projector flush with the wall you are projecting on.

It's important to know exactly how far you can place your projector from the screen. Make sure your room matches the recommended projection distance for your projector.

The advantage of Smart Projectors: No need to attach it to the ceiling

Other smart functions

Once you've decided which Smart Projector features are most important to you, there are other smart features to help you make your decision.

Autofocus and auto keystone correction

Autofocus is a really smart feature. It lets your projector do the work for you. A small motor rotates the lens to get a sharper image. The Auto Keystone feature is very useful, especially when your viewing angle is optimal. Here again, Smart Projectors are able to do the work for you.

High-end speakers

Most Smart Projectors have to compromise on sound. This is the only way to fit all the components into such a small form factor. If you don't already have a high-end audio system built into your home theater, opt for high-end speakers.

The great thing is that you don't even have to watch a movie to turn the sound on! With Bluetooth, you can read messages from your phone, talk with Alexa, or turn movie night into a dance party.

Height adjustments

Sometimes a stack of magazines is enough. But if you don't have a bunch of them lying around, you'll really appreciate having a height adjustment stand. Look for a two-level adjustment bracket that offers up to 130 degrees of offset.

Ports and Connections

Ports and connections are important if you're not streaming from your phone. HDMI 2.0 connections provide better support for FHD HDR content, and USB-C connections let you charge your phone while mirroring your screen. (Make sure the host device supports video transmission via USB-C for screen mirroring).

USB Type-C streaming

Why watch on a smartphone, when you can watch something on the big screen? Of course, you can use Wi-Fi. But, sometimes your connection is too slow. USB Type-C streaming lets you play content directly from your phone.

Of course, this only works if your phone allows USB Type-C streaming. iPhone and iPad users must purchase an Apple-authorized Lightning to HDMI cable adapter.

Screen mirror

Screen mirror

The Screen Mirroring feature lets you instantly project your phone onto a big screen. This is a significant improvement for those who already have a lot of content on their phone.

5G Wi-Fi

Not all Smart Projectors are optimized for mirroring content from your smartphone to the large projection screen. This is why it is important to ensure that your Smart Projectors work with the 5G Wi-Fi band.

Eye protection

It is not recommended to look directly into a projector. But sometimes these things happen. This is why there is eye protection. With a built-in ultrasonic sensor, the smart spotlights turn off when something gets too close to the lens.

Frame interpolation

The last thing you need to look for is frame interpolation technology. Sometimes abbreviated to MEMC (Motion Estimation/Motion Compensation), this function smoothes out rapidly changing images during video processing.

Intermediate images are generated between the real images, in order to increase the perceived frame rate. Particularly useful in sports, frame interpolation allows you to capture the smallest details on the big screen.

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