Making the switch from flat-screen to projector isn’t an easy transition, neither is purchasing a projector if you’ve never used one or bought one before. We firmly believe that Projectors trump Flat Screens in 99% of scenarios, but getting your head around the terminology can be somewhat mind-boggling. For this reason. Finnick Solutions and Epson have put together a Glossary of Projector Terms to make your life a little bit easier.

Resolution and aspect ratio:

The native resolution is the number of distinct pixels in each dimension that can be displayed. This is stated as the number of columns and rows of pixels creating the display, e.g. 1280 x 800 (WXGA). The greater the resolution, the greater the detail and sharpness of the projected image. The ratio of horizontal to vertical lines also gives the native aspect ratio. In this instance 1280 x800 equates to a native aspect ratio of 16:10. It is best to match the input signal resolution to the projector’s output resolution where possible to achieve the best image.

Contrast ratio

The degree of difference between the lightest and darkest areas of the projected image. A high contrast ratio is particularly important for home cinema projectors.

Throw ratio

The projection distance divided by the width of the projected image. A smaller throw ratio will enable large projection sizes from a shorter distance. The range of throw ratios for any given projector will also depend on the range of its zoom capability.


A zoom capability provides flexibility when installing a projector as the throw distance for a specific image size does not have to be fixed. The wider the zoom range, the greater the flexibility. Digital zoom uses a compression of the image to adjust the image size, whereas optical zoom is preferable, because it uses the optics of the projector and ensures no loss of image quality.

Epson Throw Distance Calculator

Deciding which projector is suitable for a particular installation can be difficult, and installers must take into account factors such as the required screen size and aspect, the available throw distance and mounting position. Epson provide help for this process with an online Throw Distance Calculator. This enables any Epson projector to be selected from simple drop down lists and all the vital measurements can then be calculated.

Keystone correction

A digital image adjustment used to realign the image when projected at an angle to the screen, producing a rectangular image rather than a ‘keystone’ shape. On some models this is available for horizontal correction as well as vertical, while more advanced models have the ability to make these corrections automatically.


Still deciding on a flat screen or projector? Read our blog on why ‘Display Size Matters’ here.