We're talking about putting up projectors in each of our classrooms over the summer. Someone brought up an interesting idea. What if instead of projectors we put up flat panel TVs?

Advantages:
  • Much easier to mount
  • Much brighter. It'd be no problem to use them with the lights on
  • No bulb to burn out
  • Built in tuner for cable that is already in the classroom
Disadvantages:
  • Likely will be a little smaller to stay in the same price range as a projector
  • Will never be able to upgrade it to a "Smart Board"
  • Can't be "rolled up" out of the way like a screen so may steal some board space

Anything I'm missing? We're going to spend a bunch of money and we want to make sure we make the right choice.

Thanks.

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You may not be able to upgrade to a Smartboard, but I believe there are add-on devices that can turn a LCD into a Smartboard-like device. Someone out there may know more.
If brightness of an LCD vs a projector is your main concern I'd look again at the projectors out there. I have an NEC that is a few years old and does well even with the lights on in my classroom. If you have a lot of windows then it's a better investment to have blackout curtains or the such. Also consider that with a TV you are at a 16:9 aspect ratio and not 4:3 and that carries other challenges. I use my LCD projector to fill a 65" diagonally Smartboard. A 65" LCD TV is $2,300.

Now you could go with a 50" Plasma (I don;t think screen burn in is really an issue anymore) for under $800 if you shop around.

Good luck!
The size bit is a downside. I just measured my screen and with my projector I get a 72" diagonal. I hadn't thought it was that big.

How long do the bulbs really last in mounted projectors? This was another concern raised.
It depends on how you care for the projector. There are many things you can do to extend the bulb life. Keeping the filter clean, run in eco-mode and turn it off when not in use. You would be suprised how long the bulbs will last.
Hi Steve,

I'd be a little concerned about the size of the flat screen. I find that my projector takes up the whole classroom wall and my kids like that when reading text. I also like the portability of the electronic projector. I say go with the electronic projector option

Good luck

Christopher
I say go with the LCD projector because there is the MIMIO that does turn any white board into an interactive whiteboard for a lot cheaper price than buying a Smart Board or Promethean board if your school or district may go the interactive whiteboard route. Haven't used the product but have seen it around for years at tech ed conferences and haven't heard any complaints. here is the web site: http://www.mimio.com/index.asp

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