Where meetings were once dominated by overhead projectors and whiteboards, now advanced projectors and flat panel display screens are taking collaboration and creativity to the next level. However, the sheer choice of next generation technology can make it tricky to decide what will be the most beneficial in your space.

One of the most important decisions here is the choice between a projector and a display screen for your meeting room. To help you decide, we’ve put together a guide on the key things to consider.

Room Orientation

The first consideration is an obvious one: the orientation of the room. In large areas, especially those with an awkward shape or minimal wall space, a projector can be the best choice for a number of reasons.

Firstly, projectors are great for providing larger displays, so more of the room will be able to see the content on display. Secondly, projectors allow for easy ceiling installation, making it possible to display images on a pull-down screen without permanently losing wall or floor space.

So for a lot of bigger spaces projectors will fit the bill. But in a smaller room, it might not be possible - even with an ultra-short throw projector - to have enough space between the projector and its screen. In a setup like this, display screens are a more suitable option as they can reduce the impact on the space in the room.

But it isn’t just size you need to consider when it comes to room orientation. If the room setup means there are windows or glass walls that let in large amounts of light, unless you’re looking at the top end of the market, many projectors will struggle to display a clear image. In a space where lighting levels cannot be controlled, a display screen tends to be a more practical choice.

Proximity to Attendees

To ensure your meeting room promotes engagement and collaboration, you need a display with sufficient clarity, size and resolution to enable attendees to see what’s being discussed. To calculate the size needed industry experts often turn to the 4/6/8 rule.

The rule states that the greatest distance the attendees should be from the image is no more than four, six or eight times the height of the display screen, depending on what type of content is being displayed. For finer details like spreadsheets and data, four times the screen height would be considered the maximum viewing distance, while larger text or PowerPoint slides could be viewed at a distance of six times the height. Finally, for passive viewing of things like video the distance could be up to eight times the height of the screen.

Where size matters, projectors offer bigger displays at a lower cost. But what about detail? Size is no good if the resulting image is blurred and the details unclear. So in addition to size you need to look at the resolution of the screen.

Put simply, this is about pixels per inch (PPI). Pixel density of a screen is determined by its physical size and resolution, so a 90-inch screen with the same resolution as a 60-inch screen with result in a poorer pixel density.

While it’s still the more expensive option, 4K is more readily available in the large format display market than the projector space meaning that for now at least, displays still have the edge when it comes to detail. So if your team meetings are focused around spreadsheets and data, it’s likely that a 4K display will be the better choice. If your team are working in a larger space with less detailed content, however, then a projector will offer a better (and more affordable) viewing experience than a large display.

The Dual Approach

Of course, there are some cases where meeting rooms could benefit from both a display screen and a projector. This approach works well in larger spaces such as conference rooms, where a projector is required to deliver information relevant to the whole room and smaller screens can be provided for teams to cluster around and review the details.

Modern display technology is becoming increasingly adaptable and both projectors and displays have the potential to significantly improve team engagement. Which one you choose is a matter of your individual space, team requirements and budget; talk to your team to find out more about what they really want from a meeting room.

If you are looking for more help with your choice, the Projectorpoint experts will be happy to talk you through the options.

Of course, we're not biased and can help you find the right solution for your meeting room - that's why we've created Displaypoint. Our sister company focuses on specifying the right large format displays, touchscreens and meeting room presentation and collaboration equipment to enhance your meetings and business premises.