Projectors: Renting vs Buying

Whether you should buy a new Projector or rent one, consider the following factors that play a role in making the right decision:

1) Cost

The street / retail price of a new entry-level projector of XGA resolution (anything lower than this should be a no-no) starts around INR 30,000, depending on the brand. Similarly, a portable, map-type projector screen of size 4 feet x 6 feet costs approximately Rs 5000.

On the other hand, renting the above equipment would cost not more than Rs 1500 per day. Considering an average rental of one per month, Rs 35,000 gets you 2 years of rentals.

While, to buy a projector the money would have to be paid up-front, with renting, the payment is scattered, akin to EMIs.

Unless you intend to use the projector heavily, renting makes more sense compared to buying it.

2) Risk

Also, consider the risks that come along with owing a projector - you are responsible for its maintenance and upkeep as well as safeguarding it against loss, theft, wear-and-tear and the elements.

Repair / service costs for projectors tend to be towards the scandalous simply due to lack of enough experts that can do the job.

3) High-end Projectors

High-end, high quality projection is achieved with projectors of high brightness (measured in lumens) and higher resolution. While entry-level projectors may be good for small meetings, anything more than 50 people in the audience entail the use of higher specification projectors as well as bigger sized screens.

For example, an audience of 300 people would require a minimum screen size of 8 feet X 10 feet and a projector of 4000 lumens or higher. 

Projectors of brightness 5000+ lumens (for huge audiences) have market prices varying in a few lakhs! Buying and maintaining such high-end equipment is, therefore, an exorbitant affair.

4) Service

When you rent, you get the affiliate services and accessories along - services such as setting up the projector / screen equipment along with longer connection cables and other accessories that may be required. These extra items add to the final bill when you own the projector.