I have no experience with projectors, and am just starting to look for a home projector for viewing family snaps and videos etc. A few questions, does the resolution of the projector (800x600 or 1024x768) have to match the laptop resolution, or can it be independent?
Will most projectors also plug into dvd players for projecting movies and TV?
Recommended brands for price and quality?
I recommend visiting projectorcentral.com. They have all the info you'd want to know, and more.
As to your qs: resolution can be different than your monitor, but having it same makes things slightly easier, as what you see on your monitor is the same as on the screen. Most (I'm sure all modern) projectors plug into a DVD player. But projecting for movie use is a totally different beast than making presentations and slideshows. If you want to watch movies, you'll probably need a widescreen 480p (at least) projector, whereas for presentations/slideshows you'll probably want a 4:3 aspect ratio projector with a powerful bulb.