Are you unsure whether a projector or a TV is right for your home? We have compared the pros and cons of each so that you can make the right decision for your home.
We used to recommend TVs because of their bright and clear pictures and superior built-in speakers. You can now find projectors that are true 4K ultra-high-definition, HDR, powerful speakers, and integrated soundbars at the same or lower price.
TVs win because they are familiar and easy–but the Best android projector catches up and are worth the extra effort.
Price: TVs vs. Projectors
Projectors for TV are more affordable, at least when it comes to screen size. An HD projector can be purchased for as low as $100 and a 100″-120 inch screen for just $100. A 75-85″ TV might cost you $1,800.
Screen size is the most important feature for shoppers. However, additional features can quickly increase the price, such as OLED technology in TVs or lasers in HD projectors.
Winner: projectors generally offer more bang for the buck than smart TVs.
Maintenance: TVs vs. Projectors
For the most part, modern TVs are maintenance-free–the LEDs that power them have such a long lifespan that you’re more likely to replace the entire TV before having to worry about the backlights.
Projectors on the other side use lamps that eventually go out. Dust can also build up in your projector. You can also replace bulbs if you are unable to do so. If you need a projector but don’t want to spend a lot, you should get one with a laser source. They last longer and cost more.
Winner: Smart TVs are much more maintenance-friendly than projectors.
TVs vs. projectors: resolution
4K is very popular these days and large-screen projectors and TVs can do it well. However, the resolution is not just about a number.
It can be difficult to see the difference with 4K TVs unless you are watching on a large screen. Because the projectors are large enough to display the incredible detail of 4K, they shine.
This gap is closing as TVs get bigger each year. However, a projector allows you to have large screens for a fraction of the cost. A projector is the best option if you plan to watch 4K content.
Winner: Projectors make 4K resolution viewing on large screens easier.
TVs vs. projectors: screen size
Projectors can achieve screen sizes of up to 300 inches. However, this gap is closing. Modern TVs are limited to 80 inches. However, some can reach 100 inches.
Although we anticipate TV screen sizes increasing, there is a limit to the size of TVs that can be mounted in your home. Jumbo-sized TVs are expensive, so they’re not for everyone.
Winner: Projectors will give you the movie-theater feeling at home.
Projectors need screens
You can project on a wall but you need a screen. A smooth projection surface is essential for the best image. It should be white or gray and can be made from white blackout cloth or polyester, PVC, or plastic.
Gain is another property that a screen should have. The screen’s brightness is measured by its gain. A gain of 1.0 is a flat increase, while 2.0 is almost double the brightness.
There are many options when it comes to projector screens. It’ll be easy for you to find the right one for your home theater and budget.
- The most cost-effective anti-crease screen is the foldable one.
- Manual and motorized pull-down screens are very affordable, and they’re cool.
- Although a pop-up screen with a stand costs more, it is portable and easy to set up.
- This gigantic inflatable screen is expensive, but it will be a great addition to your family reunion.
Projectors vs. TVs: Brightness
Modern LED TVs are bright and can be adjusted to adjust their brightness. A TV’s multifunctionality and convenience are unbeatable for general usage.
The lumens of a projector is a fixed brightness. For dark rooms (dedicated home theatres), a projector with a brightness rating below 2,000 is the best. For rooms that have more ambient lighting, such as living rooms, projectors with a higher brightness rating are better.
It’s important to remember that brightness is not always better. Do not buy a projector with high brightness thinking that it will work in all situations. It will not work in dark rooms. You’ll likely get headaches if you try to use it in these areas.
Winner: TVs are more flexible in lighting and can be viewed in both dark and light rooms.
TVs vs. projectors: contrast
Projectors can achieve very high contrast ratios. Contrast is also a function of brightness. As we mentioned, projectors are not likely to be able to block out light in dark rooms.
TVs can compete with the surrounding environment and are bright enough. OLED models have an almost infinite contrast ratio due to the way the screen technology works.
TVs are the best option if contrast is important, or if you plan to watch outside of your home theater.
Winner: SmartTVs offer better contrast than projectors.
Space: TVs vs. Projectors
Projectors take up very little space. The screens can be stored away and the actual projector unit is small. Throw distance is what determines how much space projectors need.
Throw distance refers to how far the projector must be from the surface to obtain the best possible picture.
Many projectors, particularly the less expensive ones, need to be at least 10-16 feet from the screen. You don’t need that much space in your home theater to install a projector. Instead, consider ultra-short-throw or short-throw options that are closer to the screen.
Another concern is the distance you can see. You should not squeeze an enormous screen into a small space. This will affect your ability to see details and how the image looks. A 65-inch projector or TV screen should be viewed from nine feet.
To find out how large a TV your home theater room can accommodate, use our TV Distance Calculator.
Winner: TVs fit in almost any room.
TVs vs. projectors: audio
Nearly all TVs have built-in speakers. If you’re looking to upgrade your home theater, you can get a soundbar or surround sound system.
Many projectors have internal speakers. They aren’t always great, but they are improving. Projectors can be equipped with integrated soundbars or audio designed specifically for them. These projectors have audio that matches or beats the TV speakers.
However, a TV is the best option for home theater.
Winner: Projector sound quality is improving, but built-in TV speakers still work best.
Although projectors and TVs win in four categories, projector technology is still ahead of TV tech. We won’t call this a tie. Because TV is familiar, it is easier because you already know the basics. Although a projector doesn’t seem too complicated, it is not difficult to use. However, if you are new to the system, expect some trial-and-error, but probably less than what you think.