Which would be Better: Home Projector or TV
I’m a big fan of projectors. For over 15 years, I’ve used a projector as my primary — and only — “TV.” A 102-inch screen for TV shows, movies, and video games has an addictive quality to it.
For years, I’ve argued that a projector is preferable to a large TV, not just because of the lower cost, but also because of the much larger picture that can be shown when compared to the largest TV screens.
However, both rates and technology have changed dramatically in recent years. Is a projector still the way to go in 2020 if you’re thinking of upgrading to a very large screen? Let’s take a look at it in more detail.
Price vs. Performance
Eight years ago, when I first wrote the wise words “Don’t buy a jumbo LCD TV, buy a projector,” the TV and PJ landscapes were vastly different. Ultra-large televisions were prohibitively costly.
For around the same price as a 50-inch TV, you could get a projector and a screen with four times the amount of screen real estate. Watching something on a 100-inch TV is an experience.
Life travels at a breakneck pace. And more so in the age of technology. For $1,400, you can get a CNET Editors’ Choice-winning 75-inch LCD, or for under $4,000, you can get a 77-inch OLED (OLED!). These aren’t quite 100 inches, but they’re plenty tall, bright, and Ultra HD 4K, unlike many similarly priced projectors.
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TVs win for HDR
HDR, or high dynamic range, is a similar concern. The number of HDR movies and TV shows is steadily increasing, and the increased highlight detail and, in most cases, colour spectrum can be a significant upgrade over regular 4K video.
The issue is that HDR is extremely difficult for projectors to handle. Although many projectors can support HDR video, almost all of them have problems showing it.
There are two aspects to the problem. The first is that even the brightest home projectors aren’t nearly as bright as the average television. The second issue is that less expensive PJs lack the contrast ratio needed to display HDR at its best.
Come into the light
The main problem with projector image quality is sun. Ambient light, to be precise. A projector projects light onto a wall, but any other light in the room is reflected onto the screen as well.
The brightest areas of the picture aren’t affected as much as the darker ones are. That is, whether you are watching sports or anything that is bright in general, you will be perfect. It will be difficult to see if you are watching a dark film.
Yes, there are displays that reject ambient light, but they’re pricey. Physics is physics, after all. Even if a fancy screen does a better job of minimising the effect of ambient light, it will still look worse than the same screen in a dark environment.
yusif3 @ HWBOT
About Me These days more than anything else for watching movies and videos on big screen people prefer Projectors…
It scares me to say this, but for the vast majority of people, televisions are a better option than projectors. This was partially accurate when I stated the opposite a few years ago, but it is now unmistakably right.
The slightly smaller screen of a TV would be easier to deal with unless you’re willing to make compromises in your living situation. And, particularly with HDR, the image quality of OLED and many of the best-performing LCD and QLED TVs will be significantly better.
Nowadays, owning a projector entails sacrificing a number of factors, including picture quality, livability, and likely price, all in the name of displaying the largest possible image.