Everytime I have friends over at my house and they see my home theater setup, the first question I get is why do I have a projector instead of a standard TV.
Watch the video to find out why!
Projectors and TV’s have totally different purposes and as usual there are pro’s and con’s to both. First let’s bust some myths.
1. Expensive: This is one of the most common myth’s , a good budget projector might actually cost less than your large screen TV’s excluding some budget TV’s of course.
The equivalent TV at the size i have a projection setup would cost a couple of lakhs, the same would be under a lakh for a 1080p projector, including the screen to project on. You can make your own screen, or you could paint a wall using matte white paint and it would work just as well
2. Lamp Replacement: Another reason people shy away from projectors is that they feel the lamp replacement is going to cost a lot, which is not true anymore. Generally projector lamps last an average of around 4000 hours which is a considerable amount of time for a projector to be on. Current replacement lamps cost Rs 13,000, which is not that bad. Considering the 4000 hours and at maybe 4 hours a day, the lamp would last almost 3 years. If you use it even less, or in eco mode, it will last even longer.
A really cheap Full HD tv from a reputed brand, at a size of around 65 inches would cost you around 2 lakhs. On selecting a bigger screen size the price rises exponentially.
Most TV’s now a days are smart, and thats one feature you wouldn’t find on a projector nativly. You could hook up a Chromecast or Amazon firetv to the projector to make it smart, but the feature is not available out of the box.
Tv’s also support 4K and HDR which if you wanted the same features on a projector would cost at the very least around 4 lakhs. If you have deep pockets, and want the big 4K screen experience then go for it else stick to tv’s
So if they’re so much more expensive than a TV why would you want to buy a projector?
Basically i would call it the “Wow” factor, anybody walking into the room and looking at the enormous image being projected, giving the room a theater like effect would genuinely impress.
Having a huge 1080p screen would trump a smaller 4k tv screen anyday. Having to turn the lights down and with only the screen illuminating the room makes the projector look more immersive
Tv’s vs Projectors feature roundup
The obvious Pro’ for the projector is Size. Projectors have gotten more affordable over the past few years and the price to screen size ratio makes projectors more cost effective. We can project screens as large as 120 inches easily from a distance of about 9 feet. TV’s are getting close but the size gap is still present.
So the projector takes this category
This is where the TV literally shines. If the room is too bright the perceived contrast on the projector comes down, and the picture gets washed out.
But in favour of TV’s, they are really bright and don’t need a specialised room to run them as they are generally brighter than the lighting you would have.
Tv’s have much better black levels and brightness as compared to projectors. The Projectors brightness can be determined by looking at their lumen rating. Higher the number the more bright the image is. But they still cant hold a candle to Tv’s in bright rooms.
Budget projectors handle 1080p content nativly, but TV’s have moved into the 4K space. If you want a 4k projector the prices are astronomical and would cost as much as a 4k tv+blueray player and a sound system included. So if you want 4k go for a TV, if you’re happy with 1080p content and want a huge screen projector are the way to go.
Projectors color accuracy has improved over the years with technology such as DLP, 3chip LCD etc. But a 4k TV will produce a much wider color gamut than most projectors can.
Tv’s are much easier to install, and can be placed on your TV console using the included stand without having to drill holes in the wall.
On the other hand, projectors are much more complicated to install, and requires more planning and effort.
You will need to route required cables from the projector to the source, such as tv tuners, computers, consoles, and as it’s mounted at a minimum of 7-10 feet, you will need long cables, multiple if you need access to all the ports.
As most peripherals are at an arm’s length or two from the tv shorter cables are required and they can be hidden away much more easily.
Tv’s have inbuilt speakers and very decent one’s at that. Some projectors do have speakers, but they sound very tinny. So in order to enjoy movies on a projector, a home theater surround sound setup is recommended. Anything less would spoil the experience.
Tv’s on the other hand have them built in so they are ready to play out of the box.
Projectors take a long to startup and also shut down, which makes it a pain. But if you are ready to sit down for a movie watching session, turning them on and getting you snacks ready would make you not notice it. But if you need it to be ready at the press of a button, i would suggest getting a tv.
Tallying up the points as we go down the multiple categories, we see that the TV has a landslide win over projectors.
But does that necessarily mean that TV’s are the best choice for your home theater setup?
Setting up an ideal projection setup is pricey, as the furniture, lighting and the sound system needs to be well planned out. But nothing else would deliver the cinematic experience of a projector based home theater, as the environment would make it the most immersive experiences you would ever have.
So now the question is, do i buy a TV or a projector?
If you have a spare room, you’re ready to setup as a home theater, then i would recommend buying a projector.
But if you don’t have access to a separate room, or would like access to the same in the living room, then I feel Tv’s would be the better choice.