Forget Buying a New TV, That’s Why You Need a Projector – Review Geek
Televisions have dominated the world of home entertainment for decades. But projectors cost about the same, take up less space, provide a better experience, and are much more versatile. It’s time to discard the idea of a TV upgrade and join the projection party.
While the idea of ”operating” a projector might seem complicated and conjure up thoughts of messing around with film reels, it’s not complex at all. During the initial setup, you may need to spend a few minutes focus and keystone adjustment with some models, but beyond that it’s not really more complex than turning on a TV.
A wide range of projectors is also available to meet different needs. On a tight budget? No problem. Running out of space or living in a small apartment? Short-range models support you. Need something ultra-portable? You had the idea.
So let’s dive deep into why a projector is a much better option than a new TV.
Small TVs are available for around $100, while a higher-end 8K model will set you back a few thousand dollars. Projector pricing follows a similar logic. You can get a cheap 1080p projector for under $100 these days. That cheap projector will also give you a 100-inch screen, while the cheap TV might be the size of a laptop screen. TVs that offer screen sizes similar to projectors tend to cost thousands of dollars – more on that later. As you’d expect, there’s a big difference in quality between affordable, mid-range, and high-end projectors.
If you want to dip your toes in the projection pool, cheap projectors aren’t so bad. You’ll get a great HD picture which, when combined with a soundbar and a dark room, can create a reasonable home theater experience.
However, when you hit the mid-range (around $500-$1,000), you’ll see several benefits. To begin with, the whole image will be in focus; cheaper models tend to focus only the middle of the image, while the top and bottom can be a bit blurry. You can also watch what you want during the day with the curtains open or the lights on at night.
At the high end, for those happy to spend a few thousand dollars on their entertainment systems, you have your 4K and 8K projectors. You’ll also see features like “ultra short throw” projection, which produces a large image despite the projector essentially touching the wall.
So in terms of price and features, there’s something for everyone. If you spot a good deal, you might even get a little more for your money.
The projectors themselves can be small and light, which means they take up less space when taken out and can be stored in a cupboard if needed. If you don’t mind, a few DIY projectors can also be mounted in relatively remote places, such as on the ceiling.
Likewise, a roll-up screen will allow you to use the wall you usually project on. You can place pictures and decorations and then lower the screen at show time. Once the projector has turned off, remount the screen and there you have your beautifully decorated wall again. Live, laugh, love!
Unlike a cheap TV, a cheap projector will fill most of your wall. Most projectors, including the cheapest ones, offer a 100 to 120 inch screen, like the Vava 4K Ultra-Short Throw, which can go up to 150 inches while still being less than two feet from your wall and without compromise image quality.
To put these display sizes into context: 100 inches will tower over a tall wall, and 150 inches might be a little too big for comfortable viewing. The projectors don’t suffer from that weird effect that makes big TVs look smaller when mounted on the wall, so you’ll see every element of that 100-inch screen.
While you’ll get a good picture on any white or very lightly colored wall, a decent quality projection screen will take things to the next level. As mentioned earlier, retractable screens are available if you want to do other things with your wall, although fixed screens are less expensive. A good quality screen paired with a mid-range projector can produce TV quality images.
This is where the spotlights stand out. A projector can be the centerpiece of a gathering or a welcome enhancement to a party.
To start with the obvious, if you use a projector, your movie nights can come close to an authentic cinematic experience. If you add a decent sound system, turn off the lights, hand out popcorn, and your spot will soon be the go-to spot for movie releases and Netflix specials.
My projector makes sports at home something special. Boxing, in particular, is great to watch on your own big screen. It piles more atmosphere on an already atmospheric sport, and the fighters being close to life size are as close as you’ll get to ringside without actually being there. Throwing also works with other sports and can make for a great match opportunity.
Video games also benefit from projection. Anyone who played a multiplayer game on a portable TV in the 90s will know how awful a split-screen concept is. Well, that’s not bad on a projection screen because four players will have 25 inches each to focus on. Graphically intense games look stunning at this scale. Something about having most of your vision taken really adds to the immersion.
If you’re just projecting onto your wall, you might also save a little money when your friend scores a last-minute winner on FIFA and your controller is thrown towards “the screen.” Yes, your anger issues just destroyed a $50 controller, but at least you didn’t wipe out a 4K TV either. Input lag is a potential issue for gamers who use projectors, but specialty gaming projectors have solved the problem.
In terms of ambiance, having a dark room with music videos projected onto the wall gives parties a great 90s vibe. If you don’t want to watch a scale image of Liam Gallagher’s massive head, you can player a kind of visualizer. Colors and shapes do a lot to bring life to a dark den.
Projectors can be portable
The size and weight of a standard projector isn’t just useful for storing or moving around the house. They can often be packed and transported more easily than a TV, which means your friends’ meetings and game nights can also benefit from the benefits of a projector. The portability of your projector doesn’t just benefit others. Are you organizing a garden party during the summer? Why not turn off the projector and watch a movie after the sun goes down.
Specialized mini projectors are available if a standard projector is still a little too bulky for you. Mini projectors can be battery powered and as small as a soda can, while still projecting screens over 100 inches. There’s also a range of accessories that will help you get your big screen out.
There are a few downsides
Projectors typically rely on bulbs, which create heat and require cooling. Due to the fans, you have to control the temperature – projectors are much louder than TVs. The bulbs will also die after a few thousand hours of viewing, requiring you to either replace your bulb or buy a new projector every few years.
Other light sources also cause problems, resulting in discolored projection or an almost invisible display. You may not be able to use your projector during the day or you may only have half of the screen visible when you turn on a lamp.
Finally, for projectors that need to be placed across the room, you have to deal with the fact that your image depends on an uninterrupted beam of light from your projector to the wall or screen. This can be a problem when someone stands up, walks in front of the lens, or a small child decides shadow puppet theater is more entertaining than your choice of movie.
Granted, projectors have issues that TVs don’t, and you need to consider those factors. Even expensive projectors are still louder than a TV, but a A decent sound system will cancel fan noise to the point where it’s no longer noticeable. And a good quality soundbar set to a reasonable volume can overpower the sound produced by the fans in a cheap projector.
If the thought of your light bulb burning out in 2,000 to 3,000 hours puts you off, consider getting a laser projector. Laser projectors tend to be on the higher end of the price scale, but you won’t have to replace a bulb.
A higher-end model can also solve the problem of people walking past your projector when it’s on. It is impossible to pass in front of an ultra-short throw projector because it usually touches the wall. Someone should also walk around the wall to stand in front of a standard short-throw projector. A cheaper way to prevent people from obscuring your image is to purchase of a support and mount the projector to your ceiling.
Then there’s the problem of ambient light ruining your image. Again, the most powerful and powerful projectors are less affected by other light sources. But thick curtains, a good quality screen, or a combination of the two will allow you to use your projector any time of the day.
We have reached a point where projectors are in the same price range, offer similar image quality and are easier to use, while providing a better experience than a TV. Yes, there are issues, but they can be worked around and the overall experience is worth it. Along with everything else, the range of projectors currently available means there’s more than likely something to suit your budget and individual requirements.
I feel comfortable saying that projectors have reached the point where they are comparable to, if not noticeably better than, televisions. For this reason, they are at least worth considering when updating your home entertainment system. That’s if you don’t want to completely ditch the idea of a new TV and go with the obvious choice of a new projector.