Projector vs. TV for gaming: which one is ideal? It is an unending debate that has been going on for years, and everyone has their own opinion. In contrast, some prefer gaming on the large screen of projectors, whereas some are happy enjoying their games on TV.
Modern television has come a long way in terms of technological advancement and screen size as some offer a screen size of 80inches. But the emergence of specialized gaming projectors has attracted a lot of people as they offer many gaming features along with large screen sizes.
When you are a serious gamer, you would obviously expect an impressive visual quality, high refresh rate, negligible lag, and rich sound. So I’m here to help you make a decision by giving you the factors you need to consider when deciding on gaming on projector vs. TV.
Deciding the Screen Size
Screen size is the first thing that comes into play when someone decides between a TV and projector for gaming. When you want to experience your game on a big screen, you would obviously opt for a projector as it can offer up to a 300inch screen size.
Besides, it also gives you the option of variable screen size, but you will need a large wall and setup area to use a wide range of screen sizes. However, if you have a small apartment room or can’t organize an ample space for setup, you can certainly use a short-throw projector that can easily create a 100inch screen from just a few feet away.
Nowadays, TV screens are also getting broader and broader, but still, there are some limitations to their size. Moreover, they come in one size and give you no option to reduce or enhance it.
If you are comfortable with certain screen size and won’t love to change it, then TV can be a good choice. However, TVs of large sizes can be tricky to install due to their weight, and when you are playing alone, you might not always feel like playing on such large sizes.
The option to split the screen on a large display while playing games is another aspect that attracts a lot of gamers to video game projectors. When you split the screen of the projector, you can stay assured you will get a large display.
Whereas on TV, you get a small screen size after a split which limits your multiplayer playing experience. So if you want to play at a large screen or various screen sizes, then a projector serves as the best option.
Considering the Screen Resolution
Screen size is not the only thing that comes into consideration when you are deciding between gaming on a projector and TV. The screen resolution offered also needs close attention because it can make or break your gaming experience.
You won’t certainly love to play on a large screen with poor colors, mushy clarity, and minimal contrast because it will ruin your experience and impact your gaming skills. As modern gaming devices and games are coming with high resolution and superior graphics, so you need a device to display them perfectly.
In general, both TV and projectors come with a wide range of resolutions starting from 720p to all the way up to 4K in the consumer market. However, there is a difference in the resolution quality of TV and projector, and in this segment, TV o gets the edge.
A projector can’t reach the resolution quality at a certain screen size that you can achieve with a TV. A full HD projector costs around $1000 while a 4K projector costs around $2000. You can’t say the same for TV, as high-quality 4K TV can cost more than $2000.
However, you will also have to consider the screen size when considering screen resolution. You might have to find a middle ground and choose a projector if you are looking for high resolution and also want a wide screen size range.
But if money is not an issue and you want to get a large screen without compromising on resolution quality, television should be your target.
Response Time and Refresh Rate Offered
When you are getting a device to play your favorite games, you won’t obviously want a low response time. The response time generally denotes the time taken by a signal to reach from a console to the display.
Gamers always look for fast response time because every millisecond counts as it decides your reflex and gaming experience, especially when you are playing multiplayer games. A response time below 40ms is considered to be excellent, but the lower the millisecond, the better the experience.
In terms of response time, both the TV and projector are almost similar as some of the models offer a response time of around 16ms while some of them offer around 40ms. Most modern projectors and TVs come with a super-fast response time, so they work well with your gaming console and PC.
Similarly, in terms of refresh rate, both the devices have a pretty high refresh rate but vary from model to model. Most projectors and TVs for gaming offer a refresh rate between 60-144Hz, while there are some specialized models that can offer refresh rates up to 240Hz. However, a high refresh rate projector and TV comes with a hefty price tag, so that the budget will be a concern.
The Lighting Quality of the Screen
You may not realize it, but the lighting quality of the screen is really important because it will determine the visual output of your games. Even if you are using a high-end gaming console or PC, the brightness level, backlight capability, and contrast offered by the screen during the presence of ambient are essential.
In general, a standard projector screen gets fades in the presence of ambient light, and you will have to minimize the light intrusion to get a clear view of the screen. However, projectors with high brightness can easily tackle the ambient light issue and create a bright and clear view.
But you will have to either compromise on the feature list or price as high-brightness projectors are usually expensive or they lack features. On the other hand, televisions usually have better brightness levels than projectors, and modern LEDs can provide a crisp and bright image even in a fully lit surrounding.
The color richness and contrast level don’t fade in the presence of ambient light, so TV gets the edge in this segment. But if you can control the lighting in the room, projectors can also give you an immersive gaming experience with a sharp and well-lit screen.
Overall Sound Experience
Sound plays an important role in deciding your gaming experience, and if you primarily play through headphones, then you would have the same sound experience. Both projector and television offer similar levels of audio output from their inbuilt speakers, and the overall volume is almost the same.
Neither the audio quality of both the devices are fantastic, nor are they bad. The volume level offered by them is suitable when you are alone, or there are few people in the room. But the volume level starts to fade when a lot of your friends gather in your room.
However, nowadays, some projectors are coming up with powerful speaker systems that offer not only a high volume level but also rich, room-filling audio.
If you really want an immersive audio experience while you play your favorite game, then investing in a home-theater system or soundbar will be your only option. Both TV and projector are at par when it comes to sound comparison, and you will need an external output if you require good audio.
Value: Which One is Worth It?
In terms of value and cost of ownership, the projector is obviously a value for money choice. Not only does it gives you a wide screen size range, portability, and almost all the similar features of the TV.
If you consider the price per inch, you can get a projector in every price range, but for a 70inch TV, you will have to shell out more than $1000. However, if you want to have a large screen experience at around 100inch, not only do you get limited in TV, but you will have to spend more than $2000 to get them.
But the quality offered by these TVs is quite superior in comparison to normal projectors. So in terms of value, the projector is the ideal choice as it packs everything at an optimum rate and spares a good chunk for you to invest in good speakers.
Now, it boils down to the question of projector vs TV for gaming: which one should you choose? I just want to say; that if you are looking for a widescreen size range and overall gaming features and don’t want to spend a considerable amount of money, a projector is a great deal. But if you are particular about quality, won’t mind limited screen size, and want top-notch gaming features, the TV should be your target.
Hello, I’m Mr. James Hanson and I have been associated with projector industry for decades. From tender age, I had a huge knack towards projection hardware so gradually I was drawn into the industry. After I have left my college, I have worked with many projector manufacturers so I’m using that experience to create guide in this site. I have always kept myself with current tech and change in this segment.