TVs vs Projector: which picture technology should you choose?

TV or projector, TV or projector? Most of us have a television in our living room, but purchasing a new television isn’t the only option when it’s time to upgrade.

Even as big-screen TVs become more inexpensive, today’s greatest projectors remain a viable and competitive alternative.

While the end result is the same for both a TV and a projector, the settings, technology, and benefits are vastly different.

So, before you go out and buy your next home theater system, familiarize yourself with the differences between TVs and projectors.

Screen size and cost of a TV vs a projector-

1. Televisions are available at a variety of rates, although larger ones are significantly more expensive.

2. Unlike televisions, the image size of a projector may be adjusted.

3. A small projector can produce a large screen, but a small TV cannot.

There’s a reason movie theaters utilize projectors. TV displays simply cannot compete when it comes to creating a huge image.

75-inch TVs will be about as big as most people can buy, and even then, they’ll be significantly more expensive than a modest 55-inch version of the same brand.

Once you buy a television, you’re stuck with it until you replace it. Your screen will never grow or shrink in size.

If you start with a 40-inch TV in a small studio apartment and subsequently upgrade to a larger location, your TV will not grow to fill the extra space.

Meanwhile, the image size of a projector can be extremely adaptable (this will depend somewhat on the type of projector, though).

One day, you might set up the projector to project a tiny 30-inch image, and the next day, you might put it up to project a 300-inch image across the side of a building.

This is especially true of mid-range and high-end projectors, as larger images necessitate a significantly brighter projection source in order to be visible.

Even with the emergence of modular Micro LED displays, the projector screen size advantage will not be readily overcome by TVs anytime soon, at least not for customers.

However, your setup has a significant impact on the image size you choose, so we’ll look at that next.

How to set up a room with a TV and a projector-

1. Televisions are easy to set up.

2. Televisions leave an indelible mark on your home.

3. Projectors are more adaptable and portable.

Simple is elegant, and your everyday TV setup will be significantly simpler than most projector setups.

Once you’ve chosen your TV and determined how much room it will require, you can just place it in that location, plug it in, and you’re almost done.

You won’t have to worry about an adjusting footprint in your living space or how you’ll accommodate it because the TV won’t change size.

If you wish to connect speakers or a soundbar to your TV, you may do so easily by using it as a hub and placing an AV receiver beneath it.

Aside from surround sound satellite speakers, most of the setup may be kept in one location, and all connections can be hidden in a TV stand (or a cabling solution like the Samsung One Connect Box).

Changing things up once you’ve set up your TV, on the other hand, might be a major task.

You’ll have to rearrange furniture, modify the cabling, and possibly remove wall art if it’s going to be placed behind the TV.

Of course, you’ll need to double-check that the new position has enough room for the TV screen.

In other words, whether you’re watching TV or not, your TV will be there in your environment at all times.

The only exception is if you buy a TV that fits into a cabinet, in which case it can be hidden at particular times.

Because of the versatility in use and positioning, most projectors will be more difficult to set up.

You can very much put your projector wherever you want, but in doing so, you’ll be playing 3D chess with your setup.

For the most basic configuration, you’ll probably need a space for the projected image, similar to how you’d need a TV, but that space only has to be empty because you won’t be putting the projector there.

Instead, you’ll need to locate the projector on the opposite side of the vacant wall (unless it’s a short-throw projector, in which case it’ll sit directly in front of the wall it’s projecting onto).

This could entail placing the projector on a coffee table, a shelf, or even a tripod.

You can even project it onto the ceiling by placing it on the floor.

So, what’s the big deal about that? The size and shape of the image will be greatly influenced by where the projector is placed.

The image will be larger the farther away the projector is from the screen.

If the image is too far away from the wall or screen on which it is displayed, it may become too huge for your space.

Furthermore, if the projector cannot be aimed directly towards the wall, the image may be distorted.

Keystone control, zoom, and lens shift are capabilities that can help with these issues, but they aren’t accessible on all projectors and have a limited amount of versatility.

The location of your projector is also a part of the setup.

If you have a smooth, light-colored wall, you might be able to get away with using it as the projector’s screen.

A screen may be desirable for a higher-quality image, but your projector system will begin to take up more of your space semi-permanently.

Unless your projector is battery-powered and comes with built-in speakers, you’ll need to find a means to power it and connect an audio output.

This could result in some long cables snaking throughout your living room, depending on where your projector is set up.

If game consoles, media players, and the like will be part of your setup, you’ll also need to think about where they’ll go.

While it is perfectly feasible to get a projector layout that is as neat as a TV setup, it will also be just as difficult to reconfigure.

The major disadvantage is that a projector is nearly always easier to relocate than a large television.

There are many of projectors that are small enough to fit in a backpack but powerful enough to create a 100-inch image.

And some of them do, in fact, run on batteries and have built-in speakers, allowing you to take a portable movie theater with you wherever you go.

Image quality of a TV vs a projector

1. The image quality of television can be easily adjusted.

2. On TVs, advanced features are more inexpensive.

3. The image quality of a projector is determined by the setup.

Whether you buy a TV or a projector, the image quality you get is primarily determined by the model you choose.

The difference is that how you set up your TV will have a considerably smaller impact on the visual quality.

Right now, almost any smart TV you buy will have a 4K picture and, more than likely, HDR.

These functions are available in even the most basic devices.

The quality of the picture you get depends depend on the TV you buy, but you can rest assured that you’re getting what you pay for.

In the meantime, the image quality provided by a projector is a different story.

For one reason, 4K projectors are still uncommon, and even budget-friendly 1080p projectors are difficult to come by. (As a side note, many projectors advertise supported resolution that is far higher than their true ‘native’ resolution, so always look for this terminology before purchasing a projector.)

Though the resolution is an important factor in how sharp an image is, image size is also important.

Because this is a variable with a projector, your configuration will affect the sharpness of your image (especially if you forget to adjust the focus).

And that’s only one of the numerous factors that your setup will influence.

When your projector casts a larger image, the sharpness and brightness of the image will suffer.

The quality of some sections of the image may suffer as a result of using keystone correction.

What you’re projecting onto is also important. If you don’t utilize a screen, the color of your wall will influence the colors you see in your projected image.

The final image will be affected if your projection surface has any texture or lacks homogeneity.

Ambient lighting will have a significant impact as well.

So, even if you buy a 4K projector with 1,000 ANSI lumens, you may need to tweak your setup a lot to achieve an image that looks similar to a TV with similar specs.

Conclusion: TV vs projector-

When picking between a TV and a projector, there’s a lot to consider, and this guide isn’t thorough.

You’ll almost certainly need to buy a TV to acquire a gadget with the most up-to-date capabilities.

Although more projectors are adopting HDR and 4K resolution, they are still not as common as TVs with such qualities.

Even the fastest projectors can only deliver double-digit input lag, with the BenQ X1300i being one of the quickest and only achieving 8ms.

You should also consider the type of projector you are purchasing.

Despite the fact that many projectors today employ LED light sources with long lifespans, some still use special (read: pricey) bulbs that only last a few thousand hours before needing to be changed.

For the most part, a television will suffice.

There are several solutions that can provide excellent quality even at low prices, and the ease with which they can be set up will make them more accessible.

They may not be as adaptable, but how many of us, even if we could, would move our TV from room to room?

Meanwhile, projectors provide a unique alternative.

They can produce large images while remaining more portable than televisions.

They take a little more effort to set up and obtain a great picture, but if you’re not a perfectionist, you can accomplish some incredible things with even the most inexpensive projectors.


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