Well, the debate between TV and projector is endless as different users have different opinions. Generally, people who wish to set up a big home theater system in their entertainment room might be skeptical about which device to own; a projector or a big TV.
So are you facing the same dilemma? It is evident that you will find it hard to choose between two because of apparent differences. Projectors are cheap, offer colossal brightness, vast screen size range, and various other facilities. While TVs are slightly expensive but provide better clarity, sharpness, color saturation and visual depth. So which one to go for? Well, we have put some consideration which will assist you to decide which will be ideal for you.
Check out the Infographics first:
Technical Part of TV vs Projector
As we all know, size is the only section where the projector blows TV entirely out of the water. A decent mid-budget projector which cost within $1000 has the ability to offer a screen size between 50-300inche with 70-150inches clear size range. It gives you the freedom to fiddle between the size depending upon the crowd. Moreover depending upon the location, you can toggle the size.
But when it comes to television, you would be restricted to a certain size, and once you a buy that specific size, you will have to live with that size. Generally, to get a large size TV, you have to spend more than $1000 to get a potent model offering size between 32inch-50inch. But if you have to go for a large size, then you will have to shell out more than $5000 to get a TV above 70 inches. So in the size section, projector serves as the most plausible solution, and there is no other better alternative when your main priority is size.
The vividness of a frame serves as a primary pillar behind the visual output of both projector and TV. The war intensifies when it comes to brightness section as TV gets the upper hand. The main reason is the brightness in a picture that we perceive through our eye stays almost static while watching TV. But it varies when it comes to the projector because the brightness level fluctuates depending upon the darkness in the room. It is a generic problem of all projectors that the vividness will come down with an increase in the amount of ambient light.
Moreover, the price of a projector increases with notch up in the lumens number, but when you look at TV, brightness fluctuation is not an issue. You can get a TV under $1000 and still it would perform better than a $2000 projector in terms of brightness. In the presence of any amount ambient light, a TV can offer highly vivid pictures with the right amount of clarity. Most importantly, the lamps of a projector die out after some years, and the replacement cost is quite high. So if you want a future-proof display which won’t require much arrangement, then TV is the right choice.
Resolution may seem like just a gimmick, but there is more to the resolution that just the figures as it decides the output quality of both TV and projector. Whether you buy a 720p, 1080p or 4K, a proper size display will be able to show an appropriate quality and detailing. TV takes advantage as it offers adequate resolution especially in 4K which is the current rage of the market. There are many projectors that don’t come with a 4K image sensor and uses 4K enhancer or pixel interpolation to offer 4K alike quality. So it would be a logical idea to spend money on a 4K TV rather than a 4K projector (Check our guide on 4k projectors here) only if screen size restriction is not your concern.
Moreover, many brands are coming with large-sized TVs on the market that are able to boast true 4K HDR quality at excellent screen size. However, for 1080p or 720p resolution, both projector and TV are able to offer almost par performance. According to our experts, projectors take the driving seat in 720p and 1080p resolution segment as they can provide the same quality in a minimum price range. So it entirely depends upon your choice but when you look at the overall scenario TV serves as the winner.
More the contrast, better is the black level in the visual and it is applicable to both projector and TV. In fact, projectors come with a large contrast ratio and the depth in the dark frames is exceptional. However contrast level is dependent on the brightness of the device, and for a projector, you need to have a completely dark room to perceive the proper black depth. A little amount of ambient light will ruin the brightness of the image and subsequently the black depth. Moreover, a projector doesn’t hold the prowess to compete with the ambient light so that it can keep the contrast level intact.
On the other hand, a massive amount of ambient light can also wash out the contrast of a TV, but they are vivid enough to keep the contrast intact. Modern technologies like OLED offers almost unlimited contrast level, and a certain amount of ambient light won’t make a difference. So if you have a proper darkroom, then the projector will be a good choice. However, if you like to purchase a display like a smart thinker which will serve you in any light condition, then TV is the way to go.
The confusion between projector and TV escalates when color saturation comes into play as they both offer lucrative color saturation with impressive color accuracy. To get lifelike color reproduction on TV, you have to spend a good chunk especially when you plan to get a TV with HDR capability.
However, this is not same with the projector as normal DLP or LCD driven models can offer top notch quality which is at par with mid-budget LED TVs. Moreover, projectors get a lot of modern color technology which helps them to cover more than 90% of RC709b. So in this section, the projector comes victorious as they are able to throw better color saturation.
General Aspect to Consider for TV vs Projector
Maintenance is a massive headache for most of the people, and a buyer always looks for a display that is almost maintenance free. If you look at the broader picture, TVs in the most of the cases comes with zero maintenance and occasional dust cleaning is all you need to maintain the longevity.
But, you can’t do the same with the projector as they require a right amount of maintenance and you will really have to take care of the lens correctly. The lamps on the other die after some years of usage, so it is quite an issue for many people. Although there are some LED models that have immense lamp longevity and they don’t even require dusking as they come with a filter.
Projectors are relatively smaller than TV, and they take a little amount of space for placement. The screen can be installed in an empty ceiling or wall, but the projection distance takes most of the places. You can’t put anything in-between the lens and the screen. This is a deal breaker for urban apartment residents as they don’t have dedicated a swanky room for entertainment purpose.
TVs may take a right amount of space in the wall, but they don’t gulp down a significant amount of space. You can comfortably fit them on any side of your room and then enjoy the view from a sofa or bed.
It is evident that the installation process of projectors is quite complicated and you have to make a lot of plans and calculation to place your projector accurately. You need to properly align them so that it can adequately project the image on the screen. The wiring process also takes a toll on the installation process as you will have to connect a lot of cables.
However, the installation process of TV is relatively easy, and you just have to mount them on a wall bracket or standing bracket. The wiring part is also straightforward, and you won’t have to brainstorm to connect the cables.
Almost every TV and projector comes with an inbuilt speaker, but the sound output of all the inbuilt speaker is pretty futile for real home theater experience. However, the inbuilt speaker of TV is much more refined than projector’s, and they are quite adequate for casual entertainment session. It takes care of the basic audio need, and some high-end TVs even come loaded with built-in subwoofer to offer solid audio output. Projectors on the other hand hardly come with excellent speakers, and it is common in the high-end model also. So in terms of basic audio need TV gets the upper hand.
We guess you have already been through all the pointed we have mentioned have, and it is evident that TV gets the crown as it excels in most of the sections.
Raymond is a Product Support Specialist at Canon USA. He mainly deals with the projectors. He completed graduation in Computer Science from Broome Community College. He is a former Performance Improvement Specialist of Jewish Home Lifecare. He conducted a lot of webinar as a guest speaker.