TV or Projector? How to Choose a Home Theater Display.

home theater lighting

Two camps exist in the home theater world, flat screen tv lovers and projector adherents. These warring tribes continually clash in the comment sections of home theater articles. If you are assembling a home theater system or upgrading your current one, you might get caught up in the perpetual TV vs Projector Debate. In this article, we present the case for both so you can decide which type of display will work best in your home theater.


The Case for Flat Screen TV

flat screen


TVs are brighter than projectors. They still look better in low light, but you can watch them in daylight. If your entertainment room has ambient light from lots of windows, you will need curtains to block this light to get a good viewing experience out of a projector. Bear in mind, a great home theater has nice, solid curtains not just for blocking light, but for absorbing sound.


We all know how to operate a TV, they’re pretty simple. Projectors seem complicated because we’re not used to using them. However, after a few uses, you’ll see how simple projectors are. If you plan on leaving your screen in one place, using a projector involves no more steps than using a TV. Setting up the system in another location is simple too.

Built in speakers.

Most projectors do not have built in speakers. All TVs do, not good ones though. A real home theater requires a separate display and sound system, whether the display is a TV or a projector.

No bulb replacement.

Just like the bulb in your light fixtures, projector bulbs eventually burn out. Contemporary models last between 2,000 and 4,000 hours. So, you can watch about 2 ½ to 5 hours a day for a year. The replacement bulb can cost $200 or more.


The Case for Projectors

home theater lighting


Projectors have a wide price range, but the bottom line is this: per inch of screen size, projectors are much less expensive. The largest TVs cost upwards of $8,000 dollars, and they’re still smaller than many projectors.


Hate seeing black bars around your screen? With a high end projector, you can adjust your screen’s ratio so that it perfectly matches an ultra-wide screen action flick or a practically square TV show.

Viewing angle.

LCD screens look best when you’re sitting front and center. That’s fine for the person sitting smack in the middle of the home theater. For everyone sitting around that person, that’s not so great.


Is your entertainment room used for more than movie screenings, TV watching and gaming? When you’re done using your projector, simply pack it up, roll up the screen and tuck them both away. Try this with a 100 pound flat screen. No, don’t. Please don’t try it. Also, you can easily take your projector over to a friend’s house or set it up in the backyard.

Better for your eyes.

As they use less light distributed over a larger space, projectors are better for your eyes than staring at a TV.

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