Using a Projector as Your Everyday TV: Pros, Cons, and Setup Tips
Are you considering ditching your traditional TV and using a projector for your daily television viewing instead? Projectors have come a long way and can create a fantastically immersive viewing experience. But they have some unique requirements compared to regular TVs. Here’s what to know about making a projector your go-to TV.
The Benefits of Going Projector-Only
Why use a projector as an everyday TV? Here are some of the benefits:
- Huge screen size – Project an image of up to 300″ for far more cinematic viewing than a TV.
- Flexible placement – Position the projector anywhere with a clear view of the wall/screen. Doesn’t need to be central like a TV.
- Ambient light rejection – New projector screens maintain contrast in daylight. No more room-darkening required.
- Versatile uses – Use for TV, movies, gaming, presentations, events, etc. Projectors are multi-purpose.
- Movie theater feel – Dim the lights and it’s like having a theater in your home. Extremely immersive experience.
Potential Downsides to Consider
Of course, using a daily projector has some downsides and challenges as well:
- Ambient light can still be an issue – Avoid direct light on the screen to ensure best picture.
- Projector noise from fans – Can be distracting during quiet scenes. Place it far from seating.
- Upfront cost – Projectors run $500 to several thousand. More expensive than many TVs.
- Lamp replacement – Bulbs last 3-5 years with average use but cost $100-300 to replace.
- Image alignment – May need to adjust keystone etc. if projector or screen moves.
Tips for Setting Up a Projector-Centric Home Theater
If you’re ready to take the projector plunge, here are some tips for the best daily viewing setup:
- Choose an appropriate resolution. 1080p works for most content, but 4K future-proofs for ultra HD sources.
- Ensure high brightness of at least 2,000 lumens for watchable daytime viewing.
- Position the projector 15-20 feet back from screen for ideal image size of 100”+ diagonally.
- Invest in a high-contrast projector screen to avoid washed-out blacks.
- Limit ambient light with window shades and consider projector screen paint.
- Place projector level or slightly angled down to screen.
- Connect sound system via audio ports or Bluetooth for immersive sound.
- Hide wires and components in cabinetry for clean appearance.
Making the Switch from TV to Projector
With the right model, screen, placement, and setup, a projector can absolutely replace your current TV for everyday viewing and more. The theater-like experience is worth the effort for movies, sports, and gaming. Just be ready to tweak the setup over time as needed. Have you gone projector-only? Let us know your experience in the comments!