Projector vs Giant TVs: A Battle For Your Viewing Pleasure (Quality, Power Consumption, Input Lag)


What We Have Covered

Nowadays having a home theater or an entertainment area inside the house is a common thing. However, the battle between a projector vs TV is a hot topic when it comes to which is the better option. While it is true that both have notable features and their advantages, knowing what to pick may hugely depend on the needs and specific preferences you have.


In this article, we will dive deep and discuss all you need to know about projectors and TVs. Additionally, we will make a comparison between a projector vs TV that can help you in making up your mind on which to go for.


All You Need To Know About Projectors


To put it simply, a projector is a device or equipment that projects an image or sequence or image to a surface. This could be a large wall or a white screen. It is a type of device that can be an alternative to a television or a monitor to show an image or a video to a crowd.


Projectors also have a wide range of varieties. They come in different sizes and shapes. Some projectors can be free-standing, while others can be mounted on the ceiling to save space. Projectors started gaining attention as a go-to device used for many corporate and business presentations.


However, at present, the applications on where a projector can be used are endless. Many people are now considering having a projector at their homes for entertainment purposes. With that said, projectors have become a strong competitor of giant TVs.


Major Types of Projectors



  • Digital Light Processing (DLP)



The first type of projector is called the Digital Light Processing or DLP type in short. This type uses the combination of a chip containing tilting mirrors that are microscopic in size and a color wheel. The moment a light source enters or passes through the color wheel, it will then be reflected off or will bounce off the tilting mirrors. After that, the output is projected to a wall or a screen.



  • Liquid Crystal Display (LCD)



The next type of projector is referred to as the Liquid Crystal Display or LCD. This type of projector also has several other varieties where this technology is present. There is the Digital Imaging Light Amplification or D-ILA, Liquid Crystal on Silicon or LCOS, and Silicon Crystal Reflective Display or SXRD.


With the LCD projector, it is equipped with 3 LCD chips wherein each is assigned to a specific color. One for red, another for green, and the last for blue. Once the light enters, it is then reflected off of these 3 LCD chips and projects the image.


Light Source of Projectors


Aside from the types of projectors, there is also the type of light source that is also another important piece of information to know. Projectors will usually have either a light source that is LED, Laser or Lamp.



  • Lamp



The old versions of a projector use what is called the CRT Technology which involves three tubes that correspond to the colors red, green, and blue. The downsides with using this technology include difficulty in color convergence, a tendency of the tubes overheating, and consumption of more power.


At present, lamps are now used instead of tubes. These lamps are combined with mirrors that reflect the colors red, green, blue. This makes the color convergence done within the projector.



  • LED



Light Emitting Diodes or simply LED, is another type of light source for projectors. LEDs have a few advantages compared to a lamp. For one, LEDs are smaller in size which allows projectors to be more compact. Secondly, using LED means, a specific color can be assigned to one LED bulb to emit. However, the downside is that LEDs tend to be duller compared to lamps.



  • Laser



The next light source is the LASER which means Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. With the use of a laser in projectors, it basically addressed the issues with using LEDs and lamps. Projectors that use lasers can now project a more precise image as the light source used is a single beam that is tight and thin.


This also allows lower consumption of electricity and generates less heat compared to using a lamp and LEDs. Additionally, lasers have a longer lifespan.


All You Need To Know About TVs


Television has always been a part of any household. Over the years and with the advancements in technology, the television has evolved from just being a viewing equipment. From showing black and white images to offering more colors and visual clarity, there is now a wide range of options for televisions in the market at present.


The innovations are not just in terms of the images we see, television or TVs offer a variety of shapes and sizes. Not to mention the additional features that each brand carries. For a home entertainment set or a home theater, the bigger tends to be the better option. This means a wider and better view, plus other great aspects.


Giant TVs now come with different levels of resolution for the viewer’s benefit. Long gone are TVs that have standard definition resolution. Currently, most TVs have a high definition resolution, but there is also the most recent breakthroughs that are Ultra HD, HDR, and 4k. These may be confusing, but we will discuss more of those later.


Types of TV Screen Displays


Over the years, TV screens have gone through many changes. Here are the different screen advancements that the TV has gone through.



  • LCD



Using the Liquid Crystal Display technology or LCD for short, LCD TVs consume lesser electricity compared to the old plasma TVs. LCD TVs uses a type of backlighting called CCFLs or Cold Cathode Fluorescent Lights. This gives the screen a brighter resolution than that of the older generation TVs.


LCD TVs function with either a passive or active matrix grid. On a passive matrix, at each intersection of the grid, there is a conductor with pixels positioned on it. To control the light for each pixel, a current must pass through the conductors.


On the other hand, an active matrix which is also referred to as Thin Film Transistor (TFT) uses a transistor at each intersection. As a result of this, it requires less control over the light of each pixel.



  • LED



Light Emitting Diodes were not just used in projectors. It turns out; this technology is also present in TVs. While LCD TVs use what is called CCFLs or Cold Cathode Fluorescent Lights for backlighting, LED TVs use LED bulbs as the source of lighting. Back then, this display type was also referred to as LED backlight LCD TV.


Compared to fluorescent light, LED lights require less power and the conversion of power to light is done more efficiently. Being a semiconductor itself, LED emits light when a current passes through it. LED bulbs also have a longer lifespan compared to other light sources.


LED technology can be classified into three types which are Edge-lit LED, RGB, and Full-array LED. In Edge-lit, white LEDs are positioned around and on the edge of the TV screen. With RGB, the LED lights are positioned right behind the panel which enhances the blacks and whites on display. Finally, with the Full-array LED, the placement of LEDs are the same with RGB but without the capabilities of localized dimming.



  • OLED



OLED stands for Organic Light Emitting Diodes. Unlike the regular LED TV, OLEDs contain organic cells positioned behind the TV screen that produces their own luminance. With this technology, it has more advantages than using LEDs. One of which is that OLED TVs are thinner since they do not require backlighting.


Another advantage of OLED TVs is achieving smooth motion even for fast-moving scenes. With OLEDs, there are hardly any blurring that occurs. It also offers excellent viewing even from a wide angle. The image holds good contrast and has outstanding color accuracy.



  • QLED



Finally, there is QLED which means Quantum-dot LED. Some might be under the impression that it is the same as OLED, but the two are actually different. QLEDs have a backlight which is not present in OLEDs. A layer of quantum dots reflects this light which then produces the colors seen on the TV screen. As a result, QLEDs are brighter and have more vibrant colors.


Levels of Resolution


Another feature of TVs that has evolved significantly over the years is the resolution it offers the viewers.



  • Standard Definition (SD)



Standard Definition or simply referred to as SD is a type of digital tv format that has a picture quality the same as with a DVD or Digital Versatile Disk. Nowadays, SD or standard definition TVs are considered to have lower resolution. It also has no definite aspect ratio like other types of tv format. The number of pixel ranges from 300,000 to a million.



  • High Definition (HD)



Another type of tv format is called High Definition or HD as commonly known. This type offers a picture quality which is like that of a 35mm movie. Compared to an SD or standard definition TV, HD TVs offer a resolution that is significantly higher in quality. The vertical resolution display of the HD TV is from 720p to 1080i.


P simply means Progressive Scanning, and I means Interlaced Scanning. HD TVs have a notable aspect ratio of 16:9. Aspect ratio is the proportion between the width and height of the screen. Compared to SD TVs, the pixel number of HD TVs ranges from 1 million to 2 million.



  • Ultra High Definition (UHD) or 4K



While High Definition offers an outstanding picture quality, 4K or UHD takes it a bit higher – 4 times higher to be exact. 4K, also known as UHD or Ultra High Definition offers a resolution that is 4 times better than that of a full HD TV. 4K or UHD TVs have more than 8 million pixels in total which gives crystal-clear image quality and outstanding detail.

Projector vs Giant TVs: Face Off


Now that you have learned more about projectors and TVs, we can go through comparing the two of them. This comparison will be based on the factors that we find important when it comes to picking out the ideal device for your viewing pleasure.



  • Projector vs Giant TVs: Screen Size



While at present TVs have gone extra large, there is still a limit to how big it can go. The maximum size that a TV can go is about 80 inches. Another downside is that once you have bought a TV, you are stuck with its size unless you decide to buy another as a replacement.


Unlike TVs, projectors, on the other hand, can be easily adjusted. This allows a viewing size more than TVs can offer. The projector’s image size can be adjusted up to 400 inches which are significantly bigger than that of even the biggest TV nowadays.



  • Projector vs Giant TVs: Resolution



With 4K also known as UHD or Ultra High Definition trending nowadays, viewers can have a visual experience as a whole new level. Having this remarkable feature on a giant TV can be quite spectacular, but combining it with the capabilities of a projector is another story.


UHD resolution offers 4 times more compared to HD resolution which means more pixels are crammed together on a screen. The problem is that the max screen size of a TV is just around 80 inches. To fully appreciate the beauty brought by 8 million pixels, you need to have an extra large screen which a projector can easily provide.



  • Projector vs Giant TVs: Color and Brightness



In terms of brightness, TVs at present, especially the ones that are UHD are at a significant advantage. The reason for this is because UHD TVs can be HDR-enabled. HDR or High Dynamic Range gives more light which makes the TV screen a lot brighter compared to an image projected from a projector.


Although there are HDR-enabled videos that can be played via a projector, it still does not have much light compared to a UHD TV that has HDR capabilities.



  • Projector vs Giant TVs: Sound Quality



Considering sound quality between a projector vs TVs, TVs again have a bit of an edge on this one. TVs already have built-in speakers that in most cases perform well. Meanwhile, projectors often carry a tiny speaker that tends to serve as a disadvantage.


However, both projectors and TVs can be connected to an external sound system that can improve and maximize sound quality. Be that as it may, we are making this comparison between a projector vs TV without any external attachments. As a result, the TV clearly claims this spot.



  • Projector vs Giant TVs: Installation



In terms of installation, projectors may be tiny but requires a lot more effort and planning to install. The first thing to consider when installing a projector is the screen where the image will be projected to. Options such as a wide, plain or painted wall, a white screen that is free-standing, or a mounted, motorized screen attached to a wall or ceiling should be part of the planning.


On the other hand, installing a TV can be relatively easier. TVs do not require a separate screen since its one unit altogether. Furthermore, attaching external devices to a TV is simpler since you can plug anything directly to it. Even if you intend to mount the TV to a wall, doing so is basically straightforward. So, in this aspect, the vote goes to the TV.



  • Projector vs Giant TVs: Maintenance



With regards to maintenance, both the projector and TV need regular maintenance to some degree. However, with TVs, very little effort is required for its maintenance. The projector, on the other hand, can be quite demanding when it comes to maintenance. Especially for projectors that use lamps that will burn out after some time.


Another aspect of this is the dust that can get inside the projector which is, of course, needs to be cleaned regularly. With that said, the TV offers the kind of maintenance that is painless and easy compared to the projector.



  • Projector vs Giant TVs: Space



There is also the issue of space that needs to be looked into. With a projector, although it is small and portable, a big space still needs to be considered. While it is true that a projector can be easily stored away after every use and its screen can do the same, there is more to it than that.

The reason for this is that a distance between the projector unit and its screen needs to be planned out and properly set up to get a great viewing experience. Setting up a projector that is too close to widescreen that it projects to may not be that appealing and good for your eyes.


In terms of having a TV, however big it is, it usually occupies a relatively smaller space compared to a projector. Since it is just one unit and can only go as big as about 80 inches at its maximum size, it requires a shorter distance between the screen and the viewer. With that said, wins this category yet again.


Our Verdict


In summary, projectors and TVs have gone through a lot of innovation and advancements that make them both an ideal device to consider for your homes. Both projectors and TVs are now incorporated with the latest technology that adds value to the viewer.


In addition to that, we also went through all the important information that you need to know about projectors and TVs. This information gives anyone a wider knowledge about these two devices which is necessary when making a decision on what to pick between the two.


In listing down the factors that are important to you and making a comparison between the two devices, it is easier to see which device has an advantage over the other. In this battle between the projector vs TV, it is very clear that, overall, it is better to opt for a giant TV instead of a projector when it comes to viewing quality but the projector would win if you are planing a home cinema setup as it has more customizable functions and takes up less space in the room.


Bottom line if you want a bigger screen and the ability to set up other peripherals to make up a home cinema then projector is the way to go but if you just want normal high quality viewing the TV will be your best bet.

Hope you enjoyed this comparison and see you back soon!


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