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Are Projectors Better Than TVs?


While projectors still show the biggest images, huge TV screens are sold cheaper than they’ve ever been. So, what would your choice be?

Projectors win for endurance. They last a long time, which is why most of those concerned with image sizes typically go for projectors over televisions. Plus, if you’re searching for projectors under $500, there are tons of options to choose from in the market.

Of course, the situation involving these two accessories today is a bit different from what it was back then or even from the last couple of years. Quite recently, we’ve seen shifts in price and technology, which has allowed the TV to catch up to and even surpass the projector in the big-screen aspect.

Still, the question remains, which should you choose? Let’s try to find out.

Price vs. Performance Comparison

The landscape a decade ago when projectors easily won over televisions is far different than it is today. Super-sized TVs had insane price tags attached to them. With the money you shell out on these monsters, you could already get a projector that gave four times more screen space.

While TV screens as large as 100 inches turned even the most typical shows into events, they weren’t as accessible back then. What’s more, projectors also outperformed them in image quality, with their slightly better contrast ratios and warmth.

Today, you can access large screens on TVs for around half the price they would have been five to 10 years ago. While 100-inch screens still aren’t going to be cheap, you won’t really feel they’re necessary with so many great and affordable options around.

In a nutshell, prices of large TVs have gone down considerably while performance-wise, they’ve upped the ante significantly. Sure, high-quality projectors display excellent brightness for a good price, but they still won’t be able to match today’s big televisions when it comes to picture quality.

Now that we’ve established that prices are sinking, what about performance? They’re going in the opposite direction, but in what ways?


HDR is one of the areas where TVs trump projectors. Although a lot of projectors accept HDR video, they usually can’t run them without problems. Their two main issues are typically brightness and contrast ratio. All projectors, even the best ones, are never going to be as bright as a standard television.

If you got an affordable projector, it’s contrast ratio likely won’t be strong enough to accommodate HDR video. Hence, as far as the gamut of colors are concerned, TVs win over projectors by a mile.

Of course, that’s not to say higher-end projectors that do a decent job with HDR vids don’t exist, but they just won’t come close to the deal you get with standard television. They’ll be far more expensive and, at best, will only be able to deliver as well as a mid-range TV.


Ambient light is something that’ll leave you scratching your head when it comes to projectors. It’s an issue that hasn’t been resolved and will affect how you view high-resolution images.

That’s because projectors don’t really have a way of directing other lights away from the screen, putting its images at risk of getting overpowered in a bright room. These lights impact the darker parts of a picture, which might not do much if you’re watching sports but can interfere with your film experience.

That said, projectors with screens that repel ambient light are being sold in the market. The problem is, they’re far from cheap. Plus, science was always going to win this battle anyway. It doesn’t matter how your fancier screen gets rid of ambient light; the image on it still isn’t going to look better in a bright room vs. a dark one.

If you’re doing some day viewing using a projector, you would need to hang a few curtains strategically. That’s work you might not be willing to do.

TVs were always going to win this round. Their lighting holds up so much better across all types of rooms with all kinds of lighting.

TVs Win the Battle, Hands Down!

We love projectors; seriously, we do. But their time in the limelight has passed, with modern ultra-large televisions now occupying their space at the top spot. What a difference a few years makes.

Even so, TVs on the larger side aren’t going to come without some sacrifices in your living situation. If you want things to be easier, stick to a screen under 50 inches since it’s both practical and still allows you to show off to your friends.

On the other hand, there also isn’t anything wrong with being loyal to the projector. Sure, you might need to sacrifice several aspects of image quality, but there’s no reason you won’t have as good an experience if you’re fine with those things.

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