Projector Screen vs TV

Beth Huston Profile image

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Updated March 14, 2023

When looking for the best TVs for your budget, you’ll quickly find that options go beyond a regular big-screen TV. In fact, for a more movie theater-like experience, you may look into choosing a projector vs a TV. While TVs tend to be cheaper for top-of-the-line models, a projector promises a more cinematic experience. A projector is a moderately small electronic that emits a beam of light to produce a projected image, the technology you see when you go to the movies.


  • The first point of comparison is image quality. You’ll find that the two end up in a draw here. The only difference is that high-quality projectors will be far more expensive than high-quality TVs.
  • Next, you should look at the overall color accuracy. In this arena, it’s another draw. Projectors have come a long way over the years and can rival even the best TVs.
  • Finally, you should always consider the presence of smart features. Being able to use your favorite streaming services with ease is essential. TVs are a better bet for that.

Comparing Projector Screens and Televisions

There are some significant differences between TVs and projectors. For one thing, projectors often allow you to use larger screens. However, they might not perform as well as TVs in harsh ambient light. The biggest difference is that a TV comes complete with what you need to set up and go. A projector requires a more intensive set-up process and a little know-how. Keep reading to find out how these two measure up against each other. Comparing VA panel vs. IPS TV options can also help you make a more informed decision.

Insider Tip

A laser projector is the best option if you’re looking for bold, beautiful colors.

Image Quality

A pleasurable viewing experience is a big part of having successful movie nights. While TVs have been known to have superior imagery, a theater projector can perform just as well. The only difference is that a high-quality projector will cost quite a bit more than a TV for the same level of quality. Of course, comparing TV size vs. room size will help you achieve better image quality because you’ll know how large your TV needs to be for the viewing distance.

Color Accuracy

Having accurate colors is crucial if you want to really enjoy your favorite movie or show. Depending on the type of projector you’re using, you can end up with a minimal color shift that rivals TVs of a similar caliber. Because of this, the two options end up drawing in this category. If accurate colors are important to you, it’s worth looking into how to choose the best plasma TV.

Smart Features

If you’re looking to enjoy your favorite streaming apps, then going with a TV is the safest bet. Most modern televisions have this software built and are more readily compatible with streaming systems. While projectors do have these features, they’ll be far more expensive because of it. In this category, you’ll find that TVs pull ahead by a margin. For those sold on TVs, researching the best curved TV options is a great idea. If you mainly need a TV for your room, the best TVs for bedrooms may be calling your name.

STAT: In the first quarter of 2018, the projector market revenue amounted to 2.24 billion U.S. dollars worldwide. (source)

Projector Screen vs TV FAQs

How much screen real estate do I really need?

Screen sizes are a huge determining factor in purchasing a new TV. While a 100-inch screen may seem tempting, always consider the size of the room the TV is in and whether it will comfortably fit that space.

Does ambient light make a difference?

Yes, and ambient light can ruin your experience in harsh environments. The best way to combat this is to create a “movie theater” environment. Turn off the lights and pull the curtains to reduce ambient light.

Do projectors come with a built-in speaker?

Some projectors will come with a speaker built right in. However, budget-friendly models usually require an external speaker. Make sure you check to see whether the model you’re interested in has one or not.

Do larger images produce a better viewing experience?

A huge image will generally reveal more detail when it comes down to it. However, the most crucial factor is the build of the TV. A 4K model will always be better than a lesser-quality version.
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