Many gamers have to choose between a TV and video projector for gaming vs home theater, causing some divide over preferences. However, the best projectors for gaming should have enhanced brightness, refresh rate, and response time. Meanwhile, home theater projectors provide enhanced resolution for watching your favorite movies. You should consider a short-throw projector for both types of projectors. In addition, you may not want to use the built-in speakers since the audio on stationary or portable projectors is sometimes lacking. You may also want to consider whether you want a wireless projector vs. a wired projector.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • Gamers should look for a projector with increased refresh rates and high contrast ratio to create a more immersive experience.
  • Home theater projection technology typically includes higher resolution for increased picture quality.
  • Both home theater and gaming projectors require at least 2,000 ANSI lumens, though gaming projectors typically have higher brightnesses.

Gaming vs Home Theater Video Projection

Gaming and home theater modern projectors are incredibly similar. Most projection brands do not offer a separate line-up for gaming, causing gamers to look closely at the specs to determine what projector they should purchase. Contrast ratio, color gamut, and refresh rate remain essential for an immersive gaming experience for many gamers. On the other hand, home theater projectors typically require higher resolution as more movies are released in 4K than video games. Just as you would for a smartboard vs. an interactive projector, you may also want to consider the amount of ambient light in your room to determine the appropriate brightness.

Insider Tip

If you’re looking for a gaming projector, you want one with a high refresh rate, so you don’t miss any of the action.

Resolution

Both gaming and home theater projectors come in full HD, also referred to as 1080p. As with televisions, higher resolution often leads to increased image quality at the desired image size. However, a 1080p native resolution used on a larger image has lower pixel density and, in turn, picture quality than television with the same resolution. Some home theater projectors come with 4K resolution. Because of higher refresh rates, a video game projector loses the advantage in this category. Recently, some gaming models have been released with 4K resolution.

Brightness

As a player, you will want a brighter projector than is necessary for a home theater. Many video games have intrinsically dark details that can be hard to see if your screen isn’t bright enough. Because of this aspect, some people prefer gaming using a projector to see the details at the creator’s recommended brightness. Gaming projectors emit 3,000 ANSI lumens of brightness, while home theaters can typically use 2,000 lumens of brightness instead because you can limit ambient light. However, when it comes to lamp life, you may not notice much of a difference.

Contrast Ratio

Like brightness, the contrast ratio has a direct influence on how we view our games. It refers to the ratio between the brightest whites and darkest blacks. Although this aspect may seem unimportant, many video games feature black levels that can be hard to distinguish on a TV or projector without great contrast, especially open-world video games. A decent projector for a home theater should have a reasonable contrast ratio, but movies do not often require the level of detail that games do. Thus, gaming projectors have the advantage in contrast ratio.

Refresh Rate

Ideally, a gaming projector will include a high refresh rate, which measures how many times per second a new image can be drawn from a device measured in Hertz, which should be about a 120Hz refresh rate for gaming. As a result, you can expect lower input lag, meaning the input commands will happen faster on the screen. Gaming projectors feature a native refresh rate of 120 Hz on a full HD 1080p device. Additionally, some projectors have game-specific modes that reduce latency. If you are using your projector as a theater, you don’t need low latency.

Warning

Many games are not available in 4K, so you may want to stick with a cheaper 1080p option, which still features full HD.

F.A.Q.S

Do projectors have input lag when playing video games on them?

Most devices have a small amount of input lag as the computer processes the command. As a result, projectors with low refresh rates or response times may have greater input lag than those with higher rates.


Does the audio from the video gameplay through the projector?

Most projectors have built-in speakers, but they usually aren’t that great. If you’re looking for improved audio, you may need to buy a speaker system.


Is using a projector for gaming better for your eyes?

Yes, because the image you see is constructed using indirect light instead of direct light. As a result, it is often easier on the eyes.



STAT: Superior video response and visual performance will submerge you, your friends, and your family in intense action and the exuberant world of movies, sports events, and (party) games. (source)

Christen Costa

Grew up back East, got sick of the cold and headed West. Since I was small I have been pushing buttons - both electronic and human. With an insatiable need for tech I thought "why not start a blog focusing on technology, and use my dislikes and likes to post on gadgets."

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