Over the past decades, there have been several upgrades to projector technology. All the upgrades were geared towards increasing projection quality, improving viewing experience, and conserving energy.
The laser projection technology is one of these upgrades — an impressive advancement from its predecessors, the CRT, Lamp, and LED projectors.
Laser light sources offer better brightness, energy conservation, and longer lifespan. These properties make it ideal for office presentations, movie entertainment, and gaming!
What type of projectors is best for gaming? Let’s find out. This article will explain laser projectors, how they work, and how they can affect your gaming experience.
What Makes a Projector Good for Gaming?
Projectors are an exciting option for gaming. Displaying your game – action-packed or otherwise – on a large screen gives an “in the game” feeling which is quite appealing.
However, gaming requires much higher specifications than the regular movie or image streaming. To enjoy your gaming experience, you’ll need to consider several factors before purchasing a projector.
Specifications, features, and light sources matter a lot when it comes to gaming. There are dedicated gaming projectors with the required specs and features, like the Optoma GT1080HDR Short Throw Gaming Projector .
We’ll highlight the most important factors and explain how they affect your gaming experience in the following sections.
1. High Refresh Rate
Video production is simply a series of images moving by very fast to give the illusion of motion. Refresh rate is the speed at which your display device updates the images and frames it receives.
The refresh rate is represented and measured in Hertz (Hz).
Projectors with higher refresh rates ensure smoother image and motion display. When you play games or stream movies on projectors with high refresh rates, you can avoid blurs and enjoy high-clarity images.
However, the refresh rate only indicates the maximum display rate of your projector. You still need a media source with an equally high frame rate.
The frame rate (fps) of a media device measures how many frames it sends to a display in one second. Most game consoles run HD images at 60fps, while consoles with more graphics — like the Xbox series S — may run up to 120fps.
Consequently, a good gaming projector should be able to handle that much. We recommend a refresh rate of 120Hz or more.
2. Low Input Lag
Input lag is the time it takes your display device to interpret an input, action, or command from your GPU. It is measured in milliseconds (Ms).
In other words, when you click on the button or controls for your character to jump, input lag is the time it takes before your projector displays that action on the screen.
This delay is often tiny, almost insignificant, and can be overlooked while streaming a movie or playing low-end competitive games.
However, with high-end competitive gaming, even milliseconds matter, and input lags can become unbearable.
Gaming projectors should have an input lag below 20-40ms for a smoother gaming experience. Anything higher than that can present some trouble.
3. HDMI Connector Version
The HDMI version of a display device can give you a lot of information on the said device. You know what to expect regarding audio, resolution, and even refresh rate with the assigned HDMI version.
Projectors with HDMI versions below the 2.0 are not recommendable for gaming. We’ll explain why.
HDMI version 2.0 and above come with increased bandwidth, allowing your projector to receive high-resolution images up to 4K.
Consoles like the Xbox Series X, Xbox One X, and PlayStation 5 now output native 4K resolutions. The HDMI 1.4 version doesn’t support 4K resolution — except in 1.4b, which still limits the refresh rate to 24Hz.
On the other hand, HDMI 2.0 supports up to 60Hz, and HDMI 2.1 supports up to 120Hz for images in 4K resolution. They also support HDMI ARC and eARC functions for high audio quality.
4. Throw Ratio
The farther projectors are from the screen, the larger the image they display. Hence, you need distance to increase image size.
The throw ratio of a projector measures how much distance it requires to display a large image.
Depending on your throw distance (the space available between your projector and your screen), you may need a short-throw projector or a long-throw projector.
You must consider the throw distance available in your space and buy a suitable projector to avoid any other zoom or keystone adjustment.
Image adjustments of the kind mentioned above can affect image clarity. They can also increase processing load and, in turn, cause higher input lag.
Most home theater set-ups favor the short throw projector since it displays a large image even from a short throw distance and preserves image brightness.
Are Laser Projectors Good for Gaming?
The short answer is yes! This section explains why.
Laser projectors have the brightest forms of projection technology with high color accuracy. They use a single blue laser or three RGB lasers as their light source.
One of the many advantages of laser projectors is longevity. They have 20,000 lamp hours or more, which means they can support long hours of gaming and still last up to 15 years.
Their advantages also include low heat generation and the ability to begin operating at maximum brightness while skipping the warm-up process.
Which Projectors are Best for Gaming?
You can play games on any projector, whether lamp, LED or laser. However, not every projector has the right features to support long-term gaming.
We have found that laser projectors are the best choice for gaming. This section explains their advantages over LED and lamp projectors.
While lamp projectors are very affordable, they are fast phasing out. Their lifespan is limited to about 5000 hours, requiring frequent replacement.
Lamp projectors also have complex cooling systems because they emit a lot of heat. The result is frequent overheating and noisy projection.
LED projectors have the advantage of convenience. They are usually small, and they emit low heat. However, they have limited brightness and are only suitable for projection in small or dark spaces.
Laser projectors have higher light output, thicker beams, and generate far less heat than lamp projectors. Hence, you can enjoy bright pictures and play games for long periods without the risk of overheating.
Laser projectors use coherent tight light beams which do not scatter during projection. They withstand ambient light interference — they are better at daytime image production than other types of projectors in their price category.
Because they run at lower temperatures, laser projectors do not have complex and noisy cooling systems. Hence, you won’t need an external speaker to drown out the noise.
The laser projector is the best choice for gaming!
Laser projectors use laser light technology which has many benefits. They are bright, long-lasting, relatively quiet, and produce high-clarity images.
What’s the icing on the cake? Mounting is not a problem!
Unlike LED and lamp projectors, laser projectors require little maintenance. You can take advantage of the many places to mount your projector — even if they are out of reach.
Gabriella ‘Diogo is a content writer with a vested interest in tech hardware and equipment. She shares her knowledge and processes in an easy-to-grasp, lighthearted style. When she’s not testing or researching device performance, you’ll find her writing short stories or rewatching episodes of her favorite sitcoms.