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Projectors vs. TVs For Gaming: Which Is Better?

Projectors vs. TVs For Gaming: Which Is Better?

Gaming is one of the fun things one can do. Either to relieve stress or just to have some fun time with loved ones, gaming always comes to the rescue.

There are different screen options for playing games. While some people use their TV, others prefer to use a projector, for reasons best known to them. However, the question here is, which is better for gaming, a projector, or a TV?

Before you can conclude on which of these devices is better for gaming, you need to compare their abilities in different aspects.

These aspects will depend on the necessary criteria needed to enjoy gaming.

Screen size

connecting a ps4 controller with projector

Games are best enjoyed on a big screen, whether you are playing alone or you are having split-screen gaming with a friend. A bigger screen means you can conveniently share the screen, with each player using one portion of the screen. It also makes the images bigger and clearer, and this adds to the fun.

Projectors have big screens. This may be the major reason why most people prefer it to a TV. Although the image size differs from one projector to another, it is usually bigger than that of a TV. Some projector screens are up to 100 inches, some others have a larger screen size.

Imagine playing a 4-player race in Mario Kart 8 with a projector with a screen size of more than 100 inches; there will be enough space for each player on the screen.

TV screens on the other hand are not as big as projector screens. They are good for solo gaming or at maximum just for two people. The images will be smaller if they are divided into more than two sections.

Brightness/ image quality

playing games on a projector

Good gaming requires sufficient brightness. A projector’s brightness is measured in lumens, and there are varying degrees of brightness in projectors. Projectors with greater lumens are usually more expensive than those with average lumens.

Although projectors give larger images, their brightness and image quality is usually an issue, especially if you are playing a game during the day. Say your projector gives about 3500 lumens brightness, the light from the sun outside also hits the projector screen and diminishes the one from your projector.

The image quality is also affected. A bigger image most times means a reduction in the image quality.

TVs, although not that big, have a better brightness and image quality. When you compare a 1080p projector with a 4K TV which also costs the same amount as the projector, you will notice that the image from the TV is better.

You will get a better image resolution, brighter whites and darker blacks. The reason is that 4K televisions are equipped with the latest and greatest HDR technologies, and thus they have a very good image quality.

Compatibility with game consoles

A white Wii console

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Most projectors are compatible with game consoles. All you need to do is to connect the game console to the projector via the HDMI port, and all is set! We recommend the Optoma, BenQ, or Epson models for a great gaming experience.

The same goes for TVs. Almost all TVs are compatible with game consoles. For the best experience, we recommend the Samsung, Sony, or LG models. However, PS4 may not play very nicely on old television models.

A need for external speakers

Some projectors are loud enough to give you good sound when playing your games. However, others need to be connected to an external speaker before the sound can be loud and clear.

Other advanced models of projector have dual speakers. They can produce twice as much sound as projectors with one speaker.

TVs do not necessarily need an external speaker. Most models are loud enough for you to enjoy your game. Note that this does not mean you cannot connect a TV to an external speaker, you can. It will help to improve the sound.


cooling fan of projector produces noise

A noisy projector has always been a problem. Loud sounds from the fan inside the projector can interfere with your gaming. Only a few standard projectors operate with a technology that keeps the noise to the barest minimum.

The fans help to keep the projector at a normal temperature. Much heat is generated when a projector is on. Therefore there is the need to regulate this temperature from time to time. Some projectors also have dual cooling fans in them.

TVs make no noise at all when in operation. Only the sound from the game will be heard, with no interference whatsoever.

Portability and Space

two friends playing games on a portable projector in a room

TVs are bigger and will occupy more space, especially if you will be placing the TV on a cabinet or shelf. They are also not portable; TVs are usually fixed in a position.

On the other hand, projectors occupy less space. Most projectors nowadays are very portable. They can be used even in a crampy room, especially short-throw projectors which require a little space to project a large image.

Suppose you have an outdoor get-together with friends, you can easily play games on the projector. But this is not very easy with the TV.

There is much difference in the size of projectors and TVs. The biggest of projectors still cannot be compared to a TV, in terms of size.


Gaming with the projector comes with a lot of issues; image latency, brightness, and even lamp life. Most of these issues are not experienced with a TV. The only obvious advantage that a projector has over a TV is the image size and the space it occupies. Other than that, a TV seems to be the best pick.

However, if you can manage the issues that may ensue with the projector then you can opt for it. But based on a general comparison, you should get a TV instead of a projector.

Note that projectors and TVs are not the only devices for playing games. There are gaming monitors that have been designed to make gaming easier and to look good. They have a good resolution, screen size, and aspect ratio. It is an alternative if you feel that a projector or TV won’t work for you.

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