Story by Brendan Hasse, via our partner site, Digital Trends /
If you want to go big in your home theater, you’re probably arguing with yourself over whether to go with a really big TV, or a projector and screen. On one hand, projectors have gotten a lot brighter and more affordable over the past few years, but on the other hand, TVs are bigger than ever before, and now 4K Ultra HD resolution is a consideration. And what about the sound?
Indeed, both options have their pros and cons, and there are specific scenarios where one would be a better option over the other. To help you decide which will work best in your own home theater setup, DT has put together this guide comparing projectors vs. TVs. We’ve detailed how the two differ in terms of price, picture quality, installation, sound quality, and convenience.
How much bang can you get for your buck? We’re all looking for a good value, but when we talk about going big in a home theater, how much you pay per inch of picture, and how quality that picture is, are inextricably linked. With that in mind, we’ve broken down key picture quality considerations in terms of their relative costs for both TVs and projector/screen combinations.
Click on the above link to see which one won in the other noted categories, but read on below to find out about who’s the tops in terms of our core interest here at HRAC, SQ.
TVs are the better choice here, and for one simple reason: TVs actually have speakers, and sometimes decent ones at that. Some projectors include speakers, sure, but they’re usually tiny and tinny, and they’re usually in the wrong place (above and behind you).
On the other hand, we couldn’t forgive ourselves if we didn’t talk seriously about the speaker setup in your home theater — this article is all about finding the best home theater experience for your home, after all. External speakers, subwoofers, and soundbars all exist for a reason. Many TVs will give you pretty good sound right out of the box, but their primary role is video. If you really want to get the most out of your home theater, whether you’re using a TV or Projector, a solid sound system will make a huge difference. If you’re looking for the best possible sound options, give our recommendations for the best sound bars a look, and read our guide for creating a great surround sound setup.
Still, comparing just TVs and projectors, external speakers are almost always a requirement for projectors, while a high-quality TV can handle basic audio needs on its own.
Overall Winner: TVs
If you tally up the points from all of the categories, TVs win by a landslide. No question. Congratulations TV!
That doesn’t necessarily mean a TV is the best choice for you. Throughout the categories, we detailed an ideal projector setup: Blacked out room, wall-sized screen, carefully arranged furniture, and a rockin’ sound system attached. It’s an involved setup — and a pricey one — but nothing else delivers the cinematic experience of a projector-based home theater. And if that’s what you’re after, some diligence, a little planning, and some patience will deliver a knock-out performance that will keep your friends knocking down your door for years to come.
Ready to buy that TV? Read our Best TVs under $1,000 and Best TVs under $500. Regardless of whether you go with a projector or a TV, you’ll want the best looking Blu-raysto watch on to get the most out of it.