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Projector or TV: Which Device is Right for You?

Are you trying to decide between buying a projector or a television?

Despite their similar uses, projectors and TVs are two very different devices, and each works best in different circumstances. That’s why making an informed decision is so important!

To help you make the right choice, our experts have put together this guide to help you decide whether to buy a TV or a projector.

Projector vs. TV: Comparing key points

Want a large display? Choose a projector

If a huge display is your main goal, then you should buy a projector. Projectors that are expressly designed for home theatres, like the Epson Home Cinema 5050UB, can display images up to 300" (762 cm) diagonally.

Epson’s Home Cinema 5050UB

That said, TV screens have gotten much bigger in recent years. Nowadays, you can find an 85” flat-screen TV (e.g. the Sony X85J) for less than $4,000.

Sony’s X85J

You can even find TVs with 100” screens, but they rarely go larger than that. Not to mention that it might be more difficult to get these jumbo TVs into your house and install them!

In short, if you’re looking to watch movies, sports or play video games on the biggest screen possible, go with a projector.

Super bright room? TV is best

New projector models can now reach levels of brightness that would have been impossible a few years ago. These devices can produce a beautiful image in a dark, dim or even brightly lit environment…as long as you choose a model with a lot of lumens!

Lumens are the unit of measurement for projector brightness. To display vibrant images in a bright room, opt for a projector with at least 2,000 lumens.

However, even the brightest projectors can’t beat OLED TVs when it comes to contrast (the ability to display deep blacks and bright whites). This is because the pixels in this type of TV only generate light when an electric current is passed through them, providing a nearly infinite contrast ratio.

If your room has thick curtains or is in the basement, you can choose a projector since it won't have to outshine the ambient light. On the other hand, TVs often perform better than projectors in bright rooms.

Love minimalist décor? Choose a projector

More and more homeowners are considering buying a projector instead of a TV because they want their living rooms to be sleek and stylish. This is a logical choice given that you don’t need a TV stand and won’t have to decorate around a big black screen. Ceiling projectors open up your space and declutter your walls. There are also many types of retractable projector screens out there that all but hide your set-up entirely.

Nevertheless, there is one TV model that can actually ENHANCE the look of your living room! Yes, we're talking about The Frame by Samsung. This device displays art and photos in stunning 4K resolution whenever you aren’t watching TV. Choose from a number of different frame designs and colours to fully reflect your tastes and personality!

The Frame TV by Samsung

Want the best possible resolution? Both devices are great!

It’s important to remember that the quality and accuracy of the displayed image (i.e. its resolution) depends on the format of the content itself, regardless of how sophisticated your device is.

More and more movies and TV shows are being produced and distributed in 4K format (also known as Ultra-HD or UHD). The same is true for video games. This format is gradually replacing HD (720p) and Full-HD (1080p). If you want the full 4K experience, you will, of course, need a device with at least 4K resolution.

There are already many 4K TVs on the market, but you can also find plenty of projectors that display 4K images. For example: JVC’s DLA projector series (including the DLA NX7 and the DLA NX5B) have native 4K resolution and are even compatible with HDR technology.

The DLA NX7 model from JVC's DLA projector series

While certain TVs can display images in 8K, virtually no content itself is actually produced in this format.

Looking for exceptional sound? Both offer comparable quality

Flat-screen TVs do not have the best speakers for producing deep bass sounds, in part due to how thin these TVs are. Frankly, they aren’t known for their great sound quality.

As for projectors, very few models come with internal speakers.

To achieve an immersive sound experience with either device, you will need to invest in a sound system with a good sound bar or speakers.

Want an easy installation? Each device poses different challenges

The difficulty of installing a TV depends on several factors. For example, it’s more complicated to place your 75" TV on a wall mount than to simply put it on a TV stand. You can also choose to run the wires through the walls, which adds to the workload.

There are also several different factors that can complicate projector installation. To begin with, you’ll need to make sure your projector is far enough away from your projection screen. Otherwise, you can choose a “short-throw” projector like The Premiere LSP9T by Samsung, which can project a 130-inch image from as little as 238 mm away.

Samsung’s The Premiere LSP9T

Also, mounting a traditional ceiling projector may be a several-person job. You may also need to run some power cable wires through the ceiling for seamless integration.

One thing is for sure: whether you choose a large flat-screen TV or a projector, it's usually best to have professionals install your device. They can also properly calibrate the device to your room.

Choose the right projector

Have you read the above advice and decided that a project is the right choice for you? Great! When deciding between the different available models, keep these features in mind:

  • Image projection technology (LCD, DLP or LCoS)
  • Projector resolution (ranging from 480p to 1080p to 4K)
  • Projector brightness (measured in lumens and must be adjusted to the room brightness)
  • The projection ratio (distance needed between the projector and the screen to get the right image size)
  • Contrast ratio (the difference between an image’s brightest and darkest points)
  • Light source (traditional bulb, LED bulb or laser technology).

Compare these different features to find the model that fits your needs perfectly!

For added guidance, check out our article, “How to choose the perfect projector,” which gives a detailed explanation of the criteria for evaluating projectors.

Choose the right flat-screen TV

Or perhaps a TV is best suited to your needs? There many more TV models than projectors on the market, making it even more difficult to choose. That said, there are a number of different criteria to help you select the right TV, including:

  • Screen technology (LED, OLED or QLED)
  • Screen resolution (720p, 1080p, 4K or 8K)
  • HDR compatibility?
  • Smart TV?
  • Refresh rate (60Hz or 120Hz)
  • Digital image processing
  • …and more!

Unsure about which TV will bring you complete satisfaction? Check out our article, “How to Choose the Right Flat-Screen TV.” It’s full of insight into today’s available TV models!

Projector or television? Find the answer at Fillion Électronique

In short, projectors and TVs are both electronic devices that display content, but rely on very different technologies. They both have advantages and disadvantages, but at the end of the day, neither is truly superior to the other.

That’s why if you’re still unsure, you should contact our electronics experts or come see us in store at 5690 Sherbrooke East in Montreal. We can discuss your specific needs and propose the product that offers you the exact right viewing experience.

See you soon!

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