Should I Get A Big Screen TV Or Projector
If you have been deciding between purchasing a big screen TV or a projector, but can’t decide which is better for your home and lifestyle, read on. There are many good points that are associated with both of them, but some options fit better with specific homes, viewing styles, and intent, more than others.
Quite recently, I wrote about the ideal ways of setting up your projector for the next big sporting event, but I felt it was also necessary to give you some information as to which medium you should choose for such events. You can read that article here (source).
Now that you’re ready, follow along while we compare the benefits and the problems that each offer you and hopefully this article can help you narrow down your options.
The size of the room that you plan to use should be considered before buying either a television or a projector.
You want a room that can hold your device and leave enough room to maneuver around safely and comfortably. Smaller rooms should consider a flat-screen TV or a projector because of how thin the screens are.
Large rooms may not have the size considerations to take into account as much, but if you are trying to fill a large room with a television or a screen that is fitting compared to the room size, then you need to make size and cost considerations. A very large television screen can be incredibly costly, whereas a large projector screen is often just a fraction of the price.
For rooms that have enough distance between where the screen would be placed and where the projector would be mounted, projectors are definitely the way to go.
Also when you’ve got a team of friends or family over, although a large big screen TV seems as if it would suffice for mass viewing, the fact is the light that emanates from a big screen is virtually nothing compared to the light generated from the projector lamp – scenes on the screen are crisp and all your viewers can take in all the action.
Rooms with a lot of natural light can be incredibly problematic for those who are considering buying a projector. The more ambient lighting a room has, the more diluted the picture on the screen will become.
For rooms with blackout shades, this consideration may not be necessary as the room is then able to become dark enough for the projector to function optimally. If the room has a lot of natural light that you cannot block out, then you may be looking at only having a TV as a viable option for your particular home, but again note, that even ambient light can hinder the apparent quality of a big screen – for either option, lighting is a variable that should be taken into consideration and contemplated upon.
Speaking with the rep at the big box store where you purchase either the projector or TV will be enough to help you determine if the lighting in the space you plan on using either one in, is good enough or too much.
Family and participant considerations
One of the things that many people forget to consider is the family dynamics that come along with your viewing. If you are a family of older children or there are only adults in the house, the cording attached to the projector or the TV won’t really matter. However, if you have young children, you will need to keep in mind that they will likely try and mess with the screen, play with the projector (unless it’s mounted to the ceiling), and constantly walk in front of the screen.
After all, it’s like a giant shadow game, right? When they walk in front of a projector screen, the image will be void under their shadow. This kind of effect doesn’t happen when you’re using a big screen television.
If you can convey to your younger children the necessity of being very careful and not playing around your projector, especially when it’s in action, then your options are still open to you, and you can move on to the next section about the care and maintenance for either purchase you make.
Care and maintenance considerations
The amount of care that each device needs should also be considered prior to purchase. A television only requires a minute amount of care over a period of time; such as dusting it and cleaning the screen to make sure it stays clean. This is especially true if you have little fingers that like to touch the screen.
A projector on the other hand, has a little bit more care that is required for it to function properly and last as long as possible. The care and maintenance isn’t extensive, and doesn’t take up all your time, and neither is it required frequently, but it is required, and a tad more than a big screen. Like the big screen, you need to regularly dust off the projector and also follow basic maintenance instructions that come with your unit.
Most projectors have a manual that comes with them outlining proper projector care. This includes cleaning the air filter for units that have one, how long each unit must be left on to kick the fan on, and proper projector bulb care to keep it running for its maximum amount of time. The time to care for each is minimal when compared to the running time, but it should be considered before a purchase is made.
If you’re OK with the occasional maintenance and the importance of carefully handling your projector, and if you’ve got a roof big enough, the projector viewing will definitely be worth the trouble, but if you want no maintenance trouble at all, the big screen is a better option.
Replacement parts etc.
The last thing to consider is parts. Basically put, a big screen has no parts to worry about; you plug it into the power source, you connect all the appropriate wiring and you’re generally good to go. A projector on the other hand takes a little more maintenance (as stated above) but the lamp of your projector also needs to be replaced every so ofter. For many home theatre enthusiasts replacing the lamp is the least of their problems and for them, the balance between purchasing replacement parts and watching moves and sports events on giant screens is worth the trouble.
The size of the viewing experience
Hands down, projectors win this category. With a projector, you can project moving images onto a screen of any size, and at any size you want to even if your screen is quite large. With a big screen LCD, you’re limited to the size of your TV (and those who need to wear glasses to see images from a few feet away, will have to). The following link takes you to an article on CNET where the pros and cons of both projectors and big screen LCD TVs are laid out quite clearly (link).
The take home
The bottom line is this: choosing between the two types of viewing experience isn’t an easy decision, but if you continue to do your research, you’re bound to find the right option for you, your friends and your family.
If you’ve had to make a decision to purchase either one of them over the other, feel free to leave your comments below so other readers can gain from your experience.