Is a projector any good for gaming? It seems like a great idea - who wouldn't want to throw a bit of Halo or FIFA on a 300-inch screen?
Well, while projector gaming is a fantastic idea, it isn't for everyone. This simplified pros and cons guide should help you quickly decide if it's for you or not.
This simplified pros and cons guide should help you quickly decide if you'll like a projector.
Pros of projector gaming
First up, screen size. A home theatre projector from the likes of Epson can expand up to 300 inches. Meanwhile, the average HDTV is still only pushing 55-65 inches.
Secondly, input lag (that's how long it takes for a console button command to display on-screen) can be minimal on projectors. Without a dedicated Game Mode, some HDTVs have been known to slow games down thanks to some of the processes involved in displaying high-def images - for example, HDR processing.
Finally, eye strain is typically less common with projectors. You see, TVs are back-lit and the screens are relatively small. So, when you watch TV in a dark room, a concentrated amount of light is directed towards your eyes - this can cause discomfort over time. Projectors are of course lit in the other direction, and the light is spread out over a wider area.
Cons of projector gaming
One consideration is your sound system. Some projectors don't come built with the best, if any, speakers. This means you'll have to invest in a separate setup to get the best-quality audio.
Two other points to think about are start-up time and noise. There are projector users who have complained that the fan noise is distracting - particularly if the unit is situated near their seating area. Projectors are also typically slower to start up and turn off than HDTVs.
Some find ambient light from the surrounding environment to be a problem. While 3LCD technology is three times brighter than DLP*, excessive ambient light can start to wash out bright colours in a projected image. You'll get the best results with the curtains drawn.
Bonus point: Will cables be an issue?
Contemporary wireless HDMI projectors come with a sleek transmitter box that you can place anywhere, so your console doesn't need to be next to the projector, and you don't need to drill any holes or run cables along walls. Epson's wireless boxes can stream HD images from as far away as 10 metres.
The issues around using a projector for gaming are usually only noticeable if you're a highly competitive, very serious gamer, or if you can't control ambient light. In most other circumstances, gamers reap great benefits from the massive screen - quite frankly, it just feels awesome, like playing a game in your nearest cinema.
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