So you're setting up a new home entertainment theatre - first off, congratulations! You're about to find out you have a lot more friends than you realised. Secondly, should you buy a wide-screen TV or a projector for the best cinematic experience? It's 2018 and most Aussies own a TV, but then, cinemas exclusively use projectors so there must be something to them...
Right! It's time to quickly explore the pros and cons of TVs versus projectors.
You can't beat a projector for size. A model like Epson's EH-TW5600 can expand up to 300 inches.
You just can't beat a projector for size and sociability. A model like Epson's EH-TW5600 can expand up to 300 inches - you could turn your entire wall into a TV, if you really wanted. And if you host movie or sports nights with all your mates, nobody will be left unable to see the screen. Imagine cheering on your favourite team with good mates, good beer and 300 inches of HD, vivid colour.
Additionally, projectors are widely considered better on viewers' eyes because they aren't back-lit like TVs are. This decreases your chance of getting eye strain on those weekend movie binges, because the light is projected towards the wall, not into your eyes.
And don't forget the cost, either. While there are projectors of all qualities in all price ranges, you can get stunningly high quality Epson 3LCD models for less than a grand. And because projectors are so compact, if you decide you don't want your unit out all the time, it can be easily stowed in a cupboard or drawer out of sight.
However, ambient light can interfere with a projector's brightness. While 3LCD projectors are up to three times brighter than one-chip DLP models*, ambient light can interfere with picture brightness and this is a deal-breaker for some.
Finally, one con some people find in older projectors is the lamps need replaced every couple years or so. That said, contemporary projectors like Epson's range of 3LCD models are designed to last much longer.
One of the biggest points in favour of the humble TV is that it's easier to set up out of the box, and pops more vibrantly in daylight (although 3LCD technology is almost as good). As well as this, smart televisions are typically in-built with moderate-quality speakers, TV tuners and popular apps.
The other bonus of a TV is the resolution versus price. At a similar price point, you'll typically be able to get a 4K TV (UHD), while a projector may only be 1080p (HD). That said, 4K is still relatively uncommon on the market, so you'll really only get the benefit if you watch Blu-rays. DVDs, most web videos and TV stations only offer HD.
Conversely, TVs in Australia are only pushing the 55-65-inch mark. They also take up a lot of space: a 65-inch device is big and heavy, especially when also mounted on an entertainment unit. You could save space by buying a small TV for general soap opera and news watching, and then covering it with a screen on demand for 300-inch movie watching.
*Colour brightness (colour light output) in brightest mode, measured by a third-party lab in accordance with IDMS 15.4. Colour brightness will vary depending on usage conditions. Top-selling Epson 3LCD projectors versus top-selling 1-chip DLP projectors based on PMA Research sales data for Dec.2015 through Nov.2016.
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