Are Projectors Good For Gaming – What Are The Benefits & Drawbacks?

Yes. Projectors are fantastic for immersive gameplay. The experience is cinematic, and the input lag is less.

Nowadays, the majority of hardcore gamers are gaming on projectors because it is the only way of gaming on a large-sized screen.

There are strong and research-based articles available online on whether or not a projector is recommended for gaming.

By the end of this blog post, you will understand why experts and gaming hard cores like us choose projectors over TVs despite knowing that a TV will produce deeper blacks compared to any projector in the world.

Why I choose projectors over TV screens

I have been gaming on projectors since 2016 and I am happy I chose the right thing. The reasons are listed below:

Screen Size:

Projector-Screen-Size

4K TV screens like Samsung and LG are great for gaming. Colors and black levels are out of this world, but the craving for a bigger picture was always there.

A couple of my buddies who are pro gamers were using OPTOMA GT5600 and they recommended it to me. I was hooked in immediately.

First of all, it was a short throw which was ideal for my hostel room where there isn’t much space. I could project a 100inch screen from inches away.

Although it wasn’t as good as my 4K LED screen in terms of blacks and picture quality, but the screen size made for it. New gamers won’t notice such things as blacks or saturation.

Portability:

It is a convenient option for me and my buddies because we travel a lot. Models like GT5600, BENQ TH671ST, and BENQ HT2150ST are compact and portable. Unlike LEDs, I carry at least one portable projector from my collection during my visit to different countries.

It is convenient and easy to install a projector in a hotel room/guest house instead of a 4K TV.

Projectors Reduce Eyestrain

Games involve rapid moving images across the screen and I love to play for hours continuously and I sit closer to the screen to see what’s going on.

Unlike those LED TVs, we don’t look directly at the pixels projected by the lighting source. The image is projected at the screen and it doesn’t take much toll on our eyes compared to TVs as we all know.

I site farther away from the screen due to image size. It is another factor that reduces eyestrain. You are away from the light source and it is not directly focused on your eyes.

The blue-light settings allow us to reduce the brightness levels and adjust it according to our eyes. We can do similar with the TV but to the extent of the projectors.

With projectors, you can increase or decrease the image size, you set different positions, and angles in the home theater or living room. You can never do the same with TVs no matter how expensive of a model you get.

Low input lag. Input lag has become a concern with the rise of new technologies like HDR inexpensive TVs. It leads to dedicated “gaming modes” in most projectors.

Just like other pro gamers and technicians, we test each projector that we review for input lag with the help of LEO Bodnar input lag tester Models like BenQ TH671ST, OPTOMA GT5600, and BenQ HT2150ST had the lowest input lag (around 16ms) which is way below the 40ms standard lag.

Higher input lag is like a buzz killer. Most projectors don’t offer a good refresh rate and lower lagging, but the above-mentioned models are designed for gaming so you can bet on them.

Better Multiplayer Gaming on Projectors:

Multiplayer-gaming-on-projector

Compared to TV, you will get a chunkier portion of the screen to yourself when you are playing COD or Counter strike with your pals like I do. It was never the case with TV screens.

Split-screen gaming on a projector is more fluent than on a TV and this statement is backed by pro gamers.

Drawbacks

They Won’t Look As Good:

Compared to any 4K LED equipped with HDR will always stand above most projectors in terms of picture quality.

Projector’s HDR content can never match a TV’s HDR content. Even the most expensive SONY JVC projectors fall short to in the HDR department. It is not like bad or something, but it just can’t maintain HDR uniformity compared to a 4K TV and most people can’t afford $10k+ projectors just to have a better HDR and native 4K.

4K/HDR projectors will eventually come down in terms of price, but right now this technology is exclusive to televisions.

External Speakers Are Needed Mostly:

Built-in speakers in most projectors sound awful. They are not made for gaming at all. There are some models like XGIMI Halo and VAVA with built-in Harmon Kardon speakers that sound good, but still not good enough to be dedicated listeners.

Maybe those speakers are enough for a newbie gamer but not for the pros like us.

Projectors Take Time To Turn OFF And ON:

An average lamp-based projector takes time to turn OFF/ON. Although the latest LED and Laser-based models don’t take much to turn ON, those can be a bit expensive. It isn’t much big of a deal but worth mentioning.

Projectors Can Get Hot And A Bit Noisy:

I will not sugarcoat things, most projectors are noisy and they emit heat especially lamp-based models.

My GT 5600 is an awesome gaming projector, but it emits lava. Oh man, it gets so hot in the room that without AC, it is almost impossible to play games in the summers. Not all projectors emit that much heat but they do get a bit hot compared to TV.

Fan noise is also an issue with most gaming models. It gets unbearable sometimes, especially for older models.

Heat and noise are an issue if we compare it to standard 4K TV, but it doesn’t stop me to play games on humongous screen size.

Power consumption: While an average TV consumes about 60 – 70W whereas a normal compared with the power saving mode ON can consume 250 – 400W. It is not big of an issue because you get a huge cinema-type picture so extra power consumption is understandable.

Ambient Light Effect:

Ambient-light-performance

Ambient light is not ideal for most projectors despite the higher lumen output. A pitch-black room is best suited for home theater projectors that can also be used for gaming if you want the colors and blacks to be on the spot.

Speaking of blacks, 4K TVs have more uniform and deeper blacks compared to any projector in the world.

Conclusion

Projectors have their disadvantages like noise, heat, low blacks levels, HDR content, you would need external speakers, and they take time to turn ON/OFF compared to a standard 4K TV.

Despite all that, projectors provide a humongous screen for dedicated gaming, eyestrain is much less because we are not directly staring at the lighting source, input lag is less, they are compact and portable, and the overall experience is super cool.

So the answer to the question “are projectors good for gaming” is certainly yes.

We are not saying that projectors are better than TV for gaming, but it is a lot more fun.

About Gregor Allen

Gregor Allen is the Founder and Managing Director of Glinty Lab. He is an Electronics Engineer and Blogger. He loves to write unbiased reviews about tech products.

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