If you love watching movies on a massive screen, using a projector as a TV is the best option. You can replace your TV with a projector and enjoy the cinematic experience at your ease.
With customizable screen and portability feature of projector, you can enjoy a better viewing experience. Unlike TV which has a comparatively longer life span, the projector lamp dies after some time. So, if you are in a dilemma to get a new projector and use it as a TV, this article will guide you through all the details.
Requirements to Use Projector as a TV
Before you can watch your favorite TV show on a projector, you need to take care of a few things. A projector is not capable of showing your TV channels without using additional hardware. Some modern projectors may have built-in apps to support TV streaming. However, most of them need an extra device to support TV streaming. We have listed some of them below.
- In-built Apps : Some projector manufacturer companies like Epson produce projectors with Android TV. They provide you with Google Play Store apps from which you can easily use the TV streaming feature. You don’t need anything extra like a cable box or streaming device if your projector is equipped with such apps.
- Set-top Box : The TV service provider comes up with a set-top box to interconnect your TV and the TV cable. It has an HDMI port in it to connect with the TV. What you need to do is, plug out the HDMI cable from the TV and connect it to the projector’s HDMI IN port. You can now use a projector as a TV without further hassles.
- Streaming Device : There are many streaming devices like Chromecast and Amazon Fire TV Stick that you can use to watch TV if you have not subscribed to the cable TV operator. You need to have an active Internet connection to use these devices. Connect it to the HDMI port of the projector, then connect it to Wi-Fi and stream the show of your choice. You can also watch Youtube videos and Netflix easily using the streaming device.
How to Use a Projector as a TV?
After you have managed a set-top box or a streaming device, now it’s time to connect it to the projector. You should place your projector properly on your desk, or a projector mount on your ceiling before you start setting it up. Steps to using a projector as a TV vary depending upon the connection you are using.
Below are some methods:
Using Cable Box
If you plan to use a projector with a set-top box from your cable service provider, follow these steps to use the projector as a TV:
- Power off your TV and projector.
- Connect HDMI OUT cable from the set-top box to the HDMI IN port of the projector. You may need an HDMI extension cable to extend it from your box to the projector.
- Connect the projector to the sound system.
- Finally, you need to set the correct input mode on your projector using its remote or buttons on the projector. You can now use it as a TV.
- Point your remote towards the set-top box and use it as you used it with a TV.
Using Streaming Device
If you have a streaming device like Amazon Fire TV Stick, you don’t need to hassle with wire connections. Simply, follow these steps:
- Plug the streaming device into the HDMI IN port of the projector.
- Connect it to the power source.
- Select the streaming device as input mode from Settings and you are ready to go.
- Download the TV streaming application and use it. The interface depends upon the model of the device you are using. You should consult their respective websites on how to download and install apps on them.
Pros of Using Projector as a TV
If you use a projector as a TV, it will definitely enhance your streaming experience. Let’s point out some of the Pros of watching TV on a projector:
- Easy Installation: Installing projectors is an easy job. You don’t need any professional support to install the projector and set it up. Installing a TV on your own may be hectic as you need to handle it more carefully.
- Experience Movie Theater at Your Home: A big screen means big entertainment. You will get a cinematic experience at your home when you use a projector as a TV.
- Portability: Projectors are portable. You don’t need to fix it in a single place like you fix a TV on the wall of your room or a tabletop. You can even carry it out of your home and set up a theater on the spot.
- User-Defined Screen Size: The screen size of the projector is customizable. You can increase or decrease the screen size depending upon what you are watching and the video quality you watch.
- Cost Efficient: Purchasing a projector for watching TV is more economical than actually purchasing a TV. There might not be much difference between a small-sized TV and a projector. But when it comes to larger TVs, projectors can provide you with the best cost-to-benefit ratio. For example, buying a projector that supports 110″ is far cheaper than purchasing a 110″ TV.
- No More Eye Strain: If you view TV for a long session on a projector, it won’t hamper as much as TV does. Watching TV on a projector is good for your eyes. Projectors do not directly emit the blue light as TVs do, which is why you can watch the TV for an extended period without eye strain.
Cons of Using a Projector as a TV
Using a projector to watch TV also has some disadvantages. We have listed some of the cons of using a projector as a TV below:
- Short Lifespan of lamps: The main disadvantage of using a projector as a TV is the Lifespan of the lamps. Projectors make use of lamps to display images on the screen. Most projectors have lamps that have a lifespan of about 1500 to 2000 hours. You will need a replacement once you see flickering images or the dim light from the projector. TVs last far more than projectors. TVs don’t require as much maintenance as projectors do.
However, most modern projectors make use of LEDs to display images. It does not create a problem like the one with lamps. I personally suggest you buy a LED projector rather than a lamp.
- Extra Speakers: If you plan to use a projector as a TV, you need to get an extra sound system. Some projectors have built-in speakers but do not sound that good and loud. You need to invest separately for a sound system.
- Need of a Dark Room: The quality of images and videos you see on a screen depends upon the darkness of the room where you are using a projector. Even a small light that escapes into your projector room may degrade the image quality you see on the screen. You must make sure you use curtains in your windows and lock the doors.
- Need a White Wall: You can not directly view images from a projector on any wall. You require a separate white wall or white cloth that is reflective enough to display the images vividly. You may need to purchase a separate white screen to use with the projectors.
- Issues with Ceiling-mounted Projectors: If you plan to mount your projector on your room ceiling, you will need some extra effort. You must install a projector mounter and get electric wiring and cables up there. It may cost some extra for you. Moreover, you must climb up to the ceiling every time you need to troubleshoot it.
How to Get the Best Projector View?
Now that you have read the cons of watching TV on the projector, you may already have many ideas about how to get the best projector view. You should take care of a few more things to get the best out of your projector. Else you may not be able to meet your expectations. Some of them are:
Place your projector at an optimum distance from the walls. Too far or close to the walls may produce unclear or blurry images. You should note the maximum screen size the projector supports and place it accordingly. The placement angle must be perfect for viewing images and videos vividly.
Ensure you inspect the projector’s image quality before installing it on a wall mount. You may run into a problem if you install a projector holder in the wrong position.
Manage Proper Ventilation
Projectors are a source of light and heat. If they overheat, they may shut down to protect themselves from damage. Make sure you use it in a room with proper ventilation. You can use fans or an air conditioner for proper airflow.
Use the Right Settings on Your Projector
Projectors have many picture modes available like Sports and Vivid. You should enable the proper mode depending on your watching environment. Meanwhile, you should also adjust the focus wheel on your projector to achieve the best view.
Contrast ratio is the term that describes the difference between the maximum and minimum brightness levels. Higher contrast ratio is generally considered good for your projector. It makes a balanced whiter, and blacker part of images. Consider setting it above 1500:1.
Resolution is a measurement of horizontally and vertically shown pixels on the screen. Higher the pixels, clearer and crisp the image quality. You might have experienced a difference while watching a 480p video and a 1080p video on Youtube. Set the resolution to the highest value (1920 * 1080) if you want to view the TV in HD.