TV or Projector: Which one is better and how to choose?

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Are you figuring out if you should buy a TV or projector but have no idea how to decide? Both projectors and TV’s have improved considerably in the last decades, which means there are a lot of features to consider. They are great for watching movies, shows, and playing video games. However, you need to pay close attention to the differences to understand the right choice for your needs.

In this comparison guide of TV’s and projectors you’ll find out the key differences so that the buying decision is simplified. You’ll also figure out how to buy a projector or TV so that the features line up with your viewing preferences. This buying guide is broken down by examining a feature and we will share which of the two types of equipment does a better job of implementation.



Projectors and TV’s offer 4K resolution, but the smaller size of the average TV means you won’t be able to enjoy all the detail. Some projectors are 300 inches in maximums screen size and can retain 4K resolution. Therefore, you have a lot more detail to enjoy.

Better resolution is great if you love rich detail and an image that doesn’t suffer from pixilation. Furthermore, playing video games on the big screen with 4K resolution looks amazing. The true resolution you see also depends on how far away you are sitting from the screen. Sit away from the screen if you notice pixilation, but that’s typically only an issue if you’re watching at 720p quality.


When it comes to maintenance TV’s are the clear winner becomes there is little chance of anything breaking and there is no need to replace parts. Projectors tend to be moved around more often than TV’s and that opens up the door to damage. Also, the projector lamp has a limited life, which can range from 5,000 to 30,000 hours. Therefore, it’s only a matter of time before you’ll need to replace the lamp.

Furthermore, dust getting inside the projector can be an issue. You need to clean the projector out regularly by taking off the hood. This can be problematic depending on the type of projector you have. Some are designed to make it difficult to take off the casing while others make it easy.


Projectors are the most cost effective options of the two. That’s because you can get a 100 inch screen and projector for under $1,000 with 4K capability. However, an 80 inch TV will set you back around $1,500. The price to performance ratio favors TV’s but that is a generality that might not always be true.

For example, at around $500 you can buy a decent TV that will rival similar projectors. It depends on the deal you’re able to get and the time of year that you’re buying. Shop around and you might find a TV that provides more value than most.



Brightness is an important factor because if the surroundings are too bright the image can get overpowered, which leads to poor image quality. As a rule of thumb the image needs to be brighter when the surroundings are brighter.

Most projectors require a dim room to function optimally, which severely limits where and when you can use them. TV’s can operate during the day without problems unless the sunlight is very bright and you have no curtains. Pay attention to the projector brightness rating to figure out how much performance you’ll get during the day.


Projectors can output amazing contrast. Some projectors offer a contrast ratio of 1,000,000:1, which is impressive. However, contrast is a function of brightness so projectors can struggle with this characteristic if there is a lot of sunlight.

The majority of TV’s output amazing contrast so they are the clear winner when it comes to this feature. Even budget TV’s offer some of the best contrast when compared with premium projectors. It’s the way TV screen technology works.


TV’s take up less space – especially if you hang one up on a wall. Nowadays thin TV’s come with almost no bezel so they are space-saving. Projectors take up a lot more space by their very nature because they use a bigger screen size and need to be positioned at a distance from the wall. Depending on your room placing a projector might be tricky if you have nowhere to place it. You could place the projector on a coffee table, but that’s going to take up valuable space on the table you might want to use for other things.

Audio quality

All TV’s are fitted with decent speakers, but only a handful of projectors have integrated speakers. Also, speaker quality tends to be better in TV’s so they are the clear winner in this category. However, you should still upgrade your speakers since a home theatre setup is much better. You’ll enjoy surround sound audio that allows you to feel depth, strong bass, and directionality in the audio.


Now that you understand the main differences between a TV and projector you can make the right buying choice. Choose a TV if you need to save space, want better sound quality, and want to watch content during the middle of a sunny day.

On the other hand, choose a projector if space isn’t an issue, you are on a budget, want massive screen size, and want to enjoy 4K viewing in all of its glory. Nowadays there are so many TV’s and projectors to choose from that you are spoilt for choice. The generalities presented in this guide are just a clue to the buying process. You’ll need to pay careful attention to the features to figure out the best options for your needs.