You’ve decided to replace your aging television, so you stroll the aisles of your favorite big-box electronics store and marvel at the rows of flat-screen TVs.
Choosing the right one can be daunting. They all tend to look the same.
Perhaps you don’t need a new TV. Maybe a video projector that can replicate the theater experience is the answer.
6 important features
No matter which type of projector you want, Sabin and Stone say be sure to include:
1. Enough HDMI ports so you can connect devices
2. Smart TV features so you can stream your favorite shows, or the ability to add a streaming stick to gain those features
3. A minimum brightness of 2,400 ANSI lumens. The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) is the industry standard unit for a projector’s overall light output. Higher is better, especially if you’ll be viewing in a room that’s not dark.
4. 4K resolution so you can view the highest quality available from streaming services
5. Integrated sound so you won’t need to buy a sound bar
6. An established brand name. Check what reviewers say about a model you’re interested in, whether an ultra-short-throw projector includes an ALR screen and the accuracy of the projected image.
Bigger creates an immersive experience
“Without a doubt, the number one reason to move into projection is image size,” says Editor-in-Chief Rob Sabin of ProjectorCentral, a website that calls itself the “world’s largest projector resource.” “People underestimate the impact of what happens with a 100-inch or larger picture compared to the average TV in a typical home viewing room.”
The difference is what fills your peripheral vision, he says. At home, you’re seeing more of the room than the TV.
“In most cases, watching a 65-inch TV from across the room is like watching pixies dancing through a window,” he says. The big screen in a movie theater gives you a feeling of immersion that is easy to get used to.
Cheaper than a TV with the same screen size
Cost per inch is another consideration, says M. David Stone, contributing editor at PC Magazine. You can snag a good-quality 4K laser projector to splash a 100- to 120-inch screen across your wall for 20 percent or 25 percent of the price of the least expensive 100-inch TVs, which are typically $8,000 to $10,000.