Should I buy a projector or a TV?

Should I buy a projector or a TV? - An image of a TV in a living room

Should I buy a projector or a TV? - An image of a TV in a living room

With advancements in technology, modern projectors have bridged the gap, now rivalling the quality of TVs. This has naturally posed a question for many individuals in the market for a new home entertainment setup: Should I buy a projector or a TV?

Both projectors and TVs have their distinct strengths that make them appealing in their own right. Your final choice depends on which of these strengths aligns best with your specific needs and preferences.

This comprehensive guide aims to provide you with invaluable insights that will empower you to decide whether you should buy a projector or a TV.

Projector vs TV - what to consider?

Choosing between a projector and a television for your home entertainment can be a tough call. Each offers a unique viewing experience and comes with its own set of advantages.

The decision between buying a projector and a TV will depend on a few factors. Here are some things to consider when making your decision:


The cost of TVs can vary greatly based on size, resolution, and additional features. Generally, smaller to mid-sized TVs are quite affordable, but as you move towards larger sizes and higher-end models like OLED or QD-OLED, the price increases significantly.

Projectors can often be a more cost-effective choice, especially if you desire a larger screen size. However, keep in mind the potential for additional costs such as replacement bulbs and screens, and possibly an audio system if one is not already in place.


Televisions typically come with built-in speakers, which can range in quality depending on the TV model. Many newer, high-end TVs feature well-designed speakers that provide decent audio quality for general viewing.

Modern projectors come with built-in speakers, but the audio quality is often poor due to the same space constraints. As a result, if you opt for a projector, you should generally plan on investing in an external audio system (soundbar) or settle for low-quality audio.


Gaming TVs typically have low input lag and quick response times compared to projectors. Additionally, the best gaming TVs boast gaming features such as HDMI 2.1 and VRR, which reduce screen tearing and stuttering.

While projectors are good for gaming, they tend to have higher input lag and slower response times compared to TVs, which may not be ideal for competitive gaming. Also, even the best gaming projectors lack advanced gaming features such as VRR and HDMI 2.1.


TVs are relatively low-maintenance devices. Other than routine cleaning of the screen, no regular maintenance is required. They do not have parts that need routine replacement, and generally, modern TVs can last for several years without any significant issues.

Projectors require a bit more upkeep. Dust can also accumulate on the lens and internal components, requiring more regular cleaning to maintain optimal image quality. The light source such as LED, lamp or laser needs to be replaced often.


TVs, especially larger models, are not highly portable. They are typically designed to be set up in one location and not moved frequently. Even smaller TVs are relatively heavy and bulky, and they require a sturdy stand or mount.

In contrast, projectors are generally more portable. They are often lighter and more compact than TVs, making it easier to move them from room to room or even to different locations outside your home.


TVs work well in various lighting conditions, including bright rooms. Modern technologies like QLED and QD-OLED offer high brightness levels and can deliver vibrant and clear images even in well-lit environments, making them versatile for different room setups.

Projectors require more consideration for setup. They perform best in dark or dimly lit rooms, so control over light is essential. A screen or a large, flat white wall is needed for the best viewing experience.

Should I buy a projector or a TV?

Whether you should buy a projector or a TV depends on your specific needs, preferences, and the environment where you plan to use it.

If you're seeking a home cinema experience, desire a screen size larger than the typical TV, and have a controlled lighting environment, a projector could be an excellent choice. It also offers more portability and can be more cost-effective for larger screen sizes.

If you prioritize image quality in various lighting conditions, need built-in high-quality sound, and prefer lower maintenance, a TV would likely be a better fit. Modern TVs also often have lower input lag and better response times, which are advantageous for gaming.

It's essential to consider your unique situation and use case when making this decision. Both projectors and TVs have their strengths, and understanding these will help you make the best choice for your needs.

And that covers our guide on whether you should buy a projector or a TV. If you are still interested in projectors, may we interest you in the best budget short-throw projectors or the best projectors under 500?

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