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Projector vs TV: Which is best for your 4K experience

In its relatively short history, 4K home theater projectors and 4K TVs have significantly changed the world of home entertainment. The quality and size of the pictures today are better than ever before, and the possibility to enjoy near perfect image quality from the comfort of your own home has never been more accessible to the mainstream audience. Still, there is one important question that remains unanswered. Does a projector provide a better 4K experience than the 4K TV? Most people who face the projector VS TV dilemma are just looking for the best home entertainment experience, so here are some information that can help you make your own choice.

4K Projectors Vs 4K TVs

1. Resolution

When you are buying a 4K TV there is very little doubt whether or not it is indeed a 4K TV. If the screen resolution is 3840 X 2160 then you are looking at the 4K Ultra HD TV, anything short of that is no longer a 4K TV. With TVs that have a resolution as high as this, you can be sure that all 4K or HDR content is designed to fit perfectly on its screen, while things are a little bit different with 4K projectors.

Many of the 4K projectors are not exactly that because they offer a pseudo 4K resolution through pixel interpolation. To make things even worse, most of the projectors offer only the ability to read and display 4K content, through native Full HD image sensor. If you are not looking to buy a high-end 4K projector make sure that the item you wish to purchase has a true 4K capability.

2. Brightness and Contrast

If you ever watched a movie in a cinema you know that projectors need dark rooms to deliver their best performance. The image brightness, 4K projectors designed for home entertainment, can deliver is largely dependent on the light conditions of the room. But even in the perfect conditions of a darkened room, most projectors can't generate the same level of the projection brightness as a 4K TV.

On the other hand, most projectors have overall better contrast ratios than the one generated on the screen of a 4K HDR TV, with the exception of TVs that feature OLED technology.

3. Colors

Projector vs 4K TV dilemma becomes slightly more complicated when it comes to colors since both 4K TVs and 4K HDR projectors deliver stunningly vibrant colors. In addition, both of these device types are capable of displaying 90% of the HDR color space and cover more than 1.07 billion color shades.

Even though the colors look more vivid on 4K TVs solely because of its huge brightness advantage over the projectors, 4K HDR projectors still offer a somewhat wider color space and coverage.

4. Picture Display

There is no question that projectors have a clear advantage over TVs when it comes to picture display. You can adjust the size of the picture by changing the projector's distance from the surface you want to project the pictures to and you can choose on which surface you want to project pictures. Projection screens usually do the trick, although there might be some research involved related to the room characteristics since you need to know the dimensions of the wall and the room size so you can place the projector at the optimum distance from the screen.

With 4K TVs, you may not get a huge picture display, but the conditions you have to meet in order to enjoy 4K images are much simpler.

5. Audio

All 4K TVs have their own speakers that are more than enough to enjoy the 4K footage you want to watch on your TV. Some models of 4K projectors can have speakers, but because of the position of the projector, they are often behind and above you which doesn't bode well for the audio performance. Most 4K projectors require a setup that includes several external speakers to enable an enjoyable viewing experience.

Furthermore, 4K TV's are much easier to connect with audio devices and you can control the setup with the TV's remote which makes your home entertainment experience much more comfortable.

6. Installation

Setting up a 4K TV is very simple. All you need to do is to find an elevated flat surface on which you wish to place the TV, plug it into the nearest electrical socket and turn it on. If you wish to connect your TV to your desktop computer or your stereo system you might need to get a few more cables, but that is where your troubles end.

Unfortunately the same cannot be said for 4K projectors because you first need to find the right distance from the projection screen, then you must connect it to a computer or video playback device and finally you need to adjust picture sharpness that is directly related to the distance from the projection screen. In terms of simplicity and the amount of time needed for installation the projector VS 4K TV, dilemma seems to be non-existent

7. Viewing experience

For some people, at least the experience of having a 4K projector in your home may be reminiscent of watching a movie in the theater. Also, the projected images might be lighter on the eyes, but if you are thinking about getting a 4K projector bear in mind that you'll need additional equipment to have the best possible viewing experience.

4K TV's provide less immersive experience than the 4K projectors, however, with so many models available with the size of more than 60 inches that provide crisp and vivid colors the experience of watching a movie or any other 4K content is nothing short of superb.

8. Cost

4K projectors vs 4K TVs comparison is not hard to make when it comes to price because projectors are much more expensive. Even the Full HD, 2K projectors that can play 4K content cost between $3.000 and 5.000$, while home entertainment projectors with native 4K resolution don't cost less than $10.000.

4K TVs are much more affordable since you can purchase a new 60-inch model for approximately $2.000. The image quality of 4K projectors simply doesn't justify their price.

Winner - 4K TV

The high price, relatively complicated setup, additional equipment that is required for a perfect home entertainment experience make the 4K projection VS 4K TV showdown incredibly unfair because 4K TVs are simply better in each and every of these aspects. Perhaps the best option is to have both a projector and a 4K TV, but if your budget is limited and you can't spare $3000 or much more for a 4K projector, we suggest that TV is much better option.

Nov 23,2017 13:41 pm
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The Optoma UHD60 claims to have native 4K support (8.3 millions pixels) and 3000 lumens (comparable to 800 nits, or so I'm told), and only costs 1700 USD on Amazon (still a good hunk of money, but way cheaper than 10K that this article claims). I'm trying to decide to get a good 65 inch OLED TV or a projector, so far I'm leaning towards a TV. But getting a projector and having a 120 inch screen also seems pretty tempting... And it's true that to get optimal viewing with a projector, I'd need to buy a good projector screen and sound system. But a high end projector screen lasts forever, it's a one time purchase and I'll probably never need to buy a second one ever. I'll only need to upgrade the projector itself in the future. And Most TVs don't have terrific sound anyways so I'll probably spend 500 or more on a sound system anyways. So while this article makes a great case for getting a TV over a projector, I feel like it's not so simple.
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