This holiday season, we’re all thinking about upgrading our home entertaining spaces. To make the most of it, you may be considering upgrading your main video device, and potentially even deciding between a projector and a smart TV. Here’s what to consider as you make your decision.
Projector or smart TV: Price vs. Performance
Just a few years ago, big TVs were unreasonably expensive. If size was your top priority, a projector made more sense—you could get a projector to show a massive-sized image, and a massive projector screen for a much better price. However, now the technology has changed. Smart TVs (and nowadays, pretty muchc all TVs are smart for streaming) have caught up to projectors, and you can get a good-quality 75-inch+ TV at a very reasonable price. If you were to look for a similarly priced projector, you have to be careful to ensure that the image is bright and not washed out.
Space considerations: projector vs smart TV
When it comes to smart TV vs projector, space has always played a factor in this decision, and in different ways. With a TV, you need a place to put it (on furniture) or to wall mount it. With a projector, you need a space for a projector screen, and enough distance from it for the projector; similarly you’ll either need a projector stand or to ceiling mount the projector. Since renters may not be able to put holes in the walls or ceiling, this might be a consideration when deciding which device to choose. Similarly if you have a very small room, a projector may not be the best fit. Want to host movie night outdoors? A projector is way more portable and versatile for this purpose.
HDR, 8K & 4K technology
Video shot using High dynamic range (HDR) and 4K resolution is the gold standard in video today. HDR delivers a greater color range and improved highlight details. What gives TVs a slight edge in this category is that some projectors struggled with displaying HDR. While 4K projectors are now extremely common and prices have come down, you likely won’t be able to find an 8K projector. So if having the highest resolution possible is important, a smart 8K TV is the only way to go.
Do you have lots of light in the room? TV may be a better choice
One thing to consider before purchasing a smart TV or projector as a gift is where and how it will be used. In environments where there is a lot of ambient light, a projector might struggle a bit more. When watching something brighter, like a sports game, the projector does a good job. However, if they want to watch a movie or TV show that is darker, it may be challenging to see what is going on.
A smart TV will be able to produce a brighter image, especially in rooms with more natural light. However, this shouldn’t discourage you from purchasing a projector. Just think about how it will be used and where, and contemplate upgrading to blackout curtains if necessary!
Want bigger? Projector all the way!
If size matters to the person you are buying for, a projector tends to get the edge here. 80+ inch TVs can be prohibitively expensive, but getting a projector to create an 80, 90 or even 100-inch image is easy. A projector can deliver a much larger image for around the same price as a big TV.
Before purchasing a projector, you will also need to buy a projector screen that can display the image. When you are shopping for a screen, you should make sure it is big enough to display the image and is made of durable material. This will add to the cost a bit, but a great quality screen can be had for just a couple hundred bucks.
Before purchasing a smart TV or projector, consider how it will be used to make sure it is the perfect gift for your home.