The most common question I’m asked by DTV Installations clients who are installing or upgrading a home theater is whether they should buy a projector system or a state-of-the-art HDTV.
It’s a difficult question to answer. The right media room setup can make a movie look absolutely stunning. However, a room’s size may make installing a projector impractical (at best) or impossible (at worst). Otherwise, the decision comes down to personal preference.
If you’ve seen video from a properly-installed projector system, you know that the colors, resolution and detail are as good or even better than that of a modern high-def TV, at two or three times the size. But instead of watching the movie, you’re immersed in it. For the same reason you’d rather watch “Fast & Furious 7” in a theater rather than on your couch, you’ll find the experience is far superior in a full-sized home theater with a projector than on an HDTV.
A projector isn’t always the right choice, though, even if the video quality is “better.” I suggest that our clients watch a movie shown on each system (if they haven’t already), and then we lay out the facts about projectors and big screen TVs. After a little discussion, the right choice for their home usually becomes obvious.
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Major Requirements For A Home Theater Projector System
What happens when you go to the movies, just before the film starts? That’s right, they turn out all the lights. And that’s one of the first considerations when thinking about a home projector system; any ambient light can ruin the viewing experience. If you can’t turn off every light in the room – and completely shut out all light coming in from outside – the advantage of a projector is lost. However, if you have the ability to fully control the light in the room you’re using as your home theater (and I suggest to install remote-control shades and lights as I did for many clients In New York and New Jersey), a projector system could make perfect sense for you.
One of the major advantages of watching movies or TV shows on the big screen is exactly that – it’s a big screen. And in a home theater, a big screen needs a big room. If you’re sitting four or five feet away from a 100-inch screen, halfway through the new Batman movie you’re probably going to need Superman to work out all of the kinks in your neck and back. You can certainly project movies on a smaller screen in your home, but what’s the point of that? If you have enough room for at least an 85-100 inch screen, a projector may be the right choice for you.
When To Seriously Consider A Projector System
If you primarily watch high-def movies rather than standard definition DVDs and cable. “Lord Of The Rings” will look breathtaking on a big screen, while low-quality reruns of “Miami Vice” will look even cheesier than they did in the ‘80s.
If you don’t mind buying a screen (at least $200), and buying a new projection lamp (another $200) every year or two. You’ll usually pay less for a projector than a new 4K TV (unless you get a top-of-the line projector, of course), but showing movies on the wall instead of a screen defeats the purpose of having a theater showing top-quality video, and most lamps burn out fairly quickly.
If you already have a separate high-res audio system. Projection systems don’t come with receivers and speakers, so if you don’t already have an audio system, you’ll have to buy one. (Of course, we specialize in audio installations as well, so that part of the problem is covered.)
Is a home theater projector better than an HDTV? In the right situation, absolutely. To determine whether you have the “right situation” in your home, just give the experts at DTV Installations a call and we’ll help you figure it out for no charge.