We all enjoy entertainment, and one of the very first things that come to mind when it comes to entertainment is television. If you’re an avid movie watcher, or you intend to take your gaming experience to another level, then it’s high time you invested in top-quality equipment, as well. Of course, the market has plenty to offer in this respect, which might make you feel confused and at a loss. This is why we’re here, though – to give you some guidance in this direction.
Therefore, today we will focus on presenting the main options you can choose from – namely a 4k projector and a 4k TV. What are the advantages and disadvantages associated with each option? After outlining the specifications of each, it is our hope that you will be very well equipped to decide which one of the two will best suit your needs.
Now, if we were to compare 4K TVs and 4K projectors when it comes to their size, then the obvious winner would be projectors, especially if we were to factor in the price-quality ratio. For example, there are numerous options for affordable projectors that start at approximately 100-120 inches. On the other hand, if you were to buy a 4K TV of the same size, then you would be paying a lot more.
At the same time, most of the newer projector models come with 4k resolution (or pseudo 4k). Another great feature is that projectors are really flexible, in the sense that they have the capability to present a wide viewing space.
With that in mind, we could definitely argue that projectors offer an excellent price-quality ratio when it comes to the display size, and not only. To that end, if your budget is limited, but you still don’t want to make compromises on size, a projector seems like the evident option between the two.
Brightness and Contrast
We enjoy watching movies in HDR, with outstanding brightness and contrast, right? In fact, it is almost impossible to imagine how we used to watch movies a few years ago, without the HDR feature, don’t you agree? So, another aspect you should pay attention to is that of brightness, contrast, and, of course, HDR.
It can be quite difficult to compare TVs and projectors when it comes to brightness. That is because of the way in which light is projected in both devices. For example, in the case of a 4k TV, the brightness is measured by nits or cd/m2. On the other hand, when it comes to projectors, the brightness level is measured depending on the lumens reflected on the display surface.
Furthermore, you should note that the brightness level in a projector can be influenced by several aspects. For one thing, the ambient conditions will play a part – namely the projection surface, the darkness level of the room, the colours being shown, and so on and so forth. In the meantime, this cannot be said of 4k TVs – you can fix the brightness level depending on your preferences and it will remain set irrespective of the ambient conditions.
To that end, even if a room is fairly dark, a projector won’t have the same level of brightness as a TV. However, it would also be worth outlining that the difference between the two would be quite small. Presumably, only real enthusiasts are likely to notice it. Still, if you find that the flexibility provided by a projector is more important to you, then it would be an excellent choice.
Moving on to contrast, which of the two types of equipment ranks better in this respect? There is no doubt that contrast plays quite an important part in the gaming and/or the movie-watching experience. The good news is that, for most state-of-the-art projectors, the contrast quality will be comparable to that of a 4k TV. As a matter of fact, we could even argue that the latest models of projectors might even perform better than TVs in terms of contrast.
There is one exception to this rule, though – namely OLED technology. And the reason why 4k projectors cannot compete with 4k TVs equipped with OLED technology is the fact that OLED blacks are difficult to reproduce.
When it comes to resolution, both projectors and TVs handle it beautifully. Even so, there are other considerations when it comes to resolution, which might go unnoticed most of the time. For instance, with 4K resolution, it is challenging to point out any distinctions, unless you are watching something on a big screen. This is where projectors get to shine: the screen is large enough to showcase all the details that come with 4k technology.
Even so, considering that TVs are getting bigger and bigger by the day, that gap is slightly closing. However, at the moment, we would have to say that, in terms of resolution, projectors are definitely in the lead.
Of course, another important component of the watching experience is the sound quality. In this respect, most TVs come with incorporated speakers. Of course, this may be the case for some projectors on the market, as well. Nevertheless, the sound quality of the two devices is likely to differ. Also, even if some projectors do have built-in speakers, the quality tends to be quite poor, in comparison with that of TVs.
Nevertheless, if you’re committed to creating your own home cinema, then you might consider investing in a separate audio system. And this is actually more or less a must – but if you’re a real enthusiast, then you might not come to rest until you have the whole package if you know what we mean.
For the most part, most 4K projectors don’t come with the smart interface you might expect them to, at least not out of the box. On the contrary, you will have to connect your 4k projector to other devices, in order to set up your own smart platform. The evident drawback to this is the extra hassle attached to it, as it will inevitably require some extra effort on your part.
If you don’t want to complicate things and you prefer things that are simple and more convenient, a 4k TV might make more sense for you. There are plenty of 4k TVs that incorporate a range of streaming media options right out of the box. Therefore, you can go ahead and stream your favorite movies, play your favorite game and songs with the push of a button. This is the ultimate level of convenience.
Furthermore, we would like to outline that 4k projectors and 4k TVs are great when it comes to colour management. In fact, choosing a winner in this department would be quite difficult, since the colours are vibrant, crisp and bright on projectors and TVs alike.
Nevertheless, there might be one slight distinction worth outlining. For example, projectors are more likely to display a wider area of the Rec.2020 colour space, while having over 100% of DCI-P3 colour capability. And, to be honest, there are only a few TVs that match this performance. In the meantime, as we’ve already mentioned, the brightness level tends to be better on TVs, meaning that there is a tie in this department.
The ease of installation is more or less important, depending on the type of user. So, without a doubt, a projector is much more challenging to install, not to mention that it will most likely take some time to set it in place. On a different note, you will also need a bunch of power tools.
Another potential disadvantage you should be wary of is the fact that you might also need to invest in an appropriate white projection screen. Obviously, this will imminently add up to the overall cost, so make sure you take it into consideration.
How much space should you have at your disposal for a projector? What about a TV? This is, of course, a legit question. The actual projection unit is pretty small, to be honest. Nevertheless, what you should know is that you will still need a fair amount of space from the unit to the projector screen, in order for the viewing experience to be truly outstanding.
So, we don’t recommend you cramming a projector into a narrow room, as this will significantly impair the entire experience. For example, you won’t be able to notice the detailing in the image. Hence, if you don’t have a lot of space at your disposal, we advise you to choose a TV instead.
This is another aspect that you can’t afford to ignore when choosing. For the most part, modern TVs require little to no maintenance. As a matter of fact, the LEDs that usually power TVs are more powerful than the TVs themselves; in most cases, their lifespan is longer. Hence, there’s nothing to worry about in this respect.
In the meantime, projectors utilize lamps, which have to be replaced every now and then. Plus, note that dust is likely to get inside the projector. Of course, there are plenty of places online, and not only, from where you can purchase replacement bulbs. Hence, this might not necessarily be an issue. However, it adds up to the maintenance of the device.
Benefits of 4K Projectors
4K projectors have a fair number of advantages that you might want to consider – among which are the following:
- They are bigger in size
- Are flexible when it comes to the viewing space
- Projectors have the better resolution
- They can be connected to a smart TV for better resolution
Pain Points of 4K Projectors
- Light and contrast are dependent on the ambient conditions – and do not compare with TVs
- The sound quality of a projector is fairly low
- A projector is more challenging to install
- You will also have to invest in a white projection screen and lamps
Benefits of 4K TVs
- Clear images, regardless of the environmental conditions
- The sound quality tends to be better in 4K TVs
- They come with a fair number of smart features
- OLED technology is fairly difficult to reproduce
- Fairly easy to install
Pain Points of 4K TVs
- Pictures do not have the details you would notice with a 4K projector
- Not the most ideal for very large viewing rooms
Who Needs a 4K Projector and Who Needs a 4K TV?
The answer to this question depends on what you are looking for. The thing is very few people have a home theater and for the few that do, they don’t have a 4K projector. Nevertheless, a 4k projector is the real deal, in the sense that it will be great for those people that have the big screen syndrome. The quality, sharpness, detailing and everything else related to the overall performance of the unit are impressive, not to mention that you won’t have to make compromises regarding realism and deepness.
To that end, if that’s what you’re looking for, then a 4k projector seems like the obvious choice for you. These units are made for enthusiasts that want to enjoy a cinema-style experience. So, take the time to establish exactly what you want and how much you are willing to invest in this direction. If we were to answer the question – is a 4k projector worth it? – then the answer would be positive.
On the other hand, if you do not want to go through any messy installations or want to get a clear image even in a well-lit room, then a 4K TV should definitely be your top choice.
Final Thoughts: Which One Should You Get?
The aim of this article was to give you enough information to help you make the right decision for yourself. We cannot make the decision for you but we can tell you that both types of units deliver excellent performance.
4K projectors might cost more and offer a better movie-viewing experience but a 4K TV can be used right out of the box, in any room whatsoever. 4K projectors are portable but all 4K TVs come with in-built sound systems even though they aren’t as portable.
Your final decision will ultimately come down to personal preferences but here is what we would say, if you’re willing to pay the extra price, then investing in a 4K projector is certainly the better solution – especially if you are passionate about entertainment and you want to enjoy it in the comfort of your own home.