Projector vs TV in a game room


By Max_Badazz

2 years ago


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    There are 95 posts in topic. You are on page 1 of 2.
    #1 2 years ago

    So I am starting to plan the TV area of my game room....however I am a bit torn on what to get. The TV area will be used regularly for both games (Wii U) and for regular cable watching. I am torn between getting a tv or a projector. This space will not be huge, its a small area with a couch and couple of chairs. The walls are 8' high, so I can project a decent size. Was wondering what people have used int he past or currently using and the pros/cons of it. Cost is an issue, so I can't blow a ton on this (keeping the tv/proj budget to 800 or less). They can install the projector ceiling mount and wire it before they install the walls and ceiling as well as do any electrical.

    THX!

    #2 2 years ago

    TV. There are some really nice projectors out there, but for that budget you are not going to be happy with them.

    There are great TV's for under 1,000. Get the biggest one you can and ignore people who say it will be too big. It's almost impossible to get one too big.

    #3 2 years ago

    In my experience, TV technology has improved a lot more than projector technology over the last ten years. You'll get higher resolution, better contrast, and a lot more features for the same price, and there's no nonsense with replacing $50-$200 bulbs after a few thousand hours or having to wait ten minutes to turn it back on after after accidentally turning it off or a thermal shutdown. Bigger is nice, but realistically in a small room you won't want or need a massive screen.

    #4 2 years ago

    Colors don't show up well with a projector when lights are on--contrast and color depth are typically lost.

    You will also need several feet of space between the projector's lens and the screen--typically no less than 5ft, though 8-12ft is better, especially for the size you are looking for (keystoning can only do so much).

    You can easily get an Epson PowerLite projector for $650-$800, but keep in mind that a ceiling mount will probably run about $100-$200 on top of that, and then whatever a screen of the appropriate size costs ($75-$250). Putting a projector on a table will save on cost, but you will likely have to re-adjust it frequently as you set it up or take it down, or as it gets moved or nudged. I wouldn't recommend this. If you go with a projector, have it mounted.

    Also, here is a throw distance calculator to help you with positioning of Epson projectors: https://files.support.epson.com/Epson_Handbook/html/interactive_distance_calculator.html

    A 60" TV in the sub-$800 price range will be a bit harder to come by. The only brands I can recommend are Vizio and LG (though you might have more luck finding a Vizio in your price range). Don't bother with Samsung--the power boards in those TVs tend to die after a few years. I can't really comment on any other brands. Note that if a TV is an off-brand that is *too* cheap, you run the risk of it dying early and having to buy another one, so you wouldn't actually save anything in the long run.

    Overall, you can get a larger size screen with a projector for less money, but you typically sacrifice color contrast/depth/brightness. A TV offers better color contrast/depth/brightness, but tends to be more expensive the larger it is.

    #5 2 years ago

    We've been using a projector for the last 3 years and love it, and it's only 720p. When this one goes we'll upgrade to full HD. It's fun to see people's reactions when they walk into the room and see the games and the 100" screen. Bought a ceiling mount at Menard's for probably $20. It's very solid and we've never had a problem with it. We have a 7' ceiling and nobody has bumped their head on the projector yet.

    #6 2 years ago

    People are right about lights with the projector, however I use an Optima projector and only have the pins lighting up the room and it works great. Optima brand decent projector can be had around $750.

    #7 2 years ago

    Yes, with lighting be sure you get a projector with lumen output that matches your environment. For us it's recessed lighting with dimmers or lights out. Even with all lights on it's not so bright you can't see the image. We're using a NEC NP200, 2500 lumens running in ECO mode. Still on our first bulb after 3 years.

    #8 2 years ago

    I've got dual Sony G90 projectors (you can get them used for a song). Plenty bright and better than HD resolution.

    They are heavy, so you will need a hand hanging them, but worth the effort for sure.

    #9 2 years ago

    If it's going to be your family's main everyday viewer then get the tv. If it's your secondary, game room-only viewer then get the projector. Coolness trumps practicality in the game room.

    #10 2 years ago

    I think figure out how big of a screen you are going to go with then decide based on that.

    Less then 75 inches:
    I think I have seen LCD TVs now in the 75 or 80 inch range for not a ton of money. Sharp has some that are around 1500 to $2500. Big advantage is no issues in a bright room... this really is a big benefit, if you are going to be in a room with lights going on and off, etc...

    Bigger then 75 inches:
    If you are going to go big screen it is awesome... nothing like Halo on a 100+inch screen, very immersive (if not dizzying). For under $1700 (screen, cables and a projector) you could get a nice set up if you buy on-line. (you could spend a ton more). Lots of things to research, type of screen, DLP vs. LCD..... I am sure a tone more, its been 5 years since I looked and I am sure things changed.
    Will need a receiver, speakers, etc.. as well. You could probably even get a set up for $1K that isnt bad if you go with DLP and a cheaper screen.

    #11 2 years ago

    Thanks for all the feedback! The portable I am looking at is only 450 lumen, which concerns me with all the light from the games. That would have been the cheap easy choice, but it has the drawbacks (also would have to set it up on a coffee table)

    #12 2 years ago

    I sold high end custom AV for years. I am shocked that folks would buy a projector today with 60-70-80 inches and up of TVs now available. Especially in multi use spaces.
    They existed to solve the size issue which has changed. You spend a lot of money to achieve as close a picture to a tv as possible and certainly not in lit environments.
    Buy a TV unless it's a theater space and you want a 110" screen dedicated. And then don't buy a cheapo.

    #13 2 years ago
    Quoted from Black_Knight:

    TV. There are some really nice projectors out there, but for that budget you are not going to be happy with them.
    There are great TV's for under 1,000. Get the biggest one you can and ignore people who say it will be too big. It's almost impossible to get one too big.

    I have a high end, dedicated theater with about a 160 inch screen. LOL, it is great but still I think I could have gone a little bigger. (Mind you, that is in a pretty big room...I'm not advocating a screen for your space, just agreeing with the concept of getting the biggest one you can).

    #14 2 years ago
    Quoted from NorCalRealtor:

    If it's going to be your family's main everyday viewer then get the tv. If it's your secondary, game room-only viewer then get the projector. Coolness trumps practicality in the game room.

    I agree 100%. I have a projector in my games room and nothing beats the movie theater or sports bar feel that it provides. Light control though is paramount for an enjoyable experience.

    #15 2 years ago
    Quoted from Hwawonyu:

    I sold high end custom AV for years. I am shocked that folks would buy a projector today with 60-70-80 inches and up of TVs now available. Especially in multi use spaces.
    They existed to solve the size issue which has changed. You spend a lot of money to achieve as close a picture to a tv as possible and certainly not in lit environments.
    Buy a TV unless ita theater space and you want a 110" screen dedicated. And then dont buy a cheapo.

    Probably the most accurate feedback given so far. I have had dedicated home theatres with projectors for the past 15 years. You need to go really big if you are going the projector route.

    #16 2 years ago
    Quoted from Max_Badazz:

    Thanks for all the feedback! The portable I am looking at is only 450 lumen, which concerns me with all the light from the games. That would have been the cheap easy choice, but it has the drawbacks (also would have to set it up on a coffee table)

    Don't get a projector with only 450 lumens, it will make you crazy. 2000 lumens minimum unless you always plan to use it in a dim/dark room.

    #17 2 years ago

    I've had a 92" screen and projector since 2002, and it shares the room with my pins.

    For an $800 budget, you would be hard pressed to find a good projector that would look good with room lights on. You would need to be looking at the higher end Epson projectors, to get the light output you need. Now, if you are looking strictly at lights off, you might could do it for that price, but you would still need a screen.

    In your situation, I would take a look at 60"-70" LED displays. They are really dropping in price, and Black Friday until the end of the year seems to be the best time to buy.

    #18 2 years ago

    I made a spare bedroom into my media room. About 5 years ago, and i wanted 90-100 inches. There are trade-off's with projectors, but they are worth it. But I spent a bit over $3K on the projector and screen.

    It's tied directly to how big you want to go and for what $$$. When you go over 65"+++, the cost for any Plasma, LED drastically climbs; and you are at (or close to) what a modern projector runs (Assuming you don't buy the cheap crap).

    If your budget is $800, then you got only two roads. Buy a new 50-60" TV (Plasma/LED) or buy a used projector (I wouldn't...the bulb alone costs $200, and is probably going to go out).

    Go buy the biggest led/plasma TV you can afford. At around $800-1200, its your best option.

    #19 2 years ago

    I'll trade you a Sony 1292Q 9" gun projector with 400 hours on it, plus a Daylite screen for your Sorcerer (assuming it's not all blown out).

    It's a serious videophile Home Theater projector, better than 1080p resolution.

    I was going to make a second theater in my basement, but wife says one is enough.

    #20 2 years ago

    I used to install custom home theater stuff (some very custom).

    What is the distance from the chairs to the wall (viewing distance)? Even HD will lose its "definition" if you sit too close to a very large HD image.

    Some basic thoughts about projection:

    As everyone has said, it's all about the lighting (and many other good points above too). Doing a projector, and doing it poorly, will be very unsatisfying. Very unsatisfying...

    Doing it well, is awesome.

    Does the room have any windows (or outdoor light coming in from other rooms)? And if it does, do you plan on watching anything during daylight hours (you really should have 100% blackout capability for windows, if you want to do daytime viewing)? For a projector setup, you really need control of ambient lighting. Window treatments may be a "hidden" cost of a projector.

    And it doesn't seem like you haven't factored in the cost of the screen (and frame, most likely) to go with a projector (without a proper screen to project onto, don't even bother, it just won't look good). $800 dollars is a very limited budget. You'll need to overcome any ambient light emitted from your pins, if you'd like to have them turned on at the same time. So a darker screen would make sense (to darken the dark colors and shadows) + an even brighter projector.

    One advantage of a projector set-up over a glossy-smooth TV surface some is you won't get distracting reflections (blinking pinball lights?). So there is that too. Where are the pins? Some TVs have a matte surface to help with this, but have their own problems.

    #21 2 years ago
    Quoted from kirkgun:

    What is the distance from the chairs to the wall (viewing distance)?

    I've got 8 ft for the seating area to the wall max......and that's pushing it (seats on the side will be only a few feet). From the sounds of it, TV might be the best option. Even if I get an 800 projector, then curtains and a screen and the bracket to ceiling mount it, it looks like I can get a good tv (though its not 100+ inches).

    #22 2 years ago
    Quoted from Max_Badazz:

    I've got 8 ft for the seating area to the wall max......and that's pushing it (seats on the side will be only a few feet). From the sounds of it, TV might be the best option. Even if I get an 800 projector, then curtains and a screen and the bracket to ceiling mount it, it looks like I can get a good tv (though its not 100+ inches).

    If I were your salesman (and hoping you'd continue to buy from me in the future), I'd be completely pushing you to a TV.

    #23 2 years ago

    sounds like a tv may be the way to go. I'd second the issue with lighting. My projector is pretty powerful but with the size of my screen any significant light REALLY washes out the screen. That is why I built a dedicated fully light-controlled sound-proofed room. I think in a media/game room with your budget a nice TV would be great.

    also, there are calculators online which will give you suggested seating distances vs. screen size for THX and other recommendations. Basically, I'd still go with the biggest LED tv you can get...especially with kids. My kids caused burn-in on my last plasma display.

    #24 2 years ago

    1 item added to Cart

    VIZIO M801d-A3R 80-Inch 1080p LED 3D Smart TV with...
    $1,800.00
    Only 1 left in stock.
    Gift Options not available Learn more
    Order subtotal: $1,800.00

    #25 2 years ago

    Get a plasma tv. Projector needs to be more than $800 to get a decent picture in a non dedicated room.

    #26 2 years ago

    I have a projector, but I'm placing another vote for TV in your situation.

    In my gameroom, I have about 15 ft from the seats to the screen, and I have an 106" screen. At 8 ft from the screen, something like the 80" David mentioned is going to be plenty to give you a "theater feel". 100+ inches, and you'd probably have to turn your head to see the edges, and you DON'T want that.

    #27 2 years ago

    Ok, tv it is........ if the projector is going to be washed out from the light and look awful from close range, then I won't go that route.

    #28 2 years ago

    Also, keep that if you are planning to play the Wii while standing up (wii bowling), you will probably end up blocking part of the image if your walls are only 8 ft high.

    #29 2 years ago
    Quoted from Hwawonyu:

    1 item added to Cart
    VIZIO M801d-A3R 80-Inch 1080p LED 3D Smart TV with...
    $1,800.00
    Only 1 left in stock.
    Gift Options not available Learn more
    Order subtotal: $1,800.00

    I have this down in my basement and when it's properly dialed in (had mine calibrated), it looks outstanding. That $1800 is I believe $1000 less than I paid for mine when they first came out about a year ago. The 3D on it is also very good (although apparently home 3D is being fazed out by many manufacturers).

    #30 2 years ago
    Quoted from n0s4atu:

    I have this down in my basement and when it's properly dialed in (had mine calibrated), it looks outstanding. That $1800 is I believe $1000 less than I paid for mine when they first came out about a year ago. The 3D on it is also very good (although apparently home 3D is being fazed out by many manufacturers).

    Vizio is transforming themselves from a value brand, to a manufacturer of top quality displays. They started off making value oriented displays, but they have really stepped up their game over the past two years.

    Their lasest line includes some models with not only full array backlighting, but also local dimming. These are the two features you want with a display that is 65+ inches.

    #31 2 years ago
    Quoted from mbt:

    Also, keep that if you are planning to play the Wii while standing up (wii bowling), you will probably end up blocking part of the image if your walls are only 8 ft high.

    Not true if the projector is hanging from the ceiling. We use ours standing all the time. Since the image is so large, you need to stand back. We're about 2 feet in front of where the projector hangs.

    #32 2 years ago

    Well, I'm 6' 2" and have low ceilings in my theater. I have to be careful to stay out of the projector's path, while playing Wii.

    I have the same issue with the ceiling fan.

    Projectors are impossible to beat for home theater, if you have the room.

    #33 2 years ago
    Quoted from Hwawonyu:

    1 item added to Cart
    VIZIO M801d-A3R 80-Inch 1080p LED 3D Smart TV with...
    $1,800.00
    Only 1 left in stock.
    Gift Options not available Learn more
    Order subtotal: $1,800.00

    Dude did you buy it?

    I dont see that tv at that price. You motorboating sunnagun you got the last one. I need to take a break from buying shit anyway but at that price damn it's hard to resist

    One day 100" sets will be $5K... Hopefully sooner than later

    #34 2 years ago

    Whatever you choose don't forget to factor in good av equipment (receiver or separates, speakers, subwoofer)... A good picture with subpar sound is disapointing, and great sound can make a smaller picture more immersive. You would need a receiver at a minimum with a projector. Also those would require a hd box for tv/cable. If you go with a projector you will need long runs of cable and this can add up really fast cost wise. As stated before if done right it's much nicer than a tv. Sounds like with the cost you would be best off and most happy with a tv in this case.

    #35 2 years ago

    Gonna cost like $4,000 for the proper tv setup.

    I'm $6,000 for my 70" LED, A/V, speakers, blu-ray, xbox 360, and harmony one remote.

    And people wonder why I don't want to get married...

    #36 2 years ago
    Quoted from TrainH2o:

    Well, I'm 6' 2" and have low ceilings in my theater. I have to be careful to stay out of the projector's path, while playing Wii.

    Not difficult, a foot right or left is all you need. I have a big head (affects the tides, but that's a different story) and I'm able to stay out of the projector's path.

    Quoted from TrainH2o:

    I have the same issue with the ceiling fan.

    Free haircuts.

    #37 2 years ago
    Quoted from Hwawonyu:

    I am shocked that folks would buy a projector today with 60-70-80 inches and up of TVs now available. Especially in multi use spaces.

    Exactly^^^
    I was shocked at the price of an 80" name brand TV for sale recently at Costco. That is the way to go.

    #38 2 years ago

    My local sports bar put in a 90". It is so big that I kept looking for the projector - until the bartender stood in front of it. He won't say how much it cost...

    #39 2 years ago

    ^^^ $6-$7k

    Expensive yes but I remember the 70" Qualia costing a bit more almost 10 years ago

    I paid a fat price for my 60" SXRD/LCOS Bravia back in the day.

    Man I want the 90" so bad

    #40 2 years ago
    Quoted from FrankJ:

    My local sports bar put in a 90". It is so big that I kept looking for the projector - until the bartender stood in front of it. He won't say how much it cost...

    2 years ago when I got my 75" I could have gotten a 90" sharp 3d smart tv for 3000 from ABT in chicago.

    The 75" was considerably more but a top model.

    -1
    #41 2 years ago

    1080p Epson projector $400
    109" Mustang screen $100

    I have a projector but I really like most of my friends set up of a 65" mounted flat panel. Depends on how dark you can get your basement or how many lumins you can get in your projector.

    20
    #42 2 years ago

    I am happy with my projector, but 16ft ceilings help.
    image-93.jpg

    #43 2 years ago
    Quoted from Troutfarm:

    I am happy with my projector, but 16ft ceilings help.

    image-93.jpg 311 KB

    OH MAN. Would love a high enough ceiling to do that. Go Giants and go 9ers!

    #44 2 years ago
    Quoted from Troutfarm:

    I am happy with my projector, but 16ft ceilings help.

    image-93.jpg 311 KB

    Jealous of the ceiling height and pin line up.

    Mine is in my basement, and have less than 8 feet ceilings due to all the plumbing and duct work.

    #45 2 years ago
    Quoted from Troutfarm:

    I am happy with my projector, but 16ft ceilings help.

    Every time you post a picture of your setup I drool a little bit

    *Wipes off keyboard*

    #46 2 years ago
    Quoted from Troutfarm:

    I am happy with my projector, but 16ft ceilings help.

    image-93.jpg 311 KB

    That sucks

    image.jpg
    #47 2 years ago

    F it

    I want the 90

    Gonna be a simpleton & get one of those fixed rate mortgages to pay on until I die as I complain about gas prices, healthcare, groceries & social security

    I can't continue this abstinence from consumerism any longer lol

    Seriously I want that 90 right F'n now!

    #48 2 years ago

    Projector is always better....I design them everyday and love the feel and look. They have such flexibility and much better on the eye's and you can do a pull down screen where you want. I would adjust the lighting and get a projector vs. a TV. I am totally biased in this area. I have many TV's and projector's mounted around my house. Projector's in gameroom's ROCK!!!....I have a NEC U300X UST projector in my gameroom / garage that produces 84 inches at 20 inches away and it is awesome.

    #49 2 years ago
    Quoted from Trekkie1978:

    Gonna cost like $4,000 for the proper tv setup.
    I'm $6,000 for my 70" LED, A/V, speakers, blu-ray, xbox 360, and harmony one remote.
    And people wonder why I don't want to get married...

    You don't need this serious of a set up in a gameroom. Yes you can get married and still enjoy these luxuries too. You just have to find the right one.

    #50 2 years ago

    I also worked in high end av ( 6 years ago tho ). I had a projected set up and loved it. Fast forward to now, 80 inch Vizio. I had a ambient light problem so i went TV. Glad I did. Put the extra $ into sound.

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