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Projector has a few awesome things that give it an edge over the TV, that’s why many people are planning to switch to it. But transitioning from one thing you use regularly to another is not easy. This transition brings a lot of hustle.
That’s why I have crafted this guide to make it easy and practical for you. You can easily switch to the projector after reading this guide.
Don’t forget to download the checklist at the end of this article.
Steps For Switching From TV To Projector: At A Glance
- Hunt for the correct lumens for your room environment
- Understand the contrast ratio to get the black levels that you are used to
- Identify the features you need in your projector
- Decide the picture resolution that will satisfy your eyes
- Check the room size to know the exact size of the screen you will need
- Decide for which content type you will use the projector the most
- Decide whether will you hang it or place it
- Arrange the ALR screen for the picture quality
- Block out the ambient light coming into the room
- Set the budget for the projector
Hunt for the correct lumens for your room environment
Lumens is a serious thing to understand. Because there are brands that mislead consumers with false labeling, but reputable brands like Epson and a few more brands show the correct lumens of their projectors.
How to know that the labeled number is fake? If the projector is brandless and has no name and the lumens number is labeled over the top in a cheaper budget, then it is fake. For example, $50-100 projector lumens are shown as 3000 to 6000 in the product description.
That’s why I don’t recommend buying these cheap projectors. When you are willing to buy a projector from a well reputable brand then make sure to get 1300 lumens if your theater room is treated well and the ambient light is blocked out.
But make sure the white lumens and color lumens are equal. You can see this in their product description or contact the brand via email to confirm the matching of color and white lumens.
For other lightening environments in your room. Read the below chart for the lumens you need.
Understand the contrast ratio to get the black levels that you are used to
I don’t compromise on the contrast ratio. Because this value brings realism to the video content. I will recommend having at least a 2000:1 contrast ratio, but more is better.
This ratio decides the black levels and the depth of colors on the screen. This ratio means that the white pixels on the screens will be 2000 times brighter than the black pixels on the screen.
I said in the heading that get the black levels that you are used to. The TVs usually have better contrast than the projector. Your eyes are already used to those black levels. That’s why you don’t want to see the black levels as gray levels on the projector screen.
TVs always have a greater contrast ratio than the projectors, but make sure you get the higher contrast ratio projector possible. In this way, you will do justice to your eyes’ taste.
While the TV has a greater contrast ratio, the projector is better at many more things. Read this guide to know more. Projector Vs TV: Which to choose for home theater?
Identify the features you need in your projector
First, decide and write down the features that you want from the new projector. How many HDMI inputs do you need, or will you route those through AV receivers? Do you need the interface to stream apps like Netflix, or will you arrange a dongle for it, or do you want Bluetooth mirroring from your projector?
You need to ask these questions yourself, so you can buy a projector that has the features you need.
Better will be to compare the features of your TV with the new projector in your mind.
Because the features are very important in the projectors to have the best of the best experience from your home theater.
This matching of features will make you feel safe and make the transition easier.
Decide the picture resolution that will satisfy your eyes
Are you coming from a 4K TV or 1080p? You need to buy the projector accordingly because after that you will enjoy the projector and will have the feeling that it is all worth it.
Otherwise, you will think you have wasted the money on the new projector.
The resolution of the projector should match the previous TV you want to switch from.
Check the room size to know the exact size of the screen you will need
The best viewing experience of the projector screen is decided from the distance that you will watch the screen.
You have to check whether your room has that much space that can support your viewing distance requirements.
The viewing distance is different for different resolutions of the screen. For 4K to 8K screen resolution, multiply the vertical screen size by 1.5 times, and the outcome value will be the distance you need to sit at.
Now check whether this distance is supported by your room size or not. To check the best viewing distance for your projector screen or TV, read the table in this guide. I have also shown you how to hunt the vertical size of any TV when you have only its diagonal value.
Decide for which content type you will use the projector the most
The projector is mostly used for movies and TV shows, but if you are an active gamer, and you have played a lot of games on your TV. Then you need to have a projector that has a very low input lag.
The best input lag is below 17 ms and the better one is below 25 ms. If the input lag is higher like 30 ms or more then you will see the frames of the games tearing apart during the gameplay.
This will frustrate you, and you will start questioning your decision of switching to a projector.
Pro Tip: Also, for every type of content, the projector refresh rate also matters. Check whether your TV refresh rate was 60Hz or 120Hz. Now match the refresh rate of the projector with the TV.
Decide whether will you hang it or place it
If you want to hang it, search for a place for it, get a mounting stand, and make sure the projector will be pointed straight at the screen. But if this is not the case, then I will tell you the solution at the end of this section.
Check if there is any place straight to the screen if you want to place the projector. If the placing area or the hanging area is not straight to the screen, then make sure the projector you are buying is having good keystone correction and lens shift.
It will be better if the projector allows manually adjusting the keystone and zoom of the projector image. This will help you a lot if your projector is not on the sight line of the screen.
Arrange the ALR screen for the picture quality
Don’t go for any other screen type or just for white walls. The ALR screen gives you a better contrast ratio, vivid colors, and a wider viewing angle.
The ALR screens are expensive, but they are worth it. It rejects all other lights in the room and reflects only the image of the projector on the audience. This gives good black levels and vivid colors to the projector.
Read this guide, is the ALR screen worth it? I have compared it with other screen types.
Block out the ambient light coming into the room
Whether you are using an ALR screen or not. You need to block out the ambient light coming into the home theater. Because the projector is meant to be used in a dark room.
Support the projector and block out all the ambient light in the room. In this way, you are ensuring the best picture quality of the video content.
Set the budget for the projector
The budget needs to be thoughtful. You need good picture quality with a set of features that you want from your projector.
That’s why you need a budget of $700-1200 for a 1080p projector if you want a 100 inches image and for the 4k you need $1600-4500. You can read this guide to know why I set this budget value. What does a good projector cost?
Switch From TV To Projector (10 Steps Checklist)
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Should I switch from TV to projector?
If you love bigger screen sizes and portability, then you should switch to a projector. Because the projector can give you a bigger screen size on a lesser budget than the TV.
The projector can give you a big screen size from 100 inches to 200 inches in your home theater. The TV will cost a lot of your dollars if you want to have the same size image as the TV.
Is watching a projector better than TV?
The projector is better than the TV if you want a better watching experience. The human eyes will not feel the strain if you are watching the projector screen. Because the projector just shoots the image on the screen and not on your eyes.
The TV shoots light into your eyes directly, and the projector shoots on the screen. That’s why watching a projector is better than a TV.
Can I replace my TV with a projector?
You can replace a TV with a projector because there are many dongles and streaming sticks that can convert the projector into a smart TV, but if you need an on-the-air TV then you can buy a projector that provides connectivity options for the antenna.
The streaming sticks like Fire Stick can convert any projector into a smart TV. Don’t worry, the technology will help you replace the TV with a projector.
Helpful Resources To Read More
This was my opinion, read more about it from this Viewsonic guide on eye health. (Resource for the second answer)