How To Choose A Sports Projector For Football, Basketball, Baseball, etc.

Last Updated December 29,2018

Every one of us has been fascinated with one sport or other. We all have our favorite teams and love to see them take on their rivals. Even if we can’t support them in person, we still love to cheer them from our living rooms thanks to technology.

While TVs were primarily used for watching sports until recently, the increasing affordability of projectors has changed the scenario. They project a large image which makes us feel as though we are present in the stadium itself. It allows us to be a part of the audience without being present in person.

There are a plethora of options available when it comes to sports projectors. Selecting the right projector out of the available offerings comes down to a few considerations. Here are the primary things that you must consider if you want to choose a sports projector for watching football, basketball, baseball or any other sports.

Brightness Rating of The Projector 

The first thing you must pay attention to while choosing a sports projector is its brightness rating. It is expressed in ANSI lumens and varies from one projector model to another. It affects how visible is the projected imagery. You must consider the amount of ambient lighting in the area where you will be using the sports projector. A high amount of ambient lighting will negatively impact the visibility of the projected images.

-  Areas with a low amount of ambient lighting or where you can control the ambient lighting will do fine with a projector of around 1,000 to 2,000 lumens. 

-  Spaces with a medium amount of ambient lighting should consider a projector from 1,500 lumens to 3,000 lumens. 

-  Halls and rooms that have many windows and receive ample light will require a projector with 3,000 lumens or a higher brightness rating.

One thing to note is that even if two projectors have the same lumens rating, the brightness of imagery may still differ. A 700 lumens projector may be able to project brighter images than a 1,200 lumens projector depending on the quality of the light source it employs. 

Native Resolution of The Projector

The next thing to consider when choosing a sports projector is its resolution. The resolution of a projector determines the quality and clarity of the images it projects. Projectors are commonly available in XGA (1024x768), WXGA (1280x800), Full HD (1920x1080) and 4K resolutions (3840x2160 or 4096x2160). Projectors having XGA resolution are cheap but provide low-quality images as compared to projectors having a higher resolution. 4K projectors provide unmatched image quality but are quite expensive. They also require 4K input signal for being utilized efficiently.

Full HD Projectors are the perfect choice for sports fans. As most TV service providers broadcast signal in Full HD resolution, it allows you to use a 1080p projector to its full potential. 1080p projectors output adequate quality imagery for projecting images on a large screen. There is little advantage of getting a 4K projector if your set-top box only outputs a 1080p signal. WXGA projectors support the widescreen format and may be used if you have a device that outputs compatible video signal. 

Color Accuracy of The Projector

Color accuracy is an important feature that must be considered in a sports projector. The football field in the projected imagery should look the right shade of green, and the skin tones of the players and people in the audience must appear natural. Poor or inaccurate color reproduction can impact the viewing experience negatively and reduce viewer’s immersion level. It is always a great idea to check out a projector before purchasing it for ensuring its color reproduction suits you. 

Image Correction Features – Autofocus, Keystone Correction, and Lens Shift

You must also pay attention to the different image correction features present in projectors. These features allow you to alter the projected images to make them look proportional. They can be quite handy in situations where the projector can’t be installed perfectly perpendicular to the screen as well as for portable projectors.

Autofocus: Autofocus is a basic feature that automatically focuses the lens of the projector for projecting clear imagery. While all projectors have manual focus support, having autofocus saves time and effort. 

Lens Shift: Lens shift feature allows you to adjust the onscreen imagery by moving the lens assembly. It ensures crisp and clear images without any impact on quality. However, the lens shift feature is only found in expensive projectors.

Keystone Correction: Keystone correction is the affordable alternative to lens shift. Keystone correction digitally corrects the images, unlike lens shift that moves the actual assembly. The digital processing can impact the image quality though not significantly. 

Other Factors To Consider

Besides the above considerations, there are a few other factors that you can take into account when choosing a sports projector.

Portability of the projector may be an important factor for you if you are looking to move the projector from one room to another. Consider a projector that is easily portable if you want to take it from one room to another at will.

The light source of a projector may be another factor to consider. If you are going to use the projector for long durations on a daily basis, (ten to twelve hours), then an LED projector may make more sense to you over a lamp projector due to the longer lifespan of LEDs.

Connectivity options available on the projector must also be considered. Most modern set-top boxes come with HDMI outputs, and the projector must have the same. The projector should also have an audio-out port as you will most likely connect external speakers to it. 

Most Popular Sports Projectors 

If you are looking to buy sports projectors, then here are a few specific models that you can consider.

JMGO N7L 1080p Projector

The JMGO N7L is an excellent option when it comes to sports projectors. It has been crafted to complement the looks of your living room or den. The N7L is equally feature packed and projects imagery in 1080p resolution ensuring excellent image quality. It is a smart device with a preloaded OS for installing applications and streaming content from the Internet. HDMI, USB, and audio ports are also provided for connectivity.

JMGO N7L 1080p smart projector

The projector has premium features including autofocus and keystone correction (both horizontal and vertical up to ±45º) which are rarely seen even in some of the costly offerings. It is easily portable as it weighs about 1.2kg and comes with an inbuilt speaker that can be used independently via Bluetooth. The JMGO N7L is a great all-round combination of performance and value. 

Epson Home Cinema 5040UB Projector

The Epson Home Cinema 5040UB is an LCD projector that will fit the needs of sports enthusiasts. It has a native resolution of 1080p but is also 4K-capable by using pixel shifting. Although the actual number of pixels in 4K imagery is only half of the True 4K resolution, the projector still outputs decent quality imagery.

The 5040UB is rated at 2,500 lumens and is great for low to moderate ambient light. It has motorized lens assembly with zooming and lens shift capability for controlling the projected imagery. The projector also has dynamic iris and supports widescreen movie viewing.

Epson Home Cinema 5040UB 3LCD Home Theater Projector

BenQ TK800 4K UHD Projector

If you want a sports projector that can do well in environments with moderate to high ambient light and is also capable of playing 4K content, then the BenQ TK800 projector is a good choice. It is a 4K UHD projector with a resolution of 1920x1080x4, i.e. it uses pixel shifting technology for projecting 4K images. 

 The TK800 has a brightness rating of 3,000 lumens and is great for environments with high ambient light. It has excellent color reproduction capability and comes with dedicated ‘Sports’ and ‘Football’ modes for ensuring an optimum viewing experience. The 4K image quality of the projector may not be as great as a True 4K projector, but it is quite close and is relatively affordable.

BenQ TK800 4K UHD HDR Home Theater Projector

Sony VPL-VW295ES 4K Projector

If you are looking for a premium quality sports projector and can spend a generous amount of money, then the Sony VPL-VW295ES may fit your needs. It is the latest offering from Sony that comes with a native resolution of 4096x2160 making it a True 4K projector. It has a brightness rating of 1,500 lumens and uses Sony’s SXRD (LCoS) technology.

Sony 4K HDR Home Theater Video Projector (VPLVW295ES)

The projector has great color reproduction capabilities and allows for excellent sports viewing. It is also great for watching movies and is IMAX certified making it ideal for home theatres. Features on the projector include lens shift and motorized zoom lens for image correction. 


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