An investment into a projector or a television for sports watching can be an exciting adventure that will ensure a great game experience and great future game experiences for an individual or group. While there are many advantages to each, the real decision will likely come down to the purchase cost over everything else. Most people planning to watch the football, basketball, baseball, hockey, and other sporting events will have a cable, satellite or internet feed for viewing experience. Since all the standard feeds will offer about the same picture quality, the type of feed will not be a major factor in the decision whether you want a projector or a television for the event, and potentially future events. There is a long list of benefits for each and a list of drawbacks or disadvantages for each.
Projector technology has come a long way since the first bulbs illuminated a strip of film and shot it onto the wall. Modern machines are quieter, cool faster, and offer the same picture quality as new televisions. Most modern projectors use LED lighting and it’s cheaper, last longer, and does not produce the heat of some of the older projectors. Projectors from less than ten years ago still incorporated special bulbs that had to cool down after use. A projector can be moved around the room, to different places, and set up quickly and easily. The mobility feature of the projector, and the screen to go with it, makes it attractive to many people wanting something they can move from room-to-room or even to a friend’s home for a special event. Projectors with high quality pictures can be purchased as small as the palm of your hand and as large as a shoebox. HDMI is standard for most of them and many offer the cable input as well. The projector’s main advantage is the mobility to move from a dormroom, to an apartment or even to your friend’s home or outside for that matter. This is especially nice if your friend has cable and you have satellite when a storm arrives. The storm could shut you down, but you can grab your projector, head to your friend’s home and be set up in as little as five minutes or less. It is also handy if you plan to have a large gathering and need to move the event from one room to another.
Just as projector technology has improved in recent years, perhaps months, so has television technology. New 4K televisions offer definition unseen in the home environment before 2017. The quality is often what is called “real” by some. The main advantage of a television is going to be the stability of the set, the ease of use, and the worry-free set up. Whereas a projector will often require focusing and setup, the television is almost a true “plug and play” set up. You plug in your HDMI or cable and go directly to the show or program you wish to watch. You can easily match the quality of the projector and the size of the projector’s output if you are willing to purchase the size desired up front. It’s also good to note that as of this time, projectors offering 4K are fairly new and that 1080i is the standard on most of them. If you want a 75-inch screen, you need a 75-inch television; however, with the projector you can go up to 75 inches, sometimes more, and down to 19 inches if you wish. With your television, you’ll be locked into the size required to operate.
Image above: Set JMGO J6S 2.0m away to get 80 inches of viewing, 2.6m away to get 100-inch images.
While both the television and the projector offer benefits, they both have a similar weakness. Both the new televisions and projectors have speaker systems in them; however, these speakers do not usually have the output desired for such events as the football, basketball, baseball, hockey, etc. The viewer will want to be able to hear the crowds scream, the announcers talking, and even the music that is often played. Both the television and the projector have speakers that are adequate for basic listening, but both have that weakness as well and that is generally cheap sound. A soundbar, or surround sound system will benefit both systems, so sound is not really a factor in whether to buy the projector or the television because with both, you’ll need a good solid sound system to ensure a great game experience.
Perhaps the most obvious difference between the projector and the television has to do with the need of lights. With a television, you can usually leave your main lights on in the room. This makes it easier to see your snacks, see friends and see your way to those often-needed bathroom breaks. With the projector, you need low lights at minimal and sometimes with certain projectors, darkness. If darkness is what you want, then it’s great, but if you feel constrained to view sports in dark, then you likely need to consider the television first.
Price difference needs to be considered as well. Some medium range projectors that can compare to 1080, will run between three hundred and five hundred dollars. Projectors or the equivalent, can run into two or even three to five thousand dollars. Depending on the size you want, a good 4K television can run somewhere between six hundred and twelve hundred dollars. You will also not need a screen for the television; however, those usually only run fifty to a hundred dollars each. If you go with a 55-inch Samsung 4K, you can expect to spend between six hundred and eight hundred dollars at a good sale. A similar quality projector, reaching only 1080, could run as much as three thousand from certain vendors.
Image above: Samsung UN55NU8000 Flat 55" 4K UHD 8 Series Smart LED TV (2018)Costing $997.99
Sports events are usualy of colorful grass, flags, uniforms, and stadiums. There will be quick zoom ins, quick zoom outs, and replays of certain plays. There will be performances, speeches and the awarding of the cup. If you are one person looking to enjoy the event alone or if you plan to have a crowd of people in attendance, you need to have your plans set in advance. Whether you go with the television or with the projector, you need time to test it, find the right location, and ensure that you have the space needed and the sound system you desire. Once set up, either a projector or television will offer benefits for the viewer, you just have to break it down and decide what will fit your budget, what you want from the device, and how you plan to use it in for the sports and beyond.
In closing it is easy to see the advantages of a television or a projector for the sports viewing. It is also as easy to see there are disadvantages to both. I have personally seen both in action and as fast as technology is moving today, spending less is certainly better than spending more. Most people will remember that a few years ago 3D Televisions was all the rage, but they were expensive. Now you can hardly find one. There are plenty of 3D players out there, but few televisions. That technology seems to have moved into some inexpensive projectors, but if they were selling well, logic indicates they would cost more. Technology is going to change fast, so if you can get a good picture and the quality you want, then as a consumer it would likely be best to keep the cost under a thousand dollars. You will likely have two years of good use, at best, before both projectors and televisions offer the next best thing. For further information see the comparison chart below:
|Picture Quality||Just now starting to get into 4K. Many are still 1080i and 4K has not been tested a great deal in projectors||4K is starting to become the standard with almost all||Television for the 4K|
|Mobility||Various sizes, but all fairly small and easy to move||Depending on size, can be difficult to move and use.||Projector for the size|
|Size||Picture can be adjusted from small to large||Picture size will be set by what you purchase||Projector for adjustment of size|
|Space||Many projectors are small and if you use a white wall, your space usage is minimal.||If you have a larger television, you either have to mount it to the wall or have a stand for it.||If space is an issue for the item, then the projector has the advantage as being small.|
|Cost||Quality projectors with great lighting can run several thousands||Cost have dropped drastically even on 55 inches to 75 inches to just over a thousand||Television for cost|
|Comfort level of surrounding lights and room||Able to be moved and set up, but must have a screen or white wall and should be dark, or dimmed lights for use||Can be used in good light or dark or dimmed lights, no screen needed, but will need space and a stand or table.||Television for ability to be in light or dark areas.|
|Input from various sources||Takes HDMI, cable, and in many cases RCA adaptors still||Takes HDMI, cable, and in many cases RCA adaptors still||Tie as both are equal in this area|
|Setup Factors||Setup is generally as easy as plugging in the unit, turning it own and projecting the picture. There may be some adjustments for size and focus, but overall not difficult for most people.||Programming and setup is usually automatic. Offers the same plug and play as the projector, sets the channels, and is up and running. There is usually no adjustment in size or focus or picture area.||Television has the clear advantage due to the presets on the screen. Some adjustments will be needed on the projector whereas the television is almost true plug-and-play.|