Projector vs. TV – Which is Better for Your Home Theater Setup?

If you live in a sprawling mansion with 26 foot high walls (and at least a $135,000 budget), a 325-inch monster screen may be for you.
But most of us don’t. So when searching for a massive screen for a more immersive experience, should you pick a jumbo television or a projector?

Before investing in your home theater setup, we’ve tracked down key differences between projectors and TVs to help you pick the best screen for you.

Viewing Quality

Resolution and image size will sway the quality of your viewing experience. 

Here’s where things can get a bit more complicated with projectors. Unlike plugin-and-go TV setups, projectors need more handholding. First, you need to adjust the focus, which impacts how sharp an image will appear to you. 

Second, you must have ambient lighting. Even if you buy a 4K projector (that can hit 1,000 ANSI lumens), you still need to optimize its setup to get a picture comparable to that of a TV (with similar specifications).

When using a home projector, casting a larger image may also reduce its sharpness and brightness. With TVs, however, you get what you pay for (no adjusting or dim lighting needed).


Different TV resolution sizes comparison, 8K ultra HD vs 4K and Full HD.

It’s good to know most affordable smart TVs now on the market will come with at least a 4K picture (and will also likely be HDR). But, your budget will determine the quality of TV you can buy. Here’s a breakdown of typical TV prices from Consumer Reports

  • 32-inch = $100 to $250 
  • 39- to 43-inch = $150 to $500
  • 49- or 50-inch = $220 to $700 is average; $1,000+ for premium LCDs and OLED TVs
  • 55- to 59-inch set = $300 to $1,500 
  • 65-inch set = $450 to $4,000
  • 75-inch and larger sets = $700 to $10,000 for very large OLED TVs

Screen Size

Giant pictures are only possible with projectors. And unlike TVs, a projector’s image size is flexible. So, let’s say you move to a bigger place, you can adjust your image size, though your TV screen will never grow. 

But, your projector screen visibility will lean on the type and quality of your projector. For example, you can set your projector to display sizes ranging from a compact 30-in image to an entire wall. However, this screen growth is typically only possible with mid-range and high-end projectors (since bigger images need a brighter projection for good visibility). 

According to Consumer Reports, 60 to 69-inch TVs (mainly 65-inch sets) accounted for 18 percent of U.S. TV sales in 2021, and 70 inches or larger accounted for less than 10 percent of sales.

Keep in mind the right TV size will also depend on your personal choice, budget, and field of view. 

To calculate your field of view, multiply your TV’s diagonal measurements by 1.6 (a 60-inch screen means you need to sit about 96 inches or 8 feet away from your TV).

Conclusion: TVs Win (For Now)

Modern Living Room Interior With Smart Tv, Sofa, Floor Lamp And Potted Plant

TVs tend to be more responsive, come with the latest features and have higher refresh rates (especially important if you’re a gamer). Typically, TVs also provide brighter images. Yet, projectors can deliver larger screens at more affordable rates than TVs. Projectors are also portable, making them a great option for small space dwellers or renters.
There is a lot to consider when deciding between a projector screen and a TV. And although most tech experts agree TVs are better than projectors, how you pick your viewing apparatus will rely on your budget, room setup, and viewing needs.

Ready to get started on building your home theater?

Let us install the ideal setup for your lifestyle and budget! At Neuwave, we provide you with the best tech brands and audio-video solutions for your home (or commercial) entertainment needs. Contact our team of professionals to schedule a FREE quote and find the perfect system for you!