A home theater system’s visual element is its centerpiece. If you’re upgrading your home theater or are building one from scratch, you’re probably trying to decide whether to get a big TV or a projection system. Here are the important things you should consider when choosing between these two systems.
1. Size – TVs are just catching up with projector systems in terms of size and price, with quality 85-inch units being sold for under $3,000. However, you can get 100- to 120-inch projection systems with comparable quality for less, making projectors the clear winner in terms of cost-to-size ratio. However, size is not the only thing to consider when choosing between the two.
2. Resolution – It’s important to note that digital cinema projectors in today’s theaters use 4K video resolution. With the advent of Ultra-HD Blu-ray (which features 2160p or 4K resolution videos — in contrast, standard Blu-ray video is 1080p), it is possible to get true cinema-quality using a compatible consumer TV or home projector.
3. Brightness – The biggest difference between TVs and projectors is in how they project images and how it’s affected by ambient light in the room. Projectors bounce light off a screen while TVs are lit behind the screen. Between the two, TVs are less affected by ambient light. Projectors, on the other hand, need to be in a darkened room or have a brighter projection lamp for an optimal viewing experience.
4. Contrast – In projection terms, contrast is determined by a combination of black levels and brightness. On projection systems, a good contrast ratio is achieved by darkening the room and choosing a projector with a high lumen (lamp brightness) rating. Most consumer TVs are liquid crystal displays (LCDs) backlit with light-emitting diode (LED) lamps from the edges, which means some TVs can have washed-out blacks. True LED screens, in comparison, use an array of individual LEDs to project images that create a high contrast ratio and more accurate projection.
Need help with building your dream home theater? Call WiHome Integration at (703) 239-1500. You can also fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment. We serve customers in McLean, Clifton and Burke, VA, and the surrounding communities in the DC Metro region.