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Projectors vs. TVs for the Home Theater: Pros and Cons

If you’re considering buying a house with a home theater, or perhaps you want to put one in your current residence, the most important question that you’re likely to face is whether to get a TV or projector. This alone will undoubtedly have a major impact on your viewing experience, so it’s worth digging into the details in order to design the perfect home theater for your next family movie night. Below are the pros and cons of each.

TV Pros:
If picture quality is the most important characteristic to you, then it’s generally accepted that TVs have the edge in this department. Not only will the image be sharper and brighter, but you won’t have to worry about keeping the room dark. Additionally, TVs have built-in speakers, so you don’t necessarily need to outfit your home theater with a separate audio system.

TV Cons:
A large, state-of-the-art TV is likely going to set you back a bit more than a projector, but that’s to be expected for the picture quality. One area that the TV is limited is size, as 4K ultra-high definition televisions top out around 80 inches (not that that’s anything to scoff at).

Projector Pros:
For a true cinematic experience with a wall-sized screen, the projector is the way to go for larger-than-life images at a cheaper price. If you want to be able to discreetly turn your living room into a home theater, you have the benefit of installing a retractable projector and screen that hides from view when not in use.

Projector Cons:
Of course, the biggest knock on projectors is that light affects the picture quality, but if you’re going to use blackout shades or put your home theater in your basement, then this probably isn’t a major concern. While the picture quality isn’t quite as good as televisions, today’s 4K ultra-high definition projectors are very impressive. You’ll also need to get speakers, which isn’t an issue if you plan on installing a surround sound system anyway.