BenQ Knowledge Center

Are Projectors Good for Gaming?

BenQ
2021/05/26

 

Here’s a topic we’ve touched upon in different ways before but now it’s time to really get into it. Sure, you know TVs are the mainstream for gaming on consoles, but you want something different. Notably, you want a big screen. A very big screen. Doing that with a TV would be almost ridiculously expensive, not to mention finding a TV that manages a 120” view is essentially impossible.  Here is what you need to know before buying a projector for gaming.

 

In This Article We Cover:

Are Projectors Good for Gaming?

Yes, projectors are good for gaming given you choose the right ones. Good specifications are vital, so make sure to choose a projector that offers high resolution, fast refresh rate, and has low input latency. 

Budget TVs are notorious for bad input lag in the area of 30ms or more, which may affect gaming for a lot of people. Certainly good TVs with dedicated gaming modes have low input lag, but so do new gaming projectors. They’re at parity for the most part, and the old myth of projectors being sluggish is now just that, an old myth. Furthermore, good gaming TVs cost proportionally a lot more than projectors with the same performance once we figure screen size in.

 

To illustrate, the BenQ X1300i offers 1080p 120Hz with input lag of around 8ms. The BenQ TK700STi offers true 4K 60Hz at 16ms. Those are very impressive numbers that create smooth and responsive gaming on massive screens, unlike the limited and rigid form factors of TVs, which also weigh a lot more than projectors and therefore aren’t meant for repositioning. Your average gaming TV weighs around 45 lbs. The BenQ TK700STi weighs a mere six pounds. That’s an added extra we’d like to highlight before we forget. New generation projectors are far more compact and light than big screen TVs, whose screens aren’t all that big when compared to projectors yet the end result with them is a large, heavy device you’ll never want to move until you get a new one. By comparison, a fully fledged gaming projector is practically portable.

 

In any case, if you’re on a good gaming projector you get to enjoy large format viewing of your favourite titles regardless of genre, be it first person shooter or story-rich action RPG or anything else. And with the advantage of better mobility, you’re not locked in to a specific location for the entire lifespan of the product.

Can I Play PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X on a Gaming Projector?

Yes, you can connect your console to any projector with an HDMI port just like with a TV.  Again, good specifications are vital. Here we explain in more detail what makes a projector great for PS5 and Xbox Series X/S

What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Gaming on a Projector?

Big Screen Size

If you want the biggest screen possible, only projectors do that. We don’t want to downplay TVs or say anything bad about them, we love TVs and BenQ even makes them for select markets. We just don’t want to maintain any illusion here. Realistically, TVs are capped at 75” for most people, and under 100” if you’re very well off and money isn’t a thing for you. For a lot less money you easily get a great gaming projector that’ll gladly do up to 180” displays if you have the space for a screen. Definitely 100”-120” is effortless, and the relatively low cost per screen inch of projectors leaves TVs far behind. The wow factor of games on screens in that size class can’t be denied, nor can it be done by anything other than projectors tuned for gaming from the drawing board onwards.

 

Projectors Offer High Refresh Rates and Low Input Lag

Thanks to recent developments, there are projectors that are on equal footing with TVs in terms of resolution, input lag, latency, refresh rate, HDR, and color depth, all while having an edge in terms of important image quality specs like contrast. Modern gaming projectors have left issues such as ghosting and lag in the past, and match TVs in terms of gaming performance

 

Do I Need to Get Separate Speakers or Maybe Not?

You probably noticed that lots of higher priced TVs these days ship with soundbars. That’s because the integrated speakers on flat screen televisions tend to be very underwhelming, and by design. First off, TVs are now expected to be very thin, so there’s little room for speakers. More importantly, with everything packed into one slender design, powerful speakers could easily rattle pixel transistors, distort screen layers, and cause other problems. Good thing some gaming projectors like the X1300i aren’t designed like they’re fragile museum pieces, despite their lighter and more compact form factor. They come with very capable internal speakers, meaning you don't need to invest in external audio hardware unless you really want to.  

 

 

The Long Lasting Factor

Perhaps due to their direct lineage from movie theatre projectors, today’s gaming projectors are built like tanks compared to TVs. None of that “clean gently and don’t apply pressure” thing lest a pixel gets stuck or something. Projectors not only don’t need to be coddled, they’re built for longer product lifespans than TVs and there’s no expectation to change them every two years, again unless you really want to.

Projectors use robust technologies and components and aren’t prone to issues like dead/stuck pixels, light bleed, dirty screen effect, and so forth. With the 4LED technology used on modern gaming projectors, light sources don’t diminish and colours don’t fade for very, very long periods of time. These aren’t the projectors of old where you needed to change the lamp every couple of years.

 

You Need to Consider Room Size

Having said all that, after choosing a gaming projector, setting it up may prove a little more challenging than what you're used to with TVs. You have to take room size into consideration and find an empty wall to project onto or free space for a large dedicated screen. You also need to make sure ambient lighting in the room is as close to optimal. While projectors don't suffer from the issue of reflections that often manifests with TVs, their picture quality is best in dim settings without overly bright lights.  

When It’s OK to Project

We know you want to see what your games look like on a big screen. A screen bigger than anything a TV can offer. You know what to do, so don’t deny yourself. For the price of a TV that’ll lock you into a 75” rectangle you can easily get the same gaming experience on a screen twice that size. Most definitely food for thought.

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