Projector vs. HDTV for Home Theater


When setting up a home theater system, one of the most important topics is what type of display to use. The two common options are a home theater projector or high-definition television.

When comparing a projector versus an HDTV for a home theater, consider the following pros and cons to help you determine which would work best for you.

What are the pros and cons of HDTVs?


  • Brightness: TVs are not as affected by light as a projector is, allowing you to watch them in a bright room or with the blinds raised. Projectors require darkness for the best picture.
  • Ease of Installation: TVs, despite being a bit heavy and hard to move around, are easy to install. Once in place, you simply hook up your equipment to the matching ports.
  • Color Range: the technological improvements offered by 4K TVs allow them to display a richer variety of color then all but the most expensive projectors commonly used for a home theater.


  • Smaller Image: TVs simply do not produce an image as large as a projector. Even with 1080p, the sharpness of the image can be hard to appreciate if you’re too far back.
  • Not as Good in the Dark: one area where TVs clearly lose to projectors is in a darkened room. TVs can easily cause eye strain in a dark room while projectors are far less stressful for your eyes.

What are the pros and cons of projector screens?


  • Display Size: with a projector, you have a large viewing area that creates a true in-home movie theater experience. Projectors can produce a display larger in terms of sheer size than all but the largest and most expensive TVs. With HD output, this creates a notable level of detail.
  • Easy on The Eyes: projectors have such a large viewing area that it greatly reduces the need for your eyes to strain to see a movie or television show. Plus, like a movie theater, they work well in the dark.
  • Can Save on Space: a projector is generally installed in the ceiling and are smaller than a TV. Plus, if your wall has a smooth finish you can use that as a screen. Even when a screen is needed, they are thin and easily retracted when not in use.


  • Light Sensitivity: a drawback of projectors is that the display they create is very light sensitive. Any light in the room, be it artificial or natural, can wash out the image. This requires a room with a projector to have light controls and window treatments to keep out outside light.
  • Regular Upkeep: projectors use bulbs or lamps that are commonly UHP or LED-based, with LED lamps lasting longer. No matter what the bulb type, they do burn out and require regular replacement which is an added expense and can be inconvenient.

Learn More with Performance Audio Today!

As the above information shows, projectors and HDTVs both have their benefits and drawbacks when used in a home theater system. Which is best for you depends on your individual needs, preferences, and overall home theater layout.

At Performance Audio, we can help you choose the right system for the best viewing experience in your home as well as complete the installation. Please contact us today for more information.

Image Credit: Shutterstock/By Evgeny Atamanenko