Projectors are a great alternative to a big TV screen when you want to do some couch gaming. Now, why would anyone buy a projector instead of a TV? The reason is that a projector can give you a much larger screen than a TV screen, which can also be customized. Some projectors are able to provide as much as 300-inch screen area which is around 3 times more than large-size TVs. Projectors save a lot of space in your room and are also very portable. However, setting a projector properly takes a lot of time and needs maintenance in case of lamp-based projectors. The lamp of the projector should be replaced every 3-4 years, although laser-based projectors are a lot more durable but are priced way higher too.
The major downside of using a projector is that the picture quality is not very good especially in a well-lit room. The contrast of projectors is much less than a standard TV, which gives the feeling of a washed out picture. Again, laser-based projectors are less prone to this anomaly. Last of all, if you are buying a projector for gaming, you should make sure that the response time of the projector is good enough to not show signs of input lag. Traditionally, projectors have a response time between 16-30 milliseconds.
1. BenQ TK800
Our Rating: 9/10
- Convenient for outdoor use
- Provides staggering gaming experience with 120Hz capability
- Pro-longed Lamp life
- Provides poor black levels
- Does not provide lens shift
Brightness: 3000 Lumens | Resolution: 3840 x 2160 | Contrast Ratio: 10,000:1 | Mechanism: Long Throw
BenQ is a well-known brand for manufacturing gaming-oriented products. BenQ TK800 Home Theater Projector is one of the most sought out projectors as it got all the useful features which should be present in a high-end projector. It features 4K resolution which is ideal for high-end gaming, although a powerful PC is necessary to handle such loads. At 3000 lumens of brightness, this projector is able to produce a very bright image, although wide-gamut color space is not available. HDR10 content is also supported which will be getting mainstream in all the AAA titles shortly.
This projector produced a lot of noise during running with a measurement of around 50db, which is quite a lot for a quiet room. From the gaming perspective, an overall input lag of 40ms was observed. Apart from that, the picture quality seemed good with no visible signs of noise, however, shadows and black-levels were a bit disappointing. One thing to note here is that the projector does not support lens shift and horizontal keystone adjustment which can be deal-breaker for some people.
A unique advantage of this projector is that it has a refresh rate of 120Hz which is fabulous for competitive gaming. At a distance of 15-feet, users can enjoy 120-inches viewing screen. We recommend this projector to people who intend to use it in well-lit rooms as the projector provides a very bright image.
2. Epson Home Cinema 5040UBe
Our Rating: 9/10
- Wide-Gamut Color space is supported
- Looks astonishing with HDR10 support
- Provides wireless connection
- Low quality power supply
- Motion handling doesn't work with resolution upscaling
Brightness: 2500 Lumens | Resolution: 1920 x 1080 (With 4K Enhancement) | Contrast Ratio: 1,000,000:1 | Mechanism: Long Throw
Epson Home Cinema 5040UBe is one of the top models of Epson which is particularly famous for manufacturing projectors. This projector can also be used in a wireless mode which is a handy feature. Natively, it supports 1080p resolution but uses 4K enhancement technology which seems to be an up-scaling algorithm. A lot of brightness ranges are available for HDR content which provides immersive image quality. The projector also supports wide-gamut color spaces which are breath-taking in terms of color vividness and shows no sign of banding as 10-bit colors are supported.
The projector provided a promising image quality with rich colors. The black-levels were astonishing as expected from such a high-contrast projector. A maximum screen size of 125-inches can be achieved at a distance of 15-ft, and projector supports both lens shifting and keystone correction. There seems to be a problem with the PSUs in the newer revisions, so make sure to get a problem-free unit by confirming from the manufacturer. This is a very attractive product for people who demand high color-quality.
3. Optoma GT1080Darbee
Our Rating: 9.5/10
- Low response time results in superior gaming experience
- Comes with a carrying case for easy portability
- Provides a great value
- The lamp is not durable
- Display adjustments are negligible
Brightness: 3000 Lumens | Resolution: 1920 x 1080 | Contrast Ratio: 28,000:1 | Mechanism: Short Throw
Optoma is as good a name as Epson in the market of projectors. With a wide range of projectors available, Optoma GT1080Darbee is a well-balanced projector, providing a lot of functionalities. It features 1080p resolution along with 3000 lumens, which is a good brightness level even for well-lit rooms. This is a short throw projector, which means that it needs to be at a very small distance from the wall to achieve a good screen size. This projector has a response time of 16ms, which is fantastic for competitive gaming.
Testing this projector showed that 100-inch screen size is possible by only 4-ft distance. A maximum of 300-inch screen size is possible at a distance of 11-ft, although the image becomes a little dull at such a distance. The image quality was more than satisfactory with good black-levels and vivid colors. We recommend this projector to people who want a balanced image quality along with good response time, as these characteristics prove to be very essential in gaming.
4. ViewSonic PX800HD
Our Rating: 9/10
- Provides as good response time as the Optima GT1080
- Image quality could not have been better in this price
- Effortless screen adjustment for keystone
- The noise of the fan is unbearable
- The quality of the speakers is not satisfactory
Brightness: 2000 Lumens | Resolution: 1920 x 1080 | Contrast Ratio: 100,000:1 | Mechanism: Ultra Short Throw
Viewsonic is known for its high-end monitors but its projectors should not be underestimated. ViewSonic PX800HD is an ultra-short throw projector which can provide a 100-inch screen size at a distance of a few inches. It supports 1080p resolution with a refresh rate of 60Hz, although 120Hz is available at lower resolutions. It ensures 2000 lumens brightness at the screen size of 150-inches.
We noticed that a maximum screen size of 150-inches is possible at a distance of 30-inches from the wall. The picture quality seemed perfect, with great contrast and saturated colors, however, the fan of the projector is too noisy. With only a 16ms response time, this projector is very good for gaming, especially first-person-shooters. The ultra short throw also ensures that you don’t get disturbed by people coming in between the projector and the wall. If you are looking for something robust, high-quality and long-lasting then you should definitely check up on this product.
5. Sony VPLVZ1000ES
Our Rating: 9/10
- True 4K resolution results in ultra-sharp picture
- Remarkably enduring product
- Requires no maintenance like other projectors
- Out of reach for most of people
- The design is too bulky
Brightness: 2500 Lumens | Resolution: 4096 x 2160 | Contrast Ratio: Infinite | Mechanism: Ultra Short Throw
We definitely don’t need to introduce Sony as it is involved in a lot of electronic hardware. Sony VPLVZ1000ES is a top quality projector which uses Z-Phosphor Laser as the light source instead of traditional lamps. This results in spectacular image quality with deep blacks and very vivid colors. An OLED TV against a standard LCD TV is a good example to understand this projector. It uses real-time laser light control which results in an infinite contrast ratio, just like an OLED panel (blacks are as good as being off). Moreover, it is an ultra-short throw projector ensuring a 100-inch screen at only 6-inches distance.
This projector is the pinnacle of image quality rivaling the quality of an OLED panel. It needs no maintenance whatsoever and it is not noisier like other projectors. The HDR content looks stunning, with colors popping out of the wall. Since it does not contain a lamp, it is much more durable than a standard lamp-based projector. If you want something that has absolutely best quality no matter what the price, then this might be the perfect choice for you.
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Prices taken/valid at the time of review.