I really like projectors

I'm a huge fan of home projectors. I can't see myself ever going back to a standard television screen. Projectors definitely won't be for everyone, but I think that they're a fantastic yet under-appreciated screen option. Here are the key reasons I think it's worth considering a projector the next time you're looking to replace an old TV.

Projectors are highly space-efficient

I first looked into buying a projector while living in a ~500sqft NYC apartment with one other person. Space was absolutely not an abundant resource. Wall real estate was particularly scarce. Given that restriction alone, a projector was the obvious screen of choice. A ceiling-mounted projector takes up effectively zero space. Since you can also ceiling-mount a projector screen, the whole setup can be pretty much invisible while not in use. I'll also give the projector some bonus points here for not acting as a massive attention-grabbing focus point unless actively in use.

Projectors offer a better viewing experience

A good projector combined with good speakers can also completely elevate the watching experience. Every movie night becomes a trip to the cinema. I genuinely cannot express the extent to which a solid projector can turn the otherwise average movie watching session into something more exciting. The sound, the scale, the lighting; projectors are just a better medium for watching long-form content.

Of course, when I refer to a "good" projector, I really do mean good. You can quite easily find a good television set for less than $500. You will likely (at the time of writing) have to spend at least $7-800 if you want a new 1080p projector that actually looks any good. Projectors below this price range tend to be pretty awful and usually won't look very good unless you're in a very dark room. Above this range, projectors can hold their own in most lighting conditions and won't be blurry.

That said, projectors are generally less convient for short-form content simply because there's some small amount of setup time involved (turn projector on, wait for projector to spin up, pull down projector screen). I still prefer to watch short videos on my phone or on my computer. I mostly still watch TV episodes on my computer but I do watch "epic" TV (like Foundation) on the projector. I don't watch very much television so this isn't realy an issue for me, but to each their own.

Projectors are dumb

"Smart" TV sets are a nightmare. Smart TVs are mostly just under-powered Android devices that seem to only get slower and slower every year. We have external devices that can give the "smart" TV experience without coupling your expensive screen to some bloatware Android garbage.

Projectors are the perfect "dumb" screens. I'm sure there are plenty of "smart" projectors but many of the best projectors are still "dumb". I think this may be an artifact of the price of a high-end projector -- I might be willing to have a janky Android device with a two year lifespan inside of my $200 TV but I wouldn't stand for it in a $1000 projector. Either way, it makes me happy that my projector is just a projector.

I have a [Streaming Device] plugged into my projector which makes the thing as smart as I can reasonably want it to be. I have an HDMI cable plugged in for everything else. It's reliable, modular, and easily upgradeable ([Streaming Device] acting up? Just buy a new one). What's not to love?

Parting thoughts

A projector is a fantastic alternative to the standard television set. I hope this page was at least somewhat convincing. If you have some extra money sitting around and you're looking to replace an old TV, I highly recommend giving some thought to a projector. Projectors aren't for everyone, but maybe they'll be right for you!