Are Projectors Good for Gaming?

Lagtime and other considerations

A projector can seem like a very appealing option if you want to enjoy big-screen gaming. After all, large TVs cost a lot more than many gaming projectors do. Also, for a genuinely big-screen experience, TVs tend only to go so far as 100-inches at the absolute most, while projectors can offer much larger screens. Are projectors good for gaming, though? Here's a look at the key things you need to consider before buying a projector for gaming. 

Do Projectors Work for Gaming?

Yes, providing you buy the right projector for the job. A regular basic projector won't be good enough for gaming. You need to consider some key things before you buy a gaming projector. It's not as simple a purchase as buying a TV and plugging it in. 

  • A projector is an investment. A cheap TV will display games reasonably well, but a cheap projector often looks relatively poor when dealing with fast-moving scenes such as action-packed moments in games. You need to be able to invest in a good gaming projector.
  • Good specifications are vital. A good gaming projector needs to offer a high native resolution, fast refresh rate, and low input latency. Otherwise, the picture quality can look poor.
  • Don't forget the projector surface. It's possible to project an image onto a wall, but a dedicated projector screen is best as the wall can disrupt color accuracy meaning your game does not look as good. 
  • Darkness is vital. Some projectors can overcome daylight spilling into the room, but you ideally need to make the room dark using curtains or blinds. 

Do Projectors Have Lag?

Yes. Like TVs, projectors have some level of input lag. It varies depending on the projector you buy. It's essential to check the specification before buying one, especially for gaming. Some projectors offer different modes with a games mode, minimizing lag.

Lag refers to the time between when the projector receives the video signal and when it projects it. It can disrupt the quality of your gaming time if you buy a cheap projector with high input lag. It's possible to buy a projector with less than 1ms of lag, though, and it's a sensible idea to seek these out when buying a gaming projector, providing you can afford one. 

Can I Play PS5 on a Projector?

Yes. You need to have a projector with an HDMI port but all modern projectors should offer this. Plug your PlayStation 5 into the HDMI port like you would with a TV and you are able to play PlayStation 5 games on a projector. 

What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of a Gaming Projector?

There are good reasons to buy a gaming projector and some cons. Here's an overview of the advantages and disadvantages of using a gaming projector. 

  • Substantial screen size. A projector can project to a much bigger size than most TVs and usually for less money. If a big-screen experience is vital to you, this is one of the best ways of embracing that.
  • High refresh rates are possible. Some high-end gaming projectors offer very high refresh rates, such as 240Hz, so you end up with a far better picture than a regular TV and for less money too. 
  • Projectors can offer low input lag for less. Many cheap TVs offer relatively high input lag, which is unsuitable for gaming, but a projector often offers relatively low input lag at a better price. 
  • You need to prepare your room. Setting up a projector isn't as simple as hooking up a TV. You'll need to make sure the room is sufficiently dark enough to use the projector, as well as set up a screen, as projecting to a wall is rarely effective when gaming.
  • You often need separate speakers. Some projectors have built-in speakers, but many of these aren't great. You need to buy separate speakers to get the best out of your gaming experience or use headphones in conjunction with the projector. 
  • Projectors can be noisy. Projectors can get hot and become quite loud, especially during setup. That might not be a dealbreaker for you, but it's something to consider. 
  • What should you look for in a projector for gaming?

    The three most important features of a gaming projector are input lag, refresh rate, and resolution. You'll need to make sure your chosen projector supports the resolution and framerate you want to display. Plus, you'll need one with low input lag to keep your games feeling responsive.

  • Can you use a gaming console on a projector at school?

    If it's a modern projector with an HDMI input, you can connect HDMI devices like game consoles to it. However, if it's an old analog projector used to display worksheets, this kind of projector is not compatible with a game console.

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