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 truly big screen experience, TVs tend to only 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 still be able to display games reasonably well but a cheap projector often looks quite 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 in the room but you ideally need to make the room dark through the use of curtains or blinds. 

Do Projectors Have Lag?

Yes. Like TVs, projectors have some level of input lag. This varies depending on the projector you buy. It's important to check the specification before you buy one, especially for gaming. Some projectors offer different modes with a games mode ensuring that lag is at its lowest.

Lag refers to the time between when the video signal is received by the projector 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 but also some cons too. 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 too. If a big screen experience is important 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 quite high input lag which is unsuitable for gaming but a projector often offers quite 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 as well as become quite noisy, especially during setup. This might not be a dealbreaker for you but it's something to consider. 
FAQ
  • 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, HDMI devices like game consoles can be connected 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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