Using a Projector As a TV – Is It Practical for Everyday Use?

Updated on by Gavin Whitner | There may be affiliate links on this page.

Watching TV is sacred to many – as a pastime, a way to unwind, even as a way to learn.

With projectors, you give yourself a whole new way of experiencing your favorite shows. They’re as big as you need them to be, they’re cost-effective, and they make for excellent home theaters.

Once you’ve got them set up, they can most certainly be used to watch TV every day. This article will inform you of the pros and cons of using a projector as a TV.



Size is the most obvious advantage projectors hold. There are projectors that can cast images of up to 300 inches across diagonally. It really depends on how large the screen you’re projecting on to is. To set up a screen that’s 120 inches, at an aspect ratio of 6×9, you’d need a surface that’s 105 inches across and 59 inches high.

But size doesn’t just mean how big it is. A great advantage projectors offer is that the size of image they emit can be scaled. You get portable projectors that emit images ranging from 30 inches to 200 inches.


An unexpected, but welcome plus of the size that projectors offer is that they’re actually better for your eyes than TVs. There are two reasons for this.

The first is that the larger viewing field more accurately mimics the way light works in the natural world. It fills more of your vision, making it easier for your eyes to adjust to what they’re seeing. Crucial to this is the fact that the size of the image the projector emits can scale, as well as how big the room is.

You need to be able to sit far enough away from the screen to not strain your eyes or neck to see everything because it’s too big but also close enough to let you enjoy the full viewing experience.

Reason number two is that the light you see from an image projected on to a screen is reflected. TVs emit light. Reflected light is far easier to absorb than emitted light, and because of that, less strenuous on your eyes.


Another positive regarding the size of projectors, especially in comparison to TVs that are on the market, is that you can get projectors that emit larger images than TVs for cheaper. This Toshiba 65 inch smart TV will set you back $349.99 on Amazon. There are more expensive options out there too. But if you consider even the portable projector mentioned earlier, you have the option of going as big as 200 inches for $79.99.

Image Quality

The Toshiba TV mentioned above does have 4K resolution, whereas the portable projector doesn’t (it does support 1080P though, which is really good for that price). And there are TVs out there that display up to 8K resolution, like this Samsung.

But to be fair, you don’t really need 8K for everyday TV watching. And you do get projectors that boast 4K, like this Yaber. While more expensive than the portable projector, it is still only $249.99 – cheaper than the Toshiba TV.

Other things to consider regarding the image quality, are the brightness and color contrast of the image you’re watching. Projectors actually, maybe surprisingly, stand their ground against TVs when it comes to these two factors.

Projectors offer image quality that is clear with crisp color. But it all depends on the amount of light in the room you have the projector set up in. The darker the room, the better. If there is too much light in the room, the image will be washed out.



Once projectors are set up, then there shouldn’t be any issue moving forward. However, they don’t boast the almost plug-and-play capabilities smart TVs do.

There are workarounds though, but they require a little work. You can plug a media box or game console in to use streaming platforms, a cable box, satellite box, DVD or Blu-Ray player, and even a VCR player into a projector.

The real issue comes in if you want to watch live satellite TV and don’t have a satellite box. There are TVs that have built-in antennas that are used to pick up satellite signal, but projectors simply don’t have that feature.

Audio is something else that will need to be set up. Projectors don’t generally come with speakers and if they do, the speakers aren’t the best – definitely not as good as TVs. You will need to hook up external speakers if you want to have a better audio experience.


TVs hardly ever require maintenance. Obviously, there can be an odd incident that requires you to get it fixed or replaced. But generally speaking, TVs have pretty good lifespans. Projectors require more work, although minimally. Projectors that use bulbs will have to have the bulbs replaced after about 2000 hours of use.

However, projector technology has advanced to the point where many of them are now made with LED lights instead of bulbs. These LED projectors shouldn’t require you to change anything – much like TVs.

However, all projectors will need to be cleaned quite regularly. The bulbs, other components of the housing, and the inside of the housing can become dusty and dirty if they aren’t looked after. This could affect the projector quite badly, possibly to the point that it stops working.


Projectors can fit just about any size surface you’d want to project your image on to, they’re priced really competitively for the quality and size of image you get, and they’re generally better for your eyes than TVs are.

However, it is worth considering what you would have to do or additionally purchase in order to set your projector up before you make your decision. And you will have to be prepared to do the little bit of maintenance they require to stay in tip-top shape, especially if you use a bulb projector rather than an LED one.

All of this being said, projectors can most definitely be used everyday – the pros far outweigh the cons, especially if you make a considered purchase.

About Gavin Whitner

A guitar player, songwriter, composer, and also the lead editor of MusicOomph, Gavin is one of the four musician friends behind this site. Outside of music, he's an avid sports fan and hardly misses anything from football (soccer) to F1.

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