Is a Projector TV Best for a Home Cinema System?

Usually, what springs to mind when thinking of a projector TV is an LCD projector that projects the image onto a screen. This is also called a front projection television. Don’t confuse these two-piece systems with a rear projection television, which is a little thicker than plasma or LCD TVs, and uses a lamp that projects light onto the back of the screen and onto a mirror to create the images.

Front projector TVs require the projector and the screen, and this alone can mean you’ll spend far more for the system than you would a flat-screen TV that’s capable of a very clear picture, too.  Even a small screen will probably cost at least $150 to $200, with larger screens easily reaching several hundred dollars or even well over a thousand dollars. Add on the cost of the projector (which will be at least several hundred dollars even if you buy a fairly inexpensive one, and probably $2,000 to $4,000 if you buy an excellent quality one), and you could spend far more on this setup than on a large flat-screen television and some good speakers. However for a high end home theater setup, a projection system is the closest you can come to the true cinema experience!

Front projector TV sets allow you to get the television signal pushed through the projector and onto the screen. If you watch much TV, even just 4 or 5 hours a day, the bulb in the projector might only last a year to 18 months. With the average price ranging from about $175 to $200, that’s a high ongoing cost. If you plan to only watch movies like DVDs through your projector a few times a week, then the bulb could easily last a few years.

If you plan to watch a lot of television programming in your home theater, then you should consider investing in a good quality plasma or LCD television. You’ll spend less money in the long run and get comparable picture quality. You may not be able to go as large as you could with a projector TV, but unless your room is enormous there’s really no need for a huge screen. And the bigger a picture is, the more obvious any flaws will be.

Whether you choose a projector TV or a standard flat-screen, get the highest definition and best resolution you can. A 1080p has the best resolution and looks dramatically better than an image on a standard television. With the growing range of high-definition DVDs and even HD over-the-air television programming today, you won’t miss out on the better quality if you have a high-resolution television to help you enjoy it.

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