Projector buying guide
Things to consider when buying a projector
Projectors are built for various purposes and to ensure that you pick the best for your gaming pleasures, here are a few things that you have to consider.
Most projectors use high output lamps or LEDs for their light source. When it comes to gaming, gamers should insist on lamp-based projectors which are brighter and, therefore, produce crisp images of the games on play. LED projectors are limited in their brightness levels and this greatly compromises the picture quality on offer. Picture quality is very important when gaming and lamp-based projectors are your best bet in this regard. As a result of their brightness, lamp-based projectors can be used in large rooms with a lot of ambient lighting to great effect. LED projectors fall short in this aspect and you will have to reduce the ambient lighting as much as possible to be able to play your favorite game. Sitting in a dimly-lit room for a long period of time could interfere with your vision and this is another reason to pick a lamp-based projector for your gaming needs. The only problem with lamp-based projectors is that they produce a lot of heat when running and this necessitates additional cooling mechanisms to ensure the projector cools properly. You will need an external fan for this and your energy consumption would, therefore, rise as a result. LED projectors produce very little heat and require very little effort to maintain them but if your interest is in excellent picture quality for your games, then lamp-based projectors are the way to go.
The brightness of a projector is measured in lumens. The amount of brightness you need for your visuals is affected by three things; the content, the image size and the ambient lighting in the room. The content, in this case, are the items to be displayed which could be movies, office presentations or video games. You don’t need a projector with a high brightness rating for presentations and movies but when it comes to gaming brighter is better. The best projector for gaming is that with a good brightness rating as this ensures that your colors are vivid and the images crisp and clear. The brightness rating for projectors can be as little as 500 lumens and as much as 4500 lumens. For your gaming needs, you should insist on a projector with a brightness rating of 1800 lumens and more. Anything less will not give you the clarity and smoothness you desire when gaming. If you will be playing your games in a large room, you should buy a projector with a brighter rating for the best picture quality as well. Try to dim the lights for the best display results. It should be noted that the higher the brightness rating, the expensive a projector will be. You should, therefore, be prepared to pay a few extra dollars for the best projector for gaming.
The resolution of a projector can be defined as the amount of pixels used in displaying an image. A higher resolution rating means that a lot of pixels have been used to display the image and this results in a clear and crisp image with greater detail. The common resolution profiles in most projectors are VGA, XGA, and WXGA but for your gaming needs, you should get a projector rated 1080p and above. VGA, XGA, and WXGA profiles are sufficient for simple business presentations but gamers looking for the best experience are best served with 1080p and 4K rated projectors. Such projectors project the images in great detail for your viewing and gaming experience. 4K is the best technology for projector resolution but it is also the most expensive. If you can afford them well and good. But if you can’t, you should never go below 1080p for your gaming projector resolution.
The contrast ratio of a projector indicates its ability to reproduce black and white spots on an image. Most video games feature contrasting images and visuals and you require a HD projector with a high contrast ratio to be able to make out the shadowy moments in a game. A high contrast ratio ensures that the images on display are sharper and brighter for a totally immersive gaming experience. This is because the black spots on an image will be blacker and the whites’ whiter making for a clearer view. Projectors with a high contrast ratio are better placed to tolerate excess ambient light in a room, another factor that makes them ideal for gaming. You, therefore, don’t have to dim the lights too much to be able to play your favorite game. When buying the best projector for gaming, strive to get one with a contrast ratio of 15000:1 and above. Anything lower than this will result in poor pictures and less clear visuals.
The life of the projector’s light source is measured in hours and this is another aspect that you should consider when buying your gaming projector. The lamps on a projector deteriorate with time and the lamp life listed on the projector indicates how long before you have to replace the lamps. Replacing projector lamps is expensive and you should, therefore, find a projector with a longer lamp life so as to put off buying replacement lamps as much as possible. LED projectors have longer lamp lives than lamp-based projectors (in excess of 20,000 hours for one LED light source), but they are not ideal for gaming due to their diminished brightness which results in poor picture quality.
This is the input delay before an image is displayed on the projector. Long delays from the moment an image is launched from the gaming kit to the moment it is displayed by the projector interfere with the quality of play and make for a frustrating gaming experience. Casual gamers playing offline would hardly notice such lags but serious gamers will. Long input lags are particularly frustrating if you are playing online games since you may miss important aspects of the games as a result of the lag and this could cost you a win. The projector you buy for your gaming needs should, therefore, have a low input lag for the best gaming experience. It should not exceed 20ms as delays higher than this stand to ruin your gaming experience.
If you want to enjoy your games in 3D, then you should get a projector that supports 3D content. There are different types of 3D projectors with those labeled as 3D-Ready or 3D-Capable able to accept 3D content and signals from various sources and display the same on a surface. These projectors, however, must be used with a 3D converter for effective projection of the 3D content from the gaming consoles. Such projectors usually have HDMI ports for connection to the 3D content output sources.
Acquiring a 3D projector is one thing. To be able to enjoy your favorite games in 3D, you will need 3D glasses and a converter. You should, therefore, factor all these in your budget if you decide to take the 3D route when it comes to gaming. It is expensive but definitely worth it.
Projectors are available in two types, long throw and short throw projectors. Short throw projectors have a shorter reach and should, therefore, be placed closer to the surface they are projecting on. Long throw projectors have a longer reach and the can be placed far away from the surface they are projecting on without interfering with the quality of display. The type of projector that you should get for your gaming obsession depends on how you plan to use it. If you will be using it in a small room such as your bedroom or in the basement then you can get a short throw projector for gaming. If you will be using it outdoors or in a large room with a lot of other players, then you should definitely get a long throw gaming projector.
You should get a projector with varied and diverse ports to be able to connect to various video gaming sources. Most projectors have VGA and HDMI ports that allow you to connect to various video game sources such as video game consoles and your PC. The HDMI connection allows users to access video gaming content from gaming consoles in standard, enhanced and HD format. VGA ports, on the other hand, are ideal for receiving content from a computer or other VGA-compatible devices.
With all these information, buying the best projector for gaming is easy and straightforward. Using this information, we have gone ahead to find good projectors that are ideal for gaming. Let’s now take a look at the top 7 best projectors for gaming.