Knowing how to use a projector as a TV will give you cinematic entertainment in the comfort of your own home. In this context, I have to say that bigger is always better. Projecting gigantic images onto a wall or a screen with a projector provides a much better viewing experience.

Benefits of Using a Projector as a TV

Using a projector as a TV has many benefits. Below are just some of the advantages of using a projector as a substitute for a TV:

A projector does not use up floor or wall space.

A TV has to be mounted to a wall or placed on a stand which uses up valuable floor space. Because a projector is so much smaller than a TV, it can be placed just about anywhere on a table or a shelf and it uses no floor space at all.

A projector is more economical in comparison to a TV.

A projector gives you a much bigger screen for much less than the price of a TV with a comparable screen size. Many projectors now play in HD, so you can also get high-quality screen images.

A projector has a flexible screen size.

Unlike a TV, the screen size of a projector can be configured to any size you desire. This is a notable advantage if your screen size requirements change later on because it will be much easier (and cheaper) to adjust the screen size of a projector as opposed to purchasing a bigger TV.

Projectors are portable.

A projector is significantly smaller than a TV. This makes it easy to carry around with you if you ever want to connect your projector at a friend’s house or on a blank wall outside for a movie night under the stars.

How to Use a Projector to Watch TV

If you’re thinking about buying a new TV, I suggest you consider buying a projector instead and follow my easy step-by-step instructions below on how to use a projector as a TV.

Find a suitable location

Find a large enough empty wall on which to beam the projected image. Projectors can project images as massive as 300 inches. The bigger, the better, but bear in mind that large images will be dimmer because you will have to move the projector further away from the screen. Any ambient or indirect light that falls on the screen will impact a projector’s performance and give you washed out images so choose a space that is dark as possible.

Place the projector

Determine how and where to place the projector in relation to the screen. You can either mount it to a ceiling or place it on a table or a shelf. Just keep in mind that nothing must be in the path of the projector beam. Most projectors nowadays can also project from the back of a screen if you’re using a rear projection-compatible screen.

Tip: If you are planning to mount the projector on the ceiling, I advise you to consult an installation company to mount it for you. That way, you can be sure that the projector will be mounted correctly and the projector distance and angle to the screen will be correct.

Set up the screen

If you’re going to project onto a wall then skip this step. If you have a screen then the next step is to set it up. I highly recommend using a screen as it gives you a uniform blank surface. A screen also produces a brighter image because it is more reflective than a wall.

Connect your devices

Connect the source device of your video signal to your projector with an HDMI cable.

Turn on your devices

Once you’re all set up, plug in the power cables of your source device and the projector. Turn on the projector. Once the projector is on, a message will be displayed saying that the projector is searching for an active input source. Now you can turn on your connected source device. Once the projector finds your active source, select your projector’s placement (front, front ceiling, rear, rear ceiling) from the projector’s menu so that the projected image orientation is correct.

Project an alignment image

To project the image onto the screen at the correct angle you must use a reference still pattern. Some projectors come with built-in test patterns for this. If your projector does not come with built-in test patterns, use a setup disc or download an image online.

Adjust the projected image

Ensure that the projector is leveled and then line up the center of the projector lens with the center of your screen.

Zoom and focus

Use the Zoom control functionality to adjust the projected image so that it fills your screen. Once you have adjusted the image to the right size, use the Focus control functionality to adjust the focus until the projected image is sharp and clear. If the center of the projected image is in focus but the corners are not, then the reason could be that the projector is not at level. Use the adjustable legs and supports on the projector to adjust its position.

Select the correct picture mode

Select the right picture mode from the projectors preset picture modes. The best mode in a dark room is Movie or Cinema. In an ambient light setting, choose a brighter mode such as Standard or Normal mode.

Sound setup

Even though some projectors come with built-in speakers, the sound they produce is inadequate for such a magnificent setup. I recommend connecting your projector to a home theater surround sound system. If you don’t have a home theater surround sound system, I recommend connecting multiple speakers to your source device to get better quality sound.

Final Tips

Once you have completed all the above steps on how to use a projector as a TV, make some popcorn, turn off the lights and enjoy!

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