viewing TV with projector?



Adrian wrote in his review about VPL-HS1, that "This projector is so good that I have gotten rid of my TV to use this for everything now, the only drawback is you need to draw the curtains in bright daylight.". But is it actually so simple -- all you need is an elegant projector? I wonder whether one really does not need any TV set when having a projector already? I for one, do not have any TV as now, and I would be very pleased if it was possible to avoid buying one, as they are all more or less clumsy. I have planned to get hold of the promising VPL-HS2. However, I am afraid that a projector alone will not do. Could you please help me in my confusion, I am an absolute beginner on projectors.

Thank you in advance


Staff member
You DO need subdued light (the darker the better) to get good results from a Projector. Look at it like this: A projector CANNOT project black. It can only project no light. So, black can only be as dark as your screen looks when the PJ is switched off. The more ambient light, the lighter your screen looks, so the lighter your blacks will be.

I don't think ANY projectors come with a tuner. They are devices which need to be driven with a video signal of one form or another - Composite, SVideo, RGB, or Component. So, in order to watch TV, as well as the projector, an external tuner is needed. A VCR is the cheapest/easiest way to buy a tuner. Or a Set Top Box (eg Sky digital, Freeview in the UK - don't know about Norway).

Also, projectors either have NO sound system, or a very poor internal system with a tiny speaker. So, you also need a sound system. Most PJ users will have an AV amplifier, 5 speakers and a subwoofer. Although all of these are not essential, you will need, as a minimum, a stereo amp and two speakers.

Finally, PJs don't have any fancy TV features like Picture In Picture, Teletext etc. Digital Set Top Boxes (in the UK at least) have their own text system built in, and the PJ will reproduce this. For standard teletext, external decoders (including VCRs with this ability) are about as rare as rocking-horse sh*t.


Thank you, Nigel, for your kind answer! Great news. Didn't know that VCR-s (Video Cassette Recorder, right?) also serve as TV tuners. Do they all do that? And without TV set? Where do you switch the channels then, on the remote control of the PJ?

But what the heck is Digital Set Top Box? TV without display? Tried
to find it at checkaprice.com, it said "no products found". It seems that this system would be the best solution, but, as I understand, it might be rather expensive. Do you know the approximate price?

However, perhaps the easiest way is just to by a usual little text TV? But what about aspect ratio then? Does it depend on TV-set, would I still get through the widescreen format with my widescreen VPL-HS2? And in case of TV, does it serve as mediator only? Is it possible to use the usual TV without display on?

As to the need for subdued light, I think, it is only a good thing -- it reduces the inclination for misusing the TV. You will watch only when you really need.

I have got pretty good music center too, so the sound is no problem.

And last but not least -- PJ is much healthier in terms of radiation. It is difficult to keep children from watching TV too closely. But no danger with PJ.


Hi Sonn

as a recent purchaser of a projector I asked myself the same question. You can connect any digital source to a projector (satellite box, PC, VCR etc), so I have connected my PC and av receiver through which I play my satellite signal. I never use teletext- use internet instead.

But I have also kept my TV, because I didn't see much point in the kids using up (very) expensive lamp life when watching Cartoon network. So I have a 20 inch CRT TV for casual viewing (news etc), and the projector for movies and sports events.

Hope this helps your decision.



Do you mean Video Cassette Recorder by AV Receiver? If yes, how the channel switching is functioning? Or is it another name for Set Box Top? I do not care about teletext either.
Cheers Sonn


Standard Member
If you're using a vcr as a tuner you change the channel by changing it on the vcr - use the vcr's remote or the buttons on the box - simple.

If you're going that way I'd recommend a DVD recorder instead, as you'll probably want a dvd player as well and the recording and convenience is ustterly superior. There are two DVD recorders available that will cost you about the same as the combined cost of a decent VCR and DVD player. They are the Philips DVDR880 (which I own and recommend), and the Panasonic E30. They have decent analogue tuners too and both cost under 400 quid (got mine for £362).

You'd probably be as well getting a digital set top tuner which will give you about 24 channels through an ordinary aerial which are all free except for your usual licence fee. These are about £99. You change the channel by using the set top box's remote control.



Oh, that simple! Sorry about that. Just didn't remember having seen any VCR remotes with channel knobs. Are there any limits to the quantity of channels on the part of VCR? And will the widescreen signal come through?

Thanks for recommending DVD-R, I will think about it. Although I think a VCR in house won't do any harm yet, as the VHS-s are still very usual and the everyday recording (cartoons for kids f.ex) is cheaper.

Top Bottom