Why projectors are more immersive than TVs


Active Member
Just a general discussion really. I've got a JVC projector and Sony OLED, and both are outstanding in their own right. I'm convinced though that projectors are far better for a more immersive experience, with a larger viewing angle, regardless of the actual screen size. Almost all threads I've looked at on this type of topic crown the projector as the king of home cinema purely and solely for two reasons: they allow you to create a giant screen larger than TVs, and allow you to do it cheap. For me, that does the projector a huge injustice, and I can't quite figure out why.

I got a Sony 48" OLED recently, purely because I wanted a "cosy" size to compliment my 105" projector screen. But whilst shopping around, I looked at 77" + TVs and recreated the viewing angle that I watched footage on my projector, and I found it sickening. Even in proper AV stores that don't have TVs set to the garish "shop mode", I found the same.

I'm not sure if it's the semi-reflective surface of TVs, or the colour, contrast or brightness, or perhaps I'm just used to the projected image. Or maybe it's because a projector is rear-projected onto a fabric surface, who knows. Something about sitting close to a projected image just soothes the soul like no TV can achieve (much the opposite), in my opinion.

I'd love to know if anyone else thinks the same, or could perhaps give some logic to why it lends to a more immersive experience.


Well-known Member
To answer the thread title............ 'cos size!;)

I think it is a lot to do with the fact that a reflected image is easier on the eyes. All that is being reflected back (assuming the room is conducive) is the image.
Everything we see in real life (not counting man made points of light) is reflected light. It is a more natural way of viewing things.

On TV screens there are environmental reflections to get around too. TVs are essentially mirrors when they are off.
For example, there is a lamp in the corner of our living room that, if on, puts a huge bloom right in the middle of the TV screen making that part of the image completely unwatchable. Eye fatigue immediately sets in. It needs turning off for comfortable viewing even though the telly is bright. The effect would be worse if the room was dark but for that lamp.

But, if that same lamp is used in the room with the projector, all it does is add some ambient light to the room and washes the image out a little, but it is still watchable. Much easier on the eyes.


Well-known Member
They talk a bit about that in a recent AV FORUMS podcast and I think you are right, a projected image is more like what you would get in the cinema which is much more immersive than a TV IMHO.

I have an 84 inch screen (small from a projecting perspective) and, while a TV of the same size would do an amazing job with 4k HDR images, I am sure it would be harder to watch for longer periods of time, especially in my dark cinema room, as it would be blindingly bright... Perhaps almost too good in that environment.

There is obviously a place for both TV and projector but, for film viewing in a darkened room, a projector works best for me, more cinematic and easier on the eyes. Just my opinion though, of course.

I have considered a large screen in the room and could get that cheaper than a projector (or the projector I want) but I feel it would overpower the room - I can roll up the screen after use and admire my Star Wars posters! I can't roll up an 84 inch OLED TV.... yet...


Distinguished Member
As good and big as TVs get they will never produce the image the same way as a projector does and there’s the difference. To me there’s a harshness to the image a TV (any TV) produces and the bigger the TV screen the worse the eye strain.

I sometimes wonder is it the nits level they produce compared to a projector/screen combination?

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