https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LhlRCCpRsV4

In this age of relatively affordable 50+ inch television screens, it is becoming commonplace for people to find a TV set which more than fills out their living room.

However, there is still a better solution when it comes to balancing screen size and affordability.

What is this, you may ask? Why, of course, the good old-fashioned projectors!

In fact, projectors can even have certain advantages over regular TV sets, all of which will be addressed in this article, where we aim to present you with a list of the best gaming projectors of 2018!

Zoom Out: Top 4 Best Gaming Projectors For 2018

ProjectorResolutionBrightnessContrast RatioUpdated Prices
Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 20401080p2200 lumens35,000:1
Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 5040UBe1080p with 4K enhancement2500 lumens1,000,000:1
Optoma HD142X1080p3000 lumens23,000:1
ViewSonic PRO7827HD1080p2200 lumens22,000:1

Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 2040

best gaming projector
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x_cRmgnsAGU

About the Projector

The first projector on our list comes from none other than Epson. This is a company you will most likely have heard of, seeing as it is a Japanese electronics manufacturer that has been operating since 1942. That said, they have produced many types of products over their almost a century-long lifespan, projectors included.

The Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 2040 is a mid-range projector best suited for use in Home Cinema setups, as the very product name suggests. Its all-white design is pleasing to the eye, and the projector itself is quite light and compact.

Features

  • Image quality
    The projector natively supports a 1080p resolution and utilizes a 3LCD technology which aims to reduce the occurrence of rainbow artifacts which are quite common with projectors. Furthermore, the 2200 lumen brightness makes it well suited for living room use, seeing as it is bright enough to provide a good picture even in average lighting. And lastly, as a cherry on top, it also supports 3D projection.
  • Connectivity
    The projector has the following inputs: 2x HDMI, 1x composite RCA, 2x RCA, 1x VGA and 1x USB type A.
  • Additional features
    • Streaming software compatibility – The PowerLite Home Cinema 2040 supports direct HD streaming to any MHL-enabled devices.
    • Built-in speaker – The projector is also equipped with an integrated 5W mono speaker. While this is far from an ideal sound system for gaming or movies, it is still a feature that can come in handy from time to time.

Downsides

  • 3D glasses have to be bought separately – It can be really off-putting when you essentially need to pay extra in order to use a feature of a device you paid a hefty amount of cash for. In truth, this projector is among the cheapest ones that possess 3D capabilities, which is why glasses have to be bought separately.
  • Speaker is of low quality – Integrated speakers are rarely a projector’s strong suit, something which applies in this case as well. Not only is it a mono speaker, but it also has quite low output power at only 5 watts. Needless to say, if you want a proper cinematic experience in the sound department to complement the visuals offered by this projector, you will need to invest in a proper set of speakers.

What We Loved

  • Great value for money
  • Compact, light, and highly portable
  • Crisp and clear images even in moderate lighting

What We Didn’t Like

  • 3D glasses not included
  • Sub-par speaker

Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 5040Ube

best gaming projector 2018

About the Projector

Next up, we have another projector from Epson. As a matter of fact, it is from the very same series as the previous entry. This one, however, is leagues above in terms of features and performance.

The Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 5040Ube is a cutting-edge projector geared towards the most demanding users. It follows a similar design philosophy as other Home Cinema models: white and gray coloring, rounded edges and grilles that serve both aesthetic and cooling purposes.  Most importantly, it is the world’s first wireless 4K projector.

Features

  • Image Quality
    The projector natively supports a 1080p resolution, but it utilizes Epson’s patented 4K Enhancement Technology as a means to upscale the Full HD resolution to a UHD one. It has an unprecedented contrast ratio of 1.000.000:1, a 2500-lumen brightness rating, and HDR support.
    All of this allows it to project high-fidelity and vibrant images even in relatively well-lit rooms, be it in 3D or 2D.
  • Connectivity
    This high-end projector has the following inputs: 2x HDMI (1x HDCP 2.2 and 1x HDCP 1.4), 2 USB ports, 1 Mini USB port, an Ethernet port, a VGA port and, lastly, a single RS-232c port.

Downsides

  • Expensive – With a price tag of around 3000 US dollars, this is a projector that not many will be able to afford. However, if you can take full advantage of its features, it is well worth the money.
  • Size and weight – The Home Cinema 5040Ube is quite large and very heavy as well. This can make it problematic to find an ideal spot to set up the projector inconspicuously, and moving it around is an even bigger problem, given that it weighs 24.7 pounds (over 11 kg)

What We Loved

  • 4K support
  • HDR support
  • Wireless
  • Future-proof

What We Didn’t Like

  • Very costly
  • Large and heavy

Optoma HD142X

gaming projector

About the Projector

The next product we have lined up comes from Optoma, a relatively young international company founded in 2002. They excel in producing multimedia products such as projectors, earbuds, and more. However, projectors are their specialization, which is evident from the quality of the products in that category that they offer.

The Optoma HD 142X belongs to Optoma’s series of projectors designed specifically with gaming in mind. At first glance, the projector’s exterior does not promise much, but it does have plenty of useful features under the hood.

Features

  • Image Quality
    This projector produces a high quality uncompressed 1080p image. It can stream 3D content, and it can do so wirelessly. Most importantly, it utilizes a unique “gaming mode” which maximizes response time in order to present every detail accurately. Lastly, the brightness rating of 3000 lumens is unmatched by any other projector on this list.
  • Connectivity
    The HD 142X has 2 HDMI 1.4a connectors, a 3.5mm audio jack and a USB type-A port. Obviously, this is a bit limited compared to other projectors but it is perfectly understandable given the fact that this one is made specifically as a gaming projector.
  • Additional features
    • Built-in speaker – Like a lot of other projectors, the HD 142X incorporates a single 10W mono speaker into its design. Again, it will not produce any amazing nor immersive sound but can serve as a temporary placeholder solution.
    • Selection of optional accessories – Optoma allows customers to pick from a number of extra accessories to go with the projector, such as 3D glasses, ceiling mounts etc.

Downsides

  • Speaker lacks bass – As we have previously concluded, integrated speakers are hardly a good way to reproduce immersive sound. And even though the one coming with the HD 142X is more powerful than your average integrated speaker, it still completely lacks in the bass department. This is far from a deal-breaking flaw, but if you want an immersive sound experience to go with what this projector offers, then it would be a good idea to invest in quality speakers, too.

What We Loved

  • Great 3D performance
  • Unparalleled brightness
  • Unprecedented response times for gaming

What We Didn’t Like

  • Mediocre built-in speaker

ViewSonic PRO7827HD

best gaming projectors

About the Projector

ViewSonic is a veteran Taiwanese/American company founded in 1987. Their specialization lies exactly in visual-related technology and products, which includes computer monitors, television sets, and of course, projectors.

ViewSonic PRO7827HD Rec.709 is a revised version of the company’s regular PRO7827HD projector model, and it brings a number of visual and practical changes and improvements. The most obvious change is the transition from a white to a black exterior, although the design remains largely identical. However, the changes are more noticeable in terms of performance.

Features

  • Image quality
    This projector natively supports a Full HD 1080p resolution, but a more important factor is Rec. 709 – the international color standard which the projector fully meets, allowing it to produce vibrant and lifelike colors. It also delivers great contrast and its 2200 lumens brightness rating will be more than enough for average-lit rooms.
  • Connectivity
    The PRO7827HD is quite versatile when it comes to the connection options that it has available.
    First of all, it has 3 HDMI ports, two of which are MHL-enabled. Next, it has VGA, S-Video, Component and Composite inputs (one of each). And lastly, it has one 3.5mm audio jack, one 3.5mm microphone jack, as well as a USB type A and Mini USB port. As for outputs, it boasts one VGA and one 3.5mm audio out.
  • Additional features
    Built-in speaker – Like most home cinema projectors, this one also sports an integrated 10W speaker into its main body. Once again, we’re dealing with a decent speaker but one that will hardly be able to handle any significant low tones.

Downsides

  • Motion blur – One of the major flaws of the PRO7827HD is that its response time isn’t quite the best, leading to noticeable motion blur during fast-moving shots. This obviously spells trouble for gamers, especially those who like fast-paced games and/or are prone to motion sickness.

What We Loved

  • Excellent color quality
  • Wireless streaming via dongle
  • Compact and portable
  • Great value for money

What We Didn’t Like

  • Not the best response time

The Pros and Cons of Gaming With a Projector

In this section of the article, we will be looking at the advantages and disadvantages that stem from using a projector as your preferred means of visual reproduction rather than a monitor or a TV.

Advantages

Bigger screens

This is the first and most obvious reason why you may want to use a projector over a monitor or TV set. Using a projector, you can get screens as large as 200 inches. Even if you do not go to these extremes, a projector can still offer much bigger screen sizes than what is available with any reasonably priced television set.

Ultimately, a bigger screen means better immersion, makes it easier to spot smaller details and can make split-screen local multiplayer an overall much more enjoyable experience.

Smaller and lighter

Most projectors intended for home use are relatively small and lightweight, especially compared to TVs. This can be great if you want something more portable or simply wish to have a huge TV dominating the room when you’re not using it.

Disadvantages

Lower picture quality

Not to say that the images generated by a projector are generally bad, but rather, they are not as refined as what you can get with a TV which bears a similar price tag – especially if you want a bigger screen.
Some of the common problems with projected images are rainbow artifacts, lots of motion blur due to lower response rates and more jagged edges, among others. If you want to avoid these, you will need to invest in a projector which strives to reduce those problems by using appropriate technologies.

Furthermore, if you are playing on PC and have a powerful enough GPU, the jagged edges can easily be taken care of using anti-aliasing.

Inferior integrated speakers

While stock TV speakers won’t fulfill the needs of any audiophile, they are usually more than enough for the average user and gamer. All but the cheapest television sets offer a stereo speaker configuration with decent bass to boot, but the same can’t be said for projector speakers.

Usually, the speaker’s output power is good enough, averaging at around 10W for the most part. However, power itself is hardly all that counts. You need quality, and that is where projector speakers fail. These are almost always mono speakers with mediocre sound quality and with little or no bass.

Therefore, if you’re thinking of going with a projector over a TV for your gaming needs, be prepared to also invest in some decent dedicated speakers.

What to Look for in a Gaming Projector

If you’re looking for a good gaming projector, these are the characteristics you need to keep mind:

Resolution

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=npbsI8-nD-4

This is a rather obvious one that warrants little to no explanation. Today, the world of gaming is slowly transitioning from Full HD to 4K as the standard resolution. However, the change has been slow so far due to sheer hardware power required to run games at a native 4K resolution.

Because of this, most gaming systems such as the PS4 Pro, the Xbox One X, and even certain desktop GPUs are currently mostly resorting to upscaling technologies in order to live up to the standard set by the new wave of 4K televisions. While there are currently no accessible native 4K home projectors, there are those which are “4K Ready” and achieve that via the aforementioned upscaling technologies.

Ultimately, you shouldn’t go with anything under 1080p, and if you plan on spending good money on a projector, it would be best to keep 4K capabilities in mind because they make for a more future-proof solution. 4K gaming will likely become the norm in a couple of years and with the next console generation right around the corner, be sure to plan ahead!

Response time

Projector response times are rarely openly disclosed by manufacturers, and for a good reason – they’re far from the best response times around. They are usually upwards of 14ms, which is already significantly slower than gaming monitors and somewhat slower than the average TV.

The main drawback of high response times is motion blur, which can be quite problematic for playing fast-paced games with lots of camera-jerking, and it can also cause issues for people prone to vertigo. Therefore, base your choice of projector on your requirements.

Truth be told, unless you are used to playing on high-quality gaming monitors with 1ms response times, you are unlikely to notice the difference. Otherwise, any good projector will have a sufficiently fast response time for your needs, but always keep the above in mind.

Contrast ratio

This is not something you need to concern yourself with since any decent projector has a more than sufficient contrast ratio for all your gaming and home theater needs. A high contrast ratio simply governs how “deep” the blacks appear, and any ratio upwards of 10.000:1 is unlikely to leave anyone wanting.

Brightness

A projector’s maximum brightness, measured in lumens, will govern your projector’s ability to perform in lit areas. Again, this is nothing to concern yourself too much with, especially if you’re able to darken your gaming room. 2000 lumens are enough for dimly-lit rooms and 3000 will be enough even for more brightly lit ones.

Conclusion

And finally, we come to the very best gaming projector, and it is the Optoma HD 142X.

So, what puts it above the competition?

First and foremost, it is a projector built specifically for gaming. Because of that, it is able to minimize the abovementioned problems that are common when it comes to gaming with a projector.

It offers the best response time out of all the projectors on this list, which reduces motion blur, and is also the brightest with 3000 lumens which are more than enough to avoid any light pollution from whatever source.

Ultimately, it is the best gaming projector, although there are others which would undoubtedly perform better when it comes to playing movies and reproducing other types of media. For gaming purposes though, it is the best value projector you can get.

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