We talk about CRTs, but what about projectors?

I'm surprised I never see any talk about projectors when it comes to gaming. My understanding is they have some significant similarities to CRTs, like the way they flicker, adding black frames in so that things like long pans are smooth.

So I'm curious, do any of y'all have projectors? Do you use them for gaming and what are the pros and cons?

Coincidentally I just found a projector on the curb a few weeks ago and it also got me kind of poking around this tech. I was kind of shocked at how good content generally looks on it, even though it‘s pretty low resolution. If I didn’t already have a wall-mounted TV I would 100% invest in a projector setup.

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My Life in Gaming has a recent episode about this as well:
[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iFJsEfWsTd4](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iFJsEfWsTd4)

I have a higher-end Epson (EHTW9400) and a fixed 106" screen. While I understand the appreciation for OLED TVs, I would much rather (and did) spend the equivalent amount on a projector and a good screen. I get that OLED has excellent contrast blah blah blah, but it still doesn't look as good as a decent projector.

These days most of the reasonably ok models have low enough input delay for gaming, and even support the fancy HDMI goodies, high frame rates etc.

Buy a projector!

We used to get SO many projectors in at Ewaste, but I never grabbed one because I will never have the space to use one living like I do in NYC. The do have a real High End mystique to me in terms of watching stuff. But I always hear the lag is too rough for most game playing scenarios.

@“robinhoodie”#p44449 old ones yes, but they’re about the same as (or better than) TVs now in lag terms!

I do all of my (non-handheld) gaming on a projector. I got my BenQ HT1085ST about 7 years ago and I‘ve been really happy with it. Biggest drawback is buying new bulbs but it’s worth it to me. I‘m not sure it can do exactly what a CRT does, but it’s been great for modern gaming and movies. I will say older games are harder to play, mainly because the screen is so big and they weren‘t made to be played like that. If I had more space I’d love to have a room with a CRT and my older consoles set up. I mainly got it because I wanted my movies to look right, movies just always look better projected to me, even compared to some of the newer TVs. But it's been great for modern games on my PC. If I try to play a GameCube game on my Wii using the projector, it usually looks pretty bad.

I‘ve never owned a projector but I’ve been watching movies on one at my friend‘s place for about 15 years now. he’s always upgrading and they really do look fantastic. He‘s got a screen and everything. It works well for games, but he’s got a high end PC, a high end projector, so it all just kinda works. For some reason it‘s always felt like the wrong solution for me, but I can’t put my finger on why. I think in part it‘s because of how nice my friend’s setup is. What good would it do me to get one that‘s worse than that in my house? he’s got an amazing sound setup, a perfectly dark room, etc etc. I don‘t see myself ever having any of that stuff so it feels like why get started? Weird way to think maybe, but that’s how it is for me. (also a lot of projectors feel washed out to me but that's the cheaper ones)

@“exodus”#p44462 I don't think I have ever really played games on a big tv. And then you throw in playing mostly handhelds the last 20 years. I feel like my brain is wired for projector = movies, small screen = games. Ha ha! This thread also reveals who among us will never live in a space big enough / suited for for an entertainment set up.

When I moved into my new apartment a few years ago one of my priorities was getting a projector set up. I mainly intended it for watching movies, but I did want the option for gaming so I did a little research and ended up getting the BenQ HT2150ST 1080p projector. I have to say that it works great for this purpose using the built in low-lag gaming mode. I don't use it extensively for gaming (honestly the screen size is sometimes too big to take in everything efficiently) but when I do there is no noticeable lag whatsoever. In fact, I was just playing Rondo of Blood on it last night from my PC Engine mini and it felt just as good as it did playing on my MiSTer + OLED tv.

Also, as an aside, I wanted to keep everything as minimalist as possible, so instead of installing a screen I painted one of my walls with [this specialized paint](https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00PB8BQFO/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1) and it works very well. The room has to be pretty dark, but I think its a worthwhile trade-off vs the price and hassle of installing a suitably large retractable screen.

Last year my brother bought a cheap projector in the $150-ish price range and a projector screen for the sole purpose of playing games and watching movies safely with his friends during the pandemic, he would set up the screen and the projector on the backyard and they would play some games and watch movies wearing face masks while 6 feet apart from each other and that was kind of cool.

The colors aren't very good on it but it's decent enough and sometimes we use it to watch movies in my room because just by coincidence my room turned out to be kind of ideal for a projector setup, if I just remove my tv from the stand where it is (which isn't very hard because it's a 42 inch tv) a 120 inch space of white wall is revealed with speakers already set up perfectly around it.

My only projector experience (besides hurting my neck as a kid sitting in the front row, on the ground, looking up while some video was playing in school) is with a viewmaster projector, which was kinda cool, but then it went and broke, which was less cool

it came from my grandparents, who also supplied enough viewmaster reels to fill up to maybe 10 inches to a foot of a bath tub? they’ve found their way to underneath my bed, so I guess if anybody wants a picture of the time tunnel viewmaster reel(s?) just ask

(sorry to talk about viewmaster reels instead of projectors err…)

In my mind I had always written off projectors as unsuitable for gaming due to lag so to find out that‘s no longer necessarily the case kind of blows my mind. I am looking at maybe replacing my living room TV in the next couple years and figured I’d go for wall-mounting a pretty large OLED, but a challenger has just appeared…

Aren't these things kind of expensive to maintain, though? I heard the bulbs don't last and are a nightmare to replace. But I stand prepared to have ny mind blown again

@“goonbag”#p44497 It only takes a few minutes to replace a lamp - most models just drop in and out and are held in with a few screws. Generally you‘ll get about 2,000 hours (often more) out of one too, which is a couple of years if you use it for two or three hours a day. Cost varies, but they’re usually about £100-£150 for original manufacturer parts and cheaper if you're happy with a third-party option.

And if you buy a laser projector there's no lamp to replace!

@“goonbag”#p44497 gaming on projectors is definitely doable! My friend has a nice projector setup and I've played Halo 5 multiplayer on it plenty of times and never had any noticeable lag issues.

I have a 1024 x 768, 2700 lumen ACER DLP (bulb) projector. The digital input lag is generally good enough, composite in is fairly laggy. It got used for video art about every other week for about 4-6 hours at a time in hot clubs and stuffy un-airconditioned florida houses full of people no problem. It was used for gaming for about 5-10 hours a couple times a month, sometimes outdoors. Its 10 years old now and works fine. I don't know if all projectors are pretty tough but this one is.

2700 lumens is enough to overcome street lights and passing cars no problem and display video art on smaller back drops even with some overhead stage lights (just not too many, lighting guys suck). Colors are accurate enough for multiplayer fun and psychedelic displays. Its pretty good, Id put it up against a mid grade flat screen. Took some tweaking to get it right though.

I've found with projectors that the scattering of light on a flat (as in not shiny) painted or cloth surface looks better than an actual projection screen as it helps hide pixel edges. I had a screen I made using a couple yards of satin cloth stretched between PVC pipes and supported with ropes and stakes. I think the projection surface was 6 feet tall. Used to use it for playing mariokart64, multiplayer death matches, projecting movies on Halloween and doing video art shows. Slight ripples in the cloth kinda... dont matter if you sit near the projector origin as the distortion kinda works both ways. Also with cloth thats not opaque you lose some brightness but you end up with a something you can see from both sides which was fantastic on my old corner lot on Halloween. Like a spooky movie billboard.

Projectors are cool but they do seem like you need the room to be planned around them, especially the lighting. It never seems like a casual solution but instead something for someone with a complex AV receiver.



I wanted to bump this thread to contradict my post from two years ago. I bought the battery powered Nebula Capsule 3 a couple of months ago and I was surprised to find that it is amazing for gaming, especially mini consoles!! It has enough juice to power itself and the mini console, so I’ve spent a lot of time playing the TG16 mini, Egret II Mini and A500 Mini - in any room I want without a power source.

@“docky”#p119455 I love a good thread bump and this thing looks amazing, but of course then I saw the price and yeeowwwch!

From my last trip through Oakland. Stopped by my oooold homie‘s place and hooked my MEGA DRIVE up to his projector. I’m not especially into projectors since there's no scanlines, but I knew PULSEMAN would be perfect for it….


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It looks like he's coming out of the wall!

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@treefroggy this looks fantastic! Did you use anything special to connect the console video input? It seems pretty nice!

I wonder how my Capsule projector behaves with the OSSC upscaler thing. I use this for PS2, Saturn and PC Engine.