The norm is you see people playing console games on their TVs or monitors, but projectors provide a whole new experience. Not all projectors are suitable for gaming and would provide an immersive experience. Gaming projectors are quite expensive, so if you’re going to buy one, you might want to take your time and buy the best. Here is a rundown of the best gaming projectors in 2019.
Before now, when you hear of gaming projector, what comes to mind is dull visuals and blurred graphics. Couple that with the fact that you needed to be in a dark environment to get a half decent experience, didn’t sound quite as nice. However, tech has taken gaming projectors to the next level. The top tier gaming projector of today can achieve 4K visuals, HDR10, and run at much higher refresh rates than most TVs and monitors. They are also more complex with new features and a steeper learning curve than ever before.
1. Optoma GT1080 Darbee – $715
Best Overall Gaming Projector
The Optoma GT1080 Darbee projector is a perfect combination of performance and value for money. It was designed to give gamers a fully immersive and intense experience. It has a special gaming mode that keeps input lag at a low 16ms. This reduces the delay between controller input and the action you see on your screen (latency), which is ideal for first-person action and fighting games.
The vision processor enhances textures in gaming graphics and HD videos to provide vivid and clear images. In addition, the projector gets very bright up to 3200 lumens, delivering gaming visuals at 1080p and 60Hz refresh rate. Also, it has a contrast ratio of 28,000:1 with high color accuracy and true backs.
It is also feature packed as you can play on different consoles like Blu-ray, set-top boxes and other HDMI devices like Apple TV, fire stick and Chrome cast. Because it is a gaming projector, it is engineered to have a 0.49 throw ratio (distance between the projector lens and the screen) that makes perfect sense for gaming. It can project a 100-inch screen from just 3.5 feet away. The GT1080Darbee has 8,000 hours of lamp life, so it should last you for a long time even with heavy use. The GT1080Darbee is definitely one of the best gaming projectors we have in 2019.
- Great short throw ratio
- Good quality images and color accuracy
- 3D enables
- No option to vertically shift images
- High vertical tilt
2. BenQ H2150ST – $663
Best Versatile Projector
The BenQ H2150ST is highly versatile 1080p projector with 15000:1 contrast ratio, providing really detailed images which is especially good for gaming. It provides a smooth, lag-free gaming experience with strong color accuracy. In addition, it also gets brightness levels up to 2200 ANSI Lumens which is good for playing in bright environments. The colors of the projector have been calibrated for gaming purposes developed with 6 times RGB color wheel that delivers images with lifelike experience.
The projector is also a short throw projector that can project a 100-inch screen from barely three feet away. If taken further, the BenQ H2150ST can project up to 300 inches. By applying a low input lag and a game mode, this projector offers great gaming performance.
There are two HDMI slots available that you can quickly switch between. This is ideal if you have more than one device that you want to hook up, such as multiple consoles or PCs. The versatility of this projector definitely makes it one of the best gaming projectors in 2019.
- Very high brightness levels and sharp images
- Excellent 3D capability
- Low lag time is great for gaming
- Does not have a lens shift
- No 4k capability, hence
3. Optoma HD143X – $449
Best budget gaming projector
The HD143X pulls off a great combination of power, quality and price in a form factor that weighs only about 5.5 pounds. The Full HD 1080p visuals from the projector look really sharp. The projector provides rich images in a low light setting and it does well too in normally lit rooms too.
Also, there are two 10W speakers which provide decent sound but if you want an immersive gaming experience, I suggest you go for better Bluetooth speakers. However, this is not a short throe projector, so you’ll need about 12 feet of space to project a 107-inch screen. From 8 feet, you’ll be able to get 66-inches.
The Optoma HD143X has a great selection of ports; 2x HDMI, 3.5mm, FHD, HD, WXGA, UXGA, SXGA, XGA, SVGA and VGA. It also has Keystone correction and an 12,000 hour lamp life meaning that bulb replacements will only be needed after 8+ years with an average daily use of 4 hours.
Another thing to love about the HD143X is the high contrast ratio of 23000:1 and the deep blacks. It also has a whopping 144HZ rapid refresh rate support, which is more than most monitors. This makes the gaming experience smooth and snappy as there is little latency.
- Great balance of price and quality
- 144Hz refresh rate
- Full HD 1080p picture
- 3D support
- 8 feet minimum distance
4. Epson Home Cinema 2040 – $749
Largest 1080p screen size
The Epson home cinema projector really brings out shiny images quality and a life-like experience. That is thanks to its screen size which can go from 90 inches up to 134 inches from 12 feet. That size coupled with brightness of 2200 lumens makes it one of the best gaming projectors in 2019.
The projector comes with 2 HDMI, composite, 1 audio stereo, VGA d-sub 15 pin, 1 USB port, so connectivity is great for gaming and movies. The contrast ratio of a whopping 35,000:1, the images brings out true black and white. This results in vibrant images and crispy clear video quality which is superb for gaming.
However, the downside to the device is the short 7,500-hour lamp life, which actually is 4000 hours under heavy use. This is probably because of the brightness levels but they shouldn’t be that difficult to replace.
- Brightness levels are great at 2200 lumens
- Contrast ratio brings out beautiful colors and shades
- One of the largest 1080p screens on the market
- Noisy fan
- Mediocre lamp life at this price
5. LG PF 1000UW Short Throw Projector – $1,196
Best short throw projector
This is probably one of the best short throw projectors out there with such quality. The LG PF 1000UW is engineered to deliver the best images and the cinematic experience capable of up to 100 inches in full HD.
The selling point of this device however, is the distance from lend to screen. At just 5 inches from the wall, you can get a projection of up to 60-inches and at 15 inches away, you can get up to a 100 inch display. This is especially great for gamers with limited space, and it also provides an immersive experience.
The projector comes with a contrast ratio of 150,000:1 delivering the best-detailed content and brightness of 1000 lumens. With the LG PF 1000UW, you will have the best lamp life of up to 30,000 hours due to the LED light source, and you may not replace your bulb for almost 10 years.
With the smart feature in this device, you can do a lot of things with the model such as access online content. You can now stream videos from YouTube without having to worry about more connectivity.
- It is enhanced to connect to Netflix, YouTube and other options
- Comes with a remote
- Small form factor
- Of course it is ultra short throw
- A little expensive
- Brightness could be a tad disappointing in a lit room
I get that the options listed here are expensive, but you can get other cheaper options with great compromise. There are a few things you just need to take under consideration when buying a gaming projector.
It is really important when it comes to gaming, so you don’t miss out on details in the video. As of now, full HD and 4k resolution are what you should look for. However, majority of the games are still based on 1080p, so that’ll do.
2. Response time
This will mostly be displayed in the manufacturer’s description and it will determine the latency between input from your controller and output from the projector. Most projectors will be 14ms and higher, which is relatively slower than gaming monitors. So, anything 14ms or less is great for gaming.
Brightness of a projector is measured in terms of lumens and it is an important feature to consider. However, if your room is dark, it may not be too much of a concern for you. Anything above 2000 lumens is perfect for gaming, but there could be exceptions from 1000 lumens and above.
If the contrast ratio on your projector is high enough, you will definitely enjoy your gaming experience. It determines how deep blacks appear. Any projector with 10000:1 contrast ratio and upwards is recommended for gaming.
Most people seek to buy TVs and monitors for gaming, but gaming on a projector could really improve your experience. You get a much bigger screen and portability. However, buying the right one is extremely important for the quality of gaming you will enjoy. You can check out any of the options above or simply use the guide to get yourself one within your budget.