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Projector vs OLED TV: A Detailed Comparison 

by Jeremie Berton
Projector vs OLED TV

Are you building a home theater? Or, do you want to make your dream gaming setup a reality? You can think about your surround-sound speaker system, recliner, and other accessories later! First, you need to decide which projector vs. OLED is better?

A projector projects large video and static images on a flat surface like in a movie theater. On the other hand, an OLED TV screen is equipped with LEDs to produce light and colors. Thus, they create small but crisp visuals. Both are excellent for great visual experiences.  

Which is the best option for your home theater? How should you make the right choice? Keep reading to settle the debate! 

Related: Projector vs TV – Which One to Choose

Projector vs OLED – A Detailed Comparison

Before we find out what sets a projector apart from an OLED TV, let’s first get an idea of how each device operates. Take a look below:  

What is a Projector?

Projectors are optical devices that are gradually gaining popularity for home use. They project or throw images and videos on flat surfaces like a screen or a wall. A light beam comes out of a projector – and when it hits a surface, it creates an image or video on the surface. 

The way a projector works can be described simply. There are two ways they work. The light beam emitted by a projector’s bulb directly falls on the screen using a laser. Or it shines through a transparent lens and then hits the screen to form the visuals.  

A projector is used for slideshows, movies, and games. There are wide varieties of projectors, including long, short, or ultra-short throw models. Some projectors use the 3LCD or DLP. The laser or color wheel technology adds colors to the images and videos.     

While projectors can cast images on walls, it’s ideal to do so on a dedicated screen. Otherwise, you will not get proper contrast, especially if there is too much ambient lighting. The projector takes a while to heat up, which helps the device emit light beams.  

What is an OLED TV?

Organic Light-Emitting Diode or OLED televisions are screens with diodes, the sources of light and color. These diodes have organic thin films between them – and they act with the help of electricity. That means there is no backlight required for the operation of these screens. 

The pixels produce their own light and deliver rich and accurate colors – including true black. Without electricity, the diodes of the OLED TV will not emit any light. The technology used in this solid-state light device creates a better viewing experience. 

You also get to enjoy excellent contrast. That’s because there is no backlight to wash out the colors produced by the diodes. Interestingly, no single diode will emit light or color when the current is off, and the entire screen will remain completely turned off.   

Multiple diodes light up individually in different parts of the screen. As a result, the image and video projection in all parts of the screen is enhanced. That means you can have a clear view and superior color brightness and contrast from any angle.     

Points of Comparison

Here’s how an OLED differs from a projector:

a) Screen Size

You may want a larger-than-life experience while watching movies, playing games, or browsing pictures. A projector can cast content at home at 4K on 100-150” screens.

However, you must maintain a substantial distance between the screen and the projector. Modern ultra-short throw projectors solve this problem. OLEDs are for smaller screens.      

b) Resolution 

If details of images, games, and videos are essential to you, an OLED screen is a good option. These TV screens are engineered to let you enjoy a screen resolution as high as 8K!

On the other hand, even the most advanced projectors are designed to offer a resolution no higher than 4K. Their color gamut, too, is lower and less dynamic than OLEDs.

c) Brightness

An OLED isn’t affected by the ambient light as it’s engineered with self-emissive diodes. Plus, the brightness level can be adjusted by reducing the vibrance level of the TV screen.   

The projector’s strength boosts brilliance. Plus, as the projector’s light reflects off the screen, the brightness is partially lost, especially if the ambiance isn’t dark enough.   

d) Color Accuracy

Modern projectors with advanced technology produce a wide range of colors. Look for 3-chip, LCOS, LCD, or DLP models. But you can’t adjust the colors for more vibrancy levels.

Even the best projectors do not come close to an average OLED screen. They have a more comprehensive range of colors produced by the diodes. OLEDs process and process colors better. 

e) Technology

OLED screens have light-emitting diodes with organic thin films between them. These are responsible for producing light and colors to create images or videos when there’s electricity. 

On the other hand, a projector produces a single beam of light with all the colors. The beam hits a screen and reflects to reach you. Projectors use backlight for the entire process. 

f) Heating Issue 

Projectors heat up to project the light beam on the screen as they use a backlight. But this can become a problem because the device can get overheated and harm the bulb inside. 

Unlike projectors, an OLED is a joy to own and use because there’s no heating issue. OLEDs are considered among the best in this case. That’s because they produce no heat. 

g) Screen Requirement

A projector does not have a display screen; you can watch a movie or check an image directly on the device. It emits a light beam that falls on a screen to produce visuals. 

An OLED is a TV screen where you can watch a movie, see images, or play games. The diodes in the screen produce light and colors to create what you see on them.  

h) Installation 

The installation of an OLED TV is easy. It works like a regular screen that you can place on a TV stand or table. Plug it into the power source and attach it to the cable box or computer.

Projector installation is slightly more complicated. You must consider factors like distance from the screen, ambient light, etc. But you can quickly move a projector anywhere. 

i) Quality

OLED TV screens are made of durable and eco-friendly materials. Plus, they neither need too much heat nor do they produce any heat. Thus, OLED screens last much longer.    

The quality and durability of a projector’s materials depend on the brand. Plus, due to heating requirements and backlight usage, they deteriorate and even damage the bulb inside. 

j) Price

Projectors are pocket-friendly, and you can find models at around $500. Some models cost $200 or lower! The best ones are about $2000. But consider the projector screen price. 

OLED screens are of higher quality in multiple ways – and it’s hard to come by a satisfactory OLED at less than $1000. The good ones will cost you $3000 or even higher.

Point of Difference Projector OLED
Screen Size For large screens of 100” or more For smaller screen size projections
Resolution Resolution less than or equal to 4K High-quality and detailed visuals
Brightness Brightness absorbed by ambient light or screen  Excellent and adjustable brightness levels 
Color Accuracy Average to good color accuracy Exceptional color accuracy procured by diodes
Technology Backlight used to cast a light beam on the screen Diodes and thin films produce light and colors
Heating Issue Overheating is a common issue, causing damage  No heat produced or overuse of heat
Screen Requirement It needs a dedicated screen or a surface for projection No screen is required as OLEDs are screens
Installation Tricky installation at the proper distance from the screen Easy to install but hard to move around
Quality It varies from brand to brand and is not eco-friendly Long-lasting and eco-friendly materials
Price Low-cost devices available at $200-$2000  Priced much higher at $1000-$2000

Projector vs OLED – Advantages and Disadvantages

Projector Pros:

Projector Cons:

  • Non-adjustable visual quality
  • Requires dedicated screen

OLED Pros:

  • Excellent visual quality
  • Easy to install
  • Ideal for content that needs details 
  • No separate viewing screen required
  • Eco-friendly and long-lasting

OLED Cons

  • Expensive
  • Tricky to move once installed

How to Choose Between Projector and OLED: Key Factors

What is your ideal option – a projector or an OLED screen? The answer is easy to find, based on the above comparison points. If that’s not enough, consider your budget – and then ask yourself a few questions that will speed up the decision-making process. 

Your choice will depend on the type of visuals you want. Here’s a diagram to explain the factors that come into play.

How to Choose Between Projector and OLED Screen size

a) Budget: 

Start by considering your budget. Even with the price of the projector screen, a projector is priced considerably lower than a high-quality OLED screen. But if budget is no constraint, an OLED TV is ideal for the long-lasting joys of technology in entertainment.  

b) Screen Size 

Are you planning to bring home the experience of watching movies in a theater? Do you want to feel like you’re part of the virtual game universe? A large screen is what you’re looking for. If you want a 100” or more screen, the choice is simple: go for a projector.

c) Resolution:

If you’re ok with a screen size of less than 100”, the screen resolution comes into play. A projector is a pocket-friendly but high-quality choice if you’re ok with a resolution of 4K or less. But if you want to go big, an OLED screen can offer a resolution of 5K or more.  

FAQ

Are OLEDs good for your eyes?

OLED screens come with an advanced eye strain setting. You can adjust the screen so that the colors and lights from the pixels appear natural. So they’re great for your eyes. They’re usually equipped with a blue light setting to protect your eyes during long watch time. 

What is the difference between an OLED and an LED screen?

The critical difference between an LED screen and an OLED screen is the use of a backlight. A LED screen uses transmissive technology. It illuminates its pixels using a backlight. But an OLED screen has self-emissive pixels. Its diodes produce light of their own.  

Can projectors be used for gaming?

Projectors are now standard among gamers. The new-generation projectors can produce displays twice as large as your TV – without reducing response or response time. There’s hardly any noticeable drop in quality either, with 4K display abilities!   

Does the quality of a projector screen matter?

The quality of the projector screen plays an essential role in your movie-watching or gaming experience. A good screen will complement the projector’s display abilities and optimize the environment for the finest quality. Otherwise, you’ll get mediocre visuals only.   

Can you watch TV with a projector?

Yes, you can watch TV with a projector. Projectors offer a larger screen size than most televisions so that you can enjoy your favorite shows and movies on a bigger screen. Additionally, projectors provide a more immersive viewing experience since they fill your field of vision. A projector is a great way to enjoy your favorite TV content, watching the latest blockbuster or your favorite sitcom. There is also specialized projector TV on the market

Are there any projectors suitable for daytime use outdoor?

Yes, some projectors are designed for daytime use outdoors. These projectors typically have a higher brightness level than traditional indoor projectors, making them ideal for use in sunny or well-lit environments. Many outdoor projectors also have weather-resistant features, such as water-resistant casings, to protect against the elements.

Is AMOLED technology a type of OLED?

AMOLED technology used in modern screens is a type of OLED technology. While OLED uses passive matrices, AMOLED uses an active matrix for this purpose. The active matrix makes AMOLED screens more power-efficient. AMOLEDs have a higher display quality. 

Final Words

If quality, colors, and details matter to you, an OLED TV is more affordable than other modern screens using the most advanced screen technology. But, if you want large visuals and aren’t particularly alert about the most minor details, you need a projector.  

Has your home theater or gaming setup come to a halt – due to the projector vs OLED confusion? We hope the insights we’ve provided will help you make your decision. The “right” answer depends on what you need and how you intend to use it.

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