Gaming Projector Buying Guide

What to look for in a good gaming projector

There are lots of different types of projectors out there. Some are suited more for watching movies, others are great for making presentations. With the release of the PS4 and the Xbox one, gaming projectors have become more and more popular. Let me break down what you need to look for when purchasing a projector that’s meant for gaming.

Input Lag

input lag example

Defined as the time it takes for the device you are using to create an image, you can see how important input lag can be, especially if you are play multiplayer (which you probably are). Non-gaming projectors don’t worry about Input lag specs because when you are watching a movie, 60ms(milliseconds) or 20ms input lag doesn’t really make much of a difference. However if we are talking about gaming, it can be the difference between winning that shootout or raging and throwing your controller across the room (which I’ve done before).

There is a big difference in feel when playing with a regular projector, a home theater projector and one that’s meant for gaming. As a fellow gamer, I have say the number one thing I look for first is the input lag. It doesn’t matter how nice the picture is, if your character only moves half a second after you press the button.. you will not have a good time. When checkout out projectors make sure there is some mention about the input lag – in most cases they either have low to no input lag, which is good, or they don’t mention it at all which means you should pass on it altogether.

The BenQ HT2050 1080p 3D DLP Gaming Projector is a good example of a low-input lag device. Great for our purposes.

Contrast Ratio

contrast ratio example

The next thing I would consider would definitely be contrast ratio. The higher the ratio, the sharper the image will appear. Blacks will be deeper, shadows more noticeable. Pretty much it’s what makes the visuals look amazing. A good rule of thumb is 20,000:1 or more contrast ratio for gaming is a must. Although a projector might have an amazing 40,000:1 contrast ratio, it might have some other setbacks that could hinder your gaming experience, like a high input lag or a sluggish refresh rate. Just remember the higher the better for better visual quality.

The current market offers a few projectors with a very high contrast ratio or 35,000:1 and higher, but like I said this is not ideal for our purposes. We are after the full gaming experience and contrast ratio is only one factor. Like I stated before, 20,000:1 is really good enough to impress anyone that hasn’t experienced gaming on a projector, and if it is your first time buying one, trust me you will definitely not be disappointing with the graphics.

Refresh Rate

60hz and 240hz refresh rates

Finally, the last thing I would look at before purchasing a projector for my gaming set-up would be its refresh rate. To put it simply, a higher refresh rate will make the video less choppy. Some HDTVs still only operate on 60Hz refresh rate. This might be ok for movies, but if you’ve tried playing any sort of multiplayer or offline game, you will soon notice that although not always, but at some points it gets a little choppy. This is not good.
Nowadays with the current generation consoles, nothing under 120Hz will do. All the projectors on this site have been chosen because they have good refresh rates, good contrast ratios and low input lag. Some are definitely a bit better than others, but not everyone can afford the top of the line. Keep in mind that Home Theater-only projectors are lacking in at least one, if not all of these key features when it comes time to plug in that Xbox One, PS4 or PC.

Have all these aspects in the back of your head when looking and you will soon be able to sort out the best gaming projectors from the rest.