We are getting close to being in an age where a Flat Panel TV is the same size as a projection screen. Actually, there are now TVs as large as most standard projection screens. The Samsung 110 inch 4K TV introduced at CES in 2013 for $150,000. If that price tag is too high, you can opt for a 90” now for around $9,000. You wouldn’t think 20 inches would cause such a price difference, but the technology to create those additional 20” of screen is far more complex than one would think.
So, should you choose between an affordable 90” TV or perhaps a 100” screen and projector. The screen would run around $1400 and a decent projector around $3000, totaling $4400. It appears then that the projector and screen is far less than the TV. Not really. You have got to add sound to the projection system and to be honest, you need to add it to the TV as well, as having a $9000 TV without surround sound is like having lakeside property without a boat.
So, adding sound to the TV would probably bring the total cost closer to $12,000 and the projection system to $14,000. You can now see how the pricing differences are getting closer. Bringing the TV size down to an 85” instead of 90” TV will close the gap completely.
That said, how do you choose?
Think about where you are putting your TV or projection system. TVs can still have a quality image with light within the room. That said, if you don’t have a way to darken your room completely, you should probably opt for the TV. If you do have a windowless room with a ceiling that can hold a projector, then perhaps the projection system might be the best choice.
Installation costs are comparable for both if you are installing surround sound speakers. There will be labor costs to run wiring and mount the projector, but there are also labor costs to mount a large TV vs. a fixed projection screen, which is easier. Of course, if you opt for an electric retractable screen, then your screen costs and labor costs go up for the projection system.
The best thing to do is get a comparison estimate for both if both options are appropriate for your room.