Best Gaming Projectors of 2019

Best Gaming Projectors of 2019

There’s nothing quite like the immersive experience of projector gaming. Video games have evolved to a point of portraying reality in a way that looks more real than our own at times. Skin tones, hair, the texture of clothing – all these things have become so realistic. With such a beautiful advance in rendering abilities, it’s almost a crime to play these games on a tiny 60” LCD TV. 4K or not, the size really can’t do the video game justice.

Playing Call of Duty: Modern Warfare or Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order on a 100” (or larger) screen, allows the player to be fully immersed in the world of the game. Whether you’re into first person shooters, third person RPGs, or any other style of gameplay, there’s nothing quite like having your screen extend to the edge of your peripheral vision. Until we reach the days of Ready Player One levels of immersion, projector gaming is as good as it gets. And that’s pretty darn good!

What Makes a Good Gaming Projector?

The ViewSonic PX706HD, projecting a cutscene from the video game, Horizon: Zero Dawn.

There are many factors to consider when choosing a projector for gaming. Games have been rendering in 4K for some time now, but many projectors lack the necessary HDMI port to translate that data – the HDMI input must have a speed of 18 Ghz, otherwise your game will just be projecting in 1080p, even if you have a 4K capable projector. The two 4K capable projectors included in this report both have that 18 Ghz HDMI port.

The most important factor to consider when purchasing a gaming projector is not resolution, but input lag. Input lag is a term that relates to the gaming speed performance – that is, the amount of time between when the game system sends out a signal to the moment it is received by the projector and perceived by you on the screen. This speed is measured in milliseconds, and there are three categories these speeds fall into: Acceptable, Good, and Optimal.

Acceptable input lag the category of the casual gamer. These are the gamers who do it for fun, and do not compete. They’ll typically stay offline, and play games with their friends and family in person, or by themselves. These are your Nintendo Switch gamers, RPG players, and first-person shooter types who don’t spend much time playing against other gamers online. They might, but with these input lag times, you could be put at a disadvantage when other players have a faster reaction time than you simple due to having a system with lower input lag. This range is from 41ms to 50ms+. None of the projectors in this report have such high lag times.

Epson Home Cinema 5040UB Gaming Star Wars Battlefront 2 Maz

Good input lag is in the 33ms to 40ms range. Any projector that lives within these speeds will be suitable for all but the most competitive gamers. With good input lag, you’ll be able to play Call of Duty online and do some serious damage. 33ms to 40ms of lag will put you behind just over 1 frame per second on a 30fps game, and 2 frames behind on a 60fps game. This isn’t enough to make a difference for most people – again, unless they are highly competitive, such as a career gamer type, or those who play a lot of online maps. Anything below that 33ms mark can be considered “really good” or “great,” but truly excellent input lag is 16ms to 20ms, with 16ms being the aim for manufacturers who are positioning their model as a gaming projector.

The final thing to consider when choosing a projector for gaming is your room environment. If your room has a lot of uncontrollable ambient light – such as a living room, media room, or den where you aren’t able to fully darken it – you’re going to want a projector with a high lumen count. Some of the projectors included in this report are suitable for such rooms – some better than others – while some will perform better in a home theater environment.

The Winners

Over the last year, we’ve reviewed many home entertainment and home theater projectors – not all of them considered to be great gaming projectors. Only a handful have earned that right, and we’ve awarded them based on what they’re best for. Let’s meet those winners:

Fastest Input Lag – Optoma HD243X

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The Optoma HD243X offers a lot of bang for just a few bucks.

Check out the Optoma HD243X on Amazon

Best 4K Gaming – Epson Home Cinema 5050UB

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Check out the Epson Home Cinema 5050UB on Amazon

Bright Room Gaming – ViewSonic PX706HD

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ViewSonic PX706HD Right Side

Check out the ViewSonic PX706HD on Amazon

High-End Gaming – Sony VPL-VW295ES

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Check out the Sony VPL-VW295ES on Amazon

Continue to Part 2 of Best Gaming Projectors of 2019

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