Best Gaming Projectors for your Gaming Theater!

I think all gamers can agree when we say ” I have a dream that one day, we want gaming on a large HD screen!” Even back in the day when we were playing our Super Mario on the NES, we all had that same thought of playing in a huge screen with a gaming projector at some moment in our life.

Fast forward to today! Now dreams came true for us all with different techs that stretches and sharpens the display while we play video games. However, a big OLED TV will drain your bank account if you want that dream to become reality. Thankfully, there are cheaper alternatives to this with gaming projectors.

We know that projectors give bigger pictures and we all dream of having one in our home. But surprisingly, not many do follow through purchasing one. Some might have misconceptions that projectors require more things like a screen (you can use the wall). Others think that it’s hard to set up (it isn’t hard), difficult to maintain (also not hard), and it’s an hardy investment from your pocket (also not true).

Another problem is that not many people know what is required to get a gaming projector. They’ll assume that a home theater projector will be good enough and will later realize there is more to it than getting a random projector. So here is a checklist on what makes a great gaming projector great:

Lumens: This is a term for how bright your projector can display in a room fighting the light that is shining outside. If you have a projector that gives off so little lumens in a bright room, it’ll drastically affect the image quality, making the picture washed out and dull. Find a projector with at least 1500 lumens. 3000 lumens is much preferable for gaming.

Throw Distance: This refers to how far away from the wall/screen the projector is designed to be placed. There’s a long throw, short throw (recommended for gaming), and super short throw.

  • Long throw gives really big images in a large room. It is often placed in the center on the ceiling. It’s the cheaper alternative but you are restricted to the size of the room it requires.
  • Short throw gives fairly large images with limited shadows and eye glare. You can place this on the wall or ceiling closer to the wall/screen (3 – 8 feet).
  • Super short throw eliminates eye glare and shadows. Small projectors that stands on tables are usually super short throw types, typically used for conference or business meetings.
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Low lag input: This factor is the big difference between a gaming projector and a regular projector. You can have the projector with the prettiest display, but if you play and the input lag from the button you press to the screen has a big gap, you’ll want to get a refund. And no gamer likes lag of any sort! Look for a projector that has “gaming” on it. The input lag should be at most 30 – 50 ms. If you can get something lower, that would be great!

Refresh Rate: Over 120 Hz is recommended. This is especially important to those who play PUBG, Fortnite, Apex Legends or any other online first person shooter.

Display resolution: 1080p is a must!!

Contrast Ratio: Get a 10,000:1 ratio for maximum clarity in those poorly light shadowy areas (cave full of bad guys).

Now that you know what you are looking for, here are my top picks for the best gaming projector.

Optoma GT1080 Darbee

This may not have gaming written all over it aesthetically, but this projector stands out to all other projectors thanks to its enhanced visuals, the low lag input and its brightness!

Looking at its design at first sight, it looks good. They didn’t go all out with the gaming theme, which is great. If they did, then it wouldn’t be catchy to someone’s eye, in my opinion. Therefore, I am glad they went for that subtle look. It has the circular button menu to navigate through the settings on top of the projector.

The inputs are located on the left side, which I’m not a fan of but I understand why they did it. I would have like the inputs to be on the back but it would have been in the way when I sit down in front of it so putting it on the side is understandable. It is not the projector you can mount it on the ceiling but instead you have to stand it on a table or a high stand. It has 2 HDMI ports, a USB Type B Port, an audio out jack, a 12V port and an G Sync input.

The projector comes with a remote control that has lights on the buttons for a dark room, which is nice, so you can control the menu from afar instead of going to the projector to tune it. It also comes with a nice handy bag to transport it to your friend’s house since it’s easy to install.

I am very surprised that the speakers on the projector are loud! You don’t necessarily need an external speaker but if you want to hear a more in-depth surround sound to hear footsteps, I would recommend it. Check them out here.

The performance of the projector is where all the magic happens! It supports 1080p HD resolution, has a 28,000:1 contrast ratio, and it shoots out 3000 lumens for displaying in the bright rooms. Its processor, the Darbee Image Enhancement, makes all pictures look exquisite and has in depth detail visuals. This has it all when it comes to picture quality!!!

When it comes to gaming, its input lag seems non existent, performing with 16ms of lag input. This is awesome for online gaming with the projector. This is what makes this projector special when it comes to gaming because everyone wants a smooth gameplay.

The only thing I have to complain about this speaker is the throwing distance. You have to set it at most 4 feet for an 100 inch display. For some, this isn’t an ideal size since most projectors come with 120 inches of screen time. It might be a little smaller than standard, but its sharp clear visuals will compensate the size of the picture in my opinion.

When you look at it as a whole though, you cannot deny the crisp picture with the gaming mode that is installed here. For my mid pick, this delivers far beyond what the price is asking for. Go get one of the best gaming projectors out there!


Sony VPLHW45ES

At first, I was really skeptical about this product, due to its advertising as a home theater and its lack of lumens. As I researched some more, it does that hidden gem underneath the professional looking exterior, having the low lag input when you game. Therefore, I do recommend this one.

Looking at it, it looks stunning and beastly!! It has the dark black with the curves at the right places and it just looks sexy (Don’t get any ideas as to how I’m describing it!). It looks like a movie theater projector when you look at it at different angles.

On the left side of the projector, it has all its inputs. It only has 2 HDMI ports, a PC port, and a USC Type C port. Again, in my opinion, I don’t favor the ports being on the side since this thing can be mounted in the ceiling but since it can be stood on the table or mounted, I can understand why they did it.

Like the Optoma, it has a remote control that controls all the settings and the inputs. The speakers are exceptional and can get quite loud. However, if you have a home theater sound system, then that would me more recommended for your man cave.

For what you are paying for this particular projector, the specs on this thing will not disappoint. Although it does only have 1800 Lumens for brightness, which isn’t much, it makes up for its really high contrast ratio, its motion flow technology to prevent motion blur and its Advance Reality Creation software, which adds detail and clarity with the 1080p.

Another great feature is the multiple throwing distance you can set this thing. Although its a long throw projector, you can either set it to be placed either 8, 12, or 16 feet from the screen, which is great for a casual setting or when you build your home/gaming theater. It works in all environments.

And for the most important part! Its hidden gem is the low lag input, which gives this thing very low lag from the controller to the screen when you play from the projector. This is perfect for your man cave if you want to go all out and utilize this thing to make this a gaming theater.

So for the specs it offers, the ridiculous 3D glasses for 3D viewing, the low lag input, and the beautiful visuals, the Sony VPLHW45ES Projector will blow gamers’ minds! It is the perfect projector for not only movie viewing, but for gaming too! Sony has done it good with this one!

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