Another poll on TV or Front Projection is making the rounds. This one was posted on the well-known AVS Forum by writer Mark Henninger.
“4K/UHD and HDR are undeniably a killer combo when it comes to bringing cinematic image quality home,” Henninger wrote in an article introducing the poll. “This begs the question: Are TVs now the ultimate way to watch a movie at home, or does projection still supply the best viewing experience?”
The article talks about various strengths and weaknesses of flat panels and projection, including high dynamic range (HDR), tone mapping, and 4K. But the really interesting discussion of projection versus TV in home cinema is found in the forum comments on the poll. There we found several good points about both projection and UHD TV … points that can also carry over into commercial AV.
An Immersive Experience
A big reason projection supporters in this forum topic gave for their choice is the immersive experience it provides. Although TVs are becoming available in bigger sizes, they still can’t reach the capabilities of projection screens. Turning down the lights and watching a really big screen is the closest thing you can find to a cinematic experience.
Size and Proximity
Some survey respondents pointed out that you can get a more immersive experience with a smaller image by moving closer to the screen. While it is true that moving closer somewhat makes screen size less of an issue, it’s also true that many people don’t want to sit that close to a bright image. And even being closer to a smaller image reduces the immersive experience because the system is affecting a smaller space within a larger room. Projection supporters also pointed out that with projection you don’t have to sit as close to experience the benefits of 4K.
Of course, lots of people want to watch entertainment programming, sports, or news with the lights on. This can be a problem for traditional white projection screens, giving the UHD TV a real advantage when the lights are on. Thanks to ambient light-rejecting screen technology, this is less of an advantage than you might think. For instance, TecVision CS1200X ALR rejects 82% of ambient light, so you can turn on the lights in your home theater!
One key advantage projection backers pointed to in the forum thread was sound. With an acoustically transparent viewing surface, the main speakers can be placed directly behind the screen. Again, this helps create a more immersive experience.
As of this writing, projection was leading TVs roughly 65 percent to 35 percent.