Projectors are great options for movie nights, where people can make their entire wall into a giant movie screen.
Even though projectors are smaller than televisions, they are much more expensive.
A big reason for this is that there is a much smaller market for projectors than for TV screens.
As a result, there are fewer vendors and fewer competitors, which means fewer products on the market.
There are several reasons projectors are so expensive.
We describe ten of those reasons.
Why Are Projectors So Expensive? (Top 10 Reasons)
1. Projectors Create A Movie Theater Atmosphere
One of the most recognizable traits of a projector is that it makes the audience feel like it is a truly cinematic experience.
When you go to the movie theater, the film is almost always cast onto a big screen by a projector in a small room at the back, separate and elevated.
The projectors offer high-quality resolution and huge images that make the image onscreen feel like real life.
If you want even more of a movie theater experience, you can choose to also buy surround sound speakers, comfy chairs, projector screens, and a separate media player.
All of these features will be beneficial to your movie-watching, but of course, they all come at a cost.
Even though the projector may be one price, all of the add-on options make them an even more expensive investment.
2. They Use More Energy Than Televisions
Projectors use advanced technology that requires more energy.
Even still, they use less electricity than HDTVs, because HDTVs are used more frequently.
The internal hardware is more niche than that of televisions, which means it costs more to create the item.
Projector prices are set to exceed overhead costs, which means that prices need to be higher than TV prices to pay for extensive labor and hardware.
They are more complicated and use more energy to operate.
The price reflects this.
3. Projectors Offer High Resolution
Projectors are popular alternatives to televisions because they come in very high resolutions considering their size and versatility.
Most projectors come as a standard 1080 pixels, or 1,500 to 2,500 lumens, but you can also opt for even higher definition if you are willing to pay a bit extra.
If you are looking for a projector, they cost an average of $350 but go up to $1,000 for high-resolution images.
If you watch a lot of high-definition, 4K content, a projector might be a worthwhile investment because it will greatly enhance the picture quality.
Just make sure you choose a device that matches your resolution preferences.
Because projectors can offer such high-quality images, they come at high costs.
4. They Are Long-Term Investments
When you buy a top-quality projector, you are buying a product that you are going to use for several years.
Many of them come with generous warranties, so you can get your product fixed if it malfunctions.
Most of the time, you get what you pay for, though, and while the projectors are certainly expensive, they might end up costing less in the long run than a lower quality television that you have to repair and replace.
When you buy a projector, it will be relatively easy to resell.
This is unlike televisions because brand new TVs cost less.
If you decide that you no longer want your projector after a few years, you can give it to friends or family, or you can sell it online via Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, or even at a garage sale.
Projector manufacturers sell products that are built to last and can be sold at high prices, even after they are used.
Even though your initial projector price might be high, remember that you will be able to make at least some of that back in the future.
5. They Are More Portable
You can buy projectors that are much smaller and lighter than televisions, making them the perfect piece of technology to take on the road.
They are easy to set up and take down, which is an added benefit to the investment.
Vendors know that projectors are great on the go, so they can charge high prices.
Projectors themselves are very space-efficient.
6. 4K Technology
5G WiFi Bluetooth Projector, Artlii Energon2 Outdoor Projector 4K Supported, FHD Native 1080P, Dolby Audio, Wireless & Wired Mirroring,Home Theater Movie Projector Compatible W/ TV Stick, iOS, Android
4K projectors have historically not been affordable.
Only the wealthiest people were able to have one in their homes.
It was common for the projectors to be sold for more than $10,000, but now you can get one for less than half that price.
If you go for a projector with 4K capability, it is going to be even more expensive than the other projectors.
All 4K projectors are priced at a minimum of $1,000, but most of the nicer ones are closer to $2,000 to $5,000.
4K projectors have a uniquely incredible resolution, with quality four times better than HD 1080p.
This means that the pixels are so tiny that the image seems more realistic.
However, it is an expensive process to make these pixels so small, which is a big reason 4K projectors are so costly.
Devices with 4K resolution also have better lenses and optics, so the image quality is even better than other types of projectors.
For this reason, it also requires special technology that may drive the price higher.
One type of additional device needed is the projector lamp as 4K projectors require better lamps.
The lamps project the image onto the screen, so if you are going to get the expensive 4K projector, you may as well get the expensive lamp to go with it for the best movie-watching experience.
4K technology boasts a lot more cool features such as a higher contrast ratio, higher light output, and better colors.
They also generate a lot more heat, which requires additional fans to cool the device.
They produce less noise than other kinds of projectors, which enhances your viewing experience, and of course, raises the price.
7. They Provide An Immersive Experience
Another reason projectors are so expensive is because of the immersive experience they provide.
With a projector, anything flat surface can act as a screen—even a floor-to-ceiling wall.
This makes for a unique viewing experience that no television can provide.
If you want to use a much smaller space, such as the back of a bookshelf, or another solid piece of furniture, projectors have adjustment settings that allow the viewer to choose the size of the image.
This is better for your eyes as well. When you watch television on a small screen, it causes your eyes to strain because there is a large amount of light being emitted by a small area.
With projectors, the light is not as concentrated, and the image comes from a projector rather than a backlit screen.
When it is dark, your pupils dilate to allow more light to enter your eyes.
A small screen emits a lot of light against a probably dark room.
This causes your eyes to dilate a lot, and too much light will enter your eyes and cause them to strain.
If you have a larger viewing field, your eyes are better able to adjust to the light which alleviates a lot of eye strain.
As more studies are released about the effects of TV on the body, it becomes clear that projectors are the better option, and can thus justify a higher price point.
8. There Is A Smaller Market For Projectors
This one comes down to simple supply and demand.
Televisions are constantly in demand and have a steady flow of potential customers.
Therefore, there are a lot of suppliers always competing for the customers’ patronage.
As a result, television manufacturers often have deals and promotions to lower the prices of their devices.
This is not the case for projectors, which have a much smaller customer base.
Since there is less demand, there is also less supply, and vice versa.
There are fewer competitors and fewer products on the market, which jacks up the price significantly.
9. Adjustable Settings
In addition to the great image projectors provide, they also come with a lot of features that further enhance the viewing experience.
With projectors, you have the flexibility to change the size of the screen depending on the size of the flat surface you have in mind.
You can buy a separate projector screen that either is stored in the ceiling, or you roll up manually.
You could also use a blank wall or the side of a piece of furniture as the surface to cast your image.
On the projector, you can adjust the size of the projection to match your intended screen size.
Another adjustable feature is the resolution.
HD televisions have fixed resolutions.
However, projectors can be adjusted based on their distance from the screen.
There is a fixed maximum resolution, but many projectors go far beyond 1080 pixels.
This ability to completely customize your viewing experience based on the resolution, colors, screen size, and more, is very unique to projectors.
It means that they offer a lot of features that televisions just do not have.
Projectors are special products with a more niche market, making them more expensive.
10. Projectors Are Multipurpose
One of the best things about projectors is that they are multipurpose.
While the main purpose of televisions is to watch shows and movies, projectors are great for so many occasions.
They can be used for presentations at work, to provide professional and impressive big-screen intel.
They can be used for movie nights or screenings to larger audiences.
Some people bring their movie projectors to neighborhood parties or use them for big group movie nights.
One summer favorite is outdoor movie nights, which is sure to be a big hit and also impress the neighbors.
Of course, you can use a projector just to relax and watch television at home.
You will get to enjoy your favorite shows and movies on the big screen.
You can even set up the projector to reflect your laptop screen, so you can easily see detailed photos, watch Netflix shows, and read things more clearly.
Overall, projectors provide much more versatility than television screens, in the sense that they are multifunctional, portable, and of such high quality.
Choosing A Projector
As you navigate the market for a new projector, there are some things to keep in mind.
Keep reading for some things to consider as you choose your projector because your choice can totally dictate your viewing experience.
1. There Are Many Types Of Projectors
One common projector model is the Digital Light Projection (DLP) projectors that are priced around $200–500.
Some go for as much as $1,000 if you want a 4K image.
DLP technology consists of tiny mirrors that are used to guide light that then appears as pictures on the screen.
LCD Projectors are an alternative to the DLP but have a slightly higher cost for hardware due to their innately higher technology.
The price ranges from about $200 to $500, like the DLP, determined by the lumen and resolution.
Higher brightness and 4K options can cost more than $1,000.
In the long-run, LCD projectors cost less to maintain than DLP projectors because they use less electricity.
This has to do with the LCD image technology, which uses liquid crystals to display the images.
The difference in electricity used between LCD and DLP projectors, though, is minor.
You will not notice a difference in your electric bill unless your projector is on and running for several hours per day, every day.
LED projectors are yet another option and offer unique advantages over the DLP and LCD projectors.
LED projectors do not require you to install a separate lightbulb to use them.
This is a great perk because you will not have to worry about the installation process or replacement light bulb costs.
LED projectors are also often cheaper than other kinds, hovering at around $300.
LED projectors consume less electricity and cost less money overall than DLP or LCD projectors.
2. The Room Where You Plan To Use Your Projector
When you choose your new technology, bear in mind the room in which you are going to be primarily using your projector.
If it is a room with a lot of windows, more light will enter the room, especially if you want to watch something during the day.
If your room has a lot of light, you might want to consider buying a projector with a higher resolution, because the light could cause your projected image not to be super clear or bright.
However, if you are planning to put your projector in a room that does not have many windows, you do not have to consider this.
Some projector users claim that they have benefitted from creating a dedicated movie room.
This is a room that is mainly used for the projector.
Otherwise, you might find it hard to keep the wall completely bare and want to hang some art or move the furniture to cover the starkness of a blank wall.
If there is a movie room, though, it will be easier to keep that wall reserved for its dedicated purpose.
Not to mention, it will feel more special to use the movie room and set the mood to be more like a movie theater experience.
3. Other Investments You Might Make To Go Along With Your Projector
If you are considering some of the financial aspects of purchasing a projector, you may also want to investigate the cost of replacement projector bulbs, because they can vary by the type of projector that you purchase.
Most projector bulbs are hardly ever found for under $50 but more often hover around $100.
Some people prefer to only buy projector lightbulbs from the same manufacturer of the projector itself.
Doing this might slightly improve the quality of your image but could also cost much more money.
Projectors use more energy than televisions.
For this reason, you might also be investing in a higher energy bill when you invest in a projector.
Since they use so much energy, you can look into buying an energy-efficient model that might cost more upfront but will save you money on your bills in the long run.
It would also be a better investment in preserving our planet!
Another investment you will have to make is installation.
It is quite a bit more complicated to set up a projector than to install a television.
If you are tech-savvy and feel up to the challenge, then go for it.
However, a lot of people who want a projector might not be so technologically inclined.
You may have to hire someone to come help you install it or ask a friend or family member to help you.
The cost and resources involved in installation might be something worth investigating before making your big projector purchase.
Though an initial Google search might scare you out of purchasing a projector, there are a lot of options if you want to get something on the less expensive side.
You can look for portable projectors, which tend to be of lower quality but also come with the ease of portability and are still great investments.
If you are trying to relate dollars to the size of the screen you use, you will actually find that projectors come cheaper than televisions.
If you make the settings on the projector to match a huge blank wall, you will find that you are getting “more bang for your buck” than televisions offer.