Just a few short years ago, the idea that gamers would be able to play comfortably on a massive projected screen was a fairytale. Now, that fantasy is a reality! With the advent of short throw projectors, engineers and tech wizards have finally created projectors that have negligible latency and can therefore be used for gaming! Best of all, projectors have a great screen size-to-cost ratio; consumers can often double the amount of screen in their rooms at the cost of LCD or LED! If this all sounds too good to pass up, well, it is! Here are the best short throw projectors for gaming!
The Top-Rated Short Throw Projectors for Gaming
|Top Pick||Optoma GT1080HDR||92%|
|Runner Up||BenQ TH685||90%|
|Budget Pick||ViewSonic PX706HD||88%|
|Best Ultra Short||ViewSonic PX800HD||89%|
|Runner Up Ultra Short||Optoma GT5600||88%|
|Best for Flexibility||BenQ TH671ST||88%|
Top Pick: Optoma GT1080HDR
Everything you need at a great price
What sets the Optoma GT1080HDR apart from its peers is that it provides high-end features at a mid-range price! Key inclusions are 1080p HDR with 4K upscaling, 50,000 to 1 contrast, super-bright output at over 3800 lumens, a great array of inputs and most importantly – ultra-fast 8.4ms latency for smooth gaming performance! As for the throw? How does a 120” screen from only 4 feet away sound?!
You would be forgiven if you chose to stop reading here and go buy this great projector!
Runner-Up: BenQ TH685
Goes toe-to-toe with the top pick
The BenQ TH685 product sheet looks very similar to that of the top pick – great picture, great latency, great brightness – and they’re even nearly-identical in cost.
So what differentiates these two projectors, and why might you choose the BenQ TH685? This one has a longer throw (you need approximately 8 feet of space to hit 100”) but it also has a max projection of 300”!
If the notion of a longer throw works for you, and you like the sound of gaming on a 25-foot screen, go with this one over the top pick!
Budget Pick: ViewSonic PX706HD
This one certainly doesn’t look as affordable as it is
It is probably fair to say that the ViewSonic PX706HD does everything the top picks do, except at a slightly lesser scale – and compensates for that by saving you some sweet, sweet cash!
Notable differences are longer latency (16ms, which is still quite good), diminished brightness (3000 lumens – more than enough for most rooms) and no 4k support.
Not bad for a budget projector!
Best Ultra Short: ViewSonic PX800HD
When inches matter
The ViewSonic PX800HD meets or exceeds any notion of short throw anyone might have – this powerful little machine blasts a 1080p screen of up to 150’ from less than a foot away!
The downsides here are that ultra short throw projectors are an emerging technology and the prices are a bit higher.
Don’t be scared by it’s 2000-lumen display – UST projectors don’t need anywhere near the power of traditional projectors in order to display a super-bright image!
If you want the closest thing to a sci-fi hologram projector available on the market today, go with this one!
Runner Up Ultra Short: Optoma GT5600
The Optoma GT5600 is a great alternative if you liked the sound of the other UST projector, but not the price tag!
The only real downside with this unit is that it projects a much-smaller-but-still-massive 100” screen. If this sounds like a better fit for your room and your wallet, give it a shot!
Best for Flexibility: BenQ TH671ST
For those who don’t stay in one place
The BenQ TH671ST is a great choice for those who want to have the flexibility that comes with a small, lightweight and durable projector that works from a great range of distances.
If you like the idea of short throw projector gaming but can’t quite envision your setup, this is a great place to start!
What to Look for in a Short Throw Projector for Gaming
As with all display types, short throw projectors have unique strengths and weaknesses. You can safely assume that all of the projectors listed here meet the basic standards for good projecting – the following factors determine whether or not a good projector can also be a great gaming projector:
This one measurement is more important than perhaps all other factors combined when considering a projector for gaming. In short, this number is a measure of the gap between the time the projector receives a signal and when the signal has been converted and projected for you to see. For most gamers, anything over 30ms will be uncomfortable. As for hardcore gamers? The tolerance may be half of that, or even lower! Aim to get that number as low as possible on your projector!
One might suspect that “short throw is short throw”, but that’s not really the case! The ideal distance for these projectors can range from several inches to 15 feet or more! Make sure you’re getting a projector that fits your room!
Measured in lumens, brightness is a crucial point of differentiation between projectors. A bright room, you may need over 3000 lumens to produce a bright, clear image. In an always-dark room with no windows, you may need only 1200 lumens or so. Make sure you’re not spending extra money on a super-bright projector if you don’t need a super-bright projection!