How To Use A Projector As A TV?

How To Use A Projector As A TV

Projectors are synonymous with movies, streaming shoes, gaming, etc. But have you ever through whether you can get a projector for TV watching as well?

Well, most homeowners are now, more than ever before, considering the idea of using a projector as a tv. This comes with the key advantage of increased screen size.

But is it really possible?

It is possible to use your projector as a TV, but you’ll need to use some additional hardware to make it happen. There are several options you can use to achieve this.

Our guide below will show you how to use a projector as a TV and other helpful information you need to know about using projectors as a replacement for TVs.

Can you use a projector as a TV?


You can use a projector as a TV, but that doesn’t mean it can entirely replace the TV. The biggest difference that makes it impossible for a projector to replace a TV set is that the latter comes with a built-in TV tuner that receives over the air broadcast.

However, you can’t find a projector with a tv tuner, so you’ll only be able to use it to play video games, watch movies and TV shows, and other shows. However, you’ll need to invest in additional hardware for watching broadcast television.

You can choose from several options below if you intend to use a projector as a TV. Let’s briefly describe each of them below.

Can you use a projector as a TV

Use a Cable box: If you use a cable box in your home, you just need to plug it into your projector via HDMI port. Then, you can use your projector to cast the TV content on the big screen—just as you’d use the standard TV.

Use a streaming device: another option involves using streaming devices such as Firestick, Roku, etc. Here, you connect the device to your projector via the HDMI port. This will allow you to watch TV using apps such as YouTube TV, DirecTV, Sling TV, Fubo TV, etc., that allow for live television streaming.

Built-in projector app: If you’re using the latest projector model with built-in apps such as Android TV, this is your part. This will be much easier to use your projector as a television by running the TV streaming app directly on your projector without using an additional streaming device.

Invest in a TV tuner: A projector lacks a TV tuner which is a crucial feature to function as 100% TV. Luckily, you can get a TV tuner that you connect to the antenna. Then connect the tuner to the projector, and you should be able to watch local broadcast TV channels on the big screen.

The above devices come in handy because you can’t connect your TV directly to your projector. This means you can’t watch the live TV on your projector straight from your TV, hence the need to use this additional hardware.

Use a Cable box

However, you need to keep this in mind when using a projector for tv on a bedroom wall or in your home theater setup because they (projectors) have a limited lifespan. Unlike TVs that you can use for many years with good care, a projector bulb has a lifespan usually indicated in hours.

If your project has a short lifespan, you need to consider that when using it as a TV.

For instance, if you’re using a projector for TV that comes rated 2,000-hours bulb, you can burn it in 1 year if it stays on for prolonged periods every day.

Get a projector with an extended lifespan, say tens of thousands of hours. This way, you can use it for long hours every day without worrying about it burning out fast and replacing it every year.

How to connect TV to projector with HDMI?


As we have mentioned above, you can’t connect your Tv directly to a projector. These two are display devices and have no HDMI Output option. This makes them consumers of HDMI and not sources.

With that in mind, you can only connect your TV to a projector by using one of the options we have outlined above. The most suitable option for you will depend on your unique needs.

For instance, if you already have a cable subscription, you should connect the cable box to your projector via HDMI. If you prefer a streaming device, get one and pay for a subscription to the TV streaming service. And if your model comes with a streaming app, you just need to pay a subscription for any available apps.

How to connect TV to projector with HDMI

To play local channels on your projector, simply get a TV tuner and an antenna.

After deciding which of the above methods to use, you can follow the steps below to use your projector as a television.

Step 1. Start by setting your projector as you normally do when you want to use it. Free up one of its HDMI ports since you’ll need it in the following steps.

Step 2. Now connect the HDMI cable to the input on the projector. Connect the other end to the streaming device, cable box, or TV tuner.

Step 3. Connect your projector to your audio system, whether it’s the speakers, soundbar, or a home theater system.

How to connect TV to projector with HDMI

Step 4. Note that for the case of a cable box or TV tuner, you may have to give your device time to receive programming info from the company. Or you can search for the over-the-air channels available.

But if you’re using a streaming device or built-in app, you simply download and install the Tv streaming app to start using it.

Step 5. When everything is set, you should now be ready to start watching your favorite TV shows and getting news and weather updates on the big screen.

How to watch TV on a projector without a cable box?


If you don’t have cable TV subscription in your home, you can still watch TV on a projector using streaming devices such as the Fire Tv stick, Roku TV, or Chromecast. Just like the cabled box, your TV should have a HDMI port for you to use these devices with your projector.

How to watch TV on a projector without a cable box

The connection process is also straightforward and fast, regardless of the streaming device. You’ll have to undergo the initial setup process when connecting the streaming device for the first time. This will take you approx. 5 minutes.

How to connect TV to projector wirelessly?


You cannot connect a TV set to a projector, whether wirelessly or using cables. However, you can watch TV on your projector wirelessly, but you may need to invest in additional hardware.

If you’re using a streaming device, you just need a transceiver and receiver package to wirelessly connect to your projector from a streaming device.

If you don’t have a smart projector, you can get a wireless dongle to give it wireless capabilities. A reliable WiFi network will be required for this to work.

How to connect TV to projector wirelessly

If your projector has WIFI capabilities, you can use the built-in apps to stream shows on the big screen.

The wireless Epson projector setup or for any other predictor is especially convenient if you have your projector ceiling mounted.

This will save you from the hassle of going up there every time you want to connect the cables every time you need to watch TV.

How to watch free-to-air TV on a projector?


If you want to enjoy free-to-air TV channels on a projector, you’ll need a TV tuner. This is the same device that enables your TV to intercept the free-to-air channels. You’ll also need to get an appropriate antenna. You’ll then connect the tuner to the antenna and then connect it (the tuner) to your laser projector or any other projector. And you’re ready to watch your local TV channels.

How to watch free-to-air TV on a projector

Projector As Tv Replacement


When planning to use your projector as a TV replacement, there are a few things you need to keep in mind.

If your goal is to go big on the TV screen, using a projector is a great way to save you a significant amount of money. A projector that projectors on a large 200 or 300-inch screen will cost you way less than a large TV which may cost you thousands of dollars.

Watching your TV shows and movies on a big screen will also give you a truly immersive, cinematic experience. A large screen is also easier on our eyes since they take up more of your visual field, which mimics how light works in the real world.

Unfortunately, projectors also have a limited lifespan. Typical models with a 2000-hour bulb life will burn out quickly if you use them for everyday TV watching. This means you’ll need to replace your projector regularly, unlike a TV which can last forever.

Projector As Tv Replacement

Projectors may also be impractical for use in small rooms. But this has been solved by the entry of projectors with short-throw technology. If you have limited space in your home, get an ultra-short throw projector (also known as a UST projector).

These are the latest in projector short throw technology and operate at a much-reduced distance to your projector screen without affecting the image quality. This allows you to have a giant projector screen in a small room.

Pro Tip: If your room is full of ambient lighting, consider a rear projection screen to reduce the effect of this lighting and provide you with clearer images.

Final Words

Using your projector as a TV is possible, and there are many methods you can use to achieve this.

These include using a cable box, streaming device, or built-in streaming apps in your smart projector. You can also get a TV tuner for your projector to give you access to over-the-air local channels.

Weigh all these methods and determine which one works best for your unique TV watching needs and preferences.

But keep in mind that you can’t connect a TV directly to a projector because both are simply input display devices and have no output options.

With all the knowledge about watching tv on a projector we have projected to you in this guide, you should now be ready to do a TV-to-projector setup on your own. 

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