Short Throw Projector vs OLED TV: Which Is Better for You?

Short Throw Projector vs OLED TV

Short Throw Projector vs OLED TV: Which Is Better for You?

For movie buffs and streaming fanatics alike, the television is the center point of the living room. There are a lot of competing technologies in the space, however, and a lot of confusing literature surrounds them.

One such technology has gained a push in prominence, with major manufacturers focusing their efforts on providing more robust platforms. Short-throw projectors present an attractive alternative to OLED displays and are capable of huge screen sizes. But despite offerings from Sony, LG, and Samsung, how do they stack up against a premium OLED television?

Let’s take a look at the finer details between a high-end short throw projector and a high-end television, and see which one comes out on top. For the purposes of today’s guide, the points of comparison will be between the LG Cinebeam UHD Projector and the LG C2 Series 4K 77-inch OLED television.

Short Throw Projector vs OLED TV: Side-by-Side Comparison

LG Cinebeam vs LG C2 TV vs projector comparison infographic


LG Cinebeam FHD ProjectorLG C2 Series 4K 77-inch Television
Screen Size90 to 120 inches77 inches
Brightness2700 LumensNot applicable
Contrast Ratio2,000,000:1Inf:1
4K UpscalingYesYes
Native Resolution2160p2160p
Smart OSwebOSwebOS

Short Throw Projector vs OLED TV: What’s the Difference?

A short throw projector and an OLED TV both have some considerable crossover in terms of the features on offer. There are certain advantages to either platform, with no clear-cut winner unless certain factors are important to you.


The LG C2 77-inch has a fixed display size, meaning there is no adjustment of the size. This isn’t unusual for TVs and has been the norm for some time. If you’re after a larger display, you buy a larger television.

The LG Cinebeam has a variable-sized display, nominally displaying between 90 to 120 inches. Short-throw projectors have the advantage of producing a large and clear image without the need to mount further away from the viewing area. Unlike a television, with keystone adjustment, you can adjust the viewing angle.

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Where the displays diverge is in their reproduction of colors. The Cinebeam UHD is a premium short-throw projector, but the contrast ratio is lacking compared to the C2. For those seeking accurate color reproduction, an OLED is closer to true blacks and true whites than you would see in a projector.

Further, the responsiveness of the display may be a consideration for some, especially gamers. The Cinebeam is a cutting-edge home theater projector, but it cannot begin to approach the C2’s response time. With less than 1 ms, it makes for a great display for gaming purposes.

For film buffs, it’ll hardly make a difference, as both produce a great image with near-uniform brightness across the board. Where the projector has some key advantages is in the fact that some viewing angles won’t produce a glare depending on the screen material. Screen glare is a consideration for TVs, and the C2 is no different in this regard.


A traditional TV is going to be a cheaper option, regardless of the display size. The C2 has a suggested retail price of $2,799.99 compared to the Cinebeam UHD’s suggested retail pricing of $4,999.99.

This is a massive pricing gulf between comparable products, as both are full 4K displays capable of HDR10. For those looking to engineer a home theater on a more stringent budget, a TV might be the better option. If price isn’t a huge consideration, then the projector is far closer to the actual experience of going to the cinema.

Part of the pricing discrepancy is just down to the tech utilized by both. The lamp and emitter contained in the projector is a far costlier unit to produce than the OLED screen utilized by the LG C2 television. This is something somewhat common with ultra-short throw projectors. This can be mitigated by projectors with a lesser resolution, but that isn’t an ideal solution for those wanting to watch 4K media.

Sound Quality

This is perhaps where the largest difference between these premium units arises. The LG C2 has a much richer sound experience, owing in thanks to a stereo pair of 40-watt speakers contained on the television itself. This can be augmented with external audio outputs for surround sound via a speaker array or soundbar.

Unfortunately, the Cinebeam UHD will need those external speakers to really shine. It has a pair of rather paltry 5-watt speakers, which do the job but aren’t an ideal solution for those looking for sound quality to match the picture.

Given the overall size of the projector, it isn’t entirely shocking. There simply isn’t the real estate present to give adequate speakers room to operate.

For those looking into external surround sound systems, this isn’t much of a concern. Both units support similar audio codecs, taking advantage of things like AC4 and AC3. For those not quite ready to invest in a sound system, it could be a deal breaker, however.

Short Throw Projector vs OLED: 6 Must-Know Facts

  1. Short-throw projectors offer comparable picture quality to a cinema projector.
  2. Short throw” means the projector can be much closer to the screen.
  3. Short-throw projectors can support much larger screen sizes than most televisions.
  4. OLED TVs are capable of great color reproduction, on par with plasma displays.
  5. OLED TVs can offer greater refresh rates for smoother motion tracking.
  6. OLED TVs are not as bright as a premium short-throw projector.

Short Throw Projector vs OLED: Which One Is Better? Which One Should You Use?

There isn’t a clear-cut answer in regard to purchasing either of these viewing solutions. Instead, what should be considered are your needs and your use case for these displays.

If you’re after utter authenticity and want to recreate the cinema experience at home, then a short-throw projector is the way to go. The appalling sound quality is easily rectified with an external sound system, and you get an absolutely massive display to take advantage of.

For those just wanting a great multimedia experience, an OLED television is a great investment. The shorter response time, faster refresh rates, and quality color reproduction lend themselves to a variety of tasks beyond just viewing films and television.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the advantage of a short throw projector?

A short-throw projector is able to output a much larger image at a comparable image quality compared to an OLED television. Consider the Cinebeam UHD vs the C2, where the maximum image size is 120 inches. This is a 65% increase in screen size compared to the C2 which has a maximum screen size of 77 inches.

For those looking for the absolute best quality image, but also one that can encompass an entire wall if desired, a short-throw projector makes a lot of sense. Where it falls down is in consideration with other aspects like pricing or sound quality.

Are short throw projectors good at color reproduction?

Those who care about color reproduction likely aren’t going to opt for a short-throw projector. A short-throw projector can display a stunning image, but the reproduction of true blacks, grays, or whites isn’t behind the overall design philosophy of most premium devices. Instead, you’ll want to look at OLED monitors or televisions for better color reproduction.

The LG C2 is strikingly adept at recreating true colors and is closest to a plasma display in that regard. While plasma displays have long since fallen out of favor for the home viewing experience, there is still a want and desire for devices that can reproduce great colors at high resolutions.

Why are short throw projectors lacking in audio quality?

When you consider the size of the overall device, it takes up a fraction of the area a television would use. The size of the projector directly correlates to the sound system the manufacturer can package inside of it. With a larger television, there isn’t such a restriction and they can put speakers capable of higher output into the device.

Short-throw projectors are on average far smaller than their television counterparts and, as such, there isn’t much room in the internal case to provide space for speakers. If you’re looking into a short-throw projector, you’ll need an external sound system to give the best experience possible.

Is an OLED TV better than a short throw projector?

There is a lot of nuance and consideration which has to go into a purchase like this. Short-throw projectors and OLED televisions both have their own distinctive advantages. If you’re after a standalone display with stunning visuals, then an OLED TV makes a great center point for your home theater.

For those who don’t mind the expense and extra accessories to take full advantage of the system, then a short-throw projector makes for a more ideal viewing experience. Do consider your budget and use case, as either could very well be the center of your viewing experience.

Which display is better for gaming?

An OLED television is a far better solution for console gaming if that’s your thing. It boasts faster refresh rates, better response times, and better colors than a short-throw projector.

If you don’t mind a little latency and just want to enjoy Mario Kart on a massive screen, a short throw projector can provide that. It lacks the responsiveness of an OLED display, however.

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