What are the constraints to switch from a television to a video projector in the living room?

If you want to transform your living room into a home cinema, it is essential to destroy light pollution. In other words, you don’t replace your TV screen with a video projector in the snap of a finger. Let’s see together how to proceed to obtain an optimum result, much better than that obtained with an XXL TV.

Video projector for living room, the essential points

With some exceptions, the living room is a much less spacious room than a cinema room, and the distance between the video projector and the sofa or armchairs is generally quite small. Comfort can therefore only be obtained if one opts for an ultra-short-throw projector. Despite the short distance, it projects a very large image and the comfort for users is total. Note that these video projectors are designed to allow, in addition, to view a projection in broad daylight in excellent conditions. Normal, their surface is treated specifically to reduce light pollution from the immediate environment.

As to son, he must be up to it. A soundbar gives a decent result, but it is best to invest in a system consisting of five speakers and a subwoofer (5.1 system) for home cinema.

Compulsory light control canvas

To take full advantage of a video projector, the ideal is to have a dark room. But few of us want to paint our walls and ceiling black because nothing is more pleasant than having a bright living room, with light walls and ceiling. However, these environments bathed in light interfere with contrasts. And even if we close the shutters and turn off all the lights, that is not enough. The best solution is to opt for a light-control screen or Ambient Light Rejection Screen, abbreviated as ALR Screen. It is the consecrated expression to designate the ambient light rejecting screens.

It’s about a gray technical canvas that unleashes the full potential of a projector. It therefore makes it possible to obtain images worthy of the most beautiful cinemas even if the walls and the ceiling of the living room are very clear! With this specific type of canvas, there is no risk of being bothered by a white veil, the image is very well contrasted and the blacks are not gray but on the contrary deepened. These canvases do not illuminate the ceiling, the side walls, or the floor as a white canvas can. This is in the axis of the screen that the light coming from the projector is returned.

This technological feat is possible if we manage to minimize the effect of points of shine (or metallic flakes) which give the impression that we are looking at an image through dirty glass. It is therefore advisable to opt for a system that filters the light bidirectionally, and which, at the same time, controls the gray of the technical fabric while increasing the brightness of the latter.

Note that viewing quality can be optimized by installing the screen in an alcove, which has the effect of minimizing light pollution.


To switch from a television to a video projector in the living room and obtain incomparable image quality, you must opt ​​for a device that guarantees good vertical directivity allowing the side walls, the floor and the ceiling to be lit as little as possible, the filtering then being very important. The greater the vertical filtering, the more the room in which the projector is installed seems plunged into darkness…

As for viewing angles, they are directly related to the horizontal directivity. This is of little importance when the viewing angles are wide.

viewing conditions

We only expect from a video projector worthy of the name that the viewing conditions are ideal. To achieve this result, the screen width must more or less occupy 35 to 40° of the horizontal field of vision. But depending on the quality of the media, this data can be somewhat modulated. Thus, it is possible to obtain an exceptional image and rendering with a latest generation Blu-ray for example.

Choose a projector therefore implies that we ask ourselves beforehand about the viewing distance. To do this, you must take into account:

  • The distance at which the projector will be placed,
  • Preferred image size.

There are online tools who calculate this very well. Just fill in the aspect ratio (16/9 or 4/3), the picture base and the distance de projection (both being expressed in meters) to know which projector to choose in relation to the screen size.

Choosing the right projection screen

We must also ask ourselves about the Conditions of use of this material to choose a projection screen perfectly suited to your needs. Some use their video projector on a daily basis, others exceptionally. As for the viewing, will it be done in broad daylight or only in the evening, in a living room equipped with shutters or simple fabric curtains? When buying this type of material, it is very useful to ask about with a specialist.

A projector with parameters set once and for all is perfect if you always want to do your video projections in the same room, which is the case if you go from a TV to a video projector. On the screen side, you can for example opt for a canvas stretched in a frame which is well suited to the living room, or for a fixed screen which costs more or less 1000 €. But when you do not want the installation to be permanent, it is better to choose a roll-up projection screen. Some models are manual, others motorized with a tensioning system, the latter requiring a budget of around €2,000.

What about the wiring?

We can invest in the must of the video projector and the projection screen, if the HDMI connection is not at the top, we can only regret its purchase. To power a video projector, it is necessary to provide electrical wires, but also something connect sources such as the video player, the TNT receiver or the satellite receiver. However, the longer the length of the wires, the less satisfactory the viewing quality. Even if it costs 200 to 250 €, the fiber optic hdmi cable allows you to have no problem at this level.

Turn your living room into a movie theater is increasingly common because real estate is expensive, and it is not always possible to devote a room exclusively to this use. In any case, the sum to devote to it is of the order of 20,000 to 25,000 €, which is too high for many households. Today’s equipment is designed to overcome this constraint and allow you to benefit from rare image quality, even in a living room, a room that does not yet have all the characteristics of a real cinema. However, one can use a professional if you want to make works specific to deal with light pollution.

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