How to Use a Projector as a TV

How great would it be to watch Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol or The Fast and Furious on a 200” screen with excellent quality? It would be exactly like the cinemas and theaters, or maybe better!

Using your projector as a TV, you can enjoy all kinds of shows, movies, live TV, and sports in any screen size you want. Additionally, the picture quality is also top-notch.

But, to achieve all of that, you’d need to connect the projector and streaming devices properly, and today, we’ll give you a detailed overview of this process.

How Does A Projector Work With TV

Projectors can be very easily connected to TVs using the universal HDMI cables.

You can just as easily give a theater-like feeling to your room and watch your favorite movie on a much larger screen than your TV. Most affordable televisions don’t come in sizes greater than 50”. Using a projector, you can watch all kinds of programs on 150-200” screens in 1080P and 4K qualities.

Moreover, some projectors come with “Mirroring” features, where they act as a second screen but can be configured separately. You can easily work with two different screens, and watch two different programs if you wish to do so.

It should be noted that projectors aren’t compatible with TVs that have their own satellite-receiving capabilities or antennae and don’t use cable boxes. The TVs directly process the signals and the screens can’t be projected using digital projectors.

How To Set Up A Projector To Watch TV

You can stream live TV, along with movies and shows, in several methods. Depending on your needs, you should first decide on the type of connectivity and the services you want to go for.

What You Will Need

A Streaming System

With technology progressing rapidly, there are endless ways in which you can stream live TV, whether it be through certain streaming devices or streaming services.

Streaming Devices

You can stream live TV through certain devices which come with Live TV-enabled features.

Streaming Sticks

The Roku Streaming Stick and Amazon Fire Sticks are small devices that look like a simple USB pen drive.

But, they are a store for more than hundreds of thousands of movies and shows. You can carry the stick easily as it barely weighs anything and doesn’t take up any space.

You can watch TV with your projector anywhere you go. The Streaming stick works with HDMI connections and a remote.

Roku provides around 3000 TV channels, while the Amazon Fire Stick lets you watch live TV at 1080P and 4K resolutions.

Google Chromecast

The Google Chromecast device also works similarly to the Streaming sticks, but your phone works as the remote control. You can access the most popular TV channels and watch them live on the projector screen.

Cable Box

Present all over the world, cable TVs are the most common method of watching live television. The cable box given by your cable provider lets you watch TV endlessly. The cable box is generally connected to a dish antenna and you can use the box to watch TV using your projector.

Streaming Services

Some streaming services need to be installed on your phone or PC first, which can then be connected to the projector.


Created in 2007, Hulu has been impressing customers and growing their business gradually. Along with providing a huge chunk of movies and shows, Hulu comes with over 60 cable channels, from world news to all kinds of sports, for you to enjoy with a minimal fee.

YouTube TV

All of us already love YouTube for what it has to offer. And, they made it better with the inclusion of YouTube TV.

YouTube TV comes with an impressive collection of over 85 channels of all genres. Some channel restrictions will apply depending on your location.

Moreover, it comes with unlimited space to record and store your favorite games and shows and watch later. You can also conveniently switch to YouTube using this service.

Sling TV

Available only in the US, Sling TV is an excellent live TV service. It comes with a number of free cable TV channels, and more than a thousand movies and shows.

Starting from 32 channels, you can get a greater number of channels with higher subscription fees.

You can go for any TV-streaming system, depending on your preferences and needs. If you travel a lot, the streaming devices will be great for you; while if you want to watch at home, the streaming services provide great options.

A Connectivity Option

Projectors don’t have a wide range of connectivity options when it comes to using them as a TV, but these options are still pretty popular.


All projectors come with HDMI ports. Most streaming devices come with HDMI port-ends, but HDMI cables are also very common nowadays.

Some projectors have two or three ports, compatible with several versions of HDMI. While HDMI 1.4 is very common, HDMI 2.1 supports 4K and 8K pictures.

You must make sure your streaming device or the HDMI cable you’ll use is compatible with the HDMI port of your projector.

You can connect your phones and tablets to projectors using MHL cables (if the projector has MHL ports), or with HDMI-USB converters.

Moreover, all projectors come with Ethernet ports. You can connect LAN wires directly from your modem for a high-speed Internet connection, helping you stream live TV faster than wireless connections.


Lots of projectors are Wi-Fi-enabled, compatible with 4G and 5G networks. Without using HDMI cables, you can link your phone (with a streaming service installed) and the projector over the Internet. You do require a good internet connection though, with recommended speeds above 25Mbps.

Once you have decided on your streaming system and connectivity option, you’re ready to start watching Live TV using your projector.

The Procedure

For Streaming Devices
  • Connect your streaming device to the HDMI port of the projector.
  • Turn the projector on.
  • Use the remote or your phone to surf through channels and watch TV.
For Streaming Services
  • Download the software version of your streaming service on your phone or PC. For example, you can download Hulu from Play Store.
  • Turn the projector on.
  • Connect your device to the projector with an HDMI cable, or USB-HDMI converter.
  • Play Live TV from the software or app and watch it on your projector screen.

Why Is A Projector Better Than A Television

Screen Size

Without a doubt, being able to watch shows in almost triple the screen size of normal televisions makes the projectors an excellent deal. Projectors can produce pictures over a wide range of sizes according to what you need, which is impossible with TVs.


All high-end TVs and projectors support high resolutions like 1080P and 4K. The differences between 1080P and 4K aren’t noticeable unless you’re watching on a very large screen.

That’s exactly why projectors lead TVs when it comes to resolutions. The large screens of projectors can actually give you sharper and clearer pictures with higher quality.


Projectors are extremely inexpensive compared to televisions. Televisions do come with an extended range of functions, but size-wise and quality-wise, projectors are much more cost-effective than televisions.

While televisions have a much better sound system than projectors, the latter comes with audio jacks to connect external loudspeakers. These speakers will provide much better sound quality and performance than built-in TV speakers. Even with the external speakers, the system costs lesser than a TV.


Do you see how getting a projector might be an extremely useful decision for you? It can be used for so many different purposes and is very cost-effective compared to the other options.

If you need TV just for watching live channels and movies, a projector can actually be a better option for you, with its size-adjustability and high resolutions. It’s also pretty straightforward to use the projector as a TV and will be an all-out satisfying experience for you.

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