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Projectors and Console Gaming:
Finding a match for your gaming habits

Bill Livolsi, September 16, 2008

Microsoft Xbox360

As the first of the "next-generation" systems to be released, the Xbox 360 enjoys a comfortable market share in North America and Europe. All games are displayed in high definition, with the most common resolution being 720p. The system had an add-on HD DVD drive, though this has been discontinued with the death of that particular format.

All models of the Xbox 360 are capable of component output, and newer models have an onboard HDMI 1.2 port. While some games are indeed native 1080p or 1080i, most games are still 720p. On the movie front, the Xbox 360 has a reputation as a subpar upscaling DVD player, and Microsoft has not stated any intent to manufacture a Blu-Ray add-on player to replace the now-defunct HD DVD add-on. As such, you will likely end up using the Xbox 360 primarily for playing video games.

With the prevalence of 720p content and the relative absence of 1080p games and movies, the Xbox 360 is a perfect match for a 720p projector. A native 1280x720 projector allows you to match the native resolution of your display to most games in the Xbox 360's library, and what few games are not 720p are rescaled by the game console itself. Fortunately, 720p projectors are widespread, and some now cost less than $1,000, like the excellent Mitsubishi HC1500 (unfortunately discontinued, so get yours while you still can). Others, like Panasonic's AX200, Sanyo's PLV-Z5, and Epson's Cinema 720, cost about $1,300 and offer longer zoom lenses and lens shift capability. All of these projectors have both component and HDMI inputs. If you're not in a hurry, consider waiting for the Sanyo Z60 to become available, which is Sanyo's new 720p projector and the successor to the Z5. It should be shipping in a few weeks.

Making the most of your Xbox 360 does not need to be an expensive proposition. With high quality 720p projectors available for less than a grand, it's easy to enhance your Xbox 360 gaming experience without completely emptying your wallet.

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Sony PlayStation 3
Contents: Overview Xbox 360 Sony PlayStation 3 Nintendo Wii

Reader Comments(7 comments)

Posted Sep 17, 2008 1:46 PM PST

By Steve

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In the intro, it's mentioned that the article will cover some suggestions if you own more than one game console, yet i don't see anything in the article that addresses this. What's up???

Posted Sep 19, 2008 7:32 AM PST

By Mojo

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A very helpful article, I own all three systems and can definitely agree with the benefits and issues you call out for each system. However, just in case some out there finaly managed to get a Wii for the first time and are not aware, you do have a couple of different options as far as the sensor bar is concerned. There are a few companies out there that make wireless sensor bars (the wire that connects the stock sensor bar to the console actually only provides power to the "sensor" bar - which is really only a cluster of 10 LED lights for the Wiimote to track from), and you can also take the stock sensor bar apart and solder a lead from a switchable power adapter into the circuit board and make it outlet-powered, which is what I did. There are instructions for doing this on the internet, if anyone is interested.

Posted Sep 22, 2008 3:27 PM PST

By andy

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You didn't address the biggest issue in gaming (particularly online gaming) in this article..... lag.

I'd love to know what the input to output lag time is on these higher end machines like the Epson 1080UB, Panasonic AE2000, etc. It'd also be interesting to know if any settings (i.e., input resolutions) have a particularly good/bad effect on the lag time.

Keep up the good work.

Posted Oct 1, 2008 4:05 AM PST

By Ron

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Awesome article...! Thank you :) I own a Optima HD80 and to my surprise our newly purchased PS3 warned us it could potentially damage a non-LCD projector or plasma TV. I was a little skeptical as to how it might be damaging to our DLP system and after reading your article I feel very relieved to know we are safe in doing so. Thanks again!

Posted May 6, 2009 6:53 AM PST

By Gary

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Great article. My dilemma is this. We are rolling out across the state several educational game rooms located within a school setting. Each game room will have the Wii, Playstation 3, and Xbox 360. We envision having the students complete against each other within the school as well as against other schools within our district. The projectors will be ceiling mounted and I need an affordable widespread projector to accommodate these three systems. The rooms measure approx 16’L x 18’W x 7’10 H. Our plan is to have two gaming setups per room (back to back configuration). Any suggestions?

Posted Mar 19, 2014 2:46 PM PST

By Joe Borrelli

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I have a better idea then that, where Apple should have it an would be worldwide item :))

Posted Sep 22, 2015 3:27 PM PST

By aric

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I'm looking for a progector for an older game console. The GameCube. Is there a projector that will have the outlets and what not, for the game console?

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