In a world where everything has been digitized for streaming, entertainment continues to become almost too easy. And too easy quickly turns into borderline disposable. For many content consumers, viewing TV shows and movies in digital form in an “any device goes” fashion feels like cheapening the experience. Sure, streaming works great for most of us and definitely offers convenience, but we humans remain creatures of ritual, and it takes a split second to tune in online. There’s no ritual in that.
Home video has entered a phase familiar to music and gaming fans. Just as vinyl records have come back from extinction to establish a fervent following among audio connoisseurs, video game users rebel against the rise of an all-digital future. They claim digital purchases have no substance and that collecting physical copies of games presents an entirely different level of the hobby.
Despite the convenience of streaming, it does feel like movies and TV shows simply come and go these days, soon to be forgotten. For true aficionados, projectors offer the hope of a home cinema that’s felt and not just passively viewed. With the comfort of a personal ritual, every movie and program takes on a vastly more memorable nature.
That’s where the ritualistic aspect comes into play, literally. Just as music lovers relish the feel of vinyl, the sound of turntable needles on platters, and the scent of paper sleeves, so do movie fans crave the shining light and hum of a projector, the fanfare of a screen unfurling, the satisfaction of sliding a disc into a player, and the sense of sitting down to something special rather than simply pressing a button and letting a file play. After all, without our rituals and traditions, how much remains of our collective culture as a species?
However, there’s no need for viewing experiences to clash with streaming technology. Home projectors turn streamed content into a special occasion while also working with physical media such as Blu-ray discs. You don’t have to choose either or – if it’s a proper sit down you’re looking for with regards to home entertainment, a good projector has you covered on every front. You can build your very own movie room with a projector and recreate that excited feeling of going to the movies every time you sit down to watch something. Between the unique feel of a projector and the emotional gratification of sitting in front of a huge screen, you’ll be in the ritualistic zone for all the right reasons.
So if you miss the good old days of going to the movies or just want to build a cinema at home, what’s actually needed? Fortunately choice isn’t a problem. Projectors today have image and sound quality that often surpasses what you’ll get at the local cineplex, with 4K resolution, HDR, and immersive sound. Whichever projector you choose according to your budget, make certain it’s also a good fit for your designated movie room. Then you’ll be ready to get into the perfect movie ritual. There’s powering on, setting up the screen, knowing you’re in a room dedicated for viewing, selecting a disc if you’re using Blu-ray…we could go on. While with streaming it’s essentially the same experience whether you’re on a train or in your living room, projectors aren’t exactly suited to your commute so in your mind they instantly create a magical feeling of “I’m watching a movie”. You remember that feeling from the first time you went to the cinema, most likely. You can have it again. Of course we didn’t even get into obvious things like popcorn. Hey, you may as well print tickets with stubs if you want. We won’t judge.
Comparing projectors to streaming apps is clearly like comparing libraries to websites. Sure, the latter may be more accessible and convenient, and for most people they work fine. But there are those among us who miss the old ways. Who want to be retro and enjoy the rustling of paper, the hushed tones, and the rows of musty books. Projectors in this context serve as the guardians of older traditions and rituals, preserving movie magic in an age of ever-greater choice and accessibility that may come at the cost of eroding the impact of content.
Except unlike books projectors don’t get musty, they just get better with more resolution, eye-popping image quality, and awesome sound. And everything projectors do can be yours, in your very own special cinema room that ensures movies stay memorable. All that remains is choosing sweet or salty. For the popcorn, we mean.
How Damien Chazelle uses color to push the story forward in the award-winning film La La Land.
Whether it's your first ever projector or an upgrade to 4K from 1080p, we have a convenient guide for your perusal. We cover projector technology, TV vs. projector, setup, HDR, terminology and more to make your purchase decision easier and rewarding.
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