Using projectors to play video games
October 31, 2004 3:58 PM   Subscribe

Using projectors to play video games.

The questions:

I have a Hitachi CP-X275W, and, (I believe) a Boxlight XD-2M. Are these projectors OK for playing multiplayer XBOX games? What do I need to know to get them working right? Do I need to do anything (cheaply, easily, and temporarily) to my bare white walls to get a good picture?


So, to celebrate the release of Halo 2, I've secured two "high resolution" projectors. My plan is to set them up to display on two large walls I have at the opposite end of a big room in my house, and use them in addition to couple large televisions I've got to have between 8 and 16 people doing split-screen multi.

I'm familiar enough with networking XBOXs together, so that's not the problem. The problem is just that I've never used projectors before, let alone with video games. Any help is appreciated.
posted by Hildago to Computers & Internet (9 answers total)
I would think only the standard rules of projection TVs apply, which is any more than a short time playing a game risks burning permanent images into the bulb/lens (for example, status/energy bars that never move on screen and can imprint because the same image stays there for hours on end)
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 5:08 PM on October 31, 2004

Response by poster: Oh yeah? Crud. How long would you say is safe to have them on? And can it be resolved by resting the bulbs for a length of time?
posted by Hildago at 5:29 PM on October 31, 2004

The no-games rule is only for CRT-based projectors -- you can wear out the phosphors on the CRT screens. You can't burn an image into a bulb or lens.

The two you have are LCD and DLP respectively, not CRT. Play games with 'em all you want.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 5:44 PM on October 31, 2004

Screw the TV question--you're the kind of video-game buddy I want to have...can I come over and play?

Yeah, yeah, you're in Seattle and I'm in NYC, but still...a man can dream, right?
posted by LairBob at 6:22 PM on October 31, 2004

I am curious to learn whether these projectors support the high framerate necessary for games. I had always assumed they were designed for powerpoint slides and similar applications and so were not suitable to gaming.
posted by ikkyu2 at 8:18 PM on October 31, 2004

Response by poster: ROU_Xenophobe -- that's exactly what I wanted to hear.

ikkyu2 -- that is exactly what I was afraid of hearing. Based on Google, it sounds like some people do play XBOX on a projector, but I am worried that they have some special, magical projector that is better than mine. I've never seen or used these two projectors before, so I won't really know whether they work for gaming until the day before, but you're right in that the places I am getting them from probably expect them to be used for powerpoint and such.

Thanks for the help so far. LairBob, if you buy a plane ticket to Seattle, I will even save you some pizza.
posted by Hildago at 8:45 PM on October 31, 2004

Framerate is not an issue, in the slightest. You must be thinking of refresh rates, and I honestly don't think that will be a problem. I am assuming the projectors have something like an S-video in, correct? If they have only RCA thats fine but S-video would be nicer especially on larger screens. Hook it up, and play with it. Make sure the room is nice and dark and you are hitting white paper or a projector screen.
posted by Keyser Soze at 9:25 PM on October 31, 2004

DLP makes for an extremely fast refresh rate, composed as it is of millions of extremely tiny vibrating nano-mirrors. LCDs have traditionally been slower, but I would be surprised if it were a problem here.

I've played video games on both kinds of projectors with absolutely no ill effects. Just get a good reflecting surface and go nuts!
posted by tss at 10:35 PM on October 31, 2004

Relax, your projector will be just fine. Don't worry about burn-in. White walls will be OK.

The thing you need to worry about is that you have the right cables. Do a dry run with some other recent high quality game to make sure the resolution works right. I forget what resolutions Xbox supports (a whole lot, right?), but if your game is putting out 800x600 video and your projector has a 1024x768 LCD, it's gonna be scaled ugly. Spend some time ahead of time getting the resolutions to sync up.

Halo's for punks. But what LairBob said; can we come? :-)
posted by Nelson at 8:08 AM on November 1, 2004

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