Movies are amazing on a massive screen in HD and surround sound. But, you didn’t buy a projector for just movies; you want to be able to watch live sports, shows, and mind-blowing nature documentaries with the same experience. You may have asked yourself how to watch TV on a projector without a cable box. Well, thanks to the internet and a myriad of available devices, you can have your projector and your favorite television series too.
We will show you a group of solutions using technology and streaming services that will break you free from the box.
The Basics: How to Watch TV on Projector without a Cable Box
Before we throw you into the fray, we need to cover a few things that are absolute necessities to be able to watch TV without a box.
The devices we are going to show you in this guide all require you get a projector with an HDMI port. You can purchase video adapters that will let you use HDMI devices on non-HDMI projectors, but you will just be hurting your experience. >>> Find great HDMI cable options on Amazon
If you can’t do HDMI, at least make sure you have a DVI port. HDMI and DVI are the purest digital signals that will provide you with the clearest picture, regardless of what you use to view your content.
2. High-Speed Internet
If you don’t want a cable box floating around your house, a high-speed internet connecting is essential. You may be able to get a few channels with an antenna but, to get all the content you get from a cable provider; you will be using some form of streaming service.
When choosing your internet speed, we recommend 25 megabytes (MB) or higher. Live TV streams much better with a faster internet connection. Speeds over 50 MB are worth paying more to eliminate low-quality streaming, and constant buffering.
3. Wifi vs. Wired
You can either hook up your devices to the internet with an ethernet cable or through a Wi-Fi enabled router. In general, a wired connection is a better option because it is more stable and higher transmission rates than Wi-Fi. However, that also means you will need to longer wires to connect wired devices.
Wi-Fi is a cleaner option that won’t require you to mount devices on your ceiling. Plus, you won’t need to acquire extra-long cabling to connect your player to your projector. When using a Wi-Fi router, make sure it has the least inhibited line of sight possible to your projector to limit connection problems. >>> Great Wi-Fi routers deals on Amazon
Let’s Get to the Streaming
With your setup complete you are ready to begin watching your favorite programs on your projector. In this section, we will cover devices that enable streaming of cable content and services that provide all the entertainment you desire.
The number of gadgets that allow content streaming is almost limitless. However, just because you can stream doesn’t mean it will work for your home theater. The best devices will plug directly into the projector with limited needs for adapters.
Here are our favorite direct connect options.
a. Google Chromecast
The Google Chromecast is a small device that lets you broadcast content from your phone or tablet to your projector. The Chromecast turns your phone into a live remote that allows you to browse and select content before it reaches the screen. You need an HDMI enabled projector for the Chromecast.
b. Roku Streaming Stick
Roku’s streaming stick is a slim version of their home entertainment system. The stick plugs directly into the HDMI port of the projector and can install your favorite streaming apps.
c. Amazon Fire stick
The Fire stick is another direct plug-in device that is small and easy to use. Plug into your HDMI port and access an enormous library of streaming apps that will put TV at your fingertips. >>> Check current price on Amazon
d. Apple TV
The Apple TV is bigger than the other options and will require a platform to support the device. However, it is still small enough that it won’t cause mounting problems. You have access to Apple’s app store that is sure to have the service you want to stream live TV. Like the other options, the Apple TV connects via HDMI.
e. Your Home PC
Using your PC as a streaming device is the most versatile option. Many live streaming services have a website associated with the service, and some streaming companies don’t have available apps on all devices. The downside of using your PC is that you will likely need a longer connecting cable. The upside is that you have more connection options than with the other streaming devices.
Like gadgets, you can find an almost innumerable list of companies that stream content. For our purposes, we will only list a few. Each of these options’ availability will vary by location and country
Hulu has built a solid foundation for providing the best TV shows the day after they air on live TV. Recently they have launched a live streaming service that takes away the wait time, plus enables you to view live sports.
b) PlayStation Vue
PlayStation Vue Looks and feels like your cable TV, except you use your computer, tablet, game system, etc. to view a lineup of live TV and sports. They also offer DVR and on-demand functions to view your favorites when you can’t watch them live
c) Sling TV
Sling TV is similar to PlayStation Vue but has different channel offerings. Their standard service doesn’t include DVR and on demand, but is available in some of their
d) YouTube TV
YouTube TV is the new live service provided by this long-time video company. Using the platform, you are already familiar with you can switch between the latest news and sports to that video your brother emailed you that he promises will make you die from laughter.
e) Your cable TV provider
Not to be outdone by the internet, your cable or satellite provider likely has an option that lets you stream channels using an app or their website. You can use your PC, tablet, or the above devices to watch live TV channels. You may still have a cable box somewhere in the home, but at least you don’t have to hook it into your projector.
You are Ready
With all the knowledge we have thrown you today, you are ready to start watching all the best cable content on your projector without having to dedicate yourself to the box. Go forth and enjoy your new content bounty.
REFERENCES AND FURTHER READING
- Nathan McGinty on Playing a TV Through a Projector
- Big Plays on a Big Screen: the Best Projector for Sports Bar
- Picking laser projector wisely: buying guide