Any Using a Video Projector with Zwift?

I ride Zwift in my basement and project it onto a 27" TV, but bigger is always better, so I’ve been thinking about something bigger.  That got me thinking that maybe a video projector might be a better solution than a TV… and ~maybe~ less expensive.   The problem is that I know nearly nothing about video projectors and the price of them varies widely.

If you’re using a video project for your Zwift rig, do you like the experience?  What projector are you using?  

Posting a picture of your Zwift rig would be great.   I’m trying to figure-out where the projector would go so that I’m not blocking it while riding, assuming it’s an over-head projector.  If I’m not mistaken, some projectors actually project up instead of forward, but perhaps that’s a figment of my imagination.

I am using a projector - and very happy with it.  It really makes it an immersive experience.  Before I go into the details, let me say that I already had the projector, screen and speakers for backyard movies.  As it’s January in Chicago, I figured the kids wouldn’t mind if I repurposed them.

Projector is a decent but older Epson LCD projector - older version of this:  Just hooks up to the PC via a HDMI cable - pretty straightforward.

Speakers (for pumping workout music):  (Again, I have an older/cheaper set of these - something like $60 at Sam’s club.)

Screen: Walls are fine but an actual screen is easy.  Pick up a blackout cloth remnant and hand it on the wall.  Easy.

I actually have my projector off to the side of the whole setup rather than mounted overhead.  Much easier.  The key is to use the keystone function on your projector.  It will shrink the image on the far side, making the whole thing look square.

It’s also nice for running on the treadmill - easy to fire up Netflix and watch a (big) movie.

All in cost if I were doing it new - about $600.


Thanks for the nice write-up, Brian.  I’m just a little north of you in Milwaukee, also riding a Trek indoors ;-)  Putting the projector off to the side would definitely make things a bit more user-friendly than having it hanging off the ceiling.

mine sits on my top of my monitor.  I have a dual monitor setup with hdmi splitter.

epson hd projector with 720P.

now with projector

I kind of joked about this when we were in Wal-Mart the other night, because they have some $89 Projector TV - and I said I’d like to figure out how to use that in the basement for Zwift… so now I’m wondering if I could use that, and still use my iPad to screen cast to it - I don’t have a laptop, so I either have to use screen mirroring from my iPad (through an Anycast dongle on my non-smart tv), or connect to my slow desktop a floor away through a 50 ft ANT+ extender cable, with my android phone connecting to the computer through Spacedesk, and then again casting to the non-smart tv screen. Anyway, I digress - I’m going to have to do some digging, because if I can do it - I’d LOVE to use the projector.

I ended-up abandoning the idea of a projector in favor of a TV.  Other than the projector’s potential for a giant screen, the TV just had too many advantages…

  • Cost: Even low-end projectors are expensive and the replacement bulbs are also crazy expensive (and they do burn out!)  I bought a 40" 1080p LCD TV instead… it’s a non-“smart TV” to keep the cost down since it’s just being used as a monitor.
  • Sound:   Projectors obviously don’t have speakers built-in, so using one requires coming-up with a way to provide sound (if you care about the Zwift noises).  With a TV, that’s not an issue.
  • Ambient Light:   In order to have the best picture with a projector, the room has to be very dark.  Here in Wisconsin, it’s dark 1/2 the year because of winter and I’d rather have at least some lights on while I’m riding or else I might turn into a vampire :open_mouth:


1 Like