How to play Google Stadia on a Projector

Google has entered the gaming world with a bang.  Google Stadia offers ultra-low latency gaming over almost any Internet-enabled device.  As Google can deliver a plethora of A-list game titles with up to 4K graphics at 60 FPS, this begs the question, how can you play Stadia on a projector?

This article will guide you through all of the best options to do so.

How to play Stadia on a projector with HDMI

Connecting a Stadia compatible device such as a Chromebook, laptop, Chromecast, or Chromecast Ultra to a projector via HDMI is incredibly easy.  What’s more, HDMI will allow your projector to display the video output from your Stadia device at a maximum 4K resolution, presuming that your projector supports 4K.

HDMI is a fantastic technology as it allows you to transfer 4K video along with crystal clear sound, all in one cable.

Connecting your Stadia to the projector is an absolute breeze using the HDMI port.  Your projector will need to be able to support an HDMI input however all but the oldest projectors support HDMI.

To connect your Stadia device to a projector via HDMI, carry out the following:

  1. Switch on your projector.
  2. Change the Source on the projector so that it is HDMI.
  3. Insert your HDMI cable or Chromecast device into the HDMI port of the projector.
  4. Power on the Chromecast or Stadia compatible device.
  5. Select your favorite Stadia game and sit back and relax!

Sound considerations

Although HDMI cables do allow the transmission of an audio signal as well as a video signal, there are still some considerations to make regarding sound, especially if you are planning on using the internal speakers to a projector.

Let’s look at each of the three considerations.

Inbuilt projector speakers

As you are using HDMI cabling OR A HDMI device such as a Chromecast to your projector, you also get the added benefit of this cable delivering sound to your projector.  By default, your projector will playback the sound signal to you via the internal speaker system.

This is by far the easiest and most straight forward speaker setup.

The downside to this is that as a general rule, inbuilt projector speakers are pretty poor.  They are often below somewhere between 2W and 8W in power.  The volume levels obtained through such a speaker are pretty poor however if you aren’t trying to fill a large living room with a deep, rich sound, this might be sufficient.

Some projectors do come with dual 10W stereo speakers which do improve the quality significantly.

Inbuilt speakers are also quite tinny in sound quality as they lack a subwoofer to give the unit some bass.

All things considered though, projector speakers are ok as long as you aren’t too fussy about sound quality.

Soundbar

Soundbars by their very nature are much more capable devices in delivering great sound quality for Stadia devices when compared to inbuilt projector speakers.  They come with a range of different speakers to deliver a rich, well-balanced sound to your living room or bedroom.

The only thing to note is to check what sound outputs you have available on the back of your projector.  Hopefully, you will find an HDMI Out port.

Perhaps the best options though would be to use an HDMI ARC or optical cable to and from both devices.  These deliver the highest quality sound.  Optical cable ports have been common for decades whereas HDMI ARC is a relatively new technology.

Although HDMI ARC ports look exactly the same as normal HDMI ports, they usually have the letters ARC next to the port to denote if it is indeed an HDMI ARC port.

External speakers

Another great way of delivering sound when playing Stadia games on your projector is by using an existing set of external speakers that are within your living room or bedroom.  Perhaps you already have a HiFi that has a spare optical port?

This would be a great solution for giving you high-quality sound at no additional expense. 

Simply, plug in the optical cable to the optical port on the back of the projector and then connect the other end to the HiFi, select the source, and away you go!

How do you hook up Stadia without HDMI?

Composite

If your projector, monitor, or TV only supports DVI as an input, rather than HDMI, then it is still possible to connect your Stadia compatible device or Chromecast to the display.

For this, you will need to purchase a Composite/AV to HDMI adapter to display the picture.  

Follow these steps:

  1. Connect the RGB cables to the back of the projector, monitor or TV.
  2. Next, connect the other end of the RGB cables into the Composite adapter.
  3. Take an HDMI cable and plug it into the HDMI port of the laptop/PC or the Chromecast itself and the other end into the HDMI port of the Composite adapter.  Please note that some adapters require additional power via a USB cable so an external USB to a power source will be required.  Some USB ports on the projector should be able to deliver power.
  4. On the projector, monitor or TV change the Source to AV.  

You should now see the picture appear via the projector, monitor or TV along with the sound from Stadia.

SCART to HDMI

If your projector, monitor, or TV only supports SCART as an input, rather than HDMI, then it is still possible to connect your Stadia device to the display.

For this, you will need to purchase a SCART to HDMI adapter to display the picture.  

Follow these steps:

  1. Connect the SCART cable to the back of the projector, monitor, or TV.
  2. Next, connect the other end of the SCART cable into the SCART to HDMI adapter.
  3. Take an HDMI cable and plug it into the HDMI port of the laptop/PC or the Chromecast itself and the other end into the HDMI port of the SCART adapter.  Please note that some adapters require additional power via a USB cable so an external USB to a power source will be required.  Some USB ports on the projector should be able to deliver power.
  4. On the projector, monitor or TV change the Source to SCART.  

You should now see the picture appear via the projector, monitor, or TV along with the sound from Stadia.

VGA to HDMI

If your projector, monitor, or TV only supports VGA as an input, rather than HDMI, then it is still possible to connect your Stadia device to the display.

For this, you will need to purchase a VGA to HDMI cable to display the picture.  Also, please note that VGA does not support sound so you will need to use a separate connection such as an optical audio cable to send the audio signal to your speakers.

Follow these steps:

  1. Connect the VGA connection on the cable to the projector, monitor, or TV.
  2. Next, connect the HDMI end of the cable to the back of the Stadia compatible device or plug the Chromecast in directly.
  3. On the projector, monitor or TV change the Source to PC/VGA.  You should now see the picture appear.
  4. To hear the sound from Stadia, plug an aux cable into the 3.5mm aux port on the HDMI/VGA adapter.
  5. Then plug the other end of the AUX cable into your projector, monitor, TV, or separate speakers.

Considerations When Connecting Stadia to a Projector

There are several considerations to make when you are contemplating connecting Stadia to a projector.  Projectors are predominantly designed to support video playback devices rather than game consoles.

Yes, game consoles require the displaying of the video however there are some pretty subtle differences between these two purposes.

Latency

Latency is the time it takes the projector to adjust the image according to any controller paddle movements or button taps.  A higher latency will make the gaming experience feel that you are playing in slow motion and will cause you to feel frustrated due to the game character not moving when you want it to.

Lower latency is ideal for gaming as it leaves you more in control and therefore removing any frustrations with gameplay.  

It is thought that latency of 16ms (milliseconds) is optimal for gaming purposes.  Please note that not all projectors have such low latency. 

The Stadia gaming service and Stadia controller offer exceptional latency so it will be worth ensuring that your projector is not the weakest link in this aspect.

Luminosity

The luminosity or brightness of your portable projector will be absolutely key.  Although some gamers enjoy playing Stadia games in a dark room, sometimes this isn’t always the case especially if you are playing in a family front room during the daytime.

As you won’t know exactly how bright the room will be, your projector must be capable of competing with the environmental brightness.

The brightness of any portable projector is measured in lumens.  A projector offering 3000 lumens should be sufficient for most situations however brighter projectors are available too.  A lower luminosity will be sufficient for dark rooms or night time gaming.

Connectivity

It’s important to ensure that your projector has compatible display ports to allow it to connect to your Stadia device with ease.  In the case of Stadia, you will need an HDMI port.

If the projector doesn’t have one, don’t worry as there are many adapters available to ensure that both your portable projector is compatible.

Adapters generally work fine however not having to use them in the first place means that you have one less thing to fail and go wrong.

Audio

Video playback is important but the audio is just as important to the all-round gaming experience.  You will therefore need to consider your audio options.  Obviously, your Stadia device could be used to deliver the audio playback however the inbuilt speaker is ok but might sound unimpressive when you are playing on a 100” display 

Another option is to purchase a portable projector with an integrated speaker.  These aren’t usually particularly powerful.  If you do require an integrated speaker then ensure that it is at least a 10-watt mono or stereo speaker.

You also will have the option of connecting a soundbar or amp to the projector to deliver high-quality sound from Stadia.

Keystone

Keystone correction, otherwise known as “keystoning” is the ability to adjust the projected image so that you can align it correctly in an even/straight rectangular format.

This is especially important for portable projectors as you can’t guarantee how high or low the surface will be that you are projecting from as well as how far from the screen you will be.  All these factors mean that your default image will be skewed.  Keystoning allows you to adjust the projected image to accommodate these variables.

Look out for this feature when selecting your perfect portable projector for Stadia.

Throw distance

“Throw” is the distance from the projector lens to the screen.  The throw ratio is a calculation that you can use to calculate how wide the image will be in feet, for every foot the projector is away from the screen.

The calculation is:

Image Width = Throw Distance / Throw Ratio

Therefore with a throw ratio of 2, for every 2 feet, the lens is away from the screen, the image width will increase by two feet.