Projectors & IWB vs Touch Screens - Blog - ANME

Projectors & IWBs vs Touchscreen TVs

Posted on: 3rd Apr 2019 by: Rick Cowell, Ric Turner

When making the decision between getting the traditional (but old-hat) interactive whiteboard (IWB) and projector, or an interactive touch-screen TV, each option has its pros and cons, some of which are shown in the table below:

Pros & Cons
Projector + 77" SMART IWB 65" / 75" CTOUCH Touchscreen
For Against For Against
  • Initial purchase cost
  • Failed parts more easily replaceable
  • More setup required
  • Fan noise
  • Shadowing on screen
  • Line-of-sight glare in eyes
  • More cabling required
  • Continual calibration of IWB
  • Poor resolution
  • Projector alignment issues
  • Filters / lens require cleaning / replacing
  • Gradual degradation of image quality over lamp-life
  • Plug and play out of the box
  • No fan noise
  • No shadowing on screen
  • No glare in teacher's eyes
  • Less cabling required
  • No ongoing calibration required
  • Higher resolution (HD / 4K)
  • Less eye fatigue
  • Brigher - direct light rather than reflected
  • Standalone use - no PC required
  • Cheaper to run than a standard projector
  • Initial purchase cost
  • Weight consideration of wall
  • No alternative if unit fails
    (warranties usually include a replacement if they cannot be repaired on-side)

Based solely on the pros and cons, the touch screen TVs are the clear winner, but price is going to be a significant factor in the decision too. If we consider the average/expected life-span of each option, we can see that the average life of projectors is only 6 years, and 6-8 years for IWBs:

Expected LIfespans
  • IWB
  • Projector
  • Projector Lamps
  • 6-8 years
  • 6 years
  • 1 year 10 months
    (3000 hours @ 8 hours per day, 200 days per year. Requiring 3 lamps during life of projector)
  • Touchscreen
  • 18.75 years
    (30,000 hours @ 8 hours per day, 200 days per year)

So if we assess the costs of both over 6 years:

Projected Costs
  • IWB
  • Projector
  • Lamps
  • Installation/cabling
  • £1,000
  • £400
  • £450 (3 @ £150)
  • £400
  • Touchscreen (65" / 75")
  • Brackets/cables etc.
  • Installation
  • Delivery
  • £1,999 / £2,799
  • £115
  • £280
  • £99
6 Year Total:


6 Year Total:

£2,493 / £3,293

12 Year Total:


12 Year Total:

£2,493 / £3,293

The touchscreen option does work out slightly more expensive, £243 at the time of publishing, but that doesn't take into account the reduced electrical usage, and weighed up with the other advantages, it makes it a far more appealing option overall.


Rick Cowell

Director and Founder of ANME Ltd.

Association of Network Managers in Education
Association of Data Managers in Education

Credit to Ric Turner, ANME Member for the intial research and comparisons.

Testimonials from Members & Partners

  • “Fantastic event, with interesting content and very well organised.”

    Alain Squiteri, Sales Director - InVentry

  • I thought the day was excellent. It was really good to have the companies there and invaluable for meeting and speaking with new contacts. I really hope this carries on as it was desperately needed in our field.

    Janet Cannell, Member

  • We’re really proud to be ANME’s platinum sponsor. It’s such a great platform for school network managers to get together and share ideas, plus it provides us the opportunity to speak directly to schools using our solutions and get their feedback and input into new features. Every event is always different, with fantastic speakers providing real insight and ideas on all things edtech.

    Al Kingsley, Group Managing Director, NetSupport Limited

  • ANME meetings provide valuable networking - being able to talk to other professionals doing the same role and understanding their approach and their context. This is a great way to challenge what you are doing in your own setting.

    Neil Limbrick, ANME Ambassador

  • A fantastic online resource of like-minded professionals that you can use to bounce ideas off, chat things through, get advice from. Invaluable.

    Ric Turner, Balshaws Church of England High School

  • The ANME is a priceless resource for anyone working in an IT support role in the education sector. The online forum is lively and informative and the regular meetings provide insight into new products and valuable networking opportunities with peers from other establishments. I've lost count of the number of valuable conversations and helpful tips that I've had since becoming a member. If you've not been to a meeting before then try to attend the next one in your area, you won't be disappointed.

    Dave Leonard, ANME Ambassador and ICT Manager at Matthew Moss High School

  • The ANME has been a great resource when you're a lone IT manager, now you have friends going through the same obstacles as you, with plenty of advice and guidance.

    Michael Frost, ANME Member & IT Network Manager at Parkwood Hall Co-operative Academy

  • Being part of the ANME is like being part of a large corporate IT department, there's always someone you can ask for advice

    Paul Gillon, ANME Member & Network Manager at West Hill School, Stalybridge

  • ANME is like having a team of IT experts at my fingertips. It helps me keep up to date with the latest trends in IT education.
    Rick and the ANME members have always helped when I've needed extra guidance to make great IT decisions

    Clifford Fernandes, ANME Member & IT Manager at Claremont High School

  • I attended my first ANME regional meeting recently which was great. It was Informative, relevant and useful! Unlike some meetings I attend where you get one or two useful nuggets of information, but other bits have been added to the agenda as fillers. Glad to be a member of this group of like-minded individuals.

    Adam Hall, ANME Member & IT Operations Manager at Four Oaks Learning Trust