The multi-million dollar cost behind high level flight simulators is mostly in part to the multiple projectors, their mounts, their bulbs, and the highly complex systems needed to create projection surfaces around a cockpit. To reach the same level of immersion without the cost, consumers like you need to find a way to fill, or mostly fill, the field of view with a high resolution image of the simulation–it’s that simple. The upkeep cost (bulbs), space required for projection, screens required, and the diminishing resolution and latency of projection systems are enough for us to recommend that, unless you have thousands of dollars to spend, stay away.
Computer monitors offer the highest resolution options on the market, but they’re not large enough to fill the field of view to create the desired immersion effect, and they’re usually far more expensive than an LCD TV twice their size.
With all this in mind, the two best viable options are large HD LCD/LED TVs and Virtual Reality displays, such as Oculus Rift or Vive, that also incorporate head tracking. With regard to full immersion, the VR options are certainly the best option, but some users may find them cumbersome, or may want a large high quality display for mul
ti-purpose use that still allows them to look at additional peripheral controls and/or allow others to view the action. This is a decision you will need to make yourself! From a budgeting standpoint, keep in mind that a good VR setup is approximately $600 – $700, while a 42″ HD LCD/LED TV that will certainly fill the field of view at a distance of 3-4 feet can be half that. A 42″ display at 1080p situated approximately 3-4 feet from the user is an excellent option. It’s economical, and the image is more than clear enough to prevent the notorious “screen” door effect, even at such a close distance. Obviously, larger, more high resolution options will only enhance the experience! Additionally, curved displays now available are ideal for close-up viewing, as the viewing angle to the extremes of the screen remains almost constant for the user.
We’ve found the following to be the best options for the money:
High Definition LCD/LED Displays
- Samsung UN48JU7500 Curved 4K Ultra HDTV
- VIZIO M50-C1 4K Ultra HDTV
- LG Electronics 43UH6100 43-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV (2016 Model)