Buying a projector for your home theater, business or gaming need is something of great importance.
Sure, we all can agree upon the fact that any projector with decent resolution and brightness will get the job done for the most part, but considering specifically for different situations, you may need a different projector for different needs.
Some projectors work best only in dark rooms and some can work even in well-lit rooms. Sometimes you need a projector to watch movies, showing business presentations or while you’re playing games.
So, in this Buyer’s Guide, we’ve listed ten best projectors for almost all your projecting needs.
Best Projectors of 2018:
All projectors listed here are worth their price and are best of the best as compared to other projectors available in the market.
The ViewSonic LightStream PJD5155 Projector holds the credential of being the first 802.11ad router in the market.
However, that is not the only trick up its sleeve. This projector is packed with many useful features with a very reasonable price as well.
Although it’s not inexpensive, this router offers a few impressive features for the price! In this review, we will go into every aspect of this router and find out whether it is worth your money or not.
The ViewSonic LightStream PJD5155 price-performance projector features 3,300 lumens, native SVGA 800 x 600 resolution, and intuitive, user-friendly design.
The PJD5155 also features extensive connectivity including HDMI, 2 x VGA, Composite Video, S-Video, 1 x VGA output and Audio in/out. An energy-saving DynamicEco feature reduces power consumption by up to 70%, and extends the lamp life by up to 10,000 hours.
Features of ViewSonic HDMI Projector are:
- SVGA (800×600) 3300 Lumens Projector with a 20,000:1 Dynamic Contrast Ratio, Vertical Digital Keystoning, and a Screen Size of 83-Inches from 12-Feet; 207-Inches from 30-Feet
- With advanced color technology and outstanding sharpness, this feature-rich projector provides a vast selection of inputs while offering industry-leading durability and dust-resistance
- Exclusive audiovisual features and flexible connectivity options makes the PJD5155 is ideal for use in home, education and small business environments
- Convenient design with up to 10,000 lamp hours (Eco Mode), built-in speakers, port cover, easy-access lamp hood, optical focus and zoom, and a muted black finish
- 1.86~2.04:1 throw ratio; 3.3–32.8 ft. throw distance; 3.5MM Audio in/out, HDMI 1.4, VGA composite RCA, S-Video, and Mini-USB inputs; Product Dimensions: 12.4 x 8.98 x 4.08 Inches
- Compatible with Mac, and Windows, can be connected with DVD players, Blu-ray plyers, Amazon FireTV, AppleTV, Google Chromecast and more
- Amazing color accuracy
- Up to 3,300 ANSI lumens, and 20,000:1 contrast ratio
- 3D Blu-ray ready HDMI input
- Choice of 5 view settings for a variety of usage scenarios
- SonicExpert technology delivers enhanced sound with an enlarged speaker chamber and a powerful amplifier
- Intuitive interface includes tactile keypad, top lamp door, and optional cable management system
This projector sometimes does give off a lot of heat from it’s front but still, this is the best deal you can get in this range.
This projector by BenQ gives best image quality possible for watching movies, TV shows, sports or playing video games on larger-than-life screens.
This BenQ DLP HD projector is possibly the best home theater projector in the market today.
In this comprehensive review, we will cover all the major features of this elegantly designed projector and provide an in-depth understanding of how you can use this projector for almost all your needs.
With 2200 lumens bright image and outstanding 15,000:1 contrast ratio, the HT2050 beams magnificent image quality.
Features of BenQ DLP HD 1080p (HT2050) Projector are:
- High Resolution: 3D 1080p projector with ANSI Brightness of 2,200 Lumens, 15,000:1 contrast, premium RGBRGB Color Wheel and ISFccc Certified Calibration for Day/Night viewing
- Quiet Projector: Whisper quiet operation, with the lowest fan noise in its class, allows viewers to hear the movie, not the projector.
- Short Throw Projector: Easy installation and setup with a diagonal screen size of 60″ – 180″, 1.3x zoom, Vertical Lens Shift and a throw ratio of 1.15 – 1.5 (79″ @ 2m)
- Energy Efficient Projector: Includes SmartEco technology for energy conservation and auto standby mode to save energy and prolong lamp life; lamp lasts up to 7,000 hours
- Clear Image Size/ Maximum Image Size.60″~180″ / 300
- 100” Image from just 8.4’: Enjoy larger than life movies, sporting events, TV shows and action-packed video games in any room in the house. The short throw lens in the BenQ HT2050 home theater projector can fill large screens from shorter distances for easy, uncomplicated setup.
- Big Zoom for Big Pictures in Any Space: Whether you permanently install or simply bring out the projector for special occasions, the 1.3X Big Zoom lens in the BenQ HT2050 will provide the placement flexibility needed to enjoy the image size you want, where you want it.
- Vertical Lens Shift Flexibility: Lens shift provides the flexibility to optically move the image on the screen to overcome minor installation miscalculations. This helpful feature provides peace of mind knowing the projected image will land precisely over the area needed.
Intuitive User Interface: BenQ Home Theater projectors feature an intuitive, easy to follow user interface, allowing quick access to all projector features to enable users to customize their experience.
Step-by-Step Setup Guide: An easy to follow step-by-step guide will walk you through the initial projector setup. Whether you are a first time or experienced user, you will be enjoying stunning viewing experiences on your new BenQ HT2050 in no time.
- HDMI inputs: 2
- AV input: 2 (one component-video)
- PC input: Analog RGB
- USB port: 2
- MHL: No
- Remote: Backlit
- Built-in speaker: Yes
In case you’re planning to watch in something besides entire darkness, you should pick a brighter projector.
Also, this projector’s lamp life is shorter as compared to other projectors, although as usual, you can adjust its settings to dim the image and extend the number of hours before you have to replace it.
The cost of the new lamp is slightly on the high side compared to other projectors.
Next on the list is RIF6 Cube projector, “The first big screen that fits in your pocket”.
This is a new kind of mini projector which is specially designed for your mobile devices.
With this tiny projector, you can transform any screen into a vivid, 120-inch display that projects anywhere, and gives you a whole new view. At just 2 inches cubed, the power of portability literally fits in the palm of your hand.
Features of BenQ DLP HD 1080p (HT2050) Projector are:
- The CUBE though small in name is designed to make a BIG impression by turning virtually any setting into your own entertainment environment. The CUBE is great for: home cinema, office, education, entertainment or anything else you can come up with. Equipped with its own speaker, internal battery, and SD card reader, the CUBE is a completely autonomous projection unit that can instantly bring any room or space alive with light, colors and sound!
- Removing the frustrating limitations imposed by the size of your screen you can now: share your favorite media on the go, project your pictures, play your games and even stream movies directly from your Smartphone, Tablet or Laptop to a 120″ display on any wall or ceiling around you — all with crystal clear and vibrant video!
- The CUBE’s single-piece aluminum casing is built to be durable so it can withstand continuous usage and look sleek and modern while doing it. It weighs less than a regular piece of fruit and is a powerhouse at just 2″ cubed. So whether it is for work or play, your CUBE can immediately transport any setting or environment into a personal or professional presentation center. With this type of flexibility and freedom… WHERE WILL YOU TAKE IT?
- Longest Lasting LED Light Source Our proprietary LED digital based light source shows the picture in stunning color and clarity. Unlike conventional lamp-based projectors, our LED Lamp can last up to 20,000 hours. That means you could watch 1 full-length movie every day for the next 20+years with your CUBE lamp still shining brightly.
- The CUBE is built on and powered by marvelous engineering including the latest advances in LED and optical lens technology. Connectivity: Micro SD, MHL & HDMI, Native Resolution 854×480 (WVGA), Throw Ratio 1.99:1 Dist/Width, Video Input up to Full HD 1080p, Dimensions 2″x2″x1.9″, Brightness Full 50 Lumens.
- 2x2x2inches: Superbly small
- 0.3pounds: Lightweight aluminum
- 120″display: Made for big things
- 50 LUMENS: LED bulb packs over 20,000 hours of playtime.
- 90 Min. battery life
- Game on the big screen anytime
- Instantly view your pictures in a slideshow
- Connect to any tablet or mobile device
When compared to a normal size home/office projector the only real upside you get is size/portability. So unless you want to take it out camping, or move around the house a lot, you’re probably much better off with a regular projector. And yes, you can barely hear it, so plan to take around some speakers with it.
Next up, we are looking at a 4k projector.
The Sony VPL-VW350ES is actually the least expensive 4K projector under $10,000, and Sony is still the only mainstream projector maker to bring true 4K resolution to market.
Get the clarity of Sony’s SXRD 4K movie theater technology in a brand new 4K Ultra HD projector with greater than 4x 1080p resolution, anamorphic 3D, and HD to 4K upscaling.
Features of Sony VPLVW350ES 4K Projector are:
- Immersive, vibrant picture for any environment: By simply choosing the appropriate preset, the VPL-VW350ES’s 1,500 ANSI lm brightness and Deep color can be adjusted for the ideal picture quality in any environment—whether gaming or watching sports in a lit room, or enjoying movies in a dark theater.
- Watch 2D high-definition content in 3D: Add a new dimension to your favorite movies, shows or videos with Sony’s unique 2D to 3D up-conversion algorithm, allowing high definition 2D content connected via HDMI to be viewed in immersive Sony 3D even in 4K.
- Whisper-quiet fan: Forget that the projector is even in the room thanks to the VPL-VW350ES’s advanced air discharge system.
- Integrated RF 3D2 Sync Transmitter: No need to wire an external 3D emitter. The built-in RF emitter can adequately cover your home theater space and features industry standard technology that allows for the use of Sony TDG-BT500A or compatible 3rd party 3D glasses.
- Smoother, sharper motion: Enjoy smooth, sharp motion with Sony’s Motionflow™ technology with Dark Frame Insertion and 24p True Cinema technologies.
- Screen Size Range: 42-85 inches from 8 feet; 62-126 inches from 12 feet
- White Brightness: 1500 Lumens; Color Brightness: 1500 Lumens
- Contrast Ratio: NA; Keystone Correction: NA; Lens Shift: Vertical +85%/- 80%; Horizontal +/- 31%
- Lamp Life: 4000 hours
- HDMI (2)
With most 4K current sources and all 1080p material, its resolution advantage over 1080p projectors is negligible.
The best cheap projector is DBPOWER GP15 1500 lumens mini video projector.
You can use it for your home entertainment purposes in the dark only.
This projector supports 1080P HDMI, USB, SD Card, VGA, AV for Home, Cinema TV, Laptop, Game, iPhone, Andriod Smartphone and provides you with an amazing home viewing experience.
Features of DBPOWER GP15 Mini Projector are:
- Crystal Clear Image Quality: The DBPOWER GP15 projector is brighter and sharper than other similar projectors, giving you superior, crystal clear images. If you’re looking for a home theater experience, then this projector is ideal for you. With 1500 lumens of brightness and 800*480 high-resolution images, you get vivid color and distinct images. PLEASE NOTE: As this is a home entertainment projector only, we do not recommend it for PPTs or business presentations.
- Enjoy the Big Screen Experience at Home: It may be small, but the DBPOWER GP15 projector has a projection display size of 32-120 inches and a 1-3m projection distance. Enjoy an awesome viewing experience right in the privacy of your own home. For optimum viewing, we recommend a projection distance of about 1.5m-2m.
- Reduced Fan Noise: Thanks to continued improvements in development, the powerful cooling fan has a much-reduced noise, which translates into less distraction for you when viewing movies or playing games.
- An array of Multimedia Connections: Supports connections with PCs, laptops, games consoles, TF cards (max 64GB), USB drives, smartphones & tablets. Whether you’re gaming, watching TV shows or movies, you will not be short of ways to do this. PLEASE NOTE: A Wi-Fi display dongle (not included) is required to connect the projector with smartphones and tablets.
- LED brightness: 1500 lumens
- Display technology: LCD
- Light source: LED
- Lamp life: 20,000+ hours
- Native resolution: 800X480 Pixels
- Supported resolution: 1080P, 720p, 480P
- Projection size: 32-120 Inches
- Projection distance: 1-3m
- Input: VGA/USB/HDMI/TF(max 64GB)/AV/Audio
- Keystone correction: 15-degree manual
- Projection method: front/rear/ceiling
- Amazing color accuracy
- Compact size and light-weight
- Easy to setup
- Great for home entertainment uses
- The projector is not for PPT or business or presentation.
- It only performs the best effect if the projector is under dark room environment.
- A Wi-Fi HDMI display dongle is needed to connect the projector with smartphones and tablets
For those who are curious, The GT1080Darbee short throw gaming projector is the successor to the award-winning GT1080 short throw gaming projector.
The GT1080darbee projector is best for gaming and for home entertainment purposes.
This projector has a comfortable 0.49 throw ratio that allows the projector to be placed on a coffee table, TV stand, or on entertainment center.
Features of Optoma GT1080Darbee Projector are:
- Portable design: Weighs 5.5 lbs. for easy transportation to meetings, presentations and more.
- DLP image technology: Offers crisp visuals.
- Darbee Visual Presence™ technology: Adds more depth and realism, delivering a clearer and sharper picture by embedding stereoscopic depth information from a human-vision-based model.
- ±40° vertical keystone correction: For distortion-free images.
- 45.3″ – 303.2″ viewable screen size: Allows everyone in the room to enjoy a clear view.
- 1.64′ – 11′ projector distance: Allows flexible placement.
- ISF modes: Allow you to save your calibrated day and night mode settings for the highest possible viewing experience.
- Auto power off: Turns off the projector after a set period of time if it is not being used.
- Built-in speaker: Offers excellent audio support
Noise Level: 26 decibels
Minimum Operating Temperature: 41 degrees Fahrenheit
Maximum Operating Temperature: 104 degrees Fahrenheit
Model Number: GT1080DARBEE
Remote Control Included: Yes
Kensington Security Slot: Yes
Digital Zoom Capability: Yes
Sleep Mode: Yes
Speaker(s) Included: Yes
Video Input(s): HDMI
Audio Output(s): 3.5mm audio, Speaker
Number Of Audio Outputs: 1
Maximum Viewable Screen Size: 303.2 inches
Maximum Projector Distance: 11 feet
Minimum Projector Distance: 1.64 feet
Minimum Viewable Screen Size: 45.3 inches
Projector Type: Gaming
3D Technology: Yes
Number of HDMI Inputs: 2
Maximum Resolution:1920 x 1200
Color Brightness: 3000 lumens
White Brightness: 3000 lumens
This projector by RAGU is best under $200 price range.
RAGU Z720 HD Projector has 50% more brightness than a basic LED projector. This projector is ideal for home theater movies and video game picture present in dark. Although, it is not recommended for data presentations, like PDF, Excel and Text files
This projector comes with an extended lamp life of more than 30,000 hours. Even if you watch a two-hour movie every day, your home theater projector’s lamp should last more than 20 years (4 hours a day, or less).
1. Keystone Correction: ±15° (vertical)
2. Aspect Ratio: 4:3/16:9
3. Lumne:320ASIN (equal 2800lumens ~ 3200lumens)
4. Native resolution: 1280*768, Max. 1080.
5. Number of Colors: 1.67 million
6. Projection Size: 30-280″; Best display size: 80-150″
7. Projector Distance: 1m-7m; Best distance: 2.5m-5m
RAGU Z720 is more convenient to use with HDMI, VGA and USB ports. You can connect your projector to PC, TV, DVD, VCD, PSP, XbOX 360 and so on.
Movie format: MPG/AV/TS/MOV/MKV/DAT/MP4/VOB (Max. supported resolution of 1080P)
Audio format: MP3/WMA/AAC/AC3/M4A
Picture format: JPG/JPEG/BMP/GIF/PNG/GIF
The Optoma HD142X is a dynamic and cost-effective 1080p Home Theater Projector packed with an array of features.
The Optoma HD142X has very good overall image quality with full-HD resolution, solid contrast, and accurate color. It’s one of the least expensive projectors available for this level of quality.
This projector is also among the smallest 1080p projectors at just 11.7 by 9 by 3.8 inches (WHD).
This projector features the latest and greatest digital media interface with support for MHL v1.2-enabled HDMI ports and is compatible with MHL devices such as Optoma’s HDCast Pro, Roku Streaming Stick, and Smart Phones which connect directly to the projector to playback music and video, view pictures and even share web pages and other user-generated digital media content.
Features of Optoma HD142X Projector are:
- Brilliant, Vibrant Colors: Watch movies and play games with stunning colors in any environment. 3,000 ANSI lumens combined with a sharp contrast ratio enable a near perfect reproduction of the REC.709 color spectrum, the international standard for HDTV viewing.
- Full HD 1080P: Sharper more detailed projection with 1920 x 1080 pixels, perfect for watching Blu-ray movies without downscaling or compression.
- Extended Lamp Life: With an extended lamp life of an impressive 8,000 hours, even if you watch a two-hour movie every day, your projector’s lamp should last over 10 years.
- Integrated 10W Speaker: Complete your home entertainment experience with the convenience of a powerful built-in 10W speaker. This speaker provides powerful, crystal clear sound quality without the need for costly external speakers.
- Reference Mode and sRGB: Combined, these features create colors that are perfectly aligned to REC.709 and REC.709b color space, a color spectrum that is bright and accurate. The visuals it creates conform to HDTV broadcast ColorSpace specs and transform viewing into virtual reality.
- Full 3D: Optoma projectors can display true 3D content from almost any 3D source, including 3D Blu-ray players, 3D broadcasting and the latest generation games consoles. And the projector’s support for 144Hz rapid refresh rate provides smooth, flicker-free images.
- Dynamic Black: Images are automatically adjusted to lamp output, based on the brightness information of each frame, creating one of the home entertainment industry-leading 23,000:1 contrast ratio.
- MHL Connectivity: Turn your projector into a smart display by connecting a smartphone or tablet with a single cable using MHL to play games, stream videos and share photos on the big screen.
- 1920 x 1080 Full HD Resolution
- Industry-leading 23,000:1 contrast ratio
- 8,000-hour lamp life lowers cost of use
- REC.709 Color Space provides brighter colors and enhanced picture quality
- 10W built-in speaker provides powerful, crystal clear sound
- Somewhat lighter black levels and less-accurate color than some more-expensive competitors
- No analog video inputs
Create a spectacular cinematic experience in your own home with this Sony VPLHW45ES 1080p 3D SXRD Home Theater/Gaming Projector.
The VPL-HW45ES is packed with technology developed for professional Digital Cinema projectors, including SXRD panels and Advanced Reality Creation upscaling technology for fabulously detailed Full HD images.
With 1,800 lumen brightness and a compact design, it’s the perfect choice for unforgettable home entertainment.
Features of Sony VPLHW45ES 1080p Projector are:
- Spectacular Full HD pictures with Advanced Reality Creation: Advanced SXRD panel technology is teamed with Advanced Reality Creation – Sony’s Super Resolution processing technology that refines subtle details, colors, and textures. You’ll see the difference with crisp, sharp Full HD pictures that take you closer than ever to the original 1080p source.
- High brightness and high contrast ratio: With an impressive 1,800 lumens brightness and high contrast ratio, Full HD images are clear and with bright highlights and rich, deep blacks – even in well-lit rooms.
- Smooth, fluid on-screen action: Coupled with the panel’s super-fast response rate, Motionflow technology means you’ll see every detail with minimal blur – no matter how fast the action.
- Long-lasting lamp: Up to 6000 hours rated lamp operating life (in Low mode) means simpler maintenance, with fewer lamp swaps and reduced running costs.
- Flexible home installation with wide zoom and shift lens: The manual zoom lens with a 1.6x zoom ratio and wide lens shift range gives greater installation flexibility in any room size, even with high ceilings.
- Industry standard RF 3D compatible: The projector’s built-in RF transmitter synchronizes with compatible Sony and 3rd party RF 3D glasses for wider coverage and greater stability, so there’s no need for an external transmitter.
- Cinema-like 3D brightness: Sony’s dynamic lamp control technology and rechargeable 3D glasses work together perfectly to establish vibrant, cinema-quality brightness levels on your favorite 3D movies and shows.
- Whisper-quiet fan: Forget that the projector is even in the room due to the advanced air discharge system. Sony’s whisper-quiet fan emits only 22db during show time.
- Screen size: 40″ to 300″ (1,016 mm to 7,624 mm)
- Resolution: Full HD (1920 X 1080)
- White Brightness: 1800 Lumens; Color Brightness: 1800 Lumens; Calibrated Brightness (cinema 1 mode): 1315 Lumens
- Good Lamp Life: 6,000 hours
- Connectivity: HDMI (2)
There is little noise of the fan in this projector.
This is a portable projector by Epson with HDMI best for Everyday Business Presentations
Epson VS250 offers 3,200 lumens of color/white brightness sufficient for vivid presentations, even in well-lit rooms.
VS250 is ideal for everyday projection needs. Its lightweight design and fast, easy setup tools get you up and running in no time.
Features of Epson VS250 Projector are:
- Color Brightness: 3200 Lumens
- White Brightness: 3200 Lumens
- SVGA Resolution (800×600)
- Fast, Easy Setup with Epson
- Up to 3x Higher Color Brightness
- Up to 3x Wider Color Gamut
- HDMI Support – HD Video/Audio
- 800 x 600 resolution is good for projecting
- Supports HDMI
- Fast, Easy Setup
If you are planning to use this to surf the web, the resolution is such that smaller text like those found on desktop icons cannot be easily read. You can zoom in with the remote control making them larger but for computing this is impractical.
Things you MUST KNOW before choosing your Projector:
Well, our top 10 list is based on what we like. And that might not suit you, so we prefer you to have a look at all of the details below. That will help you in choosing your perfect projector.
Types of Projectors:
Most projectors display pictures based on either DLP (digital light processing) or LCD (liquid crystal display) technology. While the two sorts of projectors include sharp picture quality and precise color representation, each has its own particular points of interest.
- Allows for a lightweight and compact projector (especially for pico models)
- Portrays a film-like picture from DVD, Blu-ray and HDTV sources
- Smooth motion for videos and fast-action scenes
- Deeper, truer blacks than LCD projectors
- High color contrast
- 3-chip DLP on premium models provides even higher image quality
- Brighter output for use in well-lit rooms
- Impressive color brightness
- Sharper images for detailed graphs and data presentations
- Vibrant 3D images with no image ghosting
- More energy efficient than DLP projectors
- Slightly quieter than DLP projectors
- Most LCD projectors include 3-chip LCD technology (3LCD) for
- even higher image quality
LCoS (liquid crystal on silicon) is the third type of projector technology, generally available only on high-end models. These types of projectors provide a combination of the benefits of DLP and LCD projectors, including a bright display, smooth video, and impressive color saturation.
Some Projector Technology Concepts you Must be Aware of:
Light sources: Projectors are powered by one of three light sources: standard lamp, laser or LED (light-emitting diode).
- Bulb can last 3,000 to 4,000 hours (up to 5,000 hours in eco mode)
- Bright light output
- Most affordable option
- No bulb replacement needed
- Considerably brighter than other light sources
- Better contrast than standard lamps
- Wider color range than standard lamps
- Energy efficient
- Bulb can last up to 20,000 hours
- Better color control than standard lamps
- Quiet operation and smaller footprint than projectors with standard lamps, since energy-efficient LEDs generally don’t require a fan for cooling
- Widely used in pico projectors
Brightness: Projector brightness is measured by lumens; the higher the lumens, the brighter the projector will be at a given distance. Two separate brightness measurements can help you choose a projector that will display bright, colorful images in any lighting:
- White brightness (white light output) indicates the total amount of white light emitted by the projector, without measuring color.
- Color brightness (color light output) measures how bright the projected colors of red, blue and yellow will be; the higher the number, the more detail and vibrancy you will see.
Be sure to compare both brightness measurements before you decide which projector you want. If the color brightness of a projector is lower than its white brightness, the images and details it displays may be dark or dull.
If you’re buying a business projector, you’ll want a brighter output, so look for a higher lumen rating in both white and color brightness. Since you’ll likely be using it in a well-lit room or with the lights dimmed, the light from the projector needs to be able to compete with light from other sources and still display an image that looks good. The larger the room is, or the more light entering the room, the more lumens you’ll need for an adequately bright image.
If you’re buying a home theater projector, brighter is not necessarily better. Instead, you want enough brightness for rich color contrast but not so much that it washes out dark-scene details or creates eye fatigue. Most home theater projectors are designed for rooms with complete control over the lighting; however, if there’s ambient lighting in the room, you will need a projector with more brightness.
Contrast ratio: Contrast is the amount of difference between the darkest and brightest areas of a picture. A projector with a high contrast ratio allows you to see clearly defined shadow detail and deep black levels, adding a sense of depth and dimension to the picture.
Since a greater amount of light in the room can wash out the difference in contrast between projectors, it’s more important to pay attention to contrast ratio for home theater projectors than it is for business projectors. In darkened rooms, such as an ideal home theater environment, the contrast will be much more noticeable. Business projectors, on the other hand, are often used in well-lit rooms, where contrast is muted because of the additional light.
Resolution: The total number of pixels that a projector is capable of displaying defines the projector’s native resolution. The more pixels you can fit in the display, the crisper and more detailed your images will appear. Higher resolutions are especially important for home theater projectors since the viewer will be sitting closer to the screen. The higher the resolution, the closer you can sit to the screen without viewing a pixelated image.
Resolutions range from 480p on the low end to 720p and 1080p for HD viewing, and up to 4K Ultra HD for impressively sharp movies and shows.
You’ll get the best image quality by matching the projector resolution to the resolution of the video source you plan to use most often. For example, if you want to watch movies on your Blu-ray player, you’ll need a 1080p projector to view the movies at full resolution. If you want to share your laptop screen, choose a projector with the same image format as your laptop, such as XGA for a 1024 x 768 display.
Home theater formats:
Standard (4:3 aspect ratio)
- Recommended for classic films or DVD-based television series
Widescreen (16:9 aspect ratio)
- Recommended for HDTV, widescreen DVD and Blu-ray formats
Cinemascope (2.35:1 or 2.4:1 aspect ratio)
- Recommended for an immersive, theater-like experience at home
- Requires an anamorphic lens (a lens that stretches the image while maintaining proportions), 2.35:1 or 2.4:1 screen, and a projector with the proper scaling modes
Standard (4:3 aspect ratio)
- Formats such as SVGA (800 x 600 pixels) and XGA (1024 x 768 pixels) are suitable for PowerPoint presentations, with more detail available in XGA format
- Higher resolutions, such as SXGA+ (1400 x 1050 pixels), are suitable for detailed photography and data graphics
Widescreen (16:9 aspect ratio)
- WXGA (1280 x 800) is recommended for laptops and devices with widescreen output
Throw ratio: The throw ratio tells you how wide the image will be when you place the projector at a certain distance from the screen. For example, a 1.8:1 ratio will produce a 5-foot wide image when you place the projector 9 feet from the screen (5 feet x 1.8).
Calculating the throw ratio is especially important if you plan to permanently mount the projector. If you can’t install the projector far enough away from the screen due to space limitations, you may need a short throw projector. A short throw projector will allow you to mount the projector much closer to the screen, while still displaying a wide enough image to fill the entire screen.
Not sure what size projector or screen you need? Use the Projector Calculator to find the maximum and minimum screen sizes and projection distances for various projectors.
Lens zoom: If you’ll be setting up your portable projector in different places where you won’t always have control over the screen size or placement of the projector, you can use the lens zoom to adjust the image size. By adjusting the lens zoom, you won’t have to move the projector closer or farther away from the screen in order to adjust the image size.
The greater the zoom ratio, the larger you can make the image. For example, a 1.2x zoom creates an image up to 20% larger than the minimum size. A 2.0x zoom creates an image twice the minimum size. Not all projectors feature a lens zoom; pico projectors, for example, often exclude the lens zoom in order to make the projector as compact as possible.
Some Optional Features:
3D technology: Most home theater projectors feature 3D technology for entertainment that puts you right in the picture. A 3D-ready projector hooks up to other 3D-compatible devices for a true 3D experience on a giant screen. Some projectors feature built-in 3D capability, while others require a 3D emitter (sold separately) in order to display 3D content.
Wireless projectors and adapters: If you want to project photos or a PowerPoint presentation wirelessly from your laptop, smartphone or tablet, you’ll need a projector with wireless capabilities. Some projectors even allow you to send an HDMI signal wirelessly from the video source to the projector using a wireless HD transmitter that’s either built in or sold separately. You can download a wireless projector app for iOS or Android that works with your specific projector brand.
Smart-enabled technology, currently available only on select home theater projectors, allows you to stream movies, music and entertainment by connecting directly to the Internet. You can also stream content by connecting a streaming media player to your projector.
Which Projectors are the Best?
If you want a projector for gaming then Optoma GT1080 is the best choice while BenQ DLP HD 1080p is best for home theatre purposes. If you are looking for a cheaper projector under $200 then go for RAGU Z720 HD while Sony VPL-VW350ES is the best 4K projector available in the market.
Are projectors good for Gaming?
Many gamers are now using projectors for gaming, thanks to improved brightness, wireless and 4K capability. Projectors also offer a fantastically cool experience and it feels great being able to game on an entire wall, especially in a room that wouldn’t otherwise have space for a TV of a similar size. A projector with high frame rate to reduce motion blur in action games, as well as higher lumen count if you want to play in a room with ambient light is perfect for gaming.
How do projectors work with TV?
You’ll need to access the setup menu on both the projector and the TV to make projector work with TV.
- Connect a cable from the “Video Out” jack on the back of the TV to projector.
- Call up the TV settings menu using either the remote control or controls on the TV.
- Turn on the projector.
- Press the Menu/Settings button on the projector to access the settings.
- Change the “Input Source” to the appropriate jack on the projector where you connected the video cable from the TV.
Are projectors worth it?
Yes, projectors are definitely worth it. Projectors enable you to watch TV and films, use it for presentations or for gaming on an over 100-inch screen at home or office and you don’t need to win the lottery to buy one.
Final Words – Wrapping it up:
The market is full of many different projectors. Hopefully, our list will assist you in picking the best possible projector for your need.
In case you feel that we left out some other best projectors, don’t hesitate to let us know.