Having one of the best home theater projectors is a great way to take your movie nights or game day hang outs to the next level. Home theater projectors are much more affordable than they once were. And, with recent technological advances, many people are opting to go with a home theater projector over a big screen television.
The problem is that there are a number of home theater projectors to choose from. Finding the best one at the best price can get confusing. This is why we are helping you with our new 2017 Best Home Theater Projectors guide. We compared the most important features and considerations and then we narrowed our research to find the 10 best home theater projectors to make your buying decision easy.
Projectors vs. Televisions
When you begin to set up or renovate your home theater, you will likely question whether you should get a projector or a large television such as an 80-inch TV. While both have their merits, consider the following benefits of the best home theater projectors:
- Films can be projected so that images on screen are literally larger than life. It is common for home theaters to accommodate a projection screen of at least 8 feet.
- Because the best home theater projectors allow you to view your films at such large scale, most viewers will be able to see more finely detailed images. With a television set, many times you cannot take full advantage of 1080p resolution movies.
- Screens for the best home theater projectors can be permanently displayed or retractable. If you want a home theater but do not want a television to be the focal point of the room, a projector paired with a retractable projector screen will allow you to have a more flexible space.
Elements of the Best Home Theater Projectors
The best home theater projectors available today are usually one of three types: LCD, DLP, or LCOS. An LCD projector functions much like LCD TVs in that it passes light through liquid crystals to create a wide array of colors. Their picture quality is about the same. DLP projectors use a series of mirrors to display the images. These projectors range in both price and quality, and they are the type most often found in movie theaters. LCOS projectors are high end projectors that combine the liquid crystals of LCD machines and the mirrors of DLP machines to produce high contrast, ultra-clear pictures.
When choosing best home theater projectors, there are a few elements that you need to consider:
- Ambient Light. Projectors work best when you are able to watch the film in complete darkness. The more light from windows or doors that filters into your home theater, the dimmer your projected image will be. The brightness of the image is determined by the number of lumens in the projector, with most home theater projectors ranging from 1000 to 2500. If you are able to have a dark room, you can purchase a projector with fewer lumens.
- Size. Anybody purchasing a projector instead of a TV is likely interested in the larger screen size. However, if you have a small space in which to project and/or display a screen, the bigger projected image size may not always be best. Be sure to look for a projector with an aspect ratio of 16:9 if you want a viewing experience that is most similar to a movie theater.
- Display Options. To make sure your image quality is as good as you can get it, you will want to look at the resolution of what you will play most often (DVDs, cable television, streams, etc.). The most common resolutions are 1080p, 720p and 1080i, so look for projectors that can accommodate all of the resolutions to have the most versatile home theater experience.
Top 10 Best Home Theater Projectors Comparison Guide
Top 3 Best Home Theater Projectors Reviews
The Epson Home Cinema 5040UB is a superb option for a home theater projector. It has everything you would want for your home theater including superior size, brightness, clarity, and durability. The screen ranges in size from 82 inches at 8 feet from the screen to 122 inches at 12 feet, so it will work well in even large spaces.
This 4k projector measures in at 2,500 lumens. This will allow you to have bright white and color images even with some ambient light in the room. The contrast ratio of 1,000,000:1 will provide you with a crisp and clear picture, especially when watching 3D movies. Another plus of this projector is that the lamp life can be set to ECO mode where it will last up to 5,000 hours before needing to be replaced.
This Sony projector is quite comparable to the Epson Home Cinema 5040UB in both size and contrast levels. The screen can be adjusted between 51 – 82 inches from 8 feet and from 77 – 122 inches from 12 feet. The images are also very crisp and clear with this home theater projector, but its 1700 lumens may produce slightly dimmer images in rooms with lighting.
One benefit of these best home theater projectors is that the factory settings are very good. Unless you are the movie buff that likes to fully customize your experience, you will likely be satisfied with the settings as soon as you take it out of the box.
The Optoma HD142X is a high quality projector that would be a welcome addition to any home theater. This projector sets itself apart from the competition because of its crispness and clarity. With a respectable contrast ratio of 23,000:1, you will certainly be able to see all of the details of the projected images.
This 1080p high definition home theater projector will display perfectly aligned colors thanks to the sRGB and reference mode features. You can be sure that this projector is powerful enough to replace even the higher end TV sets on the market. And, thanks to the more than reasonable price tag, you may even have some extra money in the budget for the best home theater speakers as well.