If you are serious about your home movie watching experience, you likely have your home theater set up with comfortable seating, dim lighting, and great home theater speakers. To make the experience even better, you should think about adding one of the best home theater projectors available instead of a traditional TV.
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 very large TV. While both have their merits, consider the following benefits of 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 see your film in such a larger size, most viewers will be able to see much more detail while watching movies. In a standard living room with a TV, most people can’t take full advantage of the clarity of 1080p resolution movies, but that is not a problem with a projector.
- 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 screen will allow you to have a flexible space.
Elements of the Best Home Theater Projectors
The best home theater projectors 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 (Digital Light Processing) 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 (Liquid Crystal on Silicone) are high-end projectors that combine the liquid crystals of LCD machines and the mirrors of DLP machines to produce high contrast, 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 5030UB is a superb option for a home theater projector. It has everything you would want for your home theater: 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 projector measures in at 2400 lumens, which will allow you to have bright white and color images even with some ambient light in the room. The contrast ratio of 600,000:1 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 5030UB 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 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 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 JVC DLA-X700R 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 an absurdly high contrast ratio of 1,200,000:1, you will certainly be able to see all of the details of the projected images. The projector is also designed to transmit 4k-like images with the use of e-Shift technology, but this setting adds little to the already crisp image quality. Regardless, your picture quality will be superior to what you can see on a television. Before purchasing this projector, however, make sure that you have a dark viewing space as this model only contains 1300 lumens.