Find the BEST Home Projector for YOUR Specific Needs
Looking for a projector for your personal home theater can often be a daunting and time consuming experience.
There are many variables in what type of projector you should purchase including the level of brightness, resolution, and cost.
In this post I’ve put together a guide for choosing a projector and also listed some of the best rated new projectors as voted by consumers in 2019.
If you already know what you’re looking for, then use the contents at a glance section below to skip straight to my home theater projector picks.
Watching a movie at the cinema is just a totally different experience than watching it on your widescreen television.
That is why those who can afford it sometimes spend their hard earned cash on home theater projectors.
This of course has a lot of advantages.
You will be able to beam the movie onto the wall and almost replicate your cinema experience.
That said, a lot of projectors are rather expensive and can also be costly to maintain.
Home theater projectors are not always about watching movies, some people buy them because they want to them for business purposes like presentations.
The BenQ HT2050A DLP is one of the best on the market, for a wide variety of reasons.
It costs approximately $700, so it is rather on the spendy side, but it is worth every penny that you will spend on it.
It is 3D-ready, so if you are willing to pay for quality, then this is one of the best options on the market.
If you put the it on a ceiling just a few inches away from a screen, or even on a desk just a few inches away from the wall, the projector will display the image directly on the object that you have set it in front of, which will ultimately save you space in the long run.
This is also nice, because it will reduce the amount of shadows that are cast on the wall. In fact, it won’t be able to generate shadows in the first place, because of its close proximity to the wall.
This is a good thing, because it means that you can move around freely in front of the projector or screen, and your shadow will not be cast on the wall.
The only way that a shadow would be generated is if you put your hand right in front of the lens, and since you probably won’t do that, the annoying shadows will essentially be gone.
Unlike other projectors within the same price range, this one comes with a built-in DVD player. That is rather handy for those who want an integrated entertainment center.
When compared to the image you can get on the 14 inch widescreen TV, this Epson projector will give you over 10 times the size.
It doesn’t come with full high-definition but you still get 720p.
It comes with all the connectors needed to get your surround sound speakers and other external devices working together.
This is great and might appeal to those who want something different.
Apart from that, it can also be purchased for under $500.
This device comes with two HDMI interfaces, one VGA input connector which can turn your projector into a huge computer screen for movie playbacks or for business presentations.
One of the important things to take into consideration is the lamp life of the projector you are interested in.
The manufacturers of this device promise a lamp life of up to 4000 hours.
You also get full high-definition at 1080p.
What if you can get up to 6000 hours from your home theater projector? That will really give you value for money.
That is what the manufacturers of this projector are offering. That said, you need to operate the device in economy mode.
Apart from that, it comes fully equipped with two HDMI interfaces, a VGA input, remote control, lens cap and the cables you need to get your device up and running as quickly as possible.
The projectors available for purchase at most online retailers for $900. Some retailers give up to $100 discount and free shipping.
Most of those who have purchased this product have been happy with the clarity of the image projected as were we.
Mitsubishi HC4000 300-Inch 1080p Front Projector (Black)The first top rated HD projector is the Mitsubishi HC4000 300-inch 1080p Front Projector.
This HD projector has a very long lamp life and will last up to 5000 hours, on low.
There is a warranty on the lamp if it happens to go out within a year. There is also a two year warranty on the parts and labor of the projector.
You are going to be able to connect to a computer with this projector and will have the ability to zoom into the picture that you are watching. The contrast ratio of the projection equipment is 4,000:1
Another great short throw projector that could most certainly be considered the best of 2019 is the ViewSonic PJD583wi projector.
It is rather expensive, coming in at approximately $736, but it is well worth the overall cost.
Just like its other counterparts, since it is a short throw version, you can guarantee that space will be saved, which will give you more room to put other items in your home, or if you are at school or work, this won’t interfere with other items in the room.
This will give you a video in 1200×800 resolution, which means that you will get a large movie screen in order to present your pictures, videos, and even school or business presentations directly on the screen in a high quality and resolutions.
If you are trying to find the best short throw projector on the market, then one of the best options this year is definitely the Acer EY.K0405.008.
This product is ready for 3D connectivity, so you can hook it up to a DVD or Blu-Ray player and play back even 3D photos and videos directly into it, and you get a relatively large screen.
Plus, you get one of the most reasonable prices, at just under $503, which is somewhere in the middle of the overall cost spectrum when it comes to these products.
You can project in four different areas of a room with this baby. It works on the front, front ceiling, back, or back ceiling, so no matter where you position it in the room, it will always work, and you will always get high-quality photos and videos that you can enjoy by yourself or share with others.
It even comes with a remote control, so if you don’t want to hassle with pressing all the buttons on it, or if you are half-way across the room and need to change the settings, you can easily do that with just the press of a button on the remote.
Acer H5360 3D-DLP
At just around $500, the Acer H5360 3D – DLP will surely enhance your home viewing experience with its superb high definition capacity. You will be amazed to see your photos and videos come to life on brilliant 3D visuals.
For heavy gamers, the 3D immersive feature of this product will add more fun and excitement to your gaming experience.
This product makes use of nVidia 3D vision as well as 3DDLP. Using Acer H5360 3D – DLP also gives you two choices when it comes to your preferred resolutions.
For maximum viewing clarity, you can set it to 1600 x 1200 or if you want to tone down the resolution, set it to 1280 x 720. You will also get more accessories when you buy this model.
For example, you will get a carrying case, a remote control cap, a user manual, security and quick-start cards, and an AC power cord.
You can always find other brands out there with almost similar features but expect a much higher price than this. We gave this product 4.5 stars based on its overall quality and affordability.
Sony VPL VW95ES
Sony VPL VW95ES have excellent set up flexibility and an accomplished 2D and 3D performance. You can play games on this projector as well.
This projector emphasizes picture quality. It has powered adjustments, a motion enhancer, and picture position. It has high definition and high contrast performance.
It has a contrast ratio of 150,000:1 for crisp clear images. This projector weighs about three pounds. The 3D is built in the transmitter and has motion flow.
This home theater projector has a dynamic lamp control technology and is packed with innovative features that are not only easy to use, but easy to control.
Sony brings movies to a high quality performance through vivid and vibrant imagery, bringing movies to life.
Dell S500wi Interactive Ultra Short Throw ProjectorDell S500WI is a 3D projector with good quality images and a good HD projector with great close range performance. It has versatile interactive features.
The maximum projecting distance is 26.4 inches. It has ultra short throw for big images from a few inches where you do not have to worry about shadows. It does not need calibration which is one of its major strengths.
The Dell’s native resolution is 1280X800 and it has fast interactive response time, for smooth movies. It has 720p and weighs about 23 pounds.
Its projection method is front, rear and ceiling. The normal lamp life mode is 2500 hours and the economy lamp life mode is 3000 hours.
This movie porjector has excellent audio and a maximum lens aperture of F/2.7 with one HDMI port. This projector starts out at $200 all the way up to around $2,200 with the more features it acquires for one of the best projectors on the market.
Sony VPL HW30ES
Sony VPLHW30ES 300-Inch 1080p Front ProjectorSony VPL HW30ES has 1080p resolution for both 2D and 3D images.
It offers good all around picture quality and shows up to 300 inches of an image.
This projector is best in home theaters and family rooms. It is one of the best projector for the money on the market today. It costs a little less than $3,000. It offers great stereo sound and has international capabilities.
This Sony projector is an improved version for the same amount of money and is one of the least expensive 3D 1080 projectors. Its motor is extremely quiet and it can display 1080p, 1080p and 720p high definition images.
It has a voltage of 120 to 240 and a power supply of 50/60hz.
Its dynamic contract ratio is 70,000 to 1 and has a 240 hz panel drive that improves the 3D picture, making it jump out at you. This Sony has 1300 ANSI Lumens.
If you decide to register your PC’s IP address with the projector you will be able to project images anywhere and is perfect for teleconferences and online applications.
Optoma HD33 projector is another best projector for the money. It is sold for no more than $2,000, being one of the first 3D projectors that were sold for less than $3,000. It received 4 stars from almost 100 Amazon reviewers.
This quality projector offers gorgeous 2D and 3D images with sharp quality. It has 3D features that are easy to use and also provides those that purchase this device comfortable 3D glasses to wear while watching a 3D movie or image.
This top-rated projector is also 3D capable for gaming consoles and blu-ray. It produces a 300 inch screen size for images that make it great for large groups watching the movie.
The projection unit’s pure motion image processing ensures smooth display of images with no jittery motions. The Optoma contrast ratio is 4000 to 1. With all of the features that this Optoma equipment offers makes this projector a great deal.
Optoma HD70 720p DLP
This high-definition home theater projector has 4000:1 contrast ratio and 1000 lumens. On top of that, it has a very impressive contrast levels. This is suitable if you are very particular with the image resolution of photos and videos.
You will also love this product because it has a whisper-quiet system that lets you use it without too much noise. Some products tend to produce extra noise during its operation.
You will not experience that with Optoma HD70 720p DLP. Most people who have already bought and used this product gave it 4.5 stars in their reviews. You can buy this product at around $850.
Epson 3010e 3D projector
Epsons 3010e 3D projector is a power lite home cinema that has full 1080p resolution and its 3D work directly with HDMI 1.4a devices. It offers good performance and is an all purpose projector.
Its brightness improves the quality of the 3D picture. This projection unit gives versatility to watch HDTV, sports, and other bright content especially in a room that lacks light control. It also offers good performance in a darker environment.
Choosing a Projector for the Perfect Home Theater
How Many Lumens do You Need?
Your projector’s light output is measured in lumens. The amount of output/lumens that you want should be determined by the location(s) of where you plan on putting the projector.
Home theaters with no ambient light should be equipped with a projector with at the very least 1300 lumens. If you like to keep your windows open or a light on while you watch a movie, then I’d recommend going with a projector above 2000 lumens.
The projector screen you use can also affect the amount of light which is reflected. If you don’t plan on using a projector screen, then you’ll need to compensate by having a projector with additional lumens.
Projector Resolution – 1080p vs. 720p
Resolution is measured in horizontal by vertical pixels with 1920 x 1080p being considered at this point in time full high definition.
The source you plan on feeding into your projector will determine whether this is utilized or not.
For example, most programming and even some video games these days comes in 720p alone, blu-ray discs; however, can take advantage of 1080p.
Because programming is likely to be widely available in 1080p in the future you’ll have to decide whether it’s worth the extra cash to go with 1080p now or upgrade in the future.
Contrast Ratio – Important for Your Home Theater
For home theater projectors a high contrast ratio is perhaps the most important measurement to look at.
Contrast measures the darkest black versus the whitest white that a projector can produce.
Projectors with low contrast ratios often project grays that make your picture appear less detailed and washed out. In order to optimize your projector’s contrast be sure to locate it in a room with little to no ambient light which can often make colors from projectors with high contrast ratios look gray.
4:3 vs. 16:9 Aspect Ratio
If you’re going to use your projector strictly for own personal home theater, then I highly recommend that you go with a 16:9 projector.
The advantages are very similar to why you’d want a widescreen television, so you can see the entire movie or program as it was made.
That being said there are still many people who prefer the boxier 4:3 aspect ratio which can be more appealing for business presentations.
How Big of a Projector Screen do You need and How Far Back Should Your Projector Sit?
Manufacturers give recommendations for where your projector should sit in order to achieve a certain screen size.
I highly recommend you use this projection calculator for measurements with your room and projector screen.
Epson V11H475020 710 HD 720p 3LCD
Another high definition home theater projector is Epson V11H475020 710 HD 720p 3LCD. Using a 720p HD widescreen will surely make you want to watch more movies at home.
If you want to play games, this projector is also perfect because it can bring out more vibrant colors and brightness into your games. This is due to its 2800 lumens capacity.
Epson V11H475020 is also packed with superb technical features like an advanced 3-chip and 3LCD technology. On top of these features, this home theater projector has an automatic horizontal and vertical display.
Epson V11H475020 is user-friendly. It is very easy to set up and use. If you also want to focus more on a particular angle of a photo or video, just use the auto-zoom feature for clear magnification.
Most importantly, this product is also very convenient to use because of its versatility. Whether you want to use HDMI, Component USB Type A/B, and S-video, it is all up to you. No wonder why many customers gave this model a 4.5 as well as overall rating.
Want a travel projector?
Projectors are able to project images on a flat surface to a larger size. These are ideal for business meetings and even family events.
They are great for video and data projection. Using a projector that is small enough to travel with makes it extremely easy and convenient to not only travel, but to maneuver and quickly set up for meetings or events.
If you travel often on business you want to make sure that the it is small enough to be able to take it on the plane with you. If you check it in you risk it being damaged or lost.
Therefore, you want one that is small enough to travel with that has long lasting lighting and offers high quality pictures. You don’t want to be showing data through the projector to only see blurry figures.
Even though the travel projector is small it can still deliver as good of quality as a large projector. These are all rather expensive, but can be found on sale online through various websites.
Epson PowerLite 1751 Business Projector
Epson Powerlite 1751 Business Projector V11H479120 is very lightweight at almost 4 pounds and is extremely travel friendly.
It has XGA resolution at 1024×768. It costs a little more than $600 and has a long life lamp for up to 5000 hours.
The Epson has XGA performance along with 2600 Lumens color and 2600 Lumens white light output.
It delivers excellent colors and sharpness to make this one of the best travel projectors.
Optoma PK320 Pico Pocket ProjectorOptoma PK320 Pico Pocket Projector earned 3.5 stars from Amazon reviewers. It is portable and palm size.
Optoma PK320 Pico Pocket Projector
The LED light source can last up to 20,000 hours. It produces excellent color with a 3000:1 contrast.
The battery is rechargeable and the projector has a micro SD card slot with the ability to expand memory.
This lightweight projector is best for business presentations for media sharing and it has multiple ports including WB, HDMI, and Video, making it easy to connect to various devices.
AAXA KP500-01 P4 Pico Projector
It is a pocket size projector that makes it perfect to travel with. It received 4.5 stars from Amazon reviewers.
It has up to 15,000 hours for the LED lighting. It projects crisp and clear images up to 80 inches large even in low lighting conditions. This projector is great for business travel.
It is 5.6 inches long and 2.7 inches wide. It has ultra bright 80 lumen LED light engle and is run by long lasting Li-Ion battery. It also is an HDMI media player and offers vibrant colors.
Popular iPhone projectors
3m Pocket Projector MPro
3m Pocket Projector MPro 160 received 4 stars from its Amazon reviewers. It has a two hour battery and has light life of up to 20,000 hours.
It has 32 lumens brightness and is compatible with PC, DVD, iPod, Smartphone, gaming consoles, and digital cameras.
It has built in 3/4 watt speakers along with audio out and VGA input and output. This 3m projector can project up to 80 inches of a screen with consistent sharpness and brightness even in low light.
Best Video Projector Under $1000
Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 8350
Rarely have I run into a projector that gives me more than what I expect as my expectations for picture quality and versatility are usually very high. The Epson 8350 does just that.
It has all the specifications that most top rated video projectors under $1000 have including 1080p, a 50,000:1 contrast ratio, 3LCD technology and 2,000 lumens, but beyond this it has several design features that make installation and setup easier.
The 8350 uses a state-of-the-art Fujinon lens with a 2.1x zoom ratio and vertical and horizontal shift which makes installation a lot easier than previous models I’ve tried. This is a huge plus for those of you who lack space or don’t want to have to spend big money on installation.
Overall this is my pick for the best video projector under $1000. It’s not super new; however, because of this the price has come down substantially and you get considerably more features for the money.
Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 8350
The Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 8350 combines a brilliant picture from its 1920 x 1080p full high definition resolution and 50,000:1 resolution with affordability for the average consumer.
It has 2,000 lumens so you can see the picture well whether it’s in the day or the dark of night.