TVs are getting bigger and bigger all the time and will continue to do so as technology improves each year. A recent announcement highlighted the upcoming release of LG’s 100-inch QLED TV. So things are really stepping up!
The thing is, while a 4K 70-inch TV will look pretty spectacular, it can also come with a spectacular price tag. And you may still have to buy a soundbar to create that authentic cinema feel in your living room.
But have you ever considered investing in a projector?
Once costing several thousand pounds (some very high-end ones still do), nowadays you can find excellent quality projectors at a fraction of the price, and in many variants too. What’s more, the picture quality is no longer that faded, pixelated blur it once was.
In this article, we’ll look at a range of different home projectors, from the top end 4k HDR, all the way down to the budget and portable. We also outlay the benefits of a projector over a TV, what you need to decide on the best one for you, and what other features to look out for to create the ultimate viewing experience in your home.
What Should I Look for When Buying a Projector?
Projectors these days can display a wide range of media, including photos, games, and music. So, depending on your needs, there will be a certain projector more suitable for you. Here’s a few things to consider before making your decision.
What Will You Project?
If you want a projector to display presentations for work purposes, then you won’t need one with a really high resolution. One that displays images in HD should do the job just fine, and cost less too.
Movies and TV
For displaying high-quality videos, you can get a projector that goes from 720p all the way up to 4K. These work great for images too as well as all of your home entertainment needs.
As the gaming industry continues to grow larger, more projectors are coming to market that are specifically geared for gaming. That includes high resolution, low input lag, and high frame rates for the ultimate gaming experience.
Having a top-notch projector that you can take anywhere is like having a TV in your pocket to take wherever you go. There’s some excellent portable projectors out there now, so whether it’s for work or multiplayer gaming, you’ll find what you need below.
A lot of projectors will be LCD or LED, and some use lasers with a digital light processor (DLP), or LCOS (liquid crystal on silicon) as their light source. As DLP versions can produce the distracting rainbow effect, an LCD version is a better way to go.
If you’re displaying high-res content then you need the pixels to match. 720p to 1080p should do the job just fine and produce a great HD image. And given that 1080p is a standard for high-definition these days, a projector with at least this resolution should cover all bases. But there are 4K and 3D projectors available too.
Brightness can be a factor as most home theatre projectors require darker conditions. That means one that produces up to 2,000 lumens should be perfectly sufficient for the job. Home entertainment projectors have a little more versatility and can be used where there’s more ambient light. Good for everyday use and gaming alike.
Many projectors have decent speakers built in which are fine for watching TV and everyday use. But if you’re setting up a home theatre or want high-quality sound, you’ll want to include a soundbar.
Here’s How We’ve Determined The Best Home Projectors of 2020
Now you’ve got a better idea about projectors and what you may need, it’s time to look at them in closer detail. As usual, we’ve scouted for the best projectors out there based on performance, price, and reviews to help you decide on the best one for you.
Home cinema system | 1080p up to 320” | 3,400 lumens | 2 x HDMI | Built-in speaker
Epson have been making some high-quality projectors for years. And while competitors have joined the market, Epson continue to bring state-of-the-art technology at an affordable price.
While the picture is at 1080p, it looks stunning on any blank white wall or screen. It comes with true 3-chip, 3LCD technology, Best-in-Class Color Brightness at 3,400 lumens, and very fast data processing.
It’s easy to set up and get connected, has a solid in-built speaker, and comes with a remote. All you have to do is plug in and play, to immerse yourself in a screen that can reach up to 320 inches. Perfect for TV, movies, and games in your home.
#2: Optoma UHD65
4K HDR |2 x HDMI, VGA, USB, Ethernet, 3.5mm analogue, optical |2 x 4W speakers
This 4K HDR projector from Optoma delivers an award-winning piece of tech at a really competitive price. Some pricier models don’t even match up to the performance of this one, so it’s really worth considering.
It may not match the specifications of native 4K projectors, but it’s an impressive piece of kit. Stunning picture quality, detail, and vibrant colors, top-notch motion handling, and it even upscales SD and HD content too. A superb deal not to be missed.
4K UHD resolution (4096 x 2160)| HDR10/HLG | 3,000 lumens | Contrast ratio: 10,000:1 | 5W speakers
It’ll be tough to find an impressive 4K projector at this low price. The BenQ TK800 uses a 1080p DLP chip to produce high-quality crisp images that’s shaper than most others of its kind. The high level contrast makes colors punchier and clearer, with a brightness to suit all room lightings.
It comes with all the usual features and components and is perfect for watching sports, movies, and playing games in vivid detail any day.
4K UHD resolution (3840 x 2160)| HDR10/HLG | 2,400 lumens | Wifi Smart Projector | Solid-state LED | Built-in Dual Harman Kardon Bluetooth speakers (16W)
ViewSonic is another lesser-known brand that doesn’t skimp on performance. The bulbs on all projectors eventually need replacing, but this one lasts much longer (30,000 hours). It has an RBG LED light source to do this and the image quality is fantastically vivid and bright.
The projector brings you a truly immersive theatre experience up to 200 inches in 4K. And if that wasn’t enough, the sound is brilliant too with built-in Dual Harman Kardon Bluetooth speakers. And to go a step further, it even has smart functionality and wifi connectivity, allowing you to command whatever you wish to view without touching a button.
Full HD (1920 x 1080) up to 100″ | Smart Wi-Fi | LED | 600 lumens | USB | Weighs 2.2 lbs
For a cheaper, small and portable projector, this one from LG does a great job. While brightness is somewhat lower than a full-size projector, it still projects a fantastic, vibrant image up to 100 inches!
What makes this little device so special is that it packs so much into a tiny package. It comes with built-in apps like YouTube and Netflix, and with Wi-Fi and USB-C connectivity you can project movies straight from your phone. It lacks audio quality but it does have a Bluetooth speaker. So if you want to take your content wherever you go, this has everything you need in a tidy package.
Full HD (1920 x 1080) up to 100″ | Smart Wi-Fi | LED | 1,200 LED lumens | USB | Weighs 2.9 lbs | Built-in Dual Harman Kardon Bluetooth speakers
ViewSonic’s portable projector takes some of the best features from its big brother version, and crams it into a fantastic little device. It does everything the LG portable does with even better sound and picture.
It works with Alexa and Google assistant too, making it ideal for work presentations as well as entertainment on the road. It also has a micro SD card slot so you can store all your content on it ready to go. You won’t find many portable projectors much better than this.
True sight 720p (HD Ready) | 5,500 lumens | 200” (5m) | Built-in speakers HDMI, USB, Micro SD
Now if you really want a budget projector, the GooDee comes in at just over $100! It may not be all-powerful like the rest, but for something cheap and cheerful, it’s perfect. Projecting a bright 720p HD image up to 200 inches, it’s quite impressive indeed. Connect to your phone or SD and away you go.
The projectors featured here all work great on a blank white wall, but even the smoothest walls have imperfections that can affect the image. If you have the space for it, we recommend getting a projector screen which has the perfect surface to produce optimal viewing. Here’s the top foldable and pulldown versions.
This is lightweight, crease-proof, and entirely portable. It’s very easy to set up and can be stuck to the wall or hung, or even put on a stand for a full HD projection at 120 inches.
If you don’t want your projector screen on permanent display, then opt for a pull-down one instead. Just attach the bar to the wall and pull down your very own 100-inch screen to display 4K and 3D content.
Start Your Projection Project Today With The Best Home Projectors of 2020
There you have a wide selection of some of the best and varied projectors on the market today. Feel free to browse each one again to help you decide which one is best for you.
If you’re after that authentic cinematic experience, you may need to choose the all singing all dancing models. But if all you need is a nice everyday projector to watch TV on, there’s plenty of affordable options to choose from.
If it’s for gaming, then go for the higher-end models to keep up with the quick frame rates. And if you need portability for work and travel, the options above have all you need.
Whichever you decide on, it’ll be a good decision as you upgrade your viewing experience for the better. Good luck and happy viewing!