In this guide to buying the Best Home Theater Projector, you will find information on features and prices, a list of the best models around (designed for the home) and some tips on how to choose Best Home Theater Projector,. We appeal to all home theaters enthusiasts , so both those who have a high spending power and those who are looking to find the best budget projector instead.
In recent times we have all rediscovered the pleasure of watching a TV series or a film at home, but why settle for a television or a laptop when you can have a projector? If you are looking to create your own home theater system , here are some tips on choosing the best full HD, 4K and HD projectors and how to evaluate the best solution based on your budget, available space, home and needs.
Best Home Theater Projector | 2022
Best Home Theater Projector | 2022
Best Home Theater Projector | 2022
Best Home Theater Projector | 2022 Guide
What is a projector?
The projector is a device used to display and reproduce images and videos on a home wall or on a special panel, recreating a setting comparable to that of a cinema (it is no coincidence that we are talking about home cinema) or a gaming experience. engaging .
The modern projector is very similar (and if we want it is an evolution of it) to the slide projector very popular once, do you remember? It was used both in the family and at school and was used to reproduce images taken with the camera (and transformed into slides) or films.
There are really many models on the market and the questions are always the same: “Which is the best projector of all? What are the differences that justify such different price ranges? Will all this money be worth it? ”.
To find the answers to your doubts, we just have to delve into the features of the projector.
To date, there are different projection technologies, more or less expensive and more or less performing, and they substantially differentiate the various models (a bit like choosing a LED TV from a few years ago and a smart TV with the latest generation curved screen).
Projection technologies affect image quality and the most popular are:
- LCD technology (Liquid Crystal Display) : the projector is fitted with a halogen bulb that breaks up the light thanks to a series of microscopic mirrors;
- 3LCD technology : it is the evolution of the previous one, it features different chips and each of them processes a specific electrical signal to obtain a sharper and more natural projection with more vivid colors;
- DLP technology (Digital Light Processing): it is a digital light processing system that, to date, allows to obtain the best performances.
Should you wish to purchase a compatible 3D video projector, please note that there are two versions for this technology.
3D Ready supports only some formats while the Full 3D projector supports all 3D formats on the market , including gaming consoles (such as Playstation and Xbox) and Blue Ray players.
Obviously, a Full 3D projector is much more expensive but if you buy it to play with the family or to watch football matches on Sky it is essential for you.
Brightness and projector lamp
Brightness is expressed in ANSI lumens and is an important factor to consider when choosing the best projector (ANSI stands for American National Standard Institute, which is the body that has standardized this unit of measurement).
This value indicates the intensity of the light beam of the lamp and, the brighter the room, the more you need ANSI lumens to ensure good vision.
In fact, for the projector to be maximized, the environment should be totally dark but sometimes it is impossible. What we can suggest to you is to take this factor into consideration in relation to the environment in which you decide to install your new projector.
Indicatively, the average value that guarantees you a high quality projection in a totally dark environment is around 1500 ANSI lumens.
As for the lamp, avoid overheating and keep in mind that it must be replaced periodically. Normally, the manufacturers declare the duration in the product sheet.
Resolution of projectors
The resolution is represented by the number that indicates how many pixels are contained in the image and the quality increases as the number of pixels increases. Based on the resolution, there are these main types of home cinema projector:
- the HD Ready projector with a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels;
- the Full HD projector with a high resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels;
- the 4K Ultra HD projector with very high resolution therefore of 3840 x 2160 pixels.
We make you a very important clarification regarding this topic: the quality of the video depends first of all on the original quality and not only on the resolution of the projector.
If you are following a TV series broadcast in Full HD you will never be able to see it in a higher resolution, even if you have a 4K projector.
Another aspect you need to keep in mind when evaluating this feature is the difference between native and compatible resolution : the former is the actual screen resolution while the maximum or compatible resolution indicates which larger format it supports by adapting the image and downscaling.
Contrast video projectors
The contrast of a projector indicates the difference in brightness between white and black and, consequently, indicates the performance of the projector relative to dark and light areas (regardless of brightness).
This feature affects the depth of images and sharpness because the higher the contrast, the more defined the image. Furthermore, a high contrast ratio allows for high image quality even in environments that are not totally dark.
In general, we can tell you that it is advisable not to go below 5000: 1.
Optical zoom, trapezoidal correction and lens shift: the characteristics of a projector not to be overlooked
Optical zoom, keystone correction and lens shift are very useful features that make it easy to set up the projector and focus. Specifically, the optical zoom is used to adjust the image according to the distance between the projector and the projection surface; the lens shift and the keystone correction are used to adjust the image if the projector is not perfectly perpendicular to the wall or to the cloth.
Screen size of a projector
The size of a projector screen depends on the brightness of the lamp: more ANSI lumens correspond to larger screens.
They are expressed in inches, they indicate how much the diagonal of the rectangle that is projected is measured, that is how much it is possible to enlarge the image without losing quality. In general, this value ranges from a minimum of 30 inches up and can go up to more than 300 inches (some of the best projectors even allow you to project up to 500 inches!
While it’s possible to use an uncluttered white wall to project, you won’t have the best quality with this solution.
To make your sensory experience perfect, we recommend purchasing a specially created projector screen or screen.
Minimum projection distance
One aspect that you must never underestimate before making your choice is the minimum projection distance to display the image at the highest possible quality.
Therefore, you must consider the size of the environment in which you will install your projector to obtain a high quality experience (how much space is there between the wall and the projector?) Because it affects the focus.
For example, models that can be placed even less than a meter from the wall or sheet are perfect for small rooms.
Projector features: audio
The latest generation projectors are usually equipped with one or more integrated speakers , often from famous brands such as Harman Kardon.
It must be said, however, that the best performance is obtained by connecting them to an external audio system such as soundbar or home theater systems. So, if you want to use one of these solutions to get the most out of your sound, make sure there is compatibility between the devices and that you can connect them ( see the ports on the projector ).
Noise from projectors
Projectors have internal cooling fans that activate to prevent the device from overheating during operation.
When they come into action, they make more or less noise depending on the model and, especially in small environments, it could be annoying.
Dimension and weight of a projector
The size and weight of a fixed projector are especially important if you intend to hang it from the ceiling and need to purchase the right bracket.
In addition, some are designed to be taken anywhere and therefore have a compact size and often include a kit for transport. Depending on the use you want to make of it, you will have to choose which projector is best for you and compromise if you want a portable one (as already mentioned, we have dedicated a separate guide to portable projectors ).
Projectors: connectivity and ports
The projector must necessarily be connected to an external source (from which it takes videos and images to be transmitted) and for this the right inputs are essential to connect the device according to your preferences.
We are talking about ports and HDMI, USB ports, VGA inputs as well as Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity that allow you not only to connect various types of video devices but also to connect an external audio system.
In addition, on a practical level, wireless wireless projectors are more convenient to install and less bulky.
How to use a projector: tips
Projectors are by no means difficult to use, whether it’s a stationary device or you’ve chosen a portable solution.
However, you must keep in mind that they are delicate devices that need to be handled with care in order not to be damaged (therefore, if you have small children we advise you to be very careful because the projector is not a toy even if it is a lot of fun to use it).
Here are our tips for using a projector correctly and some useful tips for obtaining optimal performance:
- a very delicate part is the front one where the lamp is located;
- if you buy a fixed projector, you should decide before installing the room in which you will use it so as not to have to move it several times risking damaging it;
- to optimize image quality, it must be placed perpendicular to the wall ;
- the ideal would be to fix it to the wall and avoid touching it. If you move it, in fact, you have to calibrate it again or follow the procedure for focusing the image and checking it to adapt it from scratch to the wall;
- the wall should be clear and white to maximize image quality ;
- the room should be dimly lit or dark.
Best projectors: price
There are really many domestic models that differ in performance and price range (top-of-the-range projectors are really very very expensive) but don’t give up because there is certainly the perfect solution for your home cinema:
Broadly speaking, we can identify the following price ranges for a projector:
- between $ 500 and $ 1000 for an inexpensive and low-to-medium range projector;
- between $ 1000 and $ 2500 for a medium-high-end home projector with features appropriate to the price;
- over $ 2,500 for high-end and top-of-the-range products, including professional and business products.
FAQ and Frequently Asked Questions
What features should a good projector have?
Within the buying guide we have written a series of insights to take into consideration the best basic features that distinguish a good projector. Basically they are the projection technology (DLP or LCD), the resolution (for various discover: HD, FHD and 4K), the brightness expressed in lumens, the ideal projection distance, the contrast ratio, the noise of the device and a mix of design, size, shape and weight.
How much does a projector cost?
The price of a projector varies according to the features offered by the product. Portable projectors, which allow for easy movement and guarantee a 1080p resolution with mirroring of the phone, start at around $ 80.00 upwards. For traditional video projectors, on the other hand, offering high-level features, prices start at $ 150.00 / $ 180.00 for mid-range devices, a price that exceeds $ 300.00 for top-of-the-range models with 4K resolution.
How long does a projector last?
The lamp of a projector has an average life of between 2,000 and 4,000 hours. However, to increase the average life of an electronic device like this, there are small maintenance operations to be carried out constantly.
Based on what has been said so far, it is easy to understand that buying and using one of the Best Home Theater Projector, is not at all a choice that few can make, indeed, thanks to an increasingly flourishing market, it is possible to find the product that best suits your needs and to their own spaces.
It is certainly a device that requires a slightly higher expense than the average of other technological products, but it is also a versatile product that, if of excellent quality, can accompany and improve the fun of the whole family, also from the point of view. more strictly business and professional.