Best Home Projectors Review in 2021

By: morlembas | 07.05.2021, 17:36
Best Home Projectors Review in 2021

Home cinema for many people is a dream dating back to childhood, well, who hasn't dreamed of watching their favourite cartoon or a new superhero blockbuster on the big screen in their own living room lying on a comfortable couch? And our time has its own rules, which often consist of quarantine restrictions and closed public cinemas. In such circumstances, the purchase of the best home projector becomes even more desirable. Our article will help you choose the best projector for your home.


Best Choice
BenQ TK850 True 4K HDR-PRO Projector BenQ TK850 True 4K HDR-PRO Projector
With 4K UHD support
BenQ TK850 is a top-of-the-line 4K home projector with DLP technology that can project a screen up to 300". With high brightness, contrast, HDR and 3D support.
Read Verified Customer Reviews

Best Home Projectors - Overview & Rating

Author’s Choice
BenQ TK850 True 4K HDR-PRO Projector
BenQ TK850 True 4K HDR-PRO Projector
  • DLP, physical resolution: 3840x2160
  • Lamp, brightness: 3000 lumens, contrast: 30000:1
  • Projection ratio: 1.13-1.47:1, screen up to 300"
  • HDR10, HLG, 3D
Check Price
People's Choice
Epson Home Cinema 2250
Epson Home Cinema 2250
  • 3LCD, physical resolution: 1920×1080
  • UHE lamp, brightness: 2700 lumens, contrast: 70000:1
  • Projection ratio: 1.33-2.16:1, screen up to 300"
  • Android TV, 3D
Check Price
Premium Choice
LG HU85LA Ultra Short Throw 4K UHD Laser Smart Home Projector
LG HU85LA Ultra Short Throw 4K UHD Laser Smart Home Projector
  • 3 channel laser, physical resolution: 3840x2160
  • Laser, brightness: 2700 lumens
  • Projection ratio: 0.19:1, distance 1.2'-1.7'
Check Price
Best Budget
ViewSonic PA503X Projector
ViewSonic PA503X Projector
  • DLP, physical resolution: 1024×768
  • Lamp, brightness: 3800 lumens, contrast: 22000:1
  • Projection ratio: 1.2:1, distance 3,2'- 22,9'
Check Price
Best for Indoor and Outdoor
Optoma GT1090HDR Short Throw Laser Home Theater Projector
Optoma GT1090HDR Short Throw Laser Home Theater Projector
  • DLP, physical resolution: 1920×1080
  • Laser, brightness: 4200 lumens
  • Projection ratio: 0.5:1, distance: 1.3' - 10.8'
Check Price
Best Sound
XGIMI Horizon
XGIMI Horizon
  • DLP, physical resolution: 1920×1080
  • LED lamp, brightness: 2200 lumens
  • Projection ratio: 1.2:1, distance: 2.6'- 26.2'
Check Price
Best Compact
Xiaomi Mi Smart Projector
Xiaomi Mi Smart Projector
  • DLP, physical resolution: 1920×1080
  • LED lamp, brightness: 500 lumens, contrast ratio: 1300:1
  • Projection ratio: 1.2:1, distance 3,2'- 13,1'
  • Android TV
Check Price
Best for home
Epson Home Cinema 5050UB
Epson Home Cinema 5050UB
  • 3LCD, physical resolution: 1920×1080, 4K through pixel shift
  • UHE lamp, brightness: 2600 lumens
  • Projection ratio: 1.35:1 - 2.84:1, distance: 9,8' - 29,5'
Check Price
Best Ultra Short Throw
Xiaomi Mi Laser Projector TV 150
Xiaomi Mi Laser Projector TV 150
  • ALDP, physical resolution: 1920×1080
  • Laser, brightness: 1600 lumens, contrast 3000:1
  • Projection ratio: 0.233:1, distance: 0.16' - 1,6'
  • Android TV, 3D, HDR
Check Price

Detailed Overview

BenQ TK850 True 4K HDR-PRO Projector

BenQ TK850 True 4K HDR-PRO Projector BenQ TK850 True 4K HDR-PRO Projector BenQ TK850 is a top-of-the-line 4K home projector with DLP technology that can project a screen up to 300". With high brightness, contrast, HDR and 3D support. Check Price

If you need a projector that supports 4K resolution and HDR 10, then the BenQ TK850 is your choice. It features a 0.47" DMD matrix with a resolution of 3840×2160. Its lamp has a brightness of 3000 lumens, which gives the product a good "margin of safety" for working in a lit room and for watching 3D movies. The contrast can reach the level of 30000:1.

The resource of the lamp in normal mode is 4000 hours, in SmartEco mode - up to 15000 hours.

Two HDMI 2.0 and one audio output are placed at the rear panel of the projector for connecting the devices; with USB 3.0 you can play files from removable storage devices; besides, USB is available for powering smart devices or charging smartphones with current up to 2.5 Amer. There is also a 12 volt trigger output for projection screen opening and RS232.

Dimensions: 380×263×127 mm, weight 4.2 kg

Pros:

  • Bright colors in any ambient light
  • 10-element crystal lens array provides the best light, clarity, sharpness
  • Special sport modes for games and sports
  • Cinema quality picture thanks to DLP technology

Cons:

  • High input lag (min 83 ms) - not suitable for dynamic games

                                                                                                                       

Epson Home Cinema 2250

Epson Home Cinema 2250 Epson Home Cinema 2250 The Epson Home Cinema 2250 has a fairly high level of contrast and brightness. You can say that it has everything you need for home cinema, including Android TV. Thanks to the low-latency mode, you can safely claim that this is a gaming projector as well. Check Price

Epson Home Cinema 2250 projector has everything at once: FullHD resolution, brightness up to 2700 lumens, UHE lamp that can last up to 7500 hours in eco mode. Dynamic contrast ratio 70000:1.

Smart functionality is realized with a small stick connected to one of the two HDMI connectors (located on the back of the device under the cover). Android TV 9 is installed on the smart adapter.

The gaming part of the projector is implemented by means of fast image processing mode, latency in which is only 26 ms, high brightness will also not be superfluous and will make visible all the details of the games.

In addition, the model has a rather compact size for its capabilities: 315×309×122 mm, weight 3.8 kg.

Pros:

  • Unit/voice remote control
  • 4K content acceptance ability makes it possible to watch TV shows, sporting events, movies and games
  • Built-in vertical lens shift

Cons:

  • No HDR support

                                                                                                                                                     

LG HU85LA Ultra Short Throw 4K UHD Laser Smart Home Projector

LG HU85LA Ultra Short Throw 4K UHD Laser Smart Home Projector LG HU85LA Ultra Short Throw 4K UHD Laser Smart Home Projector LG HU85LA is a high-end solution from LG, it is an ultra-short-focus projector which is placed directly under the projection screen at a distance of ten inches. In addition, it boasts high brightness, 4K resolution and HDR10 support. Check Price

Ultra-short throw projectors are a fairly new class of device that is quickly gaining popularity due to the convenience and ease of installation. You do not need to find the best place in the room, screw the bracket to the ceiling and do the calculations. It's enough to install a screen and place the projector underneath.

LG HU85LA has no color wheel in its design. In contrast to conventional DLP projects it is based on a three channel laser technology which provides a wide color gamut and color brilliance. The service life of the laser light source can reach 20000 hours.

In order to level out distortions, the optical system of the projector is equipped with an alignment system of 12 independent points.
The device is equipped with a DLP matrix from Texas instruments with 4K UHD resolution, which equals 3840×2160 pixels. The brightness is high enough for home use, it is equal to 2700 Lumen - no need to worry about dark curtains on the window. The dynamic contrast stated in the characteristics of the projector reaches the value 2000000:1.

The projector body is quite massive: 26.8"×5.0"×13.7", it weighs 27 lbs, the front side contains a stereo speaker system with power of 10 W, projection lenses are on top. On the back side you will find following interface connectors: 2×HDMI, LAN, 2×USB 2.0, USB Type C, S/PDIF and digital TV tuner input.Item 

Pros:

  • Built-in Alexa
  • Remote control
  • Access to LG Smart TV webOS operating system (via remote control unit) where you have all your stream content favorite apps
  • minimalist design

Cons:

  • Quite heavy compared to the rest

                                                                                                         

ViewSonic PA503X Projector

ViewSonic PA503X Projector ViewSonic PA503X Projector ViewSonic PA503X is a projector that boasts high levels of brightness and contrast, which will allow you to get a good picture in rooms with different lighting conditions. The unit has 3D support and a built-in speaker. Together with the reasonable price you get a good projector for light rooms. Check Price

A bright, in the literal sense of the word, representative of the budget range of projectors, which is equipped with a 3600 lumens maximum light output lamp. The service life of the lamp is up to 15 000 hours when using the energy-saving mode SuperEco, in the same mode the manufacturer promises the maximum contrast level of 22000:1. The device is equipped with a DLP matrix with XGA resolution, 1024×768 pixels and support for 3D content. The projection distance varies between 1.19-13.11 meters, with a projected image diagonal of 100 inches achieved at a distance of 4 meters. You can connect signal sources via HDMI or one of the two DVI interfaces.

Dimensions of the device: 294×218×110 mm, weight 2.12 kg.

Pros:

  • Easy to set up
  • Ideal for learning and business applications
  • Numerous connections to devices

Cons:

  • No lens bag and cover included

                                                                                                              

Optoma GT1090HDR Short Throw Laser Home Theater Projector

Optoma GT1090HDR Short Throw Laser Home Theater Projector Optoma GT1090HDR Short Throw Laser Home Theater Projector The Optoma GT1090HDR laser projector can project a 120" screen from a distance of only 4 feet, allowing you to mount it on a coffee table in front of your screen, and the huge brightness output will allow you to watch your favorite shows, movies and broadcasts without worrying about unnecessary light in the room. Check Price

The Optoma GT1090HDR is a projector designed primarily for use in small spaces. Thanks to the short-focus optical system, you can enjoy movies on a huge 120" screen with the projector only 4 feet away. The maximum screen size can reach an unbelievable 300".

The resolution of 0.65" DLP matrix is equal to 1920×1080 pixels, the brightness of the laser "lamp" is 4200 lumens, which is a very high value, and only direct sunlight or very bright target light can be a problem for the work of this device. The dynamic contrast level is 300000:1. The model supports HDR10 and HLG extended dynamic range.

Laser life can be up to 30,000 hours when used in eco mode. The low-input-lag makes this projector an excellent solution for gamers: when you use the special game mode with 1920×1080 resolution and 60 fps, the delay is only 16 ms.

GT1090HDR is also capable of working with 3D content that requires DLP-Link glasses, and has a 3D-Sync connector on the rear panel.

Pros:

  • Laser light source
  • Suitable both for indoors and outdoors projection
  • Can be connected to media players and game consoles to watch movies and play games on a big screen
  • Easy image setup

Cons:

  • No motorized focus and zoom

                                                                                                                         

XGIMI Horizon

XGIMI Horizon XGIMI Horizon XGIMI Horizon is a continuation of the popular H1/H2 range of projectors. The design of the model has not changed significantly, but it is still good. However, the technical specifications have been improved: the brightness of the LED light source has increased almost twofold. The power of the built-in harman/kardon speaker system has also increased. Check Price

The XGIMI Horizon is a versatile device, well suited not only for stationary home use, but claiming portability, even if it is not a mobile pico projector. Measuring 8.1 x 8.5 x 5.3 inches and weighing 12.45 pounds, it can easily fit in the trunk of a car and be taken on vacation or a weekend trip to a friend's house. It runs the latest Android TV 10 operating system with support for Google Play and Google Assistant. Google Play will let you use Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+ and other online video services.

The light source of the device is a LED lamp, its brightness can reach 2200 lumens, which is very good for a device with such a compact size, the contrast ratio is not announced by the manufacturer, which tells us that it is far from impressive. On the front panel, in addition to the projection optics you can see additional lenses, they are responsible for automatic correction of keystone distortion and automatic image focusing.

The sound, as well as in previous models, is performed by the world-famous harman/kardon company, the two speakers have a total power of 16 watts, DTS and Dolby Audio support is available.

For external connections, the device is equipped with USB, HDMI, LAN, analog and optical audio outputs. The manufacturer has also taken care of those for whom FullHD 1080p resolution may not be enough and introduced XGIMI Horizon Pro, a model similar in all but one feature: the physical matrix resolution, the Pro version is UHD 4K. (Link to XGIMI Horizon Pro)

Pros:

  • Variety of mountings
  • Unit/voice remote control
  • 3D projection
  • Projection of your favourite content, apps and games stored on your mobile device

Cons:

  • 3D projection glasses are not included
  • Fans of Netflix will need to download an additional app

                                                                                                                         

Xiaomi Mi Smart Projector

Xiaomi Mi Smart Projector Xiaomi Mi Smart Projector Xiaomi Mi Smart Compact Projector is the embodiment of everything we love about Xiaomi: stylish design, build quality, optimal performance and, most importantly, an attractive price. The projector runs Android TV and can project an image up to 120". Check Price

You can call this projector, as well as many LED models, compact: the dimensions of the device are only 115×150×150 mm, and the weight is 1.3 kg. The case is made of white plastic, the front edge is covered with a dark cloth. On the back side there are power and headphone jacks, USB 2.0 and HDMI.

The device hardware consists of Amlogic T968 processor, Mali T830MP2 graphics accelerator, 2 Gbytes of RAM and 8 Gbytes of storage. The firmware is the official Android TV familiar to many people from Xiaomi TV boxes.

The projector is equipped with the LED of the German company Osram with a lifetime of 30000 hours, its brightness is 500 lumens, the image contrast is up to 1300:1. Focusing and correction of vertical keystone distortion is automatic. Two 5-watt speakers are responsible for sound, and the Mi Smart Compact Projector can also be connected to a Bluetooth speaker.

Pros:

  • Great picture and sound for home theater
  • Compact size
  • Handy remote control

Cons:

  • No lens cap

                                                                                                                             

Epson Home Cinema 5050UB

Epson Home Cinema 5050UB Epson Home Cinema 5050UB Epson Home Cinema 5050UB is the best projector from the manufacturer's home application range. With an attractive design, great features and a wide range of image adjustments. Check Price

The classic long-focus projector from Epson, unlike its competitors, does not work on DLP technology, but on 3LCD, which is a feature of projectors of this manufacturer. The advantages of this solution is greater color brightness and absence of rainbow effect, which some users can observe while using DLP projectors. The main disadvantage is the high degree of matrix dust contamination due to its specific ventilation system.

The physical resolution of the matrices is 1920×1080, but with the help of pixel shift technology, a 4K resolution for the projected image is achieved.

The light source used in the Epson Home Cinema 5050 is a high-performance UHE lamp, its lifetime is up to 5000 hours in economy mode, which is much less than the lifetime of solid-state light sources, but this is compensated by its low price and ease of replacement. The brightness of the lamp can reach up to 2600 lumens.

Thanks to the diaphragm, there is a high level of dynamic contrast ratio: 1000000:1, the device supports 3D, HDR10 and HLG, full range of DCI-P3.

For external connections, the Epson Home Cinema 5050UB is equipped with a bunch of connectors: 2xHDMI 2.0, 2xUSB 2.0, LAN, VGA, RS-232 and a 12-volt trigger connector to control external equipment. The unit measures 7.60" x 20.50" x 17.70" and weighs 25 lbs.

Pros:

  • Advanced digital image processing
  • 2 3D modes: 3D Dynamic and 3D Cinema
  • Remote control

Cons:

  • Weighs quite a lot

 

                                                                                                                             

Xiaomi Mi Laser Projector TV 150

Xiaomi Mi Laser Projector TV 150 Xiaomi Mi Laser Projector TV 150 Xiaomi Mi Laser Projector TV 150 - perhaps the most popular laser projector on the market, has a very high brightness and ultra-short focus, which allows you to look at the installation of the projector in the room in a completely different way. You can simply place it on a table in front of the wall and hide all the extra wires. Check Price

This projector is a hit for a reason. The 150" projection at a distance of half a meter from the screen creates a real wow effect. The choice of mounting location and installation is very simple - you just need to put the device on the stand under the screen. The built-in speaker system is on the front side of the projector and consists of four speakers: two low-frequency and two high-frequency.

The light source of this device is a laser, 0.47" DMD matrix, the brightness is 1600 ANSI lumens and the maximum contrast is 3000:1.

The Android TV 9.0 is powered by the quad-core Amlogic T968 processor, Mali T830 graphics, 2 Gb of RAM and 16 Gb of fixed memory.

The device is equipped with a good set of interfaces, connectors are located on the back panel: three HDMI 2.0, one of which supports ARC protocol (required to connect the projector to the audio receiver), USB 2.0 and 3.0, S/PDIF, 3.5mm audio output and 3.5mm combined composite audio-video input.

Dimensions of the device: 410×291×880 mm, weight 6.9 kg.

Pros:

  • Unit/voice remote control
  • Laser projector with 4K picture quality
  • Can be connected to any external device
  • No lamp, which allows the projector to run for a longer time without replacing expensive parts

Cons:

  • The interface is originally in Chinese. So you need to download an app to convert it from Chinese into English

                                                                                                                             

Buyer's Guide - Best Home Projectors

How to Choose the Best Home Cinema Projector

We have already described the main features of popular models of home projectors, now it is worth to examine in detail what these or those features mean and where you should pay attention.

Light sources

UHP lamp, a high performance discharge lamp, is the most common option today. These lamps have good brightness, high color rendering and, in modern versions, a good service life, up to 10,000 hours. The flip side of the coin is the level of power consumption, about 200-300 watts.

LED lamp - a modern solution, which replaces the discharge lamp and, sooner or later, they will completely displace. LED projectors have a more compact size and are more energy efficient. Service life can be 20 and 30 thousand hours. The main drawback of this type of lamp is considered their low brightness, but now the home LED projectors are close to the brightness of 1500 lumens, and in the near future, this figure will only grow.

Laser - another semiconductor light source, which by its consumer qualities is similar to the LED: long life, low power consumption. But unlike LEDs, laser can offer much greater brightness. The downside of this technology is the price.

Operation Technology

3LCD is a system of three liquid crystal matrices, each of which receives light from the lamp, previously divided by dichroic mirrors and filters into three spectra: red, green and blue. After passing through the matrices, the three light streams, with the help of a prism, are again combined into one, with an already formed image.

Pros: high brightness and rich colors and the absence of the rainbow effect inherent in DLP projectors.
Cons: need to replace air filters, more noticeable pixels, black tones may be less contrasty.

DLP - this technology is based on a DMD matrix, which is an electromechanical device, with thousands of microscopic mirrors located on it, each of which is controlled separately and is responsible for one image pixel. The mirror can position itself very quickly and precisely, thereby producing the light of the desired brightness.

The light from the lamp passes through a lens and a rotating color filter wheel, the mirrors on the matrix rotate and take the position required by the color that hits them at the time. Thus the sequence of changing colors and turning mirrors results in the desired picture on the screen.


Source: Epson

Pros: smoother image with less visible pixels, fast response time, small size and weight. Cons: flickering, in some cases a rainbow effect is noticeable in contrasting scenes. The spinning wheel is an additional moving element which creates noise. 

Optics Features

Projection Distance. Projector parameter which indicates at what distance from the screen the device can show a quality picture.

Projection Ratio. This value indicates the ratio of the projected screen width to the projection distance from the projector to the screen. For example if the projection ratio is 1.5:1, for every one meter of screen width you need 1.5 meters from the screen to the projector.

Optical Zoom. It allows you to change the size of the screen without changing the projector's position relative to the screen.

Lens Shift. It is intended to shift the image relative to the lens axis, depending on the projector model the shift can be vertical or horizontal.

Projection Screens

Projection screens are in some situations not necessary, but still a very important part of the projection system. Especially when it comes to home theater. Although, on the other hand, a smooth wall painted in a matte white is not a bad screen, especially when it comes to a budget projector. 

There are two groups of screens: stationary and mobile. Fixed, in turn, are of several types: fixed on a rigid frame, minimized and even motorized. To minimize and unfold the latter, an electric motor drive and remote control are used.

Mobile screens are more interesting solution for educational institutions or offices, where there is a need to move the screen in different classrooms or take it to mobile presentations. Mobile screens can be on a tripod, on two legs or small desktop models.

Parameters of Screens

Matte coating is the most common and budget-friendly type of screens. Light from these screens is dispersed evenly, which gives excellent viewing angles, without glare. Matte screen can be not only white, but also gray, with a gain of less than 1.0, which gives greater contrast, but at the expense of lower brightness.

Glossy coating reflects light, due to what the image appears brighter and sharper, less demanding to the brightness of the projector. However, due to this the screen has narrower viewing angles and may glare from external light sources.

CLR-screen for ultrashort-focus projectors is a cloth of special structure on the surface of the cloth formed by triangular "prisms" that reflect light from the projector located under the screen towards the viewer who is in front of the screen. At the same time, the extraneous light, especially that falling on the screen from above is absorbed by the special coating located on top of the triangular prisms.

Gain is a parameter describing how much brighter the screen reflects the light directed to it compared to a reference matte white screen which has a gain of 1.0. For example, a screen with a gain of 1.5 returns 1.5 times more light by "concentrating" the light flux, but at the same time the viewing angles are reduced.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I connect my projector to my phone?

There are two easy ways to connect your smartphone to the projector: one is connecting via Miracast wireless technology, which requires only that both devices are connected to the same WiFi network, and the other one is connecting via USB type C. 

How to choose a projector for gaming?

When you are choosing a projector for gaming, the lag time is a very important parameter, in the Epson 2250 projector in high-speed mode it is only 26 ms, it is two frames at 60 frames per second. You should also pay attention to the brightness so that it is enough to keep all the details on the big screen.

Which projector for a conference room?

For presentations in a bright room the brightness of the device is the most important parameter. It is also good to have several options for connecting a signal source. You can save on FullHD in this situation. ViewSonic PA503X has a brightness of 3800 lumens, HDMI, two VGA inputs and one output, composite video input.

How long does a projector lamp last?

Lamp life is up to 5000 hours in maximum mode, in economy modes some manufacturers promise up to 12000 hours of operation. For LED models, the claimed lamp life can be up to 20000-30000 hours, depending on operating mode.

What's better, TV or projector?

There is no straightforward answer to this question. The TV is easier to choose, to install, it produces the same image regardless of the lighting in the room. But projectors have a definite advantage - the size of the screen. A TV set with a screen size of 85 inches will cost several times more than a projector with a screen size of 120 or even 150 inches.

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