If you’re looking for a fantastic way to enjoy 4K HDR content, a projector is an interesting solution. For some homes, a projector provides a better way to get high-resolution quality across a larger size for not much most cost.
Importantly, projectors are perfect for consuming visual media. Whether you want to take your gaming to the next level, view photos, or of course watch movies and videos in 4K, a home cinema projector could be the answer to your needs.
Of course, the best reason to get a cinema projector is that you can have a 100-inch plus screen right there in your living room!
Despite the obvious benefits of a home projector, many people never take the big step of buying one. Even many AV enthusiasts keep putting it off and just make do with a big TV. That’s because there are some misconceptions surrounding projectors. Consumers believe projectors are expensive, hard to maintain, and hard to install and setup.
Luckily, they are none of these things and in this article, we will bust some of those myths and explain how a home cinema projector can change the way you consume visual media. Moreover, we’ll also take a look at which home projectors are best for beginners.
Below are some of the best projectors you should consider for your home theater setup.
Vankyo is a brand that is helping to redefine the home projector market. The company is creating best inexpensive projectors with outstanding specs, but at the fraction of the cost compared to other models. For example, the Vankyo Performance V620 will transform your home cinema experience without breaking the bank.
Indeed, the Performance V620 boasts native 1080p resolution and the capability to have a screen as large as 200 inches. Furthermore, it’s 6000 lux and 5000:1 contrast ratio ensures an excellent level of image performance.
Vankyo has also added some of the best on-board speakers on the projector market thanks to Dual Stereo speakers. Importantly, all these high-level specifications are available for less than $300.
As the name suggests, the Performance V630 is the bigger brother of the Performance 620. This home projector provides cutting edge specifications to create one of the most complete home cinema solutions available.
This is a native 1080p projector that has 6500 lux and a 5000:1 contrast ratio for the most crisp and clear image reproduction possible. If you want a massive screen size, the Performance 630 is the ideal solution as it can project up to 300 inches. In other words, this projector is cinema-like quality.
We like that the Performance V630 uses advanced electronic keystone correction technology, and an innovative cooling system. With this advanced technology, the projector runs at optimum performance at all times. Amazingly, the Vankyo V630 costs around $250.
If you want a top-tier grade A device then the LG CineBeam HU80KSW should be on your list. Firstly, this is a true all-in-one projector which will be able to completely replace your smart TV thanks to built-in speakers and power plug.
As you would expect from one of the best home projectors, the LG CineBeam is expensive at around $2,000. However, you really get what you pay for with some amazing specs and performance. For instance, the 4K HDR display looks amazing, with a slightly neutral color reproduction. LG has added 2,500 lumens for a wonderfully bright and sharp viewing experience.
Other noteworthy details of the LG CineBeam model is its built-in Harman Kardon speakers that deliver world-class audio. LG says the screen is good for 20,000 hours of use before you will start to see image degradation.
BenQ is a leader in the home projector market and the company’s HT3550 is one of the best available. While this is a high-end projector, it is more affordable than the LG CineBeam at around $1,250. For the 2019 generation, the HT3550 delivers some interesting features and we love the slick new design.
In terms of raw details, the BenQ HT3550 has some memorable specifications. For example, it allows a screen size up to 120 inches and can maintain 2,000 lumens even at that upper limit. Perhaps the standout feature is contrast ratio - which is an impressive 30,000:1 - allowing for some amazing dynamic image control.
It’s not quite as bright as some other projectors in the price range, but color quality is crisp and sharp.
Of course, not everyone has thousands of dollars to drop on a projector. For those looking to create a quality home cinema experience on a budget, the Anker Prizm II is an excellent choice. With a price tag in the range of $300, this is a solid projector even if you will need to make some compromises compared to more expensive models.
One of those compromises is the aesthetics of the device. Simply put, the Anker Prizm is plain next to more expensive projectors. It’s not ugly but instead looks rather nondescript and bulky. You also won’t be getting 4K here, so if you need your projector to play Blu-rays in full definition this is not the device for you.
That said, the 1080p Full HD output is very good, delivering a solid image quality. If you’re on a budget and understand the limitations of what you’re buying, the Anker Prizm II makes an excellent entry-level solution.
The Optoma UHD51A is a fantastic home cinema projector that has one amazing killer feature. This is a voice-activated projector thanks to an integration with Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant. It’s worth noting this tool is far more than a gimmick and functions seamlessly within a home cinema environment.
For example, it is just fantastic to be able to speak a voice command to play a movie on Netflix, or to access a part of your projector’s system.
However, at around $1,200, the Optoma UHD51A needs to do more than just listen to you. Thankfully, it does! This is an excellent all-round projector and provides 4K resolution at a lower cost to many other UHD beamers.
As you have seen with the Prizm II, Anker is aiming to fulfill market niches with its range of affordable projectors. The Nebula Capsule II Mini Project fits that goal. As the name suggests, this is a small-sized home projector that is much more portable than others on this list. It is also affordable at around $300.
Again, this is a budget-friendly projector that comes with some compromises. Perhaps the biggest is the resolution, with the Nebula Capsule II only providing 720p HD output. Sure, that’s not great but it is a gateway into home cinema projection.
However, we have also been surprised by how much Anker has packed into this mini portable projector. It boasts a full-sized HDMI port, a USB-C charging port, and Android TV with 3,600 available apps. And then there’s that size (about the same as a can of Coca Cola), which makes this a truly portable projector you can take anywhere.
When considering a home projector, there are factors you should look at beyond just price and size. In fact, the specifications of the projector will determine the overall quality of the viewing experience.
For a good measurement, darker rooms lesser lumen counts such as 1,200 would be great. For brighter or more dynamic lighting environments, 2,000 or higher will provide the best results. It is worth noting projectors with higher lumen counts are better because you can adjust them to function in low-light conditions.
Sure, contrast ratio is not a vital component of project screen quality. However, it could cause a poor display if the ratio is too low. What’s too low? Well, anything under 1000:1 should be avoided and anything above is good to go. Naturally, the higher the contrast ratio the better the projector will handle color differentiation and accuracy.
There’s no doubt about it, higher resolutions deliver a better image that is more detailed and clearer. Although, before charging into buying the first 4K projector you find, it’s worth considering what you need.
Do you have any content that needs 4K? For example, Blu-ray discs or Netflix in 4K. If the answer is yes and you use these a lot, then opting for a 4K projector is a good idea. That said, perhaps your internet connection is not good enough to stream 4K from Netflix and you’ve never collected Blu-rays.
If you have no need for a 4K projector the only reason to buy one would be for future-proofing your content needs. It is worth noting 4K projectors are more expensive than 1080p Full HD models. Full HD should be a minimum requirement for full home cinema projectors as it offers good quality over 720p HD.
That’s not to say you should completely ignore 720p. If you need a projector that is portable or you are on a tight budget, 720p (HD) can be a compromise worth accepting.
As you can see, there are numerous quality home cinema projectors for beginners. Here’s the exciting part, the devices listed above only scratch the surface! There are dozens of models worth checking out. Perhaps the most interesting thing about home projectors is they are more versatile than a TV and don’t cost more.
When you get on board with home projectors, you will be hooked. With the ability to create a massive screen size and maintain resolution, these displays can transform your home viewing experience.
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