How to choose the best projector for your home

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Which home cinema projector is the best?

If you are a movie buff who wants to bring an authentic theater experience to your living room, a projector is a great buy for your home. These devices turn any wall into a movie theater screen, making movies, video games, and even business presentations more immersive than ever.

You can easily position a projector on a coffee table, desk, or counter, and many are portable enough to move from room to room. While projectors are generally more affordable than buying a new 4K or 8K TV, there are still many factors to consider when choosing the best projector for your home.

What is a good projector?

Projector resolution

When shopping for a home projector, resolution is perhaps the most important detail to consider. Most mid-level projectors have a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels, while many 4K models support 3840 x 2160. Anything below 1080p will produce a poor quality image on most surfaces.

Lumens

Much like the projector in a movie theater, home projectors work best in dark or dimly lit areas. If you can’t darken your viewing area enough, look for a very bright projector. Anything over 2,000 lumens should be fine for rooms that have a lot of ambient light.

Portable projectors

Most home projectors are designed to stay in one place, but some models are designed for portability. These devices may have reduced resolution, but are generally more compact and perfect for going on vacation or hosting an outdoor movie night.

Accessories

While some projectors come with everything you need to start using them right away, most models will need a few accessories.

Filter: Many consumers choose to project their entertainment directly onto a white wall or curtain in their home, but you can also purchase a high quality screen for the best viewing experience. These usually come with racks or collapsible racks that can be folded up and transported easily.

Remote control: Depending on where you choose to place your projector, a remote control can be a very handy accessory that is used for things like changing your projector’s content source and adjusting lighting settings. Your projector may come with its own simple remote control, but a intelligent universal remote control can be useful if you want to control multiple devices in tandem.

Loudspeakers: While projectors are great for producing cinema-quality videos, the built-in speakers are generally inferior. To really maximize your viewing experience, get standalone speakers or a sound bar.

Bulbs: Projector bulbs are usually included with your purchase and will last for several thousand hours of use, but expect to make the additional purchase once they eventually go out. In the meantime, preserve bulb life and electricity by turning off the projector when not in use.

Maintaining the projector

In addition to the occasional bulb replacement, dust can build up in your projector fans over time. Buy a can of compressed air and use it every few months to prevent overheating. If the lens is dirty, use a soft microfiber cloth to wipe off any dust or debris. If you have one, you can also place a dust cap on the lens when the projector is not in use.

The best projectors for the home

The best of the best home projector

Sony VW325ES

Sony VW325ES

Our opinion : This premium projector features crystal-clear colors and a dynamic HDR enhancer for lifelike picture quality.

What we like: Native 4K resolution and nine pre-calibrated picture modes mean the quality is excellent for a wide variety of entertainment.

What we don’t like: At 1,500 lumens, this projector isn’t as bright as you might expect for the price.

Or buy: Available at Amazon

Best value for your home projector

Optoma HD28HDR

Optoma HD28HDR

Our opinion : This affordable projector uses 1080p resolution and 3600 lumens to deliver vivid picture quality.

What we like: The high amount of lumens means this projector is bright enough for daytime use, and the 120Hz refresh rate prevents graphics stuttering.

What we don’t like: Some users report blurry images on larger screens.

Or buy: Available at Amazon

Honorable mention

Samsung Premiere Smart Laser Projector

Samsung Premiere Smart Laser Projector

Our opinion : Compact, stylish and integrated into the Samsung device ecosystem, this smart projector offers bright images and built-in surround speakers.

What we like: This projector is packed with features like intelligent voice assistants and 30W speakers. The sleek design means it will blend seamlessly into your existing decor.

What we don’t like: Navigating the projector menus may seem slow.

Or buy: Available at Amazon

Best portable home projector

4K1 AAXA LED Home Theater Projector

4K1 AAXA LED Home Theater Projector

Our opinion : This lightweight projector offers native 4K UHD resolution in a tiny body, making it suitable for most indoor and outdoor viewing spaces.

What we like: It’s small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, but it projects up to 200 inches in screen size. The dual 2W speakers also deliver impressive sound for the size.

What we don’t like: This projector is more expensive than some portable models and delivers only 1500 lumens of brightness.

Or buy: Available at Amazon

Best home projector for gaming

Optoma UHD30 Gaming Projector

Optoma UHD30 Gaming Projector

Our opinion : This versatile 4K projector is specially optimized for gaming.

What we like: This lightweight projector offers 3,400 lumens of brightness and an enhanced gaming mode that eliminates lag.

What we don’t like: This model is a bit expensive and better suited for gaming than watching movies or TV.

Or buy: Available at Amazon

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Patrick Farmer written for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

Copyright 2021 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.


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