There isn’t a big screen TV in the world that can compete with the size of a projector image. If you want to blast past the confines of even the largest, most premium home theater TVs and want to be able to get up into the 300″ image range, you need a home theater projector.
In this article I’ve rounded up the best home theater projectors for movies and gaming to start of 2016 with a bang. And there’s something here for every budget. I’ve started things off with two absolute top-of-the line 4K home theater projectors (which of course carry a premium price tag — though they can be had for a bit of a deal using the links below). The follow 3 items are the best home theater projectors for people on a tighter budget. All said, the projectors I’ve listed here — the best recommendations I can make — range in price from about $500 on up to around $10,000.
Let me know which one looks like the projector for you!
Best Projector: Sony VPLVW365ES 4K Cinema and Gaming Projector
If you’re looking for the king of home theater projectors, look no further than the Sony VPLVW365ES which is a 4K cinema and gaming projector that pulls out all the stops. It’s brightness and contrast are unmatched thanks to 1,500 Lumens of power and action images are smooth and fluid thanks to Motionflow technology which reduces blur. You’ll also get a broad range of accurate colors thanks to the TRILUMINOS display which makes tones and textures purer and realistic. I love that the lamp lasts a long time (rated for 6,000 hours), that there’s a front-facing fan (which means you don’t have to worry about wall clearance) and that there are wide zoom and shift options which means you can mount this projector off-center if needed.
Next Best Projector: JVC DLA-X700R 4K Home Theater Projector
If you’re looking for a 4K home theater projector, the JVC DLA-X700R is your other good option. The e-shift3 technology means this projector can play native 4K 60p content through enabled HDMI ports. And the insane 120,000:1 contrast ratio means images will come to life like never before. If you want to avoid any sort of image flicker, you’ll love that this projector makes use of 3 DILA devices to ensure super-stable picture viewing. This 6th generation device gives you a 40% smaller pixel gap and has “lens memory” which lets users store 10 different presets.
Epson 5030UB 1080p 3D Home Theater Projector
Alright, so if you want a great picture but aren’t quite ready to go all-out with a 4K projector just yet the Epson 5040UB is an excellent 1080p (full HD) option. With a screen size of up to 300″ and a brightness of 2,400 Lumens, this projector is sure to be a crowd-pleaser. The contrast ratio (of up to 600,000:1) means that blacks will be blacker and you’ll also get textures that look natural. This projector also includes rechargeable 3D glasses and is easy to setup thanks to the built-in correction tools.
BenQ HT1075 1080p 3D Home Theater Projector
At less than half the price of the Epson projector above, the BenQ HT1075 is a full HD projector that your bank account won’t hate. The contrast ratio really dips (down to 10,000:1) but you’ll still get 3D support and the lamp can last up to 5,000 hours in economic mode (so you’ll get a lot of use out of it). For the price you’ll be surprised at how accurate and crisp the picture looks — especially the shadow detail.
Optoma HD141X 1080p 3D Home Theater Projector
Even though the Optoma HD141X can be had for a couple hundred dollars less than the BenQ above, it actually has a higher contrast ratio (23,000:1). With 2 HDMI ports and 3D compatibility, this projector makes a great gaming projector (connects with Xbox and Playstation consoles). Finally, you’ll get 10-watt audio, dynamic blacks and up to a (surprising) 6,500 hours of lamp life.