Calling all movie lovers: If you can’t get enough of visiting the movie theater, then setting up a home cinema in a living room or basement can be a lot of fun. With projectors available on the market that can re-create the high-definition movie experience, or affordable options for some casual fun, there’s never been a better time to dip your toes into the world of home projectors.
When you come to buy a projector, you’ll notice they come in a massive range of prices now from budget portable models to high-end, high definition luxury products. To help you choose, we have a list of the best home theater projectors, or you can browse through online retailers. We’ve done some of this work for you, by selecting the best projectors available at various price points from super affordable to high end. Check out our favorite cheap projector deals below.
- VANKYO Burger 101 Wireless Rechargeable Mini DLP Projector — $99, was $200
- ViewSonic M1+ Portable Smart Wi-Fi Projector — $248, was $310
- YABER V6 Full HD Projector — $290
- LG PF50KA Portable Full HD LED Smart Home Theater CineBeam Projector — $566, was $650
- Epson EF-100 Mini Laser Projector with Android TV — $800, was $1,000
- Epson Home Cinema 3200 4K Projector — $1,200, was $1,500
- Epson EpiqVision LS500 UST Laser Projector, 4K, HDR, Android TV — $3,000, was $4,000
Projectors span a huge range of features and prices, and the age-old axiom “you get what you pay for” applies here. You can get a cheap projector for less than a hundred bucks, while high-end, theater-quality 4K projectors can run into the thousands. You probably have a set budget in mind already, however, but you’ll want to be aware of what features and specs to look for before you buy the first cheap projector you find that suits your wallet.
The basic specs to consider when shopping around for projector deals are the picture size and resolution, brightness (typically expressed in lumens), and throw distance. “Throw distance” refers to the optimal and/or maximum distance the projector can place an image on the viewing surface while still maintaining a good picture at the advertised size and resolution, and your needs here will depend on what room(s) you plan to use your projector in. Brightness is an important consideration, as projectors are typically darker than a TV’s LCD panel. A brighter picture naturally looks better and a projector with sub-par lumen output might not look very good even in a sufficiently dark room.
More complex modern features you’ll find even on some cheap projectors today include built-in smart software, wireless connectivity (Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or both), and content settings (for example, optional color presets that are optimized for sports, games, movies, and so on). You’ll also want to look at the ports to make sure that your projector works with whatever input source(s) you’re hooking up to it, but most modern projectors will feature standard hookups such as HDMI connections for use with Blu-Ray players, laptops, and gaming consoles. Many projectors can let you play media directly from devices such as USB flash drives or external hard drives as well.
Then comes the audio. Pretty much all units have built-in speakers, which is usually fine for a cheap projector or a portable one that you might be moving around frequently. For a projector that’s going to be part of a more permanent high-definition home theater setup — one that will likely feature some sort of surround speaker setup along with an A/V receiver to power it all — you’ll want something that can be integrated into your sound system and that is compatible with whatever surround sound standard you’re using.
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