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best hd projectors

The Best HD Projectors in 2021

Author: Robert Wilson

Electronics & Peripherals Expert

The projector is now not only used for presentations, but also delights users at home. Our team has reviewed countless tests on the Internet to be able to create a best list, which also allows ratings for luminous flux, resolution, weight and more.

BenQ TH585 1080p Home Entertainment Projector

BenQ TH585 1080p Home Entertainment Projector
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YABER Y60 Portable Projector with 6000L Upgrade Full HD 1080P

YABER Y60 Portable Projector with 6000L Upgrade Full HD 1080P
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YABER Y60 Portable Projector with 6000L Upgrade Full HD 1080P
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DBPOWER L21 LCD Video Projector 6000L 1080P

DBPOWER L21 LCD Video Projector 6000L 1080P
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  • [AMAZING MOVIE EXPERIENCE]: This DBPOWE L21 portable video…
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YABER Y21 Native 1920 x 1080P 7000L Full HD Video Projector

YABER Y21 Native 1920 x 1080P 7000L Full HD Video Projector
2,954 Reviews
YABER Y21 Native 1920 x 1080P 7000L Full HD Video Projector
  • ❤ 【 “Official Feature Sponsor of New Orleans Film…
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Optoma HD146X High Performance Projector

Optoma HD146X High Performance Projector
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Optoma HD146X High Performance Projector
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YABER Y31 Native 1920x 1080P Projector 7200L

YABER Y31 Native 1920x 1080P Projector 7200L
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YABER Y31 Native 1920x 1080P Projector 7200L
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Epson Home Cinema 1060 Full HD 1080p

No products found.

ViewSonic 3800 Lumens SVGA High Brightness Projector

ViewSonic 3800 Lumens SVGA High Brightness Projector
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ViewSonic 3800 Lumens SVGA High Brightness Projector
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Frequently Asked Questions: HD Projectors

What is a HD Projector?

A projector, also known as a video projector or digital projector, is a device that magnifies moving and still images from a visual output device and projects them onto a screen. Output devices can be computers, televisions, DVD players or VCRs. 

HD or HDV stands for High Definition Video and means high-resolution video. HD is currently the highest level of development in video technology. HD projectors range from small, mobile projectors to stationary high-performance projectors for movie theaters.

How does a HD Projector work?

There are different technologies for HD projectors.


The abbreviation DLP stands for Digital Light Processing. The image is generated by millions of tiny mirrors that project the light onto the screen. Each of the mirrors represents a point of light. Due to the fine mirror structure, an image without rasterization is possible. Application areas for DLP projectors are the business sector and home cinema for beginners.


  • Small and compact
  • High contrast
  • Fine type and line drawing
  • Long-life DMD chips
  • Low maintenance


  • Possibly audible color wheel
  • Rainbow effect (slight color flashes visible)
  • No perfect color fidelity


LCD means Liquid Crystal Display. The white light of the projection lamp is created by additive color mixing of the three primary colors red, yellow and blue. The technology works with liquid crystals that project the image. LCD projectors are ideally suited for sophisticated home cinema.


  • Fine pixel delineation
  • High quality, true color images
  • Slightly brighter than DLP technology


  • Weak black level
  • Fly screen effect possible at low resolution
  • Maintenance required (filter change)


LCos (liquid crystal on silicon) is a technology from Canon. Different manufacturers use different terms for the same process. JVC calls it D-ILA (Direct-Drive Image Light Amplification) and Sony calls it SXRD (Silicon X-tal Reflective Display).

All three technologies share the same mode of operation, in which the panels reflect light instead of transmitting it, as in DLP technology. LCoS combines all the advantages of the DLP and LCD processes. HD projector and is optimal for sophisticated home theater.


  • High resolution
  • Good contrasts
  • No fly screen effect


  • Low lumen output
  • Relatively expensive

Advantages of HD Projectors

Basically, there are three areas of application for an HD projector:

  • Presentations
  • Home cinema
  • Gaming

What are the advantages of a video projector compared to a TV? Which projector is best for you? You will find answers to these questions in the following section.

When choosing between a TV and HD projector, the intended use is crucial. Do you only watch TV from time to time or are you a true home cinema connoisseur who wants to experience movies in the best possible quality? Do you also want to watch movies during the day or only in the evening?

Picture size

A TV can only present the image in one size. With an HD projector, you determine the image size yourself. Only with a large image can you really immerse yourself in a movie.

The large image area of the projector image creates real cinema atmosphere. Especially with 3D movies, the movie experience is more intense with a large projector image.
Light intensity and ambient light

Another important point is the ambient light. The brighter the room, the higher the light intensity of the projector has to be. However, this is at the expense of contrast. For the operation of a projector, it is optimal if the room can be darkened. In this way, you can achieve a bright and high-contrast projection image at any time of day. On a TV, on the other hand, you get a good picture around the clock.

Picture quality

The image of an HD projector is of higher quality than that of a TV of comparable size. In addition, the projector image convinces with the natural reproduction of colors and strong contrasts. In the HD projector, the light is reflected from the screen, while the TV uses self-luminous pixels.

The human eye perceives the image from the HD projector as much more pleasant. In a darkened home theater, contrast and colors come out particularly well.


Today, TV screens are quite thin, but sometimes very large, so they take up a lot of space in the overall picture of the room. The projector and the screen can be hidden better and are thus less dominant in the room image. The projector can be mounted inconspicuously on the ceiling and a tripod or roller screen can be hidden well during the day.

Connection options

Most HD projectors have several digital and analog connections. The most important ones are DVI and HDMI. If you want to use different players like Blu-ray players, satellite receivers and game consoles, you should connect an AV receiver upstream. With the help of HDMI wireless systems, the signals can be routed wirelessly.


For all those who attach great importance to the largest possible movie picture, the HD projector is absolutely the right choice. You can experience great cinema only with HD projector and screen. Darkening the home cinema room can be easily accomplished with curtains and/or blinds. However, if you want to turn the device on when it’s bright, a TV offers the better features.

However, with a projector, you get a much larger screen diagonal and very high-contrast and natural colors for a comparable price. Compared to a TV screen, the HD projector offers a lot of advantages, especially for home cinema fans.

Types of HD Projectors

The HD projectors on the market differ mainly in their different technologies.

  • DLP
  • LCD
  • LCoS
  • LED


DLP technology was developed by the US company Texas Instruments. The DLP projector generates moving images by modulating them onto a beam of light. The projection beam is broken down into individual pixels by a large number of movable micromirrors and reflected into and out of the light beam pixel by pixel.

The heart of the technology is the matrix, a component in which the mirrors are arranged in a rectangular shape. The term for this matrix is DMD – Digital Micromirror Device.

In this process, the image is not imaged optically, but is first generated in the projection beam. The light is split into the basic colors, which then hit the screen one after the other. The image is only created in the eye of the viewer.

There are DLP projectors with 1 chip technology and devices with 3 chip technology. The latter are significantly better and more expensive. DLP projectors are also used in cinemas.


  • High black level
  • Very good 3D quality
  • No streaking
  • Soft screening
  • High contrast
  • Little dust


  • Rainbow effect (color flashes) possible
  • Color fastness partly insufficient
  • Loud fan noise


An LCD projector works with liquid crystals. The white light from the projector lamp is split into the three primary colors by means of a prism. The light is then sent from LCD panels and finally projected through another prism as a color image.

LCD projectors can display very fine gradations between light and dark. The colors appear strong. LCD technology shows weaknesses in the black level of the video image, which is displayed less saturated.


  • Fine pixel delineation
  • High color fidelity
  • Low weight
  • Strong contrasts
  • Cost effective
  • Good readability


  • LCD memory effect
  • Fly screen effect possible
  • Weak black level
  • Maintenance required (filter change)


The abbreviation LCoS stands for Liquid Crystal on Silicon and means liquid crystals on silicon. LCos technology works in a similar way to LCD technology. However, the light is not transmitted but reflected.

A polarized light beam hits the molecules of liquid crystals. A chip aligns the molecules by means of electrical voltage. In this way, the chip can determine the intensity with which the light is reflected.

There are LCoS projectors with one or three chips. In the 3 chip technology, the light of the primary colors is divided by dichroic mirrors. Subsequently, the reflected beams are recombined by a dichroic prism and finally projected onto the screen.

In an LCoS projector with only one chip, the light in the primary colors comes from LEDs. The initially split light is reunited by dichroic prisms and it hits a polarized beam splitter. The beam splitter guides the light to the LCoS and at the same time the light reflected from the LCoS to the projection lens. LCoS projectors with 1 chip technology work similar to a DLP projector, because LCoS reflects the light of the primary colors one after the other.

The advantage of 1 chip systems in LCoS projectors is their compactness. A projector with this technology fits in your pocket. For demanding home cinema enthusiasts, projectors with 3 chip technology are more interesting because they produce outstanding image quality.

There are, depending on the manufacturer, different names for the LCoS technology. Sony, for example, offers an SXDR projector. Sony has a patent on the SXDR technology. The SXDR system is essentially based on LCoS technology. Similarly, there are D-ILA projectors from JVC.


  • High resolution
  • Very high contrast
  • Very good black level
  • Very good 3D capability


  • High price
  • Low brightness


LED stands for Light Emitting Diode and means as much as ion emitting diode. LED projectors use either LCD or DLP technology. The special feature of LED projectors is that they work with LED lamps instead of a UHP lamp, which produce the light of the three primary colors. LEDs are much smaller, lighter and more power efficient. They also produce less waste heat than a conventional lamp.

Another big advantage is the long life of LEDs. A UHP lamp lasts only about 5,000 operating hours, whereas LEDs have a service life of around 30,000 hours and more. After all, every time a lamp is replaced, follow-up costs are incurred.


  • Low weight
  • Long life
  • Low power consumption


  • Low light output
  • Low color fastness
  • Low brightness

How are HD Projectors tested?

Here you can find out everything you need to evaluate the HD projectors in the product test. We explain the most important criteria and terms around the topic of HD projectors. This will help you better understand and evaluate test results and product descriptions.

Light output - ANSI lumens

To display a beautiful, sharp and high-contrast image, the projector must have a good light output. The light output is measured in ANSI lumens. In addition, the image quality depends on the lighting of the environment.

The brighter the home theater room, the higher the light output must be. Projectors with high luminosity can also be used in bright rooms.

For a room that can be completely darkened, 1800 ANSI lumens is sufficient. If the room cannot be completely darkened, at least 2000 ANSI lumens are required.

Basically, the greater the distance between the projector and the screen, the more light output is needed. Projectors with more than 3500 lumens are particularly suitable for large, not completely dark rooms.


In addition to the light output, the contrast value is also responsible for good image quality. The contrast ratio describes the difference between the brightest and darkest point within the video image. The ambient lighting also affects the contrast value.

If an HD projector with a high light output is used in a bright room, good contrast values are achieved. When used in a dark room, a high light output projector will also improve contrast.

To be able to project in a good image quality, the projector should offer a contrast ratio of at least 5000:1. For gaming and home cinema, a higher contrast ratio of around 40,000:1 is recommended. From a contrast value of 100,000:1, the projector delivers top performance.


Another important aspect that you should consider in a product test is the resolution. The image structure of an HD projector has the form of a grid, similar to a screen. With a FullHD resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels, the grid has 1920 columns and 1080 rows. The more pixels there are, the higher the resolution and the better the image quality. Meanwhile, FullHD is standard for movies on Blu-ray at streaming providers.

So for home cinema, you should definitely opt for a Full HD projector. Even if you want to use the projector for presentations, you should opt for a high resolution, since most laptops today also have a Full HD display. Projectors labeled HD Ready or 720p are not HD devices.

Projectors labeled UHD or UltraHD have a resolution of 3840 × 2160 pixels. They are ideally suited for home cinema.

If you have particularly high demands on image quality, a 4K projector is the right choice for you. 4K projectors have a very high resolution of 4096 × 2160 pixels. This means that you are also equipped for future developments. 4K projectors offer the best technology currently available. Some devices in the product tests also state 4K enhancement. These projectors use technologies to improve image quality, such as pixel shifting.

The contrast can be significantly improved with the HDR (high dynamic range) process. However, not all projectors are equipped with HDR.


3D movies are becoming more and more important. 3D projection offers a complete, innovative and exciting movie experience. Important for an impressive 3D projection is the frame rate or refresh rate, which is specified in Hertz (Hz). The higher the frequency, the clearer and more brilliant the video images.

From a refresh rate of 120 hertz, quite good results can be achieved. For home cinema and gaming, the refresh rate should be at least 240 hertz. For particularly demanding home cinema fans, it should be at least 480 hertz.


Basically, there are analog and digital connections. Analog connections include YUV, S-Video and VGA. They are used to connect older devices, such as VCRs.

The most important digital connection is HDMI, where sound and picture are transmitted simultaneously. For modern devices, the HDMI connection is standard.

A DVI connection can be used for both analog and digital image transmission. DVI can also be used to adapt a signal and bring it up to HDMI quality.

For occasional home theater users, an HDMI connection is completely sufficient. In the business sector, the variety of connection options is an important aspect. Here, the projector is used by different customers and partners. One has only a VGA port, the other absolutely needs a USB port. The projector should have a USB port for transferring data.

What should I look for when buying an HD projector?

LCD and DLP, Full HD and WUXGA, ANSI lumens and lens shift? – The world of HD projectors is full of question marks for beginners. We help you find your way through the jungle of technology and finally make the right purchase decision. We have summarized the basics of the latest technical developments in a clear and understandable way.

For what purpose do you want to use the HD projector?

Basically, you should differentiate whether you want to use the HD projector in the home theater, for gaming or in the business area.

HD projector for business use

In the business sector, the projector is usually used in a bright environment. Therefore, a high luminosity of at least 3,000 ANSI lumens is recommended. In daylight, a contrast ratio of approx. 3,000:1 is sufficient.

A WXGA resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels is required for a legible display of text and graphics. WXGA is particularly suitable for a projector that is connected to a laptop with a widescreen format. A Full HD projector with 1920 x 1080 pixels is an even better choice. Full HD enables a very high-quality display of videos and graphics.

Often, the projector is used in different rooms and should always provide a good image in different lighting conditions. For mobile use, the device should be quick to set up and take down and have as many different connections as possible.

For stationary use of a projector in a seminar or conference room, the room size and optimal distance to the screen should be taken into account.

HD projectors for home cinema

At home, HD projectors are becoming increasingly popular as home theater projectors. Together with a good HiFi system and a large screen, an HD projector offers first-class movie experiences. You should pay special attention to the image quality, i.e. high luminous intensity and good contrasts, when buying a projector for home cinema. In addition, the device should be 3D-capable. The right distance between the projector and the screen is also important.

Gaming projector

As in the home theater, the right distance to the projection screen, 3D capability, the right lighting conditions and the light intensity also play a major role here.


HD projectors with the 16:9 format are optimal for home cinema. Most current movies are designed for 16:9 format. For the 16:9 format, at least a resolution of 1280×720 pixels is required. Full HD projectors can project in a high resolution of 1920×1080 pixels.

Those who value a higher resolution should opt for a 4K projector with a resolution of 3840×2160 pixels. However, 4K projectors are more expensive than conventional HD projectors. Some high-quality full HD projectors offer 4K upscaling, such as 4K enhancement technology.

If you want to use the projector for business presentations, an SVGA resolution of 800×600 pixels is sufficient.

A good HD video projector should be 3D capable. An interesting additional feature is the intermediate image calculation (frame interpolation) for 2D and 3D. It produces a smooth image, even with fast movements.

Resolution - HD ready, Full HD and 4K

Resolution is the number of pixels in an image. The higher the density of the pixels, the sharper the image. Full HD is the term for Full High Definition, the full high resolution of the image. Full HD projectors have a resolution of 1920×1080 pixels and are designed for 16:9 aspect ratio. Projectors labeled HD Ready 1080p have only about half the resolution of 1280×720 pixels and can also project in 16:9.

How high the resolution should be for your HD projector depends primarily on the intended use and the image source. For starters, a resolution of at least HDready is advisable. An HDready projector (1,280×720 pixels) ensures a sharp image. The movie experience is even more impressive with a Full HD projector (1,920×1,080 pixels). A Full HD device is also the right choice for gamers.

For the upscale home theater user, there are 4K projectors with a resolution of 3,840×2,160 pixels, but they also have an upscale price.

Image Quality: Contrast & Luminous Intensity (ANSI lumens)

Contrast is the maximum difference in the brightness of white and black. If the contrast ratio is 1,000:1, the brightest point of the image is 1,000 times brighter than the darkest point. The higher the contrast ratio of a projector, the more natural and sharper the image. Also, high contrast is important to display deep blacks.

Which contrast value your HD projector should have depends on the area of use and the brightness of the environment. In dark rooms, a high-contrast HD projector can reproduce very natural and vivid colors. If the projector is mainly used in daylight or artificial lighting, the contrast is less important.

The contrast ratio of your HD projector should be at least 5000:1 and higher, ideally 10,000:1. This ensures the optimal display of colors and gradients.

The light intensity of a video projector is given in ANSI lumens and indicates how much light the projector can project onto a surface. The ideal light intensity for your HD projector depends on the spatial conditions. The brighter the ambient light, the stronger the projection light needs to be. Other factors are projection distance and image size. The greater the distance, the brighter the projection light must be.

If the room in your home theater can be completely darkened, around 1,500 ANSI lumens is sufficient. If, on the other hand, there is a lot of ambient light in your home theater, the projector should have at least 3,000 ANSI lumens.

Image Offset

If the projector is not positioned exactly in the center of the screen, the image will be distorted. The image can be distorted with the help of the Lensshift function. It is ideal if the lens can be adjusted in height (vertically) and laterally (horizontally).

Zoom Lens

The zoom lens allows you to zoom in and out on the image. This allows you to adjust the image to exactly fit the size of the screen. The larger the zoom range, the greater the projection distance latitude. If the projector does not have a zoom lens, the projector must be moved back and forth until the image exactly fits the screen.

Noise Level

The higher the light intensity, the hotter the projection lamp gets and the ventilation has to work harder and becomes louder. Ideally, the noise level should be below 35 decibels. Some models are equipped with an eco or whisper mode that lowers the noise level.

Ceiling Mount or Mobile Use?

If you opt for ceiling mounting, your projector should have a mounting hole for this purpose, as well as the function of vertical and horizontal image reversal.

For mobile use, weight plays a major role. Mobile projectors should not weigh more than three kilograms. Internal speakers are also practical. If the sound quality is not sufficient, you can use external speakers.


In general, a distinction should be made between digital and analog interfaces. The best quality is achieved with HDMI and DVI connections, which transfer digital data without quality loss. For projecting analog image media, there should also be a YUV video input. S-Video and composite (FBAS) connections are needed for an analog video recorder or satellite receiver. From the computer, the signals are transferred to the projector via the DVI or VGA interfaces.

To play presentations from a USB stick, you need USB. For optimal flexibility, the projector’s WiFi capability is recommended. If you want to connect an MHL-enabled smartphone or tablet, you should purchase an MHL-enabled projector.


A good HD projector should have the following features:

  • Keystone correction
  • Lens shift
  • Optical zoom

Keystone correction

Keystone correction compensates for unwanted trapezoidal distortion of the image.

Lens Shift

This function is used for distortion-free vertical or horizontal alignment.

Optical zoom

An optical zoom provides flexibility when projecting. Even if the distance between the projector and the screen is not optimal, the image can be corrected.

HD Projector Accessories


A screen with a black border is recommended. The format should correspond to the format of the projector’s image output: 16:9 or 4:3. You can calculate the optimal screen size as follows: Screen width = half the distance between the viewer and the screen. So if you are sitting four meters away from the screen, the width of the screen should be two meters.

You can calculate the height of the screen as follows: From the bottom edge, about one meter above the floor, to the attachment point on the ceiling.

The gain factor indicates the extent to which the screen focuses the light. For a home theater screen, a gain factor of 1.0 to 1.2 is recommended. In addition to the black frame, a black, opaque back wall is also advisable.

There are three different types of screens for home theater:

  • Frame screens
  • Roller screens
  • Tripod screens

Frame screens can be stretched optimally tight and offer the best picture. However, they are relatively expensive.

Roll-up screens are very practical and cheaper. They should be left to hang for a long time, especially in the beginning, otherwise they may form waves at the edges.

Tripod screens are also available at reasonable prices. They can be set up and taken down quickly. Here, too, waves can form at the edges.


You can mount your projector on the ceiling or on the wall. The bracket is screwed to the bottom of the device and mounted on the wall or ceiling. Some models have a screw thread at the bottom for a photo tripod.


Only the right sound makes the home cinema experience perfect. However, the internal speakers of a projector are not sufficient for this. We therefore recommend using external speakers and/or a Dolby Digital or DTS AV receiver.

HD Projector Alternatives

A possible alternative to the HD projector is your LCD TV. In a small apartment, the size of the device can become a problem. When the TV is not running, the very large, black block in the room is distracting. An HD projector, on the other hand, is very small and unobtrusive.

Even a very large TV doesn’t offer the cinema experience that a projector does. Another disadvantage is the picture quality. LCD TVs offer only a low black level.

Also in terms of power consumption, you do not necessarily drive cheaper with a large screen than with the projector. The prices for a device with a competitive screen diagonal are significantly higher than those of an HD projector.

For true home theater enthusiasts, the question of an alternative does not arise. They have a TV in their living room in addition to their projector for movie enjoyment.

4.9/5 - (12 votes)

Last product update on 2022-06-30 | Source: Amazon Affiliate