Projectors are no longer intended for company presentation purposes only. Projectors are conquering home walls as home theater devices and are providing more or less good picture results. Want a cinema feeling at home? With a projector and the appropriate accessories, this is not a problem. The devices can still be found in numerous companies and offices to carry out presentations. Since the application area of the projectors is quite extensive, it is not surprising that the number of available products has also increased steadily.
When buying a projector or video projector – as the projectors are also called – you should note certain things. There are some big differences in terms of design, quality and technologies. You can find out which these are in our projector guide. Before that, however, we compare 11 current devices in detail for you and look at the features and functions and how they behave in comparison to the competing products.
1. BenQ HT2550
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If you want to be optimally equipped for the future, then you should commit yourself to a well-equipped projector that resolves content in 4K. One model that ensures this is the BenQ HT2550 home theater DLP projector. Besides, the HLG and HDR10 functions are used here, so that you can further enhance your image material. The manufacturer promises both visual and acoustic cinema experiences at home. We have tested the device and can confirm the high quality.
Thanks to the Cinematic Color feature, the true color representation of all content is ensured for you. Even if you only have the material in Full HD, the so-called upscaling to 4K is implemented. The BenQ DLP projector with Cinematic Color ensures this completely automatically when you have activated the feature. There are also many options available for the connections. Combine a Blu-ray player via the two HDMI ports and play content in 4K via your projector, which is practical.
The BenQ projector offers you these additional features:
- Resolution: 3,840 x 2,160 pixels = 4K UHD
- Brightness: 2,000 ANSI lumens
- Contrast: 10,000: 1
- Ports: 2 USB ports
- Zoom: 1.1x zoom
- Manufacturer guarantee: 2 years
These values should ensure excellent image quality in terms of color rendering, brightness, contrast ratio and image optimization. In addition, the automatic keystone correction enables you to align the images from different angles. Besides, the light housing of the HT2550 and its narrow profile should also appeal to you optically. The scope of delivery of this 4K projector includes the white DLP projector, power cord, remote control including batteries, manual CD, quick start guide and guarantee declaration.
2. Epson Home Cinema 3700
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The Epson projector 3700 with Full HD is an LCD projector that convinces with many features. According to various test reports, this LCD projector can be classified in the upper class in the home theater area. The resolution of the Epson projector is 1,920 x 1,080 pixels and the device offers an excellent picture due to the Full HD resolution.
Thanks to the 3,000 ANSI lumens and the high contrast value of 70,000: 1, the Epson projector can also be installed in rooms that do not offer the option of being darkened.
The lamp life is 5,000 hours, which theoretically means that you can watch a movie in economy mode every day for seven years. Overall, the maintenance of the Epson projector is kept to a minimum. Thanks to the innovative 3LCD technology that Epson uses for this projector, natural, brilliant and lighter colors and deep blacks are the result, according to the manufacturer.
In terms of price, the projector from Epson is in the upper price category, although there are more expensive devices.
3. BenQ TH683
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The Full HD projector TH683 from BenQ is suitable for data and video projection with a 1.3x zoom. With a resolution of 1,920 x 1,080 and image brightness of 3,200 ANSI lumens and a maximum vertical resolution of 1,080 pixels, the BenQ projector is impressive.
In terms of image contrast ratio, the BenQ projector with the contrast value of 10,000: 1 shows a big difference to the previous Epson projector. The BenQ Full HD projector is equipped with 10-watt speakers, which ensure a good sound balance in the home theater area.
One of the special features of the BenQ projector is the manufacturer’s Football Mode and Football Picture Mode.
The Football Mode is supposed to provide a real grandstand feeling in the home walls. Every player and every blade of grass on the field is brought to life by the large screen of 100 inches.
With Football Picture Mode you can watch football games with a very precise color matching and optimal picture quality. The Football Picture Mode was designed for particularly bright environments.
If the BenQ projector is not in the center, the automatic keystone correction ensures that the trapezoid effect is compensated for by vertical displacement.
The operation of the projector should be simple and self-explanatory. Thanks to the automatic source recognition, the projector finds the active input source itself. The installation of the BenQ TH683 home theater projector is also easy according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Step by step you will be guided visually through the setup function. The BenQ projector with Full HD comes from the middle price category.
4. Epson Home Cinema 5040UB
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A new image resolution has also been established in the field of projectors. So today you get advanced 4K projectors like the Epson 5040UB, which will ensure a crystal clear image in a particularly high resolution. HDR support is also provided so that a real cinema feeling can arise in your own four walls.
You can benefit from the ultimate image quality with the Epson 5040UB projector. The technology Epson Frame Interpolation is used, which means that not too high-resolution material is scaled accordingly. In combination with the two technologies Super Resolution and Detail Enhancement, the result is surprisingly good image quality.
In addition to simple installation, you can also look forward to whisper-quiet operation with this model from Epson. If you have switched on the Eco mode, this device only reaches up to 20 decibels during operation. Integrated speakers are also installed. For an improved soundscape, it is nevertheless recommended that you use external speakers or a good soundbar.
5. BenQ MH535FHD
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The DLP projector MH535 from the assortment of the brand manufacturer BenQ, which is available for a very good price, also promises a particularly good image quality. If you require at least Full HD, this device should be suitable for you. The BenQ MH535 DLP projector is suitable for the home as well as for corporate applications and the outdoor area.
The contrast amounts to 3,500 ANSI lumens at 15,000: 1. These are solid values. Besides, the manufacturer also integrates two HDMI connections, so it shouldn’t be a problem to combine external devices with this projector.
With the BenQ MH535 projector, the function for vertical keystone correction is particularly worth mentioning. This guarantees that you can always select the perfectly aligned image format and compensate for the so-called trapezoid effect. If you want to make use of this feature, you can also use professionally adjusted images without any loss of quality, which can be viewed by the viewer from almost any angle.
6. Acer H6517ST
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For the sixth device from our comparison of the most recommended projectors, we would like to introduce you to another device from Acer. The Acer H6517ST DLP projector is ideal for particularly short distances.
This model from Acer also offers a Full HD resolution (1,920 x 1,080 pixels). The areas of application are to be interpreted in many ways, since this model can be used for home cinema, among other things, whereby games are also conceivable. Also worth mentioning are the two HDMI connections, with which the Acer H6517ST Full HD projector can be comfortably supplied with all the content of your choice.
According to the manufacturer, a maximum operating time of 4,000 hours can be expected in normal mode. However, if you opt for the energy-saving eco mode, the operating time is maximized up to 6,000 hours.
Thanks to the 3,200 ANSI lumens, this model provides maximum brightness and a sharp 3D image even in daylight. The usual features known for Acer projectors are of course also available. The Acer H6517ST short-distance DLP projector scores with features such as Acer ColorBoost 3D, Acer ColorSafe II and Acer SmartFormat.
7. ELEPHAS PRO610
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The seventh model of our projector comparison is the ELEPHAS PRO610. This model has a brightness of 4,500 lumens. In addition, this projector features an LED light source and an LC display with a contrast ratio of 3,000: 1. You can access an image size of 44 to 200 inches at a distance of 1.5 to 5.5 meters. The projector’s native resolution is 1,280 x 800 pixels, i.e. Full HD.
According to the manufacturer, there are numerous ways to connect the device to a media source. This includes:
- SD card
- Audio out
You can also connect devices such as Amazon Fire TV stick, Roku streaming stick, laptop, Blu-ray player, DVD player, PS4, PS3, Xbox or TV box. It is also possible to use USB sticks or external hard drives. The projector also has an audio port for connecting speakers.
8. Acer H5382BD
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This DLP projector from Acer delivers a maximum resolution of 1,280 x 720 pixels and is therefore suitable for beginners in the home theater segment. You can also use this device to throw media in 4K onto the screen. So with this device, you can easily make a home cinema from your living room. The Acer H5382BD projector supports all common Blu-ray players. An HDMI connection is available for this.
The extremely high contrast of 20,000: 1 is impressive. Thanks to the 3,300 ANSI lumens, a very sharp and bright image is also created. The Acer modes ColorBoost 3D and ColorSafe II are also available for an optimal display of the colors and can be activated as required.
For a better home cinema experience, the Full HD LCD projector is equipped with stereo speakers. This full HD LCD projector is one of the affordable projectors in our comparison.
9. Epson Home Cinema 1060
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With the 3LCD projector from Epson, you can display films and all other content in Full HD on a screen. The native resolution of the Epson Home Cinema 1060 is 1,920 x 1,080 pixels. The contrast ratio of this model is 15,000: 1. The Japanese manufacturer specifies the brightness as 3,100 ANSI lumens.
This is a high-quality 3LCD home theater projector with Wi-Fi. Accordingly, it is also possible that you can wirelessly transfer all content from a playback device, such as a computer, to the projector.
Manual adjustment is also possible quickly thanks to the horizontal and automatically vertical keystone correction, as the manufacturer emphasizes. Epson has also installed a 2-watt speaker. This ensures that you even have a playback function for the audio content. To ensure the best possible sound quality, it is always recommended that you use external speakers or a corresponding sound system.
Your advantages with the Epson EH-TW650 3LCD projector
- Colors up to three times brighter
- No rainbow effect
- Projection technology with deep black tones
With this Full HD projector, you can count on a long lifespan, because, according to Epson, the lamp lasts for up to 11 years. It is also possible to use a screen size of up to 300 inches, i.e. 7.62 meters.
10. Optoma UHD50
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If you would like to use a projector that supports 4K UHD resolution, you usually have to expect high prices. Nevertheless, you can rely on the latest technology that will replace classic Full HD projectors in the future. For example, we can recommend a device that supports 4K from the manufacturer Optoma.
This is the Optoma UHD50, which is available for less than 1,000 dollars, provided you choose the variant with 2,400 ANSI lumens. Resolutions of 3,840 x 2,160 pixels are therefore not a problem at all, although the HDR10 feature is also supported by this device.
This projector from Optoma also supports the Color Management System (CMS). This enables you to edit any color precisely using the settings menu. A built-in speaker is also available in this device, so you may save yourself the expense of additional speakers.
11. ViewSonic PG700WU
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A projector specially designed for the business area can be found in the assortment of the manufacturer ViewSonic for you. The ViewSonic PG700WU Business DLP projector is therefore very suitable for this area of application, which is related to many different functions that this device supports.
You benefit from a solid WUXGA resolution of a total of 1,920 x 1,200 pixels. This is higher than the popular Full HD format, which offers several advantages. The contrast ratio of 12,000: 1 is also in a solid range. It is also important for the business area that audio may also be output. In the form of a presentation, this can easily be combined with this ViewSonic PG700WU business projector, since 2-watt speakers are installed here.
It is a very bright business projector that, according to the manufacturer, can be easily installed and is equipped with a projector lamp that offers a lifespan of up to 15,000 hours. So if you use this projector in the long term, you will ultimately benefit from lower costs for replacement lamps.
What is a projector, how does it work and what is it used for?
For many years, the projectors have been used for presentation purposes in the office and business. However, in recent years, projectors have become more and more popular as a replacement for television. Standing pictures and moving pictures are shown on the projector on the screen, which is attached at a certain distance, in an enlarged form. The quality of the display already reaches cinema-quality depending on the device. Through the projector or the projector, as the devices are also called, you get a certain cinema feeling in your own four walls.
The combination with the so-called home theater surround systems not only gives you an excellent large picture, but also the appropriate acoustics.
The projectors are equipped with different connections, which enable the connection of various devices. DVD players or Blu-ray players, iPhones, Android smartphones, game consoles, computers, and other end devices can be connected to the projectors.
The projectors usually have USB ports so that a USB stick can also be inserted. This variant is often used in business or school to be able to present presentations or videos via the projector. In this case, the projector is used in its original form of use, the presentation purposes.
However, there are differences in the brightness, resolution, contrast ratio and lamp power of the projectors in the home theater area. For this reason, in one of the next sections, we will discuss what you should pay attention to when buying a projector.
Functions and structure of a projector
As basic components of a projector are
- the housing
- the LCD unit
- the lighting unit
- the cooling
- internal speakers
- the connection options
The lighting unit is, so to speak, the heart of the projector. The lamps used correspond to the brightness of our daylight and with them, colors can be reproduced true to detail and true to the original. With its white light, the lighting unit can generate the entire color spectrum.
The emitted light component is directed in the direction of an optical axis via a reflector, which acts as a concave mirror. These bundled light beams arrive at a condenser lens, which completely illuminates the first Fresnel lens, which is located in front of the LCD unit. As a result, the playback image is completed right up to its edges and completely bright. A UV or IR filter, which is located between the condenser lens and the Fresnel lens, largely reduces the infrared and ultraviolet components.
What do the abbreviations LCD, DLP and LED mean for the projectors?
When looking for a suitable projector, you will encounter various abbreviations, such as LCD, DLP, 3LCD or LED.
And that’s what the abbreviations stand for:
LCD stands for “Liquid Crystal Display” and stands for a technology that is used by projectors, which are primarily used in business for presentations. In the case of LCD technology, the white light from the projector lamp is split into the three primary colors of green, red and blue and then passed on through three individual LCD screens.
This technique creates a color image on the canvas. While the natural and strong colors and gradients are displayed excellently, the saturation level of the color black has to be compromised.
The DLP process (Digital Light Processing) is now much more popular than the conventional LCD process. This method is used especially in high-resolution projectors. In this process, millions of tiny mirrors are projected onto the wall, from which the picture is formed.
Every single tiny mirror corresponds to a point of light, and a corresponding invisible tilting movement of the mirror makes it possible to create all possible color gradations, even if these are only obtained from the primary colors. And it is precisely this DLP process that promises particularly good image quality with high contrast values and rich black tones.
However, there is a small side effect that cannot be avoided – the so-called rainbow effect. If the viewer’s eye movements are not synchronized with the movements on the screen, the basic colors can be recognized for a short moment.
3LCD is a fairly new technology on the projector market and is not yet used in many devices. White light is broken down into the three primary colors by dichroic mirrors and brought onto the screen by its LCD. The basic colors are combined with the remaining colors within a prism. The luminosity of these 3LCD projectors is excellent so that these devices are also suitable for use in very bright rooms.
The abbreviation LED stands for “Light Emitting Diode”. With this technique, the image is projected onto the screen using either the LCD or the DLP method. The LED technology uses small LED lamps, which is particularly advantageous for the user of the projector
LED projectors generate significantly less heat than the other devices, so they do not need fans for cooling. Powerful conventional projectors, in particular, need large and often loud fans to cool the device accordingly. The LED lamps have a lifespan of around 20,000 hours – a considerable amount of time compared to normal projector lamps. Because these often give up after about 3,000 to 5,000 performance hours and have to be replaced.
Important criteria of a projector - contrast ratio, light intensity & resolution
Before you decide on a projector, you should know about the two important criteria of contrast ratio and light intensity. Because these are responsible for the more or less excellent quality in the home theater area.
The contrast ratio represents an important measured value that informs you as a consumer about the maximum difference in brightness between black and white.
The higher the contrast ratio of a projector, the brighter and more vivid the picture shown on the screen. With low contrast ratios, the colors are often matt and the black tone is more like a gray tone.
With a projector that is used for presentation purposes in the company, the contrast ratio is usually not relevant. In contrast, in the home theater area – here high quality and detailed image reproduction are required.
This means that the projector should have a contrast ratio of at least 5000: 1, but a contrast ratio of 10,000: 1 is recommended for an excellent home cinema experience. It gets perfect with contrasts of 50,000: 1 – especially if you plan to connect a game console to the projector.
The light intensity of the projector is specified in lumens or ANSI lumens and provides information about the brightness when the projector is used in dark or light rooms. If the projector is used in dark rooms, the light intensity can be too low. It is then logical that the light intensity should be high when used in very bright rooms.
The resolution of the projector - Full HD, HD ready or 4K?
The newer projectors, in particular, present very good picture resolutions and can often keep up with the competition, the flat-screen TVs. There are various criteria for the resolution that is relevant to the purpose of the projector.
Full HD stands for razor-sharp image quality and is suitable for watching Blu-ray discs. Projectors with Full HD resolution usually have a maximum resolution of 1,920 x 1,080 pixels. Full HD projectors are also the perfect projectors when a high-resolution video game is transmitted via connected game consoles.
HD ready stands for an image resolution of 1,280 x 780 pixels and is comparable to the resolution of the television. If you want to watch high-definition TV programs or DVDs with the projector, you are well served with an HD-ready projector.
4K projectors are the latest devices on the market. The “4” stands for four times higher resolution than the Full HD projector. 4K projectors present themselves with a proud resolution of 4,096 x 2,160 pixels. It is therefore logical that this new technology costs accordingly. Besides, there is hardly a selection of 4K films, so that you are in principle ahead of your future if you buy such a projector.
Projectors with an XGA resolution are among the outdated models because the technology has long been outdated. However, these projectors are still suitable for presentation purposes, to show pictures or simple videos.
Seating Distance to the Projector Screen
As with the larger televisions, you should also maintain a certain seat distance from the projector screen. There are two key features here: the size of the canvas and the resolution of the media. There are the following guidelines:
- 4K resolution: 1 times of the screen width
- Full HD resolution: 1.5 times the screen width
- HD resolution: 1.8 times the screen width
What should you look for when buying a projector?
When buying a projector, the intended purpose is relevant. If you only want to use the projector for business, you are generally well advised to use an LCD projector.
An alternative to the LCD projectors is the LED projectors, whose long lifespan the LED lamps can be a benefit. However, if the projector should provide the perfect cinema feeling in your home, then you should consider purchasing a DLP projector or a projector with 3LCD technology.
Otherwise, you should use the criteria listed and explained above such as
- contrast ratio
- luminous intensity
Does the projector have integrated speakers? What about the life of the lamp? And of course, you should take a closer look at the state of the art in projector technology.
Otherwise, the connection options are still relevant. Which end devices can you connect to the projector? As a rule, the projectors have connections for
- PC or laptop
- Tablet or smartphone
- memory stick
- Blu-ray or DVD player
- iPad or iPhone
HDMI ports or chinch connections or USB ports are, so to speak, part of the standard equipment of a projector.
What about the radiation from a projector?
The high light intensity of the projector can cause damage to the sense of sight. Therefore, projectors should always be placed in such a way that you cannot look directly into the light of the projector.
The eye closes itself when you look into the bright lamp of the projector, but the light rays can still reach the retina. Therefore, a ceiling installation of the projector is recommended. As a result, the beams of light from the projector hit the screen from above.
How do I properly care for a projector?
The maintenance of certain parts of the projector is essential to maintain excellent image quality. You should proceed with care and cleaning consistently, with appropriate technical knowledge and skill. In addition to the lens, the coordination of the three-color panels should be carried out with LCD projectors.
You can take a look at our maintenance tips for projectors.
Which projector is good and cheap?
Perhaps the most important question for many people before buying a projector is which projector is good. However, this question cannot be answered across the board. Because ultimately it depends on the respective application. If you use a projector for use in your home to conjure up a cinema feeling in your home, look at features other than the business user who needs the projector for presentations or training.
The question of the cheapest projector is also not that easy to answer. As you saw in our comparison, there are models for less than 200 dollars, while other devices cost well over 1,000 dollars. Of course, equipment and functions play an important role here. The better the equipment and the more functions are available, the more a projector costs. Depending on the intended use and optional equipment, a projector can be cheap for 200 dollars, but also 800 dollars.
Where can I buy a projector?
There are various ways of buying a projector. For example, you can find a small selection of devices in specialist shops. After all, here you have the advantage of receiving specialist advice. You will also sometimes find one or the other model in the electronics department of a large department store. The largest selection and usually the best prices are available from online companies like Amazon. Here you can usually choose from a variety of models that are available immediately. There are also numerous user reviews from other buyers available.
Can I borrow a projector?
If you want to have a look at a projector before you buy it, you can also borrow it. Of course, this is also possible if you need the devices for a one-off company event, for example. Distributors of these devices have both professional 4K models and simple LCD projectors on offer. When renting a beamer, however, you have to consider the possible deposit, which you usually have to pay, in addition to the actual costs, which are stored quite differently.
Projector & screen - important for the image intensity
The projector has been bought and installed, but you are far from satisfied with the image intensity. This can be due to the combination of the projector with the screen or, if you do not have a screen, because of it.
If the projector is used to project directly onto a white wall, the quality of the image reproduction suffers. Because mostly the white walls are not pure white, the smallest structures in the wall can impair the picture quality.
When buying a projector, you should also get a canvas, because this guarantees you a correct and excellent reproduction of the image. A projector screen that is coated with vinyl fibers does not wrinkle as quickly and can be cleaned with a damp cloth and detergent.
Are there accessories for a projector?
If you buy or own a projector, you will also receive several interesting accessories for your device. Perhaps the most important accessory for a projector is the projector ceiling mount. You can also buy wall brackets for the devices. There are also projector trolleys and tripods on the projector accessories market. You can also use special projector screens. Beamer lamps are also available for the projector accessories, but as a rule, you only have to change them after many years – depending on the type and model.
In addition, there are of course various cables such as HDMI cables or VGA cables for the projectors. You may also need it
- Audio systems
- 3D glasses
- remote controls
Are there alternatives to a projector?
The view of the alternatives to a projector is quite short – but there are still two interesting alternatives. First, it is Google Chromecast, but you have to use it with a TV. This means that films, series or presentations can be transferred from a smartphone, tablet, laptop or another device to the TV at any location. If you do this in connection with a 75-inch TV, for example, you will also have a slightly larger projection surface – although of course, you will not reach the 300 inches that some projectors can achieve.
The second alternative is the Amazon Fire TV Stick. With this, you can play series and films from Amazon, as you cannot use Google Chromecast for them. You can also connect the Fire TV Stick to the TV via USB, as is the case with Chromecast.
You can of course also use a laptop in connection with an HDMI cable for presentations to transfer them to larger devices.
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Last product update on 2022-09-29 | Source: Amazon Affiliate