Having the perfect home theater all starts with having a good projector, because having excellent picture is 90% of the battle. Check out a few of our picks for the best affordable projector for a home theater and start enjoying movies how they are meant to be seen—BIG—today!
The BenQ HT3550 DLP projector offers 4K HDR with CinematicColor technology for extra vivid color, all being output through a proprietary low-dispersion lens coating to minimize chromatic aberration. Alongside that technology comes the Enhanced Color Mapping to give precision color, as well as HDR-PRO technology to enhance the 4K HDR viewing experience. The BenQ HT3550 features two HDMI inputs, one USB type-a input, and both an audio in and audio out 3.5mm jacks.
“For the money it actually offers a ton. The projector boasts a clear, vivid image that’s perfect for the home theater — and with the 4K resolution and HDR support, it’s a great option considering its price,” says Tech Radar in their review. Projector Reviews adds the color on the BenQ HT3550 “right out of the box, (in the best modes) is reasonably accurate and looks very good. Combine that with Black Level performance that is better than anything else near the price (other than the current close out of a more expensive Epson).”
Much like the HT3550, the BenQ HT2550 DLP projector offers 4K HDR with CinematicColor technology for extra vivid color. The BenQ HT2550 also employs 1.2x zoom to maximize available space with a range of throw distances. Inputs include two HDMI inputs, a USB Type-B, and both an audio in and audio out 3.5mm jacks.
CNET says the “BenQ HT2550 is one of the least expensive 4K projectors available. It actually produces full 4K resolution onscreen, and its image is slightly sharper than you get from non-4K projectors. Initial color is relatively accurate.” Schrader notes that while the BenQ HT2550 is expensive “to someone used to seeing discount 4K TVs, for the price you can’t do much better. The projector boasts vivid, clear colors, plenty of detail, and a 4K resolution – all at well under $2,000. That’s no small feat.”
The Optoma UHD60 DLP projector offers 4K UHD 3840×2160 resolution and bright 3,000 lumens, as well as HDR10 compatibility, vertical lens-shift for flexible installation, and 1.6x zoom. The Optoma UHD60 also employs UltraDetail technology for extra clear pictures. Inputs include one HDMI 1.4a, a VGA-in, one 3.5mm audio-in, an audio-out, a USB 2.0 port, and is powered by a USB-A jack.
CNET calls the Optoma UHD60 an “inexpensive for a 4K projector and can deliver an image that’s slightly sharper than non-4K projectors. It has great contrast and a brighter image than many competitors.” ProjectorCentral says the projector “offers some very key advantages including high contrast, solid black level, good color calibration out of the box that can easily be tweaked to outstanding, strong HDR performance, and very low fan noise.”
The Optoma HD143X DLP projector offers full 1080p resolution, supports 3D source material, has dynamic black technology for added depth, an auto power-off function after periods of inactivity, and the option to turn it into a smart display by connecting the HDCast Pro or Apple TV. The Optoma HD143X also features two HDMI inputs and an audio out 3.5mm jack. 23,000:1 contrast gives crisp picture quality while a 12,000-hour lamp keeps the show going.
The HD143X is new, but its immediate predecessor the HD142X garnered praise for a projector at this price: “The Optoma HD142X has very good overall image quality with full-HD resolution, solid contrast and accurate color. It’s one of the least expensive projectors available for this level of quality” says CNET. Optoma HD142X does everything well, adds TechRadar. “the HD142X performs well with both straight out of the box, which is rare. Expect clean, crisp images with plenty of accurate color, and more contrast and shadow detail.’
The Epson Home Cinema 4010 3-LCD projector easily displays 4K content with its advanced pixel-shifting resolution-enhancement technology, and employs Wide Color Gamut, HDR High Dynamic Range and 100% Balanced Color Brightness to best produce content closely to its source material. The Epson Home Cinema 4010 offers 2,400 lumens of color and has two HDMI inputs, two USB inputs, and a LAN input. While it does not offer the deepest blacks, it’s a more affordable alternative to the Epson 5050UB.
“Over time, Epson has progressively closed any visible gap between its pixel-shifted 1080p and other manufacturer’s 4K-resolution projectors, and the 4010 is significant in its introduction of 4K PRO-UHD,” says Projector Central. “Positioned at a crowded price point where specifications tend to drive (or is it confuse?) the marketplace, Epson delivers a clear winner when overall image fidelity governs the selection criteria,” adds Home Theater Review.
The Viewsonic PJD7828HDL DLP projector features a short throw lens, 3,200 lumens for excellent imagery regardless of room brightness, full HD 1920×1080 native resolution, Viewsonic’s SuperColor IPSMatch technology to best represent colors, and a single remote control that allows control of up to eight projectors. The Viewsonic PJD7828HDL offers two HDMI ports and an integrated and secure MHL/HDMI port that lets you discreetly stream multimedia content from an optional wireless dongle.
Viewsonic PJD7828HDL brings “color accuracy suitable for traditional home theater, enough brightness to stand up to ambient light in a family room, and fast input lag for gaming,” according to Projector Central. “The Viewsonic PJD7828HDL offers very good image quality for the price, with full HD resolution, a bright image and solid contrast. A short-throw lens helps it project a larger image in smaller spaces. There’s a nook that’s perfect for a streaming stick,” adds CNET.
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