The best Home Theater projector right now

This review is updated regularly with new models

Last updated: September 8, 2019

More recently, projectors have only complemented the Home Theater. But in recent years, companies have been able to radically improve image quality of projected picture. Of course, TVs continue to provide maximum playback quality for 4K HDR content. But the maximum size of their screen is limited to 75 inches. Its further increase causes a sharp increase in the price of such models. In contrast, modern mid- and upper-price projectors have long exceeded this limit, easily providing 4K HDR quality for 100 inch projection sizes diagonally and above.

Introduction

Today companies were able to significantly reduce the price, by already offering 4K HDR projectors under $ 2,000. Additionally, they provide an excellent set of connections, eliminating the problem of downloading content.

Moreover, many models provide Keystone Correction and autofocus, which radically simplify their installation and setting.

As known, projectors traditionally use a powerful lamp as a light source. A few years ago, the high cost of the lamp (up to 40% of the cost of the projector) and the limited lamp life of up to several thousand hours required significant costs when replacing it. But today, companies have been able to significantly reduce their cost and increase their service life.

In addition, the development of the semiconductor LEDs and laser LEDs light sources provoked the emergence and rapid development of the LED projectors with a lifespan of 20,000-30,000 hours or more. In addition, LEDs practically do not heat up and, accordingly, do not require a powerful fan and a large internal volume for efficient heat dissipation. As a result, engineers were able to drastically reduce their weight and dimensions. Today the market offers portable pico or porket models in abundance.


And in conclusion, today almost all leading companies offer SMART models with excellent functionality which is not inferior to many ТVs. As a consequence, more and more consumers are choosing a projector as an alternative to TV.

TOPs

Of course, the abundance of offers pleases consumers, but sometimes it complicates the choice of the optimal projector. Various TOPs greatly simplify this task.

But consumers use different criteria when choosing consumer electronics. Some prefer the latest models with innovative solutions. Other buyers are guided by the opinions of experts who analyze primarily specs models. But many form their opinions on the basis of advertising and consumer reviews, which, most often, depend on the price / quality ratio of the model, warranty, etc. As a result, the content of these TOPs is usually different. This review offers all the options.

As a rule, most market leaders regularly introduce their new models to the market. 2019 was no exception and the range of projectors has also expanded significantly. The list of the new most promising projectors 2019 contains the following models:

– Epson Pro Cinema 5050UB/5050UBe and 6050UB 4K PRO-UHD;

– BenQ HT3550 and Premium CinePro Series (HT8060/HT9060);

– Optoma EH412/EH412ST;

– ViewSonic LS900WU;

– NEC P605UL Projector.

Today, experts most often include the following projectors in the TOPs of the best models:


– BenQ HT3550 (2019) (W2700 in Europe), BenQ HT2550 (2018) and BenQ TK800 (2018) DLP projectors;

– Optoma UHD51A (2018) and Optoma UHD65 (2017);

– Epson Home Cinema 4010 (2018) (EH-TW7400 in Europe).

The list of Best Sellers with the maximum number of positive reviews includes:

– ViewSonic 3600 Lm SVGA Projector;

– BenQ HT2050A Home Theater Projector;

– Optoma HD27E 1080p Home Cinema Projector and Optoma GT1080 Darbee Short Throw Projector;

– Epson Home Cinema 2150 1080p 3LCD projector.

This review offers the most promising projectors from each TOP.

Epson 5050UB / 5050UBe 4K HDR Home Theater projector

Unlike UB models, UBe projectors have module for support wireless HDMI technology based on the well-regarded WirelessHD standard. Of course, they are more expensive about $ 300.

As known, the 5050UB replaced the very popular 5040UB of 2016. The company has not even changed the usual design.

The new model continues the evolution of Epson 4K HDR projectors.


5050UB costs almost $ 2700 and provides 2600 lumens of brightness for color and white with a resolution of 1920×1080.

Key Features

Traditionally for Epson, its projector provides identical values for White Light Output and Color Brightness. As known, 3LCD technology simultaneously uses three colors, unlike DLP technology. As a consequence, it eliminates the decrease in brightness due to losses on the Color Wheel. Therefore, Epson regularly mentions the high color brightness of its 3LCD projectors. In the end, the company initiated the introduction and use of CLO (Color Light Output) for a more objective assessment of the real brightness of the projector. Indeed, side-by-side comparison of these technologies visualizes this difference well.

But, of course, the improvement of 4K-Enhancement pixel shift technology has become the main advantage of the model. It uses pixel plates with tighter tolerances. This engineering solution increases the angles of the leading and trailing edges of the electron shift pulse, reducing the delay between the depression and the crest of the pixel shift. As a consequence, the new projector has less downtime, providing greater light output and faster signal. As a result, the 5050UB provides better accuracy, greater performance, and higher speed. According to the company, the maximum supported resolution of 5050UB reaches DCI 4K (4096 x 2160) vs 3840 x 2160 for 5040UB.


In addition, the 5050UB provides enhanced HDR support by automatically determining the HDR standard and supporting customization from the menu.

Of course, the projector supports many other innovative technologies from EPSON.

With high probability, the excellent accuracy and color contrast, wide lens shift and built-in wireless HDMI will make this model a bestseller in the segment of low-cost 4K PRO-UHD projectors.

BenQ HT3550 4K HDR projector

In April 2019 BenQ introduced a new great 4K HDR projector with a price of only $ 1,500 , which claims to lead the list of the best budget Home Theater models. HT3550 continued the very popular series, which includes BenQ HT 3050, HT 2050, and HT 2050a.

This projector provides brightness of 2,000 Lumens, 30,000: 1 (full on / off with dynamic iris on) contrast, uses Dynamic Iris and supports Ultra HD 4K (3840 x 2160) resolution!

Main pros:

– new TI 0.47-inch next-generation DLP XPR chip with four-phase pixel shifting provides 4K UHD (3840 x 2160) resolution;


-vivid, contrast-filled picture;

– model supports HDR10 and HLG HDR-standards;

– new chip minimizes the dark frame around the image;

– color accuracy from box reaches less than 3 Delta E for Rec.709, 100% Rec.709 coverage and 95% DCI-P3 coverage.

In addition, a 10-element, 8-group (all glass) 1.3x zoom lens projects 100-inch diagonal image from throw distance 8.25-10.75 ft (Throw Ratio of 1.13:1 – 1.47:1(D:W)).

Other BenQ HT3550 key features:

– six-segment RGBRGB color wheel;

– 100% Rec.709 color gamut in D, 97% Rec.709 in Cinema mode at a higher brightness, and 95% DCI-P3 in the preset version;

– Low, Middle, High, or Off dynamic iris modes;

– +10% vertical lens shift and ± 30 ° Vertical Keystone Correction;

– two 18 Gbps HDMI 2.0b, HDCP 2.2 ports;

– 4 color preset modes, one user mode for SDR, and modes for 3D, HDR10, and HLG;

– lockable ISF Night and Day mode support;

– silence mode blocks the pixel shift option, reducing the resolution to 1080p;

– color cntrol system provides settings for RGBCMY hue, saturation, gain, and adjusts white balance for RGB gain and offset;

– 5-position HDR Brightness control;

– CineMaster video processing includes color enhancement, flesh tones, detail enhancement, and frame interpolation;


– two built-in 5-watt speakers;

– Full HD 3D playback support;

– backlit remote;

– Lamp Life is 4,000/ 10,000 /15,000 hours (Normal/Eco/SmartEco modes); replacement lamp costs $150, 3-year warranty, and 1 year on lamp.

Unfortunately, BenQ’s default settings provide smaller gamut compared to max possible (95% vs 105%), and input lag is too high for some modern games. In addition, the model uses basic, dated software, and the fan noise is clearly audible during operation. And, of course, this is not the brightest model. But the great price completely compensates for these small flaws. Today, this model successfully competes with the popular Epson 5050UB, which is more than $ 1,000 more expensive.

ViewSonic PA503S 3600 Lm SVGA projector

This popular SVGA projector appeared on the market in Jul 2017. The company positions it as portable, but its dimensions and weight reach 4.3 x 11.4 x 8.6 inches (HxWxD) and 4.9 lbs, respectively.

However, the classification of models into pico, pocket, portable or mini projectors is very conditional and depends on marketing reasons.


The projector brightness reaches 3,600 Lumens with 800 x 600 resolution and 22,000: 1 (full on/off) contrast. This model uses six-segment Color Wheel and Metal Halide with Lamp Life of 4,500 hours / 15,000 hours (eco).

This projetor with very low Input Lag 16ms (min) is a great as a game console. In addition, its optics with Throw Ratio of 1.96:1 – 2.15:1 (Zoom Lens 1.10:1) provides a 120-inch diagonal projection with Throw Distance nearly 16 ft (zooming 1.05x).

Moreover, model supports Full HD 3D, Digital Zoom and ± 40 ° Vertical Digital Keystone.

Unfortunately, the projector has only 2.0 W mono speaker.

Today, sellers offer this model at a price up to $ 300, which ensures the high popularity of this projector.

Conclusion

Naturally, projectors from segment leaders, including Epson, BenQ, and ViewSonic among the many TOP lists.

All these models have excellent specs and are great for Home Theater with a screen size of 120″ or more. Moreover, today their price is comparable with the cost of modern TVs with a diagonal of 65″.


The Epson 5050UB 4K PRO-UHD uses latest Epson’s innovative technologies, including improved 4K-Enhancement pixel shift, delivering superb quality at a price of only $ 2,700. In addition, this 3LCD model has identical values for White Light Output and Color Brightness, providing higher real brightness compared to DLP projectors with the same nominal brightness.

The BenQ HT3550 uses the new 0.47-inch next-generation DLP XPR chip. In future, this relatively cheap model with excellent specs may well take pride of place among Best Sellers.

Unprecedented low price, rather high specs, and very low Input Lag provide the huge popularity of ViewSonic PA503S among consumers. Today it is the best budget option.

We sincerely wish you the Right Solution!

This video shows the ViewSonic PA503S.

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