Home theater projectors offer a fairly affordable way to view content on a screen, and their display size easily trumps that of even the largest mass-market TVs. Please note that in addition to a large room and tall ceilings, projectors require the purchase of a dedicated screen for an optimal viewing experience.
In order to help you find the best projector for your home theater, we’ve researched and evaluated a slew of different models from all the top brands to help you find the best one for your needs, budget, and setup. Our picks not only offer large pictures — they deliver outstanding image quality.
BenQ HT2050A Home Theater Projector
After comparing two dozen home theater projectors, we think the $700 BenQ HT2050A hits that sweet spot in finding a strong balance between price and performance without breaking the bank. The projector delivers Full HD content at a reasonable price. Wirecutter named the model a top pick for its excellent contrast ratio, its realistic-looking picture quality, and its superb brightness. It offers an easy setup, and it has 3-D support, two HDMI ports, and lets you easily connect your smartphone to it wirelessly.
Epson Home Cinema 5050UB Home Theater Projector
It’s a hard pill to swallow, but 4K projectors do not come cheap. Sony’s midrange 4K model came out almost 2 years ago. To be perfectly transparent, this projector isn’t a true 4K projector. It uses a technique called pixel shifting to replicate a full 4K picture. Evan Powell, an editor at Projector Central, compared several native 4K projectors against ones that use pixel shifting like the Epson, and he said that “in respect to detail definition itself, there is very little if any discernible differences between the two pictures, even when viewed close up.”
Sony VPL-HW45ES Home Theater Projector
The Sony VPL-HW45ES is a solid premium option that can display 1080p content, as well as 3-D content. It has an excellent brightness and contrast ratio, a long-lasting lamp (up to 6,000 hours), and a built-in fan that’s incredibly quiet. Handy image-calibration features are also on board.
Epson Home Cinema 2150 Home Theater Projector
As you would expect, a projector works best in a dark room, but this one is a great option for those who plan to use a projector in an area with windows. It boasts 2,500 lumens of brightness, and it won’t suffer from the dreaded “rainbow effect.” It offers an impressive, full 1080p resolution and built-in speakers, but it doesn’t support 3D content. Regardless, it’s a fine option with vivid colors that’s great for watching movies, shows, gaming, or casting content from your smartphone.
BenQ TK850 Home Entertainment Projector
The TK850 is one of BenQ’s newest projectors. With more than 3,000 lumens of brightness, the projector is a great choice for daytime TV watchers. It even comes with a built-in Sports Mode, which enhances the video quality to make colors commonly found on sports fields like greens and blues pop more than they would using a traditional projector. The sports setting also adjusts the built-in speakers to make commentators’ voices more prominent over the projector’s fans. Speaking of speakers, its 10-watt chambered speakers deliver impressive audio quality in practically any environment.