Which model is right for you?
As a dedicated lockdown, there is one positive thing about the global pandemic. Media companies have started to ditch theatrical releases on various streaming platforms. Some might say that a bit of the magic is lost when you watch movies intended for theaters on a small screen. But what if you could show movies on the big screen at home, and in 4k, nothing less? We have compiled the best home theater projectors worth buying.
What are home cinema projectors?
The concept of buying a quality cinema projector is nothing new. I mean, you always got to buy one. The main difference here is that we’ve reached a point where projectors are specifically designed for home theater environments. Like computers and microwaves, these devices were incredibly expensive luxuries that are now, more or less, widely available.
Granted, you’ll still pay them a pretty dime if you really want something that will deliver the crisp picture and sound quality you expect from your local cinema. However, if you’re anything like me, there are a lot of tradeoffs you would make so that you don’t have to get in your car, go to a busy parking lot, and deal with “people” all the time.
When it comes to the home theater projectors featured here, here are the three headings I’ll be judging them on:
- Ease of use
- Audio and video quality
- Versatility and special features
Is a Home Theater Projector Right for Me?
I don’t want to overlook the magic of watching a new movie in a crowded room with like-minded people laughing at the same jokes or jumping at the same scares. The last movie I saw in theaters was Sonic the hedgehog, with my partner and my then 12-year-old niece. Seeing both pie-eyed millennials and doe-eyed zoomers enjoy the same movie was heartwarming.
Still, I rather like my couch, I can pop some pretty tasty corn, and I buy Sour Patch Kids in bulk. All that’s missing from the equation is a good quality home theater projector. Aside from homebody like me, there’s one word that runs through my head: accessibility.
There are physical, mental, or emotional limitations that can prevent people from watching movies at the movies. Why couldn’t these people enjoy the magic of home theater? Here is a selection of the best home theater projectors available.
Inexpensive Home Theater Projectors For Beginners
It’s not always safe to drop half a salary on a projector you might end up hating. If you’re not very picky about things like sound quality, high definition, and other bells and whistles, there are a handful of models that will get the job done without a massive investment.
1) MOOKA Q6 1080p Bluetooth Projector
- Characteristics: Like pretty much all home theater projectors, the screen size varies depending on the distance between the projector and the screen (or the wall – we’ll talk about that later). This one goes from 40 inches to 300. Talk about theater. Not only is it Bluetooth enabled, but you can use any plug and play device like Roku or Amazon Fire to stream to it. It even comes with a handy carrying case. Plus, at 8,500 lumens, it’s one of the brightest projectors in this price range.
- Reverse: It’s too noisy. The fan inside the machine is audible and may interfere with listening to the movie you are watching. Still, connecting it to an external audio device via Bluetooth may be worth it if you’re looking to save some money.
- Price: $ 169
2) Mini projector Anker Nebula Capsule
- Characteristics: We’ve all had that thought. “I wish my home theater projector was as small as a can of Coke Zero. Well, thanks to the magic of modern technology, that wish is now a beautiful reality. It has a built-in Android operating system, so you can stream directly from the machine. Just point, adjust focus, sit back and enjoy.
- Reverse: It’s portable, but it’s not exactly a powerhouse. It only works for up to 4 hours, and that’s when it’s in battery saving mode. In addition, it exceeds 100 inches. However, that’s still pretty huge, considering the size of the homescreens.
- Price: $ 279 (with coupon)
Mid-range cinema projectors for budding moviegoers
Do you remember the first time you saw a show in HD? Difficult to go back to lesser definitions, is not it? These projectors represent a breakthrough in terms of image, sound and versatility.
3) Epson EpiqVision Mini Smart Streaming Laser Projector
- Characteristics: My love affair with home theater projectors began with this bad boy. If you’re willing to make the slight investment, this is a great starter projector because it works right out of the box. Built-in Android TV lets you stream videos up to 4K, with Yamaha sound. It’s even small enough to be considered portable. Check out my full review of the device here.
- Reverse: At only 1000 lumens, you have to use it in a dark environment. It might sound silly, but some people like to watch movies with the lights on. Go figure it out.
- Price: $ 899
4) Optoma UHD50X 4K projector
- Characteristics: While the EpiqVision works in most gaming situations, some picky gamers say there is a slight input lag. The Optoma UHD50X 4K is designed for movie buffs and gamers. Lag-free gaming in true 4K at an unfathomable 3,400 lumens brightness. Plus, there’s even a vertical zoom lens, so you can mount it pretty much anywhere.
- Reverse: The Enhanced Game Mode actually reduces the picture quality to 1080p. In other words, not “true 4K”. It looks like a really big asterisk for a machine designed for modern game consoles. Yet the image he projects is definitely of theatrical quality.
- Price: $ 1,267
The best home theater projector
5) XGMI Horizon Pro 4K projector
- Characteristics: Do you like cinemas but hate the dark? Who can blame you, this is where the monsters live. Fortunately, this projector is so good that it even works in bright environments. This means you can enjoy rich colors and clear images morning, noon and night. Best of all, everything about this projector is automatic, from focus to screen alignment. And because it comes with Android TV 10.0, you can use it right out of the box. Many inexpensive projectors come out on the sound system. XGMI does not. The sound quality is crisp and perhaps more importantly, loud. All that is missing from the true theatrical experience is a few drinks from the fountain and a gigantic bucket of popcorn.
- Reverse: Unless you have blackout curtains, it may not be ready to completely replace your TV. It’s bright, but unless you’re in a dark room, it might not be as bright as you would like, especially considering the astronomical price tag.
- Price: $ 1,699
A few comments
If you have white walls, you might not need a dedicated projection screen, especially if you’ve invested in a more expensive model. The internet is full of inexpensive screen solutions that basically boil down to hanging a blank sheet of paper.
However, if you go hard, using a dedicated projection screen will ensure the best possible picture quality. There are countless projection screens available online at different prices. The only feature you shouldn’t compromise on is having a screen that retracts when not in use. This will help him collect dust. Here are two models we recommend.
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* First published: Sep 14, 2021, 1:55 p.m. CDT
Jaime Carillo is a writer for Pure Nintendo and a brave YouTube cook. He specializes in writing about console games and kitchen gadgets. It comes naturally, considering he’s wielding a massive cleaver or Switch Pro controller at one point. When he’s not going through a drive-thru at 2 a.m., he’s making shokupan or making a big pot of Japanese curry. He likes retro games, geopolitics and Vic Berger videos.