Have you ever considered a home theater projector instead of (or in addition to) a TV? Hear us out – the big reasons that home projectors are a less-used alternative to HDTVs is that they take a certain amount of space to project correctly, and they traditionally don’t work well with physical media like discs. Both these concerns are largely irrelevant. The best home theater projectors can produce an excellent and massive HD image from only 10 to 20 feet away – and our new reliance on digital downloads means that streaming movies or TV through a projector is now largely effortless.
True, you still have to pay for a screen and take care during the installation process, but the benefits are notable – including a much lower cost than the average big-screen TV. Still doubtful? Take a look at our list of some of the top home projectors of 2016 below!
BenQ W1085ST – $1,400
This BenQ model is simply one of the best home projectors for the money that we’ve seen. Brightness is rated at 2,000 lumens, enough to cast a clear 36-inch image from only 4 feet and a nearly 200-inch image from around 21 feet…plenty of room for possibility. There are also features to help improve stability and clarity (avoiding any vibration issues). In addition to an HDMI port, there’s also the potential for wireless HDMI via an accessory that’s not included, but may be a worthwhile option, since this cuts down on cable requirements and allows you to put your projector in more unique positions, like on the ceiling.
It’s important to note that this model – and the other models we’ve included – use 1080p HD, and do not support 4K resolutions. There are a couple reasons for this choice, but the primary one is that 4K home projectors are still on the pricey side. The HD options, on the other hand, are hitting that sweet spot between price and performance.
Epson PowerLite 5030UB – $2,000
This model increases the price a bit, but also increases several important specs to make sure you get your money’s worth.
Brightness is now up to 2,400 lumens, which means your picture will be even brighter and clearer than before. This Epson model also excels at providing wide images from mid-range distances: From 8 feet you can get an 82-inch image, and from 12 feet you can expand that to 122 inches, plenty of room for a home theater feeling. Also, if you have any worries about connectivity this model is a great solution. It comes with VGA, RCA component, RCA composite, HDMI and RS-232c, ensuring that you can connect pretty much anything.
Epson Home Cinema 1440 – $1,500
If you can’t make up your mind about a home project (and privately think they all look basically the same) this is a great model to settle on. Image size varies from 50 to 300 inches at 5 to 30 feet, and brightness levels are some of the highest around at 4,400 lumens, so you are guaranteed a bright screen. Lamp life can last for up to 4,000 hours when using eco-mode, around 3,000 hours without. There is a myriad of connection options, including HDMI and USB, so don’t worry about connecting your devices.