7 Best 4k Projectors | February 2017

We spent 26 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top options for this wiki. If you want the full cinema experience in the comfort of your own home, you'll find the right 4K projector from our selection here. Due to the still high cost of true 4K models, we have also included a few that mimic the quality reasonably well. Skip to the best 4k projector on Amazon.
7 Best 4k Projectors | February 2017


Overall Rank: 5
Best Mid-Range
★★★
Overall Rank: 1
Best High-End
★★★★★
Overall Rank: 4
Best Inexpensive
★★★★
7
The JVC DLAX500R is a highly capable projector that supports 2 to 4K up-conversion and a wide variety of content playback. Its user-friendly lens has adjustable presets to personalize use, and it is capable of displaying 3D content.
6
The Epson PowerLite Pro LS10000 uses a combination of 4K enhancement technology and triple LCD reflective laser projection to create a highly detailed image that really sucks you into the onscreen action. It displays absolute black on screens for better color reproduction.
5
Watch your movies and sports on a big screen with the JVC DLA-X700R. It replicates the movie-going experience by producing a sharp, flicker-free, 4K-enhanced image on large projection screens, or even a white wall in your bedroom, if you so choose.
4
The Sony VPLVW365ES produces an incredibly true-to-life picture, thanks to its Triluminos display technology, which offers a larger color spectrum than most projectors. You can also enjoy even the fastest live sporting action without any blur.
  • works well in rooms of all sizes
  • accepts 4k mastered blu-ray discs
  • blacks aren't super deep
Brand Sony
Model VPLVW365ES
Weight 36.4 pounds
3
The JVC DLA-X900RKT PREMIUM THX features an intelligent lens aperture that works to give you optimal contrast ratio, creating a vivid, crisp screen image. You'll also enjoy built-in conversion capabilities for 1080p content.
  • dual hdmi ports
  • onscreen resolution of 3840 x 2160
  • e-shift3 for flicker-free images
Brand JVC
Model DLAX900RKT
Weight 43 pounds
2
The Epson Home Cinema 5040UB comes at an affordable price because it uses 4K enhancement as opposed to true 4K. It has a maximum color and white light brightness rating of 2,500 lumens, and allows for brightness adjustment depending on your viewing situation.
  • produces the entire srgb color range
  • rich deep blacks
  • motorized lens adjustments
Brand Epson
Model Home Cinema 5040UB
Weight 31.7 pounds
1
If you demand a stunning media viewing experience with perfect clarity, the Sony VPLVW675ES is the unit for you. Its 1,800 lumens make images easy to see, even in daylight, and its 300,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio makes all of the colors vibrantly pop off the screen.
  • supports hd to 4k upscaling
  • easy auto calibration function
  • smartly placed forward-facing fan
Brand Sony
Model VPLVW675ES
Weight 37 pounds

In Digital Projection Mirrors Make The Difference

That image of a very fine grid of squares you're looking at is blown up 500 times its original size. Those bulges aren't any kind of damage to the surface of the squares; they're particles of dust.

Each square is about 5µm (that's the symbol for micrometer, and in case you're wondering it's option-M on a Mac. Sorry PC users, you'll have to look that one up yourselves), and a micrometer is one millionth of a meter. So, it's small.

For digital projection in the modern age, this field of extremely tiny mirrors is the very heart by which a projector's quality lives or dies, and it's referred to as the Digital Micromirror Device, or DMD.

It's tempting to assume that for each pixel there should be a mirror, but that's too romantic a notion, and these are scientists we're talking about here. Thanks to a wonderfully named phenomenon called wobulation, projectors only need one mirror for about every other pixel, and the human eye can't tell the difference in what's projected.

Wobulation essentially allows projectors to only supply you with half of the necessary visual information of a frame as it's built across the screen. By the time the second half of the picture begins to fill in, we're already on to the next frame, and your eye never catches up.

Don't feel slighted, though. Remember that the image you're seeing projected up on the wall is a series of stills passing by in such a way and at such a speed that you can't tell it isn't moving.

Home Sweet Home Theater

2015 was a good year for the movies, with 29 films grossing over one hundred million dollars domestically.

Many of these titles were long-awaited reboots of beloved franchises like Star Wars and Jurassic Park or continuations of very lucrative contemporary properties like Avengers, Hunger Games, and Furious 7.

Projections don't look as promising for 2016, and with rising or consistent sales in the home theater sector, the future of the movie theater is uncertain.

That uncertainty leads, unfortunately, to a steep rise in ticket and concession prices. I'm going to get on my geriatric soap box here and say that when I was a boy, it cost $3.50 to get into the movies, and if you kept your ticket stub you could come back all day. Popcorn was $1.50 for a large, and Whoppers–the king of movie foods in general and malted milk balls in particular (I'm talking to you, Milk Duds lovers)–cost $1.25. I don't remember what soda cost because I always smuggled in my own.

Nowadays, all that put together wouldn't even get you a popcorn, let alone get you in the door to see a film. So, more and more people are upgrading their home systems to provide them with the kind of movie going experience they used to look for down on Main Street.

Which isn't to say these projectors are only for movie lovers. TV broadcasts look fantastic on them, especially when played on those units with an upscaling feature to make the most of your 1080p HD streams while we wait for the market and local internet speeds to catch up to 4K resolution. And gamers absolutely love a good projector for the available depth of detail in its blacks.

Some projectors will handle games better than others, and some are more perfect for high resolution cinema print transfers. Know what you want to use your projector for going into the purchase, and you'll get the most out it for years.

Projection Born In Darkness

To understand where modern projection began, one must reach back almost 2500 years to the Chinese philosopher Mozi, who made the first known recorded reference to the camera obscura.

Take the idea of a periscope, or a child's toy spy glass that lets you see around corners, and you have an idea of how the camera obscura works. Those two examples rely on an eyepiece, where the original designs of the camera obscura let their mirrors reflect the image onto a flat plane or into a larger viewing area as pictured.

Really, if you follow the path that light travels through a modern digital projector, not a whole lot has changed. We're just using more concentrated, more powerful light sources, inverting the initial image so that it appears upright when projected, and we have an enormous amount of microscopic little mirrors instead of one single mirror that sends the image through precision lenses.

It's been two and a half millennia, and we're still deriving great joy from light in a box!



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Last updated: 02/26/2017 | Authorship Information

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