The 9 Best Video Projectors
9. ViewSonic PJD5155
- long 3 year warranty
- room filling amplified sound
- low power consumption
|Rating||3.6 / 5.0|
8. Optoma HD142X
- full 3d hd resolution
- long lasting lamp life
- hdmi output only
|Rating||4.0 / 5.0|
7. Acer H5380BD
- very easy to install
- multiple input and output options
- only has a 720p resolution
|Rating||3.6 / 5.0|
6. RIF6 Cube Mobile
- long lasting led lamp
- displays up to 120 inches
- 90-minute battery life
|Rating||4.2 / 5.0|
5. Optoma HD27
- incredible picture quality
- sets up in under 10 minutes
- drowned out image in bright rooms
|Rating||4.3 / 5.0|
4. Epson Home Cinema 740HD
- maximum image size of 320 inches
- perfect as a tv replacement
- works well in fully lit rooms
|Rating||4.4 / 5.0|
3. BenQ HT2050
- hard to find component inputs
- zero distortion glass lens
- 60hz at 1080p for smooth movement
|Rating||5.0 / 5.0|
2. Sony VPLHW45ES
- extremely quiet fan
- cinema-quality movies
- factory calibrated settings
|Rating||4.6 / 5.0|
1. Epson Home Cinema 3100
- works in any lighting
- charges mobile devices over mhl
- amazingly sharp for the price
|Rating||4.7 / 5.0|
Making An Amazing Media Room
To take your enjoyment of movies, shows, and console video game play up to the next level, you have to have a dedicated space for viewing or playing. A media room allows you to enjoy the content before you without the distractions of other sounds or sights, from clattering in the kitchen to whatever is walking past the windows. When you step into your media room, you can immerse yourself in the film you are about to watch or the world of the game you will play, and you will ultimately enjoy the experience much more.
If you want to convert an existing space into a media room, the most important consideration is how you will control the lighting. If the room has no windows, or has windows that can easily be darkened with existing blinds and drapes, so much the better. If a room has windows that allow in light, then new window dressing is imperative. You can also consider using blackout window film to fully block light from entering your windows at minimal cost. Window film can usually be installed quickly and with ease, and it is not permanent, so you can always peel it off and use the windows for light and the view again later.
A great media room also needs great audio. If you can afford a surround sound system and added acoustic insulation for the walls, then go ahead and treat yourself to an aural space par excellence. But keep in mind that there are many options for small but powerful speakers that still put out plenty of sound. Better yet, there are many great, compact speakers that are Bluetooth ready, so you don't have to worry about wires or about permanent installation of audio hardware.
And finally, a great media room needs a great television. Rather than spending top dollar on a large TV that will take up space and requires either wall mounting or a media console, consider using a video projector in lieu of a television. All you need is a flat, smooth surface onto which you can project your favorite media to finish off your ideal home media room.
Choosing A Projector For Movie Magic
There is a vast gulf between the price of a top tier video projector and between the most affordable options on the market. In fact, the most expensive, top quality units cost as much as ten times more than their cheapest counterparts, with prices near $1500 on the one end and $150 at the bottom end of the spectrum.
There are two primary differences when it comes to selecting between a high end projector and a lower end mode, and these are light conditions and screen distance. To discuss light first, many of the more expensive projectors can create clear, crisp images with faithful color reproduction even in lighted rooms.
These are great options for use as your everyday television, or for use in classrooms, conference rooms, or anywhere you need to show media or give a presentation where you can't (or don't want to) turn off the lights and shut the windows. Top tier projectors also tend to have a much longer projection distance across which they can maintain crisp images and colors. You can expect to enjoy as much as 2000 lumens of output with these models, and detail as sharp as a 50,000:1 contrast ratio. (The difference between the "darkest dark" and the "brightest white" the projector can create, in basic terms.)
However, one need not think of a projector that costs only a hundred and fifty dollars as an inferior unit, it is simply a machine that meets less exacting standards. If you are setting up a home theater that will be used with the lights turned off and where the screen (or projection surface) is only a dozen feet or so away from the projector, then a lower cost model is the smart choice. There are many affordable video projectors that still create high definition images, boast 1,500 lumens of brightness, and that are fully compatible with all major input types, such as HDMI, USB, and more.
The Video Projector As A Computer Monitor
There are many reasons you might want to consider ditching the traditional computer monitor in favor of a projector, and they start with simple convenience. If you use a laptop as your primary computer, then keeping an external monitor perched on your desk for those times when you need a bigger screen or to use multiple screens can be an annoyance, especially if you have a smaller work (or play) area. When you use a projector in place of a monitor, you can attach the projector to the ceiling or stick it on a shelf out of the way of your daily routine.
A projector allows you to enjoy a much bigger screen than you could hope to find in a traditional monitor, even letting you turn a far wall into your work or gaming screen. Using a larger screen set farther away from you can help to mitigate the eye strain that can come with hours of using a computer. Thus using a video projector as your computer monitor might be good for your health as well as a boon to your gaming or programming experience.
Video projectors are also a great choice for collaborative work. If you regularly work with colleagues on projects, it is much easier for you all to sit back and look at a large screen or wall than to huddle around a single desk.
If you are considering getting a projector to connect to your computer, just make sure to choose one that works well even in bright light. It would be a mistake to limit yourself to seeing your "monitor" properly only when the lights are out and the sunlight blocked.