Entertainment is at the very core of our social life, and seeing movies is something people have enjoyed for over a century now. While some prefer to watch movies in a movie theater, others go for a more intimate environment, such as their home. Home theater projectors are the best choice, providing both the comfort of your couch or armchair, and the high quality entertainment of an action movie, comedy, so on. Whether you afford to purchase a 3D home theater projector or a regular 2D there are plenty of models to choose from. Picking one, however, is not an easy task; obtaining the best quality is depending on factors such as the size and layout of your room, viewing preferences, etc. We hope that this list will make that task easier, all thanks to these wonderful machines that managed to bring the movie theater into our homes.
10. Acer H5360
The H5360 home theater projector is an excellent choice for those who want a compact and light projector. It can be hanged from the ceiling or just put it on a stand. The machine is a bit loud (27dB to 32dB) but provides a native image of 720p HD, alongside with 480i/p (NTSC, North America) and 576i/p (PAL, Europe); the 24p frame rate enhances the quality of the image, projecting a cinema-like experience with high brightness and contrast ratios. It is 3D ready and certified to leading 3D solutions. The EcoProjection Technology is keeping the power consumption as high as 5W to 1W. The price can go around $640.
9. Sony 3LCD VPL-BW7 720p Front Projector
Sony’s product uses the 3LCD technology (3-chip), delivering a maximum of 720p HD resolution. The overall resolution is 1280 x 800 WXGA. While supporting 480i/p (NTSC, North America) and 576i/p (PAL, Europe) standard definition (SD) resolutions, it can also play 1080p or 1080i but it will resize it at 720p. There is a drawback to the 3LCD technology, however, as the contrast ratio is 1.000:1, making whites and blacks looking a bit distorted. What may compensate this disadvantage is the machine’s noise reduction feature, making the movie experience pleasant. Sony 3LCD VPL-BW7 goes around $650, with the promise to deliver high quality entertainment and an excellent home theater experience.
8. Panasonic PT-AR100U 1080p Home Entertainment Projector
Among home theater projectors, the Panasonic PT-AR100U is an excellent choice. By combining a bright 2800 lumen output with a 1080p image that’s almost too good to be true, the PT-AR100U is designed for any multi-use room. It can be used as both a home theater projector and a home entertainment projector. Some of its features include a native resolution is 1920 x 1080, aspect ratio of 16:9 (HD), EcoMode, and much more. It supports a variety of resolutions: 720p, 1080i, 1080p/24, 525i, and so forth. The noise goes up to 29.0 dB. We should also mention that although it does not support 3D, it includes a 2.0:1 manual zoom lens and horizontal and vertical lens shift. The price is around $1.500.
7. Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 5010 Projector
The Epson PowerLite Home Cinema is a powerful machine capable of playing full HD 3D. Epson’s marvel has an impressive contrast and cutting edge lumen output, allowing the projector to fill large screens in dark rooms and accurately blend with the ambient light in shared spaces. Some of its features include Anamorphic Ready, Picture-in-Picture, RS232 Port, USB Port, Wired Networking. The lens’ zoom is 2.1:1 and can shift both horizontally and vertically, giving the projector flexibility. Epson PowerLite has a native resolution of 1920 x 1080, also including 720p, 1080i, 1080p/60, 576i, and 576p. The price is approximately $2.600.
6. Vivitek H1080FD DLP Projector
The Vivitek H1080FD DLP Projector comes with a balanced price ($950), featuring DLP technology that makes this projector play resolutions of 1080p, 1080i, and 480i. The machine’s DLP’s DarkChip 2 and BrilliantColor technology are built to deliver an excellent quality image, with a contrast ration of 5.000:1. A 230-watt lamp provides 1800 lumens (its lifetime is approximately 2000 to 3000 hours), offering a bright picture. The projected image can go as far as 360 inches, with a diagonal between 25 inches and 300 inches.
5. Sony BRAVIA VPL-HW15 1080p SXRD
Sony’s Bravia SXRD is a worthy adversary for models in its price-range (~$1600), featuring a fantastic picture quality. Not only the product competes with other home theater projectors from its class, but the unbelievable contrast ratio of 60.000:1 makes the movie experience unforgettable; among its features, the three SXRD micro-display panels combines the power of ARC-F (All Range Crisp Focus) lens with BRAVIA Engine 2 digital video processor with one goal – to provide a breathtaking movie experience. It supports full HD (1080p) while the Deep Color and Advanced Iris 3 technologies are ready to blow your mind away.
4. Optoma HD33 Projector Full HD 3D Projector
After releasing the Optoma HD20 with a price range of under $1.000, the HD33 comes in strong with promises to break the barriers of 3D imaging. The projector relies on DLP technology, making the viewing experience absolutely superb (1080p 3D projection). The HD33’s lens has a manual zoom of 1.2:1, while the EcoMode keeps the machine under 30dB. Among its features we find RS232 Port, Digital Input HDMI 1.4a and full HD 3D. Optoma’s Full HD Projector is around $1.500.
3. BenQ W1000
BenQ is decided to keep its prices as low as possible, and so they released the BenQ W1000 (under $1000). Also making use of DLP technology, the picture is brilliant, in terms of resolution, colors, contrast, and so on. This model supports HD resolutions of 1080p, 1080i, and 720p. Inside the box we find DLP’s BrilliantColor technology, making the projection experience richer and full of lively colors. Compared to LCDs that use only three colors (RGB), DLP is using 6 colors (red, blue, green, cyan, yellow and magenta), offering the viewer over one billion colors. The contrast ration is 3000:1, an acceptable compromise given the price of this unit.
2. Panasonic PT-AE4000U LCD Projector
We go back to Panasonic, with a heavy-weight champion (16 pounds) that uses LCD technology, giving a great color processing (over 1 billion colors). The picture quality is no less, providing both high and standard definition – 1080p, 720p, 480i, and 480p. Compared to other home theater projectors, the PT-AE4000U LCD Projector is offering a contrast ratio of an unbelievable 100.000:1, and 1.600 lumens of pure light. It has not one but three HMDI input terminals and two component input terminals, putting the product on the edge of high tech, and on this list as number two. The features of this astounding projector are too many to count, but we should mention the 2.35:1 cinematic widescreen support for some movies, throwing the image at an amazing maximum of 711 inches on a screen size of 40 to 300 inches. The price is reasonable, considering the uncanny experience it offers – approximately $2.300.
1. Epson PowerLite 8100 LCD Projector
The Epson PowerLite 8100 takes the first place as it combines quality imaging with an unbeatable price of a little over $1000. Relying on D7 3LCD technology (that means it uses three LCD chips to offer a crystal-clear image), the home theater projector supports a maximum resolution of 1080p (native 1920 x 1080), alongside with 1080i, 720p HD, 480i/p, and the European PAL 576i/p. The aspect ratio is 16 x 9, while also converting the 2.35:1 into a quality picture size. The lamp – a 200-watt Epson Twin Optimized Reflection Lamp (E-TROL) – produces 1800 lumens and can last up to 4000 hours. The 10-bit color processing offers sublime coloring; moreover, there are several color modes available: Dynamic, Living Room, Natural, Theater, Theater Black 1, Theater Black 2 and x.v. Color. Finally, the contrast ratio is up to 36.000:1, while the machine’s fans produce between 22dB and 28dB.