Home Theater Projectors
The home theater projectors category includes the latest projectors used for home theater systems. See below for a list of home theater projector reviews and information pages.
1080p technology (check out our Home Theater Projector Comparison Report) has made home theater projectors an outstanding source of enjoyment for your family without the hassles of going to the movie theater. For those on a really tight budget, however, 720p projectors are a lower cost alternative, as they still provide a good viewing experience, but at entry-level prices. Creating a home entertainment system is more affordable than ever, with the price of 1080p home theater projectors continuing to fall from year to year.
There is a wide range of specifications to look for concerning brightness, resolution, as well as technologies such as LCD projectors, DLP projectors, and LCoS projectors, that create a huge price range from $700 to $100k depending on what you’re looking for in your home theater projector. The sweet spot in the U.S. for home theater projectors (1080p) runs from about $800 to $3000, a range that spans both the "entry" and "mid-priced" levels in terms of pricing of home projectors.
Read the Annual 1080p Home Theater Projector Comparison Report.
Home Theater Projector Reviews
About Home Theater Projectors
Many people use the phrase Home Theater Projectors to include just about any projector that ends up in the home. More technically it encompasses projectors that are optimized to work in rooms set up as a “theater” rather than your average family room.
From a practical standpoint, complimenting home theater projectors, there are home entertainment projectors, and all-in-one projectors.
To the right, an excellent, bright Mitsubishi home theater DLP projector brilliantly fills a 128 inch screen even with moderate lighting.
A good home theater projector not only has color optimized for movie viewing, but also should be able to produce very dark “blacks.” Those dark blacks are the key to dark scenes looking great. However, it is important to remembe that most people expect to be watching more things than just movies at home, including HDTV, sports and, for many people, gaming. What you watch, as well as your room conditions, will be a key factor in selecting your projector.
Today’s home theater projectors start at under $800 dollars for 720p resolution, and under $900 for 1080p projectors. Just three years ago one could not buy 1080p home theater projectors for much under $2000.
Almost all home theater projectors are relatively modest in brightness. It’s a trade-off for better picture quality and especially, contrast and black levels. Unless you are buying some really high end models ($15,000 - $100,000), they will be limited to less than 2000 lumens, and in “best mode”, anywhere from a mere 300 to over 1000 lumens.
Let's not forget 3D home theater projectors. This is a relatively new category of products. In their first year, 3D projectors were limited to low-cost 720p DLP technology until the end of 2010, when a number of more expensive 3D projectors using 3chip (LCoS) technology emerged. Companies like JVC and Sony announced 3D models from $5,000-$12,000. In addition, there are incredibly expensive 3D 3chip DLP projectors, but they seem to start way beyond $40,000 - not for the faint hearted.
An image from the Epson Home Cinema 8350, a popular, low-cost LCD projector.
Annual Home Theater Projectors Report
Each year we have had a chance to review the large majority of new home theater projectors announced at the annual CEDIA show, which is held in September. Most of the projectors announced at this event begin shipping between September and Februrary. For this reason, we publish our major 1080p Home Theater Projector Comparison Report at the end of winter after we have had a chance to review virtually all significant under-$15,000 home theater projectors. Since the bulk of each year’s newly announced home theater projectors are 1080p, the report focuses on these higher resolution projectors.