Are you looking for the best 4K projector to buy in 2023? Below is a list of our picks for some of the best 4K projectors that we have reviewed. While we did not review every 4K projector on the market, these are the projectors that we were most impressed by and think would make a great addition to any home theater system. In this article, we focused on standard throw projectors, for a list of the Best Laser TVs click on the link below.
The list of projectors below includes both native 4K and 4K pixel-shifting models. A native 4K projector has a native resolution of either 4096 x 2160 (8.8 million individual pixels) or 3840 x 2160 (8.3 million individual pixels).
A 4K pixel shifting projector uses imagers that contain less than 8.3 million pixels, but every pixel’s image is rapidly shifted allowing each one to do the job of multiple pixels. This pixel wobbling is done so fast that it fools your eyes into seeing up to four times the projector’s native resolution.
Both Native 4K and 4K Pixel Shifting projectors have the ability to display more visible onscreen detail than a 1080p projector, so you have the ability to sit closer to a bigger screen and the image will be clearer.
If you are looking for the ultimate home theater experience, you should definitely take a close look at Sony’s flagship projector, the VPL-GTZ380, which is a 10,000 lumen, native 4K SXRD projector that retails for $80,000 (minus lens).
The GTZ380 features a newly developed 0.74″ Native 4K SXRD panel which is Sony’s proprietary version of LCoS technology to deliver a 16,000:1 contrast ratio and deep blacks. Adopting a new liquid crystal material for the panel dramatically improves light stability and durability while producing a rated 10,000 lumens of brightness.
Sony's GTZ380 utilizes a newly designed Z-Phosphor laser light source that incorporates a red laser diode in addition to the two different-wavelength blue laser diodes to achieve the full DCI-P3 color gamut without any loss of brightness. The additional red laser diode dramatically expands color volume, without the loss of brightness common to other high-end models that use a built-in color filter.
In addition to high brightness, excellent contrast, and 100% DCI-P3 color coverage, the GTZ380 is also equipped with the most powerful video processor that Sony has ever put into a projector, named “X1 Ultimate for projector”.
A major reason why HDR and SDR looked outstanding on the GTZ380 is Sony’s new Dynamic HDR Enhancer feature. Powered by the X1 Ultimate Processor, this feature measures the average and peak brightness of HDR10 content frame by frame for precise dynamic tone mapping to maximize the projector’s HDR picture quality.
The GTZ380 is compatible with two motorized Sony ARC-F lenses which include an ultra-high-quality, multi-element, all-glass lens assembly. This ARC-F lens is a significant upgrade in optical quality compared to the very good lenses used on Sony’s less expensive native 4K SXRD projectors.
Sony VPL-GTZ380 Specifications
$80,000 (minus lens)
10,000 ANSI Lumens
Zoom Lens Ratio
1.95:1 (VPLL-Z8014 Lens)
Also, the GTZ380 has an interchangeable lens projector, so there is even an optional short-throw ARC-F lens available.
The GTZ380 is packed with “installer-friendly” features, including a motorized lens with tons of zoom and lens shift, including position memories. in addition, the GTZ380 has a large amount of zoom and horizontal/vertical lens shift capability, which makes installation a breeze, especially when trying to replace an older, previously mounted unit.
Most projectors struggle when trying to produce the brightness range found in HDR content and can only deliver dull HDR, which is why I usually prefer watching HDR content on an LCD or OLED instead of a projector. The GTZ380 could produce close to its rated brightness of 10,000 ANSI lumens even in its most accurate picture modes and after calibration!
The GTZ380 looked like a gigantic HDR flat panel, it produced the best-looking HDR picture I have ever seen from a projector in a home theater or professional theater. If you are a video/movie enthusiast looking for the ultimate home theater and you can afford a GTZ380, it is highly recommended.
The JVC DLA-NZ9 is a native 4K home theater projector that has a rated brightness of 3000 ANSI Lumens and has a native contrast ratio of 100,000:1. The DLA-NZ9, like all JVC DILA Home Theater projectors, utilizes three JVC’s 0.69inch native 4K D-ILA (4096 x 2160) devices.
In addition, the DLA-NZ9 is equipped with JVC's new and improved 8K/e-shiftX which can now shift the image in four directions (up, down, left, and right) to produce over 35.3 million addressable pixels, which is enough to display 8K resolution onscreen. The D-ILA drive device was improved, and it is now possible to display images at a speed equivalent to 240Hz. Faster pixel shifting makes it even more difficult to visually differentiate native 8K from pixel-shited 8K.
JVC's NZ9 is equipped with dual 48Gbps HDMI 2.1 inputs designed to accept 8K/60fps and 4K/120fps signals.
Currently, there isn’t a lot of 8K or high frame rate video content available but 4K@120fps can help deliver a smooth high-quality gaming experience from a high-end gaming PC as well as the latest PlayStation and Xbox gaming consoles.
The NZ9 uses an all-glass 18 element lens in order to ensure that all the resolution provided by these 4K imagers reach the screen. This lens assembly is one finest offered on a Home Theater projector and they are a big reason why the DLA-NZ9 (RS4100) retails for $15,000 more than the DLA-NZ7 (RS2100).
The Adaptive HDR tone mapping combined with Theater Optimizer dynamically measures the brightness of HDR10 content and automatically adjusts the DLA-NZ9’s settings to deliver the best HDR picture possible. The NZ9 also supports HLG and HDR10+.
JVC DLA-NZ9 Specifications
4,096 x 2,160
3000 ANSI Lumens
Zoom Lens Ratio
Light Source Life
The unit’s BLU-Escent laser light source technology can produce brightness up to 3,000lm for 20,000 hours of nearly maintenance-free operation.
NZ9’s high native contrast ratio of 100,000:1 (1,000,000:1 Dynamic) combined with 4K resolution and JVC’s industry-leading black levels result in exceptional picture quality. Overall, we were extremely impressed with the performance of the DLA-NZ9, it is arguably the best home theater projector on the market today for under $50K.
The Sony VPL-XW5000ES is a 2000-lumen native 4K home theater laser projector that retails for $6,000. The XW5000ES, which is Sony’s entry-level 4K home theater, is the least expensive native 4K 3-chip LCOS projector on the market.
All of Sony’s current lineup up of 4K home theater projectors, including the XW5000ES, utilize a Z-Phosphor laser light source. The laser light source has a rated life of 20,000 hours which results in years of nearly maintenance-free operation. The fact that the XW5000ES is a laser projector is a big deal.
In addition to a Z-Phosphor laser source, the XW5000ES also utilizes Sony’s new 0.61 native 4K UHD SXRD panels. While these panels are more compact, they still offer native 4K UHD resolution, deep blacks, and high native contrast.
I have yet to find a single-chip consumer 4K DLP projector that could come close to the color fidelity, native contrast, and black levels of a good LCoS projector like the Sony XW5000ES. It is not even a fair fight, as Sony 4K SXRD projectors are in a completely different league.
So while the VW325ES does command a premium price over most 4K DLP projectors, its outstanding SDR and HDR picture quality and feature set make it a great option for any movie enthusiast who can afford it.
The Epson Pro Cinema LS12000 which retails for $4999 is a 4K HDR-compatible laser home theater. The LS12000 has a rated brightness of 2,700 ANSI Lumens and can deliver over 2,500,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio. The Epson LS12000 is also compatible with HDR10, HDR10+ and HLG content.
The Pro Cinema LS12000 uses native 1080P 3LCD panels but the projector is equipped with the latest version of Epson’s 4K UHD Pro technology. This feature combines advanced pixel-shifting technology and a new Precision Glass Shift Plate with three individual high-definition LCD chips to produce 4K resolution (3840×2160 pixels) on screen.
While native vs pixel-shifted resolution is still a heated debate among home theater enthusiasts, Epson’s proven pixel shift technology does deliver an image that is visibly sharper than a traditional native 1080p projector. A new Precision Shift Glass Plate is which is quicker, and quieter making the pixel shifting is so fast it is difficult to differentiate between a native 4K projector and the LS12000.
With a rated brightness of 2,700 lumens which is more than enough to produce a good HDR picture on screens up to 120” and an excellent SDR image on screens that are much larger. As with all Epson 3LCD projectors, The LS12000 produces as many color lumens as it does white lumens, which ensures bright, vibrant color which is critical for good HDR picture quality.
While brightness is important it is deep blacks and high contrast that separates a premium home theater projector from a standard unit. Like the older Epson 6050UB, the LS12000 uses Epson’s finest ultra-high contrast 0.74″ 3LCD panels to deliver a native contrast ratio that few competitors’ home theater projectors can match.
To take full advantage of the projector capabilities, the LS12000 is equipped with two 48 Gbps HDMI 2.1 (HDCP 2.3) so it can accept 4K HDR signals at up to 120fps.
While Pro Cinema LS12000 motorized lens assembly utilizes a high-quality multi-element structure to ensure a crisp sharp onscreen image. The projector also includes lens memory so picture position (zoom, shift, focus) can be adjusted based on the content aspect ratio at the touch of a button.
Epson Pro Cinema LS12000
1920x1080x4 (4K pixel shifting)
2700 ANSI Lumens
Zoom Lens Ratio
Overall, the LS12000 provides a good balance of performance and value. It proves that a great projected image doesn’t have to be overly expensive. Just add a projection screen and for under $6000 total, you can bring a compelling home theater experience to any room.
The LG AU810PB is a 4K DLP Laser Smart projector with a suggested retail price of $3999. This projector offers a great deal of performance and numerous advanced features for its price. It has a rated brightness of 2700 Lumens, and its Laser-light source is rated to last up to 20,000 hours.
AU810PB is a 4K pixel shifting projector. Every pixel on the 1920 x 1080 DLP (0.47″ DMD) chip is rapidly shifted 1/4 pixel diagonally and horizontally allowing each one to do the job of four pixels. This system works so well that it would be difficult for any viewer to see a difference in resolution when compared to a native 4K UHD (3840 x 2160) projector.
The AU810PB’s dual Laser-light engine uses both a red and blue Laser which increases the projector’s color gamut and eliminates the need for a spinning phosphor wheel. The AU810PB can reproduce 97% of the DCI-P3 color space without the need for a cinema filter.
The AU810PB offered accurate out-of-the-box color reproduction, and it is one of a few projectors with Dynamic HDR Tone mapping and HGiG. It is also one of the first projectors equipped with the latest HDMI 2.1 features, including eARC and ALLM.
The AU810PB utilizes the same ThinQ AI webOS that is found in LG’s current flat-panel lineup. The AU810PB uses LG’s User Interface, which was developed over many years and has been market tested by the millions of LG TVs being used worldwide to ensure a seamless, easy-to-navigate, and well-laid-out system. The unit's smart remote with its built-in microphone can be used to control the projector and a wide variety of compatible Smart devices via Google Assistant.
The AU810PB was also the first projector we have reviewed that is WiSA-compatible so that it can broadcast sound to multiple wireless speakers. This eliminates the wires and the A/V receiver, so it is easier for anyone to set up a stereo or a full surround system.
LG AU810PB combines all the Smart capabilities of flat-panel TVs but with the high-quality, maintenance-free Laser-light engine and 4K resolution to make it a true flat panel TV replacement.
The BenQ HT3550 is a 4K DLP projector and part of the BenQ CinePrime series of projectors designed for home theater applications where deep blacks and accurate colors are more important than maximizing brightness. It is one of the least expensive 4K DLP projectors equipped with a dynamic iris giving the HT3550 an advantage in black level compared to most projectors in its price point. It's also great for streaming new movies at home.
While the HT3550's DLP (0.47″ DMD) chip isn’t native 4K, rapid pixel shifting gives the DLP chip the ability to deliver a perceived resolution 8.3 million pixels. This system works so well that it would be difficult for any viewer to notice a difference in resolution from a native 4K UHD (8.3 megapixels) imager.
The unit’s cinema filter expands the color gamut at the expense of some brightness, but the HT3550 can project some colors that other projectors in its price point simply cannot.
The projector’s six-segment RGBRGB color wheel combined with a built-in cinema filter can reproduce 100% Rec.709 color gamut and 95% DCI-P3.
The HT3550 supports both HDR10 and HLG, using auto HDR tone mapping to maximize the projector’s brightness.
Each HT3550 is tested and adjusted to ensure accurate white balance and color reproduction. Included in the box is a factory calibration report guaranteeing accurate playback of Rec.709 content right out of the box.
BenQ has introduced a “Smart” version of the HT3550 called the HT3550i (the “i,” moniker denotes “intelligent”). It offers the same outstanding performance but is equipped with an Android OS, which adds tons of streaming apps and voice control.
The HT3550 won one of our Hot Product Awards in 2019 due to its good black levels and accurate color reproduction at an affordable price. This home theater projector works best in rooms with little or no ambient light and is geared toward serious movie enthusiasts who care about picture quality enough to optimize their rooms for the best picture.
The BenQ TK850i is an excellent 3000 lumen home theater projector that sells at an MSRP of $1699. The TK850i is a pixel-shifting projector that displays a native 4K resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels on screen.
The TK850i features a dynamic iris designed to enhance black-level performance. While the dynamic iris improves the unit's contrast, its home theater-focused sibling, the BenQ HT3550i, can deliver deeper blacks. However, the TK850i is significantly brighter making it a better choice for an average living room. The TK850i delivered bright accurate colors out-of-the-box which made both broadcast and HDR content look great.
The TK850i supports HDR10 and HLG. The projector is equipped with BenQ's HDR-PRO feature which is made up of three different components: HDR Brightness, Tone Mapping, and Dynamic Iris which help the TK850i deliver a good-looking HDR image.
The TK850i is bundled with a BenQ Android TV dongle which gives you access to apps and streaming services like Google Play, Prime Video, and YouTube. Android TV with Google Assistant makes it easy to search for your favorite content, You even ask questions and see the answers from Google on the big screen.
The TK850i also supports AirPlay, with a compatible Apple device, so now you can stream to your projector or share your photos with everyone in the room.
The BenQ TK850i even includes 3D compatibility so you can enjoy 3D movies and games when you are wearing a pair of optional 3D glasses. This projector also stands out from the DLP pack when it comes to bright accurate colors and good black levels.
The XGIMI Horizon Pro is a 4K DLP LED projector with an MSRP of $1,699. The Horizon Pro has a rated brightness of 2200 ANSI lumens. The Horizon Pro is a 4K pixel shifting projector. Every pixel on the 1920 x 1080 DLP (0.47″ DMD) chip is rapidly shifted 1/4 pixel diagonally and horizontally allowing each one to do the job of four pixels. This system works so well that it would be difficult for any viewer to see a difference in resolution when compared to a native 4K UHD (3840 x 2160) projector.
XGIMI rated the Horizon Pro LED light source at 2200 ANSI lumens for 25,000 hours. At 25,000 hours, the light source would last 8.5 years if used for 8 hours every day; a lot of years of worry-free operation.
The Horizon Pro supports HDR10 which is the most popular High Dynamic Range. In addition to HDR10, the Horizon Pro supports HLG which is the HDR standard developed for live broadcast.
The Horizon Pro is powered by the Android TV 10 OS. With Android TV 10, you have apps and capabilities that are also found included in Smart TVs. Horizon Pro includes Google Assistant, which allows you to control the Horizon Pro with your voice.
The integrated Artificial Intelligence (AI) allows Horizon Pro’s AI-powered object detection, auto screen detection, and intelligent spatial sensing algorithm to work together. Together, they intelligently identify and avoid obstacles in the projection area.
The Horizon Pro has dual 8W Harmon/Kardon speakers built-in and it supports DTS Studio and Dolby. The speakers provide surprisingly good sound for such a small projector. The sound system is more than loud enough for an average-sized room.
XGIMI Horizon Pro Specifications
LED DLP with XPR (0.47” DMD)
1920x1080x4 (4K pixel shifting)
Zoom Lens Ratio
Light Source Life
The XGIMI Horizon Pro is an excellent value in our book. We really appreciate the simple plug-and-play capability of the Horizon Pro; it almost sets itself up. Now add in the transportability of the Horizon Pro due to its small size, and my friends, we have a winning combination.