Projector Reviews

Home Theater Projectors $1000 to $2000

In this section you will find other projector option in the $1000 – $2000 price range (in addition to the section within the report at the same price point but for Smart projectors). The projectors in this section are still very affordable and offer you several options.

BenQ HT3550 / HT3550i

BenQ-HT3550

Projector Specs

Specification Description
Price $1499
Technology DLP
Displayed Resolution 3840×2160
Native Resolution 1920x1080x4
Brightness (Manufacturer Claim) 2000
Contrast 30,000:1 (Dynamic)
Throw Ratio 1.13:1 - 1.47:1
Zoom Lens Ratio 1.3
Lens Shift Yes
HDR HDR10 / HLG
Lamp Life 15,000 hours (Eco)
Weight 9.3 lbs
Warranty 3 Year

Award Winner

The HT3550 was designed for dark theater environments where black level and accurate colors are more important than maximum brightness. It is one of the least expensive 4K DLP projectors equipped with a dynamic iris and ships color calibrated from the factory.  Performance-wise, the HT3550i is identical to the older HT3550 but is equipped with an Android OS, which adds tons of smart features. 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.

Projector Overview

The BenQ HT3550 is a 4K DLP projector part of BenQ CinePrime series 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 projectors equipped with a dynamic iris, giving The HT3550 an advantage in black level compared to most projectors in its price point. 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.

Some of the most notable features of this projector are:

  • Dynamic Iris – This may be the most significant feature of the HT3550 because it noticeably improves black levels. None of the 4K UHD competition, anywhere near the HT3550 price point, offers an iris.
  • 4K UHD Capable – While the HT3550s 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.
  • Cinema Filter – When the filter is slid into the projector’s light path, the unit can reproduce a claimed 95% of P3 color with HDR in D. Cinema Mode. Note when engaged, like other projectors with this feature, there is a noticeable reduction in brightness.
  • Six Segment Color Wheel – BenQ’s CinematicColor™ technology combines an RGBRGB color wheel with light source management to more accurately reproduce the Rec. 709 color gamut.
  • Factory Color Calibrated – 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.

The HT3550 is geared toward serious movie enthusiasts who care about picture quality enough to optimize their rooms for the best picture. The HT3550 is a home theater projector that works best in rooms with little or no ambient light. 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. It is also one of the least expensive 4K HDR compatible projectors to sport a dynamic iris to improve black levels. The HT3550 won one of our Hot Product Awards due to its good black levels and accurate color reproduction at an affordable price.

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.

ViewSonic LS700HD

ViewSonic-LS700HD

Projector Specs

Specification Description
Price $1499
Technology Laser DLP
Native Resolution 1080p (1920×1080)
Brightness (Manufacturer Claim) 3500
Contrast 3,000,000:1 (Dynamic)
Throw Ratio 1.13:1 - 1.47:1
Zoom Lens Ratio 1.3
Lens Shift No
HDR No
Lamp Life 20,000
Weight 15.7 lbs
Warranty 3 Year

Projector Overview

The ViewSonic LS700HD is a lamp-free 1080p laser home projector featuring 3,500 ANSI lumen high brightness.Thanks to laser phosphor technology, this projector offers up to 20,000-hour life span and makes lamp replacement a thing of the past. The LS700HD features what ViewSonic calls a 3x Fast input for gaming.

Some of the most notable features of this projector are:

  • Laser Light Engine – Thanks to its laser/phosphor light engine, the LS700HD achieves a peak brightness of 3500 ANSI lumens, and a lifespan of up to 20,000 hours. ViewSonic claims a dynamic contrast ratio of 3,000,000:1, which is achieved by dynamically modulating the laser power
  • IP5X Moisture and Dust Resistant – T he sealed DLP engine and improved construction make the unit IP5X certified. The laser/phosphor light engine is also sealed to prevent dust and moisture from interfering with the projector’s key components. The IP5X rating means that LS700HD is virtually maintenance-free in dusty environments.
  • Low Input Lag – ViewSonic LS700HD features a 3X Fast input for gaming. When enabled, ViewSonic rates the input lag of the LS700HD at 16ms.When it’s turned off, the projector measures at 33ms input lag which is still an excellent input lag rating for all but the most hard-core gaming enthusiasts.
  • 3D Ready – The LS700HD can project 3D content directly from 3D Blu-ray Disc players and HDMI-enabled devices such as laptops, tablets, and 3D compatible media players via HDMI connection. Appropriate optional 3D glasses are required.

The ViewSonic LS700HD is a 3,500 lumen Full HD (1920 x 1080) DLP laser projector with a rated lamp life of 20,000 hours in Eco Mode. ViewSonic extolls their exceptional picture quality because the laser light engine can reproduce over 90% of the BT.709 color gamut which is the standard for HD video.

By dynamically modulating its laser light output, the LS700HD has a dynamic contrast ratio of 3,000,000:1. The LS700HD delivered acceptable picture performance, more so in brightness than color accuracy. This is in line with our past experience with laser DLP projectors.

Epson Home Cinema 3200

Epson-Home-Cinema-HC3200

Projector Specs

Specification Description
Price $1499
Technology 3LCD
Native Resolution 1920×1080
Brightness (Manufacturer Claim) 3000
Contrast 40,000:1
Throw Ratio 1.32:1 - 2.15:1
Zoom Lens Ratio 1.62:1
Lens Shift Yes
Lamp Life 20,000
HDR Yes
Weight 14.6 lbs
Warranty 3 Year

Award Winner

The Epson Home Cinema 3200 is a 4K HDR compatible 3LCD home theater projector rated at 2,900 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 Home Cinema 3200 produces as many color lumens as it does white lumens, which ensures bright, vibrant color which is critical for good HDR picture quality.

The Home Cinema 3200’s native resolution is 1080P (1920 x 1080). To provide a crisp and clear picture, the projector can accept 4K60p content and is equipped with Epson’s PRO-UHD chip, which pixel shifts the image for 4K enhancement.

Projector Overview

The Epson Home Cinema 3200 is a 4K HDR-compatible home theater 3LCD projector with a rated brightness of 2,900 Lumens. Epson claims that when the Auto Iris is enabled, the HC3200 has a dynamic contrast ratio of 40,000:1.

Epson has been a leader in projector technology for some time, and they offer a wide variety of projectors to fit nearly any application. The Home Cinema 3200 is part of their Home Cinema Series line-up designed to deliver great home theater performance at an affordable price point.

The Home Cinema 3200 is a native HD projector, but it is equipped with two 18 Gbps HDMI 2.0 (HDCP 2.2) to accept 4K HDR content up to 60 frames per second. Epson’s proven E-Shift technology delivers a clearer, crisper image than a traditional 1080P projector, and the Home Cinema 3200 is also compatible with both HDR10 and HLG content.

Some of the most notable features of this projector are:

  • 4K Pixel Shifting – While pixel shifting can’t match the resolution of a true 4K projector, it does increase sharpness and detail compared to a standard 2K projector. The Epson Home Cinema 3200 projector can accept up to a 4K@60P signal and uses pixel shifting to fine-tune the image to more closely resemble 4K.
  • HDR10 / HLG Compatible – The Home Cinema 3200 supports both HDR10 and HLG. Since most HDR10+ and Dolby Vision content is either backward compatible with or available in HDR10, you can enjoy 99% of HDR content available on the market now and in the future.
  • 3D Ready – Epson Home Cinema 3200 is 3D ready. It is nice that Home Cinema 3200 still supports 3D because users can still take advantage of the content they paid for.
  • AptX Bluetooth Transmitter – You can wirelessly connect a speaker, sound system, or pair of headphones to the Home Cinema 3200 via Bluetooth. Also, the Home Cinema 3200 utilizes aptX™ HD, which is designed to deliver high definition (HD) audio over Bluetooth, so you don’t have to sacrifice performance for wireless convenience.

In addition to the Home Cinema 3200 (MSRP $1499.99), Epson has also introduced the Home Cinema 3800 (MSRP $1699.99). For an additional $200, the Home Cinema 3800 has a slightly higher claimed brightness of 3000 lumens and more than double the dynamic contrast. It also includes additional aspect ratio mode adjustments for compatibility with 3rd party anamorphic lenses along with dual rear-firing 10-watt speakers.

The Home Cinema 3200 walks a fine line between convenience, performance, and value. While it doesn’t have some of the features normally found on high-end home theater projectors like Power Zoom and Lens Shift, it still includes several desirable features, including Active 3D, Bluetooth, and wireless networking.

While Epson offers higher-end solutions for dedicated home theaters, the Home Cinema 3200 is a great option for someone who wants to enjoy movies in SDR and HDR in a family room or multi-purpose space.

Panasonic PT-LRZ35U

Panasonic-PT-LRZ35U

Projector Specs

Specification Description
Price $1699 (Street Price)
Technology RGB LED DLP
Native Resolution 1920×1200
Brightness (Manufacturer Claim) 3500
Contrast 30,000:1
Throw Ratio 1.28:1 - 1.69:1
Zoom Lens Ratio 1.32
Lens Shift No
Lamp Life 20,000
HDR NO
Weight 14.8 lbs
Warranty 3 Year

Award Winner

The Panasonic PT-LRZ35 Series is their first portable projector to use a discrete RGB LED light source. Panasonic designed this new light engine with the goal of producing superior color reproduction and enhanced picture quality, which is ideal for any application requiring precise color accuracy such as displaying artistic renderings.

The RGB LED DLP single-chip projector with WUXGA (1,920 x 1,200) resolution and a rated brightness of 3,500 lumens offers a lot of performance and features for its current MSRP of $2999 but can be found at multiple authorized sellers at $1699.

Projector Overview

The RGB LED DLP single-chip projector with WUXGA (1,920 x 1,200) resolution and a rated brightness of 3,500 lumens with a light source lifespan of 20,000 hours. While Panasonic originally designed the PT-LRZ35U for business applications due it is excellent picture quality they have starting marketing it for home entertainment as well.

The Panasonic PT-LRZ35 Series is their first portable projector to use a discrete RGB LED light source. Panasonic designed this new light engine with the goal of producing superior color reproduction and enhanced picture quality. The PT-LRW3 is the smallest and lightest R/G/B LED DLP projectors in the 3,500lm class.

A discrete RGB LED light source eliminates the color wheel and color wheel components. The elimination of these components results in fewer moving parts and increased reliability. Panasonic’s discrete RGB LED light source eliminates rainbow distortions and provides viewers an expanded color gamut resulting in better color reproduction and, ultimately, improved picture quality.

Some of the most notable features of this projector are:

  • Discrete RGB LED light source –  Discrete LEDs for each R/G/B channel reproduce an expanded color gamut. Panasonic’s selection of Discrete RGB LED’s as a light source, versus a color wheel, suppresses the rainbow phenomenon that affects those of us susceptible to it.
  • 3D Ready – The PT-LRZ35 Series is 3D-ready but it requires optional compatible glasses
  • Sealed Light Engine –  The PT-LRZ35U uses a filter-free design that, in a normal environment, shouldn’t require cleaning for up to 20,000 hours.

Colors are consistent and the images this projector produces are just pleasant to watch. Even though it’s not necessarily the primary market, the Panasonic PT-LRZ35U has been purpose-built to fit into a wide range of use cases including home entertainment rooms.

Its excellent picture quality, compact size, and overall feature set are why I am recommending you consider the LRZ35U for your business or home projector needs. It’s also why we are giving the Panasonic PT-LRZ35U a Projector Review special interest award. We really like it and think you will too.

Epson Home Cinema 4010 / Pro Cinema 4050

Epson-Home-Cinema-4010-and-Pro-Cinema-4050

Projector Specs

Specification Description
Price $1999/$2399
Technology 3LCD
Native Resolution 1920×1080
Brightness (Manufacturer Claim) 2400
Contrast 200,000:1 (Dynamic)
Zoom Lens Ratio 1.85:1
Throw Ratio 1.35:1 - 2.84:1
Lens Shift Yes
Lamp Life 5000 hours (Eco)
Weight 24.3 lbs.
Warranty 2 years / 3 years

Award Winner

Epson’s Home Cinema 4010 and Pro Cinema 4050 are bright, 4K Capable – 2,500 lumen – and fully featured projectors. Their native resolution is 1080P (1920 x 1080). To provide a crisp and clear picture, the projectors can accept 4K60p content and is equipped with Epson’s PRO-UHD chip, which pixel shifts the image for 4K enhancement. They offer a wide color gamut and excellent black levels. It is loaded with features including motorized zoom with lens memory.

The PC4050 (SRP $2399) delivers identical performance as the HC4010 (SRP $1999) but has a black case instead of a white one. It is part of their Pro Cinema lineup focused on the commercial integrator market and includes a mount, extra lamp, and a more generous warranty.

Projector Overview

The Epson Home Cinema 4010 is a 4K HDR-compatible home theater 3LCD projector with a rated brightness of 2,400 Lumens. Epson claims that when the Auto Iris is enabled, the HC3200 has a dynamic contrast ratio of 200,000:1.

Epson has been a leader in projector technology for some time, and they offer a wide variety of projectors to fit nearly any application. The Home Cinema 4010 is part of their Home Cinema Series line-up designed to deliver great home theater performance at an affordable price point.

The Home Cinema 4010 is a native HD projector, but it is equipped with two 18 Gbps HDMI 2.0 (HDCP 2.2) to accept 4K HDR content up to 60 frames per second. Epson’s proven E-Shift technology delivers a clearer, crisper image than a traditional 1080P projector, and the Home Cinema 4010 is also compatible with both HDR10 and HLG content.

Epson also offers the Pro Cinema 4050 (SRP $2399) which delivers identical performance but has a black case instead of a white one. It is part of their Pro Cinema lineup focused on the commercial integrator market and includes a mount, extra lamp, and a more generous 3-year warranty.

Some of the most notable features of these projectors are:

  • 4K Pixel Shifting – While pixel shifting can’t match the resolution of a true 4K projector, it does increase sharpness and detail compared to a standard 2K projector. The Epson Home Cinema 4010 projector can accept up to a 4K@60P signal and uses pixel shifting to fine-tune the image to more closely resemble 4K.
  • HDR10 / HLG Compatible – The projectors support both HDR10 and HLG. Since most HDR10+ and Dolby Vision content is either backward compatible with or available in HDR10, you can enjoy 99% of HDR content available on the market now and in the future.
  • 3D Ready – They are 3D ready. It is nice that these projectors still support 3D because users can still take advantage of the content they paid for.
  • AptX Bluetooth Transmitter – You can wirelessly connect a speaker, sound system, or pair of headphones to the projector via Bluetooth. Also, they utilize aptX™ HD, which is designed to deliver high definition (HD) audio over Bluetooth, so you don’t have to sacrifice performance for wireless convenience.

The real strengths of these projectors include the exceptional placement flexibility (including lens memory for those that wish to go widescreen), great out of the box picture quality especially color.  Unlike the competition, it not only handles 4K HDR but gets extremely close to handling full P3 color.

Feature-wise, these projectors are loaded and even a include 2.1:1 motorized zoom lens with lens memory for supporting wide screens (and regular HDTV). The Home Cinema 4010 and Pro Cinema 4050 share our Hot Product Award.  Both projectors offer approximately the same value proposition.  The Pro does have the 3rd year warranty and 3rd year replacement program, plus the spare lamp, cable cover, and ceiling mount, for the extra $400.

Projector Reviews In Progress

Over the next few months, we will be reviewing several projectors that fall into this category. Below is a list of models between $1000-$2000 that the Projector Reviews team is currently evaluating. Over the year, we will continue to update this section as the reviews are finalized.

Optoma UHD50X

Specification Description
Price $1599
Technology DLP
Displayed Resolution 3840×2160
Native Resolution 1920x1080x4
Brightness (Manufacturer Claim) 3400
Contrast 500,000:1
Zoom Lens Ratio 1.3:1
Throw Ratio 1.21:1 - 1.59:1
Lens Shift Yes
Lamp Life 4000 Hours (15,000 Eco)
Weight 8.6 lbs.
Warranty 2 years
Price $1999/$2399

The Optoma UHD50X is a 4K Capable DLP projector with a rated brightness of 3400 lumens. It supports HDR in both HDR10 and HLG. The UHD50X should be a good option for someone looking for a home entertainment projector bright enough to overcome ambient light in a family room.

Optoma is marketing the UHD50X as the “world’s first 240Hz cinema gaming projector.” The unit has several features targeted toward gamers. The UHD50X supports 1080p at refresh rates up to 240Hz for blur-free gaming. To also has a very low input lag. When set to Enhanced Gaming Mode, the UHD50X has a response time of 16ms or 25ms at 4K UHD.

Since the UHD50X does not have HDMI 2.1 inputs, it doesn’t support 4K gaming at 120 frames per second offered by the latest game consoles. However, a new PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X can easily output 120fps in 1080P. Combining one of these consoles with the UHD50X should result in an amazing gaming experience.