Posted on January 1, 2021 By Phil Jones
If your budget is between $2,000 – $5,000 you are sure to find a quality 4K capable projector. This class has several projectors that will deliver excellent picture quality, good black levels, strong sharpness, and still leave room in the budget to buy quality accessories to support your total home theater experience.
The 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 LG AU810PB delivered a great picture and is packed with firsts, which is why we gave it a Projector Reviews Hot Product Award.
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 1920x1080x4 pixel shifter – using a DLP (0.47″ DMD) chip to leverage the immense speed of the DMD (Digital Micromirror Device) to process pixels faster than the rate of the video signal. This system works so well that it would be difficult for any viewer to see a difference in resolution from a native 4K UHD (8.3 megapixels) imager.
Some of the most notable features of this projector are:
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.
Since the AU810PB was designed to replace a flat panel TV, it has all the Smart features customers expect from a Smart TV. You can use the Smart remote for voice control with its built-in microphone to control basic projector features and control a wide variety of compatible Smart devices via Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.
The AU810PB is 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.
The LGAU810PB is by far the most advanced and feature-packed model on the market below $5000.
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This BenQ is a top candidate for the best bang for the bucks in terms of picture quality. You can find great color elsewhere, but not combined with impressive black level performance.
If you are looking for a good HT projector under $3000, like the DLP look and feel, have excellent color, and have a good room where you can appreciate how much better dark scenes look when a projector has really good black level performance, this might be the projector for you!
The BenQ HT5550 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 HT5550 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 HT5550 supports both HDR10 and HLG, using auto HDR tone mapping to maximize the projector’s brightness.
The HT5550 is geared toward serious movie enthusiasts who care about picture quality enough to optimize their rooms for the best picture. The HT5550, like all BenQ CinePrime projectors, 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 HT5550 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 and optical lens shift. The HT3550 won one of our Best Value Awards due to its good black levels and accurate color reproduction at an affordable price.
The Epson Home Cinema 5050UB offers capabilities rivaling many much higher-priced competitors. And, they offer dramatically more capabilities than any 4K capable projectors currently listing less than $3,000.
Great in a dedicated home theater and it works well in media rooms, living rooms, dens, family rooms (thanks to 2600 max lumens) as long as you have some reasonable lighting control. With its expansive and capable feature set, there are few projectors anywhere near the price that can take on this Epson, feature for feature.
We reviewed this projector in May of 2019 and were impressed by its high performance at an affordable price point. The HC5050UB had good color reproduction “right out of the box”. The black levels were better than most competitive home theater projectors.
The HC5050UB supports HDR (high dynamic range) both the HDR10 standard for 4K UHD Blu-ray discs and streaming as well as HLG (Hybrid Log-Gamma) which is optimized for live broadcast.
When it comes to placement flexibility, you will be hard-pressed to find any projector offering more vertical and horizontal lens shift even at twice the price.
The most notable features of this projector are:
These Epson projectors are great examples of getting the biggest bang for your buck. Razor-sharp 4K content, stunning P3 color, HDR reproduction, and an extensive feature set, truly sets the 5050UB apart from the competition. For a list price of $2999, owners will get to enjoy some excellent picture quality, with best in class black levels for great handling of really dark scenes.
With proprietary dedicated processors for resolution enhancement, HDR, and image processing – the result is incredible brightness, color accuracy, and image detail – faithfully displaying all your favorite content from the classics to the latest blockbusters.
If you’ve been looking for the best possible 4K home theater experience for an affordable price, the HC5050UB just may be the one!
The JVC LX-NZ3 is an HDR-compatible DLP home theater projector that can deliver true 4K UHD resolution (3840 x 2160). With a retail price of $3,699, its 4K resolution combined with its laser light engine results in a great amount of performance at a reasonable price.
JVC claims it has 3,000 lumens, which is quite respectable. The laser engine is rated for 20,000 hours in HIGH POWER Mode, allowing for several hours a day, every day for a decade.
While all JVC NX Series projectors utilize JVC’s new 3rd generation 0.69-inch native 4K D-ILA devices, the NZ3 is a DLP based projector. By utilizing a DLP chip, JVC can deliver 4K resolution with a laser light engine’s low maintenance at a price point below their NX Series models. While NX Series projectors offer deeper blacks and higher contrast, the LX-NZ3 is noticeable brighter, which probably makes it a better solution for a room with higher ambient light. We reviewed the JVC LX-NZ3W, which is the white model. However, there is an identical black unit available called the JVC LX-NZ3B.
JVC has also added a couple of 4K DLP-based projectors to their lineup, starting with the LX-UH1 and now the new LX-NZ3. Now, JVC offers two different 4K projection options that fit different price points and the needs of a wider variety of consumers. Except for the DLA-RS4500K, which retails for $29,999, the LX-NZ3 is the only laser projector in JVC’s current lineup.
Another notable thing about the LX-NZ3 is its HDR performance. On a lot of projectors, HDR video can appear dull due to a lack of brightness. The LX-NZ3’s AUTO TONE MAPPING feature tries to eliminate this problem by automatically adjusting the LX-NZ3’s settings to deliver the best HDR picture possible.
Overall, we were pleased with the picture the LX-NZ3 delivered in my media room. If you are looking for a bright, compact 4K projector with the worry-free operation provided by laser illumination, the LX-NZ3 should be on your shortlist.
The Pro Cinema 6050UB is one of the most versatile and capable projectors around. Excellent color – best in class (by far) black levels, great placement flexibility is why the Pro Cinema 6050UB, or the less expensive HC5050UB will remain our top recommendations in this price range.
Epson Pro Cinema 6050UB includes a spare lamp, a ceiling mount, a cable cover, and a loner 3-year replacement warranty are not included with the HC5050UB.
Epson’s UB series (Ultra Black) projectors use special high contrast 3LCD panels that aren’t used in any of Epson’s other home or commercial projectors, except the near-identical Home Cinema 5050UB. Epson Pro Cinema 6050UB includes a spare lamp, a ceiling mount, and a cable cover, and those goodies are not included with the HC5050UB. The Pro Cinema 6050UB also gets an upgraded warranty – three years parts and labor with a rapid replacement program.
The Pro Cinema 6050UB had good color reproduction “right out of the box.” The black levels were better than most competitive home theater projectors. The PC6050UB supports HDR (high dynamic range), both the HDR10 standard for 4K UHD Blu-ray discs and streaming, and HLG (Hybrid Log-Gamma), which is optimized for live broadcast.
These Epson projectors are great examples of getting the biggest bang for your buck. Razor-sharp 4K content, stunning P3 color, HDR reproduction, and an extensive feature set truly sets the 6050UB apart from the competition. For a list price of $3999, owners will get to enjoy some excellent picture quality, with best in class black levels for great handling of really dark scenes.
The Pro Cinema 6050UB is Epson’s flagship home theater projector. Black levels are excellent for the price. Of lower cost projectors, nothing but the 5050UB comes close to the 6050UB’s black levels. The great blacks truly enhance those really dark scenes and separate “serious” projectors from merely “home entertainment.”
Due to its performance and feature set, the Pro Cinema 6050UB or the less expensive HC5050UB will remain our top recommendations in this price range.
The LG GRU510N is an HDR-compatible DLP home theater laser projector that retails for $3999. It utilizes a single DLP (0.47” DMD) chip to reproduce 4K UHD resolution (3,840 x 2,160). The unit’s laser phosphor light engine can deliver 5,000 ANSI lumens of light output and has a rated life of 20,000 hours in Standard (high power) mode.
The GRU510N is part of LG’s ProBeam series of projectors, which were initially developed for professional applications. The GRU510N is nearly identical to the LG BU50NST business projector we reviewed earlier this year. The only difference between the two units is the model number, and the BU50NST has a longer 3-year warranty.
The LG GRU510N is a 5000-lumen UHD (3840 x 2160) DLP projector with laser-phosphor illumination rated to deliver 20,000 hours of maintenance-free operation with no lamp replacements. It offered accurate out-of-the-box color reproduction, and it is one of a few projectors with Dynamic HDR Tonemapping.
The combination of high output, high resolution, and smart wireless capabilities present a great value along with a very pleasing and flexible image. Compact size, HDBaseT, horizontal and vertical lens shift backed up by 12-point geometry correction combine to provide exceptional installation flexibility in this projector class.
If you are looking for a bright projector with accurate colors for a room with lots of ambient light and low maintenance is a priority, the GRU510N is definitely a projector you should consider.
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PROJECTORS $2,000 TO $5,000
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