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Lowest Cost Home Theater Projectors

Posted on March 12, 2007 by Zachary Zanger

Lowest Cost Home Theater Projectors

Best In Class InFocus Big Play IN72
Runner Up None
Special Interest Epson Home 20+

Best of Class: InFocus Big Play IN72 Home Theater Projector

There isn't much left on the market in the way of 480p home theater projectors, although a new crop of them will appear shortly - projectors aimed at the gamers. When we reviewed the IN72, it earned our Hot Product Award. Not only is it a sexy looking projector, but its performance is especially good for a 480p projector. Very good colors out of the box, combine with very good black levels, for an excellent movie watching experience.

DVDs look great, and the IN72, while not exceptionally bright, also does a more than acceptable job on HDTV signals as well as standard definition TV. Of course HDTV signals are significantly higher resolution than standard DVDs or, for that matter, the IN72 itself. No matter, HDTV looks great - the superior color dynamics of HDTV are captured extremely well by the IN72 home theater projector.The image (from the IN72 review) immediately below, is from "Starship Troopers" on standard DVD.

Perhaps the best thing about the IN72, is that less than a year ago, it was a great projector for about $1000 - $1200. Today, considering the various specials, rebates, etc., that are out there, it sells for about half that price, and is simply unbeatable in my opinion, without spending at least $300 more (as of 3/2007).

Special Interest: Epson Home 20+ Home Theater Projector

In most ways, the Epson Home 20+ is an excellent projector. It does have, however, one major weakness which prevented it from receiving our Hot Product Award, and that is the visibility of the pixel structure, due to being LCD (inherently more visible pixels than DLP) and only 480p native resolution. That results in very visible pixels at normal watching distances.

The image below, representing the Epson Home 20's performance, is a Hi-def image from the "Over America" D-VHS tape (1080i).

There may be many people who don't mind that, including normal movie or TV viewers, as well as gamers, but it is a show stopper for me. If you decide that the pixels aren't a major concern, then the Epson Home 20+ should really appeal to you. It's good looking, brighter than most 480p projectors, and shares Epson's reputation for reliable products and great support.

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