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Bring Your Home Videos to Life With a Home Entertainment Projector

When I was a little kid, watching home videos on an old-school film projector was a staple of holiday visits to my grandparents’ house. Each year, we would sit in the living room, half of us stuffed on their old nylon couches, the other half on the floor and watch my father’s bar-mitzvah, family birthday parties, and the same mundane family moments, but year after year, the tradition never lost its luster.

We watched as I scored my first goal playing soccer when I was 5 and heard my parents cheering in the background, witnessed trips to vacation spots that have since closed, and experienced the comradery and love between my father and his father, who I never met, allowing me to get a sense of who my grandfather was in real, tangible moments.

There’s something special about being surrounded by family members and watching younger versions of yourselves. It brings about nostalgia, talk of simpler times, and sparks all sorts of interesting conversations and stories that likely wouldn’t have been revealed otherwise. The greatest things about these videos is how they tend to capture the in-between moments that are generally forgotten, the mannerisms that can’t be captured in photographs, and brings people back to life who have since passed.

While we might not have that film projector anymore, the novelty and nostalgia of watching home videos on a projector screen or bare wall can easily be replicated today using one of the many high quality and versatile home theater or home entertainment projectors on the market. Watching home videos on a TV or computer screen just doesn’t elicit the same feeling of being back in the moment that projectors provide for a number of reasons.

Projectors > TVs, Every Time

Connecting your computer or hard drive to the TV can be difficult and cumbersome. The average TV screen tends to be significantly smaller than the average projector screen, which doesn’t allow for the same life like perspective that projectors create. And TVs are generally stationary, whereas most projectors are easy to transport. Being able to quickly pack up your projector and screen allows you to view content in any location - outdoors on your lawn for a summer movie night, at a wedding venue for a slideshow of the couple, in the back of your car while camping, at a restaurant for a birthday party - pretty much anywhere with power and the right lighting.

As smart phones have become commonplace, we carry around video cameras in our pockets allowing us to spontaneously capture everyday moments. We’ve had many of our home videos that had been stored on VHS and film reels converted to digital files so we can hold on to these memories forever and watch them using any type of screen or projector that can connect through HDMI or wifi.

When watching home videos on a projector, the large screen, brightness, and sharp image resolution truly draws you back to the moment you are watching. The lifesize images and vibrant colors can make you remember how it felt to be 5 years old, thinking hard about your wish before blowing out the candles on that birthday cake, or what it was like holding your child for the first time. Investing in a high quality projector is a great way to ensure the optimal viewing experience for these moments.

Also, purchasing a large screen with a projector that allows you to view sharp, lifesize images is much more affordable than purchasing a TV of the same size. For example, you can purchase an 100 inch projector screen for less than $100  and a high-quality projector for less than $1500 whereas an 85 inch TV, can cost upwards of $4,000.

As there are endless types of projectors and projector screens available for home entertainment purposes, it’s important to consider what elements are most important to you and how much you are willing to spend.

Projector Buying

In purchasing a projector for the purpose of viewing home videos, the size of the projector screen or wall that will be projected upon, as well as the quality and crispness of the image, are the two most important components to consider. For home video viewing, there are plenty of options when purchasing a screen, such as a fixed wall screen, a motorized screen, or even a retractable screen with a stand so it can be easily transported anyplace. A 100-inch screen allows for close to life-size images and you can choose to make the image appear smaller if necessary using your adjustable projector lens.

Because most home video content isn’t 4K you can get away with a less expensive projector that doesn’t have 4K capabilities. This can easily bring your cost down to less than $1,000 for the screen and projector combined. I would recommend getting a high-resolution projector with a contrast ratio of at least 1000:1 and Full HD (1080p). Some projectors also offer WiFi capability, which can be useful if you anticipate wanting to stream video from multiple people or sources in one location.

While many things have changed since the days of home video recordings on reels of film, it’s comforting to know that with digital projectors family home video viewings can continue, and that watching my father’s bar mitzvah video can elicit the same feelings and storytelling that it did in the past. I hope you enjoy watching your home videos with family and friends on whichever home projecter is best for your purposes - and be sure to read the projector reviews on for help in projector shopping.

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