Should I Get a 4K Projector?

Only recently have there been 8K projectors and they’re extremely expensive. Therefore, the best upgrade you have over the (native resolution) 1080p Full HD projectors currently available is the 4K projector. It comes in two varieties—Enhanced 4K and True 4K.

In any case, you might be wondering to yourself, “Should You get a 4K projector?” Keep on reading to find out your options and whether or not it’s worth getting a 4K projector in the first place.

Should You Get a 4K Projector?

Sure. Why not? 4K, even True 4K, is incredibly affordable now compared to how they were in 2013. Back around less than a decade or so, higher quality 4K projectors cost around $25,000 or a quarter of $100,000.

Should I Get a 4K Projector
Should I Get a 4K Projector?

In contrast, the projector nowadays costs around $5,000 or so. Maybe an enhanced 4K instead of a true 4K projector might even cost less. You can even get a real 4K projector steal at around $2,000 even, making them easier for more people to avail themselves.

That’s not to say you absolutely need to get a 4K projector since a 1080p projector remains serviceable and Full HD remains the current HD standard. However, there will come a time when 1080p will go the way of SD (Standard Definition) or even 720p (pseudo HD).

You may also like: BenQ TK800M 4K UHD Home Theater Projector with HDR and HLG

How Does 4K Compare to Other Resolutions?

This is how 4K compared to other resolutions as outlined by this chart.

ResolutionOther NamesHorizontal x Vertical PixelsTotal Number of Pixels

 

Devices
2160p4K, UHD, Ultra HD, and Ultra High Definition

 

3840 x 2160

4096 x 2160 (True 4K)

8.3 millionTVs and projectors
WUXGAWidescreen Ultra Extended Graphics Array

 

1920 x 12002.3 millionProjectors and monitors
1080pFHD, Full HD, and Full High Definition

 

1920 x 10802.1 millionTVs, projectors, and monitors
720pHD and High Definition

 

1280 x 7200.92 millionTVs and projectors

4K is the peak resolution available for projectors in the longest time. 8K projectors are available but they’re not true 8K and are more like enhanced 8K the same way enhanced 4K isn’t really true 4K.

What are 4K Projectors?

A 4K projector is a projector with Ultra HD resolution. Full HD is usually at 1080p resolution, which is about 1,920 x 1,080 pixels or about 2.1 million pixel count. 720p is HD at around 1,280 x 720 pixels, which has around 0.92 million total pixel counts.

UHD, 4K, or 2160p all refer to the same Ultra HD resolution of 3,840 x 2,160 pixels. Enhanced 4K is the 720p resolution of 4K. It uses persistence of vision to trick your eyes into thinking you’re seeing a more pixel-dense picture by quickly flashing 2.1 million pixels in a larger area.

True 4K is pixel-dense and has all 8.3 million pixels displayed at the same time. It could be 3,840 x 2,160 pixels or it could even reach 4,096 x 2,160 pixels (since there are now 8K projectors currently available).

Further reading: 2160p vs. 4k: Why is it Called 4K Instead of 2160p?

What Should You Look for in a 4K Projector?

When buying your own 4K projector, you should know if you really need it. Do you have 4K content available to you through your local cable box or satellite dish provider? Do you have Blu-Ray disc movies in 4K? Do you have videogames requiring 4K video resolution?

When upgrading your home theater system to a 4K one, it’s necessary to understand that 4K is all about filling in bigger screen sizes yet still the picture remains super sharp and full of detail, like you have a microscope, telescope, or magnifying lens over what you’re watching.

What is 4K Content and Where is it Found?

Most 4K content is available through streaming services. Sure, you have BDs with movies in 4K. Some movies, like The Hobbit, even come with 60 FPS (Frames Per Second) instead of the standard 24 FPS on top of being 4K.

Most or even the majority of 4K content available to you can be availed of in streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime. Thusly, you’ll need media players like the Roku Stick or Amazon Fire TV Stick to access them for your projector.

Viewing them via screen mirroring your laptop, HDTV, or smartphone might result in content block or copyright shielding, especially with the HDCP or content protection features of your HDMI connection turned on.

How Do You Stream 4K Content?

Streaming 4K content requires a fast and steady Internet connection and no region/copyright blockages from your HDMI connection, so a streaming stick or player is necessary to get all content approval for your streaming.

A direct link to your projector is best and screen sharing or mirroring a laptop might require extra finagling, like getting the right app to bypass HDCP protections.

Netflix

Netflix is one of the pioneers of 4K Ultra HD streaming. Its 4K content library is growing, particularly with more and more of the newer movies being available in this format. All of its original series, in fact, comes with High Dynamic Range (HDR) and 4K versions.

Naturally, older shows in SD are upscaled or blown-up to 4K or even 1080p.

Amazon Prime

Amazon Prime is Netflix’s chief competitor. It doesn’t only deliver full 4K excellence as expected from a company backed by the richest man on earth, Jeff Bezos. Its series quality can also be seen, such as its deconstructive superhero shows “The Boys” and “Invincible”.

On top of critical acclaim, you can also view these masterpieces in 4K UHD.

YouTube (Red)

YouTube Red is the least impressive subscription service of the three. However, free YouTube remains one of the most popular social media and video sharing platforms on earth. Facebook Videos and Tik-Tok wishes they get as much traction as YouTube does.

Its content is available mostly in 1080p and 720p HD videos but if you were to hunt for them or subscribe to YouTube Red, you can also get 4K content out of the website/streaming service.

Always Remember

Should you get a projector? Sure, if you have a big enough screen and 4K content to use it on. Otherwise, your 4K projector won’t naturally upscale or turn into 4K a standard 1080p video. It will blow it up to around that size but the quality of a true 4K video won’t be there.

Get a 4K screen to showcase the 4K quality as well. For enhanced 4K, a 4K-compatible screen will suffice. For true 4K projectors, you can use a 4K-compatible screen but you’ll get more out of a true 4K screen.

References:

  1. Do You Need a 4K Screen for a 4K Projector?“, HomeTheaterAcademy.com, Retrieved July 9, 2021
  2. Why You Need to Upgrade to a 4K Projector? Are 4K projectors any good?“, BenQ.com, January 28, 2019
  3. What do you need to know before building your 4K Home Theater System?“, BenQ.com, Retrieved June 27, 2021
James Core
I write dozens of helpful informational articles based on topics that I have identified again and again throughout my research and work experience. I am here to help you find the right projector.

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