Which projector should I buy for home use? You can’t go wrong with an affordable 3,000 lumens native 1080p DLP projector for the perfect balance of affordability and quality. However, you can invest more money to get better, brighter, and higher resolution projectors for home use.
Consumer-grade projectors have advanced so much since the 1980s. You’re practically seeing every pore of the actor in close-up or every last blade of grass on the meadow or every last hair on the cat. DLP projectors have become extra-bright due to LED or laser lamps.
What’s more, they also have features like 4K Ultra HD resolution and HDR that’s cinema-grade at this point. The level of detail is so high your eyes will think they’re looking at a window outside rather than a movie or film.
Which Projector Should I Buy for Home Use?
Home projectors have evolved significantly in a short period of time of only a couple of years. The models of today are projector versions of smartphones. They’re capable of holding multimedia content such as films, photographs, documents, and games.
They’re like a mix between an HDTV and a PC that’s capable of also projecting everything onto the big screen like a cinema projector. It’s a multimedia display capable of even playing music files in case it has a built-in speaker.
Otherwise, it can serve as an A/V splitter for Bluetooth speakers or soundbars. When searching for the right home projector for you, you should go for the HD ones.
What Resolution of Home Projector Should You Get?
Even though models with 720p HD and SD resolutions are still available, you can get higher resolutions such as 1080p Full HD or 4K Ultra HD at rather affordable prices in 2021. What was once available only to rich people is now consumer-grade appliances that anyone can buy at cost-effective prices.
The horizontal resolutions of 2160p or 4K UHD projectors can reach up to 4,000 pixels (more or less). You can either get a 3840 x 2160 pixels or 4096 x 2160 pixels projector. 4096 horizontal pixels used to not be available for projectors but they’ve become available and affordable in the 2010s and 2020s.
How Advanced are Home Projectors Nowadays?
With the way the technology is progressing, if your living room, den, or basement has the right features, your next TV might as well be a projector instead of an ordinary HDTV.
Most home digital video projectors are either Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) projectors or Digital Light Processing (DLP) projectors based on the chip made by Texas Instruments. You can also avail of other projector types like Liquid Crystal on Silicon (LCoS), Light-Emitting Diode (LED), or laser.
The Sheer Variety of Home Projectors
However, no two homes are identical. Therefore, home projectors tend to vary in every price range, from purpose to capabilities. In terms of size and portability, they can also vary. The palmtop and pico projectors can be placed anywhere while home theater models should be ceiling-mounted.
Smart projectors nowadays are so advanced that they can communicate with each other, connect to your Wi-Fi and stream online content, or save/download movies into their own hard disks.
What Type of Projector Should You Get?
Should your projector be the centerpiece of your basement? Or should you be more concerned about projector brightness so that they can be placed in a window-laden family room filled with daylight or ambient lighting from light fixtures?
The main home projector features you should be concerned about can also depend on what you’re going to use it for. LCD projectors are cheaper, DLPs are more readily available and ubiquitous, and LCoS is the most expensive.
Depending on the Projector Application
Most projectors are used as an alternative movie screening device. Even widescreen HDTVs don’t quite simulate the cinema experience quite like a home projector, which is the closest thing you can get to a home theater or home cinema.
There are also projectors at home that are geared more towards gaming. They can handle video and photo projection reasonably well, but they have the extra feature of lowering latency so that your ability to react in real-time won’t be compromised.
For movies, a gaming projector allows you to watch HD video without needing to sync up advanced audio over a delayed video feed. Business projectors also give you more freedom when it comes to mirroring PC screens for screening purposes.
Which Features Should You Look Out For?
Some projectors can display video from HDTV or media players easily in a wired or wireless manner. Other projectors work best for someone whose home doubles as an office (which is more common nowadays in today’s pandemic-laden world full of lockdowns).
Regardless, here’s how you can determine which home projector works best for your needs. You should know what you’re projecting, for one thing. You should know where you’re projecting, for another thing. To wit:
- Brightness: The brighter the projector the more resistant it is against fading away against brighter ambient light or daylight. It also makes your projector more expensive. Even if you’re projecting in a basement, a brighter projector gives you more vivid imagery.
- Resolution: The current consumer-grade standard is 1080p Full HD supported followed by 1080p Full HD native resolution. Lower native resolutions at SD or below HD are more inexpensive. Ultra HD or 4K is now more affordable but still on the expensive side.
- Contrast Ratio: Contrast ratio is all about how bright the white levels and how deep the black levels of your projection is, sometimes to the point of looking as vivid as an HDTV screen. More contrast also ensure more detail and text legibility.
- Throw Ratio: This determines whether your projector has a standard throw distance of more than 5 feet, a short throw distance of within 5 feet, or an ultra-short throw distance of less than 5 feet or even 1 foot (usually a pico projector).
- Connection Methods: HDMI and USB is your best bet on modern projectors. This is followed by wireless connections via Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or an HDMI A/V dongle receiver and transceiver. Past projectors use A/V connections like DVI, DP, component video, s-video, or composite RCA.
More Things You Should Notice
Nowadays, home projectors can do more than just show off slides of your vacation photos. They’re much more advanced. They can double as big-screen home cinema displays with the appropriate projection screen or white wall.
You can use it for watching home movies or commercial films, playing video games, and showcasing business presentations. When it comes to which home projector you should go for, it will ultimately depend on your preferences and personal needs as well as set budget.