When you want to watch a movie or play video games at home, while capturing the same experience that you get at a movie theater, the best thing you can do is upgrade from a television to a projector. With a projector, your screen size is highly adjustable and limited primarily by the size of your wall, which is much bigger than any standard television. While projectors can be much pricier than comparable televisions, there are a number of projectors under $1000 that come with many of the high-end features.
In order to find the best projector under $1000, we reviewed many of the top-selling projectors in this price range and looked specifically at features that differentiate the best projectors from their inexpensive competitors. For example, we looked at what display technologies these projectors offered, and how that impacted the brightness and contrast of the projected picture. We also considered factors like resolution and throw distance, which impacts how large a screen you can project and the quality of the picture displayed.
We spent tens of hours reviewing projectors under $1000, poring over customer reviews and technical specifications in order to identify the projectors that stood apart from the pack. We came away with seven projectors, listed in the table below, that we feel are great value for those looking for a high-quality projector on a budget. Continue reading for detailed reviews of each projector, complete with pros and cons. Our buying guide and FAQ sections cover everything you need to consider when choosing a projector, and, specifically, a projector under $1000.
What about the budget projector? is it real 4k?
While $750 to $1,000 is technically considered “budget” in the world of home theater projectors, we know it’s still a lot of money, and there are many cheaper projectors out there (we cover some of them in our portable projector guide). We’re always looking for home theater projectors priced under $500 that we’d be comfortable recommending as a “budget” budget projector for movie-watching, and you can see some of the models we’ve tested in our competition section.
Based on our testing experience thus far, these cheaper projectors make too many sacrifices to keep the cost down. With most of them, the main sacrifice is brightness. Despite the high brightness claims made by manufacturers like Yaber and Fangor, our measurement tests have shown these models to be about one quarter as bright as our picks, which hurts their contrast and limits image size. (Epson has actually sued a number of companies to address this issue.)
Color accuracy is another common concern, and there are usually fewer picture controls to improve the image accuracy. These budget models may have a 1080p resolution, but the use of lower-quality lens optics can cause the picture to look soft or blurry. The fan noise may be quite loud and distracting, and these models generally lack setup tools like lens shifting and optical zoom, so it’s harder to position the image on a screen. And the ones we’ve tested feel pretty cheaply built, so longevity is a concern.
Are some of these inexpensive models good enough for the occasional indoor or outdoor movie night or for projecting movies on your kids’ playroom wall? Sure. But if you’re seeking a true big-screen, cinema-quality experience at home, they simply aren’t up to the task. We’re not looking for perfection in this price range, but we are looking for something that transcends average and is really worth your money. We haven’t found that gem yet, but we’ll keep looking.
Features to Look For
Right out of the gate, this is one of the most important features that people miss when shopping for their first projector. The throw distance refers to how far or close the projector can be to the screen or wall that you’re projecting on to get a certain size picture.
For example: a standard HD projector without a “short-throw” lens will need about 6 feet of distance at least to display a picture larger than 80″ wide, although how these numbers match up will inevitably depend on the model of projector you go with. Make sure to use a calculator. Short throw projectors are great for small areas, as are ultra short throw projectors. Most mini projectors are short throw.
Although all of the projectors in this list have the ability to display their pictures in full 1080p, it’s always important to pay attention to exactly what level of HD your projector is capable of handling before taking the plunge.
Many cheaper projectors will only support 720p, so be sure to check the specifications prior to making any purchases. If you don’t look into this first, you may be dealing with input lag when trying to watch high quality content.
The four different bulb types to look for on your projector are LED, LCD, DLP, and LCoS.
DLP is the oldest of the three, using mirrors and light to physically reflect the picture through the lens and onto the screen. The next is LED projectors and LCD, which uses LED diodes to transmit three separate images in the RGB color spectrum to combine and make the full image. There are similarities and differences amongst an LCD projector, Digital Light Processing projector, etc., so be aware when researching and making your purchases. You might also want to consider a projector that has at least 15,000 lumens.
LCoS stands for “liquid crystal on silicon” is sort of a hybrid of all three systems, combing both mirrors and RGB-separated display elements to create the final picture. Each type of display technology has its own benefits and drawbacks in areas like brightness or contrast ratio, and no one is completely better than the others in all areas of what makes a projector right for your particular needs.
Anyone planning to game on their projector will also need to look for the projectors that have lower response times. Even though an LED TV is still preferred overall if you depend on a sub-10 millisecond range of response, certain newer projectors have begun to break down the barrier, and will only continue to do so as the technology improves. A model with good color accuracy will also make your game look great.
Because of the distance necessary to get a projector to display on the wall is often equal to the width of some people’s entire living room, where you plan to mount your projector can be just as important as the resolution.
VESA-compatible projectors will open you up to the largest number of possible mounting arms, which can be placed anywhere from a wall to the ceiling, out of the way of your couch but still close enough to adjust if you want to change any settings or refocus the lens.
Business vs. Home Theater
All the projectors on this list are made for home theater applications, but there are plenty of people who go shopping for their first who forget to check if it’s made for business or personal use. Always use a buying guide like this.
Business projectors aren’t “bad”, necessarily, they’re just not meant to keep up with the framerates possible in most Blu-Ray movies and HD TV shows.
10 Best Projectors (4K) Under 1000:
To help you get the best value for your money, we have gathered these high-quality best home theater projectors list with their important key aspects including contrast ratio, brightness, throw distance, native resolution, and much more. So, keep reading to learn more about these projectors.
The BenQ HT2050A offers the best image contrast of any sub-$1,000 projector we’ve tested, and it produces richer, more vibrant colors than many budget DLP projectors. This 1080p projector provides a variety of inputs and is easy to set up thanks to a flexible lens that has both zoom and vertical shift. The 1.3x zoom gives you some wiggle room in how close to the screen you can place the unit, while the vertical lens shift allows you to avoid the keystone effect.
Like most projectors under $1,000, the HT2050A has a built-in speaker; it’s not amazing, but it does produce a fuller sound than what most budget projector speakers offer. The HT2050A’s biggest drawback is that its single-DLP-chip design can produce a visible rainbow effect for some viewers, but most people either can’t see it or won’t be bothered by it.
If you often watch movies with the room lights on or you’re sensitive to DLP rainbows, the Epson Home Cinema 2250 LCD projector is a great alternative. This 1080p projector is brighter than the BenQ HT2050A, so the image pops a bit more when the room lights are on, and it delivers an accurate image without much adjustment required. In our tests, its contrast ratio was close to that of the HT2050A, but its black level was visibly higher, so movies lacked some depth and richness in a dark room.
The Home Cinema 2250’s 1.6x zoom and vertical lens shifting make it easy for you to position the image on your screen, but the connection panel isn’t as robust as the HT2050A’s. The built-in Android TV module and 10-watt speaker make this model an all-in-one entertainment option that’s more like a smart TV, but they add to the price.
The Viewsonic PX701-4K is one of the most feature-packed and best 4K projector under $1000 on our list. It is an all-rounder projector for home theater, gaming, sports, and office presentations. Under $1000, it is hard to find a projector like the Viewsonic PX701-4K.
It is a DLP projector that offers native 3840 x 2160p 4K resolution through pixel-shifting technology. It supports modern technologies like HDR10 and HLG to offer you an excellent experience while watching HDR-supported content like movies, TV shows, and sports.
On the design front, the Viewsonic PX701-4K looks very simple, and it’s hard to differentiate it from its budget-oriented projectors. This type of simple design choice also helps to keep the price low. It comes in a rectangular-shaped white casing with rounded edges. The overall body is compact and weighs slightly over 6 pounds. As a result, you can easily carry this projector and take it anywhere with you.
Within a compact casing, the projector lamp can produce up to 3200 ANSI lumens brightness. With such high brightness, you can comfortably use this projector during the daytime, and it’s bright enough to use in a room with ambient lighting.
However, to get the full 240Hz refresh rate experience, you’ll need an HDMI cable that supports HDMI 2.1 interface. Otherwise, on an HDMI 2.0 interface, this projector supports up to 120Hz refresh rate, and the response time drops down to 8.4ms.
4. BenQ TK800M
The BenQ TK800M is the second best 4K projector under $1000 on our list. While the above-mentioned Viewsonic PX701-4K targets an all-around usage; the BenQ TK800M is meant for budget-oriented home theater setup.
The biggest differentiating factor for the BenQ TK800M is its bright cyan-colored face, making it stand out from the slew of other completely white or black-colored projectors.
Being one of the best movie projectors under $1000, the BenQ TK800M has several connectivity options. It includes audio input and output jack, VGA port, 2x HDMI ports with one port offering HDCP 2.2 support, USB Mini-B port, RS-232 port, USB Type-A port, and 12V trigger.
Wireless connectivity options are missing; however, you can quickly get them by buying a cost-effective Amazon Fire TV Stick or Roku Stick and get options like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and Smart TV-like features.
With 3000 lumens brightness, the BenQ TK800M offers incredible brightness output. Hence, other than home theater, you can keep it in your living and use it during the daytime. You can effortlessly replace your TV with such high brightness, making the BenQ TK800M best home projector under $1000.
Optoma HD39HDR is one of the top-selling 3D capable DLP projectors that made us fall in love with its outstanding features and performance. The 4000 lumens of brightness lets you use this projector in almost any situation without having to worry about perfect darkness.
This projector is also good to use in the daytime for living rooms having a lot of windows. Additionally, a 50,000:1 contrast ratio is among the best contrast ratio found under the $1000 projectors.
The HD39HDR offers 1920×1080 Full HD resolution – making it perfect for watching movies and playing games with clear and sharp images. The color output is magnificent as it supports an sRGB color space profile which enables rich and accurate colors. For connectivity, it has several input options such as 2xHDMI, USB, Autio out, MHL, etc. The projector comes with a 10 Watt built-in speaker so you don’t need to connect additional speakers. However, this projector is slightly noisier than other projectors, but not dramatically.
This is another best 4K projector you can buy under $1000. The Anker Nebula Cosmos Max offers vivid and vibrant and comes with a significantly higher contrast ratio of 100,000:1 – making it the most contrast-rich projector on this list.
With 1500 lumens of image brightness, this Epson projector delivers more accurate and vivid colors even in bright-lit rooms. The projector features 4K resolution which offers 4.5x more resolution than SVGA for high-resolution content.
You can easily set up Anker Nebula Cosmos Max home cinema projector anywhere in the house with easy image adjustments and convenient control. For connectivity, the projector supports HDMI, MHL, and wireless connectivity. The best thing about this projector is its wireless casting technology via Miracast Source. However, Miracast is only available for Android and Windows devices, not for Apple iOS. Overall, the Anker Nebula Cosmos Max is a great projector to use in office space and boardrooms.
The Hitachi CP 2505 is next on our list because of its generally fantastic performance, long battery life, and several more cool features such as finger or stylus interactivity. We picked this device because of its popularity online as a durable and easy-to-use device.
It also has an automatic digital keystone correction option which enables the projector to showcase a perfectly aligned image output every time. It also comes with these accessories included: a 5m computer cable, 2 AAA batteries, 2 interactive pens, a 4.5m power cable, a CD user manual, an adapter cover, and an application DVD.
With the Epson Home Cinema 730HDE projector, you are able to replicate the ideal thrill of theatre – the big screen size and that inexplicable journey into the world of entertainment.
This projector easily transforms your living room into a place for widescreen adventures, using its 2,800 lumens of display brightness and 720p display resolution.
The innovative setup tools provided by this Epson Home Cinema helps you experience entertainment up to 300 inches wide, on practically any wall or screen size – indoors or outdoors without having to endure an extreme fan noise.
9. Xgimi H2
XGIMI H2 is an ideal projector to enjoy bright and stunning big-screen entertainment. This budget projector comes with full HD 1080p resolution which delivers ultra-sharp readability and enhanced picture details in every presentation.
With 1350 ANSI lumens and a 10,000:1 contrast ratio, you can enjoy movies and gaming even in a well-lit room. This home cinema projector supports 1.3x zoom which gives you an up to 300-inch display with a crisp and sharp image.
The H2 boasts Harmon Kardon speakers which produce endlessly vibrant, accurate, and beautiful sound to meets your video and gaming needs. The projector run streaming and media apps flawlessly which let users to enjoy content from Netflix, Youtube, and more. Apart from that, the projector comes with 30,000hr long lamp life which lowers the cost of ownership.
LG PF50KA is a hidden gem in the market that is often considered as one of the best LED projectors under 1000 dollars by many experts. Since it packs 1080p native resolution with DLP projection, you can stay assured you will always be treated with crystal clear display and fine detailing.
It might come with 600 ANSI lumens, but its combination with a 100,000:1 contrast ratio assists the projector in creating a proper high-definition output. However, it is the Smart TV feature that will impress you the most, and you can access most of the premium content providers along with the option of web browsing.
Playing the web content gets really easy with this device as it comes with Wireless Contents Share and Screen Share facility. It has a decent screen size of 25-100inch, which we think is suitable for portable and home usage. Thanks to the 1.4:1 throw ratio, you can easily set up this device without needing to maintain much space between screen and projector.
It gets the traditional manual focus and auto keystone correction, so you won’t have to struggle while correcting keystone. Despite being a portable and mid-budget model, it treats you with a 30,000hour lamp longevity which is an impressive figure for a LED projector.
How do you set up a projector?
For better or worse, a projector is not quite as easy to set up as a television and you must consider a few additional factors.
First, the room in which you will set up your projector needs to be as dark as possible with the lights off, in order to preserve the contrast in the picture.
You also need to think about the size of the wall or screen that you will project onto – it needs to be larger than the minimum screen size of the projector and, ideally, as large as possible, so that you can project a larger image. Part of this calculation is determining how far back you can move the projector from the screen as well – you need a clear path from the projector to the screen to avoid shadows on the projection.
Also consider that your projector is likely designed to be placed vertically in the middle of the projected image, so you will need a table or stand on which to place the projector.
Once you have the projector in the right place, you can use an HDMI cable or Wi-Fi connection to connect to your computer or phone, and then adjust the focus of the image using the dials on the projector itself.
What does “Lumens” mean in projectors?
Lumens are the standard measurements used in measuring the brightness of light from any given source. For example, the number of lumens shows how bright the light from its lamp shines, resulting in how clear the image on the screen is displayed.
Which projector works well in bright rooms?
Projectors for bright rooms come with high brightness levels, providing you with razor-sharp images. If you are using your projector in the living room or bedroom that gets ample sunlight; invest in a projector with a minimum of 3000-lumen brightness.
What is the best projector for the money?
The best projector for the money is the HT2050A BenQ . This projector offers hours of lamp life and a ton of extra features including the coveted technology DLP projector used in IMAX movies and different audio modes. It is also an award-winning projector in a reasonable price range.
When you are investing capital of around $1000 on a projector, then you deserve to get a high-quality performance from your projector. This is why we have created this article with an exclusive review of all the top projectors under 1000 dollars so that you can have the visual experience you want.
Our team has worked hard to find these top projectors so that you can rely on them without looking anywhere else. For your assistance, we have also put forward a buying guide to make things easier for you. However if you want more information regarding any product, you can get in touch with us and we will try to help you in every way.