Thinking of adding a projector to your home setup? It’s an awesome way to get that big-screen movie vibe. The good news? Modern projectors are super easy to set up and work with all kinds of devices, streaming gadgets, game consoles, laptops, and even smartphones. They can throw images from 100 to 200 inches, turning your wall or a screen into a mini theatre.
Now, choosing the right home theatre projector can be a bit overwhelming with all the tech words like lamp types, lumens, image size and Dolby Atmos. Some work better in darker rooms, while others shine in well-lit spaces. Plus, there are cool ultra-short-throw projectors that fit into small rooms by sitting inches away from the wall.
If you’re just starting your search, this article has got you covered with a mix of projectors for different budgets, needs, and occasions, from gaming sessions to cosy backyard movie nights.
Best Standard-Throw 4K with Dolby Vision For Under $2,000
Xgimi Horizon Ultra
- Supports Dolby Vision HDR
- Great dark room brightness
- Excellent colour accuracy
- Underperforms in brighter rooms
- Setup can be annoying for non-Android user
- Sound does lack a bit
Unboxing the Xgimi Horizon Ultra treats you to a visually appealing projector, featuring a smooth faux leather exterior and a sliding faceplate, all at a surprisingly budget-friendly price. What sets it apart is its 4K resolution and dual laser/LED technology, delivering 2,300 ISO lumens brightness. The star of the show is its Dolby Vision HDR support, providing exceptional contrast and colour reproduction. With 95.5% DCI-P3 and 99% Rec. 709 coverage, the Horizon Ultra ensures accurate colour representation.
Beyond its visual prowess, this “smart projector” integrates Android TV for convenient streaming, though its performance can be a bit finicky. The real brilliance lies in its auto setup features, including keystone correction, straightening, and autofocus, making it user-friendly even at extreme angles.
Connectivity options are ample, featuring two HDMI ports (including one eARC), USB ports, Bluetooth, Chromecast, Wi-Fi, and LAN. While the built-in 12-watt Harman Kardon speakers are decent, external speaker options are available.
In conclusion, the Xgimi Horizon Ultra impresses with its stunning visuals, smart features, and extensive connectivity, all bundled into an attractively priced package.
Best 4K Projector With Near Perfect Colour
BenQ HT4550i 4K
- Very accurate colour
- Bright 3,200 ANSI lumens image
- The fan is quiet
- Built-in sound isn’t the best
- The black levels do tend to suffer in light rooms
The BenQ HT4550i is like the superhero of projectors in BenQ’s lineup. It’s all about bringing awesome colours, super brightness, and killer HDR support for those deep black levels. This projector is a breeze to set up and use, delivering picture quality that’ll make you question why you’d ever consider anything else, especially when it’s priced way more reasonably than its flashy competitors.
With a 4K UHD resolution that’s sharper than a knife (3,840-by-2,160 pixels) and a brightness of 3,200 ANSI lumens, the HT4550i can project a 60-inch image from just 5 feet away. You can go big, like 200 inches big, from a comfy 16-foot distance. Thanks to its 4LED DLP chipset, it’s amazing even in rooms with some light hanging around, but it truly shines in a dedicated, pitch-black home theatre.
This projector also boasts BenQ’s new CinematicColor and Wide Colour Gamut (WCG) magic, hitting 100% of the DCI-P3 colour gamut that’s the gold standard for the film industry.
Straight out of the box, the HT4550i is ready to roll, pre-calibrated and good to go, but if you love tinkering, go wild. It’s got HDR10, HDR10+, and HLG (sorry, no Dolby Vision), automatically adjusting to the HDR mode from your input source (Netflix, Amazon Prime, Blu-ray, you name it) for the best picture.
Even though the techy stuff might sound like a comic book plot, setting up the HT4550i is a breeze. It comes with an Android TV dongle that’s easy to install, letting you dive into your favourite streaming services ASAP. With two HDMI 2.0 inputs, USB-A, and Chromecast built right in, you can connect all your gadgets and cast content from your devices. And, what’s more is the impressive sound it pumps out on its own. If you want to go big, it has ports for connecting to soundbars and sound systems (Dolby Digital Plus supported). Plus, it plays nice with AirPlay, so you can sync it up with other sound systems, such as the Sonos setups, if you have one.
Great Budget 1080p Projector
BenQ HT2050A 1080p DLP home theatre projector
- Gives a big image for an affordable price
- Bright 2,200 ANSI lumens
- Easy to set up straight out the box
- Speaker sound is weak
- Fan is noisy
- No HDMI 2.0
The BenQ HT2050A home theatre projector stands out as a cost-effective choice, offering a 1080p DLP display with an impressive 2,200 lumens in Vivid mode. This makes it versatile enough to handle various environments, even those with ample ambient light. The projector’s colour reproduction is both bright and vivid, covering 96% of the Rec.709 colour space, ensuring that images stay true to the original visions of filmmakers.
Equipped with features like Vertical Lens Shift and 2D keystone adjustment, the HT2050A allows users to easily tailor the projection angle for a perfectly proportioned image on the screen or wall, regardless of the projector’s position. The projector accommodates different image sizes based on distance, ranging from a 100-inch display at 8.4 to 10.9 feet to an expansive 150-inch display at 12.5 to 16.3 feet. A handy distance calculator from BenQ aids in optimising the setup.
While budget projectors typically compromise on sound quality, the HT2050A comes with a decent 10-watt “chambered” speaker built in. For a more immersive audio experience, users can explore external options like a soundbar or powered speakers.
On the connectivity front, the projector offers a range of inputs at the back, including two HDMI ports, USB-A, USB mini-B, component, and audio in RCA ports. This versatility ensures compatibility with a variety of devices, such as DVD players, streaming devices, and smartphones. Priced at under $800, the BenQ HT2050A strikes a balance between affordability and quality, making it an appealing choice for those seeking a budget-friendly home theatre projector.
Best Portable 1080p Projector
Xgimi MoGo 2 Pro
- Very compact and easy to set up
- Excellent image in the dark
- Can be powered by a USB-C power bank
- Not very loud
- Image tends to fade in bright rooms
- Android TV can be laggy
Portable projectors have come a long way, and the Xgimi MoGo 2 Pro is a standout in this category. It’s like a compact entertainment buddy you can toss in your bag for family camping or weekend trips. Weighing just 2.42 pounds and resembling a Sonos One speaker, this full HD projector is all about making movie nights easy and enjoyable.
Forget the hassle of additional streaming devices, the MoGo 2 Pro has Android TV and Wi-Fi built in. Plug in your HDMI or cast directly from your phone or computer with Chromecast. Setting it up is a piece of cake, and it projects a clear image from 60 to 120 inches with its bright lamp. It’s like magic, auto-adjusting focus and keystone correction take care of the details.
Ideal for family settings, it dims the lights when it senses movement, and it’s a champ in the dark, offering impressive image quality. Plus, it packs two 8-watt speakers and can even double as a portable speaker for your tunes. And here’s the cool part, power it up using a USB-C connection from an outlet or a portable power pack, giving you flexibility wherever you go. The Xgimi MoGo 2 Pro is your ticket to portable, hassle-free entertainment!
Best Bright and Portable 4K Projector
Xgimi Horizon Pro
- Compact and very lightweight
- 4K UHD image
- Harman Kardon speakers
The Xgimi Horizon Pro is a seriously awesome projector. It’s not just portable and easy to set up, but it also packs a punch with its 4K image quality and brightness, boasting a solid 2,200 ANSI lumens. Weighing in at only 3.5 pounds and being compact, it’s super easy to carry around, and you can get it running in no time with its Android TV system that has all your favourite streaming services built-in. No need for extra boxes or complicated setups!
You’ve got two HDMI inputs (including one eARC), two USB ports, Chromecast, and Airscreen for mirroring devices, it’s basically ready for anything. Plus, it comes with Google Assistant on the remote for some added convenience. Want to mount it on a tripod? You can do that too!
Now, when it comes to the visuals, the Horizon Pro is a champ. It pumps out a gorgeous 4K UHD image ranging from 40 to a massive 200 inches. It supports HDR10 and HLG HDR for that extra visual pop. Setting it up is a breeze with autofocus and auto keystone correction, even if you’re projecting at odd angles. It’s got object avoidance too, adjusting the image size to avoid any obstacles in its way.
As for sound, it’s got two 8-watt Harman Kardon speakers with DTS HD and Dolby Audio. They’re decent, but if you’re really into your audio, an external soundbar might be the way to go.
Connectivity-wise, you’re covered with Bluetooth 5 and 2.4/5GHz Wi-Fi. Gamers, don’t worry – there’s a gaming mode with a low 35 ms latency, which should work for most. Whether you’re on the go or setting up at home, the Xgimi Horizon Pro is a solid choice with its mix of portability, cool features, and fantastic image quality.
In the realm of home projectors, 2024 presents a diverse array of options catering to different needs. Whether it’s the budget-friendly 4K brilliance of the Xgimi Horizon Ultra, the cost-effective versatility of the BenQ HT2050A, the portability and convenience offered by the Xgimi MoGo 2 Pro, the bright and portable 4K excellence of the Xgimi Horizon Pro, or the cinematic prowess of the BenQ HT4550i, these projectors redefine home entertainment. Each model brings a unique blend of features, resolution, and technology, allowing users to curate their ideal viewing experience and enjoy the magic of the big screen from the comfort of home.