A Home Theater projector can be that one extra piece of tech that turns a house into a home. They provide you with breath-taking visual quality and a cinema experience in comfort to boot. Watch the newest blockbusters in your slippers? Check! Keep the children occupied with Paw Patrol whilst you make them dinner? Check! Got a date night and need to wow? Double check!
Home Theater projectors are surprisingly versatile; all you need is the space to set one up and you’re off. When they aren’t being used, they’ll also take up far less room than a TV. If you hitch one to the ceiling, it can be rolled up to give you your living room back. Gone are the days of a stray football or angsty cat destroying your beloved 50 inch!
As great as they are, the Home Theater can be an expensive bit of kit. Luckily, we’re here to help. We’ve scoured the web for the best Home Theater projectors under $1000 and found ten perfect candidates to match any living condition. We’ve also listed some of their features and given our thoughts on why you should pick them up. So, in no particular order and without further ado, let the show begin:
1. Optoma GT1080Darbee 1080p 3000 Lumens 3D DLP Short Throw Gaming Projector
This first one is for the gamers. The Optoma GT1080 uses smart tech to enhance the textures of game graphics, so you can play in better quality than ever. With full HD 1080p support and reduced latency for instant response, Call of Duty, Super Mario Odyssey, or whatever your preferred choice (is Pong still a thing?) will all look fantastic.
This amazing projector also offers a 28,000:1 contrast ratio, creating an amazing level of darkness perfect for the survival horror fanatic! Lightweight and small, this is also perfect for a film aficionado with a smaller apartment.
2. Epson Home Cinema 1040 1080p 2x HDMI (1MHL), 3LCD, 3000 Lumens Color and White Brightness Home Theater Projector
Whilst the name might be a mouthful, this Home Theater projector brings the light to your living room. The Epson comes with a special White Brightness function to make even the darkest of movie scenes nicely lit. No longer will you have to squint at the dingy bits in the Saw films. No longer will the Gears of Wars games look like a mushy grey blob. Also, you will no longer see black and white horror films be scary, you’ve conquered them all with one of the most competitively prices projectors about!
The screen size for the Epson Home Cinema, as its name suggests, can be rather large. Recommending between 8 and 12 feet, this is the ideal projector for those with large living rooms wanting to wow their families and friends with the latest blockbusters. Also, lightweight and with an ECO mode to make your projector lamps last double the time, this is a good choice for those wanting to create a home cinema on a budget without sacrificing quality.
3. Optoma DU380 WUXGA 3800 LUMENS 3D DLP Business & Education Projector
Slightly smaller than the Epson, this Optoma packs an equally powerful punch. Another projector bringing the best in visual brightness, this smart piece of tech features a design meant to compensate for the loss of brightness when not being projected on white space, meaning you can stick this bad boy anywhere.
Whilst this model may be a little heavier than others, it has features that many other projectors may lack. A built in 1.6x zoom. An edge mask which smoothers out the jagged edges on borders of projection to give a more consistent image. The unit even has a built-in 10-watt speaker powerful enough to fill a room with whatever is being viewed, making it the ideal candidate for the projector that will move from room to room.
4. NEC NP-UM351W 3500-Lumen Widescreen Ultra Short Throw Projector
A short throw lens helps get rid of undesired shadows on the screen so you get the best viewing experience and quality possible. For those fussy about the black frames on their films, this projector has an adjustment system so you can scale the screen to your needs. Also, it has the ability to support microphones. Karaoke anyone?
To make up for the steeper price, this projector features an ECO mode to extend the life of your projector lamp. It also has speakers in-built, and you can stream the internet straight from it. The only downside is how short it projects; this bit of kit is definitely better for a bedroom set up over a living room powerhouse. However, once it’s in there you’ll struggle to find things it can’t do. Except make popcorn. It can’t do that.
5. Acer H7550ST 3D DLP Home Theater Projector
1080p resolution and super high brightness. Can support almost everything you can think of, including Blu-ray 3D. Can convert stuff from 2D to 3D (somehow, I reckon magic). Is lightweight and has a sleek white design. Built-in speakers. Simply put, if you’re looking for a 3D experience with all the trimmings, and can do without an adapter, then pick up this high-end bit of kit for zero disappointment.
Whilst it may be a bit pricey, this unit has tech inside it that stops degradation of color after long periods of use, so it’s perfect for those mammoth Star Wars marathons, those “have the blokes round for a game but you’re still there at 5am” nights and everything in between.
6. InFocus Corporation IN128HDx 1080p DLP Network Projector, HDMI, 4000 Lumens
With 4000 lumens (the stuff that makes it light), you can read text from this projector even when the lights are on! It features a projection format which makes it easy to find replacement stands if you have pets or kids prone to knocking into stuff. There are also in-built speakers loud enough to drown them all out.
This Home Theater Projector is so light you could probably play catch with it. Not only that, but it has a gorgeous polished nickel plated finish so your newest bit of tech isn’t an eyesore in your meticulously decorated living room. This projector also has HD quality, the ability to connect to your computer remotely, 3D capability, and is made to be easy as pie to install and move about the house. An ideal middle of the road projector for any situation.
7. BenQ MW824ST DLP Projector
Just because its name is shorter than the others doesn’t make it worse. Another projector with some brilliant Eco tech to keep that lamp from being replaced, this is aimed at group use with its vast interactive options.
This smart projector also connects to Android devices and most other mobile devices and has an ultra-sharp contrast ratio of 13000:1. And it looks a bit like a Sony Walkman if you buy it in black. 10 points alone for the retro swag!
8. ViewSonic PJD6383S XGA 1024X768 DLP Projector
Of no relation to the Sega hedgehog we think. This projector has an impressive list of features. High contrast settings. Loads of audio options and inputs. Can project a 100-inch image from less than 4 feet. Can be linked to networks for us e via computers. Also runs off battery power, so will cut down your electricity bill by a chunk.
The only negative is that this projector is designed for corporate use, with one of the lowest resolution qualities on this list. If you’re not bothered about picture quality, and live in a busy house so need robust connectivity options, then this is definitely the projector for you.
9. Panasonic PT-LB330 LCD Projector 720p HDTV 4:3 1024×768 XGA 10,000:1 3300LM HDMI USB VGA IN Fast Ethernet PTLB330U
Definitely the nicest looking of the bunch. White with soft edges. Mmmm. Makes the graphic designer in all of us a bit giddy. And looks a bit like if Wall-E and Eva had a child.
That went to a weird place…
It’s relatively cheap, has HD compatibility, all the expected trimmings, and it’ll look nice in your living room. Let’s move on quickly.
10. Hitachi CP X1250 LCD Projector 4500 Lumens XGA
Last but certainly not least we have this little box of magic. With one of the highest level of lumen power around (the stuff that decides how light the projected image is), this one is perfect for big living rooms. A great little number that has high image quality, this one is an all-rounder.
This one also has USB connections and can network to nearby computers, so you won’t need a sea of wires to stream your favorite YouTube videos. Easy to use by all, it’s great for a house with small ones, and even for the older ones who aren’t great with tech. The image size isn’t huge on this one, but its clarity will make it useable at almost all distances you’d like, making it a fantastic first projector to own!
There we go. The future of home viewing in a top ten format. Whilst a Home Theater projector may seem expensive, the enjoyment from one is priceless. Having a cinema in your front room brings families together. It defines memories. It impressed the opposite sex, spiced up community meetings, and so much more. In a time when everyone from the toddler to the granddad has their head stuck in an iPad, nothing can quite bring people together like a giant, much bigger screen for everyone to get their head stuck in together. The magic of cinema is like no other.