- Audio & Video
Best New Home Theater Projectors 2015
Review the Latest Home Theater Projectors for 2015
Looking for a projector for your personal home theater can often be a daunting and time consuming experience. There are many variables in what type of projector you should purchase including the level of brightness, resolution, and cost.
In this post I've put together a guide for choosing a projector and also listed some of the best rated new projectors as voted by consumers in 2015. If you already know what you're looking for, then use the contents at a glance section below to skip straight to my home theater projector picks.
Choosing a Projector for the Perfect Home Theater
How Many Lumens do You Need?
Your projector's light output is measured in lumens. The amount of output/lumens that you want should be determined by the location(s) of where you plan on putting the projector. Home theaters with no ambient light should be equipped with a projector with at the very least 1300 lumens. If you like to keep your windows open or a light on while you watch a movie, then I'd recommend going with a projector above 2000 lumens. The projector screen you use can also affect the amount of light which is reflected. If you don't plan on using a projector screen, then you'll need to compensate by having a projector with additional lumens.
Projector Resolution - 1080p vs. 720p
Resolution is measured in horizontal by vertical pixels with 1920 x 1080p being considered at this point in time full high defintion. The source you plan on feeding into your projector will determine whether this is utilized or not. For example, most programming and even some video games these days comes in 720p alone, blu-ray discs; however, can take advantage of 1080p. Because programming is likely to be widely available in 1080p in the future you'll have to decide whether it's worth the extra cash to go with 1080p now or upgrade in the future.
Contrast Ratio - Important for Your Home Theater
For home theater projectors a high contrast ratio is perhaps the most important measurement to look at. Contrast measures the darkest black versus the whitest white that a projector can produce. Projectors with low contrast ratios often project grays that make your picture appear less detailed and washed out. In order to optimize your projector's contrast be sure to locate it in a room with little to no ambient light which can often make colors from projectors with high contrast ratios look gray.
4:3 vs. 16:9 Aspect Ratio
If you're going to use your projector strictly for own personal home theater, then I highly recommend that you go with a 16:9 projector. The advantages are very similar to why you'd want a widescreen television, so you can see the entire movie or program as it was made. That being said there are still many people who prefer the boxier 4:3 aspect ratio which can be more appealing for business presentations.
How Big of a Projector Screen do You need and How Far Back Should Your Projector Sit?
Manufacturers give recommendations for where your projector should sit in order to achieve a certain screen size. I highly recommend you use this projection calculator for measurements with your room and projector screen.
Best Home Video Projector Under $500
Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 8350
Rarely have I run into a projector that gives me more than what I expect as my expectations for picture quality and versatility are usually very high. The Epson 8350 does just that. It has all the specifications that most top rated video projectors under $1000 have including 1080p, a 50,000:1 contrast ratio, 3LCD technology and 2,000 lumens, but beyond this it has several design features that make installation and setup easier.
The 8350 uses a state-of-the-art Fujinon lens with a 2.1x zoom ratio and vertical and horizontal shift which makes installation a lot easier than previous models I've tried. This is a huge plus for those of you who lack space or don't want to have to spend big money on installation.
Overall this is my pick for the best video projector under $1000. It's not super new; however, because of this the price has come down substantially and you get considerably more features for the money.
The Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 8350 combines a brilliant picture from its 1920 x 1080p full high definition resolution and 50,000:1 resolution with affordability for the average consumer. It has 2,000 lumens so you can see the picture well whether it's in the day or the dark of night.
New Home Theater Projectors 2015 -Best Seller List
800 x 600 native resolution, 4:3 aspect ratio, 3,000:1 DCR, 2700 lumens, built-in speakers, and it comes with a 3 year parts and labor warranty.