Best Affordable Home Theater Projectors

Best New Home Theater Projectors - 2015

Setting up a private home theater isn’t as expensive as it used to be. With the right purchase, you can acquire a pretty respectable set-up for just below a thousand dollars. Here’s a look at the best affordable and latest home theater projectors available in the market today:

 Optoma X316ViewSonic PJD5255BenQ MH630BenQ MW526Epson 725HD
Brightness3200 Lumens
3200 Lumens3000 ANSI Lumens3200 Lumens2800 Lumens
1024 x 7681024x7681920x1080WXGA (1280x800)1024x768
Contrast Ratio20,000:115000:110,000:113,000:1 upto 12,000:1
Lamp Life10,000 hoursupto 10,000 hoursupto 6000 Hoursupto 10,000 hours5,000 hours
HDMI PortYesYesYesYesYes
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We look for these minimum qualities for all the home theater projectors:

  • high brightness (atleast 2800 lumens or more)
  • decent resolution [atleast XGA (720p) or more]
  • should be released in the past couple of years
  • should have keystone adjustment or lens shift (these help in getting the image displayed on uneven or complicated screens)
  • should be able to project images on a 100 inch screen or more.
  • must have a HDMI port (additional wireless or MHL preferable)
  • should be reasonably priced at around $400-600
  • must be from an established brand

All of the projectors in our list fulfill these criteria. A click on their name will you to their detailed review (written by us), take a look:

1.Optoma X316

Optoma X312 Review

There is no “one size fits all” when it comes to projectors but the Optoma X316 comes pretty damn close. Not only is it reasonably priced, it also includes a host of nifty features to suit the needs of different users. Does it come with 3D you say? Yes it does. Is it wireless? Yes (needs a additional purchase of a $25 dongle though). How about the brightness? It’s very bright at 3200 lumens and the resolution (XGA) is awesome too. You can use this projector for everything from playing games to making presentations. The best use however, is watching high-quality 3D movies at the comfort of your home.

2. ViewSonic PJD5255:

ViewSonic PJD5255 Review

Released earlier this year and considered a successor to the immensely popular PJD5134, the PJD5255 is a sleek and modern projector that comes ample brightness (3200 lumens) and connectivity options. It has a very intuitive set-up and you will never have to use the manual, just plug it into your laptop and it should work out of the box. This ease of use is great for novice users as some projectors can be quite complicated. The PJD5255 works best as a video projector, the image quality for text/data tends to be slightly grainy.

3. BenQ MH630 (Amazon Link, review pending):

Possibly the best looking projector on our list and also the most expensive at about $700. The MH630 should appeal to those looking for a little more power. With a full HD resolution (1920×1080), a high contrast ratio at 10,000:1, 3d capabilities, HDMI connectivity and powerful 10W audio output, you are almost certain to get an immersive movie watching experience with this projector. Infact, we believe it is a gem of a projector within the crowded options available online.

4. BenQ MW526:

BenQ MW526 Review

3200 lumens. Full 3D. WXGA resolution. 13000:1 contrast ratio. Enough Said.

5. Epson Home Cinema 725HD (Amazon Link, review pending):

This list would be incomplete without Epson’s trademarked Home Cinema range of projectors. Unfortunately, Epson has not released a new model in this range in the last few years, so the 725HD does not fulfill the “should be released not more than a year ago” criteria. Having said that, authority sites like CNET, Wired or PCmag swear by the good qualities of this projector so you might not wanna give this one a miss.

Some Tips:

  • Try to strategically install the projector so that people walking around don’t obstruct the image.
  • Projector lenses can be quite sensitive, keep them covered when not in use.
  • Consider buying an external speaker as projectors speakers are not loud enough for home theater purposes.
  • Also consider buying a projector screen and 3D glasses.

Final Thoughts:

This article is about the best mid-range home theater projectors you can buy. If you are looking for a full fledged powerful home theater projector, try the Epson 5030UB.

Thanks for reading. Let us know what you think via the comment box below.

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