Why Choose a Home Theater Projector?
When it comes to a home theater setup, the most common component is the HDTV, be it LED, LCD or plasma. It’s very important to have the right size and type of television that best suits your needs. But to get that true cinematic experience, the way to go is with one of several home theater projectors. Full HD 1080p; great color, brightness and contrast; and the ability to create images far larger than the standard HDTV.
Imagine projecting your favorite movie, TV show, sports team or video game onto a large wall in your home, say 8 feet by 15. And that image looks as bright and crystal clear as any HDTV. An HDTV that big – if you could get one on the consumer market – would probably cost the same as a Porsche.
But you can do it with one of the 1080p or 720p home theater projectors we reviewed, such as the Panasonic PT-AE4000U LCD Projector, Optoma HD20, or the BenQ W1000, our first, second and third picks, respectively.
The use of home theater projectors aren't just for the home. They can be used in auditoriums, theaters, places of worship and more. Using software such as Microsoft Office’s PowerPoint or Apple’s Keynote, you could create and project a winning slideshow presentation for business or educational use. With the right projector, you’ll always deliver a bright, clear and colorful image.
There are a few technology options when choosing among the various home theater projectors, such as 3LCD, Texas Instruments’ DLP and Sony’s SXRD. We take a look at all three:
- 3LCD technology uses up to three chips representing the primary colors of light (red, green and blue) to create full-color images.
- Texas Instruments’ DLP (Digital Light Processing) provides a more affordable experience, as the DMD (Digital Micromirror Device) light through a color wheel to reproduce the image on screen.
- Sony uses their own SXRD micro-display panels built into some of their home theater projectors, and also take advantage of the BRAVIA Engine 2 technology. The resulting image is great.
Home Theater Projectors: What to Look For
There are key things to look for when choosing a quality home theater projector so you can get the best experience:
Ease of Use
This describes how easy -- or hard -- it is to install and set-up the projector. We also discuss navigating through the menu system, using image presets (such as cinema) and if it's easy to customize the image settings to your liking.
This includes the resolution supported (high definition and standard definition); the type of lamp and brightness; the technology behind the image (LCD, DLP or Sony’s SXRD); the contrast ratio; color processing; aspect ratio (widescreen or fullscreen);
The interface found on the back of the projector features all the connections for power and cables, such as HDMI, Composite (RCA, A/V), Component and so on. We also take a look at the dimensions and weight of the projector.
Help & Support
What kind of warranty and support options does the manufacturer provide for both the projector and the lamp? We also evaluate whether their tech support is available by with phone, email or live chat and whether they provide a user manual and a FAQs/Knowledge Base page.
Using our side-by-side comparison and individual product reviews will help you choose the best 1080p or 720p projector to suits your needs, be they home theater, business, education or all three. Also, please check out our articles related to home theater projectors.