Home projectors – which ones worth investing in and what to watch out for
Technological advances have meant that streaming some of your favourite movies or TV series onto a larger screen from the comfort of your couch is becoming more accessible than ever; all you need is popcorn! With Netflix, Amazon Prime and Disney+ streaming some of the newest cinema releases, we decided to take an in-depth look at home projector systems. With research indicating the home portable projector market looks set to be worth 1.9 billion euros by 2025, turning your living room into a home cinema shows no signs of slowing down.
We looked at some essential features to consider when purchasing mid-high-range portable projector systems. They are:
Lumens – are a measure of brightness the projector gives out. Always check the lumens! For home theatres, it’s recommended you go at least 2,500. Details on lumens will be contained in product specifications.
Connectivity – two of the most essential elements which need to be considered here include USB and HDMI so you can connect your smart devices to your chosen projector. Many budget-friendly projectors require Amazon firestick, with just a handful connecting to wifi automatically.
Resolution and contrast – with high definition a must-have, it is advised you go no less than 1280×800 pixels. Today’s highest quality resolution available on the market currently stands at 4k UHD, which is 3840×2160.
Upon closer inspection of home projectors, as we enter autumn when the nights are set to get longer, investing in a decent portable projector can prove a worthwhile experiment for movie buffs of all shapes and sizes. We examined three different projectors, from low to high in cost and picked a small selection of the most impressive.
The best budget buy
LG CineBeam PF50ks projector (from €593)
Designed for cosy nights in, this savvy, compact projector offers precise images with decent connectivity. It’s handy because it already comes equipped with Netflix and YouTube, although users will need a streaming stick for apps including iPlayer, Prime Video and more. Handy for presentations in addition to movies, you can use its HDMI port to power screen mirroring from laptops and tablets. Regarding resolution, it packs in 1080p full HD, with a 600 lumens offering and a projection size of 100 inches. Weighing less than 1kg, it also features built-in speakers.
The most impressive mid-budget purchase
Anker Nebula Solar Portable Projector (from €710)
The best thing about this projector is its size. Weighing just 1kg, it’s compact and can easily fit into any laptop bag. Although the resolution is the same as the LG CineBeam (1080p Full HD), the projection size is impressive at 120 inches. With an image projection of 120 inches, connectivity is impressive for its price – you get all the necessary ports from USB to HDMI in addition to Bluetooth, AndroidTV and Chromecast. It also has self-contained speakers, meaning no accessories are required.
The ultimate luxury projector buy (from €3,559)
Epson Home Cinema 5050UB
The king-kong of projectors, the Epson 5050UB features excellent contrast, colour and brightness. With 4k UHD, it’s one of the brightest on the market, boasting 2,600 lumens for reds, blues, yellows, whites and more. It also has superior connectivity, with 2 HDMI ports, 1 USB, 1 mini USB etc., meaning users can easily connect their tablets, smartphones, laptops, games consoles and fire TV sticks. With a 120-inch screen, its only downsides are that 1) it isn’t as portable as the other two and 2) it has no built-in speakers, requiring an A/V receiver to send audio. At a higher price than most, it’s the stuff of movie-buff dreams.