From picture quality to durability and space, there are a few things to keep in mind while choosing a home projector.

Image of sofa at one end of a room with a movie being projected on the wall opposite Image Courtesy: ViewSonic
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If there’s one thing many of us miss in a post-pandemic world, it’s going to the movies. You might be able to fix your popcorn cravings at home but it’s the big screen entertainment that we still yearn for. It’s why there’s an unprecedented spurt in the sales of home projectors since 2020. It’s not just movies or Netflix, many kids enjoy the large screen experience during online classes. While a few homes have opted for a home projector over a TV, many are opting for a blended model – a home projector in the living room or den for big screen entertainment and a TV for short bursts.

If you’re considering adding a projector to your home entertainment mix, look out for:

The basics: It all starts with your space. Make sure you have a ‘clean’ wall and ideally a 10-feet long obstruction free projection range in your living room or den. You can decide if you want to place the projector on your ceiling or on a table. This decision will also depend on whether you choose a portable projector (that comes with battery back-up), that you can cart to your friend’s place or even on a family holiday.

Picture quality: The key price driver is the resolution; a combination of the screen resolution and brightness.  If you’re on a tight budget and are not too picky on the picture quality (as long as you have large screen action) then you could settle for an entry-level full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels) projector instead of a 4K or UHD projector. Also keep an eye on the brightness levels (measured in Lumens; higher the better). While 1000 lumens might work for a business projector in a small board room, you might need more brightness for an immersive movie experience.

Durability: Look out for the lamp life stat on the spec sheets while considering a projector. 10,000 hours guarantees about 7-8 years based on a daily usage pattern of 3-4 hours. Also, consider the warranty (many established brands offer 3 years), service back-up or reputation of a brand while choosing your projector, given the wide array of options that are available on online platforms.

Extras: Connectivity is a key factor. You need enough HDMI ports to plug in casting devices or USB ports to plug in media content. Consider projectors that come with their own app ecosystem (many brands come with Aptoide that offers access to Apps like Netflix or Amazon Prime without a casting device). Bluetooth connectivity is a bare essential to hook up a soundbar but if you’re willing to spend extra, look for projectors that come with high quality in-built speakers.

Four projectors for your home

Optoma UHD33: With 3,600 ANSI lumens of brightness and an impressive 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio, along with HDR10 and HLG (Hybrid-Log Gamma) compatibility, the Optoma UHD33 produces rich, life like colors and delivers accurate, sharp, and high-quality images. It boasts of Optoma’s XPR technology and the latest 4K UHD Texas Instruments DLP Chipset 7541 that deliver even in environments with high ambient light. It’s great for gaming with an Ultra-low 4.2ms latency@1080P 240Hz that offers Ultra-quick response times (Rs 1,99,000).

Optoma UHD33

ViewSonic X100-4K+ UHD home theatre LED projector: This joins a select band of LED home projectors that deliver a 4K UHD resolution and an impressive rating above 1000 Lumens (2900 Lumens). It supports HDR10 high dynamic range content and uses Texas Instruments’ XPR fast-switch pixel shifting to deliver 3840 x 2160 pixels on screen.  It boasts of  HDR imaging and Harmon Kardon-customised audio design (dual 20W speakers) for an immersive AV experience. The projector offers support for both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant via voice control (Rs 3,85,000).

ViewSonic X100-4K+ UHD home theatre LED projector

BenQ TH585: This full HD 1080p projector with 3500 Lumens of high brightness is worth considering for first-time projector buyers on a budget. It’s designed for compact homes with a flexible ‘throw’ option – great for big screen entertainment in tight spaces. The projector’s Lamp Save mode extends lamp life up to 15,000 hours. It’s a capable gaming accessory – the TH585 comes with a 16ms response time that maximises smooth gameplay (Rs 64,989).

BenQ TH585

Epson Home TW750: A compact, light-weight projector, it offers great flexibility and can easily find a niche in your living spaces. The split screen feature – that allows inputs from two separate sources to be displayed side by side on the same screen, is super handy. This full HD (1080p / 16,000:1 contrast ratio) projector with multiple connectivity options offers a lamp life of 12,000 hours and a brightness of 3,400 Lumens (Rs 88,999).

Epson Home TW750


Views expressed are the author’s own.