A good projector can take your home entertainment system to the next level. You can create movie theater quality in your own living room – for relatively little cost. Projectors are a great investment: they last for years, they can carry out a range of functions and they add glamor and class to your home. We have selected the 4 best projectors under $1000 which you can buy today, based on user reviews and the experience of our tech experts.
Choosing the right projector
Consider the reasons you need a projector before buying. Is this a home purchase for viewing movies and watching games, or do you need a piece of business equipment for your pitches and presentations? You should also take into consideration where the projector will sit. Do you plan to mount it to the ceiling or fix it to a wall? Will it be moved frequently for different business purposes? Your new projector’s fittings and placement options are very important.
- Business presentations: PowerPoint and slide displays
- Screen movies, TV shows and your own recordings
- Play your favorite games on a wide screen
- Create stunning visual displays for use in performances
You also want to look for a projector with a great display output, and the option to adjust your screen size. A movie projector can be used with a dedicated LCD screen, but you could also use a plain white wall or sheet to show films, shows and games. Many projectors now offer full HD and can produce a screen well in excess of 100 inches. Some projectors will play sound as well, though nothing beats the immersive feeling of connected surround sound.
If you have set your budget at $1000, you are expecting high quality and performance – and many years of viewing fun. Make sure your chosen device has a long lamp life, and make a note of what fittings it needs should you ever come to replace any parts. You should also look for a model with plenty of brightness – check the lumen rating – and a quiet cooling system. A noisy projector is sure to spoil the movie!
What do you want to watch with your new projector? HDMI ports connect up your consoles for high-definition gaming or watch DVDs and TV directly, USB ports let you stream from laptops, tablets and smart phones, and memory card slots let you play your home movies and view your pictures. Some projectors even allow for built-in apps like Netflix and Amazon to be streamed directly: look for a unit with Wi-fi connectivity if you want this function.
Our top picks for $1000 projectors
BenQ W1080ST 1080p 3D Short Throw DLP Home Theater Projector
- Size: 9.6 x 12.2 x 4.1 inches; 6.3 pounds
- Performance: 1080p HD resolution; 2000 lumens; 10000:1 CR; 3D-ready
This sleek little BenQ projector is perfect for home use. The resolution auto-adjusts up to 1080 pixel full HD, and the unit is also compatible with 3D content. However, you might find the focus needs a little manual assistance to get it just right, especially when using a screen. If you want to keep energy bills down or show a bit of environmental responsibility, you will enjoy the in-built SmartEco Mode. The power level adjusts to maximize contrast and clarity while using minimal energy – this should also help the lamp last for longer, and help you get more use from your projector. One key feature for gamers is the rear projection ability, which is great for motion gaming like Kinect or Wii.
Epson EMP535W Powerlite 535W LCD Projector
- Size: 19.5 x 15.2 x 8.3 inches; 12.7 pounds
- Performance: 1280 x 800 widescreen resolution; 3400 lumens; 16000:1 CR
The bold, bright color levels make this projector stand out from its contemporaries. Go with this Epson model if you want precision graphics and sharp hi-def resolution when you watch movies and play games. Epson understand images and graphics, and it shows in their projector series. This is a short throw projector, so place it close to your screen for the best possible picture quality. It is perfect for smaller living rooms and for bedrooms, and it creates a very good picture directly onto the wall if you do not have a screen. You can fix it to the ceiling. Thanks to the anti-glare brightness, it works well even in light rooms – great for the office, for meetings and pitches or when working on photos and image clips.
Casio XJ-A141 2500 Lumens XGA DLP Projector
- Size: 11.7 x 1.7 x 8.3 inches; 9.1 pounds
- Performance: 300 inch max screen; 2500 lumens; 1800:1 CR
This slim, lightweight design means you can use this at home, at work and on the go. The incredible screen adjust feature takes the display from 15 inches to 300 inches as required: use to show your cell phone pictures on the kitchen table, to add a new dimension to mobile gaming or to screen cinema-quality movies at home. Incredibly versatile and remarkably sleek, this is a great investment if you plan to use your projector for a lot of different functions. Make good use of the 2x power zoom and you can get up close and personal with your video games and TV shows. Go with this projector if you want something flexible, reliable and portable.
Hitachi CP-WX3015WN WXGA 3LCD Projector
- Size: 12.5 x 11.3 x 3.9 inches; 7.9 pounds
- Performance: 1280 x 800 pixel resolution; 3000 lumens; 3000:1 CR
This great little Hitachi projector is equipped with a speaker so you get sound and picture from one unit. It offers full HD screening with exceptional brightness and clarity – perfect for movies and games. This is the best choice on our list for business use: it delivers exceptional quality when you display your slides and charts. The ethernet connection allows internet access and the projector hooks up easily to any TV, computer, console or other device. Stream any visual content smoothly and with great results when you choose this top end model from the experts at Hitachi.
Lead image credit: via Flickr.com
Product details sourced from Amazon.com