The 4 Best 4K and 1080p Projectors of 2021

It's time to bring the movie theater into your home

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The Rundown
"Offering stunning true 4K ultra high definition with a bright 3000 lumens."
Best for Gaming (1080p):
BenQ HT2150ST at Amazon
"With slow input lag to ensure a high level of responsiveness on-screen."
Best for Gaming (4K):
BenQ HT3550 at Amazon
"For those wanting to elevate their interactive entertainment, this projector is worth the investment."
"Delivering a smooth refresh rate and 3D capability."

The best high definition projectors provide a crystal clear image on a variety of surfaces, with a range of brightness that can match virtually any lighting conditions. While a 1080p or 4K projector will cost you significantly more than you'd spend for a lower res model, there are still clear value winners in this category, and we've assembled the cream of the crop for our list.

Our top choice, the Optoma UHD60 4K Projector at Amazon, is far and away the best 4K projector currently being sold. Beyond the resolution, it supports HDR and an insane contrast ratio to deliver some of the sharpest projected images we've ever seen. It's one of the best high definition projectors, but for even more of the best high end projectors, our roundup is full of strong contenders.

Best 4K Overall: Optoma UHD60 4K Projector

Offering stunning true 4K ultra high definition with a bright 3000 lumens and cinematic color, the Optoma UHD60 is by far the best 4K projector on the market today. Its HDR10 technology produces the brightest whites and deepest blacks, giving a true hue of color with its color gamut compatibility.

The Optoma includes a contrast ration of 1,000,000:1, giving razor sharp images with its 8.3 million-pixel image on screen. You can be as far away as 10 feet to experience and see all the detail of the Optoma’s 4K resolution. It has a 1.6x zoom and 1.30 to 2.22 throw ratio with its vertical lens, which allows for various spaces and screen sizes 140 inches and up. The easy-to-install device includes an 18Gbps HDMI 2.0 port and aligns perfectly with your screen with its single DLP chip system for easy set up.

Best for Gaming (1080p): BenQ HT2150ST Projector


While plenty of projectors offer a superb gaming experience, few do it as well as the BenQ HT2150ST gaming video projector. It features a native Full HD 1080p image experience with 2,200 ANSI lumens, a 15,000:1 contrast ratio and 6x RGBRGB color wheel for pictures that are truly lifelike. The BenQ offers an excellent short-throw projector experience requiring just 1.5 meters of distance from a screen up to 100 inches. Additionally, the BenQ offers two 10W built-in speakers with their Cinema Master Audio+ technology for a heightened audio experience.

Whether it’s Halo, Grand Theft Auto or Overwatch, the BenQ’s slow input lag helps ensure a high level of responsiveness on-screen, so you won't miss a second of the action. The two BenQ modes adjust according to available ambient light to help deliver a visual experience that’s not impeded by the time of day. Game Mode brings out blacker blacks and brighter highlights if you’re in a dark room while Game (Bright) mode offers no loss of image details regardless of how well lit the external environment is.

Best for Gaming (4K): BenQ HT3550

The BenQ HT3500 4K Home Theater Projector is focused on the big picture, projecting hyper-realistic visuals for movie watching and gaming sessions. With 8.3 million pixels per frame, the true 4K UHD 3840x2160 resolution promises crisp, superior images. BenQ’s CinematicColorTM technology also enhances colors and covers a massive visible spectrum of colors to ensure true-to-life reproduction. One of its most standout features is the dynamic iris, which controls the amount of light to create a 30,000:1 contrast ratio for whatever you’re watching, adding greater depth to dark scenes, greater clarity to light scenes, and capturing the nuances of shadows and other granular details. 

For those seeking the most authentic cinematic experience, or for those wanting to elevate their interactive entertainment, this projector is worth the investment. Sleek and modern, it has a 1.3x big zoom and vertical lens shift for a variety of throw distances to fit any room, maximizing installation flexibility and ease.

Best Features: Sony VPLHW45ES 3D SXRD

Sony’s a brand people know and love for home entertainment, from PlayStation gaming all the way to flat panel TVs, and they shouldn’t be overlooked on the projector front, either, as you get a lot of features for the price. The brand's VPLHW45ES offers 1920 x 1080, full HD resolution, as well as bolstered pixel count thanks to SXRD technology and Advanced Reality Creation. Both of these are Sony’s way of processing pictures to “fill in the gaps” to make the picture seem closer to lifelike 4K without the need for that actual resolution level. The device also delivers a smooth refresh rate and 3D capability for extra special movie nights. To further refine your picture, there are 9 different modes to help quickly tailor your video levels to whatever you’re watching. Finally, there’s a super-quiet, front-facing fan to keep the lamp cooler and lengthen its lifetime. Overall, it’s a projector that leaves very little to be desired on the feature front. 

Final Verdict

The Optoma UHD60 is hands-down the best 4K projector available, bar none. For gamers, however, the Benq HT2150ST is an amazing 1080p option (and available for significantly less).

Our Process

Our writers spent 181 hours researching and testing the most popular projectors on the market. All of this research adds up to recommendations you can trust.

What to Look for in a High-End Projector

Brightness - Perhaps the biggest consideration when shopping for a projector, brightness is measured by lumens. While this feature can drive up the price quickly, you should look for a projector that produces somewhere between 1,500 and 3,000 lumens, though your actual need will depend on how dark the room is.

Contrast - Contrast is determined by a combination of black levels and brightness. The higher the contrast ratio, the better the picture quality.

Resolution - 4K projectors produce amazing picture quality, magnifying details much better than a 1080p projector will. You’ll be able to notice details like strands of hair and blades of grass, and the image will come through much more smoothly too.

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