The 9 Best 4K and 1080P Projectors to Buy in 2018

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

While TVs can provide a great viewing experience, there’s only way to truly match the feeling of a movie theater in your home, and that's by installing a projector. Let's face it, the latest flicks and sports look much better on the big screen (you'll be so in the game that you may even find yourself challenging the ref's calls). If you're looking to upgrade your home theater experience, take a look at our best 4K (ultra high definition) and 1080P (high definition) projectors that range from budget-friendly to budget-bursting. 

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.

4K projectors have only been available on the consumer market for a couple of years, which means what’s out there comes with a high price tag. While this Vivitek HK2288 projector still costs more than most 4K TVs, it is simply the best picture you will find in a projector at this price point. Expect a bright and colorful picture from the 2,000-lumen bulb and razor sharpness from a 50000:1 contrast ratio. The projector also includes a remote with keypad for easy control and advanced HDMI 2.0 connectors for media.

If you can forgo 4K streaming, check out the BenQ CH100 wireless LED 1080p projector with DLP technology. Don’t let the lack of 4K fool you. The BenQ still offers an outstanding picture and, with short-throw technology, projecting an image from 81 inches to up to two meters away makes it ideal for both small and large spaces. Connecting to the BenQ is a snap, thanks to the on-board connectivity options that include three HDMI, one USB and a VGA port. The slim and lightweight BenQ weighs just 12.15 pounds in a compact package. Plus, the light source is guaranteed to last for 20,000 hours in normal mode and 30,000 hours in ECO mode.

When it comes to actual use, the BenQ excels with five distinct presentation modes, including motion graphics mode, lectures mode, vivid color mode, cinema mode and graphics mode for a truly well-rounded projector. The inclusion of native Full HD 1080p produces stunning detail that’s both clear and accurately colored. The machine is whisper quiet (just 30dB of fan noise) and the built-in 5W speakers are crisp, but you might want to connect external surround sound speakers for the best result.

Viewsonic’s PRO7827HD 2200 Lumen 1080p home theater projector may lack 4K support, but it offers 1080p images for 96 inches of viewing space up to eight feet and up to 144 inches from up to 12 feet away. In addition to a whisper-quiet fan, the included 10W speaker delivers a clear and vibrant sound (but you may find it worth it to invest in a surround-sound system).

A choice of five unique viewing modes will help you discover your favorite viewing experience regardless of whether you’re in a dark room or watching at high noon. The short throw lens doesn’t require a lot of room space, as it can handle modest-sized rooms with aplomb. The 2,200 lumens of brightness offer excellent image quality in any environment, ambient light notwithstanding. 

You might need to take out a second mortgage to buy Sony’s VPL-VW1100ES native 4K and 3D SXRD home-theater, but if you're looking to splurge on a high-end projector, this is it. The inclusion of stunning 4K resolution and 4K content upscaling for Full HD 1080p material are nice additions, but that’s not why you fork over the big bucks. With viewing from 42 to 88 inches up to eight feet away, 62 to 130 inches from 12 feet and 81 to 172 inches up to 16 feet away, there’s no question this Sony is as true to a theater-like experience as you can get. In fact, Sony even boasts that under ideal circumstances, this projector will handle up to 200 inches of playback without quality loss.

Sony’s new type of projection technology, Silicon X-tal Reflective Display or SXRD for short, helps achieve 4K playback offering 9.8 million pixels with a lifelike picture so good, you’ll think you’re immersed in the playback. The 1,000,000:1 ultra-detailed dynamic contrast and high-pressure 33W lamp achieve details of realism that are unparalleled in the projector space. Gone are the days of the washed-out projector playback, thanks to Sony’s Advanced Iris 3 technology that automatically responds to light levels to help match the scene by bringing out more dark when necessary or preventing bright scenes from including too much light.

The LG Electronics PH550 Minibeam projector wins for best portability, thanks to its Bluetooth sound, screen share and a built-in battery. Unfortunately, portability means no 4K quality, but that’s okay as you’ll receive Full HD (1280 x 720) and a wireless connection to any Android device. With the built-in battery lasting up to 2.5 hours, you won’t get to watch Lord of the Rings, but you’ll be able to get through most movies before the LG dies out. Fortunately, the short battery life is offset by the 30,000 hours of LED life, which means you’ll get 10 years of life even if you’re watching up to eight hours of content every day.

Beyond battery, the PH550 offers a wireless mirroring function that connects to both a smartphone and tablet. Unfortunately, at the current moment, there’s only support for wireless connectivity through both Android and Windows operating systems (Apple has yet to fully support the technology). The display of movies, pictures, music and office documents is easy and can even be done connected to a USB drive. Additionally, the PH550 supports wirelessly streaming sound directly from the projector to a Bluetooth-compatible sound system such as home audio speakers or headphones.

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.

Still can't decide on what you want? Our round-up of the best gaming projectors can help you find what you're looking for.

LG PF1000UW Ultra Short Throw Smart Home Theater Projector
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If you have a small space but want a big picture, invest in this high-quality LG PF1000UW Ultra Short Throw Projector. Featuring a Full HD 1080P picture and full smart functionality, this small device can transform even a humble studio apartment into a bastion of entertainment. The projector is about the size of a shoebox and can project a 100-inch screen from just 15 inches away. Bluetooth lets you connect your devices to it and Wireless connection powers the award-winning LG Smart TV with WebOS 3.0. Setup is a breeze as well, with 4 corner Keystone allowing you to align your picture. More »

Epson - Pro EX9220 1080p Wireless 3LCD Projector - Black
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Living room projectors can struggle with daytime viewing, meaning that you often need to have all the shades drawn to combat a faded image. If the idea of watching a day-time NFL game with all the shades down doesn’t sound too appealing, go with this ultra bright projector from Epson. It delivers 3,600 lumens of color and brightness, making for crisp image clarity to support the 1080p picture quality. It uses Miracast technology to allow for easy viewing from connected devices. It is also lightweight at just over six pounds, making it easy to bring with to a viewing party.​​ More »

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