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Projectors – The Best Alternative to Top-End Monitors and TVs?
We all want a huge screen at home, be it for games or movies. It gives you the sensation of intensity, delighting your eyes and exposing details that with a smaller screen you would have missed. Gamers look for monitors with vivid colors and fast response time; movie lovers search for more “pleasure”, like LED quality or even the more advanced 3D feature. Gamer, movie lover, geek, programmer or the regular user; all of them want to expand their vision and be able to recreate a small world inside their own rooms.
Related read: Top 3D Projectors to Make a Home Theater
Have you ever thought of buying a good projector instead of spending money for an expensive monitor or TV? Wouldn’t it be create to have your own movie house, right in your room where your wall could be the place where you’d watch your favorite movies or enter the riddling world of games? Don’t get me wrong, there are expensive projectors as well and we will do list them here, but at what they can do, I am sure you will find them worthy. With a monitor or TV you can’t just go around changing size and, let’s be honest, you will never find a screen that big that can fit into a device so small. A good projector can offer you a high quality and awesome viewing experience, such as in the image below.
If you are sure that you have an available wall in your house, big enough to sustain projector’s resolution, then let us take you into this selection of projectors, ready to replace the cinema.
What is the Right Projector for me?
Technology evolves at a dazzling speed and sometimes we just really can’t catch up. Competition amongst top companies is what drives consumer technology forward; even leaving space for smaller companies to crunch on the remaining audience. That’s why, at the moment, whenever you try to buy something for your use, be it a desktop PC, laptop, smartphone or something else, your choice is rather hard, as there are so many options out there.
The same will happen when you will try to determine which is the best project you can buy at the budget you currently have. Before jumping with the money, you should first understand what kind of projectors there are. You will recognize many of the below denominations because the same technologies are being used on monitors and television sets.
You’ve probably identified it with old television sets with the same name. Indeed, you could say that this technology will soon become obsolete, leaving more advanced ones to lead the projectors market. However, CRT tubes are known to have a long life, meaning you will watch more hours with this type of projector than with others.
They also have a bigger black level comparing to LCD and DLP types and with some models, a faster response time. CRT projectors are much heavier, user more power to run and sometimes can cause geometric distortions.
The main advantage of the LCD type is that it is by far more compact than the CRT one, the LCD chip being very small. Also, it requires lesser power when it runs while offering increased brightness and high contrast. And, if you’re considering it for buying, in most cases, it would be cheaper than a CRT one.
It has its minuses also; you’d have to change the LCD light source (the bulb) once at 2,000-3,000 hours in most cases (that’s actually a lot, if you watch 1 movie at every 2 days with a medium size of 2 hours, this means you will have to change it again in five years. If you use it more often, the bulb will burn out quicker). Currently, 3LCD and the DLP type below are the most used type of projectors in moder technologies released in the past 3 years.
Digital Light Processing is a trademark from the well-known brand, Texas Instruments. You have probably heard about the ingenious Pico Projectors developed by the same company, used in mobile phones and digital cameras. The DLP technology is so advanced that it is being used in movie theaters also.
The DLP type has the same minus as the LCD type, it needs to be changed at ever 2,000-3000 of lighting hours. I was surprised to see on their official page that they’ve developed already technology for HD quality. Just think about it, a HD resolution, right on your wall!
The Liquid Crystal on Silicon type of projector is a variation of the LCD type. It uses liquid crystals instead of the individual mirrors technology being used in the DLP type. The LCOS type of projectors are acclaimed for accurate performance, great colors and superb black levels.The biggest disadvantage of this type of projectors is the high price, determined probably by the fact that the technology used isn’t as widespread as other competing types.
With a LCOS projector, you will see high contrast images and watch movies at even higher resolution that will simply take your breath away. JVC, Canon and Sony are the three big companies that share between them this tight market of projectors.
LED projectors should be considered the future in the technology of projectors, and we all know how accurate an image is on a LED TV or monitor. The biggest advantage is that you don’t have to change its lamp and its light bulbs light much more longer than other kinds. And, as you’ve probably guessed already, they do consume less power. How long can the bulb last? What about 40 hours every week for more than 10 years and up to 25?
I know, it really does sound crazy. But, obviously, not everybody can afford such big prices, that’s why the regular buyer will have to wait for some more years for these type of projectors to be available for the mainstream.
There are much more other categories available, but we’ve decided no to bombard you with too much information that will simply make you get lost in more details that you can possibly digest. We didn’t talk about 3D projectors because the 3D technology is still expensive and we should wait for some more years for it to be ready for a broader audience.
There are thousands of projectors out there, and every month new and new models hit the market, with improved functions, cheaper functions; trying to impress the consumer and convert it into a loyal and stable client of their brand. That’s why the list below is merely a suggestive one and is relevant at the time of the writing. Now that you already know what you should be looking for and if you want to have your own movie house, take a look at the models below.
Best Projectors Under $500
- NEC NP115
- LG HS201 (LED type)
- BenQ GP1 (portable LED)
- BenQ MP512
- Planar PR2020 (DLP)
- Mitsubishi EX240U
- InFocus IN102
- Vivitek D520ST
- ViewSonic PJD5112
- Dell 1210S
- NEC NP215 (3D Ready)
- LG HS200 (Ultra Mobile LED)
- Mitsubishi XD500U
- Sanyo PDG-DSU30
- Toshiba TDP-EX20
Best Projectors Under $1000
- InFocus IN1503
- Epson MovieMate 60
- Acer H7530D (DLP chipset)
- Sharp XR-55X (3D Ready)
- Canon LV-7380
- Samsung SP-P400B (DLP projector)
- Panasonic PT-FW300 (LCD type)
- Mitsubishi XD250U
- Sharp PG-F212X-L DLP
- Hitachi CP-X308 (3 LCD)
Best Projectors Under $3000
- Sony VPLHW10 3-LCD 1080P
- Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 6500UB
- Canon Realis SX80 (LCOS type)
- ViewSonic PJ1158 LCD
- Hitachi CP-X809
- LG CF181D (LCOS)
- Epson PowerLite S1
Best Projectors Under $6000-$10,000
- Mitsubishi FL6900U
- Sony BRAVIA VPL-VW70 (LCOS)
- JVC DLA-RS35
- InFocus ScreenPlay SP777 (3 Chip DLP)
- Epson PowerLite Pro 7500UB
- Christie LX55 (3 LCD)
- Mitsubishi UD8400U
If you still feel that our collection of 39 projectors isn’t good enough for what you had in mind, check out the resources below. No matter what your pick will be, you will realize how much of an impact it will on have the techno aspect of your life and you will surely become a projector addict.
- Projector Central
- Projector People
- Projector Configurator
- PC Mag’s Projector Reviews