What is the best movie projector for home theater
With a plethora of new releases hitting streaming services fast, there’s no need to go to the movies to catch the latest blockbusters anymore. And with a home theater projector, you can bring the movie experience right into your own living room. These advanced home projectors boast impressive picture quality, good brightness in ambient light, vivid colors, and quality contrast ratio, and you can pick one up starting at around $1,000. That means you can get a massive display screen for a fraction of the cost of a large TV. and many models are portable, making them perfect for a movie night under the stars.
Whether you’re looking to buy a 4k projector, want something that makes HD sources look great, or need something you can use on the go, this list brings you the best home theater projectors.
other products we have tested
benq gs50: The gs50 is a lunchbox-sized 1080p projector with a built-in battery. you can even use it as a bluetooth speaker. however, it is dimmer than the xgimi halo plus for a similar price, so we recommend that one instead.
samsung freestyle: The small, cylindrical freestyle is an interesting idea, but it falls short. About the size of a Bluetooth speaker, and in fact can double as one, the Freestyle can pivot on its stand to project an image at any height on walls and even the ceiling. its built-in streaming is much better implemented than most portable projectors. however, it lacks a battery and its performance is average, at best. worse still, its price is a good 50% higher than it should be based on its looks and performance. read our samsung freestyle review.
xiaomi mi smart projector 2: another relatively expensive projector that we didn’t love, the xiaomi at least has a beautiful apple-like design. We appreciate the compact size, 1080p resolution, and built-in Android TV streaming, but the cons outweigh the pros. It’s relatively dim, especially for the price, and it lacks both an integrated battery and support for a USB power supply, so it’s not truly portable. read our xiaomi mi smart projector 2 review.
Epson Home Cinema 880: The 880 is one of Epson’s least expensive home projectors, but it still puts out a noticeable amount of light. that, and the price, make it tempting. however, the contrast ratio is terrible, so the overall image quality is weak. read our review of the epson home cinema 880.
lg hu810pw: the hu810pw is a high-end laser projector with 4k resolution that can create beautiful and colorful images. it’s also quiet and sports an attractive, boxy case. the contrast ratio is pretty poor, so it doesn’t look as good overall as other projectors in its general price range. read our lg hu810pw review.
anker nebula solar portable: the solar portable is a portable projector with a built-in battery that lasts 3 hours. It has a 1080p resolution, but it’s not very bright and the contrast isn’t great. While the Anker Mars II Pro has its own issues, overall it’s the best option for the money. Read our review of the Anker Nebula Solar Laptop.
Anker Nebula Cosmos Laser 4K: With its compact size and handle, the Cosmos Laser 4K is technically portable, but it’s barely mini at over 10 pounds. There’s also no battery, so you’ll need to plug it in. it’s nice and bright, but the other downsides (lack of zoom, average overall image quality, and a high price for what you get) keep it off this list. Read our review of the Anker Nebula Cosmos Laser 4K Projector.
how we test home theater projectors
Every projector we review goes through elaborate objective and subjective tests. cnet editors choose the products and services we write about based on editorial merit. when you buy through our links, we may earn a commission.
For more information, see how cnet tests projectors.
home theater projector performance comparison
projector performance comparison
*see review for details
**as measured. See how cnet tests projectors for more details.
FAQs about home theater projectors
more tips on home theater projectors
- Home Theater Projectors: 6 Things to Know Before You Buy
- Best Home Theater Projector for 2022
- Portable Projector Projectors: Read This before you buy one
- the best portable projector for 2022
- affordable 4k projectors are here. why did it take so long?
- why you shouldn’t expect big hdr from a projector
- big tv vs. projector: pros and cons of huge home theater screens
- how to set up your new projector for the biggest and best movie night ever
- backyard movie night: everything you need for a private outdoor movie theater