A multimedia projector is a device that transmits data from another device to a large screen. In this material we will get acquainted with the principle of operation of projectors, types of these devices, their main technical parameters.
Advice on choosing a projector will be useful for novice users of this device, and a review of the best projectors for the home will allow customers to learn about the features of each model and make a decision to purchase this useful device.
The Best Projectors Under $500 Consumer Report 2022.
1. Optoma HD143X 3D DLP Home Theater Projector
The HD143X 3D DLP Home Theater Projector, is designed specifically for big screen entertainment, whether it is watching TV shows, movies, or live sports. With stunning picture quality and high contrast ratio, this unit adds stunning detail and color to every home theater experience.
The projector’s lamp has an extended life of over ten years with an impressive 12,000 hours. Featuring a flexible zoom, this device delivers easy installation for various screen sizes and spaces.
Users can comfortably connect the unit to Blu-ray player, cable box, PC, and gaming console through 2x HDMI, 3D Sync, USB, or audio-out port. The compact product makes it easy to carry around from room to room.
- Brightness -3,000 lumen
- Resolution – 1920 by 1080P
- Noise level -25dB
- Contrast ratio -23000:1
- Hour lamp life -12,000 hours
- Full 3D output
2. ViewSonic 3600 Lumens SVGA High Brightness Projector
ViewSonic 3600 Lumens is one of the best projectors in the market for the price with stunning specifications and features. The versatile unit is best suited for use in small business and education environments.
The 3600 lumens projector boasts of a big screen projection with the capacity of projecting 120 inches from 15 feet 8 inches. With an intuitive user-friendly design, the product is easy to set up and control –just plug and proceed to pay your videos, pictures, and presentations.
Its flexible connectivity explains the reason why it supports most media players, Macs, PCs, and mobile devices with input options like VGA, HDMI, etc.
- Brightness -3,600 lumens
- Resolution –VGA (640 by 480) to Full HD (1920 by 1080)
- 3D Blue-Ray HDMI input
- Low fan noise
3. VANKYO Performance V600 Native 1080P LED Projector
You may think that we are kidding that when we say that VANKYO Performance V600 Native 1080P LED Projector is among the top best units under $500.
This is because it offers performance challenged only by projects over $1000. With native HD resolution of 1920 by 1080 and contrast ratio of 5000:1, the high performance electronic brings three times more details than its 720P counterparts, delivering an unmatched image quality and vivid clarity for professional use.
It features a lamp expected to last more than ten years of daily 2-3 hours use. Through one of the two HDMI ports, users can easily connect and project full HD presentations from smartphones, laptops, or any other streaming device.
- Brightness -2,400 Lux
- Contrast ratio -5000:1
- Display technique –LCD
- Built-in speakers
- Native resolution -1920 by 1080P
4. GooDee HD 4000L 200″ Home Theater Projector
It is hard to believe that GooDee HD 4000L 200″ Home Theater Projector is a unit under $500 for the simple reason that it features state-of-the-art features. It beats any other small projector in the market as far as brightness and clarity are concerned.
Adding 80 percent better brightness than any other projectors and 2200 lux, this unit is a force to reckon. It delivers HD 1080P resolution and ultra-vivid & accurate video quality, an experience that converts home to a cinematic theater.
This device is ideal for projecting games, movies, graphics, and presentations. The HD video projector from GooDee utilizes LCD display and LED light source technology, ensuring lower energy consumption.
- Compatible with PS4, HDMI, AV, USB, VGA, and Fire TV Stick
- Two built-in 3W speakers
- Item weight -5 pounds
- Brightness -4000 Lux
5. Nebula Capsule by Anker Smart Portable Wi-Fi Mini Projector
Using advanced Intellibright algorithms, this unit delivers 100AMSI Lux enough to produce remarkable contrast and clarity as well as vivid pictures. Play content from your favorite HDMI and USB devices via the 2 rear ports—you can even forgo wires entirely and stream content to Capsule via Airplay, Miracast, or Bluetooth.
Made of an aluminum body, this projector ensures greater durability and effortless portability. Using Andriod 7.1, this device can flawlessly stream from media apps besides displaying content from YouTube, NetFlix, Hulu, and other entertainment environments.
The unit comes with an inbuilt power source that can run for up to four hours with a single charge. With a 360-degree base speaker and dedicated control app, users can easily operate this projector from the convenience of their smartphones. Nebula Capsule by Anker is one of the best and affordable projectors (pocket cinemas) giving users the ability to enjoy their video contents anywhere anytime.
- Omni-directional sound
- Soda-can design
- Broad connectivity –HDMI, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Screen mirroring, Aux-In, and USB
- Android 7.1 OS
- Resolution -1280 by 720
6. VANKYO Leisure 510 HD Movie Projector
Equipped with 4500 Lux LED light, VANKYO Leisure 510 provides a native resolution of 1280*768 pixels and a contrast ratio of 3000:1, thus produces a brighter and crispier visual output. Elegant images for an elite visual experience.
Equipped with a myriad of inputs, including VGA, HDMI, USB, and AV ports, the unit is one of the easiest to use projectors. Built with two three-watt stereo speakers, the Leisure 510 projector from VANKYO delivers great audio support and eliminates the need for costly externals speakers.
If you are looking for a pocket-friendly projector for a small office display, home theater, and outdoor theater viewing, then VANKYO 510 HD Projector is the right product.
- It comes with a carrying bag
- Projection size -200 inches
- Brightness -4500 Lux
- Resolution – 1920 by 1080P
- Contrast ratio -3000:1
7. ViewSonic M1 Portable Projector
The ViewSonic M1 Portable Projector is designed with straightforward controls and simple setup experience –just plug and play your videos, pictures, and presentations. The built-in battery provides up to 6 hours of entertainment so you don’t have to deal with tangled power cords.
And with a 16GB of internal storage, you can enjoy up to 4,000 songs and up to 4 hours of movies. As its name suggests, this unit is highly portable, delivering convenient entertainment in nearly every environment.
It comes installed with an inbuilt dual Harman Kardon speaker to produce room-filling audio. Connectivity to this unit is through options such as USB, HDMI, and much more. It supports most media players like PCs, mobile devices, and Macs. This is one of the best projectors in the market with the best specifications and features.
- Resolution –WVGA 854 by 480P
- 360° Projection with Smart Stand
- Brightness -250 Lumens
- Lens –fixed zoom
8. Epson VS250 SVGA Projector
The Epson VS250 SVGA Projector is one of the most reliable units from a reputable brand offered at amazingly affordable price. With a brightness level of 3,200 Lux, this unit is more accurate and produces vivid colors even in well-lit spaces.
Featuring a SVGA resolution of 800 by 600P, this Epson projector is best suited for projecting everyday graphics and presentations. The unit is built with convenient controls and easy image adjustments modes so you can get up and running in no time.
Supporting standard connectivity through an HDMI port, users can work with the latest media players and laptops. The projector includes a zoom ring so you can reduce or enlarge the image size with great ease.
- Power supply voltage -100V-240V, 50/60Hz
- Eco mode power consumption -211W
- Brightness -3200 Lux
- 800 by 600 SVGA Resolution
- Fan noise –37 dB for normal mode and 28 dB for ECO mode
9. WOWOTO Mini Portable Projector
If you are looking of a 3D video projector with a long-lasting in-built battery, then WOWOTO HD Mini Portable Projector is the most ideal.
This device is well-known for its high brightness, which is 50 percent sharper and brighter than any other projector of the same class in the market. With a DLP technology and built-in Andriod system, this unit is perfect streaming entertainment via YouTube, Airplay, Miracast, and Netflix.
It also comes with inbuilt 10400mA rechargeable battery, meaning you can enjoy your movies without worrying about power issues.
- Brightness -4000 lumens
- Contrast ratio -3000:1
How to choose a projector for your home?
Before buying a projector, you will have to choose which technology suits you best: DLP (Digital Light Processing) or LCD (Liquid Crystal Display). We will tell you what lies behind these names and help you make the right choice.
DLP and LCD projectors differ in imaging technology. In an LCD projector, a prism breaks the light from a lamp into rays of primary colors: green, blue and red, and then hits one of three small liquid crystal matrices. LCDs only let light through at the points (pixels) needed to create an image, after which the three light beams are combined again to create a complete image.
In a DLP projector, light first passes through a rotating color filter. It is then directed by a million small movable mirrors and projected through a lens onto a screen. Due to the movement of mirrors in accordance with a certain color, the human eye perceives already a full-fledged image, although it is formed from a sequential projection of pictures in three primary colors.
In addition to LCD and DLP projectors, there are competing models – LED – LED projectors.
Which projector is better?
Neither technology is perfect. Which projector is best for you depends on what you are going to use it for.
The advantage of LCD technology is that the dark and light tones of the image are subtly graduated. But at the same time, the maximum contrast they have is lower than that of projectors with DLP technology, because the image cannot be created completely without light.
DLP technology allows you to turn off small mirrors in dark areas of the image, which makes the picture truly black, and the contrast, respectively, is higher than that of LCD. The disadvantage of a DLP projector is that the picture consists of separate images of the primary colors. Fast moving objects can develop a color trail, which is called the “rainbow effect”.
LCD – projector for cinema and video
DLP – for photos and presentations
Thus, if you want to use a home theater projector, it is best to purchase an LCD model to avoid the above effect. A DLP projector is better suited for viewing photos and presentations as it provides a higher contrast ratio.