A massive TV is a natural choice if you want to watch sports or action films, or play video games on the biggest screen possible. But the price tag of some 4K TVs can be prohibitive.
There is an alternative that is often much cheaper. A projector can easily produce a 100-inch image and the quality will be just as good as a TV of the same size. Optoma has several projectors that can replace a TV, from the brilliant quality of 4K laser technology to more affordable high-definition options. A top choice is the Optoma CinemaX P2 Smart 4K UHD Laser Projector.
The space needed between the projector and the wall or fabric is called the throwing distance. While it varies among Optoma models, a projector needs a fair bit of room if you want to produce a 100-inch image. For instance, the Optoma HD39HDR projects a 120-inch image from almost 10 feet away.
However, there are short-throwing distance Optoma projectors that only need a few inches to achieve the same result. For example, the Optoma CinemaX P2 only needs 5.7 inches of space to produce an 85-inch image.
The most common light source for a projector is a lamp, and it’s what most imagine when thinking of a projector. While a lamp is certainly capable of delivering good visuals, it pales in comparison with upgraded laser technology.
Laser projectors provide maximum brightness, often suited for lights-on viewing or watching content outside. The quality also remains the same throughout the laser’s lifespan, whereas lamps can degrade over time.
It’s handy to have built-in speakers on a projector, but it shouldn’t be the deciding factor. Most speakers on a projector are just a novelty and don’t produce the sound quality you’re hoping for.
The best option is to connect external speakers or a home theater system to the projector. An audio-out port or a Bluetooth connection is an excellent alternative for superior sound.
A projector's brightness is indicated in lumens, and the higher the number, the brighter the projection. While lack of brightness doesn’t always affect the content's quality, it can make it difficult to see. Low-brightness projectors struggle to produce clear images in sunny or well-lit rooms, though they're perfect for areas where there isn’t a lot of ambient light. On the other hand, a high-lumen projector throws a clear image that’s visible even during the day.
If you have ever watched sports or an action movie on an older TV, you've probably noticed the motion blur when things pick up speed. It can be jarring. That’s because the TV’s refresh rate is lower than that of the content. And motion blur is amplified when the screen is larger, such as a projector.
To combat this, a good-quality projector has a high refresh rate. The pixels can change colors in a millisecond, providing a smooth transition in visuals, unlike the ghosting appearance of a lower-refresh-rate device.
The best thing about a good-quality projector is that multiple devices connect to it. While the regular HDMI connection is expected, having additional options through Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and memory cards greatly expands your content sources.
A Wi-Fi connection is essential, though, if you're planning on having epic movie nights or watching that important game on a much bigger screen. Wi-Fi lets you stream content from a mobile device to the projector.
The price largely depends on its resolution and additional functions. An affordable projector capable of high-definition content and sufficient brightness costs $800-$900. However, a 4K laser projector with a built-in sound bar costs $2,000-$3,500.
A. Yes, in most cases, as long as the projector is compatible with mounting options. The most common mounting or bracket type is VESA, so if a projector is VESA-compatible, you know it conforms to an international standard.
A. IFTTT is a popular home automation app, as it stands for “If This, Then That.” Essentially, you feed the app a set of conditions and once they're met, it triggers an action. For example, if your smart doorbell rings, then the projector automatically mutes the volume.
Optoma CinemaX P2 Smart 4K UHD Laser Projector
What you need to know: This projector uses laser technology, making it perfect if you want to watch content in a bright room.
What you’ll love: Projecting an 85-inch image from only 5.7 inches away, this projector delivers clear 4K visuals through pure glass optics. It has a built-in 40-watt sound bar, consisting of four speakers. It is compatible with Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa and IFTTT.
What you should consider: Some users said the laser is so bright, that it accentuates every tiny flaw on the wall or projection fabric.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Optoma HD39HDR High Brightness HDR Home Theater Projector
What you need to know: This projector is the perfect choice if you want an affordable, simple solution.
What you’ll love: It has a relatively high brightness of 4,000 lumens and a frame rate of 120 hertz, making it suitable for bright areas. It has two HDMI ports and one USB port for charging your devices.
What you should consider: While it has a 4K input, the projector is only capable of 1080p images.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Optoma UHD38 True 4K UHD Gaming Projector
What you need to know: This projector is best suited for video gamers who want to battle enemies on a giant screen.
What you’ll love: This 4K projector sports a gaming mode that optimizes the response time to reduce input lag. At 1080p resolution, the response time drops to 4.2 milliseconds, while the 4K response time is 16 milliseconds. The lamp has a brightness of 4,000 lumens and there are several HDMI, audio-out and USB ports.
What you should consider: The projector doesn’t have Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connectivity.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Charlie Fripp writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.