Who doesn’t want a home theater in their house, ready to take their entertainment to the next level.
Unfortunately for all of us most home theater projectors cost an arm and a leg and you might just have to sell your kidney in order to get one. So what can you do?
Well, technically you don’t have to do anything because we’ve done the work for you. For today’s article, we have compiled a list of 5 of the best home theater projectors under 500 dollars.
It’s time to push away all your worries because you now have some great affordable options for you.
Best Home Theater Projector Under $500
A lot of people believe that since you’re getting an affordable projector you might have to compromise on the brightness of the images, however with the ViewSonic High Brightness Projector that’s not the case.
This awesome but affordable projector is packed with 3800 lumens and a high contrast ratio which allows you to look at bright images in literally any environment you want.
If you’re using this outdoors then you’ll obviously get the best picture in complete darkness. However, the picture is still decent at sunset or around that time.
If you’re using this for your indoor home theater then the good news is that you’ll get high-quality, bright images without having to close the blinds or the windows. If you want to save energy then you can also adjust the brightness and dim it down using the SuperEco mode.
The projector also comes with a unique SuperColor technology which features an exclusive 6-segment color wheel and dynamic lamp control capabilities, giving you the full experience with a wide color range leading to stunning images. The projector also comes with a 16 Ms input latency which delivers fast frame-by-frame action allowing you to watch any movie you want without any delay.
With its crisp, luminous, and warm colors, super-fast delivery this projector is truly giving a unique and exciting experience.
One problem that many people face while buying projectors for home theaters is that the pictures come out tilted or crooked. Thankfully, this projector has a vertical keystone correction (+/- 40°) that ensures that you are able to view perfectly proportioned pictures every time.
The projector is also equipped with the latest HDMI which allows you to connect to any HDMI-enabled device and if you want a 3D experience you also have the option to display images directly from 3D Blu-ray players.
One thing to note is that this is not a LED projector. According to some reviewers, this is actually a selling point considering that LED-lit projectors have terrible image quality with blue/black range. Some of them have also mentioned that they come with loud fan systems which can get pretty annoying.
Thankfully, that’s not the case with this particular projector. You get a quiet fan system that runs quietly and smoothly. But unfortunately, that’s not the only thing that’s quiet.
The projector’s internal speaker and the stereo output are pretty quiet as well and you have to strain your ears in order to listen properly. Many people had to invest in a separate Bluetooth transmitter so that they could get clear sound output. Pretty sad, don’t you think so?
All in all, we can conclude that this is a particularly bright projector with a wide color range and many unique features which make it one of the best home theater projectors under $500. However, when it comes to the sound quality it truly lets you down and prevents you from getting the perfect experience that you want.
- Immensely bright
- Fast frame by frame action
- Wide color range
- Terrible sound output
Product’s Name: ViewSonic High Brightness Projector PA503W
Weight: 4.89 pounds
Dimensions: 4.33 x 11.57 x 8.58 inches
Rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars.
The WiMiUS also promises a great watching experience even when it’s not used in complete darkness. You can use it even when you have some lights on.
Keep in mind that it’s not suitable for extremely bright rooms, so it’s best to use it with some of your windows closed.
Nowadays you’ll come across many projectors that claim to support 1080p, 60Hz but when you start playing 1080p videos on them the quality slowly reduces until it goes down to 720p or 480p. This can get extremely annoying which is why the WiMiUS P18 has ensured that doesn’t happen.
Their system is fully ready to support your 1080p viewing experience and it has the infrastructure for that. Thankfully, the projector also comes with a dual stereo speaker which ensures that the sound output is loud and clear. Unlike the ViewSonic you won’t need an external speaker because the WiMiUS has got you covered.
The WiMiUs also values people’s gaming experiences which is why it can also connect with the PS4 Smartphones iPad. Not just that, it can also connect with many other devices including your PC, TV box, USB driver, Chromcast, smartphones, PS3, PS4 and many other gaming consoles.
It also comes with detailed instructions on how you can connect your devices. While it does support all these devices, the connectivity for phones and iPads is pretty limited and you have to buy extra cables for that.
If you want to connect your iphone then you’ll need an external HDMI to lighting cable. To connect your Android phone, an external HDMI to MHL cable is needed and to connect with a macbook, an external type-c to HDMI adapter is needed.
The projector can also be installed in 4 different ways. You can put it on your desk, so that you can use a huge screen as you work, or you can mount it on the ceiling to save space. Front projection and rear projection is also possible.
While projecting if you face any problems with crooked images then you also have a ±15° keystone correction to help you fix that. All you have to do is adjust the keystone correction to make the image rectangle and then adjust the focus ring to make it clear.
Another plus point about this projector is that it offers quieter fan noise, compared to many other HD projectors. The sound of the fan can be easily covered with the sound of your movie, show or video game. The projector also comes with a new LED lamp making the images brighter and clearer.
All in all, it’s safe to conclude that this projector offers great video quality with ample brightness and vivid colors. It’s a perfect device for a game room or a home theater and it works excellent with blackout projection screen material and curtain, which is why we had to add it in our list.
Unfortunately, you might have to invest in a few extra cables if you want to connect it with your phone, however considering that you’re getting the projector for such an affordable price, it’s not a big problem, is it?
- 1080p experience
- Dual Sound System
- Limited mobile connectivity
Product’s Name: WiMiUS P18
Weight: 6.16 pounds
Dimensions: 12.01 x 9.25 x 4.53 inches
Rating: 4.4 out of 5 stars.
The Miroir M29 is another great projector for your home theater. Despite costing about 150 dollars this projector offers 8500 lumens which means you won’t have to darken your room just to use it. Nor will you have to worry about the brightness levels of the images.
The projector also comes with Texas Instruments DLP technology which ensures that not only are your pictures bright but they are also vibrant. This way you can get the ultimate experience while using this projector.
Along with that the projector also promises a reliable LED lamp which gives you 20,000 hours of projection time without having to change any bulbs. Pretty convenient, isn’t it? However, the best part about this product is that it’s compact.
It weighs less than 10 oz meaning you can take it with you wherever you go. Have a meeting? Well, then just slide this ultra-powerful projector into your pocket and you’re good to go.
Now, you can present your PowerPoint presentation with more confidence and ease. The 8500 lumens also allow you to use this projector indoors and outdoors which means that you can take this projector with you, everywhere you go.
As far as the battery goes, this projector comes with a M29’s built-in, rechargeable battery that promises up to 2 hours of uninterrupted viewing time for entertainment. However, if your movie is longer than that then unfortunately you’ll have to pause and charge which sounds pretty annoying.
To make matters even sadder, the projector has built-in 1W speaker which means that if you want better sound output then you’ll have to connect it to a separate set of speakers. For that, the M29 has a 3.5mm audio out jack.
If you’re the kind of person that loves watching things on a big screen but you don’t have a TV then this is the projector for you. The M29 creates up to a 50″ screen in a matter of seconds. You can easily set it up and use it to stream your favorite sports game and you don’t even need to invest in a huge TV.
The projector also comes with a HDMI Input and a USB Power Out. This means that it can be easily connected to any high-definition source. The USB-A port allows you to use the projector as a battery backup for your mobile devices and to power your streaming sticks as well.
All in all, it’s safe to conclude that the price to performance ratio for this projector is incredible and if you’re looking for a projector on a budget you should definitely consider this one. However, there will be some minor inconveniences like arranging a separate speaker or getting extra cables if you want to connect the projector with your phone.
If you’re willing to overlook these problems then you know which projector to choose. Before we start talking about the next projector, you should also know that the customer service is immensely supportive and helpful and if you were to face any problems they solve them efficiently.
- Compact and portable
- Can be used indoors and outdoors
- Bright and vibrant pictures
- Weak internal sound system
- Limited connectivity
Product’s Name: Miroir M29
Weight: 10 ounces
Dimensions: 3.46 x 3.46 x 1.69 inches
Rating: 4.1 out of 5 stars.
We have another smart compact projector on our list for the best home theater projectors and this one’s from Xiaomi. Similar to the previous projector this compact projector can also be carried around anywhere you go.
Whether it’s your office or if you’re going to a friend’s, you can easily take this with you and you can use it to project video games, shows, movies and get at least 60 inches of stunning imagery. While it’s not as small as the Miroir M29, it still weighs just 4.86 pounds so you can slip it in a backpack if you want to take it somewhere with you.
This projector promises 1080p resolution for all your streaming experiences. All thanks to the new generation DMD chips by Texas Instruments which allow millions of DMD reflective lenses to flip ±17° independently at a frequency of 166,600 times per second. The projector also promises a wide range of colors in order to create a more cinema-like image.
While this projector doesn’t have keystone adjustment it does come with a highly sensitive camera that works on autofocus and ensures accuracy, clarity, and sharpness. The projector also offers motorized focusing so that you can adjust it in the way you see fit.
All this might sound pretty promising, however, many reviewers have complained that at times this doesn’t work properly and we get blurry images so this is one thing you should consider while buying this product.
The projector also comes with a square pixel architecture that promises finer details in all the pictures. Many conventional projectors have rhombus pixels but this particular one comes with Texas Instruments’ TRP square pixel architecture which greatly reduces the zig-zags at the edges of pictures and makes them smooth and natural. To be more exact this ensures that the presentation of the text is sharper and clearer.
The projector also comes with a large integrated sound chamber, a super long sound transducer, and highly sensitive speakers. Together all this is meant to give you surging sound effects.
According to the company, this home theater projector has “tailored chamber volume and matching aperture that jointly provides the best possible acoustic effect within this space.” This is done by combining the large integrated sound chamber with a super long sound transducer to produce sounds with rich layers through the highly sensitive speakers.
On top of that, it has a throw ratio of 1.2:1 which makes it suitable for rooms in most households. By adjusting the throw distance you can get a giant screen from 60 to 120 inches allowing you to get the ultimate cinema-like experience.
Last but not the least, the projector comes with one HDMI port, one USB 2.0 port, and one headphone port. It is ready to support 4K resolution transmissions and works perfectly with game consoles, karaoke devices, and audio devices as well.
All in all, it’s safe to conclude that this product offers many important features that should not be overlooked while you’re searching for the perfect home theater projector. However, the absence of keystone is concerning and the possibility of looking at blurry images is frightening. This is why it’s important to consider your priorities and your budget before making your final decision.
- Compact and portable
- Highly affordable
- No keystone correction
Product’s Name: Xiaomi Mi Smart Compact Projector
Weight: 4.86 pounds.
Dimensions: 8.9 x 8.23 x 6.26 inches
Rating: 4.2 out of 5 stars.
The DBPOWER PROJECTOR is pretty unique in the sense that it offers wifi connectivity along with a 1080p experience. The most defining feature about this projector is that it has adopted the most advanced German LED lamp technology which allows +20% brightness and a native resolution of 1920 x 1080p full HD.
If you compare it with other HD projectors you’ll notice a huge difference and you’ll notice just how well this projector performs. The projector also allows you to connect with a smartphone and once that’s done it also supports 4K videos. The projector also comes with a 10000:1 contrast ratio and what this means is that the colors are extremely vibrant instead of being whitewashed.
The projector also has an innovative one of a kind 4P/4D ±50° keystone correction. This means that while most 1080p projectors have vertical keystone correction only, or have 4D keystone correction(both horizontal and vertical).
Unlike both these options, the 4P keystone correction allows you to adjust the angles of the pictures separately making it more practical, more efficient, and easy to use.
Along with that, it has the multi-projector mode which means that it supports front projection and back-projection particularly for those who want to save space and mount it on their ceiling. Just to be clear, the specifications of the ceiling mounting screws are M5 * 10mm.
On top of that, the projector also comes with the zoom function, and you can adjust the distance of the projector to get a screen as large as 300 inches. Truly a cinematic experience, don’t you think so?
The projector has also been adapted for office conferences which is why it can directly read PowerPoint presentations, excel, and word & Adobe PDF files directly from a USB stick (2.0) and view them on the projector. This means that it’s perfect for small conferences and you can get your boss’s compliments easily.
Last but not the least, the projector also has built-in dual stereo speakers (5W) with an SRS sound system. This is meant to promise clear sound quality so that you get an immersive experience.
All in all, this is a pretty amazing projector and its unique features make it one of the best home theater projectors. However, like all products, it has its downsides and one of them is the loud fan that might disturb you while you’re trying to watch your favorite movie and another problem is the limited AV control.
- Manual keystone correction
- 8500 lumens for bright, vibrant images.
- Wifi connectivity.
- Loud fan
- Limited AV control
Product’s Name: DBPOWER Projector
Weight: 7.15 pounds.
Dimensions: 15.27 x 11.5 x 6.54 inches
Rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars.
Next on our list is the WiMiUS K3. This unit is more of a budget-level projector. It is mainly a video projector.
One of its main offers is its compatibility with 5G WiFi. This feature makes it perfect for home theatres.
Here is an overview of what you can get from the K3:
- 1,500 Lumens
- 7,000:1 Contrast Ratio
- 4K Support
- 300” Display Size
- Built-In HiFi Speaker
- Advanced Cooling System
- Projection Distance: 1.5m to 8m
For a price that’s even less than $100, the unit is a big steal. Its 1,500 lumens are enough to bring a good display for home theatres.
Moreover, its resolution and contrast ratio combined assure vivid colors. Thus, you can expect to enjoy streaming your favorite videos.
Another one of the best things about the K3 is it works with Chromecast. So, you won’t have to struggle with limited HDMI inputs.
In addition, you won’t need a separate sound system. Its built-in speaker has HiFi technology, which assures clear and crisp audio.
The K3 can act both as a short-range and long-range projector. Meaning, the size of your home theatre won’t really be an issue in setting it up.
All in all, the WiMiUS is a good home theatre projector for its price. Though it’s not from a well-known brand, expect a range of above-average specs from it.
- Good color quality
- Good brightness
- Not as expensive compared to other models
- Limited on the foot adjustment
- Fan is pretty loud
- Built-in speaker is loud
ViewSonic is a famous brand in the tech world. Hence, when they offer a projector that is under $500, you can have high expectations.
Their SVGA model, to be specific, gained the hype. It is part of their PA503S, and is actually the most standard version among the three.
For a better view of SVGA’s features, see the following:
- 3,800 Lumens
- 22,000:1 Contrast Ratio
- Up to 720p
- 300” Display Size
- Ultra-Low Input Latency (16ms)
- SuperColor Technology
From the name, expect that the unit has an SVGA resolution. It is equivalent to 800×600. Roughly, it can display a maximum of 720p.
It can be a con if you’re looking for a better resolution.
Still, the unit has ViewSonic’s SuperColor Tech. Thus, it compensates for the average resolution.
It also guarantees lag-free streaming due to its 16ms input latency. It also has good offers in terms of lumens and contrast ratio.
Overall, the SVGA is a good choice if you want to stay safe with a branded purchase. If you want the same one with a higher resolution, you can check the other units in the series.
Both the WXGA and XGA are also under $500.
If you want to stay cost-efficient, though, the SVGA is ideal. It is because the sole difference between the three is the resolution.
- Low price
- Bright, clear picture
- Easy setup
- Audio output
- Quiet Fan
- Low Volume output speaker
- Back feet are not adjustable
- No S-Video input
- Small zoom range
- No lens cover
To end our discussion, we have the best overall projector for the price range at hand. The TOPVISION 5G WiFi Projector is one of the most powerful units.
However, what you may not expect is its very budget-friendly cost. It has wide compatibility. Because it’s portable, it can support both indoor and outdoor streaming needs.
Here are the technical specs that you can expect from TOPVISION’s entry:
- 8,500 Lumens
- 10,000:1 Contrast Ratio
- 4K Support
- 300” Inch Display Size
- Low Noise Technology
- Built-In Speaker
- Touch Screen Control
The unit at hand is a product of innovation. It has a combination of the great features of the previous brands.
With 8,500 lumens and 1080p, it’s evident that you will get a high-quality display. It can even support 4K videos, which makes it even better.
The speakers use HiFi technology, so you won’t have to bother yourself with setting up the audio. Its Low Noise Tech is also a big help to keep the sound in check.
So far, there isn’t really any con in the specs of the TOPVISION WiFi Projector. However, its manual keystone correction can just be a little hard to control.
Nevertheless, you should consider this model if you want the best value for your money.
- Produce a bright enough image for outdoor use in the late afternoon
- Wireless connection for both IOS and Android
- Has vertical keystone
- Operate on 120V and 240V
- Its speaker produces a very loud and clear sound
- Quite fan noise and not very hot
- No horizontal keystone
- Need to retract the lens all the way back in order to put on the lens cap
- Speaker doesn’t produce enough bass
What should you consider while getting a home theater projector?
Now that we have discussed the best home theater projectors, let move on to some of the important things you should consider while getting a home theater projector is:
Size of the screen
It’s important to know the minimum and maximum screen size so that you can decide where you want to place your projector and what kind of a viewing experience you want.
The brightness is measured in lumens. This influences the size and quality of your image and the greater the lumens the better the quality of the picture.
Along with brightness, you also need a projector that shows a wide range of colors allowing you to see more vivid pictures. This is called contrast and it is often written as 3000:1 or 10000:1. Basically, when the number goes up so does the quality of the picture.
If you want a high-resolution projector that’ll show stunning images then you should look at projectors that work well in outdoor spaces as well.
This is the maximum distance between your projector and the screen before the picture starts to blur. Usually this distance is 15 feet, however if you buy something more expensive then that might go up to 30 feet.
Bulb life is extremely important if you want to have a long-lasting projector. In this case, you should go with a projector that offers at least 10000 hours or more of bulb life.
The best projector is the one that offers both HDMI and Bluetooth so that you can connect your devices in the easiest way possible and get a smooth, cinematic experience.
Another thing you should know is whether your future projector will be compatible with the devices that you own. If you have an iPhone or a MacBook then definitely look into your projector’s compatibility with it.
Are laser projectors better for home theater?
Laser projectors are a much better choice for home theater enthusiasts. They have high-quality onboard speakers and audio functionality to make your experience complete in both sight and sound, without requiring any installation that takes up valuable living room space.
They offer better picture quality, brightness, and performance over traditional projectors. But they cost more because these new products are still being perfected in some aspects like longevity.
Is projector better than TV for eyes?
Projector screens are better for your eyes because they produce larger images, which put less strain on them. Projectors also reflect light while TVs emit it, this means the viewing experience will be much more comfortable when watching TV with a projector since there are no glare issues.
Many people like projectors because it gives them an immersive viewing experience, just like what you’d get at your local theater but much easier on both eyes since there isn’t any backlight shining right into your eyes.
Can you use a projector for everyday TV watching?
It is possible to use a projector for normal, everyday TV watching. It won’t hurt the device and may lead to an improved experience at a lower price point than most larger Televisions.
Keep in mind, depending on the type of projector you have, using the projector every day can run reduce the bulb life down faster.
How much does a good home theater projector cost?
Home entertainment projectors are an affordable way to enjoy your favorite movies, TV shows and sporting events in the comfort of your own home. Most new models sell for less than $2000, but for those who want a high-quality image with pristine detail as well as rich colors that pop off the screen, these projectors can cost up to $3000 or more.
Are there 4K projectors?
A 4k projector can be used to watch TV and it can work with screens that are as big as 120″. The price is half the cost of a TV and you don’t need to watch in the dark.
A projector will work better if there is no light in the room. If you’re wondering, No, you can’t find a projector with 4K resolution under $500. The price is between $500 and $1000.
Do they make smart projectors?
Projectors that are labeled “smart” offer everything a traditional TV does, but on much bigger screens. They have an easy-to-use interface with voice control and app integration for streaming content from Netflix or YouTube videos right onto your living room wall.
Can you watch Netflix on a mini projector?
It’s easy to watch Netflix on a mini projector. Some smart projectors will have an app and others require you to connect it separately with other devices, like Fire TV or Apple TV for example.
Are mini projectors worth it?
The small size is a big plus for the mini projector. Portable projectors are great for taking them anywhere. You can use a mini projector to watch videos or movies while traveling, and they’re easy enough that even someone who’s never used one before will have no trouble setting it up themselves.
Is projector safer for eyes?
The bottom line is, yes projectors are better for your eyes. They reduce the effects of blue light and direct light while also allowing you to adjust the screen size, with newer models having smart safety features to avoid accidental eye injuries from them.
How much does it cost to replace a projector bulb?
An entry-level projector may seem like a great investment but when you factor in the cost of replacement lamps, it can become less appealing. Replacement bulbs typically range from $80 to $300 and some are even more expensive.
How many years does a projector last?
Projectors are great for displaying high-quality images, but they come with a cost. If you use your projector often or if it’s in an area that gets lots of dust and dirt then eventually all lamps will need to be replaced, usually between 2-4 thousand hours.
Does a projector use more electricity than a TV?
The more watts a projector draws, the brighter it’s likely to be. However, this is not always true as some projectors use less power than an average 250-watt HDTV set.
Which is better projector DLP, LCD, or LED?
DLP projectors use microscopic mirrors and a spinning color wheel to create images. These devices have better color accuracy, response time as well 3D capabilities. The lamp life is only 2000-5000 hours and some people do experience color ghosting/banding in scenes when watching movies or TV shows.
LCD projectors are a great choice for those on a budget. They use liquid crystal displays, have no moving parts, and are less expensive than their projector counterparts. However, if you need better color saturation or contrast ratios then try out a 3-chip LCD instead of a single chip. 3-chip LCD provides better color saturation, lower noise levels, and works much better for movie nights. keep in mind, LCDs produce less contrast and require constant filter maintenance.
LEDs in LED projectors last over 20,000 hours. They are better for colors, they use less power and there is no maintenance cost. Also, LED projectors are smaller and generate less heat. But they can’t be used in rooms with lots of light because they don’t give off enough brightness like LCD or DLP projectors do.
How much is a decent projector?
Projectors are not cheap. You can get a projector for as little as $50 or you could spend up to around $5,000 on one depending on your needs and wants. But if it’s under $500 then chances are it’s considered as a “cheap” projector. If you’re considering a 4K projector, expect to pay above $500.
How do you test a projector bulb?
If you turn on the projector and notice that there is no image, it’s likely because of a dying lamp. If everything else works but for some reason an image doesn’t display when switched on this could be caused by several different problems including dead batteries or even blown fuses in certain models.
Does a projector need wifi?
A wireless projector contains a Wi-Fi card that enables it to connect with the internet and communicate wirelessly with other devices like your laptop or smartphone. You must install the connection program provided by the manufacturer of your device in order for this tool to work properly.
Can I project Netflix from iPhone to projector?
You can connect your iPhone via lightning to HDMI cable, then plug that into a projector and cast Netflix from the device. Another option is to connect a streaming device like a Roku to your projector and cast Netflix from your iPhone. Some projectors even come with Netflix already available for you to start streaming.
What happens if you don’t replace the projector lamp?
The risk of your current lamp exploding is very real, potentially damaging the projector with broken shards in the blowers, fans, and color wheel. To avoid this from happening you should replace it with a new one when that time comes.
So these were our picks for the best home theater projector under $500. We hope that our article helps you make the best choice for yourself.
Make sure to share your opinions with us in the comment section. Thanks for reading!