The new standard for home theater viewing is quickly becoming 4K resolution. This means the market can be quite wide with quality and features varying all across the board. Instead of simply grabbing the cheapest or most expensive ones, take a look at what those numbers and technical jargon on the boxes actually mean.
Best 4K Projector Comparison Table
|Product||Photo||Check Price||Image Brightness||Contrast Ratio||Aspect Ratio||Lamp Life (Normal Mode)||3D Support||Warranty|
|3,000||1,000,000:1||Native: 16:9 Supported: 4:3||4,000 hours||No||1 Year|
|JVC DLAX500R||1,300||600,000:1||Native: 16:9||4,000 hours||Yes||4 Years|
|Zenbility V8Plus||2,000||5,000:1||Native: 16:9||30,000 hours||Yes||2 Years|
|Vivitek HK2288-WH||2,000||1,000,000:1||Native: 16:9||5,000 hours||No||3 Years|
|Sony VPLVW385ES||1,500||200,000:1||Native: 16:9|
|6,000 hours||Yes||3 Years|
|BenQ HT2550||2,200||10,000:1||Native: 16:9||4,000 hours||Yes||3 Years|
|Epson 5040UB 3LCD||2,500||1,000,000:1||Native: 16:9|
|4,000 hours||Yes||2 Years|
|Epson 4000 3LCD||2,200||up to 140,000:1||Native: 16:9|
|4,000 hours||Yes||2 Years|
|Optoma UHD50||2,400||500,000:1||Native: 16:9||4,000 hours||only PC-ready 3D||1 Year|
|Optoma UHD60||3,000||1,000,000:1||Native: 16:9||4,000 hours||No||2 Years|
Acer H7850 – Great Brightness
The Acer H7850 is comparable to the Optoma UHD 60 but includes frame interpolation features. We were very impressed with this Acer 4K projector’s overall performance.
While not a top of the line model, the Acer H7850 performs as well or better than some of those higher end projectors.
One of the truly impressive things about the Acer H7850 is the sheer size of the device (15.7 x 11.7 x 5.0 inches). This projector is very easy to use and set up right out of the box with minimal tweaking required. While a dedicated home theater will enhance the image quality, the Acer H7850 does a great job with some light shining in.
The Acer H7850 is a great home theater projector for new and experienced users alike. An auto ceiling mount correction and lens shift allow users to align the image with their screen more accurately. For the price, the Acer H7850 Projector is a great product that will do well for most home theater users.
JVC DLAX500R – Perfect User Experience
The JVC DLAX500R is a very affordable home theater projector that works well, but it is not a native 4K device. Using the exclusive eshift3 technology (the third generation of this technology), this projector can simulate a near 4K resolution.
With this projector, you have a lot of controls straight from the remote instead manual, as many other 4K home theater projectors around the same price range. This projector is 3D ready for a bit of future-proofing.
For the price, the JVC DLAX500R delivers a bright and clear picture. The controls are easy to use, and the smartphone app makes controlling and adjusting this model a breeze. While the ease of use is one of the best features of this product, JVC is known for its brilliant pictures and deep blacks, which the company hits perfectly with this projector.
Zenbility V8Plus – Best Portable Choice
If you want to take your projector with you, the Zenbility V8Plus is the best portable 4K projector on the market.
This projector displays an impressive 4K image and works well with video viewing as well as business and school activities. The 3D capabilities set the Zenbility V8Plus Projector apart from other portables.
Of course, a portable projector is nothing if it’s too big, but coming in just over 3 pounds, this little 4K projector is easy to port around with you.
Users buy the Zenbility V8Plus Projector for its portability, which is great at about 3 pounds. The 4K compatible resolution looks great for a portable projector and the built-in rechargeable battery offers a long charge.
Sony VPLVW385ES – Great for Home Theater
The Sony VPLVW385ES does not falter in bringing the best Sony has to offer with a great picture quality. The sharp image is amazing and in a dedicated home theater or viewing room, the colors jump out even more.
Upgrades to the Sony VPLVW385ES over other similar Sony models include picture position memory and a built-in auto calibration that helps to maintain color balance over time.
If you are looking for a 4K projector for your dedicated home theater, the Sony VPLVW385ES will work well for you. Due to the 1,500 lumens, the brightness is not strong enough to work well in non-dedicated home theaters or viewing rooms with extra light.
BenQ HT2550 – Great Introductory Model
If you are new to the 4K arena, the BenQ HT2550 4K UHD HDR Home Theater Projector may be a good choice for you. This home theater projector is a budget projector that is certified 4K.
The image projected is sharp with a lot of color accuracy.
The BenQ HT2550 is a great little 4K projector that is easy to use and setup, making it perfect for first-time users. The quality, #D capability, and color accuracy helps ensure you won’t have to run out and buy an upgraded projector right away.
Epson 5040UB 3LCD – Best Live Performance Choice
The Epson Home Cinema 5040UB with 4K Enhancement features a near 4K image resolution that only is differentiated from native 4K with text more than anything.
The Frame Interpolation feature adds to live performances and produces a more clear and stable picture. There is some 3D support here, but it is limited to 1080p.
While not the highest-end 4K projector, the Epson 5040UB gives you great picture quality and detail with near 4K resolution and HDR support. The high contrast ratio is what sets this projector apart from others, while the ability to maintain a clear and stable live connection is what placed the Epson 5040UB on this list.
Epson 4000 3LCD – Best Power Lens 4K Projector
There is a lot of strong points when talking about the Epson Home Cinema 4000 3LCD. To start with, while not true 4K technology, the image resolution is hardly noticeable and the upscaling effect actually does improve none 4K sources a bit.
One of the greatest features of the Epson 4000 3LCD is the remote controls. The ability to zoom and move the lens via remote is a great addition to other projectors in the same price range. No audio output or speakers on the device itself is definitely something to consider before purchasing.
Optoma UHD50 – Budget Gaming 4K Projector
So much that could be awesome with the Optoma UHD50 just doesn’t seem to truly live up to the hype. The picture quality is not as high as would be expected and the running sound of the projector is much higher than expected.
The Optoma UHD50 does a bit better in the gaming realm, but can still get outshined by higher-end models.
The Optoma UHD50 seems like it should be an amazing 4K projector, but it tends to fall short in many areas. Picture quality is especially less than desirable, though gaming is better than standard viewing and movie watching. This is a big device that runs fairly loudly.
Optoma UHD60 – Best Lasting 4K Projector
The Optoma UHD60 is a decent projector for the price. For the price range, the Optoma UHD60 has a host of features that set it apart, such as quiet motor and brightest display. The greatest aspect of this budget projector is the long-lasting bulb life – up to 15,000 hours.
The Optoma UHD60 4K Projector is a strong projector that does a lot of things really well. High contrast and deep blacks help increase the image, while a low running noise and long-lasting bulb life increase viewing pleasure.
Vivitek HK2288-WH – Affordable Choice
This 4K projector produces a bright screen and sharp image up to a medium-sized screen. Although this gadget is not a true 4K projector, it still produces a near-4K quality image.
What the Vivitek HK2288-WH brings to the 4K projector table is a very close reproduction of 4K quality. This may turn some users off, but the average user likely won’t be able to notice the slight differences.
4K projector Buyer’s Guide
Let’s be honest here. Buying a new 4K projector is just awesome and fun. Like anything, if you do it wrong, that awesome fun can turn into a bit of a headache. To make sure everyone has an awesomely fun time, we’ve compiled a 4K Projector Buyer’s Guide that will help whether this is your first time buying a home projector or you’re grabbing a replacement.
What Does 4K Mean and Why Do You Want?
Before getting into the 4K Projector Buyer’s Guide, it would be helpful to look at 4K technology and see why it’s so awesome.
The term 4K refers to the number of pixels that can be shown on screen at one time. With the 4K resolution, at least 8 million active pixels are shown. This increases the clarity and image sharpness greatly as it is four-times greater than a 1080p display. For projectors and home theaters, this works extremely well on the large screens and viewing surfaces needed for these setups.
Which 4K Projector Is For You?
As with many gadgets and devices, there are a few different types of 4K projectors. While they all do the same things, for the most part, each type does one thing better than the others. Making sure you have the right tool for the right job will ensure you get the best possible experience from any purchase you make.
Home Theater 4K Projectors
For many users, a home theater 4K projector is going to be the preferred choice of the three projector types. These projectors are focused on bringing a movie theater experience into your home, so it is best if they are used in a space made for film and television viewing.
If you cannot make an optimal home theater experience, you may opt to purchase add-ons, reflective screens, or home theater projectors made especially for this situation.
Home theater 4K projectors are best used for entertainment activities such as movies, sports, and video games. These types of projectors specialize in providing a better image quality with deep blacks and rich color saturation.
Multimedia 4K Projectors
If you plan to use your new 4K projector for presentations at work, classroom lessons, or some other of public meeting or gathering, a multimedia projector is more the choice for you. While still being able to play videos and movies, a multimedia projector displays a brighter image so it can be seen with overhead lighting and is intended to be used with static images or text. This is by far the biggest advantage to using a multimedia 4K projector.
Pico projectors are small projectors that can fit in your backpack or briefcase. Pico projectors can handle all media types fairly well, but they don’t usually excel with any media type in particular.
Projector Additions and Add-Ons
Your new 4K projector is not a stand-alone system. Once you have your projector, you cannot instantly start watching movies with it. A projector requires other tools to be able to function.
Other than your projector, a new screen will likely be one of your largest initial costs. When you talk about projector screens, the realm of possibilities is nearly endless. The basics are simply a clean, flat surface to project an image onto. For some, this can simply be a wall, but usually, the bumps and ripples in paint and plaster make viewing less than ideal.
While any projector screen is ready to be used with 4K projection, there some things you can consider to give the best possible performance:
- With 4K projection, you will need a large screen to truly appreciate the increased detail clarity. Projection screens can go up to 120″ in some cases.
- Take seating into consideration. Some projection screens allow for better viewing at different distances.
- Screens can be made from a variety of materials. Look for screen surfaces that allow for better contrast and improved clarity.
Home Theater Speakers and Audio
There is absolutely no reason why anyone taking the time to set up any sort of a home theater experience should have to deal with standard audio. Nobody walks into a movie theater to experience the average sound – they want to be blown away! You may not be looking for that intense movie theater experience, but choosing the right speakers or sound system can be like night and day when you’re deep in a movie night binge.
There are a number of different options to choose from once you start digging into home audio equipment. Normally, these options will tend to fall into three categories:
- Home Theater In a Box – Grab a box and have everything you need as soon as you open it.
- Sound Bars – Speakers set up in a bar format that can be placed in front, above, or below your screen.
- Build Your Own Sound System – Purchase individual components separately to build a custom sound system.
There are pros and cons to each type of system. How you build will depend greatly on needs and budget. Building your own sound system is a great way to get the features and specs you want, but can also be time-consuming and expensive. Getting everything in one shot is convenient but lacks the ability to customize certain aspects to your liking.
4K Projector Lamps
In order for your new 4K projector to work properly, it will need some sort of light source. There are three primary types of light sources for home and work projectors:
- Standard Lamps are the most common and affordable option. Can get up 5,000 hours of use per lamp.
- Lasers give you the benefit of not having to worry about bulb replacements. lasers provide better brightness and tend to be more energy efficient than other light sources.
- LED bulbs are compact and cool, making them perfect for compact and pico projectors. Possible to get up to 20,000 hours of use per bulb.