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Are you looking for the best home theater projector under $500? A projector is a good choice if you are looking for the perfect movie or gaming experience. It will also serve you well during office presentations. Home theater projectors specifically will offer you an unforgettable experience with their superior picture quality, built-in speakers, and a variety of connectivity options that will allow you to connect your source devices for content you want. 

And the best thing is that you do not have to break your bank to get yourself one. It is possible to get a good home theater projector at $500 or less. But before you make that purchasing decision, you must keep a few things in mind.

In a Hurry? Below are some of the Best Home Theater Projector Under $500:

ViewSonic Brightness Projector
  • Versatile projector: Advanced visual features ideal for use in education and small business environments
  • Big screen projection: Projects 120 inches from 15-feet 8-inches in 3800 lumens
  • Easy setup: Simple setup and control; just plug & play your presentations, videos, and pictures

Optoma High Performance Projector
  • CINEMATIC PICTURE QUALITY: Enjoy crisp, high-definition images with a native 1080p (1920×1080) resolution and an RYGCWB color wheel for home cinema color calibration.
  • PERFECT IMAGE ALIGNMENT: With the latest technology from Texas Instruments, the DLP DMD single-chip design ensures perfect image alignment combined with high-brightness for an incredible picture
  • LIGHTS-ON VIEWING: Enjoy an incredible 3, 600 of brightness in any room in your home; leave the lights on or keep it dim for a cinematic experience

Best Home Theater Projector Under $500 Buying Guide

Below are a few things you need to consider before buying the best home theater projector under $500

  • Resolution

Projector resolution is a very important factor because it determines the kind of image quality you will get: the higher the resolution, the better the image quality and vice versa. High resolutions can display big, detailed images with no visible pixels.  Ideally, at this price, you should be able to get a projector that can deliver 1080P resolution. 

Projectors with lower resolutions tend to display softer images with visible pixels which results in a poor viewing experience. Projectors with lower resolutions are good for small rooms. But if you plan to use it in a large room like an auditorium or want to use it outdoors, then get one with a high resolution of at least 1080P. 

  • Brightness 

Brightness in a projector is crucial if you want a pleasant viewing experience. It is measured in lumens. To determine the level of brightness you need in your projector, look at the level of brightness of the location you want to install the best theater projector under $500. 

If it’s a brightly lit environment such as a room with many windows or the outdoors, then you need a projector with at least 2,000 lumens. This way you, the screen is clearly visible. But if you’re using it in a darker room such as your living room or bedroom, then a projector with lower lumens of around 1,000 will do. Also, note that too much brightness in dimly lit rooms is not good. It can be harsh on your eyes and the viewing experience will be compromised as well.  

  • Contrast

The contrast ratio is closely connected to the brightness. It refers to the difference between the brightest and darkest parts of an image; the higher the contrast range, the higher the image quality. So make sure that you get a projector that has a big contrast ratio. Most projectors at this price range have a contrast ratio of 10,000:1 and the more you are willing to spend, the higher the contrast ratio. Just like with brightness, some companies may exaggerate the contrast ratio in their product descriptions but a review like this one should give you a more accurate picture. 

  • Projector Type

There are two types of projectors you will find in this price range; DLP and LCD. Both of them offer a great viewing experience but they have a few differences. LCD projectors are less costly so, if the cost is a factor for you, then you should go with this option. They also have better black levels compared to DLP projectors. 

DLP projectors, on the other hand, are brighter and display sharper image quality compared to LCD Monitors. In addition, they are carefully sealed to protect them from dust and debris that may affect the screen. Therefore, they require less maintenance but they are also slightly more expensive than LCD projectors. 

  • Display Size

The display size is the size of the image which can be seen on a wall or surface. You need to know the maximum or minimum size that the projector can display for the best viewing experience and this will also depend on your viewing distance.  

In case you want to use it for the outdoors or a large room like an auditorium or hall, go for a wide projection size. Some projectors can display up to 300-inch images. If you’re projecting in smaller rooms, then you may go for a lower projection range of 100 inches or thereabout.

  • Throw Ratio

Throw ratio refers to the distance between the projector and the wall or projection screen. The best throw ratio will be determined by the size of the room you want to place the projector. If it’s a large space, then go for a long-throw ratio. But if it’s a small space like your living room or a small office, buy a projector with a short or ultra-short throw ratio as this enables you to get a large display size from a short distance. 

  • Connectivity

You need to look at the wired and wireless connections that are available for you to connect your devices. Projectors have different connectivity choices. Some allow you to connect wirelessly via Bluetooth. Others connect to your devices via HDMI, which is the most common connection and it gives better image quality. The older ones have a VGA cable or RCA connectors. The most important thing is to ensure that your projector can connect in multiple ways, quickly and easily. 

  • Bulb Life

The bulb is one of the most expensive parts of a projector and so replacing it can be very costly. You should check how long it can last. Get a projector that has a long bulb life so you don’t have to replace it too quickly. A good projector should have a bulb lifespan of at least 10,000 hours. Some can go for way longer than that.

Best Home Theater Projector Under $500

  • Epson Home Cinema 660 3LCD Projector

Epson LCD Projector
  • Images up to 300 Inches : life sized images up to 25x larger than a 60 Inches flat panel, on virtually any blank wall or screen
  • Bright : ideal for a variety of lighting conditions, the Projector has 3, 300 Lumens of equal color and White brightness (1)
  • All digital HDMI connectivity : Connect your cable/satellite box, Blu ray Disc player, gaming console or streaming device. Fan Noise: ECO mode: 28 decibel, Normal mode: 37 decibel

With this Epson Home Cinema Projector, your big-screen entertainment can only get better. It will give you clear life-sized images up to 300 inches so you can enjoy your movies and videogames in bliss. It also has a brightness of 3,300 lumens, which is ideal for different settings and lighting conditions.  

There is a perfect balance between color brightness and white brightness and will work well even in brightly lit environments. Whether night or day, indoors or outdoors, you just need a blank wall or screen and let your projector bring life to entertainment. Also, you only need an operating distance of just 19 feet. 

Another wonderful feature is that this projector allows all digital HDMI connectivity.  This means you can access your movies or games via a cable or satellite box, disc player, gaming console, a streaming device, or any other source device.

With a fan noise of 28 decibels, it is way quieter than normal projectors that are usually in the 37-decibel range.

Pros

  • Low fan noise
  • Works well in brightly lit environments
  • All HDMI connectivity
  • Easy to set up

Cons

  • Overheating issues
  • ViewSonic 3800 Lumens SVGA High Brightness Projector

ViewSonic Brightness Projector
  • Versatile projector: Advanced visual features ideal for use in education and small business environments
  • Big screen projection: Projects 120 inches from 15-feet 8-inches in 3800 lumens
  • Easy setup: Simple setup and control; just plug & play your presentations, videos, and pictures

 This ViewSonic projector is very versatile. It has advanced audiovisual features making it fit for use at home and in education and office environments. It allows you to cast a 120-inch display from just 15 feet. The setup and control can be done easily and playing your media is as easy as plug and play. 

And with 3,800 lumens of brightness and a high contrast ratio, you can enjoy bright and clear images in any environment. The Super Eco mode allows you to dim the projection brightness by up to 70 percent. This reduces power consumption and extends the lamp life to 15, 000 hours.

Another highlight of this ViewSonic projector is the vertical keystone correction. This feature allows you to eliminate crooked and distorted images giving you perfectly proportioned images for the best viewing experience. 

This projector also allows you to connect all manner of devices with its wide variety of input options including HDMI and VGA. It can support media players, computers, and mobile devices. It is also compatible with DVD and Blu-ray players, Google Chromecast, Amazon FireTV, and AppleTV. 

Pros

  • Sharp images 
  • Long lamp life
  • Faster frame-by-frame action
  • Easy installation 

Cons

  • The speaker is not loud enough
  • Outdoor Projector, BOMAKER Native 1080p Full HD Projector

Outdoor Projector
  • ❥(Input code:SQDJ8GHB to get a 💙FREE 100 inch Fordable projector screen💙)【Native 1080P & 9000:1 Contrast Ratio】With 1920*1080 native resolution and 9000:1 high dynamic contrast ratio, Bomaker Projector brings 4X more details than 720P projectors.
  • ❥(Input code:G2X6KW93 to get a FREE Wireless Display Adapter)(Input code:WOYZMDIT to get a FREE Bluetooth 5.0 Transmitter/Receiver)【Upgraded 7200 Lux & 300'' Giant Screen】This 1080P Projector features 7200 lux brightness and brighter than ever on four edges, Brightness uniformity reaches 80% of the same specification DLP projector. 300" big screen bring a true home theater experience for you ever at home.
  • ❥【5D ±50° Keystone Correction】Bomaker HD Projector features innovative 5D ±50° Keystone Correction. You can use Horizontal / Vertical / Rotate keystone features to adjust the angle to achieve true 5D Correction. Even if the projector is suspended from the ceiling, the screen can be easily adjusted with the remote control.

This Bomaker Projector offers you 1920 by 1080 native resolution with a high contrast ratio of 9000:1. This means your images and video are more detailed than in regular 720P projectors. It also has a 300-inch display to give you that authentic home theater experience.  

The projector comes with upgraded LCD technology. In brightly lit or daylight environments, you can increase the brightness by up to 30% to achieve the perfect clarity of images. The 7200 lux brightness is uniformly distributed across the four edges. 

There is a 5D keystone correction feature that allows you to adjust the viewing angle by up to 50 degrees. So even if you hang your projector from the ceiling, you can still easily adjust the screen with just the remote control. Also, you do not have to keep moving the projector manually to adjust the screen size. The remote will help you to achieve the right placement and adjustment. There is also a reset button that has been added to help you restore the original screen with just a click.

Pros

  • Remote controlled
  • Clear and sharp image quality 
  • Auto keystone feature
  • Versatile connectivity options

Cons

  • The fan is a bit loud
  • Optoma HD146X High-Performance Projector 

Optoma High Performance Projector
  • CINEMATIC PICTURE QUALITY: Enjoy crisp, high-definition images with a native 1080p (1920×1080) resolution and an RYGCWB color wheel for home cinema color calibration.
  • PERFECT IMAGE ALIGNMENT: With the latest technology from Texas Instruments, the DLP DMD single-chip design ensures perfect image alignment combined with high-brightness for an incredible picture
  • LIGHTS-ON VIEWING: Enjoy an incredible 3, 600 of brightness in any room in your home; leave the lights on or keep it dim for a cinematic experience

 

If you are looking for the ultimate cinematic experience, then look no further than this Optoma HD146X High-Performance Projector. It has an unbelievable picture quality of 1080p and with a contrast ratio of 25,000:1. It also offers more image depth by smoothing lamp output so that bright scenes are clear and the dark scenes maintain detail. 

With this projector, crooked and distorted images will be a thing of the past. It comes with the single-chip design technology that combines perfect image alignment with incredible brightness. It packs 3,600 lumens of brightness that is ideal for any room in your house. You can even keep your lights on. 

And if you’re a gamer, then you will be impressed by its lightning-fast response time of 16ms which is ideal for fast-paced gaming. It also has an enhanced game display mode for greater visibility of impending scenes. 

Also, you can control the projector and all the connected devices with a single remote control. It has a long-lasting lamp life of up to 15, 000 hours. 

Pros

  • Highly detailed images
  • Remote controlled
  • Fast input response time
  • Long-lasting lamp life
  • Easy installation

Cons

  • No keystone or zoom control
  • Overheating issues
  • Anker Nebula Capsule, Smart Wi-Fi Mini Projector

Sale
Anker Nebula Mini Projector
  • Remarkable Clarity and Contrast: DLP's advanced IntelliBright algorithms deliver a remarkably bright 100 ANSI-lumen image. (Recommended for use in dimmer environments.)
  • 360° Speaker: Equipped with a powerful omnidirectional speaker, this mini projector pumps out sound all around.
  • Home Entertainment: Enjoy your favorite movies, TV shows, and more up to 100 inches big anywhere in your home thanks to Capsule’s soda can-sized design.

This projector stands out for its soda can-sized design so your cinematic experience just became portable. You can now enjoy favorite movies, games, and more from anywhere in your home. Despite the small size, it can project images that are 100 inches big. Even the sound system is top-notch. It has a 360-degree speaker that pumps sound in all directions. The brightness and clarity are also unbelievably high. It uses advanced technology to deliver clear 100 ANSI-lumen images which is quite remarkable for a small projector. 

This projector runs on the Android 7.1 platform. This allows you to access streaming and media apps easily meaning you can watch content from Netflix, Youtube, and other services.

You can connect the projector to other devices via HDMI and USB using the 2 ports at the back. And if you do not want to use wires then you can stream content through Airplay, Miracast, or Bluetooth. The bulb is durable and will offer you about 30,000 hours of service. 

Pros

  • Runs on Android
  • Portable
  • Access to media and streaming apps
  • Remote controlled
  • Versatile connectivity
  • App for control available

Cons

  • The remote sensor is behind the lens
  • Limited app store

Best Home Theater Projector Under $500 Conclusion

A home theater projector offers a better alternative to a TV because it is more versatile. You can use it for home entertainment, gaming, and even for professional purposes. Before you settle on one, ensure that you consider factors such as the brightness, contrast ratio, display size, and resolution among others.  We wish you luck and hope this guide on the best theater projector under $500 saved you some time!

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