There can be multiple reasons why you’d find the need to get yourself a projector. Since having one of the best 4K projectors is all the rage these days, we decided to help you through the purchase process with our reviews and guide. We have spent hours upon hours toiling through heaps of options. While some worked great as a home theater projector (a movie projector), others were better as gaming projectors.
There is an array of choices you get when picking up a video projector. Technology used by a full HD 1080p projector is old now but not outdated. Also, a native 4K projector is quite expensive to purchase. Therefore, we believe many of us can settle for a small projector that enhances the video to 4K res. This way, a number of cheap projectors will become relevant, decreasing your cash outlay.
Best 4K Projectors Reviewed
Without getting into the projector vs TV debate, let us tell you that the two things differ widely so it is better not to compare the picture quality between the two. The best 4K projectors will make up for those differences with the screen size they offer.
Nevertheless, in order to buy the right product there are a number of really technical aspects you should keep in mind. We have discussed them in the Buyer’s Guide at the end of the article after we share with you a few models that we consider are among the best 4K projectors to buy this year.
Great Value, Impressive Features
In comparison to other products that offer a picture quality as good as this, there is hardly one that comes cheaper. It has impressive 4K res enhancement with eShift and works the HDR10 very well.
Best Budget Choice
Competing Best 4K Projectors On a Budget
Boasting a 4K UHD at 3840 x 2160 pixels, this offers the greatest value for money among cheap 4K projectors. The picture quality is simply stunning and you get really sharp and bright quality of video.
One home theater projector that is usually sought after by buyers is the Epson 5040UB. While it is basically a Full HD 1080p, it comes with 4K enhancement to further improve the HDR details and colors.
Despite not being as magnanimous as a true 4K projector, the 5040UB is great for its price range. Epson says that this is their best home theater projector and our testers agree. The wide color gamut technology is as good as the JVC DLA-X590R and manages to compete with some of the big names in terms of color contrast ratios.
As with all the affordable contenders in our review of the best 4K projectors, even this one can’t be expected to be bright enough for your living room, but for a home theater it is a very workable solution.
In other words, it is your typical best budget projector that beats its own kin the Epson Home Cinema 4000 in a number of ways. How it manages to give you a good enhanced 4K experience without being true 4K is thanks to an extra resolution focused optical shift.
As far as 1080p content is concerned, the 5040UB is a great choice – much better than other substitutes that are primarily full HD 1080p. In comparison to another highly sought after older model, Sony VPL-HW45ES 1080p projector, it has a better contrast (1,000,000:1), better sharpness, better brightness and more lumens (2500). Here are some pros and cons of the Epson 4K projector.
- Better Contrast Than Similar Range Products
- Good 4K Result For Money
- Not As Impressive As True 4K Projectors
- Detail and Contrast Lower than Main 4K Choices
Optoma UHD60 4K projector promises higher lumens than the Epson Home Cinema 5040UB, and a high contrast ratio of 1,000,000:1. What makes it one of the best 4K projectors to buy this year is how cheap it is.
With a price even lower than the 5040UB, the Optoma UHD60 performs quite impressively thanks to a true 4K UHD 3840×2160 2160p resolution. It is also equipped with HDR10 compatibility and wide color gamut with DCI-P3 compatibility.
While we had other options from the same manufacturer, like the Optoma HD39Darbee Special Edition and the Optoma UHD65 Home Theater Projector. It is established that the Optoma UHD60 has more value for money than those. While the UHD60 is cheaper even, it lacks the 4096 x 2160 resolution.
Some of the buyers would prefer to use a video projector as a substitute for the TV, but we suggest you use this one as movie projector. Despite not being the best gaming projector in our tests, the Optoma UHD60 review suggests it is still was a worthy consideration for gaming. Lets leave the projector vs TV debate for some other day.
As far as the video quality of the projector is concerned, it is probably one of the best 4K projectors among the price range of this one. It certainly isn’t the best short throw projector, but there is a 140 inch plus screen size you can get thanks to a 1.6x vertical room and a 1.3 to 2.22 ratio.
Just get an Optoma OCM818W-RU mount anf get this beauty ceiling mounted.
- Competing Best 4K Projectors On a Budget
- Great Value for Money
- Sharp and Bright
- Slightly Bulkier than Expected
- Would Love Better Blacks
- Impressive design
It is true that many of the products we are considering end up either enhancing the picture quality to 4K or simply boast of Full HD 1080p that is great. However, if you are looking for a native 4K projector, and you also want a premium product, this Sony projector has got your back.
Do keep in mind that this is the high-end product you would buy only if money isn’t a constraint. It delivers different ranges of screen size that starts from 42 inches at 8 feet and goes up to 172 inches at 16 feet. All the time attaining Full 4K res at 4096 x 2160 pixels. There is a 31 percent horizontal shift and about 80 percent vertical shift.
With their most impressive model to date, we didn’t forget to try out the comparatively modest Sony VPL-HW45ES. It is true that for its price the HW45ES is a great choice, but its not the best home projector.
Featuring anamorphic 3D, HD to 4K upscaling, and the new SXRD 4K movie theater technology, you get an unparalleled quality of a movie projector that is truly the best 4K projector in the market.
If everything fits well the last you would ask for is good controls over the device and an easy installation. Rest assured this Sony projector won’t be any trouble on those fronts as well.
- Premium Quality
- Native 4K
- Astonishing Detail
- Very Expensive
JVC has impressed us all throughout our reviews for the best 4K projectors to buy this year. Not only was the JVC DLA-X590R a comparatively cheaper choice, it was able to deliver some of the finest quality of imagery.
Now this one is not a native 4K projector, but it upscales the images quite well. While it is a Full HD 1080p projector, it supports HDR10 and provides a fair quality of brightness.
Just like with the Epson 5040UB, the JVC DLA-X590R should also not be expected to brighten up an already bright living room. Instead, it will do good as as a movie projector in a home theater or a gaming projector that gives upscaled 4K res competing with the best budget projectors.
Cheap projectors often claim to do things that aren’t technically possible for them to do. However, with their D-ILA technology, this beauty manages to beat the SXRD and DLP on most models in the same price range. The black levels are exceptionally good and the range is literally leading the competition.
Projectors for sale these days try to pack more than they can in the price range they are being sold for. The JVC projector doesn’t overdo that, it has a 40000:1 native contrast, enough for some impressive blacks; and it carries very detailed display that uses 120Hz frequency for up-scaled display.
So what if it is not the best 4K projectors as far as native 4K is concerned, it is one of the best mini projectors!
- Great Up-scaling to 4K Res
- Good Value for Money
- HDR and Contrast is Impressive
- Not Native 4K
- Expensive Than Others like 5040UB
We decided to also test a model that doesn’t have 4K compatibility so that you can try out one of our all time favorite Sony projectors. Not only has the Sony VPL-HW45ES managed to top reviews for a few years it has also set the place for any new Sony projector in the mainstream.
You will not be able to buy a premium quality product in this price range. However, there are some choices you get from premium quality product makers like a Sony projector. In the recent years, a model that has always been among the best 4K projectors is the Sony VPL-HW45ES.
While it is not native 4K projector, the portable projector does 1080p very well and adds great value to the contrast and color of the video. Do keep in mind that it isn’t a good outdoorsy product let alone the best outdoor projector. It is bet to be used indoors, locked inside a home theater that has dark walls.
Other than that, you are talking about a great refresh rate. There’s a 3D capability that impresses and a very high pixel count that is enabled due to the the SXRD technology. This is the technology used by Sony to make the image resemble 4K without actually going up there. Moreover, the screen size ranges form 51 inch to 122 inches at distances between 8 and 16 feet respectively. Also. there’s a 6000 hours lamp life and an 1800 lumens brightness.
Do keep in mind that this is an older model as compared to other contenders for the best 4K projectors list. However, being tried and tested makes a product more reliable so there’s that.
- Picture Quality is Impressive
- Great Value For Money
- Gaming Ready
- 1080p Resolution
- SXRD Technology Isn’t The Best
If you can spend that much, we would suggest you go for something like a true 4K projector like the Sony VPL-VW1100ES. However, that would cost you a fortune, which is why many of the best 4K projectors up there are actually not native 4K.
The bottomline is, any of the best 4K projectors should be able to produce between 1500 to 3000 lumens. Although you should keep in mind that the amount of lumens needed will decrease if you are in a room with dark walls and vice-versa. Last but not the least, more lumens means more dollars.
Currently, 4K res is the best and highest viewing resolution among the 4K projectors in the market. There can be projectors that enhance a video quality up to 4K and others that natively play 4K videos. Other than this, a true 4K projector should have a range of high end features that aid in enhancing the visual quality. They are a generation ahead of the HD projectors.
How many lumens do you need to project at different locations?
If you are using a 1000 to 2500 lumens projector, it will be good enough for a home theater or class room (size and brightness) while for a use in a proper conference room you will requre between 2500 to 4000 lumens. Anything over 4000 lumens is basically for nightclubs, auditoriums, conference halls and concert halls.
When should I buy a Projector instead of a TV?
There can be a number of situations where a projector is more suitable. For instance, when you want the screen size to be as large as possible. In this situation the TV would become too expensive. You could also use it instead of a flat screen TV when you want to go cheap. A projector also helps conserve space by getting attached to a small space so there’s that.
Moving on, you could pick one if you wish your content to go with you wherever you are. Some of the best 4K projectors are also portable like that.
However, keep in mind that a projector is not a substitute for a TV in all aspects. Even the best 4K projectors could end up having ambient light issues. They would also fall into comparative pitfalls like contrast ratios offered by a TV. The only way around this is to buy a 4K projector that is above the $2000 mark.