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How Much Is A Movie Projector? The Ultimate Buying Guide

I know I’m not alone in fantasizing about having a home theater. You can easily blacken out a room, get comfortable seats, and make popcorn. However, you can’t watch without a movie projector.

Practically everything is available online these days. So what sounded like a dream can be easily turned into reality. With the guide below, you’ll have an awesome movie projector at your doorstep in no time!

The Buying Guide

First off, don’t just Google “movie projector” and buy the first suggested result! You have to set a standard and be sure you’re getting your money’s worth.

1. Budget and price range

As much as we would love for everyone to have the most expensive and high-quality movie projector out there, it’s just not possible. Budget is the number one factor because it immediately sets the range of choices.

We all have different ranges when it comes to how much we’re willing to pay. Movie projectors can range from 2-figure to 4-figure.

I know what you’re thinking, and yes, that is a huge gap between prices. Which is what we’ll be talking about next: quality.

2. Is the quality good for its price?

We all know that sometimes the price tag doesn’t reflect the quality of the product. You can pay thousands of dollars but still get an inferior movie projector.

So how do we choose a good quality projector if we can’t rely on price? The best way to know is through personal recommendations.

In reality, people in our social circle will rarely recommend such a specific product. So the next best option is through customer reviews and trusted online reviews.

Go to online stores that allow customers to rate and give reviews of the product. These days, there are questionable online stores that have fake reviews on their website. Avoid those.

3. Setting up

Our homes aren’t all wide empty spaces like actual theaters. So there’s understandably some constraints when it comes to the sizes, shapes, and other features of the room.

You’ll need a projector that has multiple features that fit your needs:

a. Zoom Range – This will help you adjust the size of the screen so that it fits perfectly to your screen. You can adjust the size according to your liking.

A 1.2x lens can enlarge an image to up to 20% its minimum size. On the other hand, a 2.0x lens can double the minimum size of an image.

But there is a downside, the zoom range can affect the light produced. To avoid losing light output, minimize the distance from the screen to the projector lens.

b. Lens Shift – This feature means that your lens can move up and down, or left and right. A projector with a lens shift feature will be more flexible and it can be used in different areas and positions.

A vertical lens shift projector will give you the option of placing your projector at different heights. For horizontal lens shift projectors, you can place it off-center, or to the side.

4. Brightness

All projectors work best in dark rooms, but adjustable brightness in projector screens should also be considered. The illumination of the projector is important, but your projector screen should also be able to reflect light correctly.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that you should get a glaringly bright projector. If it’s too bright, you won’t be able to see a clear image.

Here are the best luminance level depending on the room:

  • Darkroom – 12 to 22 foot-Lamberts (fL)
  • Low light – 20 to 40 fL

5. Contrast

Brightness and contrast go hand in hand. The contrast feature must be adjustable, too.

Depending on the ambient light in the room, the default settings won’t always show the best picture. You must be able to alter it accordingly.

Without contrast, the image of the movie won’t be defined, or it can look muddy. Either way, the movie won’t be enjoyable if the contrast and brightness aren’t correctly set up.

6. Resolution

To put it simply, image resolution is the number of pixels that are used to create the picture. If it can produce more pixels, the image comes out better, hence the higher resolution.

The resolution has two numbers. For example, 4k or UltraHD has a resolution of up to 4096x2160.

The first number indicates the number of pixels per horizontal row. The second number is for each vertical column.

In short, for a 4k video, there are 4096 pixels for each row, and 2160 for each column. Because of this capacity, higher resolution projectors cost more.

Here are the resolutions for projectors from highest to lowest:

  • 4k – Again, this one comes in 4096x2160 or 3840x2160. These are very expensive and might be hard to find in the market.
  • 1920x1080 – Used for Blu-ray, HDTV 1080i, and other HD materials. Projectors with this resolution are still pricey but some are priced below 4-figure.
  • 1280x800 – Projectors with this resolution can display 780p, 1024x768, and 1280x800 with no issues. It’s important to note that the aspect ratio for this is 16:10 and not 16:9.
  • 1280x720 – This has been the most common resolution for projectors and it’s the most affordable. The quality is comparable to that of a DVD and 1080p videos.

Read more: What kind of Projectors do Movie Theaters use?

7. Aspect Ratio

The aspect ratio is all about the shape of the screen. Most TVs and screens have an aspect ratio of 16:9.

However, movies and videos can come in a variety of ratios. This can be problematic because your projector might not be able to accommodate all these videos.

For a movie projector, we suggest getting one with a ratio of 2.35:1. This is because most movies use this proportion. You can read more about this here.

Where to buy a movie projector?

You have two options here: a physical store or an online store. To find the perfect projector for you, you’ll need to have a wide range of choices.

Physical stores often have limited stocks, if you find exactly what you’re looking for in one of these shops, you’re lucky. In this day and age, buying online gives customers numerous choices.

Buying online can be tricky, especially if you aren’t aware of which online stores are trustworthy and which ones are scams.

To help you out, here are the 3 most trustworthy online stores that you can buy from.

  • Amazon.com – Amazon has been the number one most trusted online stores for many years now. You can feel secure because their delivery system is reliable.
  • e-Bay.com – What I like about e-Bay is that they have so many choices. However, reliability will depend on the person behind the e-Bay seller account so there is a risk.
  • Etsy.com – When I think about Etsy, the first thing that comes to mind is handmade crafted goods. Suffice to say, finding projectors here is next to impossible.

So that’s it, for security and a variety of choices, Amazon.com is the way to go.

Our Recommendations

Although we recommend projectors that use 2.35:1, it’s quite costly. For high quality but budget-friendly options, we highly suggest these HD projectors.

1. Yaber Portable Projector

Projector, YABER Portable Projector with 5500LUX 60,000 HRS LED Lamp Life, 1080P and 200’’ Supported, Full HD Mini Movie Projector Compatible with...
  • 💙【Superb Sound🔼HiFi🔼Portable】The biggest charm of YB2 portable projector is that the...
  • 💙【High Resolution🔼1080p Supported🔼± 15 °Correction Function】YABER YB2 portable LED...
  • 💙【Energy Saving🔼Cooling System🔼20% Maximum Reduction of Eye Fatigue】YB2 home theater...
  • 5/5 Star Customer Rating
  • 1280x720p native resolution
  • High resolution (1080p)
  • 5,000 Lux brightness
  • 4,000:1 contrast ratio
  • 60,000-hour lamp life
  • 1920x1080p highest resolution
  • 16:9/4:3 aspect ratio
  • Amazing sound quality
  • Portable size
  • Affordable

You will also get a power cord, AV cable, remote control, manual, and cloth for cleaning the lens. This projector is going to be with you for a long time because it’s energy-saving and has a cooling system.

It’s compatible with all kinds of devices, too! Just check out all these ports:

  • 1 VGA
  • 2 HDMI
  • 2 USB
  • 1 AV
  • 1 Audio Out

You also get a free refund within 3 months of buying this projector. If that’s not enough, you can get free repairs and technical support for 36 months.

Now, you might have your doubts because it’s so affordable. But 99% of verified customers have given 5-star ratings, so your doubts can be put to rest!

YABER Portable Projector with 4500LUX 60,000 HRS LED Lamp Life, 1080P and 200’’ Supported

2. Crenova HD Video Projector

Native 1080P Projector, Crenova HD Video Projector, 5800 Lux LED Movie Projector with 200" Display, Compatible with TV Stick, HDMI, VGA, USB, iPad,...
  • 【1080P Native Projector (1920*1080)】 With a native resolution of 1920*1080, 5800 Lux, and 5000:1...
  • 【200'' Adjustable Giant Screen】 34" - 200" (4.3 - 19.7 feet) viewable screen size, allows...
  • 【Internal HI-FI Stereo, Latest Cooling System】Built-in powerful stereo speakers with SRS sound...
  • 4.8/5 Star Customer Rating
  • 1920x1080 native resolution
  • 5800 Lux brightness
  • 5000:1 high dynamic contrast ratio
  • 16:9/4:3 aspect ratio
  • Can reduce image up to 50%
  • 5x high refractive glass lenses for high-quality videos
  • 200” adjustable screen
  • Hi-Fi stereo system
  • 60,000-hour lamp life
  • Vertical keystone correction
  • Affordable

While this is a little pricier than the Yaber projector, it’s still at an affordable price point. Especially when you consider just how high quality this projector is.

The native resolution, brightness, and contrast are more than the Yaber projector. But the aspect ratio, lamp life, and stereo system are the same.

There are also different ports you can use to connect:

  • 1 VGA
  • 1 HDMI
  • 2 USB
  • 1 AV
  • 1 Audio Out

All customers have a 12-month warranty where you can get a refund or replacement. On top of that, you’ll also get a lifetime Customer service and technical support.

Brightest LED Projector Under $200! - Crenova XPE760 Unboxing & Review | Handy Hudsonite

To Conclude

Buying a movie projector for your home is all about getting the best overall quality for a reasonable price. The Yaber Portable Projector and the Crenova HD Video Projector are both solid choices when it comes to an affordable movie projector.

Most of the above-mentioned features are met and even exceeded, especially when it comes to the recommendations and ratings. Best of all, they’re sold on Amazon which is the most trusted online store.

Last update on 2021-12-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API.

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