One of the things we missed over the last year and a half is going to the movies. There is nothing like watching a movie on the big screen. But going to the movies has its share of pain points — expensive ticket prices, people talking and of course, the potential for COVID. With a cheap projector, you can bring the movie-going experience to your home without having to take out a second mortgage and leave behind all the other stuff that sucks about going to the movies.
Before you buy a cheap home projector, here are some things you should consider:
- Resolution – Look for a projector that is 1080p or 4K. Of course, 4K is preferred, but with the lack of 4K content, you’ll be more than happy with a 1080p projector.
- Connectivity – Cheap projectors that have onboard streaming services like Netflix or YouTube, or screen mirroring, are a huge plus over traditional HDMI and USB connections.
- Portability – If you plan on curling up on your couch and using your projector only in one room in your home, this isn’t much of a factor. But for those who like to take the party with them from room to room or house to house, consider a portable projector.
- Price – Projectors can get crazy expensive. Any projector under $1,000 is what we’d consider to be a budget model, but there are great options even below that mark.
You should also consider having enough wall space for a projector. The best case scenario is having a projector screen, but if you don’t, a big blank white wall will do the trick. Also if your projector doesn’t have any onboard streaming or WiFi, you’ll need an additional streaming device or gaming console to run your media.
Wave goodbye to movie theaters and annoying movie talkers for good with the best cheap projectors for sale.
1. BenQ TH685
For a projector under $1,000, the BenQ TH685 provides some of the best image quality and is one of the easiest to dial in the picture thanks to a flexible lens that can zoom but also be adjusted vertically. This is important because it can help eliminate what’s called the “keystone effect,” which is when an image distorts and looks like the words that scroll upward in the intro of Star Wars movies. It also has a 1.3x zoom which gives you a little bit of flexibility on how close you can place the projector to the screen. Its ability to create a great contrast in both well-lit and dark rooms sets this cheap projector apart from others in its price range.
Pros: It has an adjustable lens that zooms and adjusts vertically providing flexibility on where you can place it and picture quality.
Cons: The bright picture mode can distort colors.
2. Anker Nebula Apollo Mini Projector
BEST PORTABLE PROJECTOR
This is a projector fit for modern-day streaming. Essentially a portable streaming box disguised as a projector, the Anker Nebula Apollo has apps like Netflix and YouTube on board so you can set up the projector and immediately start streaming your favorite content without the need for any other media box. It also uses Android 7.1 as the platform so instead of having a bulky controller, you can either use the onboard controls or simply use your phone as the remote control. Although it is a portable projector, it is best used in dimmer rooms.
Pros: Has apps like Netflix and YouTube on board.
Cons: Doesn’t work great in well-lit rooms.
3. Epson Home Cinema 2250
BEST FOR BRIGHTER ROOMS
This budget projector gets brighter than the BenQ option providing those who enjoy watching movies with a little light in the room a solid option. That being said, when in complete darkness, the Epson Home Cinema’s contrast isn’t as great as the BenQ, although it still holds its own. It has a little bit better zoom at 1.6x and the lens can also vertically adjust providing a way to easily correct image issues if they occur. It also has a built-in media player — Android TV to be specific — that connects to the projector through a dongle. This provides streaming capabilities as well as a remote with voice activation.
Pros: It has a media streamer and voice control.
Cons: It performs better in lit rooms than it does in dark.
Read More: Best Short-Throw Projectors
4. LG PF50KA Portable CineBeam Projector
The LG CineBeam Projector might not have onboard streaming apps like YouTube or Netflix, but it does have plenty of connection options including two HDMI ports, a headphone jack and an antenna-in so you can watch TV. It also features a wireless screen share option allowing you to mirror your phone. With Bluetooth connectivity, you can connect the projector to a Bluetooth speaker to liven up the audio quality as most projectors either don’t have speakers or poor ones built-in. Beyond entertainment, it’s also a solid option for the office since you can plug a USB right into the backport and share the contents straight from the USB. Plus, it can even run on battery life for 2.5 hours.
Pros: You can cast from your phone to the projector and connect it to Bluetooth speakers.
Cons: It doesn’t get as bright as other projectors and others have better picture quality.
5. XGIMI MoGo Pro Portable Projector
This portable projector has about as many media streaming options and casting options as a smart TV. Really though, it uses the Android TV platform but also has Chomecast and Google Assistant built-in providing you with a wide variety of options for entertainment and control. If wireless streaming isn’t really your thing, there are HDMI and USB inputs for additional types of connectivity. And like the LG CineBeam, you can also connect a Bluetooth speaker to it for upgraded sound quality. Beyond connectivity, the 1080p image quality is impressive. Who said big things don’t come in small packages?
Pros: It has a number of streaming options including Chromecast and Google Assistant.
Cons: No Netflix app, but you can cast it through your phone.
effortlessly transform your home into a movie theater with these short-throw projectors