Best Home Theater Projectors: Most Affordable, Best For Gaming, And More

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Tennis on home theater screen (caption: Best Home Theater Projectors)A kick-butt home theater isn’t just for the movie star’s homes few anymore. Thanks to projector technology advances, you too can build an impressive silver screen experience at home theater without putting a hole in your wallet. They’re easy to set up and you can play video games, have watching parties for your favorite TV show or sporting event and watch Netflix with your sweetie.

Best Home Theater Projectors On A Budget

We’ve broken our best home theater projector reviews into categories to help you find the ideal projector for your specific needs. Click on a link below to jump to a section you’re interested in, or read through our entire article in case you’re not sure what kind of projector you want.

Under $500 | Under $1,000 | For Gaming | Portable | Projector Screens

Best Projector Under $500: ViewSonic PA503W Review

ViewSonic PA503WView on Amazon

Home theater projectors can easily run into the thousands, but there are some excellent budget-friendly choices on the market. Our pick for the best affordable projector under $500 is the ViewSonic PA503W WXGA HDMI Projector.

For this price range, this projector has outstanding brightness and color. Other impressive features include enhanced, full-range sound, 3D Blu-ray ready HDMI input, one of the longest lamp lives on the market and an industry-leading warranty (another plus for the budget conscious consumer).



  • Excellent value for a budget-end projector
  • Five view settings to optimize color and brightness wherever you are
  • One year of free Express Exchange service
  • Lightweight and easily portable
  • Lower resolution than high-end models
  • Isn’t WiFi enabled
  • No lens shift
  • Doesn’t come with a carrying case

Pricing & Tech Specs

  • Price:  $319.99
  • Resolution: Native WXGA 1280 x 800
  • Brightness: 3,600 ANSI Lumens
  • Contrast Ratio: 15,000:1
  • Warranty: 3-year limited parts and labor; 1-year on lamp
  • Dimensions: 12.44″W x 8.98″H x 4.08″D
  • Connectivity: HDMI, 2 x VGA, Composite Video, S-Video, 1 x VGA output and Audio in/out

Best Projector Under $1,000: BenQ HT2050 Projector Review

BenQ HT2050 ProjectorView on Amazon

What does the best 1080p projector on the market cost? Well into five figures. Ouch! Fortunately, you can find some excellent 1080p HD options that offer a fantastic home theater experience for under $1,000. Our choice is the BenQ HT2050 DLP HD 1080p Projector. This projector provides loads of features that give you a premium sound and picture quality: an RGBRGB color wheel, CineMaster audio, big zoom function, vertical lens shift, a superior short throw and much more. 

You also have the option of a wireless add-on package that lets you stream uncompressed 1080p content (even in 3D), making the BenQ HT2050 arguably the best wireless projector at this price point. And if you want to splurge and still stay under $1,000, the BenQ HT3050 version of this projector ( $1,299.99 ) incorporates a 6x speed RGBRGB color wheel and is calibrated for cinematic color modeled on the HDTV standard, Rec. 709.



  • Reasonable price for a high-quality cinematic or gaming experience
  • Full 1080p HD resolution
  • Excellent color, brightness and contrast
  • All-digital 3-D
  • Zero latency when streaming
  • Includes vertical lens shift
  • Good tech support
  • Adding WiFi feature is an additional cost
  • Lamp life (7,000 hours) isn’t as long as some competing products
  • Not very portable

Pricing & Tech Specs

  • Price: 
  • Resolution: Native Full 1080p HD
  • Brightness: 2,200 ANSI Lumens
  • Contrast Ratio: 15,000:1
  • Keystone correction
  • Lens shift
  • Warranty: 1-year limited parts and labor
  • Dimensions: 15″W x 4.8″H x 11″D
  • Connectivity: 2 x HDMI, USB (Type A), USB (Type Mini B), Audio in/out

Best Projector For Gaming: Optoma GT1080 Projector Review

Optoma GT1080 ProjectorView on Amazon

The Optoma GT1080 Projector is one of the most popular gaming projectors on the market, and it lives up to its popularity, in our opinion. This projector gives you a detailed, high-quality image, built-in 10-watt audio, and fully digital 3-D to make you feel totally immersed in your gaming.

Although the projector is pretty compact, it packs a punch — you can get an excellent image on a 100-inch screen from only 3-1/2-feet of projector distance.



  • Great value compared to similar, high-quality gaming projectors
  • Excellent brightness and contrast quality — ideal for gaming
  • All digital 3-D
  • Zero latency
  • Free tech support for 60 days
  • Easily portable with carrying case
  • Isn’t WiFi-enabled
  • No lens shift feature
  • Plastic projector doesn’t feel as sturdy as others

Pricing & Tech Specs

  • Price:  Check Amazon for availability
  • Screen Size Range: 111-inches from 4 feet; 166-inches from 6 feet
  • Resolution: 1080p
  • Brightness: 2800 ANSI Lumens
  • Contrast Ratio: 25,000:1
  • Keystone Correction
  • Warranty: 1-year limited parts and labor; 90 days on lamp
  • Dimensions: 7″W x 11″H
  • Connectivity: 2 x HDMI (1.4a 3D support) + MHL v1.2, Audio Out 3.5mm, 12V trigger, 3D-Sync, USB service

Best Portable Projector: AAXA P300 Pico Projector Review

 AAXA P300 Pico ProjectorView on Amazon

Need an easily mobile projector for out-of-office business meetings or when traveling with family? The powerful little AAXA P300 Pico Projector is our pick for the best pocket projector.

Its compact size easily fits into a laptop case or purse, and its built-in rechargeable 60-minute lithium-ion battery makes it perfectly portable.

This projector also includes USB plug and play instant setup and is Mac and PC compatible. For its size, the AAXA P300 delivers vibrant color quality, an HD resolution, and a 120” projection screen view. These features make it adaptable for business presentations, movie viewing, and gaming.



  • Good price for all the features and quality you get
  • HD resolution and color optimizer
  • Excellent portability features and connectivity for your on-the-go needs
  • Comes with an adjustable tripod and headphone jack
  • Isn’t WiFi enabled
  • Sound quality isn’t the best
  • No lens shift feature
  • Doesn’t have 3-D capability
  • No extended tech support

Pricing & Tech Specs

  • Price: 
  • Resolution: Native WXGA 1280 x 800
  • Brightness: 400 ANSI Lumens
  • Contrast Ratio: 2,000:1
  • Warranty: 1-year limited parts and labor
  • Dimensions:  3.9″W x 1.6″H x 5.9”D
  • Connectivity: HDMI, VGA, MicroSD card slot, USB and AV inputs

What’s The Best Projector Screen?

You might think that projecting on your wall could suffice, but you’re not going to get the full experience of your projector. Check out this video for some great tips on how to find the best projector screen for your home theater. Then we’ll give you a couple of our recommendations and projector screen reviews.

Best Projector Screen: Elite Screens Review

Elite Screens Sable Frame B2View on Amazon

The Elite Screens Sable Frame B2 series is an excellent choice for a wall-mounted home theater projection screen. This model features award-winning CineWhite, 1.1 gain front screen material in a 16:9 aspect ratio surrounded by a plush black velvet finish aluminum frame that absorbs projector light overshoot.

This screen is 4K Ultra HD and Active 3D ready and has a fully black and spring-tension back for an ultra flat projection surface. Easy to assemble in minutes, this screen comes with sliding wall mounts and an installation kit.

Price: 100-Inch: $287.32 | 120- Inch $337.00 | 150-Inch $609.28

Best Portable Projector Screen: Vivo Review

Vivo 100-inch Portable Projector ScreenView on Amazon

Our pick for the best portable projector screen is the Vivo 100-inch Portable Projector Screen. Designed for easy setup and fast take down, this screen and tripod is perfect for a home theater or business presentations.

This screen has a 4/3 aspect ration with a 120-degree viewing angle. The black backing prevents intrusive light, and it’s easy to adjust and auto-lock for optimal screen height.

Price:  $119.99

Is A Home Projector Worth The Cost?

For a family of four, just one trip to the movie theater can easily cost $100 or more, after ticket prices, popcorn, drinks and other concessions. If you’re a movie buff and enjoy the large-screen experience, the cost of a home theater projector can actually save you money in the long run.

Sure, you’ll have to wait a bit for new releases, but with today’s streaming options, you won’t wait long. And for serious gamers, there’s nothing like a large screen to get your battle on with your opponents.

You might also consider completing your home theater with a surround sound system.

What home theater projectors would you recommend?

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Hope I can convince my wife to put one of these in our basement!