The Best 1080p Projectors of 2016

by Patrick Hyde •

The Details

Projectors are replacing traditional televisions in more and more houses across the country. Why? A few factors account for this trend. The days of wire clusters and ultra bulky projectors is fading into distant memory. The newest projectors are equipped with a slew of wireless connectivity options, making them viable competitors of smart TVs.

But the real reason is that projectors provide an equally vivid and high definition image as TVs on a larger screen at a fraction of the price. You can get a 100 inch image on a 1080p full HD projector for less than a $1000. If you can even find a TV that size it will cost well into the thousands.

But not all 1080p projectors are made the same. Contrast ratio, lumen count (measure of brightness), and refresh rate all factor in to viewing experience. Finally, consider the size of your projection screen and the amount of space in your room. Ultra short throw projectors can cast a full HD image from inches away from the wall, but sacrifice brightness and contrast ratio.

Finally, rest assured that 1080p (1920 x 1080 native resolution) doesn’t suffer any signficant loss in picture quality over the much pricier 4k resolution projectors if your screen is going to be 100 inches or less. If you plan on going larger and have deep pockets, then 4k models might be worth a look.

Best 1080p Projector For Bright Rooms: Epson Home Cinema 1440

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The Epson Home Cinema 1440 1080p definitively lays the misconception that projectors need cave-like darkness to rival LCDTV contrast to rest. That’s not the case with this  thing. Far from it. It has a staggering 4400 lumens and uses 3LCD projectors to create vibrantly colored Full HD 1080p with rich contrast. Want to watch a 2pm NFL game on a 100 inch screen? Done. Want to watch Netflix while your spouse prepares dinner in the next room? They can leave the lights on, it’s won’t interrupt your viewing.

But the Home Cinema 1440 can cast in True HD up to 300 inches, making it a great option for both home theaters and outdoor movie nights for a larger audience. Sure, if you want to get up to the full 300″ potential of this beast you will need the darkness, but it works even if there is ambient light from the odd streetlight or neon sign flickering nearby.

Besides its blinding brightness, the Epson 1440 really excels in image quality. It offers 3x Higher Color Brightness than other projectors in its class, casting vivid images worthy of the movie theater. Convenient color mode optimizes color, turning animated movies into a feast of bright hues and dramas into sharp shades of dark.

The 1440 is an MHL device, allowing easy connectivity for Roku and Chromecast streaming. It lacks Bluetooth functionality, which is a major knock against it if you rely on it. The other major downside is that it lacks lens shift, which means you have to place the projector dead center from where you want the image cast. It does include keystone correction, although it is not the most intuitive keystone alignment out there.

The Best Short Throw 1080p Projector: Optoma EH200ST

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The Optoma EH200ST shines even in rooms that are both cramped and well-lit. This short throw projector calls on 3000 lumens to cast a 100 inch image from just 3.5 feet, making it ideal for big city apartments that just never seem to get as dark as you want.

For less than $1000 you get a powerful true-to-life colors and crystal clear full HD graphics. Unlike other 1080p projectors that falter on dark blacks, the EH200ST has a 20,000:1 contrast ratio, bringing low-light images and text onto your screen in crisp resolution. And with all digital connectivity, the EH300ST has a low latency and fast response time, making it ideal projector for gaming.

The projector can cast a 100 inch image from just 3.5 feet away, 200 inch image from 7.3 feet away, and 300 inch from 20 feet away. Get 3D image at any distance and connect your wireless devices via MHL.

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