There is a projector for almost every situation. In this file we put three projectors in a row, each aiming at a different target audience.
What are we looking for?
A projector that can project around the 100 inch image with a budget between 1500 and 2,000 euros. We do not set many other requirements. It must offer at least Full HD image, and we would like to see HDR support. We are willing to live with certain limitations. Even more than with television, you often have to accept a compromise when projecting.
When placing a projector, you must take into account the distance between the projector and the screen, how far projector is off center, what the lens offset is and whether or not lens shift is available. In short, before you decide, check that in the manual online.
Ultra Short throw models are becoming increasingly popular, even though they are slightly more expensive. You can place them close to the screen, and they still project a very large image. Bear in mind that due to the extreme lens, the focus is rarely perfect in the entire image, and that you may already see some distortion at the least unevenness in the projection screen surface. But the end result is still very good.
Full HD or Ultra HD?
Full HD projectors have dropped considerably in the meantime. But a true native Ultra HD projector remains very expensive. Affordable Ultra HD projectors therefore use pixel shift technology. The Full HD image is very quickly shifted half a pixel diagonally and back, and combined with the necessary image processing this leads to an almost Ultra HD level of detail. Some models even shift the image four times. The technology can be used with both LCD and DLP projectors. You get a level of detail that is somewhere between Full HD and Ultra HD, but nicely hides all pixel boundaries.
High Dynamic Range
HDR delivers the best images, but for projectors it is a tough task. For good HDR you need a deep black and good contrast, and that is only possible if you darken anyway. On the other hand, HDR also requires high brightness, and that too is often limited on projectors. You don't set your expectations in this area too high, certainly not in this price segment.
How do you choose a projector?
We have recently written extensively about projectors. For example, we have given you the b basic knowledge about projectors including the various techniques that are used. In addition, we discussed the placement of a projector in greater depth. With all this information you can now choose the right projector. You generally follow the following plan:
- Determine the size of the desired screen and the viewing distance based on the room.
- Determine the location of the projector and measure the distance from projector to screen (A).
- Divide the distance (A) by the width of your screen. The result is the desired projector ratio. It must be within the range of the projector that you choose.
- Determine the vertical distance between the lens and the top of the image (H).
- Divide that distance by the height of the image. The result is the desired lens offset.
- If this does not match the lens offset of the projector, then you need lens shift.
- If you have no or insufficient lens shift, you must tilt the projector and have you need keystone correction. However, first try to find out if you cannot move the projector.
Panasonic TX-100FP1E vs Epson EH-TW7400 vs Optoma UHD370X
In this file we include three projectors; the Panasonic TX-100FP1E, Epson EH-TW7400 and Optoma UHD370X. Below is the conclusion of each review, and a link to the full story.
Panasonic leaves us with mixed feelings. The WiFi functionality offers relatively little added value due to the absence of more apps, and the media player may support slightly more formats. The built-in speakers provide solid results for the average film or sports enjoyment, but still fall short for music performance or epic soundtracks. The image settings pull the performance down, but fortunately that is easy to adjust. The price is not really too high, but unfortunately you pay a bit more for the features that offer less value.
On the other hand, you get enough light from the handsome design to fill an 80-110 inch screen, even in a somewhat illuminated living room. If you dim the lights, you can still have a fairly good cinema experience thanks to the reasonable contrast, although that is clearly not the first target group of this projector. Colors are a bit too dark, but the image still has enough punch. The projector is also fairly quiet, and anyone who wants some background music can use it as a Bluetooth speaker. Are you looking for a nice projector in the living room and is Ultra Short Throw a must, then the Panasonic may be on your list. Read the full review .
De the biggest shortcoming of this Epson projector are the limited bandwidth HDMI connections. Gamers can therefore not play 4K HDR games, for those who only watch film, that limitation is less important. Those who like to use motion interpolation should know that this is only possible with 1080p24 sources, which is difficult if you use a UHD Blu-ray player as a source that does all upscaling, for example. In addition, it provides a huge range of colors for HDR, but only at the expense of a lot of light. So here you have to make a choice.
Despite these limitations, this is an excellent projector. It has a very high light output and excellent calibration. The images are colorful and natural, and thanks to the good contrast that improves even further thanks to the dynamic iris, they really have a lot of punch. In HDR the assignment is a bit more difficult, but he still manages to deliver a good result. The pixel shifting technology provides enough detail to see the difference with Full HD. The price is right, especially considering the ease of installation. Those looking for a home theater projector for a reasonable price can certainly put it on the short list. Read the full review .
The Optoma UHD370X is a projector with a clear goal in mind. At home in the living room, even in ambient light, enjoy a grand image. He succeeds well, although you have to make some concessions. Contrast is not his strongest side, and his HDR image is nice, but it fades in the performance of a decent television. In a bright environment, both are not uncommon for a projector. Motion Interpolation is provided, but during several tests we had to deactivate it due to too many image problems. As a final limitation, you should not expect a perfect Ultra HD detail.
On the positive side, we find an Ultra HD projector with an enormous light output and lively, nice image, even in a normal living room. In spite of its limitations, the image is also very pleasant in the case of eclipse, but the moderate contrast weighs more often. The built-in media player is barely counted as a plus due to its good video support, even though Dolby Digital and DTS are missing on the supported list formats. Finally, it is fairly quiet, and not unimportant, very reasonably priced. Read the full review .
The projectors in this file are each aimed at a different target group. Thanks to its Ultra Short throw setup and built-in speakers, the Panasonic offers a solution for those who want to bring projection to the living room as simply as possible. If you want to exchange Ultra Short Throw for Ultra HD display, HDR and enough light to project in ambient light, the Optoma UHD370X is the better choice. The Epson EH-TW7400 can produce very nice results in the living room as well as in a darkened home theater, and offers the most beautiful image of these three projectors.