If there’s one discernible post-COVID home entertainment trend, it’s been the rise of the home projector. Even as bars, theatres, live entertainment and sporting venues have reopened in 2021, many consumers have brought big-screen entertainment home. The numbers validate the trend – the global market for Projector screens is expected to grow at a CAGR of 14.9% from $105.5 billion in 2020 to $278.8 billion by the year 2027 (Source: ResearchandMarket.com). Quite a few homes have opted for a home projector over a TV, many are opting for a blended model – a home projector in the living room or den for big-screen entertainment and a TV in the bedroom for short bursts. 

If you’re in the market for a home projector do keep these factors in your decision-making mix:

Your home set up: you need to have a ‘clean’ wall and ideally a 10-feet long obstruction-free projection range in your living room or den. If you have the budget, you can opt for an ultra-short-throw projector that requires a shorter projection space and doesn’t require a ceiling installation. A portable projector allows you to take your big screen entertainment with you on a holiday or your buddy’s den. 

Lamp life: determines the durability of your projector. 10,000 hours should deliver about 7-8 years for users who clock 3-4 hours a day. Also keep an eye for the warranty and service back-up. Most brands offer a three-year warranty. 

Image specs: look out for screen resolution and brightness specs.  Even if you’re on a budget, – opting for big screen action over picture quality, look for an entry-level full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels) projector. 4K or UHD is standard for premium projectors. Brightness levels (measured in lumens – higher the better) are a key factor. 1000 lumens is the bare minimum for a projector in a board room, you will need more than that for Netflix HD Content at home. 

Connectivity: we’re seeing more ‘smart’ projectors with Android out of the box. Look for projectors that have their own app ecosystem (you won’t need a casting device for Netflix or Disney Hotstar), enough HDMI ports to plug in casting devices and USB ports to plug in media content. 

Sound: many projectors come with built-in speakers that work really well in small rooms. But do make sure that the projector you pick offers Bluetooth connectivity to hook up a soundbar. 

Five projectors for your home

BenQ TH585: this full HD 1080p projector with 3500 Lumens of high brightness is worth considering for first-time projector buyers on a budget. It’s designed for compact homes with a flexible ‘throw’ option – great for big-screen entertainment in tight spaces. The projector’s Lamp Save mode stretches lamp life to 15,000 hours. (Rs 69,990) 

BenQ

XGIMI Horizon Pro:  nails two key things that home projectors don’t always do. First, it’s the funky cuboid design in matte black; it’s compact and weighs under 3 kg. The projector’s smart elements make it a compelling proposition with Android TV baked in, offering you access to the Google App store. This 4K projector boasts is complemented by dual (built-in) 8W Harman Kardon speakers with DTD-HD & DTS Studio Sound Dolby. (Rs 1,87,500) 

XGIMI Horizon Pro

Optoma UHD 35+:  gamers will approve, this one’s positioned as a Cinema Gaming Projector. The 4.2 ms input lag in ‘Enhanced Gaming Mode’ and a lighting fast 240Hz rate with the 21:9 ultra-wide resolution all come together to create an immersive gaming experience. This True 4K UHD projector packs 3840 x 2160 pixels, it delivers a brightness of 4000 lumens and an impressive 1,200,000: 1 contrast. (Rs 2,50,000) 

Optoma UHD 35+ product

ViewSonic PX748-4K: this compact projector weighs under 3kg, and fits easily into your living spaces. Connectivity is a big win.  A built-in USB power output (5V/1.5A) can be used to supply power to HDMI wireless dongles, like an Amazon Fire TV Stick. The USB Type-C slot is a clever addition –  you can project content directly from your phone or tab even as you charge these devices.  (Rs 2,70,000) 

ViewSonic PX748-4K lifestyle

Samsung Premiere (LSP9T): can be placed just 11.3 cm from the wall to project a high-quality screen of up to 130-inch, creating a big-screen private cinema experience anywhere in your home. The Premiere comes with a built-in room-filling surround sound experience with Acoustic Beam technology. It’s also the world’s first HDR10+ certified projector with triple laser technology and an impressive peak brightness of up to 2,800 ANSI lumens. (Rs 6,29,900) 

Samsung The-Premiere-4