If there’s one discernible post-COVID home entertainment trend, it’s the rise of the home projector. Even with bars, theatres, live entertainment and sporting venues reopening in 2021, many consumers still preferred bringing 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 percent from $105.5 billion in 2020 to $278.8 billion by the year 2027 (Source: ResearchandMarket.com). Quite a few homes have opted for home projectors over TVs, while many have gone 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 consider 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 smaller 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.
This determines the durability of your projector. Ten thousand hours should deliver about 7-8 years for users who clock 3-4 hours a day. Also, keep an eye out for the warranty and service backup. Most brands offer a three-year warranty.
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, where the higher the better) are a key factor. A projector in a board room would start at 1000 lumens, but you will need more than that for Netflix HD content at home.
We’re seeing more ‘smart’ projectors with Android out of the box. Look for projectors that have their 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.
There are several projectors fitted with built-in speakers that work well in small rooms. Make sure that the projector you pick offers Bluetooth connectivity to allow you to hook up to a soundbar.
5 PROJECTORS YOU SHOULD CONSIDER 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.
XGIMI Horizon Pro: This model nails two key things that home projectors don’t always do. First, it’s a funky cuboid design in matte black; it’s compact and weighs less than 3kg. Then, 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 is complemented by dual (built-in) 8W Harman Kardon speakers with DTD-HD & DTS Studio Sound Dolby. (Rs 1,87,500)
Optoma UHD 35+: Gamers will approve of this one. Positioned as a Cinema Gaming Projector, the 4.2ms input lag in ‘Enhanced Gaming Mode’ and a lighting fast 240Hz rate with the 21:9 ultra-wide resolution create an immersive gaming experience. This True 4K UHD projector packs 3840×2160 pixels, and delivers a brightness of 4000 lumens and an impressive 1,200,000:1 contrast. (Rs 2,50,000)
ViewSonic PX748-4K: This compact projector weighs under 3kg, and fits easily into your living spaces. Connectivity is a big win too. 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)
Samsung Premiere (LSP9T): This one can be placed just 11.3 cm from the wall to project a high-quality screen of up to 130 inches, 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)