How to Choose the Right Home Theater Projector

Your Guide to buying the best Home theater projectors


A home theater projector is a great way to bring the movie theater experience into your living room. Whether you’re looking to upgrade your existing setup or start from scratch, the right home theater projector can make all the difference in the way you watch movies and television. In this buying guide, we’ll cover the various features and functions that you should consider when choosing a home theater projector, as well as the different types of projectors available and how to choose the right one for your needs. With the right projector, you can create a stunning cinematic experience from the comfort of your own home.

Key features

  1. Brightness: Home theater projectors should have a brightness of at least 1,500 lumens for a normal viewing environment and at least 2,500 lumens for a room with some ambient light.
  2. Contrast Ratio: A high contrast ratio is important for a home theater projector to display deep, rich colors and dark blacks. Look for projectors with a contrast ratio of at least 5,000:1.
  3. Resolution: Resolution determines how sharp and clear your picture will be. Look for projectors with full HD (1920x1080) resolution or higher.
  4. Projector Type: There are two main types of home theater projectors: LCD and DLP. LCD projectors are usually the more affordable option, while DLP projectors tend to offer better picture quality.
  5. Connectivity: Make sure the projector you choose is compatible with your home theater setup. Look for projectors with multiple inputs, including HDMI, USB, and VGA.
  6. Throw Distance: The throw distance is the distance from the projector to the screen. Make sure the projector you choose has a throw distance that fits your room.
  7. Screen Size: The screen size is determined by the throw distance and the projector's zoom ratio. Make sure the projector you choose has a screen size that fits your room.

See the most popular Home theater projectors on Amazon

Important considerations


  • High-Quality Images: Home theater projectors offer stunning images with exceptional clarity, contrast, and brightness.
  • Affordable Price Point: Home theater projectors are available at a variety of price points that make them accessible to a wide range of budgets.
  • Compact Size: Home theater projectors are much smaller and lighter than traditional television sets, making them easy to install and store.
  • Flexible: Home theater projectors can be used with a variety of other devices, such as computers, DVD players, and video game consoles.
  • High-Quality Sound: Home theater projectors can be paired with a home theater system to provide an immersive sound experience.


  • Price - Home theater projectors can be quite expensive, typically costing hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
  • Bulb Life - Projector bulbs, which are necessary for the projector to function, generally have a limited lifespan that can range from a few thousand hours into the tens of thousands. Bulbs may need to be replaced periodically, making the cost of ownership higher.
  • Maintenance - Home theater projectors may need to be cleaned and maintained to ensure optimal performance. This can require periodic professional service.
  • Installation - Home theater projectors require a certain type of installation to set up correctly, which can be a time consuming and difficult process.
  • Brightness - Projectors are not always as bright as TVs, so they may be more difficult to see in bright or well-lit environments.
  • Noise - Projectors can be quite loud as they operate, which may be distracting or disruptive in some environments.

Best alternatives

  1. Big Screen TVs - Large TVs with built-in speakers that offer an immersive viewing experience for movie nights.
  2. Multi-room Home Audio Systems - Systems that are designed to offer a complete sound system for a home theater.
  3. Soundbars - Slim audio systems that attach to a TV and provide virtual surround sound.
  4. Wireless Speakers - Compact speakers that connect to a media device wirelessly, providing exceptional sound quality.
  5. Media Streaming Devices - Devices that allow users to access streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, and more.

Related tools, supplies, and accessories

  • Projector Screen - A special projection surface that allows for the best image quality when viewing a projected image.
  • Projector Mount - Used to securely and accurately mount a projector.
  • Cables - Necessary to connect the projector to the input source.
  • Projector Stand - Specialized stand used to secure the projector in place.
  • Remote Control - Allows for wireless operation and control of the projector.
  • Surge Protector - Protects the projector from dangerous electrical spikes and surges.
  • 3D Glasses - Allows for the enjoyment of 3D content with a compatible projector.
  • Cleaning Kit - A special kit used to clean the projector lens.

Common questions

  1. What type of projector should I buy?
    • The type of projector you should buy depends on your budget, the size of the room, and the type of media that you will be viewing. You should also consider the types of features you need, such as 3D capability or the ability to accept different video inputs. Additionally, you should consider the brightness of the projector, as this will determine the size of the image you can create.
  2. What brightness do I need for my projector?
    • The brightness of your projector will depend on the size of your viewing space and the ambient light level of the room. Generally, a projector with a minimum of 1500 lumens is recommended, but if you have a larger room or more ambient light you’ll need a projector with a higher lumen rating.
  3. What is the difference between LCD and DLP projectors?
    • LCD projectors use liquid crystal displays to create an image, while DLP projectors use a chip containing millions of tiny mirrors to create the image. LCD projectors tend to be brighter and more responsive, but they also have a shorter lifespan than DLP projectors. DLP projectors tend to be more affordable and have a greater range of features, but they also have the potential to produce rainbow artifacts (flashes of color) in some images.
  4. What kind of connections do I need?
    • Most projectors will have multiple connection options, such as HDMI, composite video, component video, or VGA. You’ll need to check which type of connection is compatible with your source device, such as a Blu-ray player, game console, or laptop.
  5. What other features should I look for?
    • You should consider features such as 3D capability, keystone correction, and lens shift, as well as the projector’s mounting options. You should also consider the noise level of the projector, as this can


In the summer of 2014, an Australian couple had the surprise of their life when they realized that the "star projector" they bought for their child's bedroom was in fact a home theater projector. Instead of a nightlight projecting stars onto the ceiling, the couple had unwittingly purchased a full HD projector meant to be used in a home theater. The couple posted about the misadventure online, which quickly went viral. While the mixup was certainly amusing, it also serves as a reminder to double check product descriptions before making a purchase. Source:

Disclaimer: This buying guide was not created by humans, and it is possible that some of it's content is inaccurate or incomplete. We do not guarantee or take any liability for the accuracy of this buying guide. Additionally, the images on this page were generated by AI and may not accurately represent the product that is being discussed. We have tried to convey useful information, but it is our subjective opinion and should not be taken as complete or factual.