The best home theater projector of 2020

Anthony Marcusa

While 3 D TVs didn’ t catch on in popularity, many projectors embrace such technology so you can watch your favorite films as if they’ re coming into your room.

Creating the ultimate in-home entertainment experiences isn't done with a large, high-quality television -- it requires a theater-style projector. High-end home theater projectors allow you to watch 4K content on the biggest screen possible, reaching sizes of 100 inches or more.

Technological advancements continue, and home projectors now have longer lifespans, increased brightness, and more powerful resolution than ever before.

But home theater projectors are no small investment, and they require some important accessories to perform to their highest potential. Our guide has the most up-to-date information to help get you started and includes our short list, which features our three top picks of 2020.

Best home theater projectors of 2020

1. Epson Home Cinema 5050UB 4K Projector: A newcomer to our top spot, this first-rate model from Epson gives you outstanding color and a stunning 4K experience.

2. Optoma UHD30 True 4K Gaming Projector: Lush colors, true 4K, and no lag make this projector ideal for gamers -- and the price is right, too.

3. Sony VPL-VW295ES 4K Home Theater Projector: Another new favorite of ours, this option features deep blacks and vibrant colors, allowing for theater-quality home viewing.

For full reviews of these products, scroll to the bottom.

Setting up your home theater projector

Without the right space, purchasing a home theater projector could be a wasted opportunity. To start, consider the screen size. You need a white wall or a screen upon which to project. The maximum screen size a projector can cast varies, with some topping out at around 100 inches and others ranging much higher. Avoid spending extra money on a projector that can cast a much bigger screen if you don't have a similarly sized space.

Next, think about where you and other viewers will be sitting. A bigger screen requires you to sit farther back to properly enjoy. You want everyone in the seating area to have a quality and comfortable view.

What's more, check out the brightness of the projector, which determines how well it can cast an image considering the light around it. Some projectors can function well with some light coming into the room, while others require the space to be completely dark.

Note that some projectors (particularly less expensive options) may have a hum or consistent din to them when they're on. Where you're using the projector and how close viewers may be to it may decide how much noise -- if any -- is tolerable.

Lastly, consider what devices you'll be using to play content. High-end home theater projectors have several inputs to allow for Blu-ray players or gaming consoles to be connected. The quality of the projector image is determined not just by its own capabilities, but the sources you're using, too. If you have a 4K device, you want a projector that caters to 4K, and you also need 4K content to play.

As home theater projectors continue to boast higher resolution and capabilities, prices have increased. You can find a quality option for a couple thousand dollars, but high-end models, especially those using 4K, are pricier, and can go as high as $10,000.

Key accessories

Creating your home entertainment setup doesn't stop with a projector. Keep these additional accessories in mind.

Audio: Most projectors focus on creating a stunning image, which means they aren't equipped with the best audio. Hook up speakers to provide comparable sound quality.
Screen: White walls can do the trick, but a high-quality screen is preferable. Some may come with stands or can be attached to a wall, while others embrace portability as well as indoor and outdoor use.
Mount: If you're planning on keeping your projector stationary -- which is advised for higher-quality options -- you need to purchase and install a mount.
Cables and cords: Depending on where your projector and connected device are situated, you may need longer, higher-quality HDMI cables, especially if your projector is mounted.
Maintenance: Bulbs should last quite a long time, but they eventually need replacement, so consider that future purchase. As dust accumulates on your projector, use compressed air every few months to clean it out.

In-depth reviews for best home theater projectors

Best of the best: Epson Home Cinema 5050UB 4K Projector

What we like: Delivers a crisp, high-definition picture. Superior lens. Offers superb color with an impressive 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio. Has 3,500 hours of lamp life.

What we dislike: At 20.5 inches wide and 18 inches deep, its footprint is on the large side.

Best bang for your buck: Optoma UHD30 True 4K Gaming Projector

What we like: Fast and powerful HDR and 4K projector at a decent price. High-end brightness and convenient portability. Caters to 3D content. Compact.

What we dislike: Better suited for video games than films and TV.

Choice 3: Sony VPL-VW295ES 4K Home Theater Projector

What we like: Versatile home projector for all content types with 4K resolution. Features bright quality, no lag, and IMAX-enhanced technology.

What we dislike: Expensive option and also has a rather large footprint.

Anthony Marcusa is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.

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