Best Home Theater Projector Under $1000 (Top 7 Reviewed)


Best Home Theater Projector Under $1000

Choosing the best home theater projector is a very tedious task to complete and the situation will become even harder when you are looking for the best quality under $1000.

Confusion will be to choose which one projector at this price range will deliver what they advertise.

 At this stage, the human brain can easily get puzzled by reading a lot of reviews online. 

 Well, I know because I had all these struggles at one stage of my life. I was in the same situation as you.

To be honest I didn’t come out of that situation with a snap of my fingers. 

I desired to have a massive fabulous 300 inches of display at my home on a budget, for the pleasure of my and my family’s eyes.

I struggled for many days to find one. In those days, I not only binge-watched YouTube videos about projectors and read articles but I also talked on the phone with my friends that are proud owners of home theatres and learned from them. 

There is an ongoing pandemic that’s why I talk to them on the phone otherwise I would have run to their house and sat down with them sipping beer while discussing the project and home theater in general. Because I was so desperate to have the best one.

I note down every wise word that I can. After that, I  bought 3 projectors to test out which one is the best. By using 3 projectors from different brands I became an overnight projectors expert.

Side note: that one night was at-least 4 weeks long LOL!

So, These below projectors are my best ones under $1000. I came across these projectors while hunting down the best 3 at this price range. 

I analyze all of these below projectors on the basis of my own experience and my proud home theater owners’ friends.

Note: This article is updated because the projectors’ prices hiked so much in the past few months.

ProjectorBrightnessImage QualityLamp LifeRatingsRead Details HereToday’s Best Deals
Optoma HD146X – Best For Native 1080p Resolution and Fast Frame Refresh Rate For Gaming3600 Lumens1080p Native15000 Hours5/4.9Read HereCheck Price On AmazonOpens in a new tab.
ViewSonic PX701HD – Best For Instantly Applicable 5 Different Color Modes For Varieties Of Video Types3500 Lumens1080p Native20000 Hours5/4.8Read HereCheck Price On AmazonOpens in a new tab.
BenQ TH585 – The Best Affordable Short Throw Projector At This Price Range3500 Lumens1080p Native15000 Hours5/4.7Read HereCheck Price On AmazonOpens in a new tab.
Epson Home Cinema 880 – Best For Evenly Distribution Of 1080p Picture Across The Screen And Wall Mounting3300 Lumens1080p Not Native6000 Hours5/4.5Read HereCheck Price On AmazonOpens in a new tab.
ViewSonic PA503W – Best For Indoor/Outdoor And Plug & Play Easy Setup Lovers3600 Lumens1280×80015000 Hours5/4.3Read HereCheck Price On AmazonOpens in a new tab.
Epson VS250 – Best For Proper Distribution Of The 720p Image Across The Entire Screen3200 Lumens720p6000 Hours5/4.2Read HereCheck Price On AmazonOpens in a new tab.
Anker Nebula Capsule Max – Best For Super Portability And Rechargeable Battery200 ANSI Lumens720p20000 Hours5/4Read HereCheck Price On AmazonOpens in a new tab.
Table Of Contents - Click To Read Your Desired show

Optoma HD146X – Best For Native 1080p Resolution

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Specifications

HD capability: Yes, supports 1080p resolution natively | Image size: it can scale up to 301 inches as advertised but read on for our tested results | Lamp life: 15000 hours |  Connectivity: HDMI and special HDMI for tablets and mobile and you can also connect apple tv, Xbox, Chromecast, and fire tv | Brightness: 3600 lumens | Contrast ratio: 25000:1 | Streaming apps: You can easily hook it to PC, Mobile, and tablets that’s why you can stream any app at yours’ disposal | Warranty: Yes

Today’s Best Deals

Check Price & Reviews On AmazonOpens in a new tab.

Reasons To Buy

  1. Supports 1080 pixel natively
  2. The fan is quieter than most of the projector
  3. The fast frame refresh rate for gaming
  4. Almost no rainbow effects
  5. Since its color wheel is designed for home theater, that’s why you don’t need to calibrate the colors when you unboxed it.
  6. Good contrast ratio and lumens can give you good picture quality in the backyard or dim light rooms
  7. Can connect to varieties of devices(those are discussed in the connectivity section above).

Reasons To Avoid

  1. Some units lamps experience flickering
  2. The 301 inches screen is advertised but doesn’t go beyond 120 inches. Because then the good experience will turn into a bad one.
  3. The rainbow effect appears only when reading white text on black background
  4. The lights of the remote buttons are so bright and can be annoying in a dark room

Who It’s For

  1. For those who are scared of DLP projectors because of rainbow effects. This one is a champ in eliminating the rainbow effects
  2. For those who need an affordable native 1080p and fast refresh rate projector for their gaming and movies taste on a budget.

This is the king of all the projectors in this price range. Its features are too good to be true at this price but believe me, the features are hitting the expectation center. Bullseye!

Due to its dynamic black technology, you will be able to differentiate between the black/dark and bright areas of the screen and the white will be more clear to your eyes as much as the expensive QLED technology TVs.

Because of its 3600 lumens Technology,  you can watch movies in your backyard with this projector and also in dim light and well-lit rooms.  

But turning off the lights of the room is recommended because after that you can confidently turn on the Eco mode of the projector. Not only due to the Eco mode but you should turn off the lights for every projector to get the best quality visuals.

This Eco mode will dim the projector and will prolong its lamp life.

Talking about lamp life,  it can provide 15000 hours of watch time and can last for 10+ years if you use it for 4 hours per day.

This Eco-mode can also quiet the fan of the projector.  The fan is already very quiet but if you want to make it even quieter then you can go for the Eco mode as it will use low power and will require less ventilation for cooling.

It supports 1080 pixels natively.  It means that this projector can give you a true 1080 pixel image rather than just scaling it.

Since this supports 1080 pixels natively,  you will not experience a rainbow effect in this DLP technology projector.  Due to this feature alone, it can compete with more expensive projectors on the market.

It provides a better 3D video experience than all of the other projectors in this price range so far.

This projector will be loved by those who are gaming freaks. With this projector’s 120 Hz frame refresh rate, you won’t experience the breaking of the pixels and frames delay on the screen while playing fast frames changing games on it. This feature is good for fast action movies and animations.

If your theater is in the bedroom then I will suggest also read my ultra-short throw projectors reviewOpens in a new tab.. But if budget is your main concern then keep reading this current article.

Lamp Life

This projector is providing 150000 hours which is very good and can last for very long but upon testing, I have figured out that some units lamp flickers. But if your unit has this fault by chance then you can easily return it to the vendor and ask for the replacement of the unit.

Brightness

The 3600 lumens is quite good because it is from a reputable brand that’s why you can watch movies on this projector outdoor and even in the ambient light rooms.

Picture Quality

Yes, the picture quality is stunning because of its ability to support 1080p resolution natively. Native support always gives a crisp and sharp picture on 1080p resolution. Other low-budget projectors that just scale an image to 1080p can’t come near to a native 1080p resolution-capable projector.

You must have the sweet spot in your theater room to have the best viewing experience and picture qualityOpens in a new tab.. Read my guide to calculate the sweet spot for it.

Feature That Keeps It Apart

3 prominent features that keep this projector apart from its competitors are:

  1. The color wheel can give a cinema like experience at home without spending hours on image calibration.
  2. The fast frame refresh rate gives a visual and heart touching peace to gamers. Gamers can enjoy gaming without noticeable lag between the frames of the game.
  3. Optoma has achieved this magic of eliminating the existence of rainbow effects. It is an achievement for a DLP projector at this price. The only time viewers will experience rainbow effects is when reading white text on a black background. Otherwise, on other DLP screens, viewers will see rainbow effects on many occasions upon our testing.



ViewSonic PX701HD – Best For Instantly Applicable Color Modes

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Specifications

HD capability: Yes, full HD Native 1080p | Image size: 300 inches | Connectivity: VGA, HDMI | Brightness: 3500 lumens | Device connections: any device can be connected like gaming console, tablet, Macs, and mobile devices as long as they support HDMI | Streaming apps: apps like Netflix, amazon prime, HBO through wireless dongle | Speakers: Yes, 10W | Warranty: Yes | Lamp Life: 20000 Hours

Today’s Best Deals

Check Price & Reviews On AmazonOpens in a new tab.

Reasons To Buy

  1. Natively supports 1080p
  2. Has different color modes for 5 different video types
  3. Custom color mode capability
  4. Wireless HDMI dongle capabilities
  5. Inbuilt power port for wireless dongles
  6. Awesome 3D experience
  7. No noticeable lag during gaming

Reasons To Avoid

  1. The eco mode is good only in the dark rooms. The lights are so dim at eco mode that it is annoying at outdoor
  2. There is annoying noise at the beginning of the startup but its vanishes in a few minutes of usage
  3. The throw ratio is large. For a complete 300 inches screen, you should have to place it very far from the wall/screen. Not good for a small room where you don’t have a lot of space between the walls.

Who it’s for

For those who want to enjoy hustle free wireless dongle streaming experience at native 1080p. 

Apart from the 3600 lumens brightness that this projector provides which can give you good picture quality in a lit room or in outdoor, this projector is a champ in many more features.  I am going to discuss it here.

 The first feature that I am really loving about this projector is that it is providing five different color modes for sports, gaming, movies, standard, and brightness for your outdoor activities.

You can customize each mode and can also create your custom color mode out of scratch in the cloud-based software by Viewsonic which is called Vcolortuner. 

You can also share your customized color mode with another user of the Viewsonic projector or they can share their favorite ones with you. So you can instantly apply those color modes to your projector and set the color adjustment easily right after unboxing it.

With its native 1080 pixel capabilities, the movie itself looks so bright and crips, and the subtitles look really clear and easy to read.

Another fantastic feature that ViewSonic has added to this projector is they have introduced a USB power port to this projector. You can power up your wireless HDMI dongle with this port.  So you can stream your favorite streaming services like Netflix, HBO, and live sports without any hustle of connecting your dongle to another external power outlet.

If your theater hall is small that I will suggest also read my short throw projectors reviewOpens in a new tab.. But if you need it in your budget then keep reading this current article.

Lamp Life

20000 hours of lamp life is amazing to have in a projector. Average bulb-based projectors lamp life ranges from 10000-15000 hours and this one gives you 5000 hours more than average and it is very good.

Brightness

This projector’s 3600 lumens is a champ in action. You can watch movies in a lit room and also outdoors. But a dark room is recommended for every projector to have the best quality picture.

Picture Quality

The picture quality here is native too but with 5 different modes for different types of content. You can jump to gaming or sports modes to enhance that experience of each content.

Feature That Keeps It Apart

The cloud-based Vcolortuner software keeps this projector apart from the rest of the competition. You can create customized color modes for yourself or can ask a friend to share theirs. It is a true convenience.


BenQ TH585 – Best For Affordable Short Throw

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Specification

HD capability: Yes, 1080p full HD | Image size: 100 inches | Connectivity: HDMI and VGA | Brightness: 3500 Lumens | Devices connection: Blu-ray, Chromecast, Gaming console and anyone that is HDMI and HDMI/MHL compatible | Streaming apps: Apple TV, Netflix and all other that you can stream it from PC or laptop to the projector | Speakers: Yes, 10W | Warranty: yes, 3 years | Lamp life: 15000 hrs

Today’s Best Deals

Check Price & Reviews On AmazonOpens in a new tab.

Reasons to buy

  1. Short throw ratio
  2. Low latency input of 16ms for gaming
  3. Quiet fan
  4. Almost no rainbow effect
  5. Full HD 1080p HDR picture. Not native 1080p but still very good 1080p results

Reasons to Avoid

  1. Gives only vertical keystone adjustment facility, not side by side or any other angles
  2. The internal speakers can’t match the quality of 10W

Who it’s for:

For small home theater owners that desire to get an affordable short throw projector for gaming and movies in their small room on a budget.

BenQ is very confident about the brightness level of this projector that it can give you nice picture quality in any light environment and yes they are damn right about it.

You can watch movies on it when all the lights are on in the room or you can even have a nice outdoor experience too.

But you should always watch movies on all projectors in a dark room because then you will have the best home cinema experience but with this projector, you can take it outdoors after 6 pm.

In the darkroom, you can also turn on the Eco mode confidently. This will dim the bulb and will prolong its lamp life but the best part about this BenQ projector is that it is still quite bright in the Eco mode than the other projector at this price range, meaning you are not compromising brightness over the lamp life.

The image of this projector is crisp and sharp all over the 100 inches screen surface from left to right and top to bottom.

The feature that every home theatre enthusiast craves is the calm fan of any projector.  This projector can stand out because of this feature then all other projectors because its fan is so quiet that you will almost miss it.

BenQ has put so much effort into your home cinema experience in this projector that’s why it is having two prominent features.

The first feature is the short-throw ratio. This projector’s throw ratio is very short that you can project 100 inches of the image by just placing it 3 meters apart from the screen/wall.

It’s a fabulous feature if your theatre room is small and doesn’t have that much distance to place it far away from the screen for the bigger projection.

Another feature is that it is providing a very low latency input of 16 ms For gaming. Now you can enjoy gaming on a bigger screen with your loved ones and family without experiencing lag between the frames of the game.

The only thing that put this projector at this place and not on top of it is because it is not supporting 1080 pixels natively. 

The setting interface is simple and easy to understand. Just head over and change the mode to the home cinema for the best movie experience.

Not only the best projector is enough for the best movie experience. You must also choose the best quality AV receiverOpens in a new tab.. Click on the blue and read my review about them.

Lamp Life

The lamp life is 15000 hours. It is good and can last for 10 years on daily 4 hours usage but is not very good. Because this lamp life is average among all the bulb-based projectors. Nothing impressive here.

Brightness

The 3500 lumens are giving a nice quality image in a well-lit room and outdoors too. But upon our testing, you can have a good quality image outdoor after 6 pm.

Picture Quality

The picture is not native 1080p but it is crisp and sharp and pixels are not distorted anywhere across the 100 inches screen. The performance is praisable.

Feature That Keeps It Apart

The short-throw feature is good. You can have 100 inches of an image from an 11 feet distance from the screen. This feature is very good for small rooms.


Epson 880 – Best For Evenly Distribution Of 1080p Picture

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Specification

HD capability: Yes, 1080p but not native | Image size: 120 inches | Connectivity: HDMI, USB | Device connections: All HDMI supported devices and USB connected devices such as TV, PC, Blu-ray player, and Dish TV | Brightness: 3300 lumens | Streaming apps: Anyone that you have on your PC. Just hook and play | Speakers: Yes | Mounting: Easy Wall mounting | Warranty: Yes | Lamp Life: 6000 hours

Today’s Best Deal

Check Price & Reviews On AmazonOpens in a new tab.

Reasons to buy

  1. Even distributed 1080p image
  2. Awesome brightness
  3. Easy to set up and easy to understand system interface
  4. Good quality of speakers
  5. Fast data processing for games and fast-moving action
  6. 2 years of part replacement warranty
  7. Provides toll-free support

Reasons To avoid

  1. No true 1080p native support
  2. Not capable of defining darker areas of the screen properly, the technology is more  focused on color brightness
  3. No optical zoom facility

Who it’s for

For those who want easy wall mounting compatible projector. If this is not a big deal on your list then go for a 1080p native projector from this list.

This projector is giving you the support of 1080 pixels. it is not native but still, it is better than 720-pixel projectors.

It is created with the help of 3 LCD Technology.  In this technology, three discs are used to create red, green, and blue colors to output outstanding evenly distributed picture output on the screen. 

With home cinema 880, there is no difference in the color and brightness at the corners and at the center. You will experience 100% color brightness all over the screen surface.

Speaker is very good and can be very helpful to watch movies outdoors. The speaker is really good but we still can’t compare it to the awesomeness of the surround sound. 

With its awesome contrast ratio and lumens, you can watch movies in very lit rooms and it will give you awesome picture quality.

 Its automatic keystone correction feature is really good. You don’t need to spend a lot of time calibrating the keystone after installing the projector. 

As we have discussed their 1080 pixel image of this projector is crisp and sharp all across the screen but here Epson has also introduced another technology of fast data processing.

This technology makes it the perfect gadget for Gamers. Gamers can really enjoy playing games on this projector screen because they will experience no lag between the frames. This technology is also beneficial for fast-changing frames of action movies and sports matches.

Disclaimer:  As I have mentioned before, there are built-in speakers in this projector but please don’t rely on speakers that are built in any type of projector. Because these speakers don’t usually give you the awesome sound quality like 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound systems. I myself and many more home theatre lovers prefer movies in their homes because of this 5.1 and 7.1 surround sound and true HD Dolby Atmos sound technology. To get this quality of sound you should go for good surround sound speakers and the best AV receiver from a reputable brand. 

The speakers in any projector are not the solution for the satisfaction of ears that are hungry for a surround sound system.

If you need a clean and pro-looking theater with fantastic sound then also read my in-wall speakersOpens in a new tab. and in-ceiling speakers reviewOpens in a new tab.. These speakers give immersive sound. The sound feels like it is actually coming from the surroundings and not from speakers.

Lamp Life

The lamp life is below average and that is 6000 hours. But upon testing, we found that it can last for 10000 hours on eco mode but consumers can’t always on the Eco mode because sometimes we have to take projectors outdoor then the brightness will be so low in Eco mode. Also, many consumers would have ambient light in their room and then the Eco mode will still be a wrong option.

Brightness

The 3300 lumens brightness is evenly distributed on the entire screen.

Picture Quality

The 3LCD technology can create a good 1080p resolution of on picture with even distribution of the color on the entire screen.

Feature That Keeps It Apart

The even distribution of brightness and 1080p picture quality on the entire screen is truly a feature that we should look for.


ViewSonic PA503W –  Best For Indoor/Outdoor

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Specifications

HD capability: Yes with 1280×800 HD resolution of WXGA. Means wider HD screen | Image size: 120 inches | Lamp life: 15000 hours when super eco mode is on | Connectivity: VGA, HDMI with 3D Blu-ray capabilities | Brightness: 3600 lumens | Streaming app: since you can hook it to your PC, that’s why you can stream any app like Netflix, YouTube, etc. | Built-in speakers: Yes, 2W | warranty: Yes

Today’s Best Deals

Check Price & Reviews On AmazonOpens in a new tab.

Reasons To Buy

  1. It is bright and you don’t need to block out all the light coming to the room and can be installed outdoor
  2. 3 years of limited parts coverage + 1 year of lamp coverage and awesome customer support
  3. WXGA resolution for your wider screen appetite. 
  4. Eco mode to prolong lamp life up to 15000 hours
  5. Keystone correction for those who want to eliminate image distortion and they are not expert at setup

Reasons To Avoid

  1. Longer throw ratio. To get 120 inches of a screen you have to place it at least 15 feet apart from the screen
  2. Only VGA is included in the box but HDMI is the one for the best quality
  3. The software looks old school

Who It’s For

For those who don’t want to install surround sound speakers for awesome true HD audio and don’t want to deal with the AV receiver and its connection and just want to plug a projector into a computer and seat at the sofa and enjoy the movie along with the popcorn box within a few minutes after unboxing it.

This is the 5th best of the best projector in this price range because of its capabilities of projecting 120 inches of a screen with awesome contrast ratio and packed with 3600 lumens Technology.

It got an upper hand over other projectors because of the ViewSonic top-of-the-notch customer support.

You can install it in your theatre room and it will give you the best picture quality as this projector supports 1080 pixel and blu-ray HDMI connection and you can also take it outdoor for any kind of a party or for outdoor movie night.

Due to its 3600 lumens, you can watch movies of good quality in a home theatre where the windows are not optimized to block out the light. We highly recommend that you soundproof the theatre that will help in block outing the light coming into the room and will also give you clear sound without echo and outside noise.

But if you are a lazy person like my Dad LOL, and don’t want to do a lot of work on perfecting the theatre room then this is the best projector for you because it is so bright that you can have the best image even if two are three Windows of the room are open and you can also watch movies with great experience at outdoor.  

But watching movies at full brightness on this projector or on any other projector will drastically lower the lifespan of the projector lamp.

This Viewsonic also has the nice feature of Eco mode that will dim the projector and hence will prolong the lifespan of the lamp to 15,000 hours. But for that, you should block out light coming to the room.

Why am I saying that it is for the easy setup lovers?  

Because first, you don’t have to connect it to external speakers because this one model is having speakers built in it and it is also having a nice feature of keystone correction that will perfect the projected image on the wall. 

Like if you have installed the projector in an incorrect position then you can easily eliminate the distortion of the image by keystone correction feature. You can read their user manual for this.

ViewSonic also provides fantastic customer support for this product and three years of coverage for limited parts. This coverage also includes 1 year of lamp replacement.

You can watch Netflix or stream movies from your PCs. For that, you will need a cute HDMI cable or cute dongle for MacBook users. Cuteness is not important but the dongle and HDMI are LOL!

Lamp Life

This projector lamp life is 4500 hours and it is very low than the average lamp life of a bulb base projector but the super eco mode can prolong the lamp life to 15000 hours but we discuss this before that why consumers can’t always on the super eco mode.

Brightness

This 3600 lumens can give you nice picture quality even when the windows are on and sunlight coming into the room but it’s a projector that’s why a dark room is recommended.

Picture Quality

This projector is having WXGA technology. This means that you can have a wider image than regular and the resolution will be maintained too all across the screen.

Feature That Keeps It Apart

3 years of warranty.


Epson VS250 – Best For Proper Distribution Of The 720p

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Specifications

HD capability: Yes, but of 720p | Image size: 150 inches | Connectivity: VGA and HDMI are supported | Brightness: 3200 lumens | Devices connection: Xbox, apple tv, and any device that supports HDMI | Streaming apps: Since you can connect it with a mobile, tablet, and PC. You can stream a plethora of apps like Netflix, youtube, etc. You can’t connect to iPhone, ios don’t allow screen mirroring to a projector so far | Speakers: Yes, 2W builtin | Warranty: Yes

Today’s Best Deals

Check Price & Reviews On AmazonOpens in a new tab.

Reasons To Buy

  1. Natively supports 720p
  2. Even distribution of colors and white across the screen. No difference between the image at the center and at the bottom, top, or corners
  3. Quieter fan, because of Epson efforts 
  4. A wide range of image calibration capabilities. To adjust it according to your needs 
  5. Epson gives 90 days lamp replacement warranty

Reasons to Avoid

  1. Not supports 1080p natively, You can only scale it to 1080p
  2. VGA is included. Dear brands, we need HDMI in the box not VGA anymore. 
  3. No, audio output ports. To connect media sources to surround sound. You will need two connections of HDMI cables

Who it’s for

  1. For those who want a projector from a reputable brand and also with a warranty.
  2. For easy setup systems lovers.

Thanks to the Epson technology of colors brightness output and white brightness output, you will get the best white balance picture output possible at this price range. 

Don’t be scared of the advertised 720-pixel image quality of this projector.  Because this is far better than all those brandless and Asian brand projectors(like Aperman and Vankyo).

These brands will advertise 1080 pixel resolution, highest lumens and highest contrast ratio possible but they cannot compete with the 720-pixel resolution of this Epson VS250  projector or any other reputable brand’s projector.

Epson has put a lot of effort into decreasing the noise of this projector fan. While almost all of the Asian brand projectors fans will sound like a vacuum cleaner is turned on near to your ears.

You can further decrease the noise of this projector fan by enabling Eco mode. Yes, this project is providing echo mode.

This projector is having the capability of distributing the image evenly across the entire screen.  You won’t experience any breaking of pixels and there will be no difference between bright and the darker edges of the screen because Epson has designed it this way with the help of color brightness output and white brightness output Technology.

With its 3200 lumens, you can watch the best quality picture in a little lit room and can also take it outdoors for a party or gathering to enjoy but after the sunset is recommended by me.

This projector has internal speakers built-in but we don’t recommend it.  The best audio experience is to connect it to the Surround System. Since this projector is not providing direct audio output. You will have to connect the media source like a Blu-Ray player to the AV receiver for the audio signal and will run another HDMI cable to the projector for video. This way you will get the best surround sound experience. 

For immersive surround sound audio, you must also choose speakers from the same brand. Read my best speakers’ review here.

Lamp Life

The lamp life is below average and that is 6000 hours but you can extend it to 10000 hours lamp life due to Eco mode.

Brightness

The 3200 lumens can give a nice picture in a little lit room and can also be used outdoors after sunset.

Picture Quality

This projector natively supports 720p but it’s still better than all those brandless Asian projectors.

Feature That Keeps It Apart

A wide range of image calibration options and also the fan is quieter too.


Anker Nebula Capsule Max – Best For Super Portability

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Specifications

HD capability: Yes, but 720 HD | Image size: 100 inches | Connectivity: HDMI, USB, and Bluetooth | Brightness: 200 ANSI Lumens. It’s different than lumens | Devices connection: USB and HDMI supported devices but its Bluetooth is what discussed for portability | Streaming apps: Netflix, amazon prime and anyone that is available on play store for it | Speakers: Yes, 8W | Wifi: Yes | Battery: Yes, up to 4 hours running time

Today’s Best Deals

Check Price & Reviews On AmazonOpens in a new tab.

Reasons To Buy

  1. super portability
  2. awesome play store apps
  3. Picture automatic adjustment according to the angle of the projector placement
  4. Fan is quite
  5. Speakers are really good but good at picnics or tours and outdoors. At home, I will prefer a surround sound system
  6. Brightness is fairly good

Reasons to avoid

  1. I am at least not that type of guy to care for another extra device charging on my list
  2. The Netflix interface by now is very difficult to navigate. It is not easy mate
  3. Many important apps are not available like Disney+ at the time of writing this review

Who it’s for

  1. For those who like to show off new gadget to their guests
  2. For those who are continuously on travels
  3. For those who move their projector a lot across their home
  4. If you want to enjoy HD movies at your home on under $500 budget then go for another native 1080p projector from this list above

This is the best of the best among the portable projectors that you can have. With its Android OS, you can have a plethora of apps to download from the Play Store.

It is very small and it has an internal battery that can give you 4 hours of running time. That’s why it is super portable for you to travel with or shuffle continuously between the rooms. Let’s suppose you are on a picnic and you are enjoying the best meal with the family and now you want to watch a movie. Then this is the best option for you to take it to the picnic.

Its control buttons are on the top of the projector that can be used for navigation and for the control of the device. But you can connect your Android mobile through Bluetooth and the mobile itself will act as a remote. Hence you don’t need to be close to the projector to control it.

You can directly mirror your mobile screen to the projector through this Bluetooth connection

The projector internal speakers are really good in sound quality and its sound cannot be suppressed by the noise of the fan because the fan is quiet.

This projector is Wi-Fi enabled so you can connect it to your Wi-Fi hotspot and start streaming your favorite shows on Netflix or prime video and even watch live sports matches.

But Nebula recommends that you must download the copyrighted material from Netflix or Prime video then you will be able to mirror it from your mobile device or you can install Netflix or Prime video and many more apps from Play Store on the Nebula manager and from there you can directly stream Netflix content on the screen without downloading it to the mobile.

 For that, you can watch the below video for a step-by-step instruction Walkthrough. 

Side Note: And please don’t be scared from these 200 ANSI lumens. There is a difference between ANSI lumens and lumens. 

ANSI lumens are approved by American institutions and it is used for the measurement of the light on the display and lumens are approved by SI. Lumens are used to measure the brightness of the bulb for a lamp of the projector.

ANSI lumens are more accurate than lumens.

Lamp Life

The 20000 hours lamp life is impressive and can last very long.

Brightness

The 200 ANSI lumens are giving nice quality of the image but always use it indoors/outdoor in the dark.

Picture Quality

It is 720p but still 4k content of Youtube and Netflix look great on it.

Feature That Keeps It Apart

The super portability that this projector is having. You can carry it from one room to another and also on a picnic or tour.


The Final Verdict:

  • For the best gaming and movies experience with native 1080p at the comfort of your home, you should go for the Optoma HD146.
  • If you are traveling a lot and want to enjoy movies on the side of your tent or RV then you should go for the Anker Nebula Capsule MAX. You can have a mobile carrier data plan with yourself and then you can easily watch your favorite live sports while you are traveling or on a picnic.
  • If your home theater room is small and doesn’t have a huge place to mount or place your projector far from the wall/screen and your budget is under $500 then go for BenQ TH585, for its short throw ratio of 3 meters.

FAQs:

Which projector is best for home theater under $500?

As we have analyzed the top 7 for you the best one so far by now is the Optoma HD 146X at the top of this list because of its Native 1080p support, faster frame refresh rate that is beneficial for fast frame changing action such as action movies, sports matches, and playing games. 

Its color wheel is designed for home theater so that’s why you don’t need the calibration of its colors when you unbox it. 

You can enjoy the home theater movie experience right after unboxing it.


How many lumens do I need for a home theater projector?

It depends on three different scenarios.

  1. If you have perfectly blocked out the outside light from the room then you will need 1500 lumens projector
  2. If your room is not properly Blockout and outside lights are coming to the room then you will need at least 2500 lumens
  3. If you want to take the projector movie experience outdoor especially at 6 pm right before the sunset then you will probably need 3500 lumens

A little more and very simple explanation about lumens and theater room by EpsonOpens in a new tab..


What is the best inexpensive projector?

The best one at this price range of under $500 is the Optoma HD 146X. 


Are mini projectors worth buying under $500?

It depends from brand to brand and from a need to need. Here are two common conditions it depends on mostly

  1. Yes, it is worth it if you are traveling or you are that type of guy that doesn’t like a fixed position for a home theater and the video quality is not their main concern. If this is the case then the best portable and mini projector at this price range for you will be Nebula Capsule Max. 
  2. If you want Native 1080p picture quality at this price then mini projectors are not good for you. Because there is no good mini projector that can give you true native 1080p support. There is a difference between native and just support.

Is projector better than TV?

Yes, it is better if you want a bigger picture experience than the TV. The home theater is created for this purpose to enjoy cinema-like movies at the comfort of your home but only if you find the best projector from the best brand. Projectors can give you an image size of up to 300 inches. This is my point of view.

But Digitaltrends think TV is better. Read their point of view here.Opens in a new tab.


Can you use a projector for everyday TV watching?

Not really. You can’t switch off lights and pull the curtains and close the windows every time when you want to watch the news or just want to watch TV channels. 

The projector is more for the favorite shows, movies, and games and for more specialized home theater rooms. 

You can also turn off the lights and draw the curtains before playing the movies but not when they announce the national budget. Then you have to learn the budget and not to run and want to kill every possible light in the room first.

Also, watching TV daily on a projector will eat up its bulb life.

Read The NyTimes point of viewOpens in a new tab. about it.


Is 7000 lumens good for a projector?

If you have a well-optimized dark home theater room then these lumens are too much. These lumens will be good for an outdoor movie experience or in the conference room and large home theater room with bright lights always on.

Also, check which projector brand is providing you with these lumens. Brandless projectors’ 7000 lumens can’t match the power of Epson, Viewsonic, BenQ, or Optoma 2500 lumens.


How do I choose a good projector under $500?

First and most the warranty and reputable brand are required. Because after that you can trust their lumens, contrast ratio, faster frame refresh rate or low latency input, and resolution.

The best projector will be that natively supports 1080p, a contrast ratio of 500000:1, low latency input of 16ms, a lamp life of 15000 hours, and at least 90 days lamp replacement warranty.


Is projector better for eyes than TV?

The projector is eye-friendly because it will not strain your eyes. Eyes can send images correctly to the brain when the image is large like in that of the projector screen. The minimum screen sizes by the projectors are 100 inches. Your eyes can easily collect images of this size.

Secondly, the TV emits light rays that can directly hit the eyes while the projector reflects it.

Read more about it on ViewsonicOpens in a new tab. and don’t forget to check out their super handy infographic.


How much does it cost to replace a projector bulb?

The lamp of the projector is very costly. Some can cost $300 while others can cost you $400.

But don’t worry these lamps will not die in a few months or years.

Many brands provide projectors with 15000 hours of lamp life.

This means that if you are watching pictures on that projector for 4 hours a day. It can last for at least 10+ years.

Ayaan Khan

Hi, it's Ayaan khan a freelancer and a computer science degree holder from P.E.S. College. I write articles on Homelytainment.com. The facts and research is provided by Daniel and the writing job is mine.

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