Finest 4K Projectors for 2021 – CNET

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There is no better way to watch a movie or play a video game than on a giant screen. And there’s no better way to see 4K than on a giant screen. And what do you need for both of them? An incredible 4K projector. Ultra HD 4K projectors cost more than theirs 1080p counterpartsalthough prices have fallen across the board in recent years to make them far more affordable. The lower end of the 4K projector range is only slightly higher than the upper end of the 1080p range.

Resolution, however, is only one aspect of image quality, and a projector with a high contrast ratio, color, and brightness can easily hold its own against a projector that has a higher resolution only at the expense of everyone else. Check out Best Home Theater Projector for 2021 for more, often cheaper options.

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However, the best 4K projectors combine excellent performance in all aspects of image quality with 4K resolution for truly incredible images. Here are the best you can get.

Continue reading: Home Theater Projectors: 6 Things You Should Know Before Buying

Geoffrey Morrison / CNET

The Epson Home Cinema 5050UB is the best all-round 4K projector because it offers the perfect balance between image quality and price. An excellent contrast ratio, coupled with impressive brightness and precise color, all with better details than possible with a 1080p projector, and you have all the parts for a fantastic picture. It’s not cheap, but it does offer a significant increase in image quality over other 4K projectors. Extensive lens shift and a motorized zoom are the icing on the cake.

Read all about it in our detailed test of the Home Cinema 5050UB.

Geoffrey Morrison / CNET

The Sony VPL-VW325ES is a thoroughbred among ponies, a Porsche among Volkswagen, an absolute eye-catcher with a matching price tag. The contrast ratio, by far the most important aspect of the overall image quality, is better than the Epson 5050 and significantly better than any projector that does not cost significantly more. And that says something, because the Sony itself costs significantly more than any other projector on this list. If price isn’t a factor, the picture quality is incredible.

Check out our full review of the VPL-VW325ES.

Geoffrey Morrison / CNET

The UHD35 has a lot in its tiny body and low price. It can cast a lot of light, produces precise colors, and has great detail. The contrast ratio isn’t particularly good, but it’s pretty average among 4K projectors in this price range. And that price is really the UHD35’s biggest selling point. It offers great image quality for just a few hundred dollars over the best 1080p projectors. It doesn’t offer lens shift or much in the way of zoom, but if it fits in your room it’s a great way to get 4K on a budget.

Check out our in-depth review of the UHD35.

Geoffrey Morrison / CNET

The LG CineBeam HU810PW uses a completely different and new technology to generate light: lasers! Most of the other projectors, including everyone else on this list, use UHP lamps instead, which are glorified lightbulbs. The 810’s two lasers, paired with a fluorescent substance, allow it to create much deeper, richer colors that look downright impressive with HDR content. The images of the 810 are also bright and detailed. The contrast ratio isn’t particularly good, however, which keeps it from being at the top of this list.

Check out all the details in our in-depth review of the HU810PW.

Geoffrey Morrison / CNET

The BenQ HT3550i exchanges light output for deep colors. They’re not quite as deep as those of the LG UH810PW, but they’re richer and more compelling than most projectors, and the 3550i only costs about half what the LG does. However, the contrast ratio is only average for a 4K projector, and the light output is way below average, which means the image won’t appear as good as images from other projectors on this list.

For more information, see our full review of the HT3550i.


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