When a big screen TV isn’t big enough, the answer is a home theater projector. You can use the projector to create an image that measures 100 inches diagonally or more on the wall or on a projection screen.
Home theater projectors aren’t cheap, but they have a lot of different use cases. Whether you’re using it for a home theater room, a backyard movie night, or a business presentation, a projector does the job best.
We’ll break down some of the important features in projectors to help you find the perfect model.
Considerations when choosing home theater projectors
Any discussion of a home theater projector will start with its lumens measurement. Lumens determine the maximum brightness level the projector can achieve. With a higher number of lumens available, you’ll have more options for using the projector.
Up to 1,000 lumens: Using a home theater projector in a dedicated media room with no windows means your projector doesn’t need a large number of lumens. Extremely dark rooms only need projectors with up to 1,000 lumens.
1,000 to 3,000 lumens: Mid-range projectors work nicely in primarily dark rooms. If the room has windows, you’ll probably need shades to block as much ambient light as possible. In this situation, a projector with 1,000 to 3,000 lumens should be sufficient.
More than 3,000 lumens: If you’ll be using the projector outdoors or in a room with windows that cannot be blocked, you need a projector with 3,000-plus lumens. These projectors can create extremely bright images.
Beyond lumens, projectors have a few other important factors you need to consider.
Aspect ratio: The aspect ratio measures the width and height of the projected image. An HD or 4K aspect ratio will be 16:9 (meaning it’s almost twice as wide as it is tall).
Lamp life: Projector manufacturers will estimate the life of the bulb that ships with the projector. Anywhere from 3,000 to 10,000 hours is a common lamp life number. A new lamp bulb can cost a few hundred dollars, so take that into consideration before purchasing a projector.