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Last updated: 23 August 2017

A projector used to be a serious home entertainment investment, but prices have dropped and quality's improved, particularly for lamp life. We test and review the latest models to help you find the best one for your home theatre room and your budget. Our buying guide describes the features you might want, and how we test explains our rigour.

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Through our independent and rigorous testing in the CHOICE labs, we reveal which home theatre projectors:

  • have the best HD and SD picture quality
  • have the best sound quality
  • are the easiest to use
  • use the least energy
  • have the best range of features such as Wi-Fi, 3D and child-lock controls.

Our interactive comparison tool helps you easily compare the pros and cons of each model, and our Recommended list lets you see at a glance which projectors give the best bang for your buck.

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Brand

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List of brands we tested in this review.

Price

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Prices are recommended retail, as provided by the manufacturer. When this information is not available the price is taken from an average from major retailers. In either case you should be able to do better than the stated price by shopping around.

enter value/s in increments of 1 between 1149 and 4999

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Claimed lamp life (hrs)

enter value/s in increments of 1 between 2000 and 30000

Measured fan noise (dB)

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Just as people whispering can ruin a night at the movies, so too can a noisy projector fan. The sound produced by the projector will vary depending on whether it's in high brightness or economical mode. We measured in standard mode.

enter value/s in increments of 1 between 0 and 0

Projector type

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DLP is a technology that uses tiny mirrors on a computer chip to create an image when light is reflected from it. LCD technology passes light through panels that can open or close individual pixels to create an image. See our projector buying guide for the pros and cons of each.

Specifications

Weight (kg)

enter value/s in increments of 1 between 0.7 and 11.2

Test results

Ease of use score

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How easy it is to use the onboard controls and onscreen displays to perform several common tasks, including being able to easily find and use the most commonly used controls, as well as finding those you may only need once in a while.

enter value/s in increments of 1 between 0 and 0

HD picture quality score

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Using Blu-ray movie footage, we check there's no colour banding, rainbow or screen door effects, jerkiness in pans, blurred or vibrating detail, colours bleeding in high contrast or very intensely saturated parts of the image or trails behind fast-moving objects on the screen. 

enter value/s in increments of 1 between 0 and 0

Costs

Running costs (yr)

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Based on projector use for two hours per day and 22 hours standby for a year. Cost for electricity is calculated at 30c/kWH.

enter value/s in increments of 1 between 7 and 71

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Included in this review

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  • Overall score
  • Recommended
  • HD picture quality score
  • SD picture quality score
  • Ease of use score
  • Remote score
  • Sound quality score
  • Standby energy score
  • Energy in use (W)
  • Average time from off to ready (seconds)
  • Measured fan noise (dB)
  • Good points
  • Bad points
  • Availability
  • Running costs (yr)
  • Price
  • Brand
  • Model
  • Projector type
  • Dimensions (cm, HxWxD)
  • Weight (kg)
  • Warranty (yrs)
  • Native resolution (px)
  • Screen sizes (cm)
  • Video compatability
  • Input resolution
  • Minimum projection distance (cm)
  • Maximum projection distance (m)
  • 3D
  • 2D to 3D conversion
  • Lens optical zoom
  • Lens shift
  • Focus adjustment
  • Claimed brightness (ANSI lumens)
  • Keystone adjustment
  • Digital keystone correction
  • Speakers
  • Vent location
  • Ceiling mounting
  • Types and lengths of cords supplied (m)
  • Adjustable feet
  • Lamp replacement cost
  • Claimed lamp life (hrs)
  • Claimed lamp life in economy mode (hrs)
  • Composite video input (RCA)
  • S video input
  • PC input
  • YPBPR input
  • DVI input
  • HDMI input
  • Serial port
  • USB input
  • USB photo viewer
  • USB video viewer
  • Trigger port external device
  • IR rear
  • IR front
  • Audio input
  • Other input
  • Audio output
  • Wireless Bluetooth
  • Picture controls
  • Picture settings presets
  • Picture settings customisable
  • Picture in picture
  • Picture on picture (side by side)
  • Still (freeze the picture)
  • Test pattern
  • Child lock
  • Front feet for raising the image on screen
  • Rear feet for lowering image on screen
  • Origin
  • Contact
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