Projectors are useful tools for education, business, and personal purposes and this trend is growing fast. Whether you want to organize a meeting, watch a movie with students, or even chill on the sofa watching videos from your vacation, this compact and innovative device will make this experience a lot more comfortable and atmospheric. Anyways, the image of high quality needs considerable investment, so when you want to get a powerful machine at an affordable cost is an unfeasible challenge.
There are many characteristics that you should better think of before purchasing a projector too: the range of screen size, brightness, lamp life, even weight – this list can be enormously long. So if you’re far from being an expert in this field, the purchase can become a tough experience. No worries, though: we have already studied the market for you and gathered all the best products that cost less than 500$. Just quickly scroll the list, it will help you to choose the most relevant option: it will save your time on learning all the technical specifications and wandering the Amazon endlessly, better watch one more movie after a purchase.
Best Home Projector Under 500
Optoma HD141X 1080p 3D DLP
Here is the powerful device you can invest your 500$ to get an image and sound of fantastic quality. Its relatively low price serves as a great plus due to numerous benefits that will address your visual content requirements. Firstly, you will be very satisfied with an actual cinematic performance: because of the brightness of 3000 lumens, the image is colorful and detailed, whatever the room’s lighting. Thus, if you decide to dedicate the quarantine to a movie marathon, the machine will provide a clear image at any time. Due to DLP technology, it will also be without the lattice effect. Another crucial characteristic is the screen resolution: it is full HD, the golden standard for this type of device. Furthermore, whether you have any gaming console – Blu-ray 3D player, Xbox One, Xbox 360, or PS3 – it is a perfect match because of full 3D compatibility. Since sound is as well a significant criterion for a lot of viewers, we cannot skip the fact that there is 10-Watt powerful audio provided.
Talking about connectivity, it is pleasantly universal. To begin with, the projector is equipped with two HDMI ports, its MHL compatibility allows you to share files from your phone or tablet on the 300-inch diagonal screen. There is one more cool thing: the projector is designed as an eco-friendly device. It is made from materials which are long-life, and it controls energy use by shutting it down automatically.
- Bright SVGA projector – 3600 ANSI lumens
- Technology “Amazing colors”
- Powerful 10-Watt audio
- Full 3D Compatibility (VESA 3D Sync) to integrate with any of your devices
- DLP Technology
- Lightweight and portable
- Cables are out of the box – you’ll have to buy it
- Warranty is relatively short – 1 year (90 days are on the lamp)
- Lamp life continues up to 6500 hours
Optoma HD141X is an absolute winner in this top. Yet, there are a number of worthy and inexpensive machines that broaden the horizons of visual entertainment. To prioritize better and compare their technical features, take a look at the table below.
|Specifications||VIVIMAGE Explore 3 Projector||BenQ MW535A WXGA 3600||Epson Home Cinema 760HD||ViewSonic PA503W 3,600 Lumens WXGA|
|Screen Resolution||1920 x 1080||1280 x 800||1280 x 720||1280 x 800|
|Brightness||7, 000||3, 500||3, 3000||3, 600|
|Projection Size||53 – 300 inches||30 – 300 inches||Up to 300 inches||120 inches from 15-feet|
|Connectivity||2 HDMI, AV, VGA, 2 USB, TF Card, TV Box, Audio Out Ports||HDMI x2, VGA x2, Audio In/Output,||1 x HDMI, 1 x RCA, 1 x USB Connector Type A: Type B||Mini USB Type B, Audio Output, 3.5 mm Audio In, HDMI 1.4, VGA In (x2), VGA Out|
|Lamp Life (hours)||Up to 60,000||Up to 15, 000||Up to 6, 000 / 10. 000 (in eco mode)||Up to 15, 000|
|Contrast Ratio||8000: 1||15000: 1||200000: 1||22000: 1|
|Dimensions||11.70 x 80 x 4.50||13.1 x 8.4 x 3.9||11.9 x 9.2 x 3||4.33 x 11.57 x 8.58|
|Weight (in pounds)||5.30||5.24||5.6||4.89|
VIVIMAGE Explore 3
There is one more awesome and not expensive device that gives a bright full image and, notably, the sound of high quality. A set of advanced features can actually help you save money on cinema tickets. The projector has a pretty high resolution – 1920 x 1080p. The powerful built-in speakers are the characteristic that makes the gadget distinguishable: having a good sound is specifically important during classes or business meetings where somebody’s coughing or laughing are usually louder than the presenter’s speech. The compatibility ratio is also quite wide, including 2 HDMI, AV, VGA, 2 USB. Thanks to the lamp life of up to 60,000 hours, you’ll save frequent keeping costs. Add to that mix its ratio of contrast – 8000: 1, and you get a reliable device which you can use to watch videos or presentations even in relatively light spaces.
One more key feature is the innovative cooling system with heat dispersion, which is responsible for the product’s long life. However, its 3-year warranty can confirm its reliability as well.
- Big screen resolution – 1920 x 1080
- Lamp Life up to 60, 000 hours
- Brightness 7000 lumens
- Powerful 10-watt built-in speakers
- Long-term warranty
- Wide connectivity scale
- 4D Keystone correction
- Does not support 3D
- You will have to buy Type C
- Ceiling mount not included
BenQ MW535A WXGA 3600
A cost-effective personal home projector synchronizes with today’s requirements to image quality. By its developed features, it somehow reminds the winner of this top. Besides, the gadget is small-sized: the dimensions are 13.1 x 8.4 x 3.9, and the weight is 5.24 pounds. For demanding viewers, the model offers a version, which supports Full HD. However, the version without this characteristic is also advanced and multifunctional.
The lamp life is up to 15, 000 hours. Concerning the lamp’s change, it’ll be easy and fast because of the top door. The machine has an anti-dust accumulation sensor to increase durability. As for its connectivity, this feature is also relatively flexible – the device has HDMI, VGA, and Audio in/out ports. The minus is that you cannot connect it using USB. Both models’ brightness is 3600 lumens, which perfectly fits the poor lightning – even during the daytime, the image will still be sharp. It is easy to install the machine since it is provided with three adjustable feet, a vertical keystone, and 1.2 zooms.
- High brightness of 3600 lumens
- A clear image due to the contrast ratio of 15000: 1
- Advanced cooling system
- Lamp life is up to 15, 000 hours
- Easy in installation
- 3-year warranty for limited parts and labor; 1 year-warranty for lamp
- Compact dimensions and weight
- Without 3D compatibility
- USB connectivity is not provided
- Screen resolution is 1280×800, BUT there is a version that supports Full HD
Epson Home Cinema 760HD
This projector will also become an excellent opportunity to enjoy bright colors. You will get real images up to 300” – needed to say it is up to 25x more extensive than a 60” flat panel. The device can also boast its full HDMI connectivity, which integrates with cable or satellite box, gaming console, Blu-ray Disc player, and any streaming device. What is essential to mention is innovative 3LCD technology – it provides a clear and bright image without the so-called rainbow effect.
With a generally versatile design, the device is anything but difficult to convey and introduce. For instance, you find it anyplace due to level simple slide amendment of the picture. Nonetheless, the light existence of this machine is generally low – up to 10 000 hours in eco and 6000 hours in ordinary modes. Concerning the screening goal, it is 1280×800, so it doesn’t uphold Full HD. Concerning other fundamental highlights that convey extraordinary visuals, the projector’s brilliance is 3, 300 lumens for both shading light and white light yield. It additionally has a significant high differentiation proportion – 200000: 1.
- Impressive screen projection – up to 300 inches
- Full HDMI connectivity (1 x HDMI, 1 x RCA, 1 x USB Connector Type A: Type B)
- 3LCD technology – image with no rainbow effect
- High brightness – 3, 300 lumens
- The contrast ratio is 200000: 1
- Doesn’t support Full HD
- Low lamp life – 6000 hours in normal mode, 10 000 hours in eco mode
- Audio in/out is absent
ViewSonic PA503W 3 600 Lumens WXGA
This one is additionally an affordable and dependable decision. The contraption likewise offers 5 review modes (most splendid, introduction, standard, photograph, and film), so you can pick the most suitable one explicitly for your own current circumstance. Additionally, it is truly helpful to introduce the gadget, and because of its minimal size – 4.33 x 11.57 x 8.58 – you can bring it at any sort of occasion. However, the measurements are only one of the favorable circumstances: the machine offers entirely big screen projection – 120 creeps from 15 feet, and its long light life, which reaches up to 15 000 hours, will spare your expenses on successive support. The network of the item is adaptable – it bolsters most media players, so you can interface it to Blu-Ray, PCs, Macs, and different gadgets.
ViewSonic PA503W is likewise highlighted by vertical cornerstone remedy +-40. All in all, by demonstrating an introduction or viewing a film, you can address the contortion to make an image look proportioned and smooth. Concerning a guarantee, it is an appealing aspect also – 3 years for restricted parts and works and 1 year for a light. Furthermore, you will approach the US client assistance group.
- Long lamp life – up to 15 000 hours
- Vertical keystone correction
- High contrast ratio – 22000: 1
- The brightness of 3 600 lumens
- Flexible connectivity (Mini USB Type B, Audio Output, Audio In, HDMI, VGA In and Out ports)
- Separate warranty for limited parts and labor (3 years) and a lamp (1 year)
- Screen resolution is 1280×800
- You will have to but extra cables
How to Choose Your Best Home Projector: A Very Quick and Short Guide
We totally understand that a variety of innovative devices and their technical features can make you confused. If you still hesitate before purchase, and plenty of numbers and abbreviations drive you crazy (which is completely normal), we offer this brief instruction – just scroll down and discover how to buy a device you need.
- Which features influence the quality of the image?
There are attributes that add to the high picture quality: screen goal, source material, and difference proportion. It’s just three of them. The most well-known kinds of screen goals are HD (1920×1080) and Wide XGA (1280×800). HD gives twice more pixels; all in all, if the projector has Full HD, the picture you get will be much more clear and keener. In any case, you ought to likewise recollect the subsequent segment – source material: in case you will associate your device with a Blu-Ray player, the goal Wide XGA won’t just fit. At long last, the higher the difference proportion is, the more splendid and keener the image will be. That is on the grounds that it’s responsible for the distinction between white and dark.
- What should I know about connectivity?
Initially, recall there are associations made between advanced video and analog video. Analog one is of a lower quality, despite the fact that it has been used for quite a long time; the subsequent one is, individually, fresher and better. The simple video associations incorporate VGA, S-VHS, and RGB, and the associations for the computerized video are HDMI, DVI, and USB-C. Accordingly, picking a projector, focus on the reality if a gadget has further developed availability. For instance, in case you will watch recordings in 3D, you need to search for a gadget with HDMI 1.4. Remember about sound ports too – they send sound into the machine through inherent speakers.
- Which technical characteristics help to save money?
Apart from price, pay attention to the lamp and, of course, warranty. Simply speaking, when the lamp life is longer, you won’t have to cut the expenses on its replacement frequently. Also, consider a warranty because sometimes the manufacturer offers a separate one for a lamp. Generally, the basic principle is unchangeable – choose a projector, which has a longer warranty and, if it’s possible, a reliable support team.
A Few General Recommendations
In case you’re eager to become a projector expert, after all, we’ve gathered a bit boring but immensely useful information on the topic. After reading this paragraph, the devices’ description on the websites won’t longer be a confusing piece of information but an unmistakable indicator – to buy or not to buy.
This characteristic is measured in ANSI lumens, and sometimes people also call it “light intensity.” Basically, this feature tells you about the amount of light the device can project onto different surfaces. When this amount is higher, the image you get will be brighter. Nevertheless, also remember about a location where you’re going to use a projector: if it’s a conference hall, you’ll better invest in a device with 5000 lumens, but if your room is more like a cinema without windows (this happens), you’ll be more than satisfied with 2000 lumens too.
DLP or LCD: Choose your fighter
DLP is frequently highlighted as a leading advantage. It is a projection technology generated by the numerous small mirrors. Thanks to such a vast number of these mirrors, you receive better graduation of different colors. Actually, DLP projectors also have a higher contrast ratio; hence, they provide an almost life-like image without a lattice effect. If a machine is equipped with DLP, it also means that dust will barely penetrate it because of closed light sources and optics.
Regarding LCD technology, it also can serve as a plus, especially for home cinema. The principle is slightly different: in LCD projectors, white color is divided into three primary colors – red, blue, and green. Hence, the color saturation is more substantial than in DLP projectors. However, if the machine’s resolution is relatively low, the lattice effect occurs. Moreover, LCD projectors require maintenance often – you will have to change a filter.
As should be obvious the differentiation proportion is essential for the best picture. It shows the distinction between the ideal highly contrasting. You would do well to focus on this segment while picking a home projector: the unadulterated dark gives profundity and sharpness. Actually, the nature of a picture relies upon the height of the proportion.
To Sum Up
Overall, in the list we’ve compiled, you’ll probably find the best home projector under 500$ since all the gadgets create a genuinely cinematic performance. Regardless of the amount of money you are ready to spend, visual preferences, and usage goal, the task to find the most suitable projector is doable. Just remember about the primary technical characteristics (resolution, brightness, lamp lifespan, contrast, etc.) and the location/events you are going to use a device. Thus, take your time, take your breath, and find a multifunctional and cost-effective product that fits you!