How To Buy The Right Home Theater Projector (And Avoid Huge Disappointment)

Home theater projector buyers guide (1)

Projectors have a bad reputation for being difficult to use, with many buyers reporting frustration with their purchase. But this is mostly because they’ve been poorly designed. We’ll show you how to get the best projector for your needs and guide you through the buying process so that you can be confident in your choice.

What is a projector?

A projector is a device that projects an image onto a screen or other surface. Projectors can be used to display images on a large screen, such as in movie theaters and conference rooms. You may also use them at home to display movies or slideshows in your living room or kitchen area.

Projectors usually consist of two parts: the light source (such as an lamp) and the image-projecting lens system (also called an optical system). The lamp converts electricity into light energy; this process requires lots of power so most projectors have built-in cooling systems designed to keep them running smoothly while they’re being used so you don’t burn out your office lights from too much heat!

How does a projector work?

A projector is a machine that projects light onto a screen. The light source for your projector is the lamp, which can be either high-intensity mercury vapor lamp or xenon lamp. The lamp may also be a metal halide lamp, depending on its specifications and application.

The key to understanding how these lamps work is understanding their different operating principles:

  • High pressure mercury vapor lamps create what’s called “HMI” (high intensity) illumination with wavelengths between 3 000 and 6 000 nanometers—the same range as standard incandescent bulbs used in homes today! This type of lighting provides great contrast because it has high brightness levels at lower temperatures than other forms of illumination such as fluorescent tubes or LEDs (light emitting diodes).
  • Similarly, xenon lamps emit shorter wavelengths than HMI lights; they typically have even higher lumens per watt than HMI ones do but still maintain similar brightness levels when compared directly side by side across similar lumens per watt values within each respective category.”

Why buy a projector instead of an HDTV?

The answer to this question is simple: projectors are cheaper than HDTVs, and they can be used in rooms with ambient light or no light at all. They’re great for viewing in the dark, which makes them ideal for movie nights or gaming.

Projectors are also better suited to provide large-screen presentations than HDTVs because of their increased brightness and contrast ratio—the difference between how much light hits an object compared with how much reflects off it (known as its reflectance). This makes it possible for you to see your presentation on a projector even if there isn’t enough natural illumination around you!

What are the key specifications when looking for a projector?

When it comes to choosing a projector, you’ll want to consider a number of different factors. Some of these include:

  • resolution
  • contrast ratio
  • lamp life (how long the lamp will last)
  • cost of ownership (will this be an expense you can afford?)

And anything else that might affect your decision making process!


Resolution is the number of pixels that a projector can display. It’s measured in inches, and it’s usually expressed as the size of your screen (or its native resolution). Most projectors have a native resolution of 2K or lower, which means they only have about 1 million horizontal pixels and 800 vertical ones to work with—theoretically speaking.

However, there are also some 4K projectors out there—and if you’re looking for the best picture quality possible from your home theater system, a higher-resolution display will help you achieve that goal.

Most projectors have some sort of optical engine that allows them to generate light by converting electricity into photons (light particles) so they can be projected onto your screen at different angles and distances away from each other; however this process can be difficult when trying to create large images with high resolutions since even though these machines may produce multiplexed signals via fiber optic cables inside their frames which makes it easier than ever before due having multiplexed signal paths where one cable carries both video data AND audio simultaneously; however this comes at cost because since these cables need space inside said housings which means less room available elsewhere within those same frames themselves!

Contrast ratio and black levels

Contrast ratio and black levels

Contrast ratio is the difference between the brightest and darkest parts of an image. It’s a measurement that helps you determine how bright or dark things look on your screen—and it’s measured in candelas per square meter (cd/m^2). The higher this number, the better your picture quality will be; if you want to see just how much contrast matters to you, check out our contrast ratio calculator!

Projector lamp life and cost of ownership

The lifespan of a projector lamp is one of the most important factors to consider when buying a new projector. If you’re going to be using your home theater projector for years and years, then it makes sense to spend extra money on high quality lamps that will last longer than cheaper models.

However, if you don’t plan on using your home theater projector for more than 10-20 years (which would require that you pay for expensive replacement bulbs), then paying more upfront might not be worth it considering how cheap replacement bulbs are now!

There are three types of lights: fluorescent light bulbs, tungsten filament lamps and organic light emitting diode (OLED) screens. Fluorescent lights tend to have shorter lifespans than other types because they use less energy but still burn out after 100 hours or so while tungsten filament lamps last up until 200 hours before needing replacement while OLED screens can handle over 500 hours before burning out completely

Throw distance, zoom, lens shift and keystone correction.

Throw distance is the distance from the screen to the projector. The throw distance you choose will depend on whether or not your room has enough floor space for it, and how much money you want to spend on a new projector.

Zoom is the ability to change how large an image gets on screen by changing its size without losing any quality. Some projectors have zoom while others don’t; if yours does then great! If not then consider buying one that does because it makes viewing easier when moving around in different spaces like dining rooms or living rooms with different sized spaces between them (elevators).

Lens shift allows users more flexibility when adjusting their seating positions around a room so they can see all parts comfortably without having objects appear out of place due to perspective distortion caused by lens shift controls being locked into place while watching movies/TV shows through these devices instead of eye glasses which have fixed lenses that won’t move outwards towards each other when looking up at things higher than head level – this happens quite often when someone sits directly below another person who’s taller than themselves but doesn’t sit at eye level because sitting directly below someone else increases their chances of getting headaches due

Color accuracy and color space.

Color accuracy and color space are two different aspects of projector performance. Color accuracy refers to the difference between what you see on your screen and what you should see, while color space measures how many colors your projector can display at once.

Color accuracy is measured in terms of delta E (Delta E), which is a mathematical formula that assigns an amount of error between 0 (no error) and 10 (maximum possible error). The lower this number is, the better: if it’s greater than 3 then there’s likely some sort of problem with your video source or calibration settings; if it’s lower than 1 then you’re good to go!

Color space is represented by three numbers: CIE Lab Value (L), CIE LaB 709 Luminance Ratio (Y), and Rec.2020 Coverage (%)

3D capabilities and glasses.

3D capabilities and glasses.

3D is a popular feature on home theater projectors, but it can be expensive to purchase the required glasses. Even if you don’t use them, the extra expense of buying 3D glasses for your projector is going to add up over time. If you want to save money on 3D glasses, consider getting 2D content instead of watching movies in 2D mode (which uses standard definition).

Inputs, audio output and wireless video

The inputs and outputs of a home theater projector are fairly simple. The HDMI port is where you’ll plug your cable box, game console or media player into your projector. The VGA port is used primarily for older computer monitors and TVs that don’t have HDMI ports. USB drives can be plugged into this as well if you want to play music or videos from them on your big screen.

The SD card slot allows users to transfer files between devices such as smartphones and tablets via wireless networks (WiFi).

Buying a projector is not as easy as it seems.

Buying a projector is not as easy as it seems. Projectors can be expensive, and there are many different types of projectors to choose from, so it’s important that you know what kind of projector will work best for your needs. If you’re new to home theater systems or have never had one before, this article will help guide your buying decisions and ensure that the purchase process goes smoothly.

It’s also important to keep in mind that not all projectors are created equal; some offer better image quality than others—and some even come equipped with built-in speakers! It’s also important not only how much money you want to spend on your new home theater system but also what type of content/media files would benefit most from using such a system (e.g., video streaming instead of Blu-ray discs).


In short, there are a lot of things to consider when buying a projector. It is important to understand what you need from your projection system and how much it will cost. We’ve covered a lot of information here and hopefully this article has helped clarify some of the biggest questions posed by potential buyers wondering about the best way to go about purchasing their own home theater projectors. If you have any other questions on specific models or would like more information on any topics mentioned here then please don’t hesitate to reach out via email or phone call!