Best 1080p Projectors

1080p projectors can provide an affordable 4K experience, so why should you consider these options over getting one of the best 4K projectors out there?

These projectors can offer a close to 4K experience at a fraction of the cost. The pixels that are produced by 1080p projectors are shifted in order to fit more pixels onto the screen. This practice of pixel shifting allows 1080p projectors to keep up with the amount of pixels produced.

The 1080p projectors can be called “Faux-K” because they do not fit the traditional standard of 4K pixels. These projectors can receive 4k content and can produce them with the amount of detail than other projectors. 

If you want to gain a high quality, theater experience within the comfort of your home, then a 1080p project may be right for you.

These are the best 1080p projectors that can produce “FauxK” content:

1080p Projector Reviews - Our Top 4 Picks

Best Choice: Optoma GT1080Darbee

Optoma GT1080Darbee

Key Features

  • Optimized connection for streaming devices
  • 16ms input lag for flawless gaming or viewing

Specifications

  • 3,000 Lumens
  • Throw Ratio → 0.49
  • Native Resolution
  • Contrast Ratio → 28,000:1
  • L x W x H → 8.8 x 12.37 x 4 inches
  • Power Supply → 2.8W Typical (BM), 262W Max (BM), 195W Typical (EM), 215W Max (EM)
  • Short Throw
  • Native Resolution
  • DarbeeVision
  • DLP

PROS

  • Clear-cut images
  • Enhanced gaming quality, making it easier to play fps games
  • Maintains image quality no matter what size screen

CONS

  • It tends to run harder on normal/bright settings making the projector heat up faster
  • Bright, but should be brighter
  • Small rainbow noticeable when close to the projection

Overall Performance

The Optoma GT1080Darbee is the best projector on the market today. Darbee provide more quality to the picture that does not degrade based on distance away from the screen. This projector has 3D capabilities allowing it to create the ultimate cinematic experience​, making it one of the best home theater projectors out there.

Unfortunately, the projector is loud, but it is incredibly optimized allowing customers to experience easy set-up and clear, sharpened images. It does not have the best settings for changing the projector screen zoom but does have built-in keystone settings.

But even then, there are some issues with adjusting the keystone. The Cinema Mode on the projector may present issues to the clarity of the projected images.

Optoma GT1080Darbee

The projector has a variety of wired connection capabilities as well as being able to connect to devices wirelessly allowing viewers the option of 2D or 3D viewing. 

Best Quality: Acer H755OSTz

Acer H755OSTz

Key Features

  • Wireless and Bluetooth capabilities
  • 3D ready
  • Hidden wireless adapter

Specifications

  • 3,000 Lumens
  • Power Supply= Universal AC input 100-240V, (frequency= 50/60 Hz)
  • Contrast Ratio= 16,000:1
  • L x W x H= 14 x 9.5 x 3.9 inches
  • DLP
  • Throw ratio= 100 inches at 1.5m
  • Short Throw

PROS

  • Quiet
  • Clear color
  • Mostly native resolution

CONS

  • Low quality picture in a light area
  • When setting up 3D controls, there have been issues with the Auto Setup option
  • No native resolution for the wireless dongle port

Overall Performance

The Acer H7550STz is an affordable high-quality projector that is one of the best projectors for gaming and also very good for cinema. The projector work at both home and work without the quality suffering drastically in the daytime. The picture is not a sharp with the lights on as it it is with them off. 

Acer H755OSTz

This projector is the quietest one on the list and works great with most devices. The speakers produce a high quality which could make it cheaper in the long run. There has been a common problem with the projector not optimizing anything on the wireless adapter.

Acer H755OSTz

The projector contains many keystone functions allowing users to get the most optimal picture from any projector angle. The WiFi capabilities makes it more accessible to other devices which in the long run will help to reduce the amount of wires in the area where the projector is being used. 

Best Value: BenQ HT215OST

Key Features

  • 2 HDMI inputs
  • 1 USB port
  • 1 mini-USB port
  • Compact with a sliding door for the lens

Specifications

  • 2,200 Lumens
  • Contrast Ratio → 15,000:1
  • Native Resolution
  • DLP color wheel
  • Throw Ratio → 0.69 ~0.83/ 1.2x
  • L x W x H → 4.79 x 14.98 x 10.91 inches
  • Power Supply → AC100 to 240V (Consumes 353W/110V)
  • Short Throw

PROS

  • Quiet
  • 2 Built-in speakers
  • RGBRGB color wheel
  • 16.67 ms low input lag
  • Input lag changes based on mode (i.e. gaming mode, theater mode, etc.)

CONS

  • No vents on the top and bottom of the projector
  • Adjustment issues with the front legs

Overall Performance

The BenQ HT215OST has made the list on multiple projector favorites and there is no question as to why that is. This projector has optimal resolution, sound, and responsiveness. This makes it the ultimate projector for any gaming or cinematic needs. Furthermore, it's close to being the best cheap projector available on the market!

BenQ HT215OST

The quality of the images projected does not suffer in a lighted room, which makes it more available to use throughout the day. This projector provides smooth gaming in fps games without making audiences suffer from latency issues. 

Best 1080p Projectors: Honorable Mention

ViewSonic 1080p Short Throw Projector

Key Features

  • Reduced input latency
  • HD Resolution
  • Produces 100-inch images
  • 5W internal speakers

Specifications

  • 3,000 Lumens
  • Short throw lens
  • L x W x H → 4.53 x 11.53 x 8.66 inches
  • Contrast Ratio → 22,000:1
  • DLP
  • Power Supply → 100-240 +/- 10% (50/60 Hz Ac)

PROS

  • Quiet, but can be heard when nothing is playing
  • Can plug in phone or laptop for mirror screen capabilities
  • Reduced input latency

CONS

  • When changing to Gaming Mode you have to readjust the screen
  • Brightness issues for everything except movies
  • Rainbow effect

Overall Performance

The ViewSonic is another great projector for both gaming and movies. The projector contains a high lamp light and connects to most devices. It has the standard 16ms latency which is not great, but games are still playable.

ViewSonic 1080p Short Throw Projector

The differences between viewing modes were reported to not have that much of an effect on quality, except on Eco mode. Using it for gaming only may not be the best option but it works well for just watching movies or shows.

There has also been a commonly reported issue of a rainbow effect for certain games or anything with subtitles.

For the price it is a good projector if you want cinematic quality in shows. This projector is perfect when it comes to smaller room sizes and contains auto keystone correction functions. 

ViewSonic 1080p Short Throw Projector

Even though long periods of use at one time are not recommended, the picture creates clear, sharp, quality images making your cinematic experience all the more enjoyable. It is compatible with most PCs and Macs

1080p Projector Buying Guide

Here are some factors to consider before buying a 1080p projector, or any projector in general for that matter. This is to help with the projector terminology as well as understanding what factors need to be considered before purchasing.

This list coincides with why the chosen projectors will help you as a consumer to see why the specs are so important. Hopefully it will help you to decide which projector is truly perfect for your home.

Lumens: How it Affects Presentation Based on Room Lighting

Lumens are the amount of the light output given off by a projector. This in turn decides how bright the image itself will look when it is projected. There are other factors when it comes to determining the light output, such as DLP and LCD which should be taken into more consideration than lumens. Basically, this gives customers the ideal amount of light output but does not give quite enough detail of the projected images on its own.

lumens brightness guide

The given amount of lumens in a projector is often provided hand-in-hand with the contrast ratio in order to help customers understand the total output given by a projector.

The contrast ratio represents the black and white parts of an image in the form of a ratio. The higher the ratio, the clearer the image.

Resolution: How Native Resolution Compares to Max Resolution

Resolution is the number of pixels contained within an image. This is important in determining the size of the image you want to project. The spacing has a big effect on how the images will appear in terms of clarity and quality.

Native resolution is important in that it shows the true capabilities of a projector. This sets the bar to the number of pixels that can actually be presented throughout the projected image.

Max resolution converts the signals from devices into projected images. This allows the projector to read the size of the image from whatever device is being used to recreate those images onto the screen.

Throw Projections: Why Placement Matters

Throw is the term used to describe how the projected image will look on the screen based on how close or far away the projector is to said screen. The farther away the projector is the larger the image. However, this can also make the image light dim.

The various types of projectors will discuss how close or far away the projector can be from the screen in order to obtain the perfect throw ratio for your viewing pleasure. The types of throws typically known are; ultra-short, short, and long throw.

projector installations

The projectors listed above belong to either the ultra-short throw or the short throw groups. These are perfect for smaller spaces including, the office, the home, or in a classroom.

Short projectors are perfect for either on the ceiling or next to where the image will be presented. These types can be positioned a little further away from the desired area, should you want to be relatively close to where the projector is positioned.

Ultra-Short projectors are perfect for casting images with little to no glare. They need to be almost right next to where the image will be presented. This type of projector is perfect when you want to have a setup relatively farther away from where the audience will be seated, without losing that cinematic feel.

Keystone: How it can Affect Your Interest in a Product

Keystoning is used to describe the projection angle when a projector is not positioned at a flat, horizontal angle. This is probably the most important thing when it comes to setting up a projector at just the right angle. If it is off even by a little, the screen will be off and quite distracting.

The keystone can be fixed by changing the positioning of the projector. However, there are a lot of modern projectors that have a feature that allows the projector lens to change the angle of how it is looking at the screen. This is especially useful when you have just completed setting up your screen and have finally found the perfect place for your projector.

It should be remembered that fixing the keystone through the projector controls is not a permanent fix. This helps when you are in a bind, but eventually the best way to fix the keystone is to readjust the projector itself to align with the screen.

1080p Projector: Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some questions that can help in choosing which projector is right for you.

Do 1080p projectors overheat easily?

This depends on the light source used inside of the projector. This all depends on proper care of the projector.

Simple things like keeping the area clean and clear next to a projector will help. There are also useful YouTube videos on proper projector care that will help keep the projector clean and running smoothly.

Another thing to keep in mind is the type of power source that a projector requires. This can degrade a projector over time.

The fans in a projector will help keep it cool, but it all comes down to placement and ensuring the fans are not blocked and the area around the projector is clean and spacious. 

How does DLP compare to LCD in a 1080p projector?

Digital Light Processing, or DLP for short, refers to a color wheel that helps to produce more defined images. These can be a bit pricey but will provide the closest at-home representation of cinema worthy projections.

Liquid Crystal Display, or LCD for short, focuses on the 3 primary colors (RGB) for creating images. These tend to be cheaper in price, but they can also be a bit more taxing on the projector lighting.  If you're interested, take a look at some of the best LCD projectors available.

However, both types can have issues with the contrast ratio, but they can also shine in that regard.

Initially, it boils down to what projector you are interested in and how their initial contrast ratios are given. Later LCD models have been performing better when it comes to presenting sharper images, but again any DLP model can do that as well depending on the type of projector.

How does the latency in 1080p projectors compare to 4K televisions when it comes to gaming?

It depends on the projector, but most projectors have a higher amount of ms compared to a television. The BenQ HT215OST has the lowest amount of ms compared to other projectors which makes gaming easier.

The Gaming Mode on a projector will also when in changing the latency, but again it depends on the projector and ultimately budget and space as well.

This may also depend on the type of games being played, either console or pc which could end up being a waste if the games themselves are not optimized to 4k. 

Is it difficult to find a 1080p projector that has no keystone issues?

Yes and no. Newer models have settings to correct the keystone without having to manually move the projector.

But not every projector type is perfect and there can still be some issues with getting the correct squareness of the projected image. 

How does a 1080p projector compare to a 4K projector?

This depends on how big the screen is and what type of brand of projector is being used. A 4k projector will produce a clearer image but the 1080p still runs rather smoothly.

There are a lot of 1080p projectors that can produce a clear, sharp image while gaming that comes near to a 4k projection.

The input lag on a 1080p projector is a bit higher than a 4k projector, but that does not mean the game is unplayable. 1080p projectors are cheaper than 4k, but that does not mean that the quality is bad. 

What devices might suffer from using a 1080p projector?

That depends on which projector is being used and what type of games are being played. Some 1080p projects can handle non-intensive fps games, but there are still issues.

Also, if the device has a dongle for connecting a casting device, there might not be optimizations for what is being streamed. Changing the presentation mode can help fix this, but the device may not be completely optimized for streaming. 

Conclusion

Projectors have continued to be a fun tool for entertainment that allows people to gain that envied cinematic experience within the comfort of their own homes. The list provided gives prospecting customers an idea of where to start and what truly matters in obtaining the perfect entertainment feature.

These projectors offer quality ways of experience the movies within your home and immersive gaming interactions to bring you the best perception of entertainment. They also bring a better form of social interactions by bringing the movie experience into your house.

While there are issues and drawbacks for projectors, the overall quality and experience is well worth the effort.

Sources

My name is Steve Scott. Father of 2 and owner of Outdoor Movie HQ. I’ve been involved in the A/V industry for most of my life and built this blog to help people better understand projector technology. Please leave a comment if you have any questions.

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