The 5 Best 4k Projectors in 2019

Steve Scott

Updated on

4K projectors, pricey yet worthwhile. What are they, and why should you want one?

There are two kinds of 4K projectors: ones with true 4K UHD and ones with 4K enhancement technology. True 4K UHD brings a little more than 8 megapixels to your screen, which is 4x the amount that 1080p has, while 4K enhancement shifts 1080p pixels to create 4K images that can barely be told apart from true 4K. Through this, 4K projectors give you very detailed images with amazing contrast and more saturated colors. 

4K projectors allow you to sit closer to the screen than regular projectors and see all of the image’s details and be immersed in its pictures. If you have a small room, you could even use a short throw 4K projector. They won’t be discussed here, but if you’re interested, check out our list of best short throw projectors.

If you want to see images in the best immersive and cinematic resolution yet, then you’re going to want to get a 4k projector.

Now that you guys know this, let’s get onto the best 4K projectors out there:

4k Projector Reviews - Our Top 5 Picks

Optoma UHD60

Specifications

  • L x W x H → 13 x 19.6 x 6 in
  • Weight → 16 lbs
  • Display Technology → DLP
  • Connectivity Technology → VGA cable, USB, HDMI, HDCP
  • Image Brightness → 3,000 lumens
  • Contrast Ratio → 1,000,000:1 with Dynamic Black enabled
  • Resolution → UHD (3840 x 2160)

Key Features

  • True 4K UHD Resolution
  • HDR-10 Support
  • Flexible zoom, throw, and shift
  • Amazing Color Gamut
  • Bigger picture
  • 1,000,000:1 Contrast Ratio

PROS

  • Outstanding 4K and picture quality
  • Razor sharp images
  • Very Bright
  • Dynamic Black gives an amazing contrast ratio
  • Can connect to many devices

CONS

  • Common HDMI port malfunctions
  • No keystone
  • Large
  • Plastic unit build

Overall Performance

Equipped with outstanding true 4K UHD resolution and picture quality, the Optoma UHD60 is an amazing projector to satisfy your 4K home theater needs. Giving a bigger picture than other projectors, you can be 10 feet away from the UHD60 and still experience its 4K pixels.

The UHD60 packs 3,000 lumens which displays very bright, razor-sharp images. With HDR-10 support producing the blackest blacks and whitest whites, and a Dynamic Black mode that gives a massive 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio, the UHD60 brings astounding pictures to your screen. Not only is the picture’s contrast great, but the UHD60’s color gamut also allows you to enjoy a large array of colors.

The unit itself has many cords and connections for devices to connect to it. It even has the great feature of a flexible zoom, throw, and shift.

Yet, the unit is massive, heavy, plastic and, I apologize but, crappy. It also lacks a keystone and it’s reported to have common HDMI port malfunctions.

Yet the astounding picture quality, contrast, and brightness that it brings to your screen make those negatives not matter in this superior build.

If you want to learn about this projector in even more detail, check out our Optoma UHD60 4K Review

Epson Home Cinema 4010

Specifications

  • L x W x H → 17.7 x 20.5 x 6.7 in
  • Weight → 24.3 lbs
  • Display Technology → 3LCD
  • Connectivity Technology → HDMI, USB
  • Image Brightness → 2,400 lumens
  • Contrast Ratio → Up to 200,000:1
  • Resolution → 4K enhancement (1920 x 1080 x 2); Max Res. 4096 x 2160 

Key Features

  • 4K Pro-UHD
  • 4K pixel-shifting resolution enhancement technology
  • Phenomenal color gamut
  • Advanced 3LCD Projection
  • HDR
  • Frame interpolation/motion control

PROS

  • Resourceful lens-shift
  • Beautiful 4K
  • Easy set-up and use
  • Amazing video quality
  • Very quiet
  • Explosion of colors

CONS

  • Large
  • Not real 4K
  • Difficult to mount due to size

Overall Performance

An easy projector to set up and use with features that put many other projectors to shame, the Epson Home Cinema 4010 is our choice for best quality.

With 4K pixel-shifting resolution enhancement technology, and HDR, the Epson 4010 uses advanced 3LCD projection to make your 4K and UHD movies stand out beautifully. This is only aided more by the Epson 4010’s extreme color gamut which can display Full 3D DCI-P3 color space; leading to an explosion of colors.

When discussing the unit itself, the 4010’s quietness is much enjoyed, as well as its frame interpolation and motion control. You can shift its motorized lens up to 96% on the horizontal axis and 47% on the vertical. If need be, you can even set its zoom and focus to suit your needs and store these settings and the lens’ shift in one of the 4010’s ten presets.

Though, like the UHD60, the 4010 is large and heavy. This makes it difficult to mount because you need to find something that can hold its weight and keep it stable.

Along with this, the 4K the 4010 produces is enhanced and not real. Though many people can’t tell the difference, you may be able to.

Regardless, the images the 4010 displays still look amazing and it is hard to tell them apart from true 4K. This projector is one of the best home theater projectors, and is not one you’d want to miss out on.

BenQ TK800

Specifications

  • L x W x H → 13.9 x 10.7 x 5.3 in
  • Weight → 9.26 lbs
  • Display Technology → DLP
  • Connectivity Technology → HDMI
  • Image Brightness → 3,000 lumens
  • Contrast Ratio → 10,000:1
  • Resolution → 4K2K with 4-way XPR (1920 x 1080)

Key Features

  • 4K UHD
  • 8.3 million pixels
  • HDR-10 support
  • Five picture modes
  • 4K color wheel
  • Auto Vertical Keystone
  • Up to 10,000 hours of lamp life

PROS

  • Sharp 4K and HDR images
  • Beautiful picture
  • Great for gaming
  • Very sharp and bright picture

CONS

  • Poor blacks and shadows
  • Noisy
  • Halo effect
  • Less accurate colors

Overall Performance

8.3 million pixels, a 4K color wheel, and sharp 4K and HDR images are only part of what the BenQ TK800 brings to the field. Our choice for best value, the TK800 has five picture modes: Vivid TV, Sport, Bright, Football, and Cinema Mode - of which Football seems to be the favorite.

The TK800 is known for its brightness. It will give you very sharp and bright pictures from all 3,000 of its lumens. This brightness and its HDR-10 support combine to produce beautiful pictures.

With an Eco Mode giving up to 10,000 hours of lamp life, the TK800 can live long before needing a bulb replacement. The TK800 is even equipped with a vertical keystone that automatically corrects itself. And with 50-52ms of lag, the TK800 is great for gaming. 

But this comes at the expense of less accurate colors and a noisy fan. This isn’t really a problem if you rather a bright picture over color. If this explains your wants, check out this video to see why the TK800 is perfect for you:

The TK800’s picture has also been said to have poor blacks and shadows from its low contrast ratio. Many people have even gotten the halo effect - where there is a border of light around your screen - using this model.

Despite this, the TK800 is still an amazing projector, especially for gamers and TV watchers alike. Even with its problems, its images are still very bright, sharp, and beautiful.

BenQ TK800

Best 4k Projectors: Honorable Mentions

Optoma UHD51A Projector

Specifications

  • L x W x H → 15.4 x 11.1 x 5.1 in
  • Weight → 11.75 lbs
  • Display Technology → DLP
  • Connectivity Technology → USB, wireless
  • Image Brightness → 2,400
  • Contrast Ratio → Up to 500,000:1 with Dynamic Black
  • Resolution → 4K UHD (3840 x 2160)

Key Features

  • 4K UHD Resolution
  • Up to 500,000:1 contrast ratio with Dynamic Black
  • Voice Control and compatibility through Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant
  • Amazing color and contrast
  • Blu-Ray 3D-Ready

PROS

  • 3D
  • Sharp image
  • Great contrast
  • Incredible 4K image
  • Works great with Alexa
  • Adjustable image size and focus

CONS

  • No digital keystone
  • Alexa set-up issues

Overall Performance

A smart projector that is different from the rest on this list, the Optoma UHD51A is our first choice for honorable mention.

Just like the Optoma UHD60, the UHD51A is equipped with Dynamic Black mode. While the contrast ratio here is half that of UHD60, it still brings an astoundingly beautiful picture to your screen. This will make your 4K movies and games stand out brilliantly with the UHD51A’s 4K UHD resolution. Combining this with the UHD51A’s 3D and Blu-Ray 3D-Ready features makes for amazing pictures to display upon your screen.

But that is not all there is to just the image alone. The UHD51A projects a very sharp image that you won’t want to miss out on. Even the colors are amazing. And if you have problems with the image, you can adjust the image’s focus and size with its vertical lens shift and 1.3x zoom features.

The feature that makes the UHD51A smart is its compatibility with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. You can control the UHD51A through voice control using these devices, telling it to play your movie, turn on and off, adjust the volume, and so on.

The problems with UHD51A are small compared to the power that it brings to your screen. It lacks a digital keystone, but this is because the vertical lens shift won’t degrade the 4K image quality like the keystone would.

There have also been problems with setting up Alexa, but, these problems don’t seem to be overly common, and most people enjoy using Alexa with the UHD51A. If the Amazon Alexa is the selling point for you, just be wary that there have been complaints about using her and setting her up.

This all being said, the UHD51A is a great projector that packs immersive 4K picture quality along with 3D and Amazon Alexa compatibility.

Viewsonic PX747-4K Day and Night Home Theater

Specifications

  • L x W x H → 13.07 x 10.28 x 5.31 in
  • Weight → 8.11lbs
  • Display Technology → DLP
  • Connectivity Technology → USB, HDMI
  • Image Brightness → 3,500 lumens
  • Contrast Ratio → 12,000:1
  • Resolution → UHD (3840 x 2160)

Key Features

  • Beautiful 4K UHD Resolution
  • Bright images in any environment
  • HDR support
  • Powerful 10W Speaker
  • Up to 15,000 hours of lamp life

PROS

  • Very bright
  • True 4K resolution
  • HDR compatible
  • Easy to Use
  • Beautiful picture
  • Works in broad daylight

CONS

  • No 3D
  • Color quality is not that good
  • Bad black level
  • Loud noises

Overall Performance

The brightest projector on this list with 3,500 lumens, the easy to use Viewsonic PX747-4K is a great 4K projector and our second choice for honorable mention.

With its amazing brightness, the PX747-4K is great whether it is day or night, inside or outside. If you’re really interested in projecting outside, we also list the best outdoor projectors.

The PX747-4K produces bright images in broad daylight and still looks beautiful in rooms with ambient lighting. The PX747-4K having 4K UHD resolution only adds to the beautiful pictures that it displays. And while its contrast is low, its HDR compatibility brings out blacker blacks and whiter whites.

With a SuperEco mode that gives it a long lamp life of up to 15,000 hours while maintaining a significant brightness, if you are looking for something to last, then you may like the PX747-4K. 

But the PX747-4K comes with an array of downsides. The PX747-4K is loud and suffers from not having 3D compatibility.

The PX747-4K also has a bad black level, which is the darkness of the black colors that a projector can reflect. This makes it is harder for you to see details in dark areas of the PX747-4K’s projected images.

The color quality of the PX747-4K is not that good either. While very bright, just like the TK800, the color takes a downfall. If you admire great color quality, then you may not like the PX747-4K.

But if you’re looking for a very bright projector that you can use anywhere and any time, then you’re going to want to consider the PX747-4K.

Best 4k Projectors: Buyer’s Guide

There are many things to consider when buying a projector from brightness to resolution to contrast ratio and so on. Here are a few pointers to help you out to buy the right projector for you.

Display Technology: DLP or LCD

A projector’s display technology is determined whether it uses Digital Light Processing (DLP), Liquid Crystal Display (LCD), or other technologies such as Light-Emitting Diodes (LEDs), Direct-Drive Image Light Amplification (D-ILA), etc., to project its images. We will discuss DLP and LCD, the most common, here.

DLP projectors use a spinning color wheel, millions of microscopic mirrors in its DLP chip, and a lamp to produce its images. The mirror structure in DLP projectors allows for there to be a fine image without the lattice effect that LCD projectors have. Also, DLP projectors have closed systems that block out dust and smaller parts that allow for their builds to be lighter and smaller than LCD projectors. This makes DLP projectors require little to no maintenance.

Yet, unlike LCD, DLP has moving pieces which can result in the common DLP rainbow effect.

LCD uses three LCD panels - red, green, and blue - and a lamp to create its image. LCDs are heavier, cheaper, and have no moving parts. They produce brighter and sharper high-quality images with greater color than DLPs. Yet, LCDs require a lot of filter replacements and constant maintenance due to a huge dust problem. While their images are great, the cost of constant maintenance is enough to make people buy other projectors.

A better alternative to both of these are LED projectors. Though not as bright as LCDs, they live longer, have better color, and require little to no maintenance. Check out this article here to see how LED projectors compare to LCDs.

Maintenance: Keeping Your Projector Working for A Long Time

As we just mentioned, maintenance can be a deal breaker with projectors. Maintenance includes buying new bulbs, changing your projector’s filter, and making sure your projector is in tip-top shape.

LCD projectors need persistent maintenance due to their dust problem, but that doesn’t mean that you should only worry if you get an LCD projector. You should make sure that your projector is always performing its best.

Your projector’s lifespan speaks a lot about it. Most projectors have a lamp life of 2,000-4,000 hours, disregarding Eco Modes. You will notice that a lamp has reached this point when it is half as bright as it should be. This should alert you that you need to change it.

If you don’t use the projector often, or only use it for movies, meetings, or certain events, then you shouldn’t have to worry. But, if you use it daily for hours, then this should be something to consider. Most lamps are around $200-$400, so be cognizant of your projector’s lamp life.

If you want a projector that’s going to last a long time, consider an LED or Laser projector. They last up to 20,000 hours or more and do not need bulb replacements. 

Projector Working for A Long Time

Connectivity: Making Sure You Have the Right Inputs

Connectivity refers to the inputs that a projector offers. You should know a projector’s inputs so that you know what you can use with it.

While there are some projectors now which actually have bluetooth, it is not that common. The most common inputs are VGA, DVI, and HDMI ports. If you plan to use your projector for gaming or movies, then you’re going to want an HDMI port. HDMI transfers the best image and sound of all of these.

Another connection that is enjoyed, especially for meetings and presentations, is the USB port. This is very handy, so look out for it when searching for a projector just in case you think you need it.

There are many other connection inputs. Knowing which ones your projector has for you to work with is a must.

Best 4K Projectors: Frequently Asked Questions

There are several common questions that continue to come up with 4K projectors. We answer them here.

Are 4K projectors worth it?

This truly depends on what you’re looking to use it for. If you want to just watch TV on it, then no, it’s not worth it, but if you want to watch movies, stream video games, Blu-Ray, etc., then this is for you.

The problem for most people is the price. 4K projectors bring sharper, more detailed, more realistic, and more beautiful images to your screen. The picture quality is outstanding, and the 4K images will immerse you into them.

If you don’t think that the realistic and astounding picture quality is necessary for the cost of the projector, then don’t get it. Otherwise, if you can afford it, why not? Take a look at some of our favorite cheap 4K projectors.

What projector screen is good for 4k projectors?

There isn’t one singular answer to this question because the screen depends on many things: ambient light, your projector’s throw, seating distance, screen size, etc. Your main concern should be getting a large screen that fits your room and the projector. A larger screen will let you see the details better, and the right screen surface can display better images.

Before buying any screen, make sure to get a warranty just in case you need a replacement. If you plan to have an outdoor theater, then it might be even better to build your own screen. You can see more about that here.

What is HDR tone mapping?

Tone mapping refers to reducing the tonal values of an image. HDR tone mapping works to fix HDR’s dynamic range and make the details in high contrast images stand out and not be hidden in dark shadows.

What is the difference between HD and HDR?

HD stands for High Definition and just means a higher pixel count with a higher resolution and better colors and images than older resolutions, which is anything less than 720p.

HDR stands for High-Dynamic Range. HDR brings out the brightest whites and darkest blacks, basically enhancing contrast, by blending the overexposed, underexposed, and normally exposed parts of an image. 

Which is better: UHD or HDR?

This is another question that cannot be answered because UHD stands for Ultra-High Definition resolution, being 4K with 3840x2160 pixels.

HDR is High-Dynamic Range, bringing out the darkest blacks and brightest whites. While HDR adds a lot to your viewing experience and is supported in 4K UHD projectors, it is not a resolution.

How many lumens do you need to project in daylight?

This question doesn’t have a singular answer. It depends on your screen size and environment. If you’re outside in daylight, then you’re going to need a lot of lumens, possibly up to 12,000, though the picture quality won’t be good.

If you’re inside, it depends on how much light is in the room and the size of the room. With high ambient light, you need at least 4,000 lumens. It is recommended that you block out as much daylight and ambient light as you can to observe a picture at its finest. 

Conclusion

There are many great options to choose above whether you want a 4K projector that is very bright, good for gaming, or just great for your home theater. All of them will give you great images in 4K that you will love.

Go over all of your options carefully before going out and buying everything you need. Each object, whether the projector, screen, or seating distance, depends on the other.

And if you use our FAQ and Buyer’s Guide, you’re sure to be able to find that perfect projector for your 4K home theater.

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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