Best HD Projectors

Steve Scott

Updated on

It's time to talk HD guys. 🤩

It is now 2019. There is no reason for anyone to be suffering by playing video games or watching TV shows or movies in any resolution less than HD. HD, which is also known as 1080P or 1080 pixels, has become the standard for modern visual entertainment.

Of course, you can still totally enjoy your video games or TV shows in SD (standard definition) rather than high definition. However, 4K (the next step past HD) is growing more and more accessible. 4K, at the moment, is still too pricey though. Because 4K is still a bit unreachable and SD is becoming old news, HD is today’s standard for viewing movies and TV and for playing video games.

If you really care about the quality of your visual entertainment, you probably already have a TV that is HD compatible and prefer Blu-rays or DVDs. If that is the case, then why get a projector that can’t handle HD? There are now a lot of options for HD projectors on the market, so here is a list of the four strongest ones.

This should help to narrow down your search for the projector with the best HD visuals for you.

HD Projector Reviews - Our Top 4 Picks

BenQ SH960 Full HD Projector

Key Features:

  • 5,500 Lumens
  • Contrast Ratio: 3,000:1
  • Native Aspect Ratio: 16:9
  • Throw Ratio: 1.62 to 2.43 meters
  • Image Size: 28 to 500 inches

PROS

  • High Contrast Ratio
  • Great Picture Quality
  • Amazing for Gaming

CONS

  • Expensive
  • Not Very Portable

Overview:

With the BenQ SH960 Full HD Projector, you will without a doubt get the most beautiful looking HD visuals around. 

To start, it uses 5,500 lumens, so it is absolutely bright enough to be visible in any room even if it is not completely dark. Brightness like this is helpful because while television screens are backlit, projectors can’t be. They just produce a light in the direction you aim it, so it needs to be a pretty bright light.

Your Own Personal Movie Theater

The size of the image this projector produces is astounding for something you can have in your own home. It has an image size from 28 inches up to 500 inches. That means that you can have a projector produce an image that is almost as huge as what you would see in a movie theater. If you are a classic video game fan, imagine hooking this up to a PlayStation 4 when Final Fantasy 7 Remake releases to get the best possible look at the updated HD graphics. That is definitely an experience I would be excited over.

The projector’s contrast ratio of 3,000:1 is the standard contrast ratio for projectors. This means that the colors on the projected image will be bright and vibrant.

The native aspect ratio of 16:9 means that without having to fumble around with settings, the projected image will automatically be the same rectangular shape that you see on a movie theater screen or on your flat screen TV. If you want to, you are still able to change it to a more square shape to match certain projector screens like the ones found in old classrooms.

This projector has a throw ratio of 1.62 to 2.43 meters. Throw ratio is used to determine the throw distance, or how far away from the screen you are able to have the projector lens in order to get a clear picture. This throw ratio would come out to a pretty large distance. This basically means that you will be able to have the projector set up in any size room and still get a very clear picture.

Downsides:

Great Projector for a Not-So-Great Price

The price unfortunately does make this projector somewhat inaccessible. The BenQ SH960 Full HD Projector costs over $3,000. As amazing as this particular projector is, you might be able to find something that fits your needs almost as much while still being on a budget.

Some have stated that the projected image is too bright initially, which can strain your eyes just as much if it is too dark. However, you can set it so that one of the bulbs in the lamp is off until the other one becomes dim. By doing this, you also basically double the lamp life.

If you want to experience the amazing HD quality visuals of the BenQ SH960 Full HD Projector, and do not mind the high price.

Sony VPLHW45ES Home Theater

Key Features:

  • 1,800 Lumens
  • Contrast Ratio: 60,000:1
  • Image Size: 51 to 162 inches
  • Throw distance: 8 to 16 feet
  • 6,000 hours of lamp life

PROS

  • Vivid Images
  • Great for Large Presentations
  • Excellent Durability

CONS

  • Expensive
  • Loud Fans

Overview:

If you are a Sony fanatic like I am, you probably had a Sony TV, a Sony sound system, and each variation of the Sony PlayStation. If this is the case, you are probably also looking for a Sony projector. The Sony VPLHW45ES Home Theater is probably the best home theater projector on the market.

Vibrant Colors

It has a contrast ratio of 60,000:1. This is much higher than what other projectors would typically have. That means that the colors are going to be much more vivid and will pop a lot more than what you will see elsewhere. Think of how good that will look in HD.

The size of the image produced by the projector can be from 51 inches to 162 inches. Therefore, the projector can provide you with something to watch that is double the size of what you would consider to be a large TV screen. Since you are specifically looking for an HD projector, the viewing size is just as important so that you can get the best view of those gorgeous HD visuals.

The projector’s lamp uses 1,800 lumens. This is about average compared to other projectors. This means that it is about as bright as other projectors are, so you will be able to see the projected visuals in a reasonably darkened room.

The lamp on the projector can last up to around 6,000 hours. This is a little above the average length of life for a projector lamp. Getting to 6,000 hours of use will most likely be tough to actually to reach, so I doubt you will need to replace it. If you do, it would most likely take a few years to do so.

The throw distance of the Sony VPLHW45ES Home Theater is 8 feet to 16 feet. So, if you are planning on setting the projector up in a large living room, you absolutely can.

Downsides:

Annoying Fan Noise

The Sony VPLHW45ES Home Theater has an unfortunately loud fan. The fan successfully cools the device just fine. It is just noisey, which can be annoying when trying to watch a movie or play a video game.

There are no audio outputs, which makes using external speakers extremely difficult unless you use a wireless connection.

The menus on the projector are numerous and gratuitous. They can be confusing if you are trying to mess around with them.

The throw distance of 8 to 16 feet may be great for letting you be able to set the projector up in large rooms. However, if you were thinking of setting up the projector in your smaller living room, you might have a bit on a problem. You might be placing the projector too close to the screen or wall. This can potentially cause the projected image from being faded, distorted, blurry, or just too big for whatever surface you are trying to use.

This is another pricey projector. It costs almost $2,000, which can be brutal if you were planning on looking for something on the cheaper side. If that is the case, take a look at some of the best cheap projectors out there.

Overall, the Sony VPLHW45ES Home Theater is an especially great projector with outstanding HD visual quality. 

Artlii Full HD Home Theater Projector

Key Features:

  • 3,600 Lumens
  • Image size can reach up to 200 inches
  • Contrast Ratio: 3,000:1
  • Two HiFi Built-in Speakers

PROS

  • Great Connectivity
  • Amazing Value
  • Built-in HiFi Speakers
  • Excellent for Gaming

CONS

  • No Bluetooth Connectivity
  • Can Get Blurry
  • Short Power Cord

Overview:

The Artlii Full HD Home Theater Projector is a terrific choice for an HD projector at a considerably low price.

Compatible With Everything

This projector is compatible with video game systems, Blu-ray and DVD players, laptops, smartphones, and TV boxes. It will fit any need you would want a projector for.

At 3,6000 lumens, the projected image is very bright. This is perfect for seeing the desired high definition effects of whatever video game you are playing or movie you are watching.

The size of the projected image can reach up to 200 inches. This is more than double the size of any television you can get. This makes it much easier to view those amazing HD visuals. It also means that you can essentially turn your home into a mini movie theater.

The two HiFi speakers that are built in to the projector are fantastic. HiFi means that the speakers produce high fidelity sound. In other words, the projector’s speakers will produce sound with very little to no distortion. Every sound will come in crystal clear. Having two of these speakers will make the audio that much more enjoyable. There is absolutely no need to waste money on external speakers for this projector.

The Artlii Full HD Home Theater Projector has a particularly great contrast ratio. The contrast ratio is 3,000:1. The contrast ratio refers to the projected image’s colors. It tells us how many times brighter the whitest white is then the blackest black. So, having a contrast ratio of 3,000:1 means the white is 3,000 times brighter than the black. This makes the colors of what you are watching or playing more vivid and really pop.

An HDMI cable comes with the projector, which is great because then you do not have to spend even more of your hard-earned money buying an HDMI cable separately. 

Downsides:

Bigger Size, Blurrier Image

If you do go for that bigger image size, it does affect the projector’s brightness. At almost the maximum size, the picture does seem to become a bit darker.

The projected image does look perfectly sharp. However, it can sometimes take some effort getting it to look that way. The image can appear sharp in some places, but blurry in others. Upon adjusting it so that the one part is not blurry, it can cause another part to become blurry. Enough fiddling around with it will give you the picture quality you desire, but it is a bit too much effort for something that should work correctly right out of the box.

Although this is a terrific projector, it is not compatible with Bluetooth. I personally feel as though that just about any modern electronic device should have Bluetooth, so this is a weird problem to have. It is limiting as to how you connect other devices to the projector.

The power cord is on the shorter side. This is not a huge problem, as there are plenty ways around it including using extension cords or power strips. However, this issue can potentially limit where you mount the projector.

Even though this projector supports connectivity to smartphones, some people have reported issues with doing so. Apparently, actually connecting your smartphone to the projector is a difficult and tedious process. We live in a world that is practically run by smartphones, so this is another strange issue for a modern HD projector to have.

CiBest Video Projector

Key Features:

  • 2,500 Lumens
  • Image Size: 33 to 170 inches
  • Throw Distance: 5 to 16.4 feet
  • Contrast Ratio: 2,000:1

PROS

  • Lightweight and Portable
  • Great Viewing Size
  • Versatile Range

CONS

  • Bad Speaker
  • No Image Size Adjustment Options

Overview:

The CiBest Video Projector is one of the best HD video projectors that you can get at a low price. It only costs about $75, which is an especially amazing deal if you compare it to the projectors that cost thousands of dollars. 

More Portable Than Other Projectors

Another feature that makes this a great deal is how portable it is compared to other HD projectors. It is very lightweight and is small enough to fit in your hand. A lot of HD projectors can be pretty bulky, so this is a nice treat. With this, you can take it to your office meetings or to your buddy’s house much easier than you could with a different projector.

The 2,500 lumens makes this projector bright enough to be seen in rooms that are not completely dark. This is around the average for projectors, so brightness certainly will not be an issue with this one.

Small projectors like this do not always have a great viewing size, but this one does. The size of the projected image can be from 33 inches to 170 inches. A TV screen of 60 to 80 images is considered large, so this at its maximum is extraordinarily large.

The throw distance of this projector is 5 to 16.4 feet. That means that the projector can be from 5 feet to 16.4 feet away from the wall or screen you are using to watch or play things on in order to get a clear image. This is a pretty versatile range, so you can most likely have the projector mounted in almost any size living room. I personally do not have a huge living room, so I am happy that there is an option that gives me the ability to have the projector mounted just 5 feet from the screen and still come in clearly.

This projector’s contrast ratio is 2,000:1. This is a fairly average contrast ratio for a projector, so the colors will be as dynamic as they would be on most other projectors. At least they will not look washed out.

Downsides:

Poor Audio Quality

The speaker is not great. It is really low compared to other projectors. Using an external speaker is heavily recommended for use with this particular projector.

If you have the projector closer to the maximum recommended distance from the screen or wall, the visuals become a little blurry and the colors appear washed out.

There is no way to adjust the image size without physically moving the projector itself. This is really obnoxious when you just want to kick back, relax, and play some video games or watch a movie. There are some other projectors that allow you to adjust the image size with the controls on the device itself.

We now live in an age where we spoil ourselves with gorgeous visuals and effects in video games, TV shows, and movies. The bar for visuals has been raised after movies like Guardians of the Galaxy, TV shows like Game of Thrones, and video games like The Last of Us. This is precisely why we need high definition devices to enjoy these amazing feats in visual media.

You can watch things in HD on your laptops and smartphones, and you have an HD TV, so why settle for a projector that is less than HD? Hopefully this list of incredible HD projectors helped you find the perfect one for your viewing needs. Also, make sure you have an amazing A/V receiver, for more powerful and clear images and much better sound.

​Frequently Asked Questions

Are HD projectors better than SD projectors?

Generally, yes. HD has better visual quality than standard definition. In fact, we are now at a point where most projectors currently on the market support HD. The HD visuals still look more crisp than SD even though they are on a projector.

Are HD projectors better than TV?

Projectors usually have to work harder to get as clear or bright as a modern LED TV. Projector bulbs also typically dim and burn out while a TV screen does not. However, projectors are more portable, have a customizable screen size, and can even have a much larger screen size than a TV. HD TV and HD projectors both have the same visual quality. 

What is the Difference between HD and 4K?

4K is a considerably higher resolution than HD. HD is 1920 x 1080 pixels while 4K is 3840 x 2160 pixels. This means that images produced in 4K will be much more vibrant and clear than images produced in HD. That being said, some of the best 4K projectors are usually much more expensive and much more inaccessible than HD is, at least for the time being. This is why HD is a lot more common.

What is HD?

HD is short for high definition. It refers to the detail level of a screen. It is the number of pixels in a visual display. HD is specifically 1920 x 1080 pixels, which is five times more detailed than SD (standard definition).

Can HD projectors run 4K?

No, HD projectors cannot run 4K. However, 4K projectors can of course run HD. It takes a lot more to incorporate 4K into a projector, and it is more expensive to do so. 4K is a higher resolution than HD, so projectors that are made to just be in HD would not be able to show 4K images.

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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