Top Sports Projectors for Max Quality and Clarity 2017

When it comes to sports projectors it’s all about throw distance and quality. Let me explain these two things in a little detail.

You want a projector that can project from a distance that won’t interfere with viewing. These are generally divided into short throw and long throw projectors. Long throw projectors are what I recommend as they allow more people to watch without interfering.

Quality is another important consideration and when it comes to this, it’s all about Lumens and Contrast Ratios. These two factors will determine the quality of the picture.

To help you out I’ve made a list of 4 of my top projectors for sports. I’ve installed all of these units many times and I know they work well. 

1. Top Pick – Optoma EH415ST Projector

image of the optoma white projector

The Optoma EH415ST Projector is geared towards visual presentations in classrooms and especially for sports as its 1080p display.  The Optoma EH415ST’s display may be just as good as the 4k display of the Optoma 4k Projector, despite a significantly lower price point.  I choose the EH415 as my top pick because I’ve seen them in action and for the price, the video quality just can’t be beat. There are higher end models but you’re basically getting the same product as you would with the EH415.

Highly recommended for anyone who is serious about watching sports at home or for an install in a bar.  Except long usage of the lamp as well with this which will save you a lot of money in the future.

Specifications

  • The Optoma EH415ST’s brightness is rated at 3,500 lumens
  • The native resolution in this device is rated at 1920 by 1080
  • The contrast ratio is rated at 15,000 by 1
  • The aspect ratio is rated at 1g by 9 in HD
  • The following video mores are available in the Optoma EH415ST
  • 720p
  • 1080i
  • 1080p/60
  • 480p
  • 480i
  • Full HD 3D is available in this device
  • The Optoma EH415ST weighs around 3.4 kilograms
  • The lamp of this device will last for an estimated 3,000 hours
  • Said lamp life can be extended up to an estimated 7,000 hours if the eco-mode is activated
  • The lamp type used in this device is of the P-VIP variant
  • The lamp wattage is rated at 280 Watts
  • The Optoma EH415ST can project images from 0.7 meters up to 1.7 meters
  • The size of the images that can be projected will range from 151 centimeters up to 387 centimeters
  • The Optoma EH415ST will produce a background noise worth 35 decibels
  • 10 W Mono Speaker
  • Closed Captioning is a feature included
  • This Optoma device has Crestron Roomview

As stated above, the Optoma EH415ST has an elegant display which is of the 1080p variant. This quality is further augmented by its high ANSI lumen rating of 3,500 lumens. This means that insufficient ambient light will not negate the beautiful display that is being projected by the Optoma EH415ST. Said device can even be used outside like other outdoor projectors because of the high brightness rating.

Both the exquisite display and the clarity provided by its high brightness rating conspire to give an excellent viewing experience for its consumers. This display is also adequate to display the fast-paced action  of sports.

Lamp Longevity

The lamp inside the Optoma EH415ST is a bruiser. Said lamp is estimated to last for about 3,000 hours. That estimate is far superior than the average lamps found in competing models. The best part is that, as stated in the specifications, the lamp’s estimated lifetime can be further boosted up to 7,000 hours if the eco mode is activated.

Buying the Optoma EH415ST means that you will be using said device for a long time and its lamp life is a testament to Optoma’s drive to create top-notch and durable products.

Remote Management

Presenting details in a sports setting will entail that the one presenting might use his/her hands to emphasize his/her points. That is why Optoma saw fit to put some remote management  functions to the Optoma EH415ST Projector. The following are included in the Optoma’s Package:

  • Crestron RoomView
  • Telnet
  • Extron IP Link
  • AMX
  • PJ- Link

All the aforementioned abilities conspire to give the presenter a fluid way in discussing the finer points of his/her presentation by allowing said presenter to do the said presentation at a distance with respect to the devices used in the presentation.

Quick Resume

The Optoma EH415ST has the ability to resume the operations of itself in the least amount of time. This is very useful when the presentation of data or the movie is paused for a few minutes. Rather than wasting electricity and keeping the display, the Quick Resume functionality allows the users of this projector to temporarily turn off the display. The device will resume automatically once is is used again.

BrilliantColor Technology

As stated above, the Optoma EH415ST has an excellent display. This, for the most part, attributable to the BrilliantColor Technology that is being used in this device. The BrilliantColor Technology causes the colors that are being produced by the BrilliantColor Technology to be vibrant. It also causes the image to be natural-looking.

The BrilliantColor Technology, alongside with the high lumen count, conspires to make an excellent display.

Pros

  • The BrilliantColor Technology causes the display to be vibrant and natural looking
  • The Optoma EH415ST is fast enough to project the fast-paced action that is inherent in sports
  • The high lumen count of 3,500 allows the Optoma EH415ST to maintain its good performance even if there is ambient light
  • The various technologies employed by Optoma in this device allows the user to conduct a presentation or to view a movie from a distance
  • The lamp included in the chassis of Optoma EH415ST can last for a very long time

Cons

User may want a 4k display which is outside the abilities of the Optoma EH415ST


2. Sony VPL-HW45ES

The Sony VPL-HW45ES is geared towards home theatre use. As such, the VPL-HW45ES is for consumers and users who will primarily use this device to view sports games in the safe confines of your home.  The Sony VPL-HW45ES is also a good investment if you juxtapose the cost of said device and the performance that it gives. In other words, the VPL-HW45ES is bang-for-the-buck. Continue reading below to see its qualities, as well as its pros and cons.

Specifications

  • The brightness and the color light output of the Sony VPL-HW45ES are both rated at 1,800 lumens
  • The contrast of this display is rated at 120,000 by 1
  • The native resolution is pegged at 1920 by 1080 while the aspect ratio is at 16 by 9 in High Definition
  • The max resolution is also rated 1920 by 1080
  • The display technology is powered by SXRD
  • The video modes compatible/available in the Sony VPL-HW45ES are the following:
  • 720p
  • 1080i
  • 1080p/60
  • 1080p/24
  • 1080p/50
  • 576p
  • 480p
  • Full HD 3D is available
  • The Sony VPL-HW45ES weighs around 9 kilograms
  • Eco-mode is a feature included here
  • The lamp included in the device will last for an estimated 6,000 hours if eco-mode is activated
  • The aforementioned lamp is of the UHP variant
  • The lamp wattage is rated at 225 Watts
  • The Sony VPL-HW45ES can project an image in distances ranging from 1.9 meters up to 9.1 meters
  • The size of the image that is being projected will range from 100 centimeters up to 764 centimeters
  • The Sony VPL-HW45ES will produces background noise rated at 22 decibels
  • Frame Interpolation is a feature that is included in the package
  • A built in RF 3D Sync Transmitter
  • A warranty of 3 years is made available to those who will buy the Sony VPL-HW45ES
  • As mentioned above, the Sony VPL-HW45ES is geared towards home theatre use. The quality of display is rather excellent when compared with the price of the device The black levels are rather good in this device. Remember, good reproduction of the color black is very important because black demarcates the different colors and images that are being projected.

Poor black levels will make the image fuzzy and greyish which is a sign of a poor projector. Obviously, that situation is not present in the Sony VPL-HW45ES.

The Sony VPL-HW45ES is a big device when juxtaposed to other similar competitors. As such, this device is designed to be mounted. Caveats are abound if the projector is physically large. For one, the transportation of such device will be cumbersome. Another problem may arise in positioning such device because one will surely make adjustments on the angle of which the projector will display the images. In the opposite, the Excelvan 100HM might be of interest for those who want absolute portability.

Still, the Sony VPL-HW45ES is still an excellent device for home theatre use. As stated above, the display quality is excellent. So to is the brightness rating of the device which is rated at 1,800 lumens. The brightness is more than adequate in indoor theatre use although it most certainly is not an outdoor projector.

Brightness Uniformity and Lamp Life

The Sony VPL-HW45ES’s brightness is evenly distributed across the display. This means that the occurrence where some areas of the screen are dark while some are relatively brighter will not occur in the Sony VPL-HW45ES. This means that the viewing experience will not be marred by any inequalities in the distribution of the lumens.

The lamp life in this device is also quite excellent. The lamp included in the chassis of Sony VPL-HW45ES will last for an estimated 6,000 hours in eco-mode. The durability and longevity of the lamp inspires confidence on this product. By making the lamp long lasting, Sony is clearly making a statement here wherein Sony products (like the Sony VPL-HW45ES) will surely last for a long time. As such, investing in this product is encouraged because of it purported longevity. 

Reality Creation

The guys at Sony saw fit to include the feature of Reality Creation in the Sony VPL-HW45ES. What Reality Creation does is to enhances the quality of the images that are being projected. Reality Creation does this by looking at the many aspects of any given image, after which it chooses the best one out of the aspects and projects it.

Basically, Reality Creation is similar to the other display techniques that are usually called by other competitors as “Smart Displaying/Image”. What sets Sony’s Reality Creation apart from those is in its implementation. The Reality Creation does not overdue, meaning the final images will still look natural.

The related features available on other competing projectors also have such feature but they tend to over do it and the image will come out as “artificial”. The same is not attendant in the Sony VPL-HW45ES. This feature allows the Sony VPL-HW45ES  to project fast paced action with great precision. Lovers of sports will absolutely like this feature.

3D Ability

The Sony VPL-HW45ES can also project images via the 3D mode. Sony has again succeeded in putting up an enjoyable 3D experience on one of their projectors. The brightness is on the lower side, which is prevalent on projectors with built-in 3D mode. However, Sony VPL-HW45ES’s 3D mode is much more dimmer than the usual. This is most certainly intended by Sony to make sure that the black levels are still excellent even on 3D mode.

 Good for Gaming

The Sony VPL-HW45ES is also a good platform for projection when used for gaming purposes. The Sony VPL-HW45ES has the Input Lag Reduction feature built-in. This feature allows the lag to be toned down to 24 ms. 24 ms is very much a good rating for gamers although the Optoma GT1080Darbee is bit better. Said feature will reduce the lag between the computer and the projector. Gamers who want their gaming exploits projected on a bigger screen will most definitely love this feature.

Creative Frame Interpolation

Creative Frame Interpolation basically smoothens out the frames that are being projected into the screen. This is more observable when viewing sports games. Sports is full of fast-paced action that ordinary projectors might have some difficulty in catching up with said action. Creative Frame Interpolation allows projector, like the Sony VPL-HW45ES, to catch-up with the fast-paced action and smoothen the frames so that the viewing experience will be excellent.

Creative Frame Interpolation is also useful when watching Music Concerts. Said feature endows the frames an effect that is called the “soap opera effect”. The addition of such effect greatly enhances the viewing experience.

The Sony VPL-HW45ES will surely deliver regardless of the reason for using the Creative Frame Interpolation.

Pros

  • The Sony VPL-HW45ES produces excellent black levels
  • The Sony VPL-HW45ES has the Reality Creation feature which greatly enhances the viewing experience
  • It also has the Creative Interpolation feature which smoothes and enhances the viewing experience
  • The Input Lag Reduction feature reduces the lag that is inherent to projectors so that said device can project games
  • The Sony VPL-HW45ES also has 3D capabilities
  • Sony has also endowed this product with A 3-year warranty

Cons

The Sony VPL-HW45ES is heavy and big


3. Epson Home Cinema 5040UB 4K Enhancement Projector

Epson has incrementally improved their line-ups throughout the years. However, the introduction of the Epson Home Cinema 5040UB 4K (as well as the Pro Cinema 6040UB) breaks the tradition because said projector is much more advanced than its predecessor. The leap in terms of specs and quality is unprecedented in Epson’s history in the field of projectors. Read on to know more about the Epson Home Cinema 5040UB 4K, as well as its attendant pros and cons.

Specifications

  • The Epson Home Cinema 5040UB 4K is powered by a  LCD, 3-Chip Optical Engine
  • The driving method used is the Poly-silicon TFT Active Matrix
  • There are about 2,073,600 dots (1920 by 1080) by 3 pixels in this device
  • Both the brightness and the color outputs of this device are rated at 2500 lumens
  • The native aspect ratio of this device is at 16 by 9 in widescreen, however this device is also compatible with a 4 by 3 display
  • The native resolution of the Epson Home Cinema 5040UB 4K is at 1080p with 4k Enhancement
  • The lamp type being used is of the UHE variant
  • The contrast ratio of this device is rated at 1 million by 1
  • The color processing being used is the Full 10-bit with partial 12-bit possible  
  • The Epson Home Cinema 5040UB 4K can produce up to 1.07 billion colors
  • This device can project in the following modes:
  • HD
  • 2D
  • 3D
  • 1080p
  • 4k
  • The Epson Home Cinema 5040UB 4K has a Cinema Filter which is capable automatically adjusting the  color mode
  • This device has the Auto Iris functionality
  • This device is compatible with both PC and Mac
  • The Power Button Lock hinders the usage of the device without parental supervision
  • The following color modes are available:
  • 2D
  • Dynamic
  • Bright Cinema
  • Natural
  • Cinema
  • Digital Cinema
  • Black and White Camera
  • 3D
  • Dynamic
  • Cinema
  • The fan noise that can be produced by the Epson Home Cinema 5040UB 4K will range from 20 to 31 decibels

4K Enhancement

The centerpiece of the functions that is available in the Epson Home Cinema 5040UB 4K is the 4K enhancement. Projectors with 4K enhancement must not be confused with true 4K projectors. Projectors with 4k enhancement are still using 1080p processors but with added quality of the display.

With that being said, the display of the Epson Home Cinema 5040UB 4K is clearly superior with normal 1080p displays or even with 2K ones. The added clarity of the 4K enhancement greatly increases the quality of its display. The colors are projected better and has is vibrant. The caveat to this is that most 4K projectors (or at least the ones with 4K enhancements) tend to display dark images. This can be circumvented in the Epson Home Cinema 5040UB 4K by using the Bright Cinema Mode. For comparison, the Epson PowerLite 2007 is a bit brighter than the Epson Home Cinema 5040UB 4K.

Sports and Games

The Epson Home Cinema 5040UB 4K also has Creative Frame Interpolation or CFI. CFI smoothens the actions that may be projected on the screen. Sports lovers would benefit from this feature because the CFI feature will allow this device to cope with the fast paced action that is prevalent in sports.

The Epson Home Cinema 5040UB 4K also has an incredibly low input lag of 30 ms. This means that the device can also cope with the fast action of games. One can project his/her gaming exploits in the large screen without fear of any sufficient lag in the projection. However the Epson Home Cinema 5040UB 4K. Is still not as good as the Optoma G1080 in regards with input lag, although the distance between the two is not that great.

Pros

  • The 4K Enhancement means that the Epson Home Cinema 5040UB 4K have a good display
  • The CFI allows this device to cope with fast-paced action videos
  • The low input lag is suitable for gaming

Cons

Other consumers may opt for a true 4k projector


4. Epson VS240

The Epson VS240 may not blow away in the spec sheet but it is more than enough when you factor in its value and its capabilities . For starters, the Epson VS240 has an incredibly bright display. For those who just want casual viewing of movies or sports games, the Epson VS240 may suit you.

Specifications

  • Both the brightness and the color outputs are rated at 3,000 lumens
  • The contrast ratio is rated at 15,000 by 1
  • Auto Iris is available in this device
  • The native resolution is rated at 800 by 600
  • The device weighs around 2.4 kilograms
  • The lamp life of this device will last for 5,000 hours but this can be further extended up to 10,000 hours if the eco-mode is activated
  • The lamp type is of the UHE variant
  • The lamp wattage is rated at 200 Watts
  • The display type is 3LCD
  • This device can throw images from 0.9 to 8.9 meters
  • The image size will vary from 76 to 762 centimeters
  • This device will emit 37 decibels worth of background noise but this can be toned down to 29 decibels if the eco-mode is activated
  • Adequate Display Quality

The Epson VS240 is characterized with a display that is life-like even if the brightness is cranked up to the highest degree. Even if dynamic mode is activated, the Epson VS240 avoids the problems of other projectors wherein the color green dominates the screen. The same is not attendant in the Epson VS240.

As stated above, the display of the Epson VS240 is quite bright. At 3,000 lumens, the display of the Epson VS240 is incredibly bright. In fact, this device has a higher lumen rating than the Epson PowerLite 2017 even if the later has a more formidable specs sheet. The colors displayed in the Epson VS240 is also quite vibrant.

Longevity of the Lamp

Testament to Epson’s zeal to provide durability to its devices is its decision to endow the Epson VS240 with a lamp that lasts for a very long time. The lamp inside this device will last for an estimated 5,000 hours. That’s considered long with regards to competitors. However, Epson was not satisfied, as the eco-mode included can extend the lamp life up to 10,000 hours.

Pros

  • Excellent value a.k.a. Bang-for-the-buck
  • Adequate display which is coupled with a high lumen count
  • The lamp included will last for a long time

Cons

The overall spec sheet might not impress

Summary
Review Date
Reviewed Item
Sports Projectors Review 2017
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