Compare Projectors

Compare the 10 Best ProjectorsDecember 2017(Last Updated 15 December 2017)

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The best projectors on the market, allowing you to project movies in your own home
Compare top brands including Epson, Optoma and Benq
Every week we rank the best projectors based on features, reviews and price
We compare: 2,610 Projector Models 21,200 Projector Reviews 13,200 Projector Prices
We compare:
2,610 Projector Models
21,200 Projector Reviews
13,200 Projector Prices
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9% Off
{DELL 4220
£529.96
Was £580 (35 days ago)
Laptops Direct
Rank
Overall Score
Reviews
Price
3D
Noise Level
Projector Native Resolution
Contrast Ratio
Running Cost
Release Date
#1

90

HD140X

Optoma HD140X

3 Reviews + 2 Awards
benchmark.pl - Awardddworld.cz - Recommended Award
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£492.98

Amazon UK
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Edit
26dB
Edit
1920 X 1080 (1080p)
Edit
23000:1
Edit
£48
Over 5 years
Nov 2016
A staggeringly quiet and top-value 1080p 3D projector, with great features and a phenomenally high 23000:1 contrast ratio
#2

90

HD142X

Optoma HD142X

41 Reviews + 3 Awards
benchmark.pl - Good Productsoundandvision.com - Top Pickprojectorcentral.com - Highly Rated
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£475.00

Amazon UK
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Edit
26dB
Edit
1920 X 1080 (1080p)
Edit
23000:1
Edit
£48
Over 5 years
Aug 2016
A high contrast ratio and best selling 1080p 3D projector, with very low running costs and a staggeringly quiet 26dB noise level
#3

89

HD27

Optoma HD27

26 Reviews + 4 Awards
techradar.com/au/ - Great Valuebenchmark.pl - Good Productallround-pc.com - Recommended Productaltomdata.dk - Best Product
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£453.11

eBay
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Edit
26dB
Edit
1920 X 1080 (1080p)
Edit
25000:1
Edit
£48
Over 5 years
Aug 2016
A best selling and extremely high contrast ratio 1080p 3D multimedia projector, with a stunningly fair price and a staggeringly quiet 26dB noise level
#4

89

H114

Optoma H114

3 Reviews
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£359.61

Save £80
Amazon UK
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Edit
29dB
Edit
1280 X 800
Edit
15,754,200
Edit
£47
Over 5 years
Mar 2016
A bargain price and remarkably high contrast ratio quiet 1280 x 800 resolution projector, with exceptional user reviews and very good features
#5

88

DH1010i

Optoma DH1010i

10 Reviews
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£576.97

Laptops Direct
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Edit
33dB
Edit
1920 X 1080 (1080p)
Edit
20000:1
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£47
Over 5 years
Jun 2016
A very highly rated and low cost moderate noise level 1080p multimedia projector, with very good features and very low running costs
#6

87

H182X

Optoma H182X

50 Reviews
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£349.98

Save £100
Ebuyer Business
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29dB
Edit
1280 X 800
Edit
23000:1
Edit
£49
Over 5 years
Sep 2015
A bargain price and very highly rated quiet 1280 x 800 resolution multimedia projector, with very low running costs and a phenomenally high 23000:1 contrast ratio
#7

86

GT1080

Optoma GT1080

547 Reviews + 4 Awards
PC Mag - Editor's Choiceprojectorcentral.com - Highly RatedExpert Reviews - Recommended
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£598.80

Save £149
Ivojo
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31dB
Edit
1920 X 1080 (1080p)
Edit
25000:1
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£48
Over 5 years
Mar 2016
A best selling and excellent value for money moderate noise level 1080p projector, with an Editor's Choice award from one expert review website and 3 further awards from other expert sites
#8

86

GT5000+

Optoma GT5000+

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£839.99

Save £160
eBay
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28dB
Edit
1920 X 1080 (1080p)
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23000:1
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£63
Over 5 years
May 2017
The most economical 3D projector available, with an industry award and a reasonable price
#9

85

W344

Optoma W344

15 Reviews
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£393.97

Save £44
Laptops Direct
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34dB
Edit
1280 X 800
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22000:1
Edit
£47
Over 5 years
Jul 2016
A bargain price and very highly rated moderate noise level 1280 x 800 resolution data projector, with good features and very low running costs
#10

85

X341

Optoma X341

4 Reviews
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£429.00

Save £32
Amazon UK
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29dB
Edit
1024 X 768 (XGA)
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22000:1
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£47
Over 5 years
May 2016
A very highly rated and very good value for money quiet XGA multimedia projector, with good features and a high 22000:1 contrast ratio
#11

85

W303ST

Optoma W303ST

7 Reviews
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£593.99

Amazon UK
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29dB
Edit
1280 X 800
Edit
18000:1
Edit
£51
Over 5 years
Sep 2015
A very cheap and positively reviewed quiet 1280 x 800 resolution multimedia projector, with very low running costs and good features
#12

85

PH550

LG PH550

13 Reviews + 3 Awards
prohardver.hu - Like itPC Mag - Editor's Choicexfastest.com - Fastest Media
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£406.92

Amazon UK
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24dB
Edit
1280 X 720 (720p)
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100000:1
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£17
Over 5 years
May 2016
A sensationally quiet and great value for money 720p 3D data projector, with an Editor's Choice award from one expert review website and 2 further awards from other expert sites
#13

84

TH670

Benq TH670

6 Reviews + 2 Awards
projectorcentral.com - Highly Ratedavforums.com - Recommended
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£440.99

Save £138
Maplin Electronics
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Edit
31dB
Edit
1920 X 1080 (1080p)
Edit
10000:1
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£52
Over 5 years
Aug 2016
An impressive value for money and very economical to run moderate noise level 1080p projector, with great features and an industry award
#14

84

IN119HD

Infocus IN119HD

5 Reviews + 1 Award
benchmark.pl - Very Profitable
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£391.27

9 to 5 Supplies
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32dB
Edit
1920 X 1080 (1080p)
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15000:1
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£46
Over 5 years
May 2015
A very economical to run and affordable moderate noise level 1080p projector, with very good features and an industry award
#15

84

H183X

Optoma H183X

10 Reviews + 2 Awards
benchmark.pl - Very ProfitableTrusted Reviews - Recommended
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£335.00

eBay
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29dB
Edit
1280 X 720 (720p)
Edit
25000:1
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£47
Over 5 years
Mar 2016
A top-value and very economical to run quiet 720p projector, with good features and one of the highest contrast ratios around
#16

84

PJD5555

Viewsonic PJD5555

20 Reviews
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£345.08

Save £31
Projectorshop24
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32dB
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1280 X 800
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22000:1
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£64
Over 5 years
May 2015
A best selling and top-value moderate noise level 1280 x 800 resolution data projector, with OK running costs and outstanding user reviews
#17

84

K335

Acer K335

11 Reviews
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£656.91

Projectorshop24
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33dB
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1280 X 800
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10000:1
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£25
Over 5 years
Jul 2017
An affordable and very economical to run moderate noise level 1280 x 800 resolution data projector, with good features and very good user reviews
#18

84

DX349

Optoma DX349

10 Reviews
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£299.99

Amazon UK
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29dB
Edit
1024 X 768 (XGA)
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20000:1
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£47
Over 5 years
May 2016
A top-rated and top-value quiet XGA multimedia projector, with good features and very low running costs
#19

84

W316

Optoma W316

9 Reviews
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£600.68

Save £226
Projectorshop24
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29dB
Edit
1280 X 800
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15000:1
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£48
Over 5 years
Jan 2014
A highly rated and bargain price quiet 1280 x 800 resolution data projector, with great features and very low running costs
#20

84

MH530

Benq MH530

6 Reviews + 1 Award
projectorcentral.com - Highly Rated
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£473.99

eBay
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Edit
33dB
Edit
1920 X 1080 (1080p)
Edit
10000:1
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£54
Over 5 years
Mar 2016
An award winning and bargain price moderate noise level 1080p projector, with low running costs and great features

83

PH550G

LG PH550G

4 Reviews
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£270.00

Save £110
eBay
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Edit
30dB
Edit
1280 X 720 (720p)
Edit
100000:1
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£17
Over 5 years
Mar 2016
A very popular and astonishingly high contrast ratio quiet 720p projector, with good features and superb expert reviews

83

DS348

Optoma DS348

10 Reviews
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£219.99

Save £70
eBay
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29dB
Edit
800 X 600 (SVGA)
Edit
20000:1
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£47
Over 5 years
Mar 2016
A positively reviewed and extremely cheap quiet SVGA projector, with good features and very low running costs

83

GT1070X

Optoma GT1070X

61 Reviews
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£549.99

Ebuyer Business
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26dB
Edit
1920 X 1080 (1080p)
Edit
23000:1
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£48
Over 5 years
Aug 2014
A low cost and sensationally quiet 1080p 3D projector, with great features and one of the highest contrast ratios around

83

TH681+

Benq TH681+

161 Reviews
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£539.99

Projectorshop24
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33dB
Edit
1920 X 1080 (1080p)
Edit
12000:1
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£54
Over 5 years
Aug 2015
A highly rated and top-value moderate noise level 1080p projector, with low running costs and very good features

83

P3B

Asus P3B

26 Reviews + 3 Awards
profesionalreview.com - Goldddworld.cz - Recommended Awardvido.com.ua - Recommended
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£521.98

eBay
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32dB
Edit
1280 X 800
Edit
100000:1
Edit
£19
Over 5 years
Nov 2016
The highest scoring battery powered projector around, with a Gold award from one expert review website and 2 further awards from other expert sites

83

P1500

Acer P1500

16 Reviews
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£555.23

Projectorshop24
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33dB
Edit
1920 X 1080 (1080p)
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10000:1
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£66
Over 5 years
Feb 2016
A great value for money and highly rated moderate noise level 1080p multimedia projector, with alright running costs and good features

83

IN118HD

Infocus IN118HD

19 Reviews
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£354.99

Ebuyer Business
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Edit
30dB
Edit
1920 X 1080 (1080p)
Edit
15000:1
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£60
Over 5 years
May 2015
A fully featured and low cost quiet 1080p projector, with very good user reviews and low running costs

83

VPL-EW235

Sony VPL‑EW235

4 Reviews
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£439.28

Projectorshop24
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30dB
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1280 X 800
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4,632,358
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£67
Over 5 years
Jul 2016
An affordable and very highly rated quiet 1280 x 800 resolution projector, with satisfactory running costs and good features

83

HD141X

Optoma HD141X

386 Reviews + 3 Awards
benchmark.pl - Very Profitableprojectorreviews.com - Special Interest Awardprojectorcentral.com - Highly Rated
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£439.00

eBay
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Edit
31dB
Edit
1920 X 1080 (1080p)
Edit
23000:1
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£48
Over 5 years
Aug 2014
A very popular and bargain price moderate noise level 1080p projector, with very low running costs and an amazingly high 23000:1 contrast ratio

83

HD26

Optoma HD26

90 Reviews + 2 Awards
Trusted Reviews - Recommendedprojectorcentral.com - Highly Rated
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£399.99

Save £152
Maplin Electronics
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Edit
31dB
Edit
1920 X 1080 (1080p)
Edit
23000:1
Edit
£48
Over 5 years
Aug 2014
An extremely high contrast ratio and low cost moderate noise level 1080p multimedia projector, with very low running costs and two industry awards

82

TW526E

Benq TW526E

69 Reviews
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£319.98

Ebuyer Business
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33dB
Edit
1280 X 800
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13000:1
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£52
Over 5 years
Feb 2015
A best selling and bargain price moderate noise level 1280 x 800 resolution projector, with superb user reviews and very low running costs

82

SP1080

Infocus SP1080

16 Reviews
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£479.00

Amazon UK
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32dB
Edit
1920 X 1080 (1080p)
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25000:1
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£46
Over 5 years
Dec 2015
A very economical to run and sensationally high contrast ratio moderate noise level 1080p projector, with a fair price and very good features

82

PH450UG

LG PH450UG

76 Reviews + 3 Awards
prohardver.hu - Like itbenchmark.pl - Good Productgadgetgear.nl - Gold
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£499.00

Amazon UK
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30dB
Edit
1280 X 720 (720p)
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100000:1
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£16
Over 5 years
Aug 2016
A best selling and stunningly economical to run quiet 720p projector, with a gold award from one expert review website and 2 further awards from other expert sites

82

X152H

Acer X152H

39 Reviews
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£469.98

Save £120
Ebuyer Business
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27dB
Edit
1920 X 1080 (1080p)
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13000:1
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£1,700
Over 5 years
May 2015
A highly rated and affordable 1080p 13000:1 contrast ratio projector, with very good features and one of the quietest noise levels available

82

H6502BD

Acer H6502BD

3 Reviews + 1 Award
projectorcentral.com - Highly Rated
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£429.00

Save £67
eBay
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Edit
31dB
Edit
1920 X 1080 (1080p)
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20000:1
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£66
Over 5 years
Aug 2016
A low cost and fully featured moderate noise level 1080p multimedia projector, with satisfactory running costs and an industry award

82

H7550BD

Acer H7550BD

49 Reviews
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£646.23

Save £146
eBay
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30dB
Edit
1920 X 1080 (1080p)
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16000:1
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£91
Over 5 years
Oct 2015
A very cheap and best selling quiet 1080p data projector, with satisfactory running costs and great user reviews

82

MX528

Benq MX528

3 Reviews
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£364.98

Save £487
Projectorshop24
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Edit
33dB
Edit
1024 X 768 (XGA)
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13000:1
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£54
Over 5 years
Oct 2016
An economical to run and low cost moderate noise level XGA projector, with good features

82

W1210ST

Benq W1210ST

23 Reviews + 5 Awards
elchapuzasinformatico.com - Goldenostech.com - Must Havehardwaremax.net - GoldHEXUS.net - Approved
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£774.94

eBay
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29dB
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1920 X 1080 (1080p)
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(Unknown)
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£71
Over 5 years
Oct 2016
A multi award winning and cheap quiet 1080p data projector, with a Gold award from two expert review websites and 2 further awards from other expert sites

81

MS527

Benq MS527

3 Reviews
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£268.63

Save £34
9 to 5 Supplies
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Edit
33dB
Edit
800 X 600 (SVGA)
Edit
13000:1
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£54
Over 5 years
Jan 2016
A remarkably cheap and top-rated moderate noise level SVGA projector, with low running costs and good features

81

A1500

Acer A1500

3 Reviews
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£540.30

PC World Business
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Edit
31dB
Edit
1920 X 1080 (1080p)
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20000:1
Edit
£45
Over 5 years
Jul 2016
A very economical to run and affordable moderate noise level 1080p projector, with good features and very good user reviews

81

W310

Optoma W310

4 Reviews
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£321.99

Ebuyer Business
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29dB
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1280 X 800
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20000:1
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£55
Over 5 years
Feb 2015
A bargain price and positively reviewed quiet 1280 x 800 resolution projector, with low running costs and good features

81

W2000

Benq W2000

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£799.00

Save £90
Amazon UK
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29dB
Edit
1920 X 1080 (1080p)
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15000:1
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£59
Over 5 years
Oct 2015
A top-rated and good value for money quiet 1080p data projector, with low running costs and good features

81

H6517ST

Acer H6517ST

17 Reviews + 1 Award
projectorcentral.com - Highly Rated
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£549.99

Ebuyer Business
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Edit
33dB
Edit
1920 X 1080 (1080p)
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10000:1
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£45
Over 5 years
Apr 2015
A very cheap and very economical to run moderate noise level 1080p projector, with an industry award and good features

81

ML750ST

Optoma ML750ST

80 Reviews + 2 Awards
ddworld.cz - Recommended AwardTrusted Reviews - Recommended
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£496.95

Amazon UK
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Edit
27dB
Edit
1280 X 720 (720p)
Edit
20000:1
Edit
£21
Over 5 years
Dec 2015
A best selling and phenomenally quiet 720p 20000:1 contrast ratio projector, with very low running costs and a very affordable price

81

P1287

Acer P1287

10 Reviews
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£432.24

Ebuyer Business
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29dB
Edit
1024 X 768 (XGA)
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17000:1
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£68
Over 5 years
Jan 2015
A low cost and excellently reviewed moderate noise level XGA projector, with OK running costs and good features

81

EH341

Optoma EH341

1 Review + 1 Award
PC Mag - Editor's Choice
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£633.60

Ivojo
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29dB
Edit
1920 X 1080 (1080p)
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20000:1
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£48
Over 5 years
May 2016
A fully featured and affordable quiet 1080p projector, with an Editor's Choice award from one expert review website

80

X137WH

Acer X137WH

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£340.10

Save £52
eBay
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Edit
31dB
Edit
1920 X 1080 (1080p)
Edit
20000:1
Edit
£45
Over 5 years
Oct 2016
A sensationally cheap and very economical to run moderate noise level 1080p data projector, with very good features

80

MS506

Benq MS506

5 Reviews
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£217.98

Ebuyer Business
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33dB
Edit
800 X 600 (SVGA)
Edit
13000:1
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£54
Over 5 years
Oct 2015
A positively reviewed and low cost moderate noise level SVGA projector, with low running costs but only middle of the road features

80

IN116

Infocus IN116

15 Reviews
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£319.97

Servers Direct
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32dB
Edit
1280 X 800
Edit
4000:1
Edit
£54
Over 5 years
Apr 2015
A bargain price and highly rated moderate noise level 1280 x 800 resolution projector, with low running costs and good features

80

Qumi Q6

Vivitek Qumi Q6

12 Reviews + 1 Award
01net.com - 4 Star
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£485.00

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34dB
Edit
1280 X 800
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30000:1
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£19
Over 5 years
Nov 2015
A phenomenally high contrast ratio and very economical to run moderate noise level 1280 x 800 resolution projector, with an industry award and a very fair price

80

DH1009I

Optoma DH1009I

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£495.00

Amazon UK
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26dB
Edit
1920 X 1080 (1080p)
Edit
22000:1
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£48
Over 5 years
Nov 2016
A sensationally quiet and low cost 1080p 22000:1 contrast ratio projector, with very good features and very low running costs

80

K137

Acer K137

22 Reviews + 1 Award
01net.com - 4 Star
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£485.00

Save £152
Personal Projector
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37dB
Edit
1280 X 800
Edit
10000:1
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£8
Over 5 years
Jun 2017
An astoundingly economical to run and bargain price moderate noise level 1280 x 800 resolution projector, with a recent release date but only middle of the road features

80

P1350W

Acer P1350W

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£454.93

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30dB
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1280 X 800
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20000:1
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£51
Over 5 years
Sep 2017
A recently released and top-value quiet 1280 x 800 resolution projector, with very low running costs and very good features

80

PJD7720HD

Viewsonic PJD7720HD

60 Reviews + 2 Awards
hardwareinside.de - Goldlite-magazin.de - Entry Level
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£348.47

Save £101
9 to 5 Supplies
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Edit
35dB
Edit
1920 X 1080 (1080p)
Edit
22000:1
Edit
£76
Over 5 years
Apr 2016
A best selling and top-value moderate noise level 1080p projector, with satisfactory running costs and two industry awards

80

IN112

Infocus IN112

13 Reviews
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£199.98

Ebuyer Business
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Edit
32dB
Edit
800 X 600 (SVGA)
Edit
4000:1
Edit
£54
Over 5 years
Apr 2015
A bargain price and best selling moderate noise level SVGA projector, with brilliant user reviews and low running costs

80

IN116A

Infocus IN116A

5 Reviews
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£318.99

Save £80
Ebuyer Business
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Edit
30dB
Edit
1280 X 800
Edit
15000:1
Edit
£60
Over 5 years
Dec 2013
A classic and affordable quiet 1280 x 800 resolution data projector, with good features and low running costs

80

EH-TW6700

Epson EH‑TW6700

2 Reviews
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£899.00

Save £300
Amazon UK
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Edit
32dB
Edit
1920 X 1080 (1080p)
Edit
15,822,473
Edit
£67
Over 5 years
Sep 2016
A critically acclaimed and good value for money moderate noise level 1080p projector, with moderate running costs and one of the highest contrast ratios on the market

80

PJD5553LWS

Viewsonic PJD5553LWS

50 Reviews
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£499.00

Amazon UK
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Edit
32dB
Edit
1280 X 800
Edit
20000:1
Edit
£61
Over 5 years
Jun 2015
A low cost and very highly rated moderate noise level 1280 x 800 resolution projector, with good features and low running costs

80

GS1

Benq GS1

7 Reviews + 2 Awards
lydogbillede.dk - Especially Recommended 5 Starljudochbild.se - Recommended
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£349.99

Save £200
eBay
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Edit
30dB
Edit
1280 X 720 (720p)
Edit
100000:1
Edit
£10
Over 5 years
Aug 2016
A bargain price and remarkably economical to run quiet 720p multimedia projector, with two industry awards and one of the highest contrast ratios on the market

79

X127H

Acer X127H

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£339.99

Ebuyer
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Edit
31dB
Edit
1920 X 1200 (WUXGA)
Edit
20000:1
Edit
£45
Over 5 years
Oct 2016
A top-value and very economical to run moderate noise level WUXGA multimedia projector, with very good features

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Projector Brands

Find out how projector brands compare. The average rating for each brand is based on the rating of all of their projectors. Click on a link to compare all projectors made by your favourite brand.

Logo Brand Number of Projectors Price Range Average Rating
Epson logo Epson Projectors 166 £214 - £13,877 81%
Optoma logo Optoma Projectors 164 £141 - £3,846 84%
Benq logo Benq Projectors 129 £217 - £13,044 76%
Acer logo Acer Projectors 123 £160 - £3,950 75%
Sony logo Sony Projectors 94 £147 - £19,995 85%
NEC logo NEC Projectors 86 £384 - £17,341 74%
Panasonic logo Panasonic Projectors 72 £415 - £16,252 65%
Viewsonic logo Viewsonic Projectors 62 £230 - £3,262 82%
Hitachi logo Hitachi Projectors 57 £333 - £9,034
Vivitek logo Vivitek Projectors 50 £269 - £13,680 74%
Infocus logo Infocus Projectors 46 £200 - £10,216 78%
Canon logo Canon Projectors 34 £227 - £15,000 65%
Casio logo Casio Projectors 34 £480 - £8,180 56%
LG logo LG Projectors 25 £180 - £1,777 78%
DELL logo DELL Projectors 22 £188 - £2,490 72%
Other brands Other Projector Brands 82 £107 - £8,994

Today's Best Projector Deals

9% Price Drop
{DELL 4220
1 review
£529.96
Price drop. Was £580 (35 days ago)
Noise Level
37dB
Projector Native Resolution
1024 X 768 (XGA)
Contrast Ratio
2000:1
21% Price Drop
{Panasonic PT-TW350
£652.78
Price drop. Was £828 (41 days ago)
Noise Level
37dB
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1280 X 800
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16% Price Drop
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£2,159.98
Price drop. Was £2,568 (76 days ago)
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10% Price Drop
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£718.78
Price drop. Was £802 (62 days ago)
Noise Level
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Projector Native Resolution
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Contrast Ratio
10000:1
19% Price Drop
{Anker Nebula
£569.99
Price drop. Was £700 (5 days ago)
Noise Level
32dB
Projector Native Resolution
1280 X 800
Contrast Ratio
1000:1
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

QWhat is projector brightness measured in?
AThe brightness of a projector is measured in 'ANSI lumens'. Most projectors means for use in the dark have a rating of around 2,500-3,000 lumens. A higher rating than that means it will work better in brighter conditions, such as classrooms or in public.
QWhat does 'throw distance' mean for a projector?
AThrow distance is how far the projector can be placed away from the screen or projecting surface. The lower the throw distance, the closer the projector will have to be placed to get a good picture.
QWhat does 'contrast ratio' mean?
AThe contrast ratio is the ratio between the brightness of the brightest white and the brightness of darkest black that the projector can produce.A higher contrast ratio means that the projector can produce images with greater contrast so that they will appear more vivid.
QWhat is the average noise level for a projector?
AProjectors typically give off about 35-40Db of noise, making them very quiet - the noise of the projector definitely won't interfere with your movie!
QWhat is a 3D-enabled projector?
AA 3D projector has the capacity to project 3D movies and TV onto a surface - providing more immersion and depth than 2D movies. Use of a 3D projector requires extra gear - specifically 3D glasses and an emitter to sync the glasses to the projector.

Projectors Buying Guide

Projectors vs Large Screen TVs

Projectors a great option if you want to watch movies and TV shows on a large screen, very similar to a cinema. Projector technology is moving forward at a steady pace with 3D projectors and high resolution 4K projectors now available at affordable prices.

But is a projector a better choice than a large screen TV?

This depends on a number of factors, including where and how often you want to watch TV or movies. If you are after a huge picture at an decent price and have a room that can be blacked out almost completely, then a home cinema projector is a great choice. Multimedia projectors are very portable and can easily be taken to meetings and events.

If, however, screen size and mobility are not as important and you want to watch your favourite shows without having to dim the lights, then an large screen TV will be the more convenient option and deliver an better picture.

Projectors

Resource ID 10
Huge picture
Immersive experience similar to a cinema
Much cheaper than the same size TV
Mobility - most pocket and multimedia projectors can be taken with you
Room needs to be dark
Lamps need to be replaced periodically
Some models can be noisy
Additional screen may be required

Large Screen TVs

Resource ID 11
Easy to set up
Great picture even in bright rooms
Speakers are usually built-in
Less maintenance
Cheaper to run - no replacement bulbs required
Better for shorter and more frequent use
Screen sizes are limited
Large screen sizes are very expensive

Projector Types

Pocket Projectors

Resource ID 12

These ultra-portable projectors are ideal to take with you when you travel a lot and have to give presentations in different locations. Pocket projectors and also sometimes referred to as ‘pico projectors’ and are the smallest projector type.

Still regarded as somewhat of a novelty, these small projectors have made quite and impact on the projector market due to their portability and practicality. Pocket projectors use LED lamps which are less bright (20-1,000 lumens compared to 2,500-4,000 lumens for multimedia projectors), limiting the size of the image.

They also don’t have a zoom lens, so the only way to control the size of the image is to adjust the distance between the projector and the screen.

If you are looking for an ultra-portable way to show your presentations to smaller group of people and don’t want to carry a monitor, a pocket projectors could just what you have been looking for.

Multimedia Projectors

Resource ID 13

True all-rounders, multimedia projectors can handle ant type of presentation - slide shows at wedding and parties, business PowerPoint presentations and video clips. They are the most popular type of projector. Their brightness typically lies between 2,500-4,000 lumens, allowing them to be used in rooms with some ambient light.

Multimedia projectors usually have a zoom range between 1.2x and 1.5x, so it is important to check the projector is compatible with your screen size and throw distance. Home cinema projectors tend to have a larger zoom range (around 2.0x) and might be a better choice depending on your set-up.

Almost all multimedia projectors are considered portable and can be taken to meetings and presentations. While pocket projectors are lighter, multimedia projectors are heavier, weighing in at 3 pounds for a light model. They strike a good balance between portability and brightness to allow for a large and vibrant image.

Short Throw Projectors

Resource ID 299

A sub-category of multimedia projectors, short throw projectors are designed to be very close to the screen, making them ideal for classrooms and pairing with digital whiteboards. Their throw ratio is usually less than 1:1 with 0.5 being most common and going down to an ultra-short-throw ration of just 0.3:1.

Short throw projectors don’t have a zoom lens and it need to be placed within the recommended distance from the screen, which is usually 1.5-2 feet away. Placing a short throw projectors further back than their recommended throw distance in order to project a larger image usually results in severe keystoning of the image.

Home Cinema Projectors

Resource ID 14

Multimedia projectors are designed to give you the best image possible. They tend to use DLP or LCOS imaging technology and their brightness usually tops out at around 2,500 lumens. They zoom ratio tends to be larger than that of multimedia projectors, usually 2.0x or more.

Most home cinema projectors feature Full HD resolution with an increasing number of 4K models with a native resolution of 4096x2160 pixels becoming available, making them the most expensive type of projector.

To achieve the best picture quality, you need to be able to control the ambient light in your room, a room that is completely dark would be ideal. Home cinema projectors work well for screen sizes up to around 100 inches.

Projector noise can be very disturbing and home cinema projectors usually have more sophisticated cooling systems and quieter fans than their multimedia counterparts.

Throw Ratio

Understanding Screen Size and Throw Distance

One of the most important things to consider when buying a projector is the screen size and distance between the projector and the screen. If your projector set-up is flexible it is usually best to mount the projector as close to the screen as possible.The image will loose brightness the further back you move the projector and being closer to the screen will ensure the picture looks crisp and vibrant. If your set-up is more constrained it is important to work out the throw ratio as this will limit your choice of projector.

Resource ID 300

Working out the throw ratio:

  • Measure the distance between the projector and the screen. As an example, let’s assume a throw distance of 12 feet.
  • Now, measure the width of your screen. Let’s assume your screen is 8 feet wide.
  • Your throw ratio is therefore 12 feet / 8 feet = 1.5.

A projector with a throw ratio of 1.5:1, which is common for most multimedia projectors would meet your requirements perfectly.

If you have the flexibility the move the projector further back to 16 feet, you could also choose a home cinema projector with a throw ratio of 2:1. If you are unable to position the projector further back and your projector has a throw ration of 1.5:1, then the resulting image would be narrower and only be 6 feet wide.

If you don’t know what your throw ratio will be - maybe you are using the projector in a variety of settings to give business presentations, it is usually wise to go for a projector with a shorter throw, around the 1.3:1 or 1.5:1 mark. It is usually easier to place the projector closer to the screen than is is to place it further away.

Installation

Most home cinema and multimedia projectors can be ceiling-mounted or placed on a table or shelf. Ceiling mounting is the best option for a fixed installation. It will keep the projector out of the way and also give you the best picture quality.

Some home cinema projectors are quite bulky and cannot be installed inverted. Check the installation options and accessories that are available for your chosen projector as they differ between models.

Brightness

Making sure you pick a projector with sufficient brightness is essential to ensure the image is clear with deep and vibrant colours. Ambient light plays an important factor here. The more ambient light you have in the room, the brighter the projector needs to be. You can always turn down the brightness if you are using a projector capable of producing 5,000 lumens in a completely blacked out room but there is no easy solution if you discover the conference room you are about to present in does not even have blinds and your projector only outputs 2,000 lumen. The image will simply look flat and washed out.

For the best results use a projector in a completely dark room, ideally fitted with fully sealed blackout blinds. Even small amounts of ambient light will affect the darker tones and reduce their intensity.

Brightness is measured in ANSI lumens. The ideal projector brightness you need depends on the amount of ambient light in the room, the throw distance as well as the screen size. The easiest way to work it out is to use a projection calculator.

For completely dark rooms, a projector brightness of 1,300-2,000 lumens will be sufficient. Most home cinema projectors have a brightness of up to 2,500 lumens. For partially darkened rooms, such as classrooms, a brightness of around 3,000 lumens is required as the projector has to deal with a fair amount of ambient light.

Larger screens around 10 feet wide such as used in meetings or at weddings would require a brightness of around 5,000 lumens.

Connectivity

Make sure the projector you are looking to buy can be connected directly to your computer, set-top box or Blu-ray player. This should not be a problem for newer devices and projectors, but you might need an adaptor for older models. Here are the most common connection options:

Resource ID 15

HDMI

The current standard for connecting high definition devices. HDMI also transmits digital audio through the same cable.

Wireless

If your projector has a wireless connection, you can transmit images easily without needing a cable. There are different ways to connect a computer to a projector wirelessly including software, wireless USB keys as well as iOS and Android apps for smart phones and tablets.

You can also connect using Display Port or USB. A USB port also allows you to plug a digital camera or USB stick directly into the projector to show photos and videos to friends instantly.

Screen

Do you need a screen? That depends…

You can beam the image directly on to a flat, white wall. The picture quality will depend on the smoothness of the wall and you could consider using reflective paint to achieve a good picture quality.

If you don’t have a flat surface available you are buy a projection screen, which will give you the best picture quality. There are different types available - some have tripods while others are wall mounted.

Electric screens automatically open and close with a click on the remote control. Mobile projection screens are compact and lighter and ideal if you are planning to take your projector to meetings.

Resource ID 16

Replacement Bulbs

Projector bulbs (‘lamps’) have an average lifetime of around 1,500 hours. Although this may sound a lot, the average projector lamp will only last for about a year when used for 4 hours a day. You will notice when the projector bulb needs replacing as the picture will become significantly dimmer.

A replacement bulb can be rather expensive so it is worth checking the cost of lamps before buying a projector and factoring the addition maintenance cost into your decision.

There are ways to increase the life of projector lamps: allowing the projector to cool down after use, changing dust filters regularly and using special operating (economy) modes aimed at prolonging bulb life. Eventually, though, a new lamp is the only way to ensure a high image quality.

Resource ID 302

Noise

Powerful projector lamps generate a lot of heat. A built-in fan is constantly running while the projector is switched on in order to maintain a safe temperature. It is also important the make sure the projector is set up correctly to allow plenty of air flowing around the projector.

Projector fans can be noisy, particularly on cheaper models, so it is important the check a projector’s noise level and compare it to other models before buying.

The adverse effect of projector noise will be particularly important in a home cinema setting. A slightly higher noise level might be acceptable in meetings where there will be more ambient sound in general.

The Rainbow Effect

Some people can experience the rainbow effect when using certain types of DLP projectors. DPL projectors break each fame down into its red, green and blue parts. Light is shone through a fast spinning colour wheel inside the projector, displaying each colour in turn.

In older projectors, the colour wheel sometimes did not spinning fast enough to keep up with fast moving scenes and bright objects appeared to have a tail consisting of multiple colours following them. The colour wheel in newer projectors spins so fast that each colour is displayed up to 10 times per frame to avoid the rainbow effect.

Resource ID 301

Resolution

Similar to TVs, projectors tend to use the HDTV standard, with 720p HD-ready or 1080p Full HD resolutions being most common. Older and business projector models tend to refer to pixel resolutions similar to computer monitors, for example VGA and WXGA. Simply put, higher resolution projectors will produce a more detailed picture but they are also more expensive.

4K projectors have become increasingly popular and more widely available. Ultra high definition projectors the highest resolution available and can produce a stunningly detailed picture.

Home Theater Projector Resolutions

  • 720p HD ready (1280x720 pixels, 16:9 aspect ratio)
  • 1080p Full HD (1920x1080 pixels, 16:9 aspect ratio)
  • 4K Ultra HD (4096x2160 pixels, 16:9 aspect ratio)

Multimedia / Business Projector Resolutions

  • SVGA (800x600 pixels, 4:3 aspect ratio)
  • XGA (1024x768 pixels, 4:3 aspect ratio)
  • WXGA (1280x800 pixels, 16:10 aspect ratio)
  • WUXGA (1920x1200 pixels, 16:10 aspect ratio)

Keystone Correction & Lens Shift

Keystoning occurs when the central axis of the projector is not positioned directly perpendicular to the wall. In vertical keystoning, the top and bottom edges of the pictures need to be aligned, while in horizontal keystoning the left and right edges appear distorted. Most projectors can detect keystoning and correct it automatically.

In projectors with lens shift, the lens can physically move inside the projector to correct distortions and ensure a consistent focus of the image. Lens shift has the advantage that the image does not need to be altered and highest possible image quality is retained. This allows for more flexibility in the installation of the projector and guarantees a perfectly straight-edged image.

Zoom

An optical zoom allows you to enlarge the image without having to move the projector closer of further away from the screen. An optical zoom maintains the quality of the image and avoids unwanted distortion.

A digital zoom enlarges a portion of the image without changing the overall image displayed.

Lamp Technologies

LED Projectors

Mostly used in pocket and pico projectors, LED lamps usually produce no more than 1,000 lumens. This is not a lot but sufficient for a small image. The advantage is that projectors with LED lamps are relatively cheap and the lamps do not need to be replaced.

DLP Projectors

Great picture quality
Sharpest and most detailed picture during fast moving scenes
Often larger than other projector types
Tend to be noisier
Expensive bulbs have a shorter lifespan
Single chip DLP projectors can suffer from the rainbow effect
High-end DLP projectors are more expensive but avoid the rainbow effect buy using three separate chips, one for each colour

LCD Projectors

LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) technology tended to be used for cheaper projector models but has improved significantly in the last few years and picture quality is now similar to DLP projectors.

Cheap
Compact
High picture quality
Handles ambient light well
Colour saturation is better than DLP projectors
Replacement lamps cheaper than DLP lamps
Short lifespan of lamps
Not great at displaying black areas
Pixel structure visible in picture

LCOS Projectors

LCOS is a hybrid between DLP and LCD projectors and most LCOS projectors are made by Sony, JVC and Hitachi. Here is how they compare to both DLP and LCD projectors:

Higher resolution
Better contrast ratio
Deeper black levels
Not as bright
Very expensive

Projector Retailers, Prices and Features

Multimedia Projector Prices

Data projectors range in price from £106 to £19,995 and in total we found prices for 1212 data projectors. On average, a new multimedia projector costs £1,577 and 80% of projectors are priced between £330 and £3,500. The most expensive projector that we found is the Sony VPL-VZ1000 at £19,995, and the cheapest is the Gigabyte BRIX at only £107.

Projector Brands - Price Range

Barco multimedia projectors start at £599 and the most expensive Barco projector costs £8,994. The highest average projector price out of all brands is Barco multimedia projectors with an average price of £5,883.

The %8highest average multimedia projector price out of all brands is JVC projectors with an average price of £4,994. JVC projectors start at £2,299 and the most expensive JVC multimedia projector costs £8,784.

Panasonic data projectors range in price from £415 to £16,252, and the third highest average multimedia projector price out of all brands is Panasonic data projectors with an average price of £3,799.

Data Projector Brands - Average Ratings

We have analysed 1,865 expert reviews and 14,057 user reviews for data projectors written online and used this data to determine the average rating for each brand of data projector. Epson is the top rated multimedia projector brand with an average rating of 90%. Optoma is the second best brand with 89% and Sony is the third best brand with 89%.

Biggest Projector Retailers

We found 709 current offers for projectors from Amazon UK making it the biggest data projector retailer. That is significantly bigger than the second biggest retailer, Projectorshop24 for whom we found 487 current offers for projectors. The third biggest retailer is eBay with 463 current data projector offers.

When Are Most New Multimedia Projectors Released?

August to October is the most common period for new projectors to be released in. August was the biggest month last year for new data projectors, with 74 new data projectors released that month. 77 new projectors were released in October 2015 making it the biggest month that year for new multimedia projector releases. The biggest month in 2014 for new data projector releases was July, with 73 new multimedia projectors released that month.

How Fast Do Multimedia Projector Prices Drop After Release?

On average, in the first 6 months after release, data projectors drop in price by 6%. On a typical new projector costing £1,577, by waiting 6 months before buying you could save on average £90.

Noise Levels

The noise level of the projector is the amount of noise that the projector makes (caused by the cooling fan inside the projector) when it is running.

The noise levels of projectors range from 20dB to 93dB. The noise levels of most projectors range from 31dB to 34dB. The multimedia projector with the loudest noise level is the PanasonicPT-EX16, which is a 51dB projector and sells for £10,424.40. The PanasonicPT-EX16 has the quietest noise level. This projector is a 21dB projector and currently retails for £5,696.40.

A lower noise level means that the projector will be quieter when it is running. This means that you will be able to appreciate the quieter parts of films better without the background noise of the projector running.

Projector Native Resolutions

The projector native resolution is the resolution of image that the projector is able to produce. The resolution is expressed as the number of horizontal pixels by the number of vertical pixels.

1280 x 800 is the most common projector native resolution amongst new projectors. We found 699 projectors that are multimedia projectors that have a resolution of 1280 x 800. The second most popular projector native resolution amongst new data projectors is 1024 x 768 (XGA). We found 538 data projectors that are projectors that have a resolution of 1024 x 768 (XGA).

A projector with a higher native resolution will be able to display more detailed images such as HD content.

Contrast Ratios

The contrast ratio is the ratio between the brightness of the brightest white and the brightness of darkest black that the projector can produce.

The most frequently found contrast ratio amongst new multimedia projectors is 10000:1. We found 373 multimedia projectors that are multimedia projectors that have a 10000:1 contrast ratio. We found 193 projectors that are multimedia projectors that have a 15000:1 contrast ratio, making this the second most frequently found contrast ratio amongst new projectors.

A higher contrast ratio means that the projector can produce images with greater contrast so that they will appear more vivid.

3D

3D compatible projectors are able to display 3D content. Most projectors will require you to wear special glasses in order to view the 3D effect.

Most new data projectors are projectors which do not support 3D. 1,290 out of 2,154 on Kagoo are projectors which do not support 3D and 859 out of 2,154 data projectors are projectors which support 3D.

A 3D projector allows you to view the huge range of 3D films and content that is now available.

Biggest Multimedia Projector Retailers

We found 709 current offers for projectors from Amazon UK making it the biggest projector retailer. That is significantly bigger than the second biggest retailer, Projectorshop24 for whom we found 487 current offers for projectors. The third biggest retailer is eBay with 463 current projector offers.

Which Are the Cheapest Retailers for Multimedia Projectors?

Amazon UK most frequently has the cheapest projector prices (found to be cheapest for 267 multimedia projectors).

Proportion of Multimedia Projectors for Which Each Retailer is Cheapest?

Amazon UK most frequently has the cheapest projector prices (found to be cheapest for 37.7% of its data projectors).