Nothing's more thrilling than watching a movie on a big screen. However, not everybody has the time to go to the theatre every night and for large families, ticket prices can quickly cost a small fortune. Whether you're a huge movie buff or even if you feel like taking your movie watching experiences to the next level, creating a home theatre experience is one of the best investments you could ever make.
When it comes time to find the best home theatre projects under $500, you may become overwhelmed rather quickly. There are tons of good home theatre projectors available, but most of the quality options cost thousands of dollars. However, we've been able to narrow down a list of the best HD projectors under $500, so you won't have to spend a fortune, yet you will still benefit from amazing lumens, bright visual qualities, excellent connection options and so much more. Browse our projector comparison list and read through our home theatre projector buying guide for even more information on how to save big while still getting a cinema experience in your very own home.
Top 6 Best Projectors Under $500
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Home Theatre Projector Buying Guide & Tips
The comparison chart above is a great place to start, but it's also important to know what to look for when buying video projectors. Lumens, screen quality, image sharpness, projector models, connectivity and more are all different factors that you will need to consider. We're going to provide you with an extensive, yet easy to understand projector buying guide so you can very quickly find the ideal projector for your needs and your budget.
- Lumens - Probably one of the most important things to consider when purchasing an affordable projector online is the amount of lumens. This essentially determines how dark your room has to be in order to enjoy great visibility. For dark rooms, about 1,000 lumens should be good enough. However, for bright and sun-filled rooms, you should never go lower than 3,000 lumens.
- Aspect Ratio - The aspect ratio is another huge factor to consider. Most projectors for home use will be either 4:3 or 16:9. If you're looking for a square-like projection, 4:3 is what you want, however, if you want more of a rectangular screen, which is associated with high definition movies and television, you're going to want to opt for a 16:9 aspect ratio.
- Resolution - Most home theatre projectors will be used to watch HD movies or HD television. This means you should opt for a projector that is capable of delivering HD resolutions. A projector with a 1080p resolution is capable of providing you with an HD viewing experience. 720p should be the minimum that you would want to consider, but 1080p is truly the ideal option in this price range. SVGA and WXGA are more cost effective options, but only consider these if HD is not a priority on your list.
- Keystone Adjustments - Choosing a projector that provides you with adequate keystone adjustments will make installation much easier. These essentially allow you to zoom in or out, tilt the screen left or right and up or down. You can also usually invert the screen, which is a must if you plan on hanging the projector from a ceiling.
- Ceiling Mount - If you want to make your home theatre look and feel professional, you'll want to mount it on a ceiling. Many quality ceiling mounts are available for under $100 and they really open up the space. Just make sure that your projector comes with the necessary ceiling mountable holes, otherwise this won't be an option. Fortunately, most projectors, even low-budget options come with this feature.
- Connection - Having the proper connections is another must. If you plan on watching television shows or even movies, you'll want to get a projector that has at least one HDMI input. Likewise, if you plan on connecting your computer, you'll want to make sure that a VGA port is available, unless your computer has an HDMI output as well.
- Projector Screen - Finally, you'll want to consider buying a projector screen. There are options that range between $80 to $200 and they provide you with an incredible viewing experience. Simply painting a wall white will never provide you with the same type of visual experience.
In 2016, the average movie theatre ticket price was $8.65. That's an incredibly steep amount to pay for a single movie, especially when you consider that most people go to the theatre with their entire family. For a family of 4, the price is over $32 for a single movie, without considering the cost of popcorn, drinks and other extras.
In 2001, the average movie theatre ticket price was $5.66. This represent roughly a 65% increase in cost in just 15 years. For a family of 4 who want to watch a single movie per month, the cost is roughly $415 per year, without counting taxes or extra perks purchased at the theatres. A home theatre projector is truly a wise investment for any movie buff.
Now that you've got a pretty good overview of what to search for when shopping for the best HD projectors online, you should go back up and take a look at our chart of the best home theatre projectors under $500. With many amazing options to choose from in that chart, you'll be sure to find a projector that suits your needs and budget. For more in-depth projector reviews of our top 3 options, keep scrolling. Find an option that you love and make sure to consider buying a quality projector screen to go with it.
3 Best Home Theatre Projector Under $500 Reviews
BenQ Projector TH670
One of the best affordable projectors under $500 is the BenQ Projector TH670. Equipped with DLP technology and 3,000 lumens, you will easily be able to enjoy crystal clear images even if lights are turned on or if a window is nearby. However, this projector really shines best when placed in a dark room and with a 10,000:1 contract along with a 1080p resolution, you will be able to enjoy HD movies and television shows at their best. Multiple connections and inputs are available including an HDMI input, VGA inputs and many other inputs, providing you with multiple video/audio connection possibilities. The BenQ Projector TH670 is compatible with 3D viewing, so if you enjoy 3D movies, this is one of the most affordable solutions on the market. If you're looking for an affordable, yet efficient HD home theatre projector, you won't want to look any further.
Acer H5382BD Home Theatre Projector
Another one of the best home theatre projectors under $500 is the Acer H5382BD Home Theatre Projector. This amazing piece of equipment comes loaded with two HDMI inputs, a VGA input, audio inputs and more. It too has 3D viewing capabilities so 3D movies can be enjoyed at their best. While this projector doesn't provide you with a full 1080p resolution, it does have a solid 720p resolution, which is still very good considering the affordable price range it's in. With a 3,300 ANSI lumens brightness rating, you will be able to enjoy watching movies and television shows on this unit even in complete daylight without losing too much image quality. If you're looking for an affordable and high quality HD home theatre projector, this Acer H5382BD unit is one of the top options worth considering.
ViewSonic PJD5555W Projector
Last but not least in our list of the best home theatre projectors under $500 is the ViewSonic PJD5555W Projector. This unit is equipped with multiple inputs allowing you to connect computers and other devices. However, since it features a WXGA resolution, no HDMI inputs are available and no HD viewing is available either. Regardless, if you're looking for a fully functional standard resolution projector, this is one of the top options on the market. It's equipped with a 20,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio, it has 3,300 lumens of brightness and can provide you with roughly 8,000 lamp hours of duration. If you're looking for a more affordable option and if you aren't too preoccupied by HD movies or television shows, this ViewSonic PJD5555W Projector is certainly worth looking into.