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Best home theater projectors

(Image credit: BenQ)

Having a home theater is the dream of almost all movie buffs and not a small number of sports fans. Being able to watch your favorite movies or the big game on a massive screen, with all your friends is an exciting prospect. It can be daunting picking your first projector, so we have a list of the top models in their categories. 

(Image credit: WiMiUS)

WiMiUS P21

Best value

If you are looking to get into home theater projection on a budget, then the WIMiUS P21 is a fantastic choice. The low price, coupled with the native 1080p support and two HDMI ports, makes this an excellent starter projector. Although the color saturation can seem a little weak, at 6,000 lumens brightness, the picture is always bright enough to enjoy the 1080p crispness.

The projector has a massive 300-inch potential size, though you would need to have no ambient light to project that big, that's a fantastic experience when you have all your friends around you.

(Image credit: Anker)

Anker Nebula

Best for portability

When it comes to portability, you can't beat the Anker Nebula. You could easily confuse this tiny projector as a Bluetooth speaker, and in fact, the Nebula can be used as one, but it also packs a projection unit capable of producing a 100-inch screen. Now, we wouldn't recommend using at 100-inch unless it was very dark, but for a night camping where you might project a 65-inch screen on your tent, the nebula is perfect.

The battery is said to last four hours while watching a video and up to 30 hours if you only listen to music. Four hours is enough to get through most movies — unless you are viewing the Lord of the Rings extended edition — and would let you watch several episodes of your favorite shows. The Nebula runs on Android, so you can stream all your favorite shows from Amazon Prime, Netflix, or Hulu so you'll never miss another Grand Tour again.

(Image credit: BenQ)

BenQ TK800M (2019)

Best for affordable 4K

Sometimes you want to break away from the bland white or black boxes that represent the regular projectors. This 4K HDR unit from BenQ is a much more beautiful design than you usually see and packs a lot of projector in its sleek body. You get 4K HDR visuals that are stunning to look at, and a brightness level that makes it usable in most conditions. It even has an indoor and outdoor mode to help you get the most light possible.

The only downfall to this machine is the noise. It can be pretty loud, but if you are making a full home theater, your speaker should easily drown it out. Having to turn the volume up is a small price to pay for picture quality this good, however, so don't the noise put you off.

(Image credit: Vava)

VAVA 4K UHD

Short throw projector

Short throw laser projection is the best way to create a home theater, but it's pricey. There is no way to get this much technology at a low price, but if you are willing to spend the money, this projector from Vava is a fantastic buy. The quality is unmatched at 4K HDR, and because it is a short-throw projector, you can get a respectable 100-inch screen by placing the projector just 7.5 inches away.

The only real complaint here is the interface. It isn't the most beautiful or the most intuitive, but that shouldn't stop you from picking one up. If the image quality isn't enough to sway you — and it should be — then maybe the built-in Harmon Kardon soundbar will be. No need to buy separate speakers with this impressive-sounding system.

Bottom line

If you have money to burn, you would be hard pushed to find a better machine than the Vava short throw projector. The 4K HDR visuals are mind-blowing, and the sound is just as good. Of course, if you need a projector on the go, the Anker Nebula amazes me every time I think of a projector this good that's so small. It's worth picking one up if you do a lot of camping.