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7 projectors to create a home theater on any budget

Miss going out to the movies? You can make a movie theater right in your own home for a lot less than you think with a projector. RELATED: Tap or click here for our best budget TV buying guide.

A nice TV set may give you a brighter and more detailed picture, but a projector is the best way to create a big-screen experience without completely blowing your budget. You can set it up and take it down, too, so no worries if you don’t have a room that can serve as your theater all the time.

You may have a preferred TV brand, but that doesn’t mean you know where to start when it comes to picking out a projector. We compiled seven great options for any budget. Read through to see what makes each one shine and find the centerpiece for all your future movie nights.

 1. Anker

For something small you can move all over the room, the Anker Nebula Capsule is a great way to go. With a 360° speaker, and the ability to project up to 100 inches, this little soda-can sized projector can pack a punch.

The Anker is a smart device, connecting to Wi-Fi to let you stream from apps in the projector, and from any Android device. It doesn’t connect to iOS devices though, sorry Apple fans!

With 480 SD resolution, the Anker may have only OK picture quality and the worst one on our list. But if you want something highly portable for indoor and outdoor viewing, the Anker is a good option.

2. LG PH30N

For the most modern option on the market, the LG Electronics PH30N Portable CineBeam Projector just came out a month ago. With 720 HD resolution and Bluetooth capability, its newness is pretty obvious.

The Bluetooth lets you connect speakers to the projector, so you can easily improve your sound quality if you have Bluetooth speakers you like. Tap or click here for some great Bluetooth speaker options.

You can also screen share to the projector with Miracast supporting devices. At 2.5 hours of portable battery life, it’ll need to be plugged in for some features, but with a great 100-inch display it’s a great choice.

3. ViewSonic

Want to project games, not just movies? You’ll like the ViewSonic 1080p-supported projector. With the ability to project to 120 inches, and low input lag, it’s great for making your gaming experience bigger and better.

It connects to almost any device you can imagine, with SuperColor Technology to boot and comes with 2W speakers.

The only thing to keep in mind is, it supports 1080p resolution, but it projects things at 720p. The support allows for the lack of lag and keeps quality up. But for actual 1080p images, you’ll have to continue down the list.

4. Optoma

Here’s one that projects in 1080p resolution already: the Optoma HD146X High-Performance Projector! Projecting images up to 300 inches in height, the Optoma has cinematic picture quality unlike anything else.

The lamp in the Optoma is so bright, you can easily project while keeping the lights on in your home theater. It also boasts a quick response time that makes it great for gaming.

5. BenQ

If you’re working with a small home theater space, you need a projector that can work being close to the screen. For a projector that has to be three to eight feet from the screen, you want a short-throw projector.

Our favorite projector of this kind is the BenQ HT2150ST short-throw projector. Offering 1080p resolution, high response time, and outstanding colors, the BenQ gives you a great picture even in small spaces.

With vertical keystone correction and zoom, you can make the BenQ work in whatever room you need. You need a ceiling mount for the best images but it’s a wonderful short-throw projector!

6. Epson

1080p is a wonderful resolution, especially for a projector. But if you have a few 4K movies you want to watch, we commend the Epson Home Cinema 4010.

The Epson gives you a sharp, 4K quality image along with full 10-bit color processing and 12-bit analog-digital image processing. It’s fast, it’s bright, it has a precision lens, and it’s as good, if not better than most TV sets.

This much quality will cost you though. The Epson Home Cinema 4010 is just under $2,000. But, if you have the money and want an amazing home theater, it’s worth investing in an awesome projector.

7. Vava

If you need a short-throw projector but want the quality of the Epson, you need the VAVA 4K UHD Laser TV Home Theatre Projector. Dimmer than other projectors on this list, VAVA makes up for it with its ultra-short throw.

The VAVA can project a 100-inch image from only 7.2 inches away from the wall or screen! Add to that 4K image resolution, and an advanced laser light source, this projector will make you feel like you’re at a theater for sure.

BONUS: Complete your home theater with a projector screen and ceiling mount

We don’t want to just recommend projectors and leave you on your own for the rest. Complete your home theater with the Mdbebbron projection screen and the VIVO Universal Adjustable Ceiling Projection Mount.

The Mdbebbron holds a 120-inch image at a 16:9 ratio, and it’s foldable while being anti-creasing. So you can move this screen around if you want to, or keep it mounted to get the best picture possible from your projector.

The VIVO ceiling mount comes in white or black. It fits almost every single projector on the market and in this list (except the Anker, due to its small, can shape).

With easy installation, a low profile, and a 15-degree tilt that can help your image look its best in a variety of rooms, the VIVO is a worthy investment for a permanent home theater. For a more mobile one, you don’t really need it.

So there you have it — seven wonderful projectors, plus the screen and mount that can make your home theater dreams a reality. Depending on your budget, you can get something pretty great, or downright stunning.

By clicking our links, you’re supporting our research, as we may earn a very small commission. Recommendations are not part of any business incentives.

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