Modern households are loaded with HD-capable devices. Your TV, computer, and mobile devices are all capable of delivering stunning content. Some of them are even able to deliver up to 4k resolution.
However, projectors are in a league of their own. They can display vast images and videos across your living room or you can even use the back of your house as a brilliant backdrop for an outdoor movie.
The possibilities become almost endless when you invest in a projector, or better yet a 4k resolution projector.
|AT A GLANCE:|
|1. Our Top Pick: Sony VW325ES 4K HDR|
|2. Best Overall: BenQ TK850 True 4K|
|3. Best Value: Epson Home Cinema 3200|
Projectors were always a staple of my childhood – video games in the yard as they’re playing across the side of my parent’s home. Or, a movie that spans the entire living room wall was always some of my fondest memories.
Now, with 4k resolution as an option, the projector game has just gotten better.
But, what are the best 4k projectors in 2020? It depends on what you’re looking for. I’ve compiled a list of the best X 4k projectors in 2020.
- The Five Best 4k Projectors in 2020
- Breaking Down the Best of the Best
- BenQ TK850 True 4K
- Epson Home Cinema 3200
- Sony Home Theater Projector VPL-VW295ES
- Sony VW325ES 4K HDR Laser Home Theater Video Projector
- What You Should Be Looking For
- Home Theater Projectors or Other Models?
- Native 4K Resolution or Pixel Shifting?
- To Short Throw or not Short Throw?
- In Summary
The Five Best 4k Projectors in 2020
It should be noted that not all 4k projectors are 4k projectors. Let me explain.
Some projectors can truly display 4k resolution. These, by definition, are the true 4k projectors in the world. However, there are also 4k projectors that can receive and accept information in 4k but adapt using pixel-shifting that merely imitates 4k resolution projections.
Both are included in this table and list. Of course, one is naturally better than the other, but that doesn’t mean that the 4k projectors that use pixel shifting are bad or aren’t worth it. You may find that they’re exactly what you’re looking for.
Breaking Down the Best of the Best
The table couldn’t, and shouldn’t, be enough information. They’re great for providing an overview of what each product is and what makes them stand out, but they don’t tell the nitty-gritty details that are so important when making such a large decision.
That’s why I’ve put together a comprehensive list of the top five 4k projectors in 2019 and broken down what is good about them and what they could use a little bit of work on.
Here is the reviewed list.
BenQ’s TK800 is a previous model that’s well known in the 4k projector world, it’s renowned and is given high praise. So, it’s no wonder that their TK8000 model has made the list.
The BenQ TK8000M markets itself as the home theater projector for sports fans. Admittedly, it would be a great product for those who love their four-days-a-week football or anyone else who can’t keep their eyes off the ball.
It comes with dedicated sports modes. Specifically, it comes with a dedicated football mode for optimal enjoyment.
This is also one “not 4k, but is still 4k projectors.” It uses a glass 4k-optimized lens that helps light penetrate it easier. This projector also comes with a high native contrast ratio. That means you’ll have sharp image quality with every use.
- Ideal for those who want to have a home theater setup.
- Great for the sports lover in all of us with dedicated sports modes included
- Known to have issues with 3D films
- Sometimes has minimal issues with detecting HDR
The Epson Home Cinema 3200 is rated at 2,900 lumens which translates into a brilliant HDR picture. You’ll be able to project this onto screens up to 120” for a large picture size at your availability.
The 3200’s native resolution isn’t 4K, it’s 1080P. This means it’s designed for typical HD images. However, it’s equipped with Epson’s PRO-UHD chip which will allow it to pixel shift the images to 4K enhancement. While it’s not native 4K, it stacks up well to similar models around the same range.
It includes 18Gbps HDMI 2.0 inputs that support content from streaming devices as well as gaming consoles. So, you’ll be able to stream your favorite content or play video games from any modern gaming console on this projector.
Overall, it can be a great family purchase if you’re interested in a projector that will be good for multiple uses. It’s a jack of all trades if you will.
- 2,900 lumens for great HDR pictures.
- Ability to stream content or connect with gaming consoles.
- Ideal for those who want a projector for family uses.
- It doesn’t come with many features compared to higher-end models.
- A low contrast ratio compared to other 4K capable projectors.
Sony is a household name brand that will follow you everywhere. That’s because they’re good at technology, and better at it when it’s made for the home. They’ve not released many 4K projectors before this one, but they knocked it out of the park on this try.
The VPL-VW295ES (from here on known as the VPL) has predecessors that have a notable track record. The standards go above and beyond with the latest addition.
We’ve finally hit the portion of the list where we talk about native 4K resolution projectors. No more pixel shifting, no more lies. When this model of the projector was launched, it was the only in its class that was as affordable.
It comes with 1,500 lumens and has reduced the input lag to an astounding 27ms. If you’re interested in playing video games that require an internet connection on your projector, that sentence should’ve given you goosebumps. 27ms isn’t the most optimal for professional gamers, but if you’re like most people, 27ms is perfectly acceptable.
- Native 4K resolution – say goodbye to pixel shifting.
- Not only compatible with gaming consoles but has reduced input lag by a large amount compared to other similar models
- Comes from a name brand that you can trust to deliver quality products
- It doesn’t come with some of the more robust features of high-end pixel-shifting 4K projectors.
- 1,500 lumens is relatively low compared to others on the market
The Sony VPLVW885ES is in a class of its own. It’s at the top of the mountain staring down at all the 4K projectors that wish they were able to compete.
It’s, of course, a true 4K projector that supports High Dynamic Range. It supports both HDR10 as well as HLG. HLG is Hybrid Log-Gamma, a newer HDR standard that’s meant specifically for 4K streaming. It also supports 3D, you won’t find that in most 4K projectors at this point in the industry.
It includes a laser light engine that has a lamp life of 20,000 hours. That means the biggest TV lovers are going to get a butt-ton out of this projector. Even the most dedicated TV lovers, say at 60 hours a week, will get a total of a projected six-year lifespan out of this lamp.
The power of the brightness can be adjusted by 1% increments, up and down.
- Supports HDR, HDR10, and HLG.
- Native 4K resolution that is almost impossible to beat.
- Full-featured backlight remote
- 3D support
- Automatically calibrated
- 20,000 hours is a lot, but it’s less than some projectors at a much lower range.
- Otherwise, it’s perfection.
What You Should Be Looking For
It’s not enough for you to know what the 4k projectors provide if you don’t know what factors matter to you. That’s why I’ve compiled some of the most important aspects of 4k projectors, and projectors in general, that you should consider before deciding on what 4k projector is right for you.
Here are some things you should be looking for when making your decision.
Home Theater Projectors or Other Models?
This list strictly contains home theater projectors because they’re what the average consumer is going to be looking to purchase, especially in 4K. However, remember that there are other uses for a project and most of them don’t include 4K resolution.
Other models can include projectors made for business use, small projectors for presentation purposes, and more.
Here are the advantages to home theater projectors:
- Good for video games
- Sports and movie nights
- 3D movies
Native 4K Resolution or Pixel Shifting?
It’s the great debate surrounding 4K resolution projectors.
Native 4K resolution will always be better, but it often comes with a heavy price tag when compared to 4K resolution projectors that use image chips to alter what you’re seeing.
Instead of taking 4,000 pixels and jamming them into your screen, manufacturers can use these image chips to offset images and provide a more-or-less accurate version of 4K resolution.
Yes, you can tell the difference. Is it worth it? That depends on your willingness to go the extra mile.
To Short Throw or not Short Throw?
That is the question.
Short throw projectors are invaluable if you’re working with a limited amount of space. They’re also not ideal if you’re looking for an outdoor setting because of the way they’re designed – to broadcast a large image in a small area.
If you’re looking for a projector that needs to work in a tight fit, these are your best bet.
The modern home will continue to advance well beyond 4K projectors, but that doesn’t mean they’re not worth it now. It’s up to you to decide which projector is most appropriate for you and what you should look for when purchasing one.
This guide provides the best 4k projectors, specifically for home theater use. From the cream of the crop to the best projectors for family use, you should be armed with the knowledge of the best 4k projectors of 2020.