Best Short Throw Projector – Expert’s Guide

Short throw projectors aren’t a new product for anyone who’s heavily invested in having the perfect home theater in their household.

Short throw projectors have a display ratio of less than 1, scaling down to 0.4. They even have models called ultra-short-throw projectors that have a throw ratio of less than 0.4.

These projectors are ideal for those who have limited space or want the largest picture possible to view at their leisure.

Fans of projectors know all too well that it’s easy to run into space issues depending on the size of your home or place you’re using your projector.

By using short-throw projectors, you’ll be optimizing space to receive a great picture at the size you want. They range from HD compatible to 4K compatible for the ultimate viewing experience.

So, what short-throw projectors are the best? They come in many shapes and sizes and have different uses.

We’ll dive into the world of short-throw projectors and dissect the best five on the market and their various uses and downsides.

The Five Best Short-Throw Projectors for a Home Theater Experience

From ultra-short-throw projectors to the might and powerful 4K resolution capable short-throw projectors, you’ll find that there are many types of projectors for you to consider

This table comparison will highlight the strengths of each short-throw projector and who would want it.

If you’re looking for a more in-depth comparison with pros and cons, we’ll get there; don’t fret.

Comparing The Best 

If you’re interested in purchasing a short-throw projector, you’ll need to know the nitty-gritty differences between each of them.

Tables are great for getting an overview, but you’ll need to be informed on all the benefits and downsides (they exist, even among the best.)

Below is a comprehensive list of the top five short-throw projectors on the market. We’ll dive into an actual buyer’s guide for short-throw projectors at the end of the article.

InFocus IN126STa WXGA Short-Throw Projector

The WXGA is a high-end HD compatible short-throw projector. It’s ranked first by many critiques and deservingly so.

It has a great performance rating and also comes with wireless capabilities.

The way it works is that it will combine a WXGA resolution network with a short throw and high brightness. It’s ideal for those who are limited in space and would like to save the hassle of cords and keep it simple in a projector.

It shines when you’re using it as a home theater projector, but it can also be used for classroom, office, or other spaces. You’ll be easily able to display PDFs, photos, documents, or other materials if the need ever arises.

If you’re looking or a cinema experience right in your living room, but still want the capabilities of using it for more, this product is right up your alley.

Pros 

  • A high-performance projector in the HD range
  • Wireless capable
  • Compatible with RCA, VGA, USB mini, HDMI, USB-a, and S-Video

Cons 

  • Doesn’t have as many capabilities, such as 4K resolution, for being a high-end projector

BenQ HT2050A 1080P Home Theater Projector

BenQ’s HT2050A is a 1080p capable projector meant for use as part of your home theater experience.

It has a brightness of 2,200 lumens with a high native contrast ratio to deliver you stunning images while having all the benefits of being a short-throw projector.

It’s capable of projecting onto a 100-inch display from a distance of just eight feet. That means, if you’re limited in space, you’re going to get a bigger picture than most houses in America to have.

It comes with an easy-to-understand control panel attached to it and comes with powerful 10-watt speakers. You’ll be hard-pressed to find other speakers as capable around the same range as this model.

It also comes with DLP technology implemented into it. DLP technology is used in 90% of movie theaters and 100% of IMAX theaters – its technology that you can count on to bring the best picture to your home.

The size of the projector should also be noted. It’s not as compact as the ASUS S1 (we’ll get there,) but it can be portable if you’re looking for one that isn’t too clunky to carry around with you.

Pros 

  • Includes DLP technology
  • Powerful 10-watt speaker
  • User-friendly

Cons 

  • Known to be frustrating to control

ASUS S1 200

The ASUS S1 200 is my pick for the best portable short-throw projector on the market.

Its size is small enough to fit in your pocket, around the size of your palm. It weighs less than a pound to maximize its portability features.

It also comes with DLP technology, 200 lumens of brightness, and 854×480 native resolution. It has a maximum size of 100 inches. The size of the image it can project will blow any other competition out of the water that is around the S1’s size.

It’s powered by a 6,000 mAh rechargeable battery that will produce power for up to 3-hours. It can also function as a power strip if you’re wanting to charge any mobile devices.

It does have the capability to connect with iPhones or iPads with lightning ports, but you’ll need to purchase a Lightning Digital AV Adapter from Apple to have that function. However, the ability to connect your smart devices isn’t something that most projectors around the same range are capable of.

Pros 

  • Extremely small sizes make this ideal for those looking for a true portable short-throw projector
  • The bulb on this bad boy will last for up to 30,000 hours
  • The battery life of up to 3 hours and functions doubly as a power strip for any other devices
  • Ideal for wanting the good quality picture on the go

Cons 

  • Relatively low brightness compared to other short-throw projectors
  • The resolution on this portable pocket rocket is not even HD compatible. That doesn’t mean it won’t be a good picture, but don’t expect to carry a full-on movie experience in your pocket.

VAVA 4K UHD Laser TV Home Theatre Projector

The VAVA 4K Laser TV is in a league of its own. It’s the crown jewel of short-throw projectors for home theater environments. If you want the ultimate movie experience in the comfort of your own home using a short-throw projector, this is the product for you.

Firstly, it’s an ultra-short-throw projector. You’ll be able to cast a 100 inch sized image from only 7.2 feet away. It has a maximum projection size of 150 inches. You read that right, 150 inches of perfect 4K resolution across your living room wall.

Technology is wonderful, isn’t it?

It’s also 4K resolution, although it uses pixel shifting to achieve that. Not all 4K resolution projectors are alike, and this VAVA Laser TV isn’t one of the “true” 4K resolution projectors. It uses an image chip to shift pictures around to imitate 4K resolution.

That doesn’t mean it’s not 4K resolution – it is. It’s capable of delivering a better quality image than what you’re used to at a movie theater.

It also comes with a 30-watt speaker. That’s a speaker that is more powerful than any other projector on this list. If you’re not wanting to buy additional soundbars or accessories for your sound, you won’t have to. This projector is built with power in mind.

Three HDMI inputs are also included that support Ultra HD content with HDR and HDCP 2.2.

Finally, as if this projector didn’t stack enough features, it’s also capable of connecting with WiFi and ethernet functions if you’re using the integrated Android TV user interface.

This also means it’s a smart device. You’ll be able to connect to all your favorite applications like Netflix, HBO, Hulu, and whatever else you’re using to using in your daily life.

Pros 

  • Internet capabilities that also make it a smart device for your viewing pleasures
  • Ultra-short throw technology to display a huge image at short distances for those who want a larger picture or are limited in the space available to them
  • Powerful 30-watt speakers are integrated into the projector
  • 4K resolution for the ultimate cinema experience within the comfort of your home
  • Several HDMI inputs

Cons 

  • Is known to have small issues with color accuracy
  • The menu, inconveniently, won’t allow you to see the image while you’re adjusting what it looks like – this may lead to a lot of guesswork to get the perfect image calibrated

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What to Look for in a Short-Throw Projector

Now that you understand what the best short-throw projectors provide, it’s time to talk about the features you should be noted when considering what short-throw projector to purchase.

As you’ve found out, each projector has its benefits and downsides to each.

It’ll be important that you know and understand what you want from your short-throw projector.

Projector Brightness Will Brighten Your Viewing Experience

Projector brightness is measured by a unit called ANSI lumens.

A home theater projector will typically begin their lumens at around 1,000 for a quality picture. However, you’ll see lumens often go well above that. Many are 2,000+ and some, such as the VAVA 4K Laser TV, will reach as much as 6,000 lumens of brightness.

If you have a dedicated space that you’ve optimized for a home theater experience, the brightness won’t mean as much to you. As in, if your viewing room has controlled lighting, it won’t be that big of a deal.

However, most average Joes won’t have that in their household. If that’s you, aim for a higher lumen rating to get a better picture.

Lamp Life and How It Will Affect You

Projector’s lamps are typically powered by either LCD and DLP technology, DLP being used in most movie theaters and all IMAX theaters.

These standard lamps will typically have a life between 2,000 and 4,000 hours. However, that shouldn’t be mistaken for the entire life of the bulb.

When talking of projectors, lamp life is the half-life of the lamp.

That means if your projector is rated for 2,000 hours, your lamp should be half as bright as when you originally used the device after 2,000 hours. This also means you can expect your lamp to slowly, but consistently, dim over time.

The amount of lamp life you should look for depends on how often you’ll be using your projector.

Short-Throw or Long-Throw Projectors?

Long-throw projectors are, typically, any projector that isn’t a short-throw projector.

The main difference between the two is the size of the image it can project from a shorter, or longer, distance.

Short-throw projectors are ideal for those who have limited space or want to be able to broadcast the largest image at the most optimal range.

Long-throw projectors are better for those who have a lot of space to optimize, or even for family fun outside with the projector. Typically, they have a wider range of uses.

In Summary

Short-throw projectors come in all shapes and sizes and have different strengths and weaknesses in the model.

Unlike men, they’re not all equal. You should take the time to learn what short-throw projectors are best for you based on your needs and circumstances in your home theater.

If you’re looking for the ultimate home theater experience, whether that’s on the go, or in your home, short-throw projectors should never be overlooked.

They’ve revolutionized the home theater as well as the ever-so-popular smart home.

This comprehensive list should encompass the best short-throw projectors on the market and allow you to find the best one for your needs.

Happy short-throwing!