Best 4k Projector – Reviews of 4k Home Theater and Movie Projectors for Sale
List of the Best Available 4k Projectors for either a Home Theater, Movies or other Entertainment Available for Sale.
Top 9 Highest Rated 4K Projectors
1. Sony VPL-VW285ES
Our top spot on this whole ranking of today’s best 4K UHD HDR projectors has to go to a Sony model due to its combination of pure, true native 4K resolution and everything else that makes most of the other models on this list also excellent choices. This means that the Sony VPL-VW285ES delivers true, native cinematic 4K resolution at a totally real, non-upscaled 4096 X 2160 pixels, combines it with Sony’s already extremely high quality high dynamic range support specs and color rendering capability and then offers this whole package up to you at a price that we’ve never before seen for Sony’s famously pricey native 4K UHD projectors. The VW285US is still not cheap at all but by the standards of what most true 4K projectors normally cost, it’s by far the most affordable option among Sony’s outstanding projectors, with a price tag of less than $4000. When you consider the fact that most of the famous Sony VPL projectors cost well over $7,000, this particular price isn’t so bad at all.
In exchange the VW285ES delivers what is arguably the best picture quality of every model on this list among those that cost this much or less. It offers exact pixel-for-pixel reproduction, which is ideal for those who want the most immersive experience possible, combines it with beautiful HDR color and contrast specs and then tops things off with a very good level of cinematic projection luminosity at 1500 ANSI lumens.
Check pricing for the Sony VPL-VW285ES True Cinematic 4K HDR projector (2018 Model) on Amazon
4.7 – 4 Reviews
2. Optoma UHD60
Optoma’s UHD60 is arguably the best low cost true 4K ultra HD projector you can find today at the price range it sells for, which right now sits at just under $1700 dollars. That’s right, this is what you’d pay for true native 4K UHD resolution at 3840 x 2160 pixels. The UHD60 doesn’t quite match the sharpness factor of the Sony VPL-VW285US above because it lacks true cinematic 4K, which offers an additional half a million pixels for the UHD content you’re watching but it’s still 4K with the kind of sharpness you’d get from today’s best ultra HD TVs, but projected across over 140 inches of display space if that’s what you want. In other words, aside from a very close competition from Sony’s outstanding cheapest 4K projector model, the UHD60 is in our view easily the second best 4K HDR projector on the market today.
Along with this 4K technology comes full HDR10 support with stunning color calibration settings, a contrast ratio of 1,000,000:1 and projection distance capacity of over 10 feet. The UHD60’s lens offers up to 1.6X woth of zoom and comes with a throw ratio that ranges from 1.30 to 2.22 thanks to this model’s vertical lens. In other words, you can modify the UHD60’s beautiful image to fit almost any kind of display space. Multiple HDMI 2.0 ports and the UHD60’s excellent single DLP chip system make installing this model quick and easy work for open connectivity to all of your favorite content from media players, game consoles, streaming 4K media set-top boxes and just about any device you might want to connect via HDMI cables. Much like the UHD50 we’ve described a bit further below, the UHD60 comes with a whole range of HDR color and contrast settings for the best possible image quality during playback of sportscasts, movies, 4K HDR games and other content but it delivers all of these things slightly better due to its brighter lamp, slightly superior color performance and true native 4K resolution.
3. Sony VPL-VW295ES
The Sony VPL-VW295ES is just as good as the Sony VW285ES in terms of true cinematic 4K resolution and deliciously vibrant color reproduction for any HDR content you want to throw at it while also providing slightly better projection brightness and advanced reality creation technology for the best possible sharpening of any native 4K or non 4K content you play on this powerhouse device. This Sony model offers full high dynamic range color and contrast support and is a particularly ideal model for anyone who wants to enjoy their favorite console games and sportscasts in smooth, fluid motion while ramping up the cinematic 4K sharpness and HDR. The VW295ES even includes input lag reduction technology for gaming that’s silky smooth at whatever resolution you decide to play it at.
Most of all what we like about this model and what makes us rank it on this list is that it’s one of the very few HDR home theater projectors in existence to offer true cinematic 4K resolution with half a million more pixels than 4K TV ultra HD resolution at a price that’s reasonable. The VPL-VW295ES costs less than $5000 and in the world of cinema-quality native 4K projectors, that’s remarkably cheap.
Check pricing for the Sony VPL-VW295ES True Cinematic 4K HDR projector (2018 Model) on Amazon
4.7 – 4 Reviews
4. OPTOMA UHD50
If you want what is arguably some of the best possible image quality a limited 4K HDR projector budget can buy you, then the Optoma UHD50 is your go-to choice. It offers fantastic value due to the sheer quality this little beast delivers while costing so much less than what used to be the case for a 4K projector. At a price tag of less than $1500, the UHD50 delivers fantastic, truly high projection brightness, stunningly good color reproduction and some excellent contrast quality to new levels on a budget price. It also happens to offer a type of upscaled 4K resolution that’s so close to how the real thing looks that it might as well be the same. On an added note, this model can project its wash of high-level picture quality across up to 100 inches of display space, and because it’s so luminous, the quality of that 100 inch image will definitely be superb. The UHD50’s 2,400 lumens of brightness are downright incredible for such an affordable projector and makes its support for HDR10 look all the more fantastic.
Topping things off, the UHD50 comes with dual HDMI connections for any of your favorite external streaming or disc media devices and consoles, through which you can play all the 4K HDR content you like in beautiful HDR glory and superb resolution. As for its color quality, it too is remarkably robust, with a whole batch of different color modes, for cinematic movies or HDR gaming and many in between.
Our Guide to today’s absolute best streaming media set-top boxes for all the 4K ultra HD content you can handle
5. BenQ CineHome HT2550
Almost as bright as the Optoma UHD50 ranked right above it here, we have the BenQ HT2550 upscaled 4K projector, which itself is also one of the best ranked models of 2018 and 2019. Why is it so good? For a whole bunch of reasons that center around the simple fact that it will simply wow most viewers with how well it plays back all of their high resolution and ultra-High resolution content. The HT2550 is also an upscaled 4K HDR projector that outputs slightly less lumens of brightness than the Optoma UHD50, since it can only go up to about 2,200 but it still delivers absolutely kickass HDR video quality, superbly vibrant color palettes and best of all, is actually slightly cheaper than even the UHD50, with a price tag of just over $1000 depending on when and where you decide to buy it (prices can very by retailer and date).
The BenQ HT2550 delivers remarkably high grade upscaled 4K image quality due to a combination of pixel analysis technology that combines with a 1.2X optical zoom to let you splash movies, games and any other HDMI video input source or internal app content onto your favorite vertical space. Most notably of all, the HDR color, contrast and image accuracy balance delivered by the HT2550 is superb, with multiple color settings and full support for high dynamic range video sources of all kinds.
Design-wise, the BenQ HT2550 is also worth liking almost across the board. While it hasn’t been designed for maximum portability, this model is nonetheless very lightweight and extremely easy to set up, with a backlit remote control that lets you adjust some of its calibration and position settings from the comfort of your favorite sofa even in a darkly lit room. The lamp inside this little beast is built to manage 10,000 hours of use even at full power and that means years of movie watching before you need to spend any extra money on parts.
6. Epson 6040UB 4K HDR projector
The good parts of the Epson 5040UB are many and well designed, and they definitely make this projector worth considering as a serious home projection theater model even among fans of ultra HD resolution with a minimum of compromises. The 5040UB takes either native 1080p Full HD video signals and upscales them to simulated 4K resolution through its pixel-shift technology or it takes native 4K signals from sources like ultra HD Blu-ray players (with which it’s fully compatible) and slightly compresses them so that they fit into the pixel-shifting mechanism for generating projected visuals from the 6040UB’s display chips.
In either case, the quality of the generated image is genuinely superb as far as your normal human eye is concerned at normal viewing distances, the difference is very small, As a result what the 6040UB produces is superb, premium looking picture quality that becomes even more breathtaking if HDR content gets played back. This is one of Epson’s first projectors to come with HDR10 support for both color and contrast and the result during movies with high dynamic range formatting is deeply impressive. Watching 4K HDR Blu-ray HDR movies even manages to look better than what you’d get from a movie theater screen, except on a smaller display space. Color vibrancy, contrast, black depth and bright highlights as produced by the 5040UB are all nothing less than stunning, and you get all of these things for a price that we think is remarkably decent.
Check pricing for the Epson 5040UB upscaled 4K HDR home theater projector (2018 Model) on Amazon
4.7 – 4 Reviews
7. LG HU80KA Short Throw 4K UHD HDR projector
This ranking of today’s best 4K UHD projector wouldn’t be complete without the inclusion of at least one short throw model, and we think that the LG HU80KA is the best of these around in terms of both price and sheer performance combined.
Right off the bat, one of the awesome things about the HU80KA is that it’s a short throw projector, and a compact one at that. This means that you can completely ignore the usual tedious step of projector mounting to an elevated or hanging placement for movie watching. With this model you just turn it on, run through its basic setup and place it right in front of whatever vertical space you want to watch your movies on. That’s it, you’re good to go. With this level of convenience, the HU80KA comes with all the other trimmings of a premium 4K HDR home theater projector. It offers up excellent luminosity, full 4K resolution, HDR10 support for your favorite high dynamic range content and even comes with some great connectivity extras like audio streaming through Bluetooth connectivity. Additionally and rather uniquely among the models in this list, the HU80KA comes with the same internal smart TV platform that LG’s lineup of 4K UHD TVs offers, WebOS. That means built-in access to 4K HDR movies, documentaries and other entertainment from Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, Vudu, HBO and thousands of other streaming apps.
Best of all, the LG HU80KA is probably the cheapest native 4K short throw projector we’ve ever seen, with a price tag of less than $2500.
8. Sony VPL-VW350ES
Get the clarity of Sony’s SXRD 4K movie theater technology in what is still one of market leader Sony’s best ever native 4K ultra HD projectors. The VW350ES offers up anamorphic 3D, and HD to 4K upscaling. With additional installation flexibility you can experience immersive 4K media in an array of rooms. This projector model is without a doubt one of the best true native 4K projectors available today. It offers both full connectivity for any media or smart platform device you want to plug into it and the VW350ES will let you enjoy the content from these devices with exquisite picture quality. It pulls this off because of its capacity to output very strong brightness, deep black levels and some truly excellent color performance while keeping motion handling smooth in typical Sony style. The VPL-VW350ES is still expensive and that’s why we gave it something of a lower ranking now that many competitor models exist with native 4K and much lower prices, but it’s nearly unbeatable in terms of sheer quality at anywhere close to its price.
9. JVC 4K Home Theater Projector – DLAX500R
The DLA-X500R delivers stunning picture detail at an unprecedented value thanks to JVC’s exclusive 4K e-shift3 technology, which accepts Native 4K 60P through the 4K enabled HDMI inputs and up-converts existing 1080P sources to 4K. The three discrete DILA devices in the DLA-X500R produce a stable image with no flicker and a class leading 60,000:1 Native Contrast Ratio for peak whites and deep blacks.
4K Projector: Everything you Need to Know – Reviews
4K resolution technology for all sorts of display devices by now completely dominates the market. In televisions, PC monitors, cameras and laptops it’s the de-facto gold standard for all premium models being produced and sold. We’re even seeing increasing creation of phones and other small screen devices with ultra HD screen resolution. Thus, it’s only natural that the same should be the case with home theater projectors, which it absolutely is. At this point, in 2019, the majority of the best projector models for home theater use being released on the market all offer 4K upscaling at the very least and in an increasing number of different models from different brands, even full native 4K resolution. The very best of these are the ones we just ranked above this section.
4K is the word used to define a resolution count that’s at least 4 times larger than the much more conventional Full HD resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels that we’ve all become so used to. Currently, the most common 4K resolution consists of 3,840 x 2160 pixels but can also vary considerably and include resolutions of 4096 × 2160p or 3996 × 2160 pixels. The bottom line with regards to 4K is that it must have at least 4 times the total pixel count of normal 1080p HD resolution.
Formally speaking however, the Digital Cinematic industry standard for 4K is defined as being 4096 x 2160 pixels at a 1.9:1 aspect ratio. This most frequently applies to 4K cameras and to many True 4K projectors like many of the Sony models we’ve covered above.
In the midst of all this development, the three most important gadgets that are emerging from the development of 4K are TVs, cameras and projectors. Here we’re going to focus on projectors and give you a solid rundown of everything you need to know if you’re thinking of buying one of your own.
Let’s get started.
What’s a 4K Projector Anyways?
Just as their name implies, 4K projectors are home entertainment digital cinema systems that offer you the ability to project either photo or video content onto any vertical or even upside down blank space in your home or office. The main difference between 4K projectors and conventional home theater HD projectors is that the former offer far sharper 3,840 x 2160 pixel resolution and usually also include a whole host of beefed up visual rendering features that cheaper HD projectors simply don’t have.
In essence, what 4K projectors give you is the ability to take your regular TV or video content and any native 4K content (such as movies) you have and project them onto your house walls at any one of a number of flexible projection (display) sizes. These can range from just 55” inches in diagonal width to a whopping 300” inch home theater-sized image that will make you feel almost as if you’re enjoying your own personal mini IMAX experience.
What’s the Difference between Getting a Projector and a TV?
Aside from the obvious differences in design and setup, a 4K projector and 4K TVs differ mainly in price and technical details. With a projector, you’re investing in a genuinely designed home theater system in the theatrical sense of the word and the cost of these machines still somewhat reflects that. Almost across the board, 4K projectors will definitely cost you more than their TV counterparts and often have price tags that are several times higher than those of even a very high priced premium 4K HDR TV from brands like Samsung or Sony. This is changing however and while the main 4K UHD home theater projectors that were new in 2016 or before retailed (and often still retail) for several thousand dollar or more, new models have emerged that cost a lot less, with some excellent 4K HDR projectors that even offer native UHD resolution in their sensors now selling for well below $2,000.
However, despite their still somewhat steep price, what UHD projectors offer over UHD TVs is a distinctly flexible setup that allows you to install them in much smaller spaces than many TVs, adjust their screen size to any one of a number of ranges and of course move them much more easily since instead of weighing the 50+ pounds that a larger 4K TV weighs, they usually only heft out at 25 pounds or so, or even less. For example, the Sony 4K Ultra Short Throw Projector is designed in such a way that it can be slotted up against any wall and project its image directly above itself, thus letting it fit into even the narrowest living space assuming it contains at least 65” diagonal inches of wall.
Finally, in terms of image quality, what you’ll get with your projector is absolutely outstanding. These machines are designed with resolution and image rendering features that totally leave things such as hazy visuals and faded projections behind (via alsobrook source). They deliver a visual clarity that is at least as good as or possibly even better than that of their TV counterparts, it’s certainly less prone to physical damage to the internal screen components, since there aren’t any.
What is a 4K Projector Going to Cost Me?
4K projectors suffer from the one major detriment of not usually being particularly economical choices for smaller budgets.. High grade consumer projectors that currently exist on the market easily cost at least $5,000 USD and some such as the Short Throw Projector from Sony mentioned above will cost you well above $5,000 USD. There are even models that retail for well over $10,000. These gadgets are in other words much more in the price range of serious, affluent home theater lovers, but they definitely deliver an enormous bang for their buck.
On the other hand, as several of the 4K UHD HDR projector models we’ve ranked above show, the projector market has seriously matured and become much more competitive, with new additions from brands like Epson, BenQ, Optoma, JVC and other brands being available with full HDR, native 4K or at least upscaled 4K resolution and terrific projection brightness for prices that are much cheaper than what used to be the case. Thus, you can now easily buy a 4K HDR projector for the best in home theater for prices that have slipped well below the $3,000 mark. Many great upscaled 4K HDR projectors even retail for much less than $2,000. These aren’t exactly budget prices by 4K TV standards but they’re still excellent low prices compared to what a 4K home theater projector almost universally used to cost a couple of years ago.
What About HDR?
The 4K projectors of 2016 or before rarely came with HDR display support or HDR pass-through in their connectivity ports. This is no longer the case As the market for high dynamic range content grows and the overall spread of HDR support in almost all the 4K TVs released since 2017 became a thing, the home theater projector market has followed the same trend. Currently, almost every new 4K projector released by all the major brands that sell them comes with HDR support for at least one of the major content formatting standards for high dynamic range. This usually means HDR10 or HDR10+ support. Some projectors however also support Dolby Vision and other high dynamic range formats. Best of all, even most 4K projectors that don’t offer real native 4K resolution in their projection sensors do nonetheless do offer full HDR support. This is particularly great news because when it comes to picture quality, high dynamic range is much more visible and important than simple resolution.
As for what HDR support in a 4K projector means, well it entails delivery of exceptionally high contrast, strong bright highlights, deep rich black levels and of course, extremely vibrant wide color gamut rendering, in which full 10-bit color and wide color gamut are both covered. Our HDR Color Guide covers what all of these color features of HDR mean in detail.
UHD vs 4K, What’s the Difference?
In the simplest terms possible, there is usually no practical difference as far as your buying on the consumer market is concerned. 4K and UHD are used interchangeably by most home theater manufacturers and if you see either applied to a TV or projector, you’re also looking at a 4K device or display.
Formally however, 4K specifically signifies an industry resolution standard of 4096 x 2160 pixels. This is called DCI 4K and is the what most cinematic 4K projection technology uses. More common resolutions of 3,840 x 2160 pixels like those found in 4K TVs are called 4K ultra HD and nearly identical as far as visual similarities are concerned. UHD on the other hand is a more general term that can be used to describe resolutions that are smaller than 4K but still two or three times larger than normal Full HD AT 1,920 X 1,080 pixels or it can also be used to describe still experimental mega 8K resolutions of 7680×4320 pixels or more!
Content for 4K Projectors
The same content that can be viewed on any 4K TV can also be viewed on 4K projectors. They come with full connectivity for satellite, broadband, internet and cable transmissions, just like a modern TV and can also be connected to devices that play DVD, 4K Blu-ray or other recording media. All of the 4K UHD projectors we’ve ranked on this page come with full HDMI 2.0 connectivity and let you connect them to streaming media devices for 4K movie apps, to 4K Blu-ray players or to game consoles like the Xbox One X or PlayStation 4 Pro. So if you want 4K content access on a modern UHD projector, you can access nearly all the same entertainment that your 4K UHD TV would let you watch. Below we cover some details on how all of this content access for projectors works.
Our Guide to today’s absolute best streaming media set-top boxes for all the 4K ultra HD content you can handle
Streaming & OTT Broadcast content
Just as is the case with UHD TVs, the amount of native 4K content that’s publicly available is growing all the time. Companies such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Instant Video, Hulu, Vudu and numerous others are offering streaming native 4K versions of their shows House of Cards and Breaking Bad and broadcasters such as the BBC as well as others in Japan are beginning to experimentally roll out widespread 4K broadcasting over their broadband channels. There is also a new 4K UHD content streaming service from Sony that’s being rolled out and expanded in 2016. Given that most true 4K consumer home theater projectors are in fact Sony models, it is likely that this particular source of streaming media will be compatible with Sony’s own projection technology.
Additionally, if they are compatible with your 4K prjector via HDMI 2.0 connectivity, numerous streaming 4K UHD-capable set-top boxes like the Roku 4 4K media box or the Amazon Fire 4K TV box can offer access to thousands of Full HD content selections as well as a wide and growing range of 4K UHD programs from the same streaming media apps found in 4K smart TVs. These set-top boxes can be hooked up to any of the projectors we review here for a wide range of content options in both 4K and upscaled non-4K.
Hard Media 4K content
For one of your best possible sources of hard media 4K projector content, there is 4K ultra HD Blu-ray media. 4K Blu-ray players and discs both emerged in early 2016 to be an excellent source of 4K video with HDR for users who want a more robust content clarity experience or simply don’t have the internet connectivity for accessing streamed 4K media. The selection of 4K UHD Blu-ray titles is growing regularly and now includes pretty much all major new Hollywood releases once they go on sale from the Big Screen. 4K UHD Blu-ray players are also available from Philips, Samsung and Panasonic as well as other brands like LG and Sony. All 4K Blu-ray players on the market can be hooked up to any 4K HDR projector via HDMI without a problem.
Bear in mind also that 4K resolutionin movies, TV and other programming sources is still taking off, so content will indeed become much more available in the next few years.
Another benefit of every major brand of home entertainment 4K projector is that it possesses an internal upscaling engine that will dramatically enhance the viewing of conventional HD content on your screen, so while you wait for the probably inevitable 4K expansion of entertainment options, you can still enjoy even better than normal Full HD.
We should also mention some specifics of connectivity that you need to keep in mind if you’re going to get a 4K projector as your primary home entertainment technology. Just like a 4K TV, it needs to have the essential connection technologies built into it for accessing the latest 4K streaming and media player content in ultra HD. This means a projector with HDMI 2.0 ports, HDCP 2.2 compatibility in these HDMI ports and, crucially, HEVC decoding capability. If your projector also comes with a DisplayPort 1.2 connection, you’re even better off for hooking it up to PC gaming at 4K resolutions.
Should I buy a 4K Projector?
If you really want the best in home entertainment and want it to be ready for the 4K future, then yes, projectors are quite possibly the best product on the market today. If however your budget is a lot tighter than their costs, then you’re much better off simply going for a 4K TV. It offers the same visual quality at a much smaller price and your only major sacrifice will be the exquisitely large display space which a projector offers.