best home theater projector under 300

best home theater projector under 300

best home theater projector under 300

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showing you what I learned when I went out and spent seven thousand dollars on four different UHD 4k projectors to compare their image quality their features and certainly their size so let’s take a look and see what we learned along the way and hopefully we can help you make a decision on which projector is right for you the first thing I want to go over is how I chose the projectors that I chose so what I did is a lot of homework I went to multiple websites I tried to mostly focus on current projectors things that came out in the last year or two what I would still consider consumer-level projectors so things that range up to about $2,500 and that’s kind of a lot to spend for a projector but in some cases I mean depending on who’s watching this you may think that’s a lot or a little but I wanted to find out kind of what’s the on the lower side more the consumer friendly brands the consumer friendly models of projectors that are out there today so I compared about 12 or 13 projectors created a spreadsheet if you head on over to my website it learned to DIY calm and I’ll put a link in the description you can see all of the specs that I came up with and I I came up with all kinds of stuff I wanted to find out do they zoom all of them the basics first you know what are their lumens what’s their contrast ratio making sure what the resolution is I did a lot of research on the difference between 4k native 4k full 4k and then what’s called folk’ looked at bulb life bulb replacement cost looked at different things like what are their review ratings on Amazon and on other websites how big can their screens go at what throw distances things like that so all kinds of stuff check that out on the website if you want to learn more and that includes the information for these four so the four that I ended up going with range from 1,000 to $2,100 maybe by the time you’re watching this those prices will be different but the three brands that I was specifically focusing on were Epson viewsonic and Optima and so you’ll see that there’s actually a lot of consistency in brands so even if you don’t up going with the models that I’m showing here hopefully showing you this will give you an idea for what you can expect when you purchase one of these brands so I did a lot of research on these AV forums talked to people who are really into projectors and really get this stuff and most of them really talked a lot about this one projector called the Epson home cinema 5040 you be saying that this was like the one to compare to especially in that price range and that everything kind of went up from there as far as price but in this price price range this is supposedly one of the best ones you can get the U B stands for ultra black it’s got a great contrast ratio actually a million to one so that’s the first one I started with the second one a lot of talk about the newer model for that one which is the Epson 40 10 so I also purchased the 40 10 which was about three hundred dollars less coming in at about eighteen hundred dollars and then I also purchased an Optima I have an Optima right now is my 1080p projector and I really like it it’s cheap but it does a great job and I’ve been really happy with it so I purchased the Optima UHD 60 and then the last one I bought to bring down the cheapest one that I could find basically this one was 999 dollars and that’s the viewsonic and that’s the px7 47 so that one was $9.99 and we’re gonna take a look at each of these so one of the first things I noticed about these projectors that I wasn’t expecting is the size difference look at the size of this thing these Epsons are mammoth I’m a consumer level guy I have a normal little projector 1080p the things probably you know this big just a normal sized projector or what I consider to be normal so I was not expecting these huge Epson projectors and they are really large they’re they’re probably two to three times bigger than a standard projector now another thing with that is these larger projection projectors they don’t use keystoning so keystoning is this effect where you have a trapezoid essentially so ideally your picture is square or rectangle with your 16 by 9 ratio or there’s other ratios as well but you can actually tilt them out a little bit so when you’re angling it down you can adjust the the width of the top or the bottom of the image to make it still present as a rectangle or a square in your on your projector screen so that’s not with these larger ones because they use something else called the lens shift now what lens shift is is it actually there’s a stationary lens in the front that all of the images come out of that’s the one we actually can see but inside the machine there’s actually movement that can happen there’s motorized lenses which is super cool but you can actually move the picture around and that way you can adjust where your image sits on your on your theater wall so you can have it go up down left right you can zoom in zoom out and these Epsons have from what I’ve seen just about the best lens shift and the best zooming capabilities of anything out there so on the Epsons the lens shift actually has a capability of moving vertically 96% so nearly 100% in other words if you have it all the way up at the top you can use the remote control to move the the picture that’s projected out almost all the way down 100 percent below itself 96 percent and then horizontally you’ve got a 47% shift so you can move quite a bit left to right so very impressive as far as getting that set up on the Optoma projector that one has a little bit of lens shift it’s manual there’s a little knob in there to handle that it doesn’t shift quite as much it’s a vertical lens shift only in its 15 percent so it’s more of an adjustment not for larger moves or anything like that and then on the least expense of the viewsonic it does not have any sort of lens shift it does have Keystone capabilities more like what you’d expect on a lower end projector that’s what I’ve got on my 1080p projector I’ve got the ability to use keystoning and it I don’t know I kind of think it’s alright just keep in mind though with keystoning what you’re doing is you’re manipulating the actual pixels there so it’s trying to interpolate these pixels that aren’t there so it’s kind of like using digital zoom a little bit there’s no real extra pixels showing up there you’re just zooming in on the pixels that are already present it’s not like optical which is what lens shift is so that you can actually get the full resolution no matter where the picture is so one of the other things that I noticed right away was the size of the remotes they’re very different on the Epsons they use this really large remote here this thing is pretty huge don’t know if you care about that but they’re definitely different types of remotes and are a lot more features by by far on the Epson as far as the things that you can do to control the projector versus either of the others Optima remote is like this little flashlight and so it’s quite bright alright so let’s get to the good part let’s take a look at the actual image differences in these projectors this is really all that matters right we’re really when it comes down to it the remote is great the size of these things may be relevant but what really matters is how good of a picture do we get when you’re watching a movie when you’re playing a 4k game when you’re watching something that’s epic and meant to be epic and was really well filmed do you get to appreciate it do you see the best version of it that you can see so just a little bit about my setup here so that you can kind of get a feel for how comparable is this setup to what you might see or have at your home so my projector screen it’s when I built myself and if you want to check that out there’s a link in the description of how to build your own high-end projector screen that has a great image so this one is 12 just shy of 12 feet it’s a hundred and forty two inches diagonally and 16 by 9 ratio and then where I sit is about 15 feet away from the screen so the screen about 12 feet sitting 15 feet back and then the projectors the lens of the projectors in all of the cases that I tested with was right at about 16 and a half feet about 16 foot 6 so that’s the different or that those are the distances that I was using in this case and I tested in two sets of scenarios I tested with the lights fully on I’m in my basement here and I put a lot of cann lights in my basement when I built it because I wanted it nice and bright down here right now for example I’m not using any studio lights or anything like that this is just the actual lighting so you can see it’s pretty bright and then I also tested it completely black I’ve got blackout curtains and I made sure everything was pitch black when testing it and that’s obviously the optimal viewing situation so I took some 4k footage that I saw from Sony they actually did kind of this sampler of this African safari wild animal footage very very well shot it’s all gorgeous footage very crisp very sharp and really shows off the details of 4k so that’s what we’re going to use as the first sample I’m going to show you kind of side-by-side exactly what each of these looks like and then I took one of my own DIY videos where I was building the clubhouse that’s out in my backyard and so that’s that was all shot in 4k so I took some sample clips from that and shot those on each of the or showed those on each of the 4k projectors as well so I had lots of footage to go off of and I’m mostly going to focus on this 4k sampler footage by Sony because it’s beautiful it really is kind of show-off material for these projectors so what we’re looking at here is the 4k sampler image I in post I went ahead and lined up all of the footage just right I try to get it as close as I could with the camera I’m using all manual camera settings and my objective here was to try to capture on camera what my eyes were seeing for example with exposure if this projector was really bright I wanted to make sure that I had my camera settings – such that it matched what I was seeing in person so that was the attempt that was the goal here was to try to get that as close as I could in each of these scenarios and then I even went and adjusted it slightly in post just to make sure it was true to life I wanted you guys to see what I saw when I sat down in front of it not just how the camera picked it up but how my eyes really saw it as if you were watching it in person so this is the comparison so on the Left we’ve got the 54 to UB next to that is the 40 10 next to that is the Optima and then the viewsonic so you can kind of see these are in price range or price order basically left being the most expensive right being the least expensive and some of the things I noticed right away were on the least expensive one the $999 viewsonic the colors the saturation the the richness of the colors just wasn’t there it was just lacking so I would I kind of automatically ruled that one out it just wasn’t especially if you see these side by side or if you’re used to a good crisp vivid image this is not a vivid image it’s it’s flat it’s kind of dull and it’s just lackluster it kind of ruins the experience a little bit of having 4k resolution wise it looks sharp it looks good but it just doesn’t have the ability to provide the experience of the colors and the contrast and the richness that these other projectors do so if you’re if you’re looking around I would avoid the bottom of the I have heard of you Sonic has won that’s three or four hundred dollars more that’s got a better richness to the colors and everything like that but I’ve also heard the view Sonic in general as a brand is one that you might want to stay away from now the contrast ratio on the least expensive one this view sonic here is actually only twelve thousand to one which is quite a bit less than all of its siblings here all of its competitors the Optima for example is a million to one which is as good as you can find out there in this price range so is the Epson 54 to UB and then the Epson 40 10 is actually a two hundred thousand to one contrast ratio and I will say I didn’t really notice much of a difference between those last three the the three more expensive ones all seem to perform very similarly as far as the the richness of the blacks and the contrast in general so a million to one versus two hundred thousand to one didn’t notice a big difference twelve thousand to one you could kind of tell there that that $999 1 contrast ratio is not that impressive so keep that in mind now with the Optima it was a little bit oversaturated I have an Optima now for my 1080p projector and on that one it’s a little bit oversaturated but it’s not crazy it’s not totally blown out and it looks really sharp actually it provides a nice bright vivid colors your Reds look nice and red if you look at these the strawberry footage for example that’s kind of a showcase sampling of what 4k can look like and what a good projector can do and that looks so much better on the Optima than it did on the viewsonic for example but what I did find is that on the Epsons it looked more true to life it’s like what I would expect to see in person with my bare eyes was what the Epson represented best so that that’s why I think the price difference there is for the Epsons it’s worth paying a little bit more to get more of a realistic view of what things look like so I thought that did the best job at representing reality and really displaying that and kind of showing off the footage that you’re watching on your 4k projector I’ll just let this roll for a little bit so you can kind of see for yourself again I’ve done my best to make each of these realistic and hopefully this helps you to see the differences in the colors and the brightness both during the day and night with some lights on with a lot of lights on actually and then in an optimal setting with all of the lights off pitch-black [Music] now another thing I did is I zoomed in using a telephoto lens with my camera I’m shooting with the Panasonic Lumix G 85 which shoots beautiful 4k footage and so I’m trying to get the close-up version of this can you see the pixels can you see clarity can you see detail right up close this is not representative of what you’ll see as you’re sitting on a couch watching a movie but I just wanted to do kind of a more scientific close-up to see really when you get right down to it what can you see you’re not seeing the difference in these now one thing I found really interesting is that the two less expensive projectors here the viewsonic in the Optima those are both true 4k so they have full 4k resolution while the Epsons both use what’s called folk’ that’s a nickname given to these projectors where they take three c cds that take three chips and they actually project them all 1080p at the same time and they put them together and they offset them all a little bit so it kind of creates sub pixels basically and so the the illusion of pixels basically as they overlap I don’t fully understand I don’t know that many people really totally get how this works it’s pretty fascinating but what I found is that when you look at this folk’ versus 4k as far as clarity crispness resolution I’m not seeing a lot of difference these I mean this is pretty deceptive that this is not actually 4k on these Epsons it looks really sharp it looks really good so if you’re worried about these folk’ ones the epson does there’s some other brands that do that as well folk’ actually looks really good it’s not anything I would complain about it’s nothing that I can really even see the difference very obviously if you zoom way in like this you can maybe tell if you know what you’re looking for but when you’re just watching this it just looks crisp it looks really sharp it’s tack sharp beautiful if you’re looking at a regular viewing distance I don’t think you’re gonna notice much of a difference and again that’s me one man’s opinion you may be someone who’s really trained and can really see that difference and detect it for me I really just looked the same between 4k and 4k alright so in conclusion one of the questions you probably will want to know is what do you like what did I find best after watching all four of these watching lots of different footage on each of these and kind of playing around and getting a feel for each one so brand wise I noticed a couple things I have an Optima and I purchased this 4k Optima they’re both a little too saturated for me there’s too much color that they’re trying to pump in there and it makes it a little bit a little bit artificial it just doesn’t seem like it seems like they’re trying too hard almost and you can adjust those and play with those settings a little bit but no matter what you’re starting with a pre saturated image it’s not bad it’s not like you know I wouldn’t want to watch something on it but it’s not as good as the other as the Epsons in particular for example on the viewsonic not interested the colors are flat the contrast is not great it’s just especially when you can compare them you can really see it’s just not ideal it’s not something I would buy yes it cost a lot less I think it’s worth paying more to get a better image for your your movie nights and your theater experience so obviously that kind of leaves us with the Epsons I really don’t like how big these things are not a big fan of that they’re big they’re heavy they’re bulky but that said the epson 4010 would be my choice when you’re looking at the image quality when you’re looking at the contrast ratio the despite the fact that there’s a huge difference in the numbers at least the the specs on the contrast ratio didn’t notice really any difference between the Epson 40 10 and the 54 2ub now some of you out there if you’ve looked at these you may say oh that’s you know that’s garbage obviously you’re blind and that kind of stuff maybe that’s the case I don’t know I have good vision I’ll have for me I just didn’t see any real advantage with the 54 to UB versus the 40 10 and I really liked how the 40 10 looks in general it’s actually a few hundred dollars cheaper the price varies on these quite a bit of course but at least at the time of purchase 300 dollars less than the 54 to UB I really liked it so that’s the one I’m going to end up keeping so if you actually want to purchase any of these or learn more of course check out the link that I mentioned before to learn to DIY on my website and to learn more about that you can see that get the link right to it in the description see all the specs and everything compared and then if you do end up purchasing any of these I would really appreciate if you use the affiliate links that I’ve got down in the description below as well as on my website affiliate links just means that you pay the exact same price you would anyway but I get a small Commission on that and it just helps out the channel if you want to follow along with the other projects that we’re doing I don’t usually do home cinema stuff but I do a lot of projector related stuff hiding your TV wires home improvement projects woodworking projects all that fun stuff just whatever I’m doing around the house building my basement like I built here things like that then you can check us out on Instagram or on Facebook and then subscribe to the channel and if you hit that little bell you’ll get notified every time I come out with a new video so be sure to hit that and that will keep you up to date every time something new comes out so thanks again for watching I hope you learned something new and feel free to leave your comments or questions in the comment section below and we’ll do our best to get back to you so thanks again my name is Nils and

I hope you will be able to choose the best printer here.

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