Best HD Projectors in the UK

Review & Comparison, Last Update December 1, 2017
Not a single TV set beats an HD projector in creating a real cinema atmosphere. And this is why choosing a satisfying high definition projector is a task of top priority for every film fan. In this article, we will advise you the most popular and qualitative HD home projectors! ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2017
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
WARRANTY
PROJECTOR TYPE
RATED BRIGHTNESS
RATED CONTRAST
ASPECT RATIO
RESOLUTION
IMAGE OUTPUT
KEYSTONE CORRECTION
INTERFACES
 
PROS
High brightness and contrast ratios make this HD projector a perfect pick for dynamic presentations even in the daylight.
CONS
White casing is easily soiled.
OUR VERDICT

The Epson EB-U04 is a professional grade Full HD projector, it offers perfectly clear image with the tiniest details. A convenient carrying bag is a nice bonus.

detailed parameters
WARRANTY
24 months Carry in,

Lamp: 12 months or 1000 h

PROJECTOR TYPE
3LCD
RATED BRIGHTNESS
3000 lm
RATED CONTRAST
15000:1
ASPECT RATIO
16:10
RESOLUTION
1920x1200
IMAGE OUTPUT
Up to 300" in diagonal
KEYSTONE CORRECTION
Auto vertical: ± 30°,

Manual horizontal: ± 30°

INTERFACES

1x VGA (Mini D-sub 15pin)
2x HDMI
1x RCA
1x RCA (Audio)
1x USB Type-A
1x USB Type-B

PROS

The Dynamic Black Technology provides outstanding colour depth by smoothly adjusting the lamp position. Owing to this, the contrast ratio reaches its peak.

CONS

The fan can be somewhat loud.

OUR VERDICT

The Optoma HD142X is a top-shelf home projector that, combined with a home theatre audio systems, will make it possible to watch Full HD movies on a large screen and in 3D.

detailed parameters
WARRANTY

1 year on the device,
90 days on the lamp

PROJECTOR TYPE

DLP

RATED BRIGHTNESS

3000 lm

RATED CONTRAST

23000:1

ASPECT RATIO

4:3,
16:9

RESOLUTION

1920x1080

IMAGE OUTPUT

Size: 27.88"–305.3",
Distance: 1–10 m,
Throw ratio: 1.48–1.62

KEYSTONE CORRECTION

Manual: ± 40° Vertical

INTERFACES

1x HDMI
1x HDMI/MHL
1x USB A
1x 3D Vesa Sync Port
1x 12V Trigger
1x Audio Out 3.5mm

PROS

The implemented LED technology offers a high-quality image and, besides it, a fairly long operational life so you won't need to worry about its replacement anytime soon.

CONS

Keystone correction is a bit small.

OUR VERDICT

One of the best options if you're looking for quality-price balance in your HD projector: in a dark room, the image reaches 130" in diagonal at 2m distance.

detailed parameters
WARRANTY

1 year on the device,
3 000 hours on the lamp

PROJECTOR TYPE

LED

RATED BRIGHTNESS

1000 lm

RATED CONTRAST

1000:1

ASPECT RATIO

16:10

RESOLUTION

800x480

IMAGE OUTPUT

Size: 37"—130",
Distance: 1.2—3.8 m,
Throw ratio: 1.4:1

KEYSTONE CORRECTION

Manual: ±12°

INTERFACES

1x HDMI
1x Mini-jack port (3.5mm)
1x AV-Out
1x VGA-In
1x SD card slot
1x USB port
1x Digital TV input

PROS
A functional remote controller and high-quality built-in speakers make this HD projector a great device for movie nights with friends and family.
CONS
Not recommended for business presentations.
OUR VERDICT

Quality high def projector with 3200 lumens brightness provides great colour representation in the dark. Available in different casing colours.

detailed parameters
WARRANTY
1 year
PROJECTOR TYPE
TFT LCD
RATED BRIGHTNESS
3200 lm
RATED CONTRAST
2000:1
ASPECT RATIO
4:3,

16:9

RESOLUTION
Native: 800x480;

Support: 1080p

IMAGE OUTPUT
32"–200" in diagonal
KEYSTONE CORRECTION
Manual vertical: ± 15°
INTERFACES

1х VGA
2х USB
2x HDMI
1х AV input
1х Component YPbPr input
1х TV / DTV
Audio in / out

PROS

The projector features 2 USB ports, one of which offers the possibility to charge your gadgets. Also, the model is lightweight.

CONS

The interface is a bit inconvenient when it comes to searching for a certain file.

OUR VERDICT

A quality projector at a rather low price, this ELEPHAS model will make it possible to watch movies and videos on a large screen using one of many sources.

detailed parameters
WARRANTY

1 year on the device,
Up to 20 000 hours on lamp

PROJECTOR TYPE

TFT LCD

RATED BRIGHTNESS

1000 lm

RATED CONTRAST

1000:1

ASPECT RATIO

4:3,
16:9

RESOLUTION

800x480

IMAGE OUTPUT

Size: 50"–130"
Distance: 1.6–4 m

KEYSTONE CORRECTION

Manual Correction

INTERFACES

1x HDMI
1x Mini-jack port (3.5mm)
1x AV-Out
1x VGA-In
1x SD card slot
1x USB In
1x USB Out (5V)

What Is an HD Projector?

HD projectors are an integral part of state-of-the-art technologies, used not only in business but also at home. These devices serve to project a high-resolution image onto the screen. There are millions of ways to employ them in everyday life, but everything depends on the specifications. Hi-end models with HD image output can be used excellently as home theatres. What’s better than meeting up with your close friends and watching your favourite movies on a REALLY LARGE screen? Businesspersons who often make presentations can use these devices to show slides and videos to the audience. In this article, we have selected the most popular High Definition Projectors so that you could choose the one better suited for you.

To use your HD projector, you will obviously need a quality projector screen, and for those who often make various presentations, we highly recommend considering presentation remotes. And, of course, if you want to turn your home into a full-fledged cinema theatre, check the home theatre projectors!

What Features to Compare

Type
The first and foremost thing to take into account while choosing the HD projector is its type. There exist two engine types (DLP and LCD) and each has pros and cons. The DLP technology projects the image with the help of silicon reflexions at numerous little mirrors. This technology provides quite a smooth image with high subpixel accuracy and without odd shadows, but the brightness is a bit lower than that of LCD models, and there is also a pixel limit. The LCD technology, in its turn, projects the image by flowing it through 3-coloured panels (red, green, and blue). The colour of the pixel is determined by the position of these panels. LCD projectors are more compact and show excellent brightness and colour saturation. On the other hand, there can eventually appear dead pixels and the image can degenerate a little.

Output Image Features
The next thing to think of is the quality of the output image, like projector brightness. Models with low brightness can correctly function only in dark rooms as distinguished from those with the colour brightness of 2000-3000 lumen and more. The aspect ratio will help understand the optimal projector application. If you are going to hold presentations, the best ratio will probably be 4:3, but if you are going to watch movies, then 16:9 will be a perfect choice. It's very important to pay attention to the resolution of the projector as well. The higher it is, the more accurate and clear the image will be. To have positive user experience while watching movies the resolution should be at least Full HD.

Special Projection Aspects
Consider the special aspects of the projection. The throw and the output image size can help you set the position of the device properly. Zoom and perspective correction tools are also important and allow setting more accurate image on the screen.

Device Connectivity
Do not forget to check the available ports and plugs, which determine the connection options. The more video inputs the projector has, the more devices you will be able to connect simultaneously. Audio outputs make it possible to add the audio.

...Read more ...Read less

Epson EB-U04

Pro Projector

The Epson HD 1080p projector is your chance to obtain a perfect image on the screen of up to 300 inches in diagonal, and even in the most dynamic scenes, too. Thanks to the 15,000:1 contrast ratio, the dark parts will be nicely defined and you will see every detail clearly. Moreover, with the 3,000 lumens of light output (white and colour), even the daylight is not a big hindrance to this Full HD projector, you can make a presentation in an office during the day and everything will be perfectly visible. The control is also simple and user-friendly, and the fairly compact size makes it possible to place the gadget in almost any place convenient for you. The additional carry bag simplifies transportation greatly if the need arises, and the very same bag can also be used to store the high def projector when you are not using it.

The lamp of the Epson EB-U04 is said to serve for approximately 10,000 hours if you use it in Eco mode. With an average movie being 2.5–3 hours in duration, that's quite a lot of time!

Review of Epson EB-U04

Perfect Picture

The nice things do not end with the list above. To make the picture even better, Epson has implemented in this HD projector a horizontal keystone correction feature. You will need it to obtain a perfectly shaped picture with as little distortion as possible (virtually none at all, in fact). A vertical keystone correction, in turn, will adjust the image and make the picture great regardless of where you place the device—on a desk, on a bookshelf in the corner of the room, or on the ceiling. Simple as that and completely automatic. And as a cherry on the top of all the visual benefits this model offers, we'd like to mention the 3LCD technology that rids you of the so-called "rainbow effect"—an artefact which used to spoil quite a number of movies watched with a projector.

With one of these high definition projectors from Epson, you will be able to not only entertain your family and friends but give successful presentations to your business partners and colleagues. Compared to buying a large TV, this investment might actually be more beneficial. It is a purchase really worth every penny.

Epson EB-U04 in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


Epson EB-U04
Epson EB-U04
 

Optoma HD142X

Top Bargain

For a Full HD projector, the Optoma HD142X is fairly affordable, that was the first thing we've noticed. Yet, despite the low-ish price and, therefore, lack of overly high expectations, the device evidently performs at a very satisfying level sometimes equal to more expensive models.

First things first, it is, as we've stated above, a Full HD projector, meaning you can watch videos of up to 1920x1080 pixels resolution with it. It's not a 4K but it is much better than, say, 800x480, usually offered by cheaper projector models. The picture in Full HD is more vivid, smooth, and beautiful, especially when you transmit it onto a large projector screen or a wall (in particular, this model offers a diagonal over 300" from nearly 10 m distance). The HD142X is also 3D-compatible, which is an unusual feature for this price range as well. However, remember that 3D glasses are to be purchased separately. The refresh rate for the projector is 60 Hz in normal mode and 144 Hz in 3D—again, a very nice number promising smooth and seamless image displaying.

Review of Optoma HD142X

Smart Technologies

There are several technologies created with the sole purpose of making the use of the Optoma HD142X several times more convenient. For example, a Quick Resume option can be quite handy in cases when your HD projector has turned off for some reason or another—it will take next to no time at all for it to start operating again. Then, there is a somewhat opposite option—the Auto Off. You're probably familiar with it, almost any TV set offers it today, this is an option to set the time for your projector to turn off. An extremely helpful feature for those who like to watch a movie or two before going to bed and tend to fall asleep in the process. Instead of interrupting your rest to switch the projector off, just set it to a certain time and let your favourite movie lull you to sleep. By the way, this HD projector is unbelievably silent and it almost does not heat up during operation, so your pleasant dreams won't be disrupted even if the device is set right beside you.

There are more to the Optoma projector. It has a Gaming Mode with response time optimization and a Dynamic Black technology implemented for deeper imaging in each separate frame of the movie. There are not many interfaces, though, so your best bet is to connect it via an HDMI. However, it does have an MHL support to link your mobile gadgets. All in all, this model is a top-shelf device in its price range.

Optoma HD142X in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


VIDEO
Optoma HD142X 1080p 3D DLP Home Theater Projector Review
Optoma HD142X
Optoma HD142X
 

Crenova XPE460

Unexpected Features

The first thing to know about the Crenova XPE460 is that it is a really compact budget model. What we mean is that if you compare it to the models that cost several hundred pounds you will most definitely find the XPE460 lacking. That being said, for the offered price, this model is much more than what you'd expect.

The most unexpected feature in this model would probably be that, although its native resolution is 800x480 (a standard one for budget projectors), it does nevertheless support Full HD content—that is, if you use the HDMI cable as the means of connecting; the whole variety of other interfaces, and there are a lot of them here, too, won't offer you the same image quality. So, with the HDMI cable connected, you can set the Crenova XPE460 at 2 metres distance and enjoy a pretty decent, if not overwhelmingly good, picture, 130" in diagonal. Note that the picture of this size requires a dark room, though, as the LED lamp used in this projector has about 1000–1200 lumens brightness; in a well-lit office, for example, the image will be worse.

Review of Crenova XPE460

Versatile Option

We've mentioned this before but we'd like to underline it once more as we believe it to be a pretty big reason to choose this model: it is compact and, therefore, highly portable. It's hard to find a good HD projector at a reasonable price as it is but for it to be this small is actually another pleasant surprise. You can tuck the Crenova XPE460 in your backpack, take it to your friend's house and when the evening comes, you will have the opportunity to enjoy a movie on a big "screen". The number of connectivity options also adds to the device's versatility, you can use an HDMI for Full HD content, and when you have a space smaller than 130" for your movie watching, there are AV-out, VGA, and USB ports as well as an SD card slot. You'll find a 3.5mm jack for either headphones or speakers, too. The model does have built-in speakers, and they are not bad, but we'd say an external sound system will win in a direct competition. All things considered, we believe the Crenova projector to be a top-notch device for the price.

Crenova XPE460 in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


Crenova XPE460
Crenova XPE460
 

LESHP BL20-Advanced

No Need to Move

Allowing yourself a little laziness from time to time can be good for your health and mood. When you are relaxing in the evening or on your day off with your favourite movie, and you don't want to even move a limb, a remote controller seems like a blessing. And that's the main point in this LESHP high definition projector. A highly functional remote included in this model will allow you to fix just about any problem with a picture without having to so much as crawl out of the bed. The same operations are possible on the projector itself as well, there are buttons for when you don't want or can't use a remote for some reason.

Another benefit we would like to mention is that this high def projector has built-in 3W speakers. 3W is not the same as a top-shelf audio system, sure, it's approximately the power output of fairly nice portable Bluetooth speakers but still, it's better than many competitors in the field offer. With this model by LESHP, you can enjoy the picture followed by a sound of a good enough quality.

Review of LESHP BL20-Advanced

Great Picture at a Nice Price

The variety of interfaces here is really something. Besides the obvious USB and HDMI ports that can be found in just about any home projector, the LESHP BL20-Advanced has a VGA port, an AV, and, the rarest, probably, the YPbPr. It's not the most used interface today, that's for granted, but you never know when it might come in handy, it never hurts to have as many options as possible. This wide assortment allows connecting your HD projector to your PC, laptop, XBox, DVD player, portable hard drive, etc.

The projector has a native resolution of 800x480 pixels but it does support Full HD (1920x1080) via the HDMI port. The image might be blurry and distorted to an extent if you try to create too large "screen" yet even a moderately big one will most certainly be better than an average TV. Lastly, the 3200 lumens brightness of this projector's lamp is more than most other projectors offered on the market (even some pretty expensive ones); it will offer you great colours and clear picture in a moderately lit room and in a complete darkness, the image will be top-notch.

LESHP BL20-Advanced in the use

LESHP BL20-Advanced
LESHP BL20-Advanced
 

ELEPHAS Portable LED Pico Projector

Best for Travelling

The ELEPHAS Pico is, probably, one of the lightest models on the market of HD projectors, weighing even less than 1 kilogram. At a weight like that, it won't become much of a burden even during long hiking trips—you will hardly feel it in your backpack while it will definitely become a highlight of your evenings in more ways than one. After all, what can be better than a good movie together with friends or family after a whole day climbing and walking? Just remember to bring the "screen" with you if you plan on using a projector outdoors; a white sheet will more or less do in the darkness, probably. Indoors, you can, of course, use a wall instead of the screen.

Being light and rather affordable, this model offers nice enough features to pose a strong competition on the market. Although its native resolution is 800x480p, it does support both 1280x720p and 1920x1080p sources, meaning you can indeed watch movies in HD and Full HD with it, albeit with just this little loss in picture clarity. The maximum optimal screen size would be 130" in diagonal at up to 4 m distance yet for the better picture quality, we do suggest a bit smaller and closer. And remember that the best picture needs a completely dark setting.

Review of ELEPHAS Portable LED Pico Projector

Variability of Sources

Despite the statement above regarding this model being a good option for a trip, we also stand by the one that the ELEPHAS Pico HD projector is great for home us as well. It offers an abundance of connectivity options, from laptops and PCs to DVD players, X-Boxes, PlayStation consoles, video cameras, etc. All the most popular and widely used interfaces can be found with the model: an AV, a VGA, a USB input as well as a 5V USB output (for charging your gadgets), an SD card slot, an HDMI, a port for earphones or external speakers (you'll need those as the sound of a projector is not bad yet fairly mediocre). There is even an IR receiver. And with the wide selection of file formats recognized, you can use flash drives as video sources when you're on the move and just about any of your home multimedia devices when you're sitting comfortably in your favourite chair in your room.

The only thing we have found a big enough issue to mention here is that the file browser works in a peculiar way, making it rather troublesome to navigate a source like a flash drive when you have a lot of files there. However, for the money, it is not a major problem, in our opinion.

ELEPHAS Portable LED Pico Projector in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


ELEPHAS Portable LED Pico Projector
ELEPHAS Portable LED Pico Projector
 

Did You Know?

You Can Make a Projector with Your Own Hands If You Want

It's nothing fancy but, as far as Do-It-Yourself projects go, it can be a lot of fun and even a bit of learning when you reach certain steps. Basically, you'll need a cardboard box big enough to put your multimedia gadget in and have some space left, a magnifying glass, some strong tape, and your smartphone or tablet (depending on where the videos you want to watch are stored).
  1. Take the box and cut a hole in one of its walls the size of your magnifying glass. That's where your picture will come from.
  2. Stick the magnifying glass to the hole with a tape. Try to not cover the glass itself for it will distort the image, stick the tape to the handle.
  3. Lock your gadget (phone or tablet) in a landscape mode, turn off the auto-rotation feature, and set the said gadget inside the box facing the magnifying glass; use the gadget's stand to keep it upright. The image on the display should be reversed left to right and upside down because of the specific way the magnifying glass works.
    • If you don't have a special stand for your gadget, you can make one by cutting off the flap of the box opposite to the hole with the glass, folding it, and leaning your phone on it. However, consider the weight of your gadget, you might need something sturdier, like a book stand.
    • This is the step where, if you're doing this project with your kids, you could explain them the way the lenses work.
  4. Set the box with the gadget so that the glass "eye" is facing the wall you plan to watch the movie on. The farther from the wall it will be the bigger the image but note that it will also become more blurred at a distance.
  5. Turn off the lights in the room, close your curtains, turn on the movie, and close the box.
  6. Enjoy your movie.

That's it, a DIY home projector. It is not, of course, any match for the professionally manufactured ones; it will hardly make a clear and crisp image or good sound, and you'll find it bothersome to open the box every time you need to pause. But it can be a fun project to do with your kids or friends for pure entertainment or educational purposes.

The First Projector-like Items Appear as Early as in Ancient Times

They were called the Chinese Magic Mirrors and were used, as the name suggests, in China. At a passing glance, they looked like regular mirrors, albeit somewhat imperfect compared to modern ones, of course: they were made of bonze and one side was thoroughly polished to reflect the image of what is opposite of it whereas the reverse side bore intricate carvings on the surface. The "magic" part began, however, when someone put the reflecting side against the sun and the wall—the image from the back, magnified several times, was miraculously reflected onto the wall making it seem like the mirror is actually transparent. These mirrors were considered magic items for centuries until in the 1900s, it was discovered that the polished side had actually born the same designs as the back before they were polished. Thus, the reflected pictures were a result of an uneven surface.

FAQ:

Q: What is the best brightness for a home projector?
A:
 This depends on the conditions you plan on using your home projector in. You will need more brightness if you are going to watch your videos or images during the day and have no opportunity to create a completely dark room. Higher brightness is usually needed in projectors used during conferences or in offices. At the same time, to have a movie night with friends and family, the lower standard of 1000 or 1200 lumens will be quite enough. Furthermore, too bright projector in a complete darkness will cause harm to your eyes.

Q: Do I Buy 16:9 or 4:3 projector for home?
A:
 If your main purpose is to watch modern movies and TV shows, you'll need a widescreen projector, a 16:9 as this is pretty much a standard today. For those in love with old movies, a 4:3 aspect ratio will be preferable. If you occasionally watch old and occasionally new, it's still not a problem since most home projectors support both aspect ratios just fine.

Q: What about a replacement lamp?
A:
 In most cases, you won't need a replacement lamp for a long time unless you happen to damage the original one—the manufacturers of home projectors tend to create their lamps to last several thousand hours of active use.

Q: Where do I put a projector?
A:
 If your projector is small and lightweight and you do not plan to carry it around, you could install it permanently on the room ceiling. It's not as good an idea if you plan to buy a bulkier model, though. These are usually put on a desk or on a bookshelf opposite the screen wall.

Q: Do HD projectors support 3D?
A:
 Some of the projectors do, and not only HD ones—there are models with a smaller native resolution that still can be coupled with special glasses for a 3D experience. However, they usually cost more.

Q: Are there projectors that use Wi-Fi?
A:
 Yes, today some state-of-the-art home projectors have a Wi-Fi module in them to connect wirelessly to the content source. Some need a separate adapter for this and some work as they are. But once again—a wireless feature in a projector is still listed under the "Bells and whistles" header so it will add to the projector cost.


Sources:

1. Timothy McDougal Buying Guide to Projectors, B&H Photo Video. 2015.

2. Steve Kindig How to choose a home theater projector, Crutchfield. September 27, 2016.

3. Projector Buying Guide, Epson.

4. 6 Things You Should Know About Home Theater Projectors, eBay. August 26, 2016.

5. Buying Home Theater Projectors: How to Choose the Right Resolution, eBay. March 10, 2016.

6. Home Theater Projector Buyer's Guide, Projector Central.

7. Denis Gallagher The big picture, CHOICE. August 23, 2017.

8. Buyer’s Guide to Projectors for Business, Mobile or Home Theater Use, Staples. January 29, 2016.

9. Heath McKnight Home Theater Projector Tips, TopTen Reviews.

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Publish Date: 2017-12-01 08:47:15