What is the Best Home Theater Projector under $500?

Looking for the best projector for the money?

Digital home theater projectors have come a long way in recent years. There are now many models available for under $500 that contain all the essential features, such as widescreen resolution, HDMI support, and a wide range of compatibility.

However, as is the case with most electronics, there are also plenty of shoddy models available that look good at first glance but feature significant design flaws which reduce their lifespan considerably.

See the bestselling affordable home projectors on Amazon here

In this article, I will discuss the best models currently available for under $500, that don’t sacrifice essential features and durability for their low prices. All are capable of giving a quality entertainment which is fantastic for outdoor movies for the family on the patio in the summer.

Best Gaming Projectors under $500

A great gaming projector has a high refresh rate, 120 hertz or faster. These are the best models for the money, and any one of these affordable projectors is a great option. I have chosen only the best rated fast models. I hope you like them!

Acer X1161P 3D-DLP

Price: Check on Amazon
 Acer X1161P 3D-DLP Projector The X1161P 3D-DLP by Acer is the most fully functional and reliable home theater projector you can buy in its price range, outperforming many of its more expensive competitors on several fronts.

At 2500 lumens it performs well in rooms with ambient light, even when just projecting onto a blank wall. It can seamlessly interact with all standard devices and performs very well when projecting wide format imagery.

While it is a little bulky, it can be easily suspended where you need it to be, and the zoom and throw capabilities are excellent you can easily get over 100 displays in a small room.

The only two issues I found were the lack of HDMI input and the lack of controls on the projector itself. However, the lack of HDMI is a small price to pay to get such a quality projector at such a low price, and shouldn’t bother most people who are only looking to watch movies and play video games through it.

You are completely reliant on the remote. However, there are very few controls built into the box itself. But as long as you keep the remote in a safe place it shouldn’t be too much of an issue.

Reviews love it for the money, and it has almost 40 reviews averaging 4.5 stars out of 5, so quite impressive considering this projection device costs under $$$

ViewSonic DLP

ViewSonic PJD5134 SVGA DLP Projector Coming packed with every feature you could need in a home theater projector, this ViewSonic projection product can compete with the best models available at half the price. That is why both this and the previous models have been bestsellers for years.

The quality of the coloring and HD display is second to none (remaining extremely vivid even with the lights on), and it features multiple inputs for your PCs and other hardware.

It has 3D BluRay with HDMI support and can handle any video format or hardware you throw at it with the simple plug in and play convenience.

It’s also extremely lightweight and thin which is a plus if you want to watch movies or play video games while traveling, without having to be reduced to just a laptop screen.

The only slight drawback is, while it can maintain picture quality up to 250 you have to have the projector relatively far back from the wall for this to happen, so it is not feasible for most home theaters (where you will probably be able to get it to about 100 although that is still enormous enough for me).

Popular Affordable Viewsonic Projectors for the Home

Viewsonic is one of the top selling affordable projector brands, with the PJD5533W being a top seller for months and months.

The first projector here, the PJD5134 SVGA DLP is its successor, and you can see I have chosen a short list of the best Viewsonic projectors for the money, with many of the highly rated newest models available. I hope you enjoy the selection.

It’s not hard to buy the best projector for your home theater system.

When choosing the best home theater projector for your budget, it is important to make sure the projector comes with all the components needed to function out of the box. Often you’ll find very cheap projectors that don’t come with a bulb by default this is unfortunate because buying the bulb can easily equal the cost of the projector, immediately doubling the price of your purchase before you can use it.

You also need to make sure that the projector is compatible with all commonly used audio and visual formats, so you don’t end up having to spend a significant amount just to connect your projector to your speakers, etc.

Such issues used to be the hallmarks of any projector on the market for under $500, but the below models are all fully operational out of the box and have all the usual inputs you would need.

Having a higher refresh rate, at least 120 Hz means a home projector is better for gaming to keep up with the action and speeds and is nicer for watching sports too. Most of these models at this price point are conveniently portable for outdoor Movies, gaming at a friends house or compact portable entertainment while RVing!

Popular Epson Home Projectors

These are extremely affordable, highly rated models. Many of the higher end Epsons will take a dual input, giving a split-screen which is ideal for training and business situations where you have stats or a powerpoint page and want to flip to a video or other media. They tend to be at the higher end of the budget, so bear this in mind if you need these options.

Ready to start shopping?

While you can find much more options under $500 these days, the above are definitely the two best home theater projectors I have seen in their respective price range.

They have both been on the market long enough for any hidden issues to come to light, and everybody I have heard from is still happy with their purchase after 6 months.
I’d love to hear Feedback from you!

3 Comments

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