You probably remember the clunky overhead and slide projectors that were ubiquitous in classrooms and offices in decades past, but long gone are those days. Today’s digital projectors are lightyears beyond those of yesteryear, with even portable ones now capable of throwing crisp HD video at impressive distances. The best name-brand models can set you back a pretty penny, though, so it’s worth the time and effort to hunt down a discount on a good cheap projector. To save you some of that time and effort (and to save you some cash), we’ve put together a quick buying guide alongside a handy list of the best projector deals available right now. Our picks run the gamut in terms of features, size, and prices, so whatever you’re looking for, we’ve got it here:
Today’s Best Projector Deals
How To Choose A Projector
Projectors span a huge range of features and prices, and the age-old axiom “you get what you pay for” applies here. You can get a cheap projector for less than a hundred bucks, while high-end, theater-quality 4K projectors can run into the thousands. You probably have a set budget in mind already, however, but you’ll want to be aware of what features and specs to look for before you buy the first cheap projector you find that suits your wallet.
The basic specs to consider when shopping around for projector deals are the picture size and resolution, brightness (typically expressed in lumens), and throw distance. “Throw distance” refers to the optimal and/or maximum distance the projector can place an image on the viewing surface while still maintaining a good picture at the advertised size and resolution, and your needs here will depend on what room(s) you plan to use your projector in. Brightness is an important consideration, as projectors are typically darker than a TV’s LCD panel. A brighter picture naturally looks better and a projector with sub-bar lumen output might not look very good even in a sufficiently dark room.
More complex modern features you’ll find even on some cheap projectors today include built-in smart software, wireless connectivity (Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or both), and content settings (for example, optional color presets that are optimized for sports, games, movies, and so on). You’ll also want to look at the ports to make sure that your projector works with whatever input source(s) you’re hooking up to it, but most modern projectors will feature standard hookups such as HDMI connections for use with Blu-Ray players, laptops, and gaming consoles. Many projectors can let you play media directly from devices such as USB flash drives or external hard drives as well.
Then comes the audio. Pretty much all units have built-in speakers, which is usually fine for a cheap projector or a portable one that you might be moving around frequently. For a projector that’s going to be part of a more permanent high-definition home theater setup — one that will likely feature some sort of surround speaker setup along with an A/V receiver to power it all — you’ll want something that can be integrated into your sound system and that is compatible with whatever surround sound standard you’re using.
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