How To: Home Movie Projector

You are an inveterate bachelor and love to entertain the guys, particularly on those lazy, boring Sunday afternoons. You could use the rec room in your condo building, but you would have to share it with dozens of other tenants and their noisy guests. Besides, you don’t want to share the gourmet popcorn and imported beer.  So you decide to get a digital projector and turn your biggest wall in the living room into a permanent screen. Your DVD collection is just waiting for exposure. As for gaming, bring it on!

In the absence of a basement or spare room home theater, a great solution is to use existing living space to show videos and project programs larger than life. Even if you are a family man with a nice suburban spread, you can enjoy the benefits of your mini system for a modest outlay. All those great videos of kids’ birthday parties, Uncle Joe’s sixtieth birthday, and your trip to Hawaii will come to life with a few effortless steps. Operating the simpler projectors is so easy, a child can do it! They no doubt will use it for their favorite Disney films and cartoons. Whatever the purpose, hours of fun are in store.

Home movie projectors come in all shapes and sizes. Pick your price point and start looking at available models. Check out the features: what can’t you live without? Most people want 1080p resolution and full 3D capability. This is your special treat and you deserve it. Sony and Panasonic make good projectors. You can spend $600 to $13,000. If this is overwhelming, take a look at a few recommended options.

  • Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 2030: This full HD 3D unit sells for around $875 and is perfect for living room use.  In addition, it can access content from smart phones and streaming video from other services. With good image quality, it does not have the highest power or longest zoom lens, and high contrast ratio, but you can’t beat it for the price. For a more professional model, go for the Epson PowerLite Pro Cinema 6030UB at a pricey $3,500.
  • BenQW1500: At $1,500 it is a mid-range projector with superior image quality, a flexible zoom lens, wireless HDMI, and produces over 1700 lumens. A great all around choice.

Tips and tricks

There are a few buyers guides on line to help you sort through the maze of options if you want to look further. You need to be concerned about:

  • Brightness
  • Native aspect ratio (related to source material)
  • Lamp life
  • Image quality and resolution (pixels)
  • DEEP color and frame interpolation
  • Do you want 3D?
  • Where and how to mount the projector
  • Sound system with speakers

It is imperative to know what mode to use on your projector for best results with Blu-ray, DVDs, and HDTV signals. A little knowledge goes a long way in helping you enjoy your purchase to the maximum. It can get pretty complicated so never bet ashamed of using a consultant or a trustworthy online guide.