Right now, video projection is the preferred solution to obtain a real feeling of immersion with a life-size image that can reach or even exceed 3 meters diagonal. The world of video projection has developed considerably in recent years, with the appearance of projectors adapted to different uses: ultra compact pico projectors you can slip into a bag to project films anywhere, HD projectors and 4K UHD projectors for cinema sessions and video game sessions at home or even ultra short throw projectors that replace the living room TV, even in the middle of the day.
How do you choose the right projector for everyday or occasional use? Below is our 2021 selection of the best pico projectors, HD projectors, UHD 4K projectors and ultra short throw projectors.
The best picoprojectors 2021
Ultra compact and light, a pico projector is an easily transportable mini video projector, capable of broadcasting a large image (1 to 2 m diagonal, or even more) from a smartphone or a computer, connected with a cable or wirelessly. Some pico projectors are limited to a modest definition, others offer Full HD 1080p high definition.
Most have a built-in USB media player compatible with multiple audio and video file formats, even desktop for viewing presentations. The most complete pico-projectors have a rechargeable battery to be used easily during an evening with friends or for a professional meeting.
- Discover the guide: Choosing a picoprojector
Viewsonic M1 : ultra portable, Harman Kardon audio, 6 hours of battery life
The video projector Viewsonic M1 is very light (less than a kilo) and has a built-in smart mount, which can be rotated 360 degrees, which also acts as a lens cover. Its rechargeable battery can last up to 6 hours. The longevity of its LED lamp can reach up to 30,000 hours. The short throw lens of the Viewsonic M1 projector makes it easy to project in smaller rooms, with an image almost 1m diagonally at 1m distance.
Developed by Harman Kardon, the audio section of the Viewsonic M1 adopts two speakers for superior audio quality. Its connectivity includes an HDMI 1.4 input, a Micro SD port and a USB type-C port which complete the 16 GB internal memory for reading and projecting multimedia content. In addition to the classic office document formats (txt, doc, xls, ppt, pdf …), the Viewsonic M1 projector can play videos encoded in H.264, MPEG4, MPEG2 and MPEG1 with audio tracks in MP3, AAC and HE-AAC in particular, encapsulated in containers in DivX, AVI, MP4, MKV …
- Discover the Viewsonic M1 video projector (€289)
Xgimi MoGo Pro: HD 1080p, Android TV, 4 hours of battery life
The Xgimi MoGo Pro can project a large image from 76 cm to 2.55m diagonally or more in Full HD 1080p. Its battery offers up to 4 hours of autonomy and the integration of Android TV allows it to access many video on demand services (Netflix, Prime Video, Rakuten TV, etc.), but also to be voice controlled from Google Assistant. Lastly, its HDMI input supports video streams up to UHD 4K (downscaling to 1080p).
The audio section of the Xgimi MoGo Pro was designed by Harman Kardon. The two speakers can broadcast the sound of movies and series watched, but also music stored on a USB key. This pico projector can also be used as a Bluetooth speaker to wirelessly stream music from a smartphone, without projecting an image.
- Discover the Xgimi MoGo Pro video projector (€549)
Philips PicoPix Max: Android, AirPlay, Miracast and DLNA
The Philips PicoPix Max is a very compact 1080p HD model running Android and capable of projecting an image up to 3 meters diagonally. Its LED lamp guarantees you at least 30,000 hours of use and its rechargeable battery offers up to 3 hours of autonomy.
HDMI input and USB port for multimedia playback, AirPlay and Miracast for wireless streaming from a smartphone, Android to access Netflix, Prime Video and Youtube, DLNA compatibility for network playback in WiFi: everything is available to easily enjoy a great picture, regardless of the source. Lastly, its stereo audio section makes it completely autonomous for watching films and series. The Philips PicoPix Max comes with a carrying case, tripod and remote control.
- Discover the Philips PicoPix Max video projector (€695)
1080p HD video projectors
Choosing a 1080p HD video projector , it is the assurance of enjoying a very large image for home cinema, sports and video games. Placed on a coffee table or mounted on the ceiling, a few meters from the screen, a 1080p HD video projector guarantees a complete immersion in the heart of the action.
- Discover our guide: Choosing a video projector
Optoma HD29He : home theater and video game versatility
The Optoma HD29He video projector is very versatile and capable of projecting a realistic image, whether it’s an HDR movie or series, a TV show, a video game or just high-definition photos. It is also an interesting alternative to large HD televisions, once associated with the TV set-top box or with a DTTV, cable or satellite receiver.
The Optoma HD29He video projector is particularly suitable for video games thanks to its “Gaming Enhanced” mode which guarantees very low latency (input lag). It is ideal for both first person shooters and rhythm games where responsiveness is essential.
The Optoma HD29He video projector features a very long lasting lamp, a dual HDMI connection (including an HDMI 2.0 socket compatible UHD 4K) as well as a powered USB port, convenient for connecting a wirless HDMI transmission kit like the Optoma WHD200 or a Google Chromecast .
- Discover the Optoma HD29He video projector (€699)
Epson EH-TW7100 : extremely flexible installation
Capable of projecting a very large image (up to 13 m diagonal), very bright (3000 lumens) and well contrasted, the Epson EH-TW7100 projector can stream both 1080p HD and 4K UHD movies, via its two HDMI ports.
Among its many advantages, its powerful zoom, its lens shift and its keystone correction greatly facilitate its installation. It can thus be placed more or less far from the screen and even off-center in relation to it without risking deforming or degrading the image. It was awarded the 5-star label from the specialist magazine What-Hi-Fi? Sound and Vision.
- Discover the Epson EH-TW7100 video projector (€1679)
4K UHD Projectors
4K ultra high definition projectors let you enjoy a very large ultra-realistic image, with a real feeling of immersion in the heart of a life-size image. UHD 4K projectors are HDR compatible and offer a high level of contrast, more color nuances and more details visible in the brightest parts as well as in the darkest areas of the image. They are the best solution to appreciate a very large image of more than 3 meters diagonal.
- Discover the guide: Choosing a UHD 4K projector
Optoma UHD38 : versatile projector for movies and video games
The 4K Ultra HD video projector Optoma UHD38 is intended for both video games and home cinema sessions. HDR10 and HLG compatible, it covers a large color space and offers very high brightness (4000 lumens) for projecting in the middle of the day. Its very low input lag announced at 4.2 ms is perfect for video games in which reactivity time is essential.
The other advantage of this Optoma 4K projector is its “Wall Color” setting which corrects the projected image by adapting it to the color of your wall if it is not white. Six options are available to easily adjust the image depending on whether you are projecting on a black, light yellow, light green, light blue, pink, or gray wall. You are sure to obtain an image with the most faithful color range possible.
- Discover the Optoma UHD38 video projector (€1099)
BenQ W1800i : affordable ultra HD 4K HDR
The BenQ W1800i video projector ideally uses Texas Instruments’ new generation 4K Ultra High Definition DLP / DMD chip to deliver highly detailed images with lifelike colors and optimal contrast over HDMI HDR sources. Its connectivity is adapted to modern digital entertainment sources and its short focal length greatly facilitate its daily use.
Its Android TV interface is an asset for easy access to many streaming services and wirelessly broadcast images from a smartphone. The Taiwanese manufacturer is taking another step towards the democratization of UHD 4K video projection with this BenQ W1800i which has no shortage of arguments to convince.
Epson EH-TW9400 : the best of 3LCD UHD 4K technology
The Epson EH-TW9400 video projector is able to display 4K HDR video images and upscale 1080p HD images to improve definition. It also features a process for improving the fluidity of the images which eliminates jerks and allows for smoother and sharper action sequences. This Epson projector has two HDMI 2.0 ports which let you connect a 4K Blu-ray player and a network AV player, for example.
The installation of the Epson EH-TW9400 projector is greatly facilitated by its motorized optical unit with a powerful 2.1x zoom factor and a horizontal and vertical lens shift function. All optical adjustments can be controlled with the remote control and the device can memorize up to ten different image adjustments.
- Discover the Epson EH-TW9400 video projector (€2590)
Sony VPL-VW290ES : the first native 4K model from Sony
Featuring a native 4K SXRD matrix capable of producing images that are bright, detailed and well-contrasted, the Sony VPL-VW290ES projector lets you enjoy Sony projection quality in a living room or dedicated home theater room.
The integration of the X1 processor optimized for video projection not only improves the HDR rendering which is now optimized frame by frame, but also the scaling of lower definition content which is enhanced by the 4K Reality Creation process. Add to that 4K 60 FPS compatibility with low input lag for gaming and you’ve got one of the best gaming-compatible home theater projectors on the market. Motorized zoom and optical shift controllable from the remote control for ease of installation complete the picture.
- Discover the Sony VPL-VW290ES video projector (€5490)
- Read the review of the Sony VPL-VW290ES projector
JVC DLA-N5 : deep blacks and resplendent HDR
Equipped with a D-ILA matrix with a native resolution of 4096 x 2160 pixels, the JVC DLA-N5 video projector is able to display all the richness of Ultra High Definition 4K images. HDR10 and HLG compatible to display wide dynamic range images, it supports 4K HDMI video streams up to 18 Gbps, including 4K / 60p video in 4: 4: 4. It also benefits from a low latency mode optimized for viewing video games on PCs and consoles, ensuring optimal responsiveness to seasoned gamers. Finally, its ISFccc settings menu allows it to be calibrated by an expert to obtain optimized image quality perfectly suited to the specifications of the room in which it is installed.
Awarded the 5-star label by the specialist magazine What Hi-Fi ?, the JVC DLA-N5 is one of those exceptional video projectors that we all dream of having at home. Give it any 1080p or 4K HD image and it will give you a visual spectacle of exceptional quality worthy of the best movie theaters. Its D-ILA matrix in native 4K resolution and its excellent optical unit made up of glass lenses really do wonders with a very natural rendering of the image.
Sony VPL-VW790ES: Native 4K SXRD and laser lamp
The Sony VPL-VW790ES laser projector supports UHD 4K 60Hz content via its two HDMI 2.0 inputs. Its very bright laser lamp (up to 2000 lumens) offers an exceptional lifespan of up to 20,000 hours and allows the luminous flux to be modulated according to the displayed image, which is an asset for displaying high dynamic range (HDR) images.
By analyzing each projected image, the X1 processor of the Sony VPL-VW790ES projector is able to greatly optimize the contrast when viewing HDR video content. To do so, it adjusts the aperture of the diaphragm and the intensity of the laser in real time. This results in very deep blacks and infinite dynamic contrast with a high level of detail and realism.
In addition to offering a formidable image quality on films and series in HD as in 4K, the Sony VPL-VW790ES Laser projector offers a very appreciable installation flexibility. Its motorized zoom (2.06x) and the possibility of shifting the optics both horizontally and vertically (motorized lens shift) thus leave the user a great latitude of placement in the room.
- Discover the Sony VPL-VW790ES video projector (€12,999)
Ultra Short Throw Projectors / Laser TV:
The Ultra short throw projectors and Laser TV use a wide angle lens that allows them to be positioned very close to the screen or projection wall. They can thus project an image measuring 2.5 m in diagonal by being placed a few tens of centimeters from the projection surface! They are easier to install than a conventional projector and can be placed very close to the screen without the risk of obscuring the image. Capable of projecting a bright and well-contrasted image in broad daylight, ultra short throw projectors can replace the living room TV. Many models thus integrate a TNT tuner, have an efficient audio section and offer connected functions: Internet access, streaming services, network and USB multimedia player, etc.
LG HF65LSR : the most compact ultra short throw projector
The LG HF65LSR can project a large, full HD 1080p image measuring 2.54 meters in diagonal (100 inches) while being placed only 38 cm from the wall. It can thus be easily connected to a Blu-ray player, a TV decoder or even a gaming console via HDMI, without the need for long cables.
Equipped with an LED lamp with a lifespan of approximately 30,000 hours, the projector is also a connected model which can access numerous streaming services via WiFi. Miracast compatible, it can also wirelessly stream videos played from a compatible smartphone, tablet or computer. Two USB-A ports are also available for playing videos, music or photos stored on a USB device.
- Discover the LG HF65LSR video projector (€899)
Optoma CinemaX P2 : laser lamp and home theater performance
Extremely bright and well contrasted thanks to its powerful laser lamp, the Optoma CinemaX P2 video projector allows you to enjoy a large, realistic and vivid picture even during the day. HDR images are projected with a wide dynamic range and boast rich, nuanced colors thanks to the extended color space. The PureMotion video processing of the Optoma CinemaX P2 projector is an added bonus. This image interpolation technology, which aims to make the display smoother, works by eliminating jerks in moving images. It is ideal for sporting events which then gain in smoothness and clarity. In addition, it is remarkably quiet, even with the laser lamp at its maximum power.
The connectivity of this Optoma 4K projector includes three HDMI inputs (2x HDMI 2.0 & 1x HDMI 1.4a), a 4K and HDR compatible multimedia USB port, as well as a powered USB port (5V / 1.5A) to connect a ChromeCast or a wireless HDMI receiver such as the Optoma WHD200 . An optical audio output and a stereo mini-jack audio output are also included, as well as an Ethernet port for connection to the local network and the Internet, in addition to the WiFi controller.
- Discover the Optoma CinemaX P2 video projector (€2990)
- Read the review of theOptoma CinemaX P2 projector
Samsung The Premiere SP-LSP9TFA : triple laser lamp
HDR10 + compatible, the Samsung The Premiere LSP9T UHD 4K projector features a triple RGB laser lamp. This optimizes color reproduction which is more precise and brighter than with a UHP lamp or a single laser. Capable of projecting an image measuring up to 3.3m diagonally at a distance of 24cm from the projection screen, it also has a 4.2 channel audio section which benefits from 40 watts of amplification of power. Equipped with 3 HDMI inputs and a multimedia USB port, it is also WiFi and Bluetooth compatible and includes the Tizen home operating system with access to many applications including Netflix, Disney +, Apple TV +, Prime Video but also OCS , Molotov, Youtube or even myCanal.
Particularly at home with films and series, the Samsung The Premiere LSP9T projector features the Filmmaker Mode image mode which guarantees viewers to enjoy films the way the director and the technical team wanted it. With three HDMI inputs, one of which is ARC and eARC compatible, and a powered multimedia USB port, this Samsung projector is ideal for pairing with a 4K Blu-ray player to enjoy the best possible picture quality.
- Discover the Samsung The Premiere SP-LSP9TFA video projector (€6,290)
Should you buy a projection screen?
Although many projector manufacturers mention that it is possible to project a movie or series directly onto a wall, especially with ultra short throw projectors, it is recommended that you use a projection screen instead. The screen fabric has a perfectly smooth surface optimized for projection, which is not generally the case for the walls of a living room on which the slightest roughness or irregularity risks catching the light and affecting the picture.
It is advisable to opt for a manual projection screen or anelectric projection screen when projecting in a living room. For a perfect image, an electric screen with a tensioned fabric offers much better flatness, guaranteeing an image without any distortion. You can also opt for a built-in projection screen , allowing discreet integration into the decor.
If you have a dedicated home cinema room, it is better to opt for a fixed projection screen with a canvas perfectly stretched on a very rigid frame. Its perfectly flat projection surface guarantees perfect image quality. Some models are also equipped with a transparent canvas behind which you can place the center speaker or even the front left and right speakers: the sound seems to come directly from the image, which ensures total immersion in the world of the film.
With an ultra short throw projector used in the middle of the day as well as in the evening, we recommend anultra short throw projection screen whose canvas is specifically designed to eliminate parasitic reflections and prevent diffraction in the room. The light from the projector is indeed reflected almost exclusively towards the spectators who then benefit from a bright and well-contrasted image, even in broad daylight.
Even with a picoprojector, the use of a portable projection screen improves the projected image which is thus brighter and better contrasted.
Is it necessary to mount the projector on the ceiling?
Fixing your projector permanently to the wall or ceiling is the best solution for everyday use. This is not useful when you have a very occasional use of your projector and even irrelevant with a picoprojector. For a sedentary installation, on the other hand, a support for video projector is almost essential, especially when regularly organizing movie nights or video game sessions on the big screen. It is an ideal integration solution in a living room as in a dedicated room. Almost all projectors also incorporate an image inversion function so that they can be hung mounted down from the ceiling.
A ceiling support allows the projector to be positioned optimally in relation to the screen according to its focal length and the size of the desired image. Once the projector is in place and the cables are connected, all you have to do is make the adjustments once and for all. It is much more practical than having to redo the settings for each screening when you put the projector on a coffee table and put it back in its case once the film is finished … Even ultra short throw projectors can be mounted on a support. This prevents someone from moving it, which would result in having to redo the image adjustments.
Some support brackets are very long for installation with high ceilings. There are also video projector supports with a raising / lowering platform which can be installed into a false ceiling to completely hide the projector when not in use.
The best projectors under €1000
- Viewsonic M1 (€289)
- Xgimi MoGo Pro (€549)
- Philips PicoPix Max (€695)
- Optoma HD29He (€699)
- LG HF65LSR (€899)
The best projectors between €1000 and €3000
- Optoma UHD38 (€1099)
- BenQ W1800i (€1299)
- Epson EH-TW7100 (€1679)
- Epson EH-TW9400 (€2590)
- Optoma CinemaX P2 (€2990)
The best projectors over €3000
- Sony VPL-VW290ES (€5490)
- JVC DLA-N5 (€5990)
- Samsung The Premiere SP-LSP9TFA (€6,290)
- Sony VPL-VW790ES (€12,999)
All prices are indicative and subject to variations without notice.