Best Smart projector TV. Best Gaming Projector 2023

How to Choose a TV Replacement Projector for Movies and Gaming?

With 4K becoming the norm in home cinema and video games, more and more people look for bigger screens to provide entertainment that’s more compelling and impressive than flat screen TVs. With projectors that match the best TVs in terms colors and response, plus 4K and HDR, the attraction is obvious. For approximately the same price, you get twice the viewing size, at least as much brightness, and superb contrast. A wall-sized image makes your movies and games look far more impressive than the typical 65” TV, since with projectors a 120” screen is easily achieved. That’s why the TV replacement projector concept is gathering popularity. It’s the logical upgrade from a TV experience to an entirely different level of “wow”. But not all projectors can step in to take over from your old TV, so read on for essential tips.

LED Projectors are Best for Replacing TVs

Regarding brightness: at 3000 ANSI lumens, good LED projectors match or exceed the brightness of quality flat screen TVs. That means you can enjoy viewing content in a variety of lighting conditions, from dimly lit basements to well lit living rooms during the day, and image quality doesn’t suffer.

LED projectors have better brightness output and consistency than traditional lamp-based projectors, which were designed for movie theater-like environments, as in very dark. Older projectors offer displays that suffer even in mild ambient lighting, so they’re not very versatile. LED projection technology overcomes this limitation. LED projectors deliver higher color saturation, and that contributes to the overall perception of their brightness compared to lamp-based projectors. With LED assemblies, light and color are more closely linked and power each other, so to speak. The net result is a far more vivid image with more intense colors, and therefore increased clarity in different lighting conditions.

About wide color gamut: in LED projectors there’s far less separation between the light source and color generation, as the RGB elements are intertwined with the LED assembly. That’s very different from older designs, where a distinct lamp pours light onto an RGB color wheel. Due to simple physics, this means LED projectors deliver a wider color gamut and as mentioned above, much more intense and accurate colors that are equal or better than top-shelf flat screen TVs.

Color contrast gains a big boost thanks to this design, which in turn lends itself superbly to HDR content. This covers everything from streaming apps to 4K HDR Blu-rays and modern console gaming. The PS5 and Xbox Series consoles all look best in 4K HDR, and detailed graphics require color accuracy, brightness, and high contrast to look their best. LED projectors provide all of that. Regarding wide color gamut, the BenQ X3000i covers 100% of the considerably wider DCI-P3 color space specification thanks to a precision color filtering and projection technology.

Instant On and Off: this may sound like a trivial point, but it really isn’t. LED projectors offer the same quick response you get with TVs, turning on and off with almost no delay. That’s different from lamp projectors, which require a relatively long warm up and cool down sequence, often over 30 seconds long. LED projectors require a couple of second each way, just like your TV.

Longer Lifespan and Color Consistency: the older lamp-based technology that powers traditional projectors doesn’t age too well. The lamp deteriorates over time just like a light bulb, resulting in reduced brightness and faded colors after just a couple years of use. LED projectors correct these shortcomings. While lamp projectors need costly lamp swaps for every 2000-5000 hours of use, LED projectors easily give you 20,000 hours with no color or brightness decay with all settings on max, and 30,000 hours in the less demanding ECO mode. Considering that a 65” LED/OLED TV lasts around 40,000 hours but offers half the screen size, LED projectors (which cost roughly the same as a TV) offer spectacular value. Not just per screen inch, but per hour of usage as well.

Reduced Eye Strain: like all self-illuminated screens, including monitors, tablets, and smartphones, TVs emit considerable levels of blue light. As we all know by now, blue light isn’t very compatible with our eyes and over time induces headaches, eye fatigue, and even eye sight issues. All projectors avoid blue light since they’re built around indirect illumination. The light that bounces back from the wall or screen into your eyes is far more gentle and easier to watch for longer periods of time. Just think about it, when was the last time you had tired eyes from sitting in a movie theater? The answer is likely never! Projectors are the same, and for serious movie and gaming hobbyists that’s a factor worth considering.

Do Gaming Projectors Perform Well in Movies and Sports?

So you’ve decided to go with a projector, but you’re wondering whether a model advertised primarily for gaming can also handle your movies and sports content just as well. After all, if you invest in a top-tier LED projector, you want an all-in-one solution. The good news is that the answer is a definite yes, mostly because of intentional design, but also because all types of content increasingly converge on higher frame rate 4K HDR, as we mentioned above.

For one, gaming projectors have low input lag, or fast response. That’s good for everything, of course for games, but also for every type of content. It’s not like 4K 60Hz at 16ms will make your Netflix viewing too fast or anything, it’ll just make it smoother and the most responsive it can be. The BenQ X3000i is just as fast and responsive as the most expensive “gaming TVs”, but offers twice or more screen for unmatched experiences in gaming and all other content. As far as input lag, the X3000i has performance that’s ideal for dedicated gamers, which means it’s input lag is less than one frame (when measured in frames per second), which most people perceive as instant response.

Choose the Best BenQ Gaming Projector Right for You

The One You’re Looking For – BenQ X3000i

We’re very proud of the X3000i as you may have gathered, and that’s because we consider it the best projector for high end gaming, movies, and TV content. Its superb response and low total input lag combine with strong brightness and excellent colors thanks to an advanced 4LED solid state illumination (SSI) design that we worked hard to fine-tune. The X3000i also features our signature CinematicColor technology to ensure colors stay as faithful as possible to the source material, and get an enhancement as needed for increased vibrancy and accuracy. Going beyond other LED projectors, the X3000i has a 4LED assembly, not 3LED. That means one additional LED. Usually, LED projectors have three components, or RGB (red, green, blue). A 4LED adds one more for wider color delivery and increased brightness that’s perfect for daytime viewing. We touched upon CinematicColor above, but it’s worth mentioning it in greater detail, because it makes the X3000i a masterful home cinema projector. CinematicColor and factory color calibration mean the X3000i is ready to use out of the box in gaming, movies, and TV without bothersome calibration on your part. The X3000i offers an Auto Color Calibration tool that you can run quickly to ensure long-lasting color consistency and accuracy throughout the projector’s lifespan, which is rated for 30,000 hours. We hope this has been helpful! The X3000i is ready for all your really big screen gaming, movies, and streaming needs. You’ll never look at a TV the same again, we’re sure of that.

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Best Gaming Projector 2023

If you’re looking to turn a wall into a giant Super Smash Bros. tournament, the best gaming projector you can get right now is the Optoma UHD38x. For even more options click here to jump to detailed views of our picks for the best gaming projectors, or check out our list below:

TL;DR – These are the Best Gaming Projectors:

Gaming monitors and gaming TVs are great, but they certainly lack the major wow factor of a gaming projector: size. By letting you play your games with a picture over 100 inches, you’ll almost always get a bigger image from the projector than from a TV at the same price. And don’t worry, our picks don’t fall short on gaming features, like fast refresh rates and low input lag, ensuring smooth and responsive gaming. We’ve rounded up an assortment of projectors, giving you the biggest screen for gaming, whether you plan to play on a console or gaming PC – and click here to find them in the UK.

Optoma UHD38x

Best Gaming Projector

Beyond vibrant, realistic colors and a high contrast ratio, this projector spits out 4K/60Hz or 1080p/240Hz and has low input lag, making it ideal for most games.

TOP 5: Best Home Theater Projector 2023

Display Technology: DLP (Lamp) | Max Resolution: 3,840 x 2,160 | Native Resolution: 3,840 x 2,160 | Input Lag: 16ms (4K), 4.2ms (1080p) | Projection Screen Size: 33-300 | Brightness: 4,000 Lumens | Inputs: 2 x HDMI 2.0, 1 x 12V Trigger, 1 x RS232 | Outputs: 1 x 3.5mm audio, 1 x S/PDIF, 1 x USB-A power 1.5A

The Optoma UHD38x has it all, from a high resolution and speedy frame rates to insane brightness and vivid colors, letting you make the most of your games while still costing less than 1,500. This projector spits out a 4K UHD picture in HDR with a reasonably low 16ms input lag at 60Hz for pristine visuals in story-based games. You can always switch the projector to the enhanced gaming mode, running at 1080p with a 240Hz refresh rate for silky-smooth frames and just 4.2ms of input lag, perfect for competitive games.

Beyond gaming, you’ll appreciate the vibrant, realistic colors and the high contrast ratio of the Optoma UHD38x, which ensures every scene is rich and detailed even when blown up to 300 inches on your walls. A 4,000-lumen brightness level also lets you enjoy this projector in just about any space with low ambient light. It’s even full 3D compatible, which the dual HDMI ports support, though we wish Optima included more ports, so you may opt for an AV receiver to run several gaming platforms.

Optoma HD39HDRx

Best Budget Gaming Projector

Stretch your picture to almost 300 inches on this 1080p projector that gets super bright to watch in most spaces and delivers a solid 120Hz refresh rate.

Display Technology: DLP (Lamp) | Native Resolution: 1,920 x 1,080 | Input Lag: 8.4ms | Refresh Rate: 120Hz | Projection Screen Size: 39.37-295.28 | Brightness: 4,000 ANSI Lumens | Inputs: 1 x HDMI 2.0, 1 x HDMI 1.4a, 1 x RS232 | Outputs: 1 x 3.5mm audio, 1 x USB-A power

You don’t need to spend a fortune to blow up your game’s image, as the Optoma’s HD39HDRx projector lets you play on a picture stretched up to almost 300 inches for under 800. The grand size is aided by its dazzling 4,000-lumen brightness, so you’re good to play in most spaces. It also supports HDR content, taking advantage of the brightness levels for deep black and bright highlights, and delivers a wide color gamut with great accuracy. There’s even a game mode on the projector, optimizing the contrast and color for a more immersive experience.

The Optoma HD39HDRx gives you a solid footing in games, even if it comes at a lower price point than the UHD35. It offers the low input lag that has made many of Optoma’s projectors competitive in this space. This model delivers just 8.4ms of lag when running at 1080p and 120Hz, giving you plenty of speed for fast-paced, stutter-free gameplay. You also get two HDMI ports to plug in your consoles, while one of those ports supports 3D content. And a powerful built-in speaker means you won’t need to shell out extra cash for an external speaker setup.

BenQ TH685P

Best Ultra Cheap Gaming Projector

8.3ms input lag running at 1080p and 120Hz makes this more affordable projector a solid gaming choice, while you can enjoy a 30-inch image or go as large as 300 inches.

Display Technology: 0.47” DLP (Lamp) | Max Resolution: 1,920 x 1,080 | Native Resolution: 1,920 x 1,080 | Input Lag: 8.3ms | Projection Screen Size: 30-300 | Brightness: 3,500 ANSI Lumens | Inputs: 2 x HDMI, 1 x RS-232, 1 x VGA, 3.5mm audio in, 1 x USB | Outputs: 1 x VGA, 1 x 3.5mm audio out

If you don’t need the blustery 4K resolution or the flashy 240Hz refresh rate, you can lower the price tag you’re facing considerably with the BenQ TH685. This projector still gives you the qualities you should seek, most notably its 8.3ms input lag when running at 1080p and 120Hz.

The BenQ TH685 offers some solid flexibility. You can set it up to provide a 30-inch image or go as large as 300 inches, and its brightness level of 3,500 ANSI lumens will paint a picture that’s easy to see without needing a pitch-black room. The projector has a 1.3x manual zoom as well, which can help you get your image perfectly framed where you want it while letting you position the projector somewhere convenient.

Optoma UHZ50

Best High-End Gaming Projector

This UHD projector offers a picture size up to 300 inches and supports 21:9 and 32:9 aspect ratios, plus its 4ms input lag at 1080p/240Hz is great for fast-paced games.

Display Technology: 0.47” DLP (Laser) | Max Resolution: 3,840 x 2,160 | Native Resolution: 3,840 x 2,160 | Input Lag: 4ms | Projection Screen Size: 34.1-302.4 | Brightness: 3,000 Lumens | Inputs: 3 x HDMI 2.0 (1 x eARC/ARC), 1 x Ethernet, 3 x USB, 1 x RS-232, 1 x 3D Sync | Outputs: 1 x 3.5mm audio out, 1 x optical out

With the Optoma UHZ50, you’re stepping into the big leagues for gaming projectors. This thing is a beast. It offers 3,000 lumens of brightness from a laser light source, letting you enjoy all that brightness without having to worry as much about prematurely burning out a bulb. The projector is ready to cast a 4K UHD picture on your walls, projector screen, or even the side of a building at up to 300 inches or as small as 34 inches, giving you a lot of options for setup.

Really hitting home this projector’s gaming capabilities is its 4ms input lag when running at 1080p/240Hz – got to love a display that lets you choose between high resolution and high speed. Optoma even lets you go cinematic with support for a 21:9 and even 32:9 aspect ratios, perfect for watching movies or playing games in super ultrawide mode.

ViewSonic PX748-4K

Best Gaming Projector for Consoles

Enjoy 4K HDR on this 4000 ANSI Lumen projector that offers a 60Hz refresh rate in UHD, or go for speed in games at 1080p/120Hz on consoles and 1080p/240Hz on PC.

Display Technology: DLP (Lamp) | Max Resolution: 3,840 x 2,160 | Native Resolution: 3,840 x 2,160 | Input Lag: 4ms | Projection Screen Size: 30-300 | Brightness: 4,000 ANSI Lumens | Inputs: 2 x HDMI 2.0, 1 x USB-C, 1 x USB-A, 1 x RS-232, 1 x Ethernet | Outputs: 1 x 3.5mm audio out

Your gaming consoles offer a well-rounded experience, and they deserve a well-rounded projector. The ViewSonic PX748-4K is just that. This gaming projector comes in at a more modest price than the Optoma UHD35, but you’ll find it’s offering some comparable capabilities.

You can enjoy your console games in 4K HDR and monstrous size thanks to the bright, 4000 ANSI Lumen light source. While 4K is capped at 60Hz on this projector, you can opt for a 1080p picture to enjoy 120Hz on your consoles and even 240Hz if you’re connecting a PC. At its fastest speed, the ViewSonic PX748-4K is also offering a 4.2ms input lag for responsive gaming. Not only does this projector offer a pair of HDMI 2.0 ports for your consoles, but it also has a USB-C port that can handle a Nintendo Switch video signal directly.

Epson EpiqVision Ultra LS500

Best Ultra-Short Throw Gaming Projector

This ultra-short-throw projector can sit right next to your wall or projector screen and cast a 70- to 130-inch image without compromising the 4K HDR picture.

Display Technology: 3LCD (Laser Phosphor) | Max Resolution: 3,840 x 2,160 | Native Resolution: 3,840 x 2,160 (pixel shift) | Input Lag: 16.7ms | Projection Screen Size: 70-130 | Brightness: 4,000 Lumens (ANSI and CLO) | Inputs: 3 x HDMI 2.0 (1 x ARC), 1 x Ethernet, 2 x USB, 1 x RS-232, | Outputs: 1 x 3.5mm audio out

While projectors make it easy to get a huge picture, some of that simplicity may be offset by the fact you now need to have all of your gaming setup behind you (or in the middle of the room) or run long cables across the room. That’s solved with an ultra-short-throw (UST) projector, and the Epson EpiqVision Ultra LS500 is a champ UST projector for gaming.

This projector can sit right next to your wall or projector screen and cast a 70- to 130-inch image. With 4,000 ANSI lumens of brightness coming from a laser light source and 3LCD display technology, you’re going to get an uncompromising picture with no rainbow effect. The laser will also let you enjoy maximum brightness without the same, shorter lifespan of bulb-based projectors. The EpiqVision Ultra LS500 supports 4K gaming and HDR while boasting a 16.7ms input lag. Adding to its convenience, this projector includes built-in 10W stereo speakers and its own streaming stick (though you can always swap it out for your own preferred stick).

Where to Get the Best Gaming Projectors in the UK

If you’re looking for true 4K gaming with a projector, you’ve come to the right place UK readers. We’ve managed to track down several of the absolute best projectors for gaming in the UK. There are a few absentees from our list, but there’s still enough choice here to get you started on your premium gaming experience.

How To Choose A Projector in 2023

What to Look for in a Projector for Gaming

Though projectors have a lot in common with other displays, like TVs and monitors, the process of finding a good one can be a bit trickier. Projectors aren’t generally known for having low input lag, and having a high input lag is one of the surest ways to have a bad gaming experience. Ensuring you’re getting a projector with a low input lag (ideally below 35 milliseconds) is a must, and we’ve selected only projectors that can meet this benchmark.

With too high of an input lag, every action you input on your controller will be delayed on screen, and your games will feel sluggish at best and be impossible at worst (good luck beating a Elden Ring with 100ms of input lag).

You’re also going to have to find a projector that can work with your space. Just because a projector says it can produce a 300-inch image doesn’t guarantee it can do so in any old room. The image you get is a result of the projector’s throw ratio and the distance you place the projector from the screen/wall it’s projecting onto. The further away you set it up from your screen, the bigger the image you’ll get. Many high-quality projectors will feature an optical zoom, which can allow you to position the projector where you want it while still getting the picture size you need. Beyond this, features like keystone adjustment and vertical lens shift can further improve the flexibility of your setup, as you’ll need to find a place to put your project and a space to serve as your display — as opposed to just needing space for the display as you would with a TV.

Similar to other displays, your resolution and frame rate are major considerations for projectors. It gets tricky with projectors though because, for whatever reason, a great many brands like to list the maximum resolution they can receive from source devices more prominently than the “native resolution” that the projector is actually capable of displaying. You always should look for that listed native resolution, as that’s the picture you’re going to get on your screen. One exception is projectors that use pixel-shifting technology, which allows them to have a native 1080p resolution but create a 4K picture.

A projector’s brightness and projection technology are also worth paying attention to. Knowing whether you’re getting a lamp, LED, or laser projector can help you weigh the overall value, as a lamp-based model may be cheaper upfront but will likely need a new bulb after a few thousand hours of use, whereas LEDs and lasers can last for tens of thousands of hours before needing replacement.

Brightness levels will determine where and how you can actually use your projector. Generally, no projector is going to be good for a brightly lit room. Some 2,000 ANSI lumen models will be bright enough to see content in a lit room, but dark details will be washed out by the ambient light in the room.

Advanced projection screens can help, but will add considerably to the price. If you can turn off the lights and have decent shades, you should still have a good experience with these 2,000 lumen projectors. If you’re in a very dark room, you could get away with a projector offering just a few hundred lumens. Pay careful attention to details around the lumen rating — ideally, you should see “ANSI” lumens or “color light output” (CLO) lumens, as these will be more reliable, standardized measurements. If you don’t see ANSI or CLO measurements, take the projector’s light output with a grain of salt and verify it with independent reviews, especially if it’s promising a high brightness at a low price.

Mark Knapp is a regular contributor to IGN and an irregular Tweeter on @Techn0Mark

Can You Use a Projector for Everyday TV Watching?

Projectors offer an unparalleled option of screen size at their price point, with many 100-inch screen projectors coming in at well under the price of a 55-inch or 65-inch television. But what about for content other than movies and prestige-TV shows? What about normal every-day use: your cable-TV sitcoms and favorite news channels? Are projectors good for that too?

You can absolutely use a projector for normal, everyday TV watching. It won’t hurt the projector (though it may run the bulb life down faster), and it may lead to a better overall TV-watching experience, at a lower price-point than most larger Televisions.

Not only that, but it’s also an undeniable flex to be able to turn your nose up at the Jones’s “curved-65-inch this” or “Samsung quantum dot that.” A projector might be expensive, but it’s no more expensive than even a very large TV. It has much more of a wow-factor in a space, but it’s worth discussing some of the pros and cons in detail, including the fact that projectors are much better for your eyes – as we touched on in our guide.

Pros and Cons of Using a Projector for Everyday Viewing

There are various reasons why using a projector for everyday viewing is either a great idea or a not so great idea. It depends on the room that the projector may be located in, the people watching, and much more!

Undeniable Price Advantage Over Large-Television Options

What’s the best selling, largest TV you can buy on Amazon? At time of writing, the LG 86UM8070PUA 86″ 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV (on Amazon) takes that crown, and it does it at a price point of nearly two thousand dollars. That’s a serious price, and there’s no question that TV will blow your socks off when it comes to performance, image quality, etc. etc.

But here’s the thing: this TV is still 14% smaller than a 100-in screen, and a projector that can do that will be half the cost. Literally. The XGIMI Horizon Smart Projector (on Amazon), for example, comes in at less than half the 86” LG TV, and is designed for, not a 100-inch screen, not a 200-inch screen, but a whopping 300-inch diagonal projector screen.

If your goal is big, there’s no question that projectors have the advantage. And if you’re already sold, you can check out some of our projector recommendations here, but keep reading to get more on the pros and cons.

Impressive User Experience

The big screen just makes video more compelling. Whether it’s news, sitcoms, or a Blockbuster movie, having a huge screen to watch all of your “normal” content on makes it all feel more engaging. It takes a part of your life–a weekly ritual of watching your favorite shows, perhaps, and elevates that experience to something more substantial.

One surprising advantage is that the larger screen is actually easier on the eyes since it takes up more of your visual field, mimicking the way light in the real world works. If you watch a lot of TV and suffer from eye strain, moving to a projector may actually make those issues go away.

Projectors Have Higher Operating Costs Driven by the Bulb Life

Typical projector bulb lives run around 2000 hours, and that will go quickly if you’re using the projector for every-day TV watching. Specifically, if you’re the type to leave the TV on in the background during your morning prep and then again all evening, you could conceivably be getting 8 hours a day of run-time, and that adds up to 2000 hours after just 250 days.

Not even a full year. However, the projector industry, and especially high-end projectors like the one listed above, are moving from traditional low-life incandescent bulbs to long-lasting LED lamps.

This bumps the lamp-life up an order of magnitude. Taking the example above, the XGIMI H2 has a lamp life that claims 30000 hours of use. At our 8-hour-per-day metric, that’s a cool 10 years. So, if you get an LED-powered projector, this “con” may be totally irrelevant.

And there might be one more hidden advantage here in that the projector is likely a little cheaper to run compared to a Television. There’s more on that in our article here, if you’re interested.

It May be Hard to Actually Get TV Onto Your Projector

For streaming services that run as apps, or as streaming sticks, there are usually pretty simple solutions to get content on your Projector: whatever box you’re using to run your setup (maybe it’s a computer or an Xbox) you can almost always just download Netflix or Hulu and go.

For traditional TV feeds that you buy from a cable company, however, there might be a few more hoops to jump through. If your cable box has to be tethered to the wall where it can get access to an Ethernet or Cable jack, placement becomes an issue. If you put the cable box at the projector, you have to run the cable line to it there.

If you put the cable box near the jack, you now have to run HDMI from the projector back to that spot. Using a Wireless HDMI Kit might solve this problem handily for you, or you may be able to get a wireless cable box from your provider. However, this is definitely an added step you may need to consider if you want to watch normal TV on your projector.

Complicated Audio Setup

TVs will almost always have speakers built in that are good enough for everyday use. Projectors…not so much. When they do have speakers built-in, they’re often cheap-sounding with tinny highs and non-existent lows.

Where a Television has a big enough width to have left and right audio speakers, a projector not only lacks any width to play with but is often mounted above you, not at the video surface, so using the projector’s built-in sound will get old quick.

This means you have to solve an audio problem with a projector that you don’t have to fuss with at all if you’re using a Television.

Overall

So, now you can see why using a projector for normal TV watching isn’t just possible, it may actually be a compelling option. If you’re already wanting to get a large TV, a projector may be a way for you to get an even better experience without sacrificing much money, or even by spending less.

Posted on Last updated: June 9, 2023

The best 4K projector 2023: the silver screen in your home

Want to buy the best 4K projector? You’re not alone. of us are looking for a dedicated projector for the ultimate home cinema experience to either complement a 4K TV or replace it — especially as major releases continue to make their debut on streaming services like Netflix, Disney, Prime Video, and more.

best, smart, projector, gaming, 2023

If you Google the best 4K projector, you’re bound to come up with more results than you have time to sift through. That’s where we come in. We’ve searched high and low to find a selection of 4K projectors worthy of your time, without requiring a second mortgage in the process. Not that we’re rubbishing £10K projectors, mind. If you’ve got the budget to splash out on an ultra-premium option like the superb JVC DLA-NZ8, then by all means, go for it.

For the purposes of our list though, we’ve decided to FOCUS on a range of price points ranging from affordable to luxury, with plenty of big-screen goodness for film lovers and avid gamers alike. So with all that said, let’s jump straight into it.

What’s the best 4K projector to buy today?

Sony VPL-XW5000

Given that it’s the priciest projector on our list by quite some margin, it’ll come as no surprise to hear that Sony’s VPL-XW5000 is also one of the best 4K projectors around.

Opting for laser technology instead of more traditional bulbs (which goes some way to explaining the chunk of change you’ll need in order to acquire it), it sheds all the main disadvantages of the humble bulb. No longer will you have to worry about replacing lamps every few thousand hours. Nor will you have to worry about ever-dimming performance.

Powered by Sony’s formidable X1 UItimate image processing, you’ll be treated to a cavalcade of visual delights, from stunningly crisp, detailed 4K pictures, to truly impressive black levels and contrast. And not that it matters much, but the projector itself is a looker too, with an eye-catching design that’ll look just as impressive when it’s off.

Xgimi Aura 4K

If you’re short on space and/or would rather not deal with the hassle of mounting a projector to your ceiling, then short-throw projectors are the way to go. Quite a few companies including Samsung and LG offer short-throw projectors, and this particular model from Xgimi earns brownie points for cramming in plenty of tech and useful features, into a reasonably-priced package.

Capable of projecting a gigantic 120in screen from a mere 30cm distance, you’ll be treated to a cinematic experience in seconds. Simply take it out of the box, pop it on a table in front of a wall, and you’re good to go. It too, uses laser projection technology, which means you won’t have to faff around trying to dial in the perfect level of FOCUS either.

Better yet, it’s powered by Android TV 10, which means you can run all of your favourite streaming apps like Netflix and Prime Video directly off the projector itself, with no need to hook up anything else like a streaming stick (though can still do so, if you wish). With two tweeters and a pair of woofers — powered by DTS HD and Dolby Audio, no less — you won’t even have to worry about hooking up extra speakers or a soundbar. The ultimate plug-and-play package for fuss-free projection.

Epson EH-TW6250

If you’re after the convenience of an all-in-one setup without the wallet-busting cost, then Epson’s EH-TW6250 is a superb choice. Powered by Android TV, you can run all of your favourite apps directly on the projector itself, for simple operation and ease of use. And because it opts for the more traditional bulb operation, you can enjoy the 4K projection experience for a superb price.

Promising up to 15 years of use per bulb (around 10000 hours) with a solid brightness output of 2800 lumens, this is a great fuss-free option for those who’re on the hunt for a premium experience without decimating their wallet. With the flexibility to plug in set-top boxes, streaming sticks, and consoles as well, there’s practically nothing it can’t handle.

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Anker Nebula 4K

It might not win any design awards (though some people might enjoy the oval shape), but there’s no denying the Anker Nebula 4K’s performance.

With 3800 lumens at its disposal, it promises to grace your eyes with crisp, bright, 4K images, with support for HDR10 and Dolby Digital Plus audio to boot. It’s also capable of upscaling content (including non-HDR sources), while packing the app-tastic power of Android TV under the hood for good measure.

High-speed autofocus makes for simple operation, with plenty of devices supported via HDMI, USB, Bluetooth and casting all supported. Throw in auto-correction for accurate images even when you’re forced to use an angle, and you’ve got yourself a very capable projector that looks unique in the process.

ViewSonic PX701-4K

The cheapest projector on our list is far from a slouch, with 3200 lumens and 4K resolution at its disposal. And while Viewsonic’s offering is far from the sleekest, best-looking projector on our list (and lacks extras like a built-in Android TV OS), it makes up for it with its lower price tag.

Despite using a bulb, it still promises to last for up to 20000 hours of use before it requires changing, while supporting HDR and HLG content for an extra dash of visual flavour.

Gamers will also be pleased to hear that it has a very low 5ms response time too, with up to a blistering 240Hz refresh rate thrown in as a surprising bonus. The latter will only work at 1080p, mind, but it’s nice knowing that the option is there — particularly for competitive esports titles where refresh rate reigns supreme.

BenQ-X3000i

BenQ’s rather attractive cuboid won’t need to be hidden when not in use, thanks to its unique shape and attractive contrasting paint job.

It’s got plenty of clever tricks hidden beneath its handsome exterior, including a bulb that’s good for up to 20000 hours, along with Android TV for all the software bells and whistles. It’s capable of ultra-fast 4ms gaming at 1080p too, with a 240Hz refresh rate for buttery-smooth headshots.

If you’d rather find a more pixel-packed middle-ground for, say, single-player games where appearance is more important, then you can still enjoy a respectable 4K/60Hz gaming experience for full immersion.