Beamer for home cinema: when is it worth buying and which models are available for under 500 euros?

Beamer buying advice

If you want to turn your living room into a real home theater, you might have already thought about the Buying a projector instead of a TV thought. But when is it worth buying such a projector?? And what to consider when buying? We provide you with the answers in our buying guide.

This article answers the following questions:

  • When is the beamer purchase worthwhile?
  • What to consider?
  • What types of beamers are there?
  • What does a beamer cost?
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of beamers and televisions??
  • What are the best beamer models under 300, 500 and 1000 Euro??

Projector or television: When is it worth buying a projector??

Especially during the pandemic the Beamer for your own home cinema particularly attractive as an alternative to television. The times when the largest possible free projection surface was required for the use of a projector are long gone. Projectors can be used flexibly and allow images to be displayed in Sizes between 40 and up to 300 inches – depending on the chosen model.

In the meantime, even beamers with 4K resolution at affordable prices available, so that users do not have to do without high-resolution image reproduction. In addition, most modern devices provide an equally large as pin sharp and colorful image, so that especially Film and sports fans get their money’s worth come.

For example, a projector is worthwhile if you watch the regular TV program on the old TV, but image-rich movies or sporting events with friends would like to enjoy in an excitingly large format. Also because you can partly enjoy large projection surface for less money gets, than a comparably large television would cost. And even for rooms with little space, such a device can be worthwhile.

What to look for in a projector?

Five points should be considered when buying a beamer. If you want to use a projector in your home theater, you need one thing in addition to the device itself, and that is a Suitable projection surface. This can be a white wall or a real screen.

1. Do you need a screen?

A wall saves money, but has the disadvantage that the image may be Quality and brightness loses. This is due to the fact that even the smallest unevenness of the wallpaper forms small shadows that affect the image quality.

The Alternative are screens, which you can buy in different sizes and in different price categories. Simple models are already available from 100 Euro. This investment is definitely worth it if you want to enjoy the full image quality of your beamer.

2. Accessories for the projector

In addition to the fact that you need a suitable projection surface for a projector, you should also be clear about how you want to use the projector before making a purchase decision. Because each device several connections for additional hardware equipped. If you want to use a TV stick for playback, for example, you should make sure that the projector has an audio output and an HDMI port – which is the case with most devices, however.

3. Lumen and contrast

Depending on where and how you want to use your projector, but above all factors such as luminosity (lumens), resolution and contrast ratio of the projector plays an important role. If you want to set up your beamer in the living room or in a room that cannot be completely darkened, the device of your choice should have a luminosity of at least 3.000 lumens have. In basement rooms or rooms without windows and without external light incidence also 1.500 lumens.

The contrast is next to the luminosity of the projector another important factor that you should consider in your purchase decision. To ensure that dark colors and texts are shown to their best advantage, you should make sure that the contrast is as high as possible. Also here the condition of the room plays a role, in which you want to place the Beamer. darker rooms require less contrast than the conventional living room. As a rule of thumb: Contrast values from 20.000 : 1 are considered to be well suited for any purpose.

4. Full HD or 4K or ?

The Resolution, your projector should have depends on the size of the image. The larger the image should be, the higher the resolution must be. Very cheap devices with a HD-ready resolution of 720p

* are most likely to be worthwhile for beginners who want to approach the home cinema experience slowly and enjoy their films on a rather small screen area.

One Full HD resolution is standard and is suitable for the average home theater owner ( to Amazon

*). If you want to raise your own home cinema experience to the highest level and are not afraid of a corresponding investment, you can also turn to a 4K beamer

* – but then you also need a correspondingly large screen, so that the resolution can be fully appreciated. However, if you buy a 4K projector, make sure that the device of your choice can also handle lower resolutions so that you can also watch content in Full HD.

5. The life of the lamp

Finally, you should remember that the Lamp unit of a projector has a limited lifetime of about 3.has 500 hours. This corresponds to about three years of use at three hours per day. If the lamp has done its job and loses luminosity, you can buy a new module. The cost is about 150 euros.

What types of projectors are available?

As with televisions, there are also different types of beamers, which work with different projection techniques. Among the most common are DLP (Digital Light Processing), 3LCD, LED and Laser. DLP, LCD and LED beamers use a lamp unit that loses luminosity over time. However, these devices are usually much cheaper than laser beamers. The lasers usually have five times the life of a light unit for this purpose.

DLP beamers are usually particularly small and compact. They also have the best contrast. LCD and LED projectors, on the other hand, score points with a sharper image and brighter colors that come into their own even with a rather low luminosity. Laser beamer

* always output the exact color required at any given time, which means that they produce a particularly sharp and true-color image including very good contrasts. However, for these devices you usually have to buy at least 2.000 Euro – a price that is seldom worthwhile for normal home cinema.

In addition to the projection technology, beamers also differ in terms of the distance distance required for the projection of the image is. Most normal beamers require a minimum distance of just under three meters to produce a two-meter-wide image.

If you have little space available, however, you can also use so-called "entry-level" projectors Short or ultra-short distance projectors

* fall back. These devices require a significantly smaller distance to the screen than conventional beamers, but are also correspondingly more expensive.

What does a beamer cost?

Low-priced models are already available for less than 200 euros, but you have to make significant sacrifices in terms of image quality. Many of these entry-level models have no Full HD resolution and are suitable because of the rather moderate color and contrast values, especially if you want to use the projector infrequently and in a small room.

Good LCD and DLP projectors are already available in the following price categories From a price range of around 500 euros. These devices then often come with Full HD resolution and reasonable home cinema equipment. If you want to buy a projector with 4K resolution, you have to expect prices around 1.000 Euro.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of a beamer compared to a television set?

Projectors have a number of advantages and disadvantages compared to conventional televisions. The Advantages are:

  • flexible image size
  • large image diagonals beyond conventional TVs possible
  • cheaper than TVs with a comparable screen diagonal
  • More space-saving than a TV, if necessary; can be hidden inconspicuously in the room when not in use
  • better colors and contrasts than similarly sized TVs

However, there are also Disadvantages, that you should consider when buying a projector:

  • Image quality depends on ambient light
  • Additional costs by exchanging the lamp unit
  • Higher installation effort than with a TV
  • additional screen recommended

Beamers from cheap to classy: an overview of the best models

Beamers are available in various different price categories. We have selected a number of recommendable models for you, which are suitable for (almost) every budget.

Entry-level: Beamers around 100 euros

If you’re just getting started with the home theater experience or have only a limited budget, you can already buy a projector for around 100 Euro low-priced projectors buy. Recommendable models are for example the AOpen QH11 with HD-Ready resolution, 5.000 lumens and integrated loudspeaker:

Alternatively, you can take a look at the entry-level model NeoPix Easy 2+ from Philips, which also comes with 720p resolution and integrated speakers:

Upscale entry-level models: Beamers under 300 euros

If you want to invest a little more money, you can already get a 4K beamer for For under or around 300 euros recommendable beamers for home cinema beginners. Various no-name manufacturers offer different models here, which can be worthwhile for beginners. Check the exact specifications for contrast and lumen value here in each individual case before you decide on a model.

Just over 300 Euros is the current price of an HD Ready projector from LG, which we have included in this list despite its relatively low lumen values. The projector has the advantage that it is extremely light and compact and even runs on battery power. So you can take it comfortably to friends or on trips:

Alternatively, you can also take a look at the Yaber Bluetooth beamer with Full HD resolution, which is at Amazon

* currently costs just under 270 euros.

Mid-range: beamers under 500 euros

For up to 500 Euro you can buy a beamer that can display Full-HD. The Optoma HD146X is one of the absolute price-performance winners and scores with a sharp picture in Full HD as well as good contrast values:

In the price range up to 500 euros, we also recommend the HD Beamer H6541BDi from Acer. This DLP projector has a resolution of 1.280 x 800 pixels and is suitable for 4.000 ANSI lumens also for the living room at home. Currently it costs less than 500 euros:

Full-HD projector under 1.000 euros

You are willing to pay up to 1.000 euros for a beamer, but then you also expect a corresponding quality for your money? Then you should take a closer look at the following models, which can convince in terms of brightness as well as contrast values and additional features:

High-end and 4K: When money is no object

Be your budget in the equipment of the home theater upwards no limits? Then you could be happy with the Epson EH-TW7100. This 4K beamer not only convinces with a very high contrast value and UHD resolution, but also various connections and a plug-and-play function:

As an alternative, we recommend the BenQ W5700S as an absolute high-end device to you. The 4K beamer from BenQ has outstanding contrast values and processes not only 4K but also Full HD and 3D content. It also supports HDR10 and offers an integrated media player:

We hope that our buying guide can help you choose the right projector for your home theater and we wish you a lot of fun with your new toy.

*These links are so-called affiliate links. With a purchase over these links or with the conclusion of a Abos we receive a commission. This has no effect on the price.

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