5 Best home theater projectors 2018: Best projectors for movies, gaming, and more

The power and efficiency of home projectors are growing, while cost and size keep shrinking.  There is a large selection of affordable and impressive hardware for those who want to measure their screen size with a yardstick. Whatever your interest, the best projector for movies, or the best projector for gaming, we are here to help. Check out the best home theater projectors 2018 for movies, gaming, and more!

There are a variety of different options, from full 4K cinema quality definition to portable and sharp devices competing for the title of best projector for gaming and movies. htpcBeginner has taken a look at the best the market has to offer, at a variety of prices and uses. Here are the best home theater projectors 2018. [Read: 10 Best Plex client devices 2018]

Best Home Theater Projectors 2018


Best Home Theater Projectors 2018 - Sony Vplvw385Es
The Sony Vplvw385Es Is The Best 4K Projector Available

1. Sony VPLVW385ES 4K HDR Home Theater Video Projector

Price: $7,998.00

No list of home projectors would be complete without mentioning at least one high-end 4k model. True 4k projectors are as groundbreaking as they are beautiful. Sony’s VPLVW385ES 4K HDR Home Theater Video Projector is the one of the best projectors for movies available. Ideal for cinema and sports, it can go as small as 42 inches to as large as 167 inches.

These are for serious home viewers with a mind on quality and the highest resolution. The news and film junkies can gorge themselves on the incredibly clear and crisp platform. While sports fans can take advantage of premium sports channel packages that offer 4k picture. [Read: Excelvan CL270D LED projector - Take the cinema home]


  • True 4k picture
  • Brightness: 1500 Lumens
  • 3 year warranty


  • High cost
  • Low bulb life: 6,000 hours


This is for those who require the very best projector for movies,  then pull the trigger on this projector. This is one of the best and most cost-effective 4k projectors available. It’s well worth its price tag but the high-cost places this device clear out of the range of the average user.

Best Android TV Boxes:
  1. NVIDIA SHIELD TV Pro Home Media Server - $199.99 Editors Pick
  2. Amazon Fire TV Streaming Media Player - $89.99
  3. WeTek Play 2 Hybrid Media Center - $134.00
  4. Kukele Octacore Android TV Box - $179.99
  5. U2C Android TV Box - $95.99

2. Epson Home Cinema 5040UBe Home Theater Projector

Best Home Theater Projectors 2018 - Epson Cinema 5040Ube
Source: Amazon.ca

Price: $2899.00

Epson's 5040UBe Projector is a significant step down in cost compared to the previous model on this list, But its no slouch.

Epson is a leading brand in digital projectors and the 5040UBe shows why. It offers high resolution and is the best projector in its price range. Small and easy to use, this Epson walks the cost-performance balance better than most other projectors for the same cost. It offers a long bulb life and is miles above similarly priced flat screens.

The 5040Ube is a few minor steps up above the Epson's previous models. Customers complain of the lack of black depth, but it still out preforms its competitors in its price range. Colors are sharp and accurate. It is a good mid-level projector for those who want to game and watch HD quality movies.


  • Comes 3d ready and with two pairs of glasses.
  • Bulb life: 20,000-hour life
  • 1080p resolution


  • Light output is too low to work in moderately lit-rooms
  • Depth of black weaker than other similarly priced products
  • Not designed to be portable


A strong option for those looking for more than a standard projector.  High quality video for movies in the home. It works for gaming but is easily disrupted by moderate lighting.

3. Optoma HD142X Home Theater Projector

Best Home Theater Projectors 2018 - Optoma Hd27
Source: Amazon.ca

Price: $579.46

Optoma is a company that gets decidedly less credit than it deserves. It offers a strong selection of projectors for those who are looking for the higher end of the inexpensive range. The HD142x  showcases everything that the company is doing right.

Unlike most projectors under $1000, it casts a clear picture in mid-levels of ambient light. While it cannot offer the crispness of 4k resolution like its more expensive counterparts, it offers HD 1080p, for a very impressive picture.


  • 8,000-hour lamp life
  • Can handle strong ambient light
  • Full HD Resolution: 1080p


  • Rainbow artifacts
  • Not designed for portability

Overall: A solid and clear picture that works well in both gaming and movie watching. At 3200 lumens it works well in even a well lit room.

4. ZTE Spro 2

Source: Amazon.ca

Best Home Theater Projectors 2018 - Zte Spro 2
Source: Amazon.ca

Price: $399

ZTE’s Spro 2 is small, sleek and stylish. A “smart projector,” it is probably the best projector for gaming on this list. Perfect for those who want to take their big screens on the road.

It lacks power but more than makes up for it in function. The operating system is built on a tweaked version of Android. It can run any android app, and, more or less, functions like an android based tablet.
It makes the most of a relatively small processor, but works perfectly fine for projection. [Read10 Best Legal Android Streaming Apps for Movies and TV Shows]


  • Designed for transport
  • Affordable
  • Battery or wall powered
  • Highly customizable


  • Lower quality video (720p)
  • Limited battery power
  • Needs low light conditions

Overall: A fun and versatile toy. Better suited for a suitcase than a major home theater, it provides a lot of potential for a reasonable price. Ideal for gamers who want something that can go anywhere.

5. Pyle Home PRJLE33 Widescreen HD

Best Home Theater Projectors 2018 - Pyle Home Prjle33
Pyle Makes An Awesome, Inexpensive Home Theater Projector

Price: $178.98
A nice starter for someone looking to start gaming or watching movies. Its cost makes it fit well into a budget, but do not expect the quality or function of its higher priced competitors.

It works well for casual gaming and movie watching. Rooms need to be dark, and users have complained about both the lack of color accuracy and black depth. That being said, it remains one of the best projectors for movies under $200.


  • Extremely versatile
  • HD 1080p
  • Low cost
  • Strong basic functions


  • Low quality of built-in speakers
  • Color accuracy
  • Poor black depth

Overall: A good place to start building a home theater on a budget.

Bottom line on the best home theater projectors 2018

There are just some of the choices available on the market in 2018. There are many others, but these are just a few of the best projectors for gaming and movies.

 Best projector for movies

If you can afford it go for the Sony VPLVW385ES. It far outshines just about any other projector in its price range. The quality obsessed, film fan in your home will thank you.

There is little doubt that the Sony VPLVW385ES is the best projector for movies.

 Best projector for games

ZTE’s Spro 2 is small and portable. It combines the familiarity and support of Android, while adding enough tweaks to keep it fresh and interesting. What it lacks in bulb power it more than makes up for as a fun and surprisingly powerful toy. This makes the Spro 2 the best projector for games.

What’s your recommendation for best home theater projectors 2018? We always want to hear from our readers about their experience. Leave us a comment.

Be the 1 in 200,000. Help us sustain what we do.
18 / 150 by Dec 31, 2024
Join Us (starting from just $1.67/month)

Peter Nolan-Smith

Peter is a tech enthusiast and a guest author at SmartHomeBeginner.com.

Become a Member