What Are The Best Budget Projectors in 2022?
Here Are The Best Budget Projectors Out in 2022
Updated October 2, 2022
This article was updated to ensure the best and most accurate results.
A projector has several advantages, but getting all the finer characteristics, including a longer lamp life and a more desirable contrast ratio, would cost somewhere in the four figures.
The best budget projectors under $500 that yet satisfy your criteria and are less expensive have been discovered by our experts.
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Reviews of the Best Budget Projectors in 2022
Epson Home Cinema 880
Perfect for Home Use
Detailed 1080p resolution
3300 Lumens of Color
The 3,300 lumen rating, which is exceptionally bright, is what makes this finest projector so equally bright in both color and white. With cutting-edge 3LCD projector technology, the full HD projector resolution of 1920 x 1080 produces wonderfully clear images.
The 16,000:1 dynamic contrast aspect ratio will improve photos taken in low light.
Dual HDMI connections on the Epson Home Cinema 880 make it possible for a user-friendly, simple, and trouble-free setup. Because of its durable construction, long lifespan, and low fan noise performance, the 880 is among the top 10 projectors available at this price point. This is the finest course of action to give the best performance.
Even better, a skew sensor detects tilted images and quickly adjusts the keystone without the need for manual adjustment.
What We Like
Excellent image quality for full HD video viewing
Full HD resolution 1920 x 1080 native resolution
High contrast ratio of 16,000:1
Low fan noise
Keystone correction and skew sensor
RCA may be faulty at times
Epson VS250 SVGA
Perfect for Office Use
3,200 lm of equal color
For media player and Blu-ray player devices, the Epson VS250 is a great projector if you’re seeking for the best value. Dual HDMI ports and USB type connection choices are supported, and it is extremely compatible with your smartphones or tablets. Even though the SVGA resolution is 800600, it works well for office tasks or business presentations. Additionally, the slim profile and light weight make it convenient for people who are often on the go.
It’s a fantastic projector for watching movies at home, but it’s also a top-notch projector for watching movies outside. The corrective feature will also provide more positioning freedom in any setting.
With an astounding 3200 lumens of color brightness, the VS250 Epson projector enhances wide color and white brightness in any lighting situation. With the inbuilt zoom ring, you may increase the projection size of the image while maintaining high-resolution picture quality.
What We Like
One of the best projectors for outdoor viewing
Great image quality
High compatibility with media devices
SVGA resolution 800 x 600 picture quality
Supports Dolby Audio System
2 HDMI port inputs
No speaker hookup built in
Takes time to set up for watching movies
WiMiUS P18 Projector
Perfect for Home Use
Bright and Sharp Images
Powerful HiFi Speaker
Finding a projector with a 1920 x 1080 native resolution that is as affordable as this one is challenging. The WiMiUS P18 Projector nevertheless produces high-quality images, high brightness, and color accuracy with outstanding precision despite its cheaper price. Because it delivers a wider color spectrum and our experts think that it’s practically supercolor technology, this projector is ideal for home entertainment.
The small projector’s LED light allows for a high contrast ratio of 15,000:1. It can so produce color brightness and contrast that are similar to those found in real life. Additionally, it is bright enough for any setting. It also features small USB connections and built-in hi-fi speakers. With a light lifespan of 30,000 hours, the projector also doesn’t let users down.
This tiny projector can be categorized as having a straight throw due to its throw distance of 1.5 to 6 meters. When watching a movie, this projector is simple to use and move to different rooms thanks to its tiny and portable size.
What We Like
Full HD 1080p projector
Hi-Fi speakers built-in
Wide color gamut and advanced color technology
Short throw distance
High quality LED lamp
Great for watching movies and playing on gaming consoles
Easy on the eyes with diffuse reflection imaging
Long lamp life
Contrast ratio of 15000:1
Not 8K resolution
Needs a long throw for 100-inch screen size
Epson Home Cinema 2250
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Detailed 1080p resolution
3300 Lumens of Color
Best-in-Class Color Brightness (1) — advanced 3LCD technology displays 100% of the RGB color signal for every frame. This allows for outstanding color accuracy while maintaining excellent color brightness, without any distracting “rainbowing” or “color brightness” issues seen with other projection technologies
Built-in Android TV (2) — latest Android TV interface with a simple-to-use remote – including voice search with built-in Google Assistant. Watch all your favorite streaming channels including Hulu, HBO, YouTube and more (3) without an external streaming media player
What We Like
Wi-Fi 5G connection enabled
4D keystone correcting
Full 1080p High Definition resolution
Screen mirroring option
Wide screen of 300 inches
Compatible with many devices
2 HDMI inputs
Fast response time
Angled mounting can blur the edges of the screen
Acer H5382BD 720P 3D DLP Home Theater Projector
Perfect for Home Use
12000 Hour of Bulb Life
Wireless HDMI Projector Kit
Acer is well-known for its computer products, but they have also produced a stunning projector for media rooms. An affordable projector with great brightness, contrast, and resolution is the Acer H5382BD. Since it only supports HD and not full HD, it is preferable to use the projector for presentations or smaller rooms rather than for streaming your favorite movies.
You may turn the Acer projector into a wireless device and do away with unnecessary connections by using a wireless HDMI projector kit. The tiny projector is compatible with VGA, USB, and HDMI for high-definition connections that effectively process video.
The projector has a background light sensor as well, which can detect ambient light and adjust the settings to prevent image distortion. But its bulb life is only little more than 12,000 hours. Even so, it’s fantastic for entertaining at home.
(This projector is incredibly adaptable; with this easy procedure, you can even mount the projector in your living room.)
What We Like
Superb image quality
Ambient light sensor
Acer’s ColorBoost3D technology
Can become wireless
3300 ANSI lumens
20,000:1 contrast ratio
Native 720p HD resolution
Easy setup and mount
Supports connection via HDMI, VGA, USB
Not full HD
Zoom has to be reset before each session
12,000 hours of lamp life
Best Budget Projectors Buying Guide
When choosing a projector, there are a lot of things to take into account. Many people search for the best inexpensive projector, while others consider alternative models with features like eco-mode, keystone correction, and even goods with 3,300 ANSI lumen ratings for excellent image display.
Check out our buying guide, where our experts go into more detail about features you might want in the best projector under $500, to help you make the right decision.
Design and Build
The first thing to consider about is the size. The screen’s dimensions and the projector’s footprint are taken into account. The size of your LED projector or LCD projector will vary depending on your setup and the size of the room; however, more on that in a moment. To determine how much room your projector needs, you can utilize a home theater room calculator.
What do you intend to do with a projector? A different kind of projector, such as a business projector, will be adequate for tiny offices or business presentations, while the finest home theater optimized projectors under $500 are perfect for watching a movie.
The price range and location of the projector will also be influenced by its intended use. For a home theater projector under $500, our experts advise choosing models that are ceiling-mountable. Any projector that is set up on a level surface will do for presentations and graphics.
Additionally, you want to think about purchasing a projector with an integrated speaker. The Epson Home Cinema 2150, which has a built-in 10-watt speaker, is a nice example of a low-cost option.
The two most popular projector kinds available today are LCD and DLP projectors.
When compared to its competitor, a DLP projector is noted for its superior resolution picture quality. High brightness and crisper images on a single chip DLP model extend to fast-moving objects onscreen. DLP is the best option for realistic images, strong 3D support, and good resolution.
That does not mean, nevertheless, that DLP projectors are without flaws. Dark settings can be problematic for DLP models, especially in well-lit environments where you might see a rainbow effect on the display.
Because an LCD device is not as bright, background light can be a problem. The large color range of the DLP creates the issue of dark color rendering, which is not present in LCD displays.
The affordability of LCD projectors, especially those with high image quality, is one of their main advantages. Although they are frequently more cheap, the full 3D images and rapidly moving objects depicted onscreen can not compare to DLP models.
Does it really matter which one displays visuals more effectively? Considering that each video projector has advantages and disadvantages, you may find that one is better suited to your demands than another depending on your application and goal. For instance, LCD suffices for presentations and slide shows whereas DLP is ideal for movies and Blu-ray player material.
There is a maximum and a minimum image size that a projector screen can produce. The screen or surface you plan to throw the image onto must be compatible with the finest projector under $500. To choose the ideal range, measure the wall or white screen where the projection would be seen.
(To save money and yet have an excellent viewing experience, you can create a DIY projector screen.)
The throw range, which our experts will also explain in a moment, will, however, also influence the maximum and minimum screencasting. The projector’s distance from the screen or wall, in other words, will determine how big the screen will be.
The screen size is a crucial component to look for in a projector because, if you go beyond the throw ratio, it could impact the images.
You can use this advice to help you choose the best projector screen paint for your DIY screen.
Brightness, Contrast, Color, Resolution
For the best home theater projectors, the brightness, contrast, and resolution work together to provide a high-quality image. You should consider these qualities for outstanding white brightness and color accuracy. These will combine to produce the best entertainment possible in your home theater system.
First, let’s talk about the brightness. The brightness of a portable projector can cause headaches and eye strain when it is set to its highest setting. This is why, in well-lit spaces, just cranking up the brightness is not the answer. In this case, you can choose the brightness levels by calculating the amount of ambient illumination that will be present in your viewing area.
Lumens, or ANSI lumens, a more precise lumens standard, are used to quantify brightness. Yes, generally speaking, a portable projector with a greater lumen rating will provide a brighter image, but it doesn’t always imply superiority.
Something as low as 1000 lumens will be sufficient for your home theater if you plan to watch movies or TV shows in a pitch-black space with no illumination to replicate a Dolby Cinema or IMAX movie theater experience. To counter the daylight in a living room with floor-to-ceiling windows, you will need more than 3000 lumens and possibly even 3600 lumens.
For the finest projector under $500, you don’t need 3000 lumens for a completely dark room. This bright of a projector won’t make for a comfortable experience. Not to mention that you might spend money that you could have saved instead.
The contrast is the next thing to think about. The distinction between your content’s lightest and darkest hues is known as contrast. Our experts recommend a standard of 10,000:1, but the higher the ratio, the better.
The accuracy of color, as well as the warmth and coldness they convey, are also impacted by contrast. A good contrast ratio must be achieved without going overboard. A proper ratio between the shadow details and the deep black levels should also be taken into account.
To calculate the contrast ratio, you must also take into account ambient illumination and the projector’s placement in your home theater.
The resolution is the most important factor for picture quality, to sum up. The photos and images are of higher quality the higher the resolution.
The answer is straightforward: the larger the number, the higher the resolution of the high-quality photographs. The majority of the top projectors under $500 will have a resolution of at least 1280 x 800p or 1920 x 1080p. Additionally, since this would reduce the image quality, our experts advise against lowering the resolution below 1280 x 800.
Because 720p is regarded as the minimum standard for high definition, always opt for full HD 1920 x 1080 resolution instead of just HD. Even still, it falls short of 1080p.
Pick up that model if you can find a projector for about $500 that can display Blu-ray, 4K, or even 8K quality video on large, dark displays.
Projectors Throw Distance
The throw distance was mentioned above by our team, but let’s get into more depth now.
The throw range is the distance between the projector and the screen needed to cast a picture of the highest quality while maintaining visual clarity. It generally refers to the maximum distance between the projector and the screen before the images get distorted.
You need to consider the location and size of your room to determine whether the throw distance and throw ratio of the projector are appropriate for your setup. Your projector will need to be rather far away in order to attain a large screen size. There are choices with throw distances ranging from 5 feet  to 30 feet.
A shorter throw ratio is advised if your room is compact. You’ll need a home theater projector with a higher throw ratio if you intend to host a movie night outside.
Bulb Life/Lamp Life
The projector’s lamp life, also known as bulb life, refers to how long it may run before needing to be changed. To ensure that you get the most value for your money, projectors with long bulb lives of 10,000 or 20,000 hours are recommended.
Since projector lamps are expensive parts, a longer bulb life will result in lower maintenance costs. Don’t worry; even a simple bulb can last up to 10,000 hours; but, if you can discover one with a 15,000-hour lamp life, our experts wholeheartedly endorse this choice. Comparing something with a bulb life of 10,000 hours to something with 15,000 hours can provide you more time to watch movies.
Consumers sometimes overlook the availability of connectivity choices. With the correct connections, lag latency can be decreased, which can improve viewing performance.
Projectors offer both wired and wireless connectivity choices, including HDMI, USB, VGA, Bluetooth, and even Wi-Fi, which our team highly recommends.
The ease of Bluetooth as an ideal option is undeniable given that it enables a wireless setup. Another wireless option that is more dependable and steady than Bluetooth because it is not dependent on distance is broadband.
You must be within a range of at least 30 feet or fewer for Bluetooth to function at the best speeds for stability. The home network is instantly accessible through Wifi projectors. As long as the connectivity is robust and reliable, the projector performs effectively and you may enjoy an uninterrupted connection across your home.
If your budget is 500 dollars or less, HDMI input might provide the greatest wired connection for the huge screen. On the rear of the device, look for the HDMI ports. The reduced latency and HD processing of HDMI input are two of its strongest features. A projector, like the Epson VS355, typically has just one input. However, there are some as well, such as the Optoma HD143X, that include multiple HDMI inputs.
On the rear of your device, there may be additional connected connections like USB ports or composite video, but our team always suggests using HDMI for the highest-quality entertainment.
Frequently asked questions
What is a good inexpensive projector?
The Epson Cinema 880 is an excellent, reasonably priced projector. This projector offers excellent throw and contrast ratios, outstanding picture quality, and HDMI connectivity choices so you can quickly and easily enjoy the best home theater projector experience.
The Epson Home Cinema 880 is the top choice of our staff for the best projector under $500. This projector would detect a slanted angle and rectify itself accordingly. The Epson Cinema 880 is a fantastic option for home movie entertainment because of its throw ratio and high quality picture.
With its simple setup and built-in speaker, you can avoid the headache of connecting additional devices. The projector is quite adaptable to various gadgets. Additionally, the 16,000:1 contrast ratio and 3300 lumens of brightness will undoubtedly enhance your entire viewing experience.
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