Whether you’re gearing up to watch the Super Bowl or just need to see Chris Harrison from the Bachelor (and Bachelorette) dole out roses in larger-than-life glory, investing in a projector is a gift that keeps on giving, regardless of your motivation for purchasing.
I’ve had my ViewSonic projector for years and can say with certainty the investment was worth it: inviting people over is no longer “gather around my computer to watch this YouTube video” but a proper viewing party. Within seconds, I can instantaneously turn even the smallest living room into a home theater and, importantly, as someone who lives in a size-challenged apartment, restore it back to normal with the touch of a button. By plugging straight into your computer (or phone, for certain projector models), it’s easy to find and stream content, which is an advantage over something like the Apple TV where search functionality can be a nightmare.
To be clear, projectors aren’t for everyone. They take a bit of legwork to get set up in the beginning: from researching which model is right for you to finding the right blank wall (or buying a reasonably priced screen) to project on, to figuring out if you need an audio system to complete the package. But the initial effort pays off.
Finding a projector to suit your needs boils down to why you’re buying: if you have a specialized purpose for your projector or need your viewing space to be top of the line, you’ll likely be investing in a projector that costs upwards of $500. If this is the case, delve into the world of “lumens” and travel down the rabbit hole of projector options courtesy of Amazon’s top-sellers. But if you just want to watch your favorite shows or screen the big game a bit larger—and are looking for a more digestible price tag—there are plenty of affordable projectors that will get the job done. Here are a few that Amazon (and some research) say are worth it.
DBPower T20, $99.49
This is the top seller on Amazon, and it’s price tag and portability explain why.
At a mere 0.5 pounds, this projector is ready to travel and can connect with your computer, tablet or phone.
Most Amazon customers agreed that for the price, this projector is awesome, but that if you’re looking for super crisp images you’ll likely have to shell out a bit more.
The Epson VS250, $299.99
This projector is a bit more expensive, but you’re getting quality for the price. It’s got a brighter and more powerful display compared to the first projector, though it’s not as portable at 5.3 pounds.
Compared to some top-of-the-line projectors, this seems to be a very reasonable middle ground. Plus, it’s been vetted for sports-viewing thanks to Ross on Amazon who reported watching the “Warriors/Spurs game on it with an HD Stream last night. It was beautiful.”