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Category Archives: Head-toHead

The Top 5 Most Affordable Projectors

The lure of the world of projectors is clear for anyone who loves watching movies on the big screen and wants to replicate that experience at home. There’s also a more practical use for organizations who need to project images or data in a clear display that can be seen by large audiences.
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However, the price tag of top of the range models can be incredibly off-putting for anyone looking to dip their toes into the water and purchase their first projector. Most individuals are looking for a projector that won’t cost a fortune yet will still deliver the kind of quality results that are needed.
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There’s plenty of cheap projectors out there, but if you’re bitterly disappointed when you first flick the switch and see what your money has bought, that could be the end of your projector journey. So it’s important to find an affordable model that has value for your money.
Here’s our list of the top 5 most affordable projectors on the market:

Epson VS240

This Epson projector is a very popular model and for good reason. As well as being generally affordable for most budgets, it also has an impressive set of attributes, including 3,000 lumens of brightness and a longer lamp life. It also works great as a first time projector because it’s relatively straightforward to set up and is small and light enough to transport if required. The slight drawback is the SVGA resolution, but the picture is impressive enough for most tastes and purposes.
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BenQ TH670

Slightly more expensive than the Epson model above, this one from BenQ is the one to get for anyone looking for slightly more visual appeal at an additional cost. It has the same 3,000 lumens and long lamp life but comes with a full 1080p resolution of 1920×1080 and also has decent built-in speakers, making it ideal for anyone without their own home speaker system who still wants to get good sound from their projector.
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Optoma HD28DS

Another step-up in price, but this Optoma model is worth every extra cent. It’s compact enough for being portable, it’s got 1080p resolution, 3,000 lumens, can play 3D video and is capable of displaying an image up to 214×290 inches in the right room and conditions. If you’re looking to supersize your experience without spending more than $1k, this could be the best option for you.
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InFocus ScreenPlay SP1080

A slightly cheaper option but still a projector that delivers great performance for its price. It also has 1080p resolution and an excellent image quality and contrast ratio, and while it’s perhaps a step down slightly from the BenQ model in terms of accuracy of image, it’s still an impressive model that is great value for your dollar.
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Philips Pocket Projector PPX4010

If you want to try something a little different and definitely save on the price, why not try this pocket projector from Philips? It won’t serve as your everyday movie watching projector but it’s a way to get things started at the very least. With only 100 lumens of brightness and WVGA resolution, you have to know what you’re getting but it’s an ideal first projector for someone looking to take it on business trips to deliver presentations.
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Head-to-Head: Epson 5030UB vs Panasonic PT-AE8000

When it comes to home theater projectors, there are hundreds of options in the mid-range budget category, from about $1,500 to $3,500. Yet, few are as popular and widely used as the Epson Home Cinema 5030UB and the Panasonic PT-AE8000. Both combine the best features to deliver stunning HD images, excellent 3D performance, and quick and flexible installation.

Panasonic PT-AE8000 Projector
Panasonic PT-AE8000 Projector

If you’ve narrowed your choices down to the Epson 5030UB and the Panasonic PT-AE8000, it can be a challenge to make that final selection. They’re just both such high-performing pieces of hardware. They’ll provide many of the features that you need, and they both deliver excellent image quality. But if you had to whittle it down to the best, which one would it be? How do the Epson 5030UB and Panasonic PT-AE8000 stack up against each other?
Epson Home Cinema 5030UB Projector
Epson Home Cinema 5030UB Projector

  • Image Quality: In terms of image quality, it’s an extremely close race. But ultimately, the Epson Home Cinema 5030UB slightly outperforms. Both projectors produce a pretty bright image rated at 2,400 lumens. But the Epson provides better contrast, thanks to the Epson Ultra Black technology. That makes dark colors even deeper, and greens, reds and blues more defined. The Panasonic, on the other hand, has a slightly lower contrast ratio, but it also uses the Pure Contrast Plates to produce dark black colors. Overall, though, the Epson produces colors that are brighter and images that are more defined, albeit slightly. Winner: Epson Home Cinema 5030UB
  • Standard Features: Both projectors are equipped with a long list of useful features, but in this regard, the Panasonic has a few added benefits. For instance, both projectors are 3D ready, but with the 3D Motion Remaster technology, the PT-AE8000 is a contender. Plus, the Panasonic features 3 HDMI ports, compared to 2, as well as lens memory. Both do share many similar features though, including vertical and horizontal lens shift, lens zoom and available sound. Winner: Panasonic PT-AE8000
  • Set-Up Flexibility: In terms of installation, both of these projectors have features that enable users tons of set-up flexibility. For instance, with horizontal and vertical lens shift, you can adjust picture size and shape without moving the projector. Those are features on both projectors. Plus, both are equipped with lens zoom, and they’re both considered long-throw projectors. So in terms of set-up flexibility, they’re practically even. Winner: Tie
  • Price: The price of Panasonic PT-AE8000 is slightly lower than the Epson. The Panasonic starts at $1,699, while the Epson comes in at $2,299. But the winner isn’t just the lower of the two – it’s more about value. What features are you getting for the price? Is the Epson a better value? Probably not. The features of the Epson are extensive and the image quality impressive, but there’s just too much overlap between the two. The Panasonic is the better value. Winner: Panasonic PT-AE8000

So what’s the bottom line? If you had to choose one of these projectors, which would it be? There’s just so much overlap; it’s really a touch decision to make. Yet, the Panasonic is a formidable opponent, and it comes out victorious. Here’s why: The Panasonic boasts impressive image quality that only slightly underperforms. In fact, to the untrained eye, the differences may only be negligible. Is that slight jump in image quality worth an extra $600? It’s not. Plus, you’ll find that there are no glaring features that the Epson has, that you don’t find in the Panasonic. Winner: Panasonic PT-AE8000