Why Might You Want A 4K Projector In Your Home Cinema
With the pandemic having, for a while, left cinema trips out of the question or at least not as enjoyable as they once were, the appeal of a home cinema setup has probably never been stronger. However, a key part of that setup is the projector used for it.
A projector works by beaming images onto a screen potentially measuring more than 100 inches diagonally. Therefore, for a home cinema, a projector-and-screen arrangement can make much more sense than simply a TV screen – which, in the UK, will rarely exceed 65 inches in diagonal size.
Furthermore, 4K has cemented itself as the new gold standard in picture quality, having firmly supplanted HD in this respect. It’s reassuring, then, that 4K projectors have fallen in price over the years, bringing these pieces of kit within much easier financial reach for many more people.
Is a 4K projector as good as a 4K TV?
Theoretically, there isn’t necessarily much of a difference between a 4K projector and a 4K TV in terms of the picture quality they deliver. In practice, however, there can be a noticeable difference in what you actually see – due to the practical implications of choosing one option over the other.
A 4K projector would particularly differ from a 4K TV in the following respects:
- Screen size. This would help you to see a film as the filmmaker intended.
- 4K projectors tend to be cheaper than their 4K counterparts.
- Unless your home cinema’s curtains are closed or its shades are firmly down, a 4K projector’s performance would be vulnerable to ambient light that creeps into the room.
- Though TVs and some projectors have their own speakers built in, with a projector, you could implement a cinema-standard audio setup to really do the large screen justice.
The market-leading 4K projector – if money is no object…
In a sense, Samsung’s Premiere LSP9T projector feels as high-end as one of the South Korean company’s Galaxy smartphones. In other words, of all of the 4K-ready projectors available, it’s one you should choose to achieve a no-compromise cinematic experience within your home’s walls.
This is largely on account of the Premiere’s three-laser-light system, where red, blue and green lights are each given their own laser. As a result, the LSP9T can deliver 4K at its most stunning, with brightness and colours remaining vivid even when ambient light touches the screen.
Unsurprisingly for such a sophisticated projector, this Premiere comes with its own, in-built speakers – and powerful ones at that, producing sound at a booming 40 watts. This easily beats the 10-20W speakers usually packaged with other projectors, and makes the LSP6T the go-to choice for the most discerning cinematic connoisseurs.
Which projector is best for a home cinema?
When it comes to selecting the most suitable projector for a home cinema, there are both must-have and nice-to-have features to look out for. Here are some examples of features that, included in a specific 4K projector, would make it particularly worth your notice:
- The right brightness. You should opt for a model capable of delivering brightness between 1,300 and 1,500 lumens. This would be enough brightness to light up the screen but not so much that you would probably be paying for more than you need.
- Suitable connectivity options. What particular video and image devices would you like to connect to the projector? It will need connectivity options to suit. For high-definition video equipment like a Blu-ray player and Sky box, for example, you would need HDMI sockets.
- Low fan noise. Certain models of projector are definitely better than others on this score.
The good all-round option for a home cinema’s 4K projector
When you approach us about having a home cinema installed in your London residence, we will talk you through several options for that cinema’s 4K projector, if you indeed ask for one. However, we find that certain projectors tend to strike an especially good balance between features and price.
An especially good case in point would be the Epson EH-TW7100. Released in September 2020, this projector produces impressive colours for wide landscapes – and, even when you switch to a 1080p resolution, the picture quality still looks fantastic. Of course, the many motion blur options do help.
Another boon of this Epson model is that, as it allows Bluetooth audio output, you don’t have to fret too much about excessive wires being left trailing along the floor, where people could otherwise too easily trip on them once the room has been plunged into darkness.
What is the difference between “native 4K” and “faux-K”?
You might have seen each of these terms being bandied about in online discussions about 4K projectors, and they can seem rather jargon-y to people new to the whole world of 4K.
Really, if you want “true” 4K, native 4K is the only way to go. This is 4K that meets all of the technical definitions of the term – but, sadly, it also comes at a hefty price. Native 4K projectors can be priced from about £5,000 and as high as roughly £20,000.
The persistent financial expense of native 4K has opened the door to faux-K – so-called as, while not quite technically 4K, it uses clever pixel-shifting technology to accurately replicate a 4K-resolution image. Despite this, faux-K projectors can be much cheaper than native 4K alternatives.
The best “budget” 4K projector
As a general rule, you don’t want to cut too many corners when looking for a cinema-friendly 4K projector. The BenQ W2700, however, at least cuts its corners in some of the less conspicuous places, helping to bring its price tag down to about £1,400.
Unsurprisingly at this price, it’s a faux-K affair – but you wouldn’t easily be able to tell just from the image quality it produces. It punches above its weight with its wide colour filter that holds up well even on images measuring up to 120 inches.
Alas, you probably shouldn’t watch a Batman film using this thing, as its blacks tend to look somewhat grey. Hence, if you are usually very choosy about what films you watch, you could benefit from consulting with us – for free – on which 4K projector would be best for your home cinema.