What to Look For in a 4k Smart Projector

What to Look For in a 4k Smart Projector

With a brightness of 2200 ANSI lumens, the visuals on this projector are crystal clear. It features Screen Mirroring and can play 5G Wi-Fi content. This smart projector also has a built-in eye protection system that diminishes the projector’s brightness and displays an onscreen warning if someone looks directly at it.


The best smart projectors combine a wide array of features in a compact, stylish package. These include Auto Focus, which uses a small motor to automatically rotate the lens for sharpened images. These projectors also feature automatic keystone correction, which automatically adjusts the image to fit a screen. Some models even have a dynamic a9s LCD projector iris, which reduces ambient light and improves contrast. Other features include dual 5W speakers, HDR support, and a 120 Hz refresh rate that improves motion clarity for gaming and sports.

The most important feature of any projector is its resolution. The highest-end models have a native 4K resolution, which means that the image-creating chip has four times the number of pixels as a standard 1080p projector. Other projectors use pixel-shifting to achieve a 4K resolution on the screen, which results in a picture with softer focus.

The Epson 5050UB is the best 4K projector because it offers a good balance between image quality and price. Its native 4K resolution is impressive, and it also supports HDR content with an excellent contrast ratio and brightness. It can be used on a wall or from a table, and it has built-in Wi-Fi for wireless streaming. Its only downside is that it doesn’t support 3D video, which may be a dealbreaker for some users. It’s also more expensive than other projectors in this category, but its superior image quality makes it worth the extra expense.


Unlike traditional projectors, smart 4k home theater projectors are equipped with wireless connections and inbuilt apps for easy operation. They also have a long-lasting LED and laser light source, which gives them an incredible display color and brightness. Additionally, they are much smaller and lightweight. These factors make them easier to transport and set up.

Resolution is the most important factor when choosing a projector, but not all are native 4K models. Many that cost less than $4,500 use pixel-shifting techniques to achieve a 4K image. For example, Epson’s UST model breaks each frame into four sets of 1,920 by 1,080 pixels and shifts the position of each pixel to create a single 4K image. These techniques can improve the image quality but cannot match a true native 4K projector’s performance.

Brightness is another important consideration for most users. Look for a projector with a ANSI brightness rating of at least 1,500 ANSI lumens to ensure it can properly fill a room. In addition, consider a wide color gamut to ensure your projector can reproduce the full range of colors in HDR video content. While standard definition (SDR) TVs have a relatively limited color gamut, most high-quality projectors support the wide Rec. 2020 color gamut.


If you don’t want to deal with the hassle of mounting a projector on your ceiling, look for a short-throw model. These can produce a 100-inch image from just 5 feet away, and are perfect for small entertainment rooms. Many come with a built-in sound system so you don’t need to add a separate speaker. They usually feature HDMI 2.1 ports with eARC and an Android smart TV interface.

Some of the latest models feature laser light sources, which offer a longer lifespan and brighter images than traditional bulbs. They also have lower noise levels, so you can enjoy your favorite movies and shows without sacrificing image quality. Some of these devices also have low latency, which is great for gamers.

Most models support HDR10, which is supported by most discs and streaming services. Some can even handle the more advanced HDR10+ format, which provides a higher level of image detail and color accuracy.

Other features to consider include connectivity with your home network and smart apps. Check if your preferred model supports screen mirroring, which allows you to display content home theater projector from your smartphone or tablet on the big projection screen. Some of the latest models can also detect your voice and respond to commands, so you don’t need a remote to control it. They also have a built-in ultrasonic sensor that will shut off the projector if you’re too close to it, which helps prevent eye damage.


The best 4k smart projectors can natively display a true 4K UHD image, or achieve one with clever trickery that’s just as good. They also upscale non-HDR content in real time, breathing new life into DVDs and video streaming apps like Netflix. Some can even support HDR10, the most popular format on discs and among streaming services. Others can support a newer, up-and-coming variant called HDR10+, which offers better contrast and more precise color reproduction.

In our tests, the Epson Home Cinema 2350 proved a worthy pick for anyone who wants to add immersive theater-quality entertainment to their home without spending a fortune. It’s the lowest-cost model we’ve seen that doesn’t produce rainbow artifacts, those red/green/blue flashes that single-chip DLP projectors can sometimes show. Its three-LCD design makes it the only projector at this price to use a pixel-shifting technique that’s capable of showing a full 4K resolution, while its brighter image and lower input lag than competing models make it a great choice for casual gaming.

Another notable feature is its ability to accept a 2D or 3D Blu-ray signal, making it the only projector we’ve tested that can do so. It also boasts an impressively large zoom range and a high contrast ratio that makes it easy to accommodate a variety of screen sizes. And it’s powered by a laser, so you won’t have to deal with the hassle and expense of replacing a lamp.

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