How to Shop for a Home Theater Projector

Typical Home Theater Setup How can you tell if the price is right for a home theater projector? Projector People offers you shopping tips for the best buys in home projection. Read on.

Determine Your Price Range

It’s always a good idea to determine a budget before making a major purchase. For an idea of how much to allow for this purchase you can look at package offers. Even if the products in the special offers are not what you want, it can at least give you a general idea of what a system costs. In a front projection home theater system, your projector should be your most expensive line item, because it will be the primary focus. Surround sound speakers, a screen, a projector mount, and other components such as a DVD player will round out your total package. See our Typical Home Theater Scenario for more information.

Basic Specs to Check

The specifications that have the greatest impact on projector price are internal technology, brightness, and resolution. Here is a quick look at which specs cost more and which typically cost less.
Typical Specs and Price Breakdown
Specification Costs Less Costs More
Resolution WVGA (854×480) WXGA (1280×720)
Brightness 700 lumens 1000+ lumens
Technology LCD DLP™

Features that Add Value

Beyond the basic specifications there are additional features that add value to a projector purchase. These extras should be factored into the overall value of the projector you choose.
  • Lower noise level – Less than 30 dB is preferable
  • Zoom lenses are more desirable than fixed lenses.
  • Multiple video inputs are a plus
  • Longer lamp life will save money down the line
Mitsubishi projectors such as the HC3 have a feature called “Natural Color Matrix” which is a color adjustment system that allows users to adjust a wider spectrum of color. Beyond the usual RGB (red, green, blue) to include a broader YMC (Yellow, Magenta, and Cyan) adjustment, Natural Color Matrix allows each of the six colors to be individually adjusted without affecting the hues of the other spectrum colors. For example, red can be increased to appear richer and more intense without altering yellow and magenta.

Special Offers and Rebates

Don’t forget to factor in the manufacturer and reseller incentives available on specific models. High-volume purchases by resellers and end-of-life specials from manufacturers are great ways to save money or add value to your purchase. Projector People is currently offering a number of special offers on home theater projectors, some of which are exclusive to ProjectorPeople.com. Check out our rebates and promotions for current specials.   , , ,