The best HD projectors are the ultimate substitute for costly big screens for home without compromising the image quality along with enhanced portability, built-in speakers, and integrated WiFi. The best HD projectors under $500 offer all the essential features without compromising the quality and performance.

Editor's Pick

Name

FANGOR Projector

☞ Bulb life: 65000 hours
☞ Contrast Ratio: 8000:1
☞ Native Resolution: 1920 x 1080 pixels

Yes, best inexpensive projectors for not only watching movies, but also gaming, presenting slides, videos, and images.

Including all the necessary information you need to buy an HD projector, this article aims to help you to buy the best home video projectors with not only outstanding performance and premium quality but also budget-friendly prices!

Without further ado, let’s begin!

BUYING GUIDE TO BEST HD PROJECTORS UNDER $500

Why HD projectors under $500?

The meaning of affordability changes when we speak of price in comparison to features, image quality, performance, and durability. THE BEST HD PROJECTORS UNDER $500 mark is a safe assumption to cap all the features that help in enhancing the quality and performance. Spending near the top end of the limit can get you an HD projector with exceptional image quality along with additional features if chosen correctly.

TYPE OF PROJECTOR

Primarily, there are two types of projectors you will find in the market; LCD and DLP.

  • LCD (Liquid Crystal Display)

LCD projectors send light from the metal-halide lamp through a prism that displays a video, image or computer data on the screen.

  • DLP (Digital Light Processing)

DLP projectors technology bring the use of micro-mirrors in order to project images or videos on the larger screen. These projectors are standalone units, unlike LCD projectors.

LCD vs. DLP Projectors

To better understand how these two types vary in terms of image quality, performance, functionality, and durability, here is a comparison table that will help you choose the right projector as per your needs and requirements.

It would be unfair to weigh one projector over the other as both come with their own advantages and disadvantages.

COMPARISON

DLP Projector

LCD Projector

ADVANTAGES

- Smoother video
- Smaller box
- Pixels less visible
- “Filmlike” on HDTV
- Generate "blacker" blacks
- Higher contrast
- Portable

- Richer color dynamics in ambient light
- Less power
- Throw less heat
- Quieter
- Sharper image on data

DISADVANTAGES

- More moving parts
- Produce audible whine
- Poorer reds, yellows at full power
- Color saturation
- More lumens than LCD with ambient light

- More visible pixels
- Some screen door effect on certain video images
- Larger - even for same lumen
- Poorer contrast
- Black is lighter gray than in DLP

IMAGE QUALITY

Good picture quality, but poorer than LCD projectors

Sharper image; better picture quality than DLP projectors

RAINBOW EFFECT

Yes

No

CONTRAST

Higher than LCD

Lower than DLP

PORTABILITY

- Smaller
- Lighter
- Easily portable

- Buliker
- Not very convenient for portability

LIGHT SOURCE

LED or Standard Lamp

Standard Lamp

TECHNOLOGY TYPE

Reflective

Transmissive

PRICE RAGNE

$300 - $1000+

$250 - $1000+

SCREEN SIZE

Speaking of the screen size when it comes to projectors, we mean the projector’s size, which is to be seen on the wall or the projector screen. The screen size is adjustable from the projector itself.

THROW DISTANCE

This means the maximum distance the projector can be kept away from the screen and still provide a clear image. Most projectors have a maximum throw distance of 15 feet and the more expensive ones can go up to 30 feet. Stress must also be laid on the minimum throw distance if you are planning to use the projector in small rooms. For instance, if you are intending to watch movies in your bedroom, throw distance of 3 to 8 feet will be enough for a clearer and sharper image.

Screen size and the throw distance collectively determine how clear and sharp the image would be.

BRIGHTNESS

Too much and too less of brightness will simply strain your eyes and can give you a headache. To determine the optimal level of brightness you need to take into account your location, requirement, and need.

Ideally, for a dark room or night time screening, 1000 lumens (lumens are the measurement of brightness that a projector gives out) would be sufficient. Whereas, for screening in brighter spaces like classrooms, conference rooms or rooms with a bigger and open light source, a projector with a minimum of 2500 lumens is best. If you intend to use the projector outdoor or in broad daylight, then go for a projector with 3000+ lumens.

CONTRAST

The contrast in an image is the difference between light and dark. The greater the contrast ratio, the easier it will be for you to clearly watch scenes shot in the dark, and notice shadowy details. If the contrast ratio is too low, the screen will be too white washed, which makes it hard to differentiate critical details.

So, go for a projector with a higher contrast range. As per the experts, an ideal contrast ratio is around 10000:1. Whereas, to make the best deal, do not go for projectors with a contrast ratio below 5000:1, if you expect decent clarity.

RESOLUTION FOR THE BEST HD PROJECTORS UNDER $500

Resolution accounts for the number of pixels displayed per inch of an image. It is measured in PPI (pixels per inch). The higher the resolution the less pixelated the screen will look. Most projectors come in fixed resolutions, so make sure you get one that provides a wide range of resolutions so that you have more adjustable options for various screening purposes. The best projector under 1000 or 500 offers exceptional resolution for every kind of place, lightening situation, or distance.

For instance, here are some of the resolutions that best suit various needs, such as;

  • HD (1280 x 720) – DVDs on a big screen
  • WXGA (1280 x 800) – business presentation
  • Full HD (1920 x 1080) – Blu-ray videos, Cineplex, Gaming

BULB LIFE OR LAMP LIFE

The most vital component of a projector is certainly its bulb! It is also the most expensive part and therefore cost a fortune to replace. Without the bulb, the projector would be unable to screen anything! So, it is advised to invest in a projector with a bulb life of at least 10,000 hours that offers 3 years of maintenance-free working to the least.

CONNECTIVITY 

Speaking of BEST HD PROJECTORS UNDER $500, you must consider going wireless or wired Choose a projector with all popular connectivity options that are compatible with all video players. USB, HDMI, and VGA are the best options for an older setup. Whereas, BlueTooth offers the best option if you directly want to play content from a laptop or mobile. Lastly, make sure the projector is compatible with both MAC and PC. You can also find the best mini projector under 100 with MAC and PC compatibility

Now that you have acquired expert knowledge regarding the operation and technicalities of a good quality HD project, you can choose the best HD projector under 500.

Still, confused? Here we have gathered the top best HD projectors under 500 that offers ultimate performance, quality, and durability for the price.

TOP BEST HD PROJECTORS UNDER $500

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FANGOR Projector

☞ Bulb life: 65000 hours
☞ Contrast Ratio: 8000:1
☞ Native Resolution: 1920 x 1080 pixels
Price on Amazon
ViewSonic PA503S

☞ Resolution: SVGA (800x600)
☞ Brightness: 3,600 Lumens
☞ Dynamic Contrast Ratio: 22,000:1
Price on Amazon
J Professional HI-04

☞ Image Brightness: 4500 lumens
☞ Contrast Ratio: 3800:1
☞ Native Resolution: 1280x720 pixels
Price on Amazon
BOOTMAKER GC355N

☞ Brightness: 5000 lumens
☞ Contrast ratio: 2000:1
☞ Resolution: 1080p
Price on Amazon
ELEPHAS W13

☞ LED Brightness: 4600 lumens
☞ Max Support Resolution: 1920*1080P
☞ Lamp life: 50,000 hours
Price on Amazon

1. FANGOR Projector – BEST HD PROJECTORS UNDER $500 

FANGOR Projector

FEATURES

  • Display resolution: 1920 x 1080
  • Minimum Throw Distance: 1.2 Meters
  • Display Technology: LCD
  • Image Contrast Ratio: 8000:1
  • Item Dimensions: 12.09 x 8.9 x 4.53 inches
  • Bulb life: 65000 hours
  • Connectivity: WiFi, BlueTooth, HDMI2, VGA, AV, USB, and Micro SD
  • Built-in dual speakers
  • Cooling system

Offering the best feature, ultimate performance, and high-end quality, this projector is accompanied by updated brightness. It uses a 6-layer glass lens that provides high light transmission, which increases the brightness to 80% in comparison to other alternatives. Besides brightness, this projector provides an 8000:1 contrast ratio that presents a vivid and sharp image or video quality.

Its features and specs makes it the best projector at the best price for every kind of setting from indoors to outdoors.

Pros

  • 1080P Native 4k Full HD Projector
  • Stable LED light source
  • 15% reduced fan noise then ordinary projector
  • Screen Sync
  • Dual Speakers & Cooling System
  • Compatible with both iOS and Android
  • Multimedia Connection
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • A little heavier than other alternatives

Price on Amazon

2. ViewSonic PA503S

ViewSonic PA503S projector

FEATURES

  • Resolution: SVGA (800×600)
  • Brightness: 3,600 Lumens
  • Dynamic Contrast Ratio: 22,000:1
  • Aspect Ratio : 4:3
  • Throw Ratio: 1.96 ~ 2.15
  • Throw Distance: 3.9 – 43 ft / 1.19 – 13.11 m
  • Display Size: 30 – 300 in. / 0.76 – 7.62 m
  • Lens Vertical: (+/- 40°) / 1.1x optical zoom
  • Light Source Life: Up to 15,000 hours (Dynamic Eco Mode)
  • Connectivity: Mini USB Type B, 3.5mm Audio Out, 3.5mm Audio In, Control (RS232), HDMI 1.4, VGA In (x2), VGA Out, Composite RCA Video In
  • Item weight: 7.14 pounds

ViewSonic has a well-established image in the market when it comes to visual display technology. This model is a top favourite of consumers due to multiple reasons. First off, its DLP format, which along with crisp and vivid screening, also allows for 3D projection. The next outstanding feature is definitely the exceptional throw range of 3.9 to 43 feet! This range accommodates everything from cramped up office cabins to massive auditoriums.

Moreover, this projector gives a plethora of choices for connectivity and support VGA, RCA, and HDMI hookups. These connectivity options also make this projector compatible with DVD, Blue-Ray players, Mac and PC computers, and other devices.

With a video resolution of 2K, this certainly hits the threshold of the best budget 1080p projector! Offering satisfactory 3600 lumens makes it perfect for every kind of setting. Adding to the long life, its bulb comes with a life span of 35000 hours.

However, this projector wins the race in the field of throw range, as well as the maximum projection size of 300 inches, which makes it best not only for movies, but also for presentations, word, excel, PPT, etc. So, if you are on the lookout for best inexpensive projectors for educational and business use, then this is a good option!

Pros

  • Wide throw range
  • Flexible connectivity
  • DLP format
  • In-built speaker

Cons

  • Shorter life span of bulb as compared to other projectors

Price on Amazon

3. J Professional HI-04 – best mini projector under 100

J Professional HI-04 projector

 

FEATURES

  • Image Brightness: 4500 lumens
  • Contrast Ratio: 3800:1
  • Native Resolution: 1280×720 pixels
  • Supported Resolution: 1920×1080 pixels
  • Lamp Life Time: 50,000 hours
  • Correction Optical: Manual
  • Projection Image Size: 32 – 170 inch
  • Best Projection Distance: 2.5 – 3.5 meter
  • Item weight: 3 pounds

The DR. J HI-04, the first on our list of best projectors, is stellar in the market and perhaps an ideal choice for home entertainment. This LED, portable video projector is great for use in both sunlit outdoors and lightly lit spaces, courtesy of its brightness of 4500 lumens.

Coming with the highest 1080 resolution video quality at such an affordable price you are sure in for a treat! Its throw range of almost 5 feet – 11.4 feet makes it suitable for not only large garage movie nights but also for use in the bedroom. This projector comes with flexible connectivity, featuring an HDMI input for the TV stick, the latest generation of video game consoles, Chromecast, PCs, laptops, televisions, DVDs etc. It also has VGA input and USB / Micro SD / AV input, as well as a 3.5mm mini-jack output.

The bulb life is of an impressive 50,000 hours, so without any doubts, this will last you well for a solid 6 years!

The reflection technology used in place of a direct light source offers a health-friendly watching experience for longer hours. Along with high video quality and exceptional performance, it comes with built-in stereo speakers, which add a cherry on top.

Pros

  • Comes with a 100-inch projector screen
  • Highly compatible with various connection types
  • Built-in speaker stereo sound
  • Uses healthy diffuse reflection technology to not strain the eyes
  • Light weight

Cons

  • Not recommended for PPT, word, excel or business presentation

Price on Amazon

4. BOOTMAKER GC355NBOOTMAKER GC355N hd projector

FEATURES

  • Brightness: 5000 lumens
  • Contrast ratio: 2000:1
  • Resolution: 1080p
  • Bulb life: 50000 hours
  • Connects with both wireless & wired
  • Big screen up to: 35 to 300 inches

This is a great projector with many cool features. Firstly, the projector screening size range goes up to 300 inches, making it perfect for mega screening with friends and family. The high image contrast ratio will help you in comfortable viewing of the screen, without having the trouble of the screen being too black or too whitewashed. It offers a brightness of 5000 lumens, which makes it the best outdoor daylight projector. Wireless connections with iPhone, iPad, Mac, Huawei, Android phones and Laptop, is a key feature. Along with a wireless connection, it offers an HDMI cable connection to connect the projector to external devices.

Pros

  • Light weight
  • 15% reduced fan noise then ordinary projector
  • Compatible with both iOS and Android
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Cannot mirror Netflix, Amazon, Hulu (due to copyright reasons)
  • Item weight: 3.04 pounds

Price on Amazon

5. ELEPHAS W13ELEPHAS W13 projector

FEATURES

  • LED Brightness: 4600 lumens
  • Native Resolution: 800*480P
  • Max Support Resolution: 1920*1080P
  • Max Projection Size: 200″
  • Contrast: 3500:1
  • Display Technique: LCD 2.0
  • Built-in Speaker: Built-in HI-FI Stereo Speaker
  • Supports: Wireless & Wired
  • Lamp life: 50,000 hours

This slim and sleek, extremely lightweight portable projector is 100% a game-changer. This mini treat boasts 4600 lumens, making it one of the best projectors for daylight viewing. Despite the high brightness, the bulb will last you a striking 50,000 hours. Its maximum resolution is 2K, meaning that nothing can stop you from binge-watching your favourite series! The projection size ranging from 30 to 200 inches, will allow you to enjoy it in both small and big rooms. This is great for all purposes, be it educational, business, or entertainment.

Designed with the latest WIFI connection, it is compatible with Android, iPhone, Windows10, Roku Stick, Fire-TV, Chromecast, External Speakers, USB Disk, PS4/XBOX, Laptop/PC, and DVD Player. Lastly, it can easily connect with VGA, USB, HDMI, AV, SD, audio, and other wireless connections.

Pros

  • Built-in speaker
  • No fan noise of projector
  • Uses diffuse reflection technology
  • Very light weight
  • Flexible connectivity
  • Highly compatible
  • Long bulb life
  • Comes with a tripod stand
  • Possess CE, FCC, RoHS, PSE certificates

Cons

  • No cons recorded as of yet
  • Item weight: 2.3 pounds

Price on Amazon

CONCLUSION | BEST HD PROJECTORS UNDER $500 

Finding the best HD projectors under $500 no-brainer, if you are sure of what features and specifications make any projector worth the price and effort. Along with looking for the technical bits, customer reviews and personal preference plays an important role in determining the best HD projectors. Doing your research before getting into the market, will help you understand how well a particular projector works in real-time. From affordable projectors to the best projector under 1000 or 500, you can find various features along with the best screening time with the least maintenance.

Happy screening!

FAQS

1. How do I kn0w if my projector bulb is bad?

There are two way to check if the bulb of your projector is going bad. The first one is to manually check from the projector’s settings;

  • Turn on your projector.
  • Go to the menu.
  • Click on “lamp life or bulb life”.
  • Once you select the defined setting, it will show how many hours are left or how many hours you already have consumed.

To physically check the life of the bulb, follow the following steps’

  • Make your space as dark as possible.
  • Turn on the projector’s brightness to the maximum.
  • If the image in complete dark, with the highest brightness, is still dull, then it means that your projector’s lamp is about to die.

2. What is the average life of the best HD projector under $500?

Depending on the quality, manufacturing, brand and price, the life of a projector varies. Average, decent the best HD projectors under $500 offer from 2,000 to 4,000 hours of life span. Whereas, some of the high-end best projector under 1000 claim to offer 20,000 to 50,000 hours of lamp life.

3. How much does it cost to replace a projector bulb?

Replacing a projector’s bulb can cost you as much as a new projector under 500. Projector bulbs vary in price between $300 to $500, which accounts for a good decent HD projector under 500. To save yourself from trouble and to save some extra bucks, make sure the projector you are getting comes with a longer lifespan.

4. How many volts does a projector use?

A normal projector uses around 60 volts, resistance being 20ohm. Whereas, the brightness of the bulb also indicated how much voltage a projector uses.

5. What colour wall is best for the projector?

Choosing the colour of the wall is somewhat dependent on how many lumens a projector produces. For a projector that produces more than 3,500, a colour closer to grey than white offers the best screening by offering adequate reflection.

6. What are the best HD projectors under $500?

Speaking of quality and performance, Optoma and Fangor are some of the best HD projectors under $500.

Author

Andrew is an avid technology enthusiast, Who loves to try out new technology, gadgets, smartphones, laptop computers and other electronic items. He also reviews daily life products, which he experiences. He wants to help people out there looking to buy different products by sharing his experiences and opinions.

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