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Best Projectors under 500 – A Complete Buying Guide for You

Best Projectors under 500 – A Complete Buying Guide for You
5 (100%) 1 vote

What is your idea of a family night?

Mine is cuddling with the family members and a furry dog under a blanket and watch a great movie. And my family day is made of playing video games with the kids. But all that on a 40” screen just doesn’t cut it!

Ok, what about a professional meeting? Nothing is better until it is on a huge, best quality display. Now you must be thinking that you have to shell out a ton of money for that. But actually, you can get it for under $500.

A projector and you will be set. Watch a movie like you are in a theatre, play games like it’s for real and present your work like the professional king that you are! But how to buy a projector, you ask? I will tell you what to look at and also which one is the best projector under 500 for you.

The top 5 picks

Check out my review of the projectors which offer the highest quality when it comes to displaying, resolution, usage, durability, connectivity and last but not the least affordability.

1. Sony Portable HD Mobile Projector The Best Projector under 500

Is it a tablet? Is it a hard disk? No, it’s a projector!
Trust me you will say this when you see the best mini projector under 500.
This is an awesome travel companion. It is compact, almost weight-less and supports both, work and play.



Specs


• Projection system: Laser
• Battery: 3400mAh
• Native Resolution: 1920 x 720
• Brightness: 32 Lumens
• Contrast ratio: 80,000:1
• Projection size: Up to 120″
• Video inputs: mini HDMI, USB
• Audio outputs: 3.5mm jack
• Dimensions: 5.9 x 0.5 x 3inches
• Weight: 7.4 ounces

Design

Usually, whenever we talk about the design of a tech product, the packaging is hardly mentioned. Unless it’s an Apple product, of course. But Sony’s packaging of MP-CL1A mobile projector is definitely worth mentioning. If after Apple, I have seen anything that can compete with its packaging, it is this product. It comes in a black, non-descript, thick, magnetic hinge case which is so sleek to look at. It gives that premium feel.

And this premium feel continues when you take the projector as well. The projector is largely made of black aluminum in a matte finish with plastic at the 2 edges. The overall construction is quite sturdy. The only problem with plastic edges would be when the projector falls. But you can be careful right?

The top is plain black with the Sony logo at one side and the power and battery indication at the other. The left side of the projector is smooth aluminum while the right side has all the features and ports. It contains a USB port, a 3.5 mm audio jack, a mini HDMI port, menu buttons, power button and a micro USB charging port.

At the front, you will find another Sony logo beside the projector lens while at the back there is a hotchpotch of speaker grill, regulatory information, and stickers. But this portion will always remain hidden.

This compact, portable and sleek projector is completely pocket-sized. It’s rectangular, thin and almost looks like a tablet or more specifically a phablet. It also comes with a lens cover which can be converted into a stand. Though it is made of plastic so make sure you don’t drop it or put it under pressure.

Performance

Just like the packaging, the projection quality MP-CL1A is also impressive. Though it is not full HD, the 1920 x 720 resolution is not bad too. Watching an HD video is pleasant. Ideally, some people might be disappointed with its menu setting which only has 3 options of brightness, color, and saturation. On start up the video looked a little poppy to me but a with some tinkering, it became better.

Though with 40 lumens and 30% white area, this one is a low powered projector. It works absolutely perfectly when its dark but as the light starts increasing in the environment, the picture becomes almost impossible to watch.

So the projector cannot be used in sunlight. It is not an outdoor projector. In a dim light, a room where curtains are drawn or at night, the picture quality is quite powerful. In fact, I was able to watch Star Wars at night.

When the projector is at a distance of 4 feet, it can churn out an image of 40-inches. Take it farther away and the maximum you get is 120-inch display. As far as the quality goes, you will not have anything to complain about. The autofocus of the Sony projector does a very good job.

One interesting feature of this projector is that it does not need a smooth surface to display. The laser diode does a very good job of focusing even on uneven surfaces like vinyl and drapes.

Connectivity

As I said before, the right side of the projector is full of ports and jacks. The HDMI input supports the 1.4 standard HDMI and not UltraHD. Though it works with full HD Blu-ray and MHL standard. But using it is a real pain. The new and older versions won’t work together so you will need a special cable. Also, most phones have dropped MHL support now, so it is kind of redundant.

Apart from HDMI, the projector also supports Miracast and Wi-Fi for a wireless display. Miracast works perfectly well with Android phones and Windows computers, but it will not work with Google Pixel. Google would rather you use Chromecast, but other mobile phones will be compatible.

There is a USB out port which is very confusing. It can charge other devices like phone and tablets. Your projector will turn into a power bank. But that is the only use I could find. It does not support a USB flash drive for reading the documents from it directly. The micro USB port is strictly for charging the projector.

There is also a 3.5 mm audio/headphone jack which will be used a lot because the single-watt in-built speaker is too weak. Considering the size of the projector, it is understandable. There is also a provision for Bluetooth speaker connection. You can use whichever you want. There is a volume control button next to the power button.

Summary

The Sony’s MP-CL1A will give you a projection time of 2-hours for a continuous display on a full charge. Though I would not recommend this projector for a home theatre system. But with its great price and portability, it is not meant to compete with the big guys. It is outstandingly small and provides sharp, focused picture with wireless connectivity. It has a few shortcomings, but those can be easily overlooked.

Pros
  • Perfect for anyone who is on-the-go
  • Pocket-sized, literally
  • Attractive and sturdy design
  • HDMI and wireless display mirroring connectivity
  • Can charge another device through USB
Cons
  • Disappointing speaker
  • The display is affected by light
  • Low battery life

See What the Customers are Saying

2. BenQ MH530FHD 1080p 3300 Lumens DLP Home Theater Video Projector – The Runner up

This one won’t come under thecheap projector category exactly, but value for money. Definitely!

If you like bright display, huge screen size, and a tight budget, this is the best option for you. You will not have to spend thousands on Sony Bravia, but you will still get the amazing home theatre experience.



Specs


• Projection system: Bulb
• Native Resolution: 1920 x 1080p
• Brightness: 3300 Lumens
• Contrast ratio: 15,000:1
• Projection size: Up to 300″
• Video inputs: HDMI, S-video, VGA
• Audio outputs: 3.5mm jack
• Dimensions: 13.1 x 8.4 x 3.9inches
• Weight: 5.33 pounds

Design

There is something really old school about this projector when it comes to design. But that is not a bad thing really.

The rectangular box with a lamp inside has been decorated nicely in a shiny white plastic. It has been built keeping in mind permanent installation, but that does not mean it is not portable. It can be carried around for meetings and presentations.

At the front of the projector, you will see the lens on the left side which has been fixed to a 107% offset. You cannot adjust the image physically but there is an option in the digital menu. The top of the projector has the controls like the zoom and focus. The back portion of the top also has control buttons including power, source, menu, back, auto, eco blank, and the OSD navigation. There are 3 status lights which indicate the power state, temperature and lamp life warnings.

The white plastic has a textured finish which helps in preventing reflections and is perfect in a dark room or a home theatre. The rear end of the projector is full of digital and analog connections.

It is like a candy shop!

The bottom part of the unit contains 3 adjustable legs, one in the front and two behind. And for those who fancy mounting it on the ceiling inverted, there are some threaded holes too.

The projector comes with a remote, obviously. It is a tiny, palm-sized handset. The remote is white with distinctive dark buttons on it. The top 2 are, of course, power on and off. The center of the remote consists of the freeze, image blank, mute and auto-timing for VGA. The bottom part has specific controls related to installation and presentation. Though it is a tiny remote, the IR signals are powerful. Even when mounted on the ceiling, the projector never has any trouble reading the commands.

Performance

Honestly, I did not expect BenQMH530FHD to provide such superior image quality. The colors are so accurate, it is highly impressive. Their contrast and black levels are less impressive but that is not a problem as such. The attention to finer details and fast motion rendering is so good, it literally overshadows the deep black. And then, when the light strikes, it is just another level altogether.

When you project on a painted wall surface, the projector lets you offset the wall color. You can choose from pink, yellow, blue, green and blackboard. You have 4 picture modes, 2 user modes, and a 3D model to select from.

BenQ’s 3300 lumens brightness is totally on point. In fact, even on Smart Eco mode when the brightness is set at 50%, I recorded it at more than 2000 lumens. The sharpness is also exceptional at 15,000:1 contrast ratio. The deep blacks are not as deep as a TV but all in all, the display is definitely of quite superior quality.

You know you have the right projector when you can see each and every detail in the Deadpool’s costume. The red color is just right and you can see each and every hair on Ryan Reynolds’ head; even during fast action sequences.

MH530FHD is the best 3D projection I have ever had. There is a separate picture mode for it.

And guess what?

While watching 3D, the bulb’s normal mode offers almost 12fL brightness which is the highest I have measured in a projector till date. Of course, in 2D mode also the calibration is more than impressive but 3D is just unexpected. The color and depth are just killers. All the texture just pops out.

At a short range, the projector creates a 100-inch image which does not need any special environmental arrangement to watch. At a farther distance when the 300-inch image is created, there is a mild stretching and the viewing quality is better in dark conditions.

The fan is also super quiet. It is hard to even notice the humming sound once you have started with a movie. The lamp can last up to 4500 hours which is not bad. But on Smart Eco mode, it can reach to its stated 10,000 hours.

Connectivity

There are 2 HDMI ports, two VGA inputs, one S-video and one composite jack. Also, there is a mini USB type B port and an RS232 (DB-9pin) connection. The projector has a 2W speaker and 3.5 mm jacks for audio in and out.

If you are setting up the projector for gaming or home theatre system, using the HDMI port to connect it to your console is the best option. But if that is not the case, the projector has other provisions too.

There is an internal 2W speaker which is not loud enough. So it is better to connect the projector to an external speaker. There is no wireless connectivity or Bluetooth available.

Summary

When a result so fine is delivered, it is hard to argue with its success. BenQ is one of the few companies committed to DLP displays even today. And the MH530FHDis a worthy piece of tech. if you are a theatre enthusiast but have a budget that you cannot forget, this piece of beauty for you.

Pros
  • Single-chip DLP projector with DarkChip 3
  • 1080p with 3D support
  • Huge projections
  • Exceptional brightness, sharpness,and saturation
  • Good performance even in daylight and well-lit rooms
  • Superb motion resolution
  • Quiet fan
Cons
  • Replaceable lamp
  • No auto-iris

See What the Customers are Saying

3. Epson Home Cinema 1060 Full HD

Trust me when I say this is the best HD projector under 500.

It is bright, deliver as promised and can read files directly from USB. I am smitten!

Let me tell you one thing, this is the got-it-all kind of projector. Whether you want it to become your gaming projector, your outdoor projector or your presentation projector, it is completely up to you. But I am going to game all day.



Specs


• Projection system: 3LCD
• Native Resolution: 1920 x 1080
• Brightness: 3100 Lumens
• Contrast ratio: 15,000:1
• Projection size: Up to 300″
• Video inputs: HDMI, USB, VGA
• Audio outputs: 3.5mm jack
• Dimensions: 11.9 x 9.8 x 3.4inches
• Weight: 5.6 pounds

Design

The Epson Home Cinema 1060 is a white rectangular plastic box design which is kind of usual. The basic design has thing extraordinary in it.

What do they say?

Don’t judge a book by its cover.

Yeah. It applies on this projector quite aptly. The front of the projector has the bulb, quite obviously. And on the right end of the front side is a very beautiful design for an outlet. The top portion has all the controls and switches. The indication lights are soothing blue which offset the white body quite beautifully. The controls include power, menus, enter, volume and even settings.

The rear end of the projector is where all the action is packed. There are an array of ports and jacks on the left side and a speaker on the right side. The bottom portion has legs and holes for attaching the projector to the ceiling upside down.

The projector comes with a black remote control which works on AA batteries. It is a small unit with lots of nicely placed white and blue buttons. The projector is not exactly portable but it is not that heavy too. You can take it with you for your presentations or a movie night at a friend’s house.

Performance

The Epson guys are quite modest, I must say. The projector uses the widest lens angle which provides a lot of brightness. They say the projector has 3100 lumens rating, but when I measured it, it passed the level and delivered a whopping 3300 lumens quality. The Eco mode reduces the brightness by 38% which is quite good for the life of the bulb but does not affect the brightness or display quality. It is like a perfect balance.

While watching a movie, the color balance can also be perfected with a little tweaking. For the display size of 145” in a moderately lit room or 230” display in a dark room, the 1.0 gain screen is more than enough. If you want to go big and make the display 260”, the gain screen needs to be 1.3.

The HC 1060 projector delivers accurate color even in default settings. Because the emphasis of this projector is on maximum light output, it does not deliver the dark level as a DLP projector. Most of the projectors, especially DLP models, face a problem when there is light. But the brightness of HC 1060 stands up to the ambient to the heavy lighting of the room. But in dark conditions, shadow detail and depth are left at the last place.

The display has a consistent 79% brightness which is very beneficial. But at the same time, the input lag is 52 ms. That could be a disadvantage for serious gamers.

The 2W inbuilt speaker performs exceptionally well. I found it louder than some of the 10w speakers too. It can fill up a moderately sized room with audible sound easily. The quality might not be great but an external speaker does not become a compulsion.

Because the projector stands first for brightness, it stands last for fan noise. You know the brighter the lamp, louder will be the fan. They are obviously inversely related. In full power mode, it is impossible not to notice the humming sound of the fan at 37 db. That happens with a lot of projectors. But with HC 1060, you will notice it even during Eco mode.

The throw angle of 1060 is quite unusual as compared to the competition. The unusual angle makes it suitable to keep the projector on a shelf behind you when you are sitting. But that will make you quite close to the projector. So, on a flat surface, it is better to tilt up the screen. If you are mounting it on the ceiling, you will need to add an extension so that it drops down and you don’t have to tilt the screen.

Connectivity

There are a host of connectivity options but let us discuss my 2 most favorite features of HC 1060. Firstly, this is the only projector which can read directly from a USB key. And secondly, it has a built-in Wi-Fi.

Yes! You read it right.

It’s a cause for celebration. Other than that, there are 2 HDMI inputs, one of which has MHL support. There is also a VGA input, RCA composite video input, 2 USB ports, and an old-school stereo RCA audio input.

Summary

Epson Home Cinema 1060 stands out in many ways. It has an excellently affordable price but apart from that, it is the only projector for built-in Wi-Fi and USB reading for ease of use. It is the brightest one I have seen by far and also the loudest at the 2W mono speaker. The only drawback that is big enough to put me off is that it does not support 3D.

Pros
  • Best brightness uniformity at 79%
  • Built-in Wi-Fi for phone and tablet connections
  • Reads files directly from USB memory keys
  • HDMI with MHL support
  • 1.2x zoom feature
Cons
  • Does not support 3D
  • No audio output for the external audio system
  • Input lag of 52ms

See What the Customers are Saying

4. Optoma HD27 1080p 3D DLP Projector

You are never going to find a cheap 4k projector, but don’t be disappointed. You don’t have to. Not when there is this latest model from Optoma. Stellar picture quality, max brightness, and 1080p gaming experience, it has got it all.



Specs


• Projection system: Bulb
• Native Resolution: 1920 x 1080
• Brightness: 3200 Lumens
• Contrast ratio: 25,000:1
• Projection size: More than 100”
• Video inputs: HDMI, USB, MHL
• Audio outputs: 3.5mm jack
• Dimensions: 9 x 11.73 x 3.7inches
• Weight: 5.2 pounds

Design

The HD27 has a no-nonsense design. The glossy white body is not quite distinctive and just like any other. It is a subdued design which does not take away the attention of whatever you are watching. In a weird way, it makes sense.

Ata mere 2.5 kg, the projector is small enough to store in a sock drawer. The projector is heavily ventilated and has gentle curves. As I said, like any other projector. The top of the projector has a keypad which will give you access to the menu. There are also zoom and focus settings, which are completely manual, on the top of the body.

The back of the projector has a lot of digital and analog ports for connections. The projector can be mounted on the ceiling. It has a 12v trigger for electric screen control. As usual, the fan makes a lot of noise. You can tune it down by using it on Eco setting but even that will produce a noise of 26 dB.

There is an inbuilt 10W speaker which Optoma boasts is an amplifier, but the noise is too painful. I had a speaker system plugged in almost immediately. It just can’t be heard more than a quarter of the volume.

Boy, is it terrible!

It is loud, as Optoma says. Yes, definitely loud. But torturous. The remote control is backlit which is lit! if you know what I mean.

Performance

HD27 looks really good and projects some very bright images. At 3200 lumens you definitely don’t need to build a Batcave. Ambient light is fine and it won’t affect the picture quality. Fine details are so finely visible, contrast is impressive, colors are vibrant and crisp. And when the source is good HD like Blu-ray, it is even more fun.

There is a variety of image presets present – Bright, Cinema, Vivid, Reference, Game and User. But there is not much difference between them. All of them more or less look the same. Cinema is basically for dark room viewing. One of the issue with a lot of brightness is that the projector can’t do good black detailing. As soon as the sequence goes into night-time, the darker images become flat. Though the contrast rate is very good, it does very little for shadow display.

If you are a hardcore gamer, you will probably not like the performance. Despite the Rec.709 color at 98%-99% delivery, the game content is not impressive. Online multiplayer matches have a difficulty in keeping up because of the 60Hz limiter. Single player response time is a little better but not ideal. It will match with Xbox One or PS4 specs just fine, but nothing more than that.

The projector supports 3D and it works just fine. If you watch a lot of 3D then this projector may disappoint but for light usage, yeah it’s good.

Connectivity

The connections of the projector include two HDMI v1.4a, one of which is MHL compatible and a mini USP port. The mini USP can be used for charging a device but cannot read files for projection.

Unfortunate, I know.

For audio, there is a mini-jack output and a 12v trigger which can be used for electric screen integration. If you have a problem with HDMI connection, the projector also runs with Optoma’s WHD200 wireless HDMI streamer.

Summary

Find a big white wall, add some popcorn and start streaming. The HD27 has outstanding cinematic appeal, little less than outstanding gaming experience and great performance. Except for the speaker, the projector shines in all aspects.

Pros
  • Budget projector
  • Can be used in moderate light
  • Great movies and gaming performance
  • Sharp and rich colors
Cons
  • Struggles to deliver black levels
  • Poor audio quality
  • Noisy fan

See What the Customers are Saying

5. ViewSonic PJD5353LS 3200 Lumens XGA HDMI Projector

Don’t have a long room to set up a projector? Don’t worry. PJD5353LS is your pal.
With a short throw ratio of 0.61:1, the projector projects large images when positioned near the screen too. It also prevents the presenter shadow, which is amazing.



Specs


• Projection system: Bulb
• Native Resolution: 1024×768
• Brightness: 3200 Lumens
• Contrast ratio: 13,500:1
• Projection size: More than 100”
• Video inputs: HDMI, S-video, VGA
• Audio outputs: Mini jack
• Dimensions: 9 x 12.4 x 4.1inches
• Weight: 5.51 pounds

Design

The all-white model with tapered sides is quite good to look at. Of course, it is a budget projector without all the bells and tinkles, so it is quite usual visually. But that does not mean it has to be boring. The projector lacks a carrying case but at 5 pounds it is quite portable. It is not exactly pocket-friendly but can be carried anywhere easily.

The front of the projector has the lens on the left side, of course, and besides it, there are ventilation groves which strike up a nice design attribute. There is no lens control, zoom or focus features in this basic projector. But the top of the projector does have a proper keypad for menu and settings.

There is a groove for easy access to the lamp for maintenance and replacement of the lamp when needed. The back of the projector has a host of ports for cables and USBs. But sometimes that becomes a lot of clutter on display. To avoid that there is an optional cable management hood at the back so that the cables all get covered and the setup looks clutter-free.

Performance

At 1024 x 768 resolution, this is no HD but then it is not supposed to be. The projector is perfect for educational and business use. For that you don’t need full HD, you need no shadow. And that this projector definitely delivers.

The ViewSonic PJD5353LShas a 3200 lumens bulb which is quite bright. The picture quality is really impressive and the colors are sharp and deep. The fine details are nicely visible and the contrast ratio is good too. There are 5 presets available for viewing – Brightest mode, Dynamic mode, PC mode, View match mode, and Movie mode.

These preset modes help a lot during the daylight viewing. When there are a lot of lights, I found that the brightest mode works just fine. The DynamicEco feature reduces the power consumption by 70% and increases the lamp life to up to 10,000 hours. If you can control the light in the room, I would suggest using the projector on Eco mode. It really helps increase the lamp’s lifespan.

Because the projector is not made for gaming or high-action movies, you will find that black images are quite flat. Also, the motion rendering and finer details like textures are not that sharp or visible.

ViewSonic has come up with a proprietary technology called the SonicExpert which incorporates a large chamber for speaker and an amplifier more powerful than normal. That helps in creating an immersive sound so that it does not torture your ears and is loud enough for everyone to hear. The sound range is a full 20Hz – 20Khz.

The projector also supports 3D which is quite impressive considering that this is a budget, simple projector. It can be connected to any 3D Blu-ray player for watching 3D or can be viewed through ViewSonic PGD-350 Shutter Glasses. Any other compatible glasses work. And it blew my mind away.

Obviously, it is no gem of a 3D but I did not expect to work at all. And that is why I was quite surprised to see the results.

Connectivity

The connectivity ports include an HDMI port, two VGA ports, audio in and out, AC in, a video in, an RS232 and a mini USB.

The mini USB will turn the projector into a power bank but that is all. It cannot read any USB memory key and display it directly. There is no built-in Bluetooth or wireless technology for streaming. I have found the in-built speaker enough for a presentation.

But if you want to watch a video or a movie, you will need better speakers for which there is a provision.

Summary

Everything said and done, the projector serves its purpose. All those 100 dollar projectors provide all the basic functions but don’t provide the quality. Of course, the PJD5353LS is not that basic but it is no LED TV replacement either. Don’t think about having a movie marathon on this one. But if you have a small business of your own or have students all day presenting their projects, this one might be your best partner.

Pros
  • 100” screens from short distances
  • Very bright display
  • SonicExpert audio technology
  • Clutter-free back hood
  • Compatibility to all platforms
Cons
  • No Wi-Fi
  • No lens or focus adjust

See What the Customers are Saying

Wrap Up

    Well, there it is. I know you need to find a projector under 500 dollars and here is a detailed review of the top 5. That is half the job done. You just have to match your requirements with my review and decide on the best one for you. Have fun shopping!

BUYING GUIDE FOR THE BEST PROJECTOR UNDER 500 DOLLARS

A projector is used in our everyday life for various activities like a presentation of a PowerPoint in a company or school or colleges, for gaming and watching movies on the bigger screen than a laptop or a TV. We have to agree that a projector is on the higher side of the investment. A projector may range from 50 dollars and can increase up to 1000 dollar.

But if you are on a really bad budget, don’t fret because we are here to help you in selecting the best projector under 500 dollars. It is not essential that the higher priced projector has the best qualities. With some little patience and research, you can find the best projector with excellent specifications at your budget too.
The crucial step that you need to follow when you are selecting for the best projector is to keep a budget in mind before starting your research. If you have a certain number of bucks in your mind that you would want to spend then, narrowing down your choice and choosing the right projector that fits your budget would be a laid-back work.

Before you can know how to choose the best projector, have the slightest idea on the purpose of the projector and how you are going to use and the location of the projector. This analysis can help you in knowing the best type of projector that you can choose in your budget.
How to choose the best projector in your budget:
There are some of the most important specs that n*one need to look out like the resolution, size, brightness ratio etc. Let’s look into the specifications of each one the aspects that you can expect at your budget.

1. Resolution:

The resolution is one of the foremost specifications that you need to concentrate on. The main objective of a projector is to display a bigger image, which can be made probable only by having an advanced resolution i.e. 1080p. A resolution that is anything less than 1080p cannot be found in today market due to much more advancements. The spec can differentiate the quality and the sharpness of the picture. There are some resolutions like SVGA, WXGA, 1080p.

There are some projectors with less than 1080p with are less likely recommendable especially for commercial purposes. Another recommendation is that use the projector which has a resolution similar to that of you connecting system like the laptop or the desktop. This ensures that there is no difference in the projection and even though the resolution is less, the quality would be much better.

2. Brightness:

This specification depends on the environment in which you would like to install the projector. Brightener the environment, brighter must be the brightness of the projector. It is recommended to have a brightness of at least 1000 lumens for the darker areas and the brightness must be at least 5000 lumens for a slightly brighter area. This can even increase if the brightness of the area increases.

It is not advisable to use the brighter projectors in the darker rooms because the brightness makes cause irritation and stress to your eyes due to which you may not be able to look at the screen for a larger time. For a budget of fewer than 500 dollars, you may get an adjustable color temperature, which might also influence the brightness.

3. Type of technology:

The technology in the projector can impact many specifications of the projector from resolution to zoom factor. There are three main types of technologies on which the projectors run – DLP, LCD, and LED. Maximum of the projectors run on DLP (digital light processing) technology as it is highly recommended over LCD (liquid crystal display) and LED (light-emitting diode) this is because the former projectors are comparatively expensive, long-lasting, and environmental-friendly, and do not suffer from the infamous rainbow effect.

While a huge number of projectors run on DLP technology which uses tiny mirrors to reflect image this technology is considered to be one of the best technologies at your given price range.

Though you can get LED and LCD at this price range, it is recommendable not to buy one because they might lag in one of the other specifications which are not desirable. So, for a budget of 500 dollars, do buy the DLP projectors which can give the best image with all the other desirable qualities.

4. Zoom Factor:

The zoom factor may not be considered when you fix the projector in one place. But if the projector in more susceptible to movement and the screens on which the images may be projected is different, then the zoom factor can play a vital role. Although the zoom factor may exist in all the projectors, with the usage, the quality might change. For example, if the viewing audience is big which might need the bigger screen one might tend to use the zoom factor.

When this is done, the pixel ratio may decrease which can ultimately lead to a decrease in the quality. At a budget as low as 500 dollars, it is hard to find an excellent zoom factor. So, buy a projector that has the satisfactory zoom ratio and tries to fix it in one place where the picture is more clear and sharper.

5. Contrast ratio:

If you are seeing for the realistic viewing experience, then pay an extra attention to this contrast ratio. The contrast ratio is the alteration between the black and white levels that a projector can transport which influences the quality of the picture. The contrast ratio must be higher for a better picture quality.
Even too much contrast ratio is not recommended. 23000:1 is the contrast ratio that gives the best picture that is available in a large range of projectors today. There are several other projectors with the contrast ratio of 10000:1 and 1000:1 which are less likely to be used.

There are some other aspects that you can keep in mind while buying a projector like audio quality which would be suggested to be good as possible as you might never know when you will need a projector. Also, try to invest in a 3D technology projector. They do not give a full theatrical experience as in the theatres, but they might be just satisfactory for the budget.

Purchasing a projector is not a conventional thing, and many people may be deliberate in purchasing it, as many are happy with their TVs.
However, it would be astonishing to know that the average cost of projectors has fallen extremely in the last few years due to which you can get a large number of best yet cheaper projector options.