A projector is no match to the ultra large (60″+) 4K TVs we have today, but it’s far cheaper. Also, a projector can easily scale beyond 100″ to give you the big screen experience. Projectors no longer cost a bomb like they used to, if you source from Taobao.
As with most popular products, you will find hundreds of sellers and brands for a projector on Taobao. Here’s how i shortlisted mine:
Resolution – This is the single most important factor that determines the class and price of a projector. In a cinema, you get 4000 X 2000+ pixels resolution, but for a consumer projector, it goes as low as 800 X 480. Obviously, the picture quality isn’t going to look so good, although, it is still at a higher resolution than a DVD (720 X 480). A lot of people will not really notice the low resolution. Well, i may not be so good at discerning the resolution also, but i wanted to get something that i know looks good on paper, and a decent resolution that is still within reach is 1280 X 800 (typically at 800 Yuan and above). If you’re on a tight budget, you can get 1024 X 768 for less than half the price (300 Yuan).
Bulb life – The one factor that determines how long the projector will last, and it can be 20000 – 50000 hours.
Brightness – The brighter, the better you can see the projected images. The manufacturer can make all kinds of claims, but the quantified brightness tells all. Except, manufacturers don’t always disclose the brightness. It typically ranges from 5000 to 9900 Lumens.
Based on these criteria, i selected the 轰天炮 (Hongtianpao, or literally translated, cannon). It still sells at the same price, for 830 Yuan (S$172). Not cheap, but it has a resolution of 1280 X 800, bulb life of 50000 hours (better than most of the competition) and brightness of 9500 Lumens, so it looks good on paper.
If you have S$2400 to spare, you can consider getting the Xiaomi Laser Projector, a 4K short-throw 150″ projector with built-in sound bar.