When dealing with the best cheap 4k projector, one should look for the item with 3840 x 2160 or 4096 x 2160 pixels. The more pixels the model features, the higher screen resolution the projectors have, the more vivid picture we enjoy. Since 4K implementation in projectors is much more complicated than in the TVs, the tech inside a projector is crucial.
The list of following products helps choose the best budget 4k projector that has a good quality to provide a bright and accurate picture to enjoy the brightest whites and deepest blacks. However, it is important to consider the other components of the home theatre system. For example, a 4K Blu-ray player is able to deliver a cinema-quality experience.
It’s a cheap 4K projector with 3840 x 2160 resolution. It features 3,500 lumens and can be used in a partially darkened room. Note that it’s not a full HD projector that’s why it doesn’t support a 3D projection.
It’s a DLP device and it means that the processor’s chip is based on the pixel-shifting tech to reach a true 4K resolution that demands M8.3 distinct pixels. The PX747-4K also has an RGBW color wheel that is designed for both home entertainment and education/business presentations. Since it enhances the numerous lumens the projector outputs, it lets a lot of light pass through and, after all, provides an extremely bright image. Besides, black level performance is great for such a budget unit and allows seeing details in dark scenes.
This model is also remarkable for its long lamp’s life that reaches 15,000 hours when the SuperEco is switched on and 50ms input lag that makes the projector suitable for gaming.
This projector has two HDMI inputs (both of them support 4K content) and that’s not much. So, it’s not possible to connect, for example, PS4, a 4K UHD player, a TV simultaneously. The device comes with mini-USB port for mobile devices.
If looking for the cheapest 4k projector, consider this model because it features lens shift to improve black level and make fan noise lower. The unit provides accurate and well-focused picture across the surface of the screen and the sharpness isn’t fading on the edges. Besides, it requires just 10 feet to fill a 120-inch diagonal screen while the majority of other units need 13 feet and more.
The projector comes with typical 2,400 lumens that mean the irrationality of using Bright mode for any video display in order to avoid getting a green picture. The unit allows calibrating brightness on a scale on 0 to 10. The colors are rather saturated even when the brightness is at max. The device is able to upscale HD 1080p material up to 4K and produce good sharpening and clear picture.
Color balance and video are great by default that allows dispensing long-time calibration. However, to make a picture even more neutral, one can make small adjustments to achieve red and blue’s balance.
If thinking of the cheapest 4k projector, don’t miss BenQ HT3550 that supports native 4K resolutions. This model features branded BenQ’s HDR-PRO that’s compatible with the HDR10 and HLG formats. The latter allows other viewers still holding on to old SDR television sets and enjoying a wider color palette at the same time.
This product is remarkable for its top-notch design. It comes with a white cabinet and bronze front panel. All the manual control buttons are on the top including focus, vertical lens shift, and zoom (up to 1.3 times, by the way). The device’s back panel is full of connections (USB, two HDMI ports) and even offers USB 3.0 to hook the projector up to the media reader.
It has high (30,000:1) contrast ratio to provide an extremely dynamic image. Blacks are deep enough but, certainly, they’re below OLED TV’s blacks. That’s not the projector’s issue but the specs of the tech. No budget projector has as deep blacks as high-end models. This gadget is designed with a great contrast between whites and blacks.
The projector has speakers on board, but, like any other affordable model, it needs extra speakers to make sound deep and loud enough. This model handles 3D content and performance. When connecting and turning 3D Blu-ray on, the projector locks on automatically and switches to 3D mode.
It’s developed as a 3LCD model and contrast ratio of 200,000:1 to deliver high-level white and color brightness. The unit produces 120-inch projection at a 12-feet distance. The product is rather massive and can be hard mounted on the ceiling. It is easy to set up because one can do everything via remote control. There’s no need to stand over the projector for adjustments.
All its connectivity is on the rear panel and includes VGA to connect a personal computer. The unit also has two HDMI inputs but only one of them is 4K compatible. It’s possible to stream video through the Internet due to a wired Ethernet LAN slot. Like many other low-cost models, this unit has no horizontal keystone correction. If it’s not possible to center it in front of the screen, use lens shift for repositioning to ensure good image quality.
The projector comes with five modes. For example, Dynamic and Bright Cinema are great for daylight while Bright Cinema works well in ambient light. It has advanced 4K PRO-UHD Enhancement tech to provide smooth image gradations. This option can be turned off when watching 1080p content with no enhancement. The projector also features a 15-element glass lens to ensure low light leakage. Besides, the unit allows watching video in 3D, but it requires optional glasses.
This model is designed with 0.47-inch UHD DLP chipset to support 4K. However, its native 1080p mode is also useful when watching 3D movies. The device is fitted with a new optical system that uses high-grade glass to ensure perfect image quality.
It’s noticeable for the built-in speaker with a dynamic range that’s very uncommon for such small-sized budget models. Another original feature is the keystoning that allows making calibrations when the projector is non-perpendicularly to a screen, or the screen’s surface is angled. The model lacks an extra lamp, but the installed lamp is remarkable for its long service life – 4,000 hours in full lamp mode and up to 15,000 hours in SmartEco mode.
The unit’s brightness reaches 3,000 lumens that can be reduced by half is using the Brilliant Color function. Besides, it has two custom adjustable User modes in addition to three standard modes. The projector can boast great connectivity for both audio and video inputs It has two HDMI inputs, but only one of them is compatible with 4K devices.
When thinking of a low-cost 4K model, one should understand that all those projectors aren’t true 4K units. They just use shifting to reach this effect and compensate for the lack of pixels up to the necessary M8 PX. So, a projector that’s able to produce pictures with the 4k resolution is a 4k device.
Since there’s no choice in terms of technology, one should pay attention to some other budget models’ features.
Lamp life is crucial because the majority of models have no extra lamps in the box. It’s necessary to consider the range between common service life and the lamp’s lifespan in the Eco mode. 15,000 hours at max is a decent parameter towards the cheap 4K projectors.
Not all low priced units feature 3D display. It’s not an issue if not watching 3D content. However, those who want to enjoy this format should check the model’s ability to support 3D.
Brightness is crucial to watch video comfortably at all hours in both illuminated and darkened rooms. Despite that fact that all projectors are designed to perform in the darkness, high-quality models are able to produce a good picture in the natural/artificial or ambient/direct light. The more lumens a model has the higher brightness it ensures.
Though 3,000 lumens are quite enough but also a good contrast ratio (no less than 12000:1), high image sharpness and video smoothness should follow them to provide perfect brightness.
Before purchasing a projector, one should consider a screen’s dimensions because most of the budget units are developed for 120-inch displays. In case of having larger screens, the larger rooms are required to install a projector at the right distance.
If having a small room, bear in mind the projector’s throw ratio that is in the range of 3–15 feet. Choose the short throw projectors to get an accurate picture.
Sound is not a key feature, but it’s possible to find out a model with the built-in speakers. However, they’re not powerful at all that’s why one still needs additional speakers to get a good sound.
HDMI ports are necessary to watch 4K content. However, VGA, USB type-A and type-B, RS-232 ports are desired to get enhanced connectivity and use a wide range of devices.