Video projectors provide a great way to create the experience of a theater inside your own home, but there’s one main problem with the majority of them: they need a lot of space to properly operate. But if you’re working with more limited real estate, your best option may be a short throw projector. They can create a bright and high resolution screen at a fraction of the distance you’d need with a more traditional projector, and these consumer products are pretty reasonably priced as well.
HotRate wants to help you find the best short throw projector for your needs. We’ve put together a list to 10 of the best models we’ve found, but we’ll also help you acquire the skills you need to shop smarter.
- 10 Best Short Throw Projectors
- 1. Optoma GT1080Darbee Short Throw Projector
- 2. BenQ TH671ST 1080p Short Throw Projector
- 3. Epson VS250 SVGA Short Throw Projector
- 4. ViewSonic SVGA Short Throw Projector
- 5. ASUS P3B Ultra-Short-Throw Projector
- 6. ViewSonic PJD7828HDL Short Throw Projector
- 7. RAGU Z498 Short Throw Projector
- 8. LG HF65LA Ultra Short Throw Projector
- 9. VAVA 4K UHD Laser Ultra-Short-Throw Projector
- 10. InFocus IN126STa WXGA Short Throw Projector
- Short Throw Projector Buyer’s Guide
10 Best Short Throw Projectors
1. Optoma GT1080Darbee Short Throw Projector
All you need is four feet of space to get a 120 inch display when you use the Optoma GT1080Darbee, and this short throw projector offers some of the best versatility around. It's a great choice for everything from gaming to sports to movies, and it can even deliver 3D video formats at a smooth 144 hertz refresh rate. There's even a dedicated game mode that provides you with practically indistinguishable response times and video enhancement technology for providing an extra jolt of fidelity to your gaming or movie watching experiences.
And no matter what video source you're looking to use, chances are that it will hook up easily to this short throw projector. The inclusion of dual HDMI inputs allows you to hook up a gaming console as well as your favorite streaming device and swap easily between them on a whim.
2. BenQ TH671ST 1080p Short Throw Projector
If you have a video source, chances are good that the TH671ST from BenQ can handle it. This short throw projector includes two distinct HDMI ports as well as easy wireless streaming through compatibility with the BenQ HDMI wireless dongle. That means you don't have to worry about complex configurations just to get this projector up to date with the latest gadgets in your tool kit.
But gamers in particular will find a lot to love here. Not only does it deliver a Full HD 1080p native resolution, but this projector also offers an incredibly low input lag of 16 milliseconds. And you don't need much space to work with this short throw projector. Roughly 5 feet will give you a display of a hundred inches, and the 3000 lumens packed in to the projector deliver bright and crisp images even in a less than ideal environment for a projector.
3. Epson VS250 SVGA Short Throw Projector
Need something a little more budget friendly than the two short throw projector models listed above? You may want to take a look at the Epson VS250. Despite being about half the price of the aforementioned short throw projectors, it offers some of the best performance around. The above average brightness rating of 3200 lumens means that you don't need to have a perfectly dark viewing room to make this short projector to work, and that makes it a best choice if you want a projector you can travel with or use for back yard movie nights.
And even if you don't have any dedicated video sources, this projector is an open book to you. A dedicated app allows you to seamlessly stream media directly from your phone, tablet, or computer, so you don't need any complex setups to get everything up and running smoothly. And it also offers an eco mode so you can squeeze more juice out of the lamp.
4. ViewSonic SVGA Short Throw Projector
This short throw projector from ViewSonic is another SVGA model. And while that means that this is a projector best suited for work or school projects, the support for a 1080p native resolution means that it can work just as well for watching movies and TV or playing games. The vast array of outputs means that most media sources are supported, and that includes the latest HDMI enabled gadgets as well as more esoteric legacy formats.
Setup and navigation for this short throw projector is exceedingly simple as well. It's plug and play in the most basic sense, and anyone with basic technical knowledge should be able to get it up and running in just a matter of minutes. In addition to a decent brightness level and a long lamp life, this short throw projector delivers high-quality color reproduction thanks to the inclusion of proprietary SuperColor technology built right in.
5. ASUS P3B Ultra-Short-Throw Projector
ASUS is best known for their laptops, but that's not to say that it's the only gadget they're capable with. Take the P3B for example. While this short throw projector can sit comfortably as the video source for your home theater, it also features a three hour battery life and can double as a power bank for the other devices in your collection. This is a short throw projector that's small and lightweight enough to fit comfortably in your palm, and that makes it one of the best projector models to take on the go with you.
And while the brightness level for this projector isn't particularly high, it does promise one of the best lamp lives in the industry. The inclusion of both modern and legacy ports means that you won't have to go tracking down unique adapters just to get photos, videos, or music up and running.
6. ViewSonic PJD7828HDL Short Throw Projector
Viewsonic has packed in some of the most impressive new short throw projector technology into a tight, reasonably priced, and overall high-quality projector. The DLP DarkChip3 makes use of tightly positioned mirrors to provide you with a higher level of visual fidelity even when you're working in tighter environments, and the SuperColor technology provides you with a richer palette for more in depth and expressive colors no matter what you're using your short throw projector to watch.
But just because the technology is impressive doesn't mean that it's complicated. The user interface is smart and intuitive, and the presence of a wide optical zoom means you have a whole lot of flexibility in how you want to mount this projector. There's even a 10 watt speaker, so you can get pretty solid sound quality without having to lug around any additional equipment.
7. RAGU Z498 Short Throw Projector
"Budget priced" is often synonymous with cheaply made, but that's not the case with this short throw projector from RAGU. Granted, this under $100 short throw projector isn't going to offer you the same level of quality you'd find in one of the models a few times its price, but it's easily one of the best values we've found in our short throw projector hunt. It offers a high brightness rating, support for 1080p Full HD resolution, and the ability to run for 50,000 hours before you have to replace the lamp on this short throw projector.
This is also a short throw projector that can adjust to whatever rooms you're trying to use it in. The projector screen can cover a size of difference between 28 and 180 inches, and it doesn't need much space at all to work. This short throw projector operates in spaces between 5 and 16 feet.
8. LG HF65LA Ultra Short Throw Projector
The LG HF65LA may be the most expensive projector on our list, but unsurprisingly, it also may be the best. Especially cool is the fact that it employs a full smart TV style navigational interface. Thanks to the magic remote, you can easily find the content you need without even having to plug your own image source in to this model. It also sports one of the shortest throw ranges around, letting you get a 60 inch image from just 5 feet away.
And there's a respectable amount of wireless connectivity with this projector as well. It offers both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, so you can stream your favorite movies and TV shows using your phone or laptop or even broadcast sound directly through your wireless Bluetooth speakers. If you already have an existing Sonos system, this projector is a great compliment.
9. VAVA 4K UHD Laser Ultra-Short-Throw Projector
If you want the best performance you could expect from a short throw projector, you can't do much better than the VAVA. If you're searching for a projector, 4K technology is hard to find. And while VAVA is going to run you the price of a few thousand dollars, you're getting a whole lot of value for what you'll spend. Dolby Audio and DTS:x are both supported, and this model comes with its own integrated soundbar designed by Harman Kardon.
And as you might expect from a model that supports 4K, projector image quality is incredibly impressive here. Not only does it provide four times the image resolution of 1080p alternatives, but it also offers support for high dynamic range. That means that you'll get a crisper and cleaner range of colors. And with the ability to deliver a 150" screen from a foot and a half away ensures you don't need a lot of space to work with.
10. InFocus IN126STa WXGA Short Throw Projector
If you want the best and most manageable projector for use in the office or the classroom, there's a great case to be made for the InFocus IN126STa. It can be connected to the internet directly through an ethernet connection or wirelessly using the included adapter. This short throw projector also supports AMX Device Discovery technology, so if you're not especially technically inclined, you can still connect to your wireless devices with little to no hassle.
This is a value priced model through and through. You can expect incredibly decent performance that exceeds the price value, and while WXGA isn't going to provide you with the image quality you'd find with a 4K cor even a 1080p model, it's one of the best choices we've discovered for office presentations and movie nights where you're less concerned about image fidelity.
Short Throw Projector Buyer’s Guide
If you’re looking for the best short throw projector, what traits should you pay the most attention to? We’re here to help you with that. If you want the best image quality and technology for your theater and sound system, we’re here to help. Keep reading to learn the details.
Lumens are the measurement used to determine the brightness of a bulb. A single lumen is the equivalent of a single candle. When talking about short throw projectors, you can expect the display brightness to be measured in thousands of lumens. If you’re looking for short throw projectors for a dedicated cinema room, the image brightness isn’t too big a deal, but you should pick a wall mouted projector with powerful brightness if you want to use it in less consistently dark settings.
Image resolution for a theater projector is measured in megapixels. The basic thing to recognize is that a higher resolution is objectively better. The majority of light projection devices will provide you with a 1080p resolution or less, but 4K image technology is becoming increasingly more prevalent. While these devices are expensive, they represent the latest standard in HD, but if you choose 4K short through projectors, you can expect to spend a few thousand bucks.
How long can you expect your lamp to last? Unlike replacing a battery, replacing a lamp is an expensive process, and you may just need to choose a new projector rather than try to replace the lamp itself. Fortunately, most lamps will last for years and years. Unless you’re getting short throw projectors to use regularly in the office, you can generally expect to not use this technology more than a few hours a day. From there, it should be pretty easy to get an estimate for a given model. Choose a projector that provides you with a long lamp life, but don’t choose a projector you don’t love just for the sake of a long life.
Also keep in mind that how a manufacturer measures the lamp technology can vary. With plenty of eco saving modes and different video formats requiring different standards, there can be a pretty decent amount of variance between the lamp rating levels on different models.
Contrast ratio tells you how much distinction there is between the whitest whites and the blackest blacks. A higher contrast ratio means that you’ll have a richer variety of distinction in terms of tint and a more robust variety of colors in an image display. Contrast ratio is expressed as two numbers, with the first representing the magnification of black in proportion to white.
So how much does contrast ratio matter? That really depends. It’s not going to make a big difference if you’re using your projector in a very dark space, but the contrast ratio can have a huge impact on maximum image quality if you’re in an environment that has less than ideal lighting.
A projector isn’t going to do you much good if it can’t connect directly to the important source devices. For the most part, that’s not going to be a concern. Most modern video sources come with HDMI ports, and there isn’t a short throw projector available on Amazon that doesn’t come with at least one HDMI port. If you have multiple devices you want hooked up concurrently, make sure there are enough HDMI ports to support you.
If you have older devices, it’s more important to see what ports are available. Legacy connectivity options like VGA and RCA are a little rarer, but they aren’t that hard to find. If you want to future proof your projector, the biggest thing to pay attention to is the wireless connectivity. Wi-Fi or Bluetooth provides a more convenient way to stream video to your projector using any device, and making sure that there’s some sort of wireless functionality will ensure that you can keep using your projector for years to come.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Short Throw Projectors Better?
If you have less space to work with and want a projector, short throw is the way to go. Short throw projectors can work in much smaller spaces than more traditional projectors. They aren’t going to be the perfect choice for everyone, but short throw projectors offer some of the top performance in a wide variety of different circumstances.
What is the Best Ultra Short Throw Projector?
We like the ASUS P3B. Not only can it work at a very short distance and still deliver great picture quality, but it also comes with its own battery, making it a highly portable projector that you can use in your back yard or at the houses of friends or family. And the wide variety of different connections means that you can connect practically any image display source you may have in your home.
What is Ultra Short Throw Projector?
An ultra short throw projector is built off the same fundamental technology as more conventional short throw projectors, but they utilize a wider lens than short throw projectors. That allows them to work from a much shorter distance. While there’s no maximum size defined for what constitutes ultra short throw projectors, most of them can project a decently sized display from a range of about five feet or less.
If you’re looking for quality projectors, short throw technology provides a great option. They’re small enough to provide a cinema level experience even if you aren’t working with a great deal of space. Our review guide offers a great place to start, but the advice in the guide that follows it can help you find the model that’s best suited to your needs. Any model on our review list should suit your needs just fine, and we hope that you find what you’re looking for. Be sure to check out our review guide to the best surround sound systems if you want to expand your projector into a larger home theater system.