Photo of Barry Reiner

Barry Reiner

Professional Home Entertainment Expert

Best Projectors & Best Projektor

Projector Overview:

My Best of the Best projector list is truly that. It represents the epitome of all that is good and true among home theater projection products. But enough poetic fanfare… here’s my ground-level view of the best projectors that the industry has to offer.

The Runco Signature Cinema SC-1 and Vidikron Vision Model 150 are premium products. And they’re highly recommended for home theaters with generous budgets. The Sim2 GrandCinema C3X 1080 is a clear choice for stylish design and performance. Marantz VP-11S2 uses the Texas Instruments DC4 chip to deliver more brightness and contrast. And for large venues, Sony’s SRX-S110 is a superior option.

Home Theater Overview:

If properly designed, a home theater can be a special place. A place to laugh, relax, and enjoy. A haven from the outside world. A welcome respite from your busy lifestyle.

A variety of components are needed to make up a superior home theater - some more obvious than others. However, in the context of this website, we can’t provide in-depth coverage of all the products. So here are a few to whet your appetite.

In a great theater, the sound and visual experience are critical elements. That’s why we discussed the top projectors, flat screen televisions, and speaker systems. And to help you keep control of it all, we’ve recommended the best remote controls.

The areas that we haven’t covered are equally as important to designing a custom home theater. These areas are seating, projection screens, acoustical treatments, surround sound receivers and separates, and complements such as Blu-ray and high-performance media servers.

The best projectors are key to the perfect home theater that offers a relaxing, fun time for the whole family. With the best projektor, you'll be showing so many movies, you'll be inviting people over for viewings.

Best Projectors by Barry Reiner

The Best You Can Get

  • Runco Signature Cinema SC-1

    Barry says: The Runco brand is synonymous with innovation and quality. And Runco’s Signature Cinema SC-1 holds true to the company’s reputation. The Signature Cinema SC-1 pushes the envelope by accurately replicating the essence of film in a fixed-pixel digital cinema projector. But it doesn’t come cheap. This product is for people who want the best projector that money can buy and have the means to afford it.

    The Signature Cinema SC-1 is absolutely amazing. It creates excellent picture quality through specialized circuits that incorporate the company’s proprietary Signature CineStep Process. And with seven zoom lens choices and other options available, you can create a custom centerpiece for your home theater. The Signature Cinema SC-1 is a sophisticated, high-definition video processing system that will enhance any home cinematic experience.

    • Three-chip SuperOnyx DMD
    • 2048 x 1080 native resolution
    • Maximum screen width up to 40 feet
    • Up to 25,000 ANSI lumens, depending on lamp choice
  • Vidikron Vision Model 150

    Barry says: Vidikron’s Vision Model 150 is expertly engineered for upscale home theaters. This premium projector is loaded with advanced video technologies to produce an incredible widescreen viewing experience. It merges a three-chip DLP(tm) light engine with an advanced Xenon LightAmp illumination system that has up to five times the light output of standard front projectors with mercury lamps.

    And even though a twenty-foot maximum width is recommended, the Vision Model 150 can handle illuminating a 30-foot-wide screen. All of this technology translates into superior brightness, resolution, and performance. This makes the Vision Model 150 the perfect complement for home theaters with extra-large screens.

    • 3-chip 1080-pixel DLP (digital light processing) model
    • Super-bright 1.2-kilowatt Xenon lamp
    • All-digital VHD controller
    • Ample input connections for seamless component integration
  • Sim2 GrandCinema C3X 1080

    Barry says: An Italian company makes the Sim2 GrandCinema C3X 1080 and it shows. This award-winning projector has the look - and visual appeal - of a fancy Italian sports car. The GrandCinema C3X 1080 is encased in a high-gloss, sculpted cabinet that is beautifully-styled and undeniably glamorous. It comes in shiny gunmetal, with gorgeous black, red, and gold color options.

    But that’s enough about looks. Let’s get to the impressive performance and features of the GrandCinema C3X 1080. This projector is one of the first to use Texas Instruments DLP Products’ latest DarkChip four chip to integrate superior contrast and benchmark-quality 1080p video display. And Sim2’s GrandCinema C3X 1080 is aptly engineered for connectivity. It has two selectable HDMI inputs, RS-232 serial and USB ports, and even optical digital-audio, twelve-volt trigger and IR-sensor inputs. Sim2 also included advanced color-management software that allows installers to tailor the picture quality to the home theater environment.

    In a nutshell, the GrandCinema C3X 1080 is one stylish, high-performing projector. It’ll do justice to any viewing room and deliver the ultimate home entertainment experience.

    • Full HD 1080p projector
    • 10,000:1 contrast ratio
    • Choice of three lenses
    • Advanced color-management software for complete customization
  • Marantz VP-11S2

    Barry says: The Marantz VP-11S2 offers the best of just about everything. As the world’s first 1080p HD projector to feature the Texas Instruments DC4 chip, it delivers more brightness and higher contrast than the current DLP chip sets. It produces images that are amazingly realistic, detailed, and lifelike. In fact, the image quality rivals that of high-priced professional projectors.

    The VP-11S2 is designed for maximum installation ease and compatibility with all types of components and home entertainment systems. For easy set up, it features a comprehensive on-screen menu system. And to ensure quiet operation of its fast-spinning color wheel, the VP-11S2 features a specially designed Quiet Fluid Dynamic Bearing motor. In short, the VP-11S2 combines quality and performance with installation ease to create a projector option that’s truly hard to beat.

    • Fitted with Texas Instruments DC4 chip
    • 800 ANSI lumens and a 12,000:1 contrast ratio
    • Programmable video processor
    • Standard and long throw lenses
  • Sony SRX-S110

    Barry says: Hands down, the Sony SRX-S110 is the leading product in digital cinema projection for large venues. This projector goes well beyond the capability of its peers. It features 4K resolution - the highest available and several times higher than that of the highest consumer high-definition video - to offer superior contrast and vibrant color. With its 4096-by-2160 resolution, the SRX-S110 provides super-fine picture detail that creates a feast for the eyes.

    Not only that, the SRX-S110 offers 60P display and a built-in DVI card, as well as three open slots for more DVI connections. It also comes with several optional lenses and three display modes. The projector is specified at 10,000 ANSI lumens for screens up to 40 feet wide. The SRX-S110 makes it easy for home theater viewers to sit back, relax, and enjoy the show.

    • 10,000 ANSI lumens
    • HDTV ready
    • 4096 x 2160 native resolution
    • 16:9 native aspect ratio

You will be happy with any of these

  • Runco RS-1100

    Barry says: The RS-1100 offers the high quality that Runco is known for - at a price point more people can afford. Yet, the RS-1100 doesn’t skimp on technology and features. It’s enhanced with 1920 x 1080 native resolution DLP light engines, which create high-definition images that are bright and near flawless. Thanks to an advanced illumination system, the RS-1100 provides greater flexibility for screen size, ambient light conditions, and brightness and contrast balance.

    The RS-1100 line of projectors also comes with a sophisticated cooling system that increases efficiency and minimizes noise levels. Even digital video processing is included to enhance picture quality from standard video sources, which is a major bonus. With its robust capabilities, Runco’s RS-1100 is a great value for any home theater.

    • Two lamp intensity levels available
    • Award-winning Vivix digital video processing
    • CinOptx Proteus lens options for superior HD images
    • AxiShift technology provides multidirectional lens shift
  • Vidikron Vision Model 65

    Barry says: Vidikron’s Vision Model 65 is easy on the budget, as well as on the eye. It uses complex engineering to let you watch movies with no black bars. And the white cabinet of the Vision Model 65 easily blends in with most surroundings. (So viewers can pay attention to the movie instead of the projector.)

    Using the Vision Model 65 is a technical treat. It offers state-of-the-art features such as 1920 x 1080 native resolution for sharp, bright images. Like other projectors in its class, the Vision Model 65 also features selectable lamp intensity levels and an ultra efficient lamp cooling system that lessens noise. And if all that weren’t enough, the Vision Model 65 has a variety of options that make it easy to install and enjoy.

    • CineWide with AutoScope technology to eliminate black bars
    • Advanced Imagix digital video processing
    • Multiple precision optic lens options
    • Motorized vertical lens shift
  • Panasonic PT-AE200U

    Barry says: At well under $2,000, the Panasonic PT-AE200U delivers very good video quality for an inexpensive price. This sleek, lightweight unit qualifies as a subcompact projector, but it’s packed with a number of user-friendly features. It’s equipped with three HDMI inputs, which is great if you're connecting gear directly to the projector. Also, there’s a pair of component-video inputs, one S-Video input, one composite-video input, a VGA-style PC input, and a RS-232 port for custom remote-control systems.

    As a major bonus, the PT-AE200U has a SD memory-card slot on the side, which lets you view JPEGs and MPEG-4 movie clips from your digital camera or camcorder on the big screen. Essentially, the projector can also double as a digital slide projector. And another thing: The PT-AE200U’s has a remote that’s smartly designed with ergonomics in mind, making it easy to access the most frequently-used keys with your thumb. The remote is also fully backlit and universal, so it can control other components.

    • HDTV compatible
    • SD memory slot for viewing JPEGS and MPEG-4 movie clips
    • Seven picture mode options
    • Includes an ergonomically-designed universal remote
  • Marantz VP-15S1

    Barry says: The Marantz VP-15S1 projector made my Best of the Rest list because of its smooth, realistic images. It features 1080p (1920 x 1080) resolution for image quality that’s crisp, rich, and very pleasing to the eye. The VP-15S1 also has Konica Minolta optics, Gennum processing and HDMI 1.3 inputs that support twelve-bit color depth. The Gennum system - a completely programmable video processor - can whip through calculations at 500 million floating point operations per second.

    The VP-15S1 offers direct access to all inputs, along with handy On and Off buttons. But you can probably get by with using just the remote, which is fully backlit. It offers easy access to most of the controls you’ll need for watching movies.

    • Single-chip 1080P DLP projector
    • 1000 ANSI lumen brightness and 10000:1 contrast ratio
    • Three iris positions by Dual iris optical engine
    • Wide-range vertical lens shift
  • Sony VPL-VW50

    Barry says: Sony’s VPL-VW50 is the ideal product for home theaters requiring a low-cost solution. But don’t let the modest price fool you. This projector is rich with features like full 1080p resolution, a high contrast ratio of up to 15,000:1, an advanced iris function and selective color processing. In addition, it has an improved lamp life, a fan that you can barely hear and a smart, lightweight design.

    Overall, the VPL-VW50’s best features come down to contrast and black levels. The color saturation and color balance are impressive. If you value high contrast, and deep blacks, Sony’s VPL-VW50 can definitely meet your entertainment needs. And with its white case and elegant design, it should blend in nicely with most viewing rooms. This is definitely one projector you’ll want to consider for your home theater.

    • 1080p native resolution (Full HD 1080)
    • 15,000:1 contrast
    • Shelf-friendly front exhaust vents
    • Elegant, attractive design

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The best projectors combine premium technical features and handsome style that fits into your home decor. We suggest the best projektor systems for generous to tight budgets. Always the best price, these LCD projector and other video projector systems provide days and days of fun and relaxation for family and friends.