Home Theater Projectors
vs.
Home Video Projectors


There are two kinds of projectors for the home. One is the classic home theater projector. This is for people who want to spend the time and money to reproduce the dark viewing experience of a commercial movie theater in their home. And if you love the pure, super high quality film and video experience, nothing can beat it. Because home theater projectors are meant to be viewed in the dark, they are designed to give you absolute maximum black levels and contrast. Meanwhile, the picture quality is optimized with not too much brightness since an overly bright picture in a dark room will give you eyestrain and a headache before too long.

The other kind of projector is the home video projector. This is for folks who want the excitement of a very big screen picture in the living room or family room, but don’t want to bother with making the room totally dark. You want a home video projector for video gaming, big screen TV for sports and other programming, Internet surfing, as well as for movies of course. Since most people want to watch in a room that is not darkened like a commercial theater, the home video projector is designed to put out a lot of light so the picture looks bright and vibrant even in ambient light. On the other hand, the home video projector does not go for maximum black levels and contrast since that doesn’t do you any good in a room with ambient light anyway.

Since home theater projectors and home video projectors are built for two different types of home viewing, they have a lot of other distinguishing features that set them apart from one another. Here is a quick list:

In general Home Theater Projectors . . .

   1. optimize contrast and black level at the expense of brightness
   2. are almost always native 1920x1080 resolution (or greater)
   3. are almost always 1080p/24 and HDMI compatible
   4. usually large and not too portable
   5. almost never have on-board audio
   6. have comprehensive color and gamma calibration controls
   7. have very quiet fan noise
   8. tend to be more expensive per lumen
   9. often have 12-volt triggers and extensive connectivity
 10. are intended to be used in the dark

In general Home Video Projectors . . .

   1. optimize brightness at the expense of contrast and black level
   2. are usually smaller and more portable
   3. frequently have on-board audio
   4. tend to have higher fan noise
   5. have less robust calibration control
   6. may not have HDMI or 1080p/24 compatibility
   7. may be either 1080p or lower resolution (1280x800 and 1280x720 is common)
   8. tend to be cheaper per lumen
   9. rarely have 12-volt triggers and typically have less connectivity
 10. are most often used in ambient light