How to buy good projector for $500

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Finding a projector under $500 can be quite a challenging task, especially if you don’t know what you need exactly. Of course, a model from this price range won’t provide you with 4K support and a breathtaking picture. What you can really expect from such a unit is a great balance between cheaper and premium-quality features.

The best projectors under 500$ are able to offer quite a decent image quality, if you make a smart choice, of course, all the best models you can find on HelpToChoose website. You should pay attention to many factors in order to buy a model that will satisfy your requirements. Let’s take a closer look at the most important of them:

DLP or  LCD?

On today’s market, you can find projectors of 2 types: DLP or LCD. It’s hard to say which of them is better as both types have their pros and cons.

The LCD projectors provide sharper image, deep dark colors, but does have some issues when it comes to fast motion. This way, it’s not the best choice for gamers and for those who like watching sports programs.

When it comes to 3D, the DLP projector will be a better choice. Plus, it provides a brighter image than LCD projector and has clearer image on a fast-moving content. However, you may face some problems with black color deepness. It’s also prone to rainbow effect issues.


There are no reasons to worry about connectivity options: most $500 models are able to offer you quite a wide range of connectors. Moreover, for this price, you even may find a projector that supports wireless connectivity via Wi-Fi and/or Bluetooth which provide an increased convenience. In terms of wired connection, it’s recommendable to choose a model that has two or more HDMI inputs as you will get a better picture quality when connecting the projector to the sources via an HDMI cable.

However, if you have old source components, you need to check if the projector has S-video, composite, or component video output. Most modern $500 projectors don’t have these outputs, so it may not be easy to find the one that does.


The projector’s compatibility is important if you don’t want to be limited in terms of devices you will be able to connect to it. Thus, make sure that the projector is compatible with both Mac and PC.

Bulb Life

If longevity is what you expect from the projector, you should pay attention to its bulb life. I suggest choosing a projector that has a bulb life of up to 10,000 hours or more.

Throw distance

A throw distance is responsible for how far you can place a projector from the screen until you start getting a blurry image. This way, it’s important for the picture clearness. It’s recommendable to choose a projector that allows extending the throw distance from 2 to 30 feet and more. 

Screen size

A screen size is the max size of projection you can get. The projectors for 500 dollars can offer a max projection size of more than 300 inches, but, in this case, bigger doesn’t mean better. The most optimal size depends on the room dimensions. This way, you won’t get any benefit when choosing a projector with 360 inches screen size for a small room.


The most optimal level of brightness depends on the lightning conditions. Thus, in a dark room, the projector with 1000 lumens will provide great level of brightness. However, if you are going to set it up outside or in a sunlit room, you are going to need a projector with around 3000 and more lumens in order to get an image with decent brightness.


Contrast is the ratio between light and dark colors. It’s extremely important for color deepness, so even if you choose a projector with high brightness level but low contrast ratio, the colors will look washed out. It’s better to choose the model with a contrast ratio of at least 1,500:1 for dark room, and 2,000:1 or higher for a well-lit room.

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