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Best DLP Home Theater Video Projectors

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The video projector has long been used as a presentation tool in business and commercial entertainment, as well as in some very high-end home theater systems. However, video projectors are becoming more available and affordable for the average consumer. For a sampling of DLP video projectors, check out some of my current suggestions. For more video projector suggestions, also check my current list of LCD Video Projectors.

1. Optoma HD25-LV 1080p 3D Projector

Optoma HD25-LV 1080p 3D Projector
Optoma Technology
The HD25-LV provides full 1920x1080 (1080p) native pixel resolution while delivering an impressive 3,200 lumens of white light output (Color light output will be lower), 20,000:1 contrast ratio (Full on/Full off), has a maximum 6,000 hour lamp life (3,500 in normal; mode), and has two HDMI inputs. The HD25-LV also features full 3D compatibility (active shutter - glasses require separate purchase).

In addition to 3D, the HD25-LV is also NTSC, PAL, SECAM, and PC/MAC compatible.

Also included is a built-in 16 watt (8wpc) stereo speaker system that is great for small rooms or business meeting settings. However, if you have home theater setup - it is best to use an external audio system to obtain the best home theater viewing and listening experience.

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Also available at a lower price, the Optoma HD25 (aka: HD25e). This projector has the same core features as the HD25-LV (1080p, 3D, contrast ratio, lamp life) but with a lower white light output (2800 lumens) and a 10 watt mono speaker speaker system.
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2. Vivitek H1080 1080p DLP Video Projector

Vivitek H1080 DLP Video Projector - Front View With Accessories
Photo (c) Robert Silva - Licensed to About.com
At a price of $999 the Vivitek H1080 DLP Projector is a great value. With its stylish design this projector is compatible with almost any decor. With its native 1920x1080 (1080p) native pixel resolution and its 1,800 lumen output capability, the video quality is very good. Flesh tones and color saturation, once tweaked, produce a satisfying viewing experience. Other bonuses include two HDMI inputs, a built-in speaker for classroom and business use, and a very quick turn-on and cool down shut off time. I found the Vivitek H1080 to be a good performing and easy-to-use video projector.
Review - Photo Gallery - Video Performance Tests - Compare Prices

3. BenQ W1080ST Short Throw DLP Video Projector

BenQ W1080ST DLP Video Projector - Front View
Photo © Robert Silva - Licensed to About.com
The BenQ W1080ST video projector provides several useful features that definitely make it worth consideration. Its core features include: DLP technology, 1080p display resolution, a maximum 2,000 lumens of light output, and a 10,000:1 stated contrast ratio. Two added bonuses are that the BenQ W1080ST can project a large image at a very short screen distance (For example: 100-inches at about 5 1/2 feet), and also features both 2D and 3D capability (compatible with both Blu-ray Disc, Streaming, and PC sources). Also, the W1080ST provides a built-in speaker, which is adequate for situations where no audio system is accessible, but for home theater viewing, an external audio system is definitely recommended.

Review - Photo Profile - Video Performance Tests - Official Product Page - Compare Prices.

4. BenQ W710ST Short Throw DLP Video Projector

BenQ W710ST DLP Video Projector - Front View With Accessories
Photo © Robert Silva - Licensed to About.com
The BenQ W710ST video projector provides several useful features that definitely make it worth consideration. Its core features include: DLP technology, (1280x720) 720p native pixel resolution, a maximum 2,500 lumens of light output, and a 10,000:1 stated contrast ratio. Its ability to project bright images also makes if practical for use in rooms that cannot be made completely dark, such as classroom or meeting room. Also, unlike most projectors, the BenQ W710ST can project a large image at a very short screen distance (For example: 80-inches at about 5 1/2 feet). The W710ST even has a built-in speaker, which is adequate for situations when no other audio system is accessible, but for home theater viewing, an external audio system is definitely recommended.
Review - Photo Profile - Video Performance Tests - Official Product Page - Compare Prices

5. ViewSonic Pro8200 1080p DLP Projector

ViewSonic Pro8200 DLP Projector
Image provided by ViewSonic
The Viewsonic Pro8200 1080p DLP Video Projector, priced at $999, offers a host of practical features that you would expect on high-priced units. Its DLP chip (combined with BrillianColor technology, 16x9 aspect ratio, native 1080p resolution, and 2000 lumens light output via a 230 watt lamp, provide excellent image quality. Also, the Pro8200 comes equipped with two HDMI ver 1.3a inputs, and provides video upscaling for standard DVDs via its built-in Pixelworks PW980 video processor. Also included is an RS232 port for custom install control integration. The Pro8200 even has both audio and microphone inputs, supported by a 10wpc x 2 built-in speaker system. The Viewsonic Pro8200 is an affordable video projector option for mainstream home theater system.
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6. Optoma HD23 1080p DLP Video Projector

Optoma HD23 1080p DLP Video Projector
Photo (c) Optoma Technology

The Optoma HD23 is the next entry in the trend of projectors with increased light output for a reasonable price. The HD23 is a 1080p DLP projector that can put out a maximun of 2,500 lumens, which allows the projection images that are acceptable even with some ambient light present.

In support, the HD23 provides a 5,000:1 Contrast Ratio (full on/full off), 4000 hour lamp life (standard mode - 3,000 in bright mode), and the ability to project images from about 40-inches to 300 inches in size (16x9 aspect ratio). The HD23 also features 2 HDMI inputs, a set of Component Video inputs, Composite video input, and VGA/PC monitor inputs, making it compatible with video and computer graphic resolutions up to 1080p.

However, it must be pointed out that the HD23 does not offer optical lens shift (although digital keystone correction is provided), and is not 3D compatible.
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7. Optoma HD20 1080p DLP Video Projector

Optoma HD20 DLP Video Projector
Photos (c) Robert Silva - Licensed to About.com
Optoma has a large stable of very good video projectors, but the HD20 is one of their best values yet. Under the hood, the HD20 houses a DLP-based projection system with full 1920x1080 (1080p) native pixel resolution that delivers up to 1,700 lumens, 4,000:1 contrast ratio (500:1 ANSI), has a maximum 4,000 hour lamp life (3,000 in bright mode), and has two HDMI inputs. The HD20 is also NTSC, PAL, SECAM, and PC/MAC compatible. The HD20 also has a practical Super-Wide setting that optimizes viewing for 2:35 aspect ratio films without a special lens. A backlit remote control is also included which is easy to use in a darkened room.
Review - Photo Gallery - Video Performance Tests - Compare Prices.

8. Vivitek Qumi Q7 HD Pocket Projector

Vivitek Qumi Q7 Pico Projector
Photo © Robert Silva - Licensed to About.com
Vivitek Qumi Q2 HD Pocket Projector is not your typical video projector. The Qumi Q7 is a very compact unit that you can hold in your hand and actually mount on a camera/camcorder tripod. Combining DLP (Pico Chip) and LED light source technologies the Qumi is bright enough to be projected on a large surface or screen in a dark room, but is small enough to fit to mount on camera/camcorder tripod. The Qumi has a native 720p resolution can has HDMI and A/V inputs for sources such as Blu-ray/DVD players,  at VGA input for the connection of a PC or laptop, and a USB port for accessing media files on flash drives. With its compact size, the Qumi is very portable and can be set up for home entertainment, gaming, presentation, and travel uses.
Official Product Page - Buy Direct

9. Samsung SP-A800B 1080p DLP Video Projector

Samsung SP-A800B 1080p DLP Video Projector
Photos (c) Robert Silva - Licensed to About.com
At an MSRP of $7,495, the Samsung SP-A800B Video Projector bucks the trend towards sub-$3,000 1080p video projectors, but is definitely worth the extra cash for those that are looking for high-end projector with precise color accuracy. Its Texas Instruments DLP DarkChip2, native 1080p resolution, and acceptable light output provide an excellent natural looking image.

Also, the SP-A800B comes equipped with two HDMI ver 1.3a inputs, and provides video upscaling for standard DVDs via its proprietary processor. The Samsung SP-A800B was developed in conjunction with Joe Kane Productions.
Review - Photo Gallery - Video Performance Tests - Official Product Page

Note: This projector is out-of-production buy may still be available via third party sources.

10. NEC NP4001 720p DLP Video Projector

NEC NP4001 Video Projector - Front View
Photo (c) Robert Silva - Licensed to About.com
At an MSRP of $5,999 (not including the lens), the NEC NP4001 DLP Video Projector is not for the bargain hunter, but is a great value for the high-end home theater enthusiast. With a native pixel resolution of 1280x768 (720p), and dual lamp output of 3,600 to 4,500 lumens, this projector provides excellent image brightness and resolution, especially in large room settings. Also, features include powered focus and zoom, as well as powered horizontal and vertical lens shift.
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Discussion - Video Projectors For Home Theater

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