So you’re looking to buy a projector but you don’t want to spend too much money. The question is then, what is the best projector under $200?
There are a few important factors you should be aware of before making this decision. I’ll cover everything below so you can hopefully be a bit more informed. I’ve added shortcut links for your convenience to easily jump around the article.
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What Projector Can I Get For $200?
Generally speaking, a brand new projector priced around $200 is going to be an LED-based model and likely have a native resolution of 1920×1080. This would give you a Full HD picture for your content. It should also have around 2 HDMI ports for your various media devices. Though there can be a lot of variations and differences between brands and models.
There are pros and cons to getting an LED projector. The first of which is that the lamp life tends to be incredibly long compared to a traditional light bulb projector. Some traditional bulbs need to be replaced after around 5K hours of use. The LED lamp in comparison can reach 30-40K or more according to many companies. That can possibly help save you some money in the long run, not being required to buy new light bulbs for your projector.
On the flip side, LED projectors aren’t nearly as bright and require you to use them in dark or dimly lit rooms. However, if you’re just looking to have a movie night over the weekends, with the lights off or down, they might be a good option for you. So let’s take a look at some popular options that are available.
GooDee YG600 Plus
The first projector I’ll mention is the GooDee YG600 Plus model. There are a couple of standout features here that aren’t found on many alternatives. I’d say this projector is definitely towards the top of my recommendations.
This model is capable of displaying a native 1080p image and can take in a 4K source. The brightness level is relatively impressive for an LED projector, with a rating of 600 ANSI lumens. This will actually let you use the machine during a wider range of room lighting.
This model has wireless functionality to stream content from your smartphone and tablets. Using this feature is a great way to share photos, videos, and more. Just start casting and your device’s screen will be mirrored.
For the best performance, be sure to connect both devices to a 5Ghz network band on your home router if it’s supported. I should mention that most video apps have copyright protection and can’t be shared this way, on any projector. You’ll need to use some sort of media stick such as a Roku or Amazon Fire TV for these apps.
If you’re interested in using wireless speakers or headphones you can pair them to this projector as well. This model actually supports Bluetooth 6.0 for the latest compatibility.
Dual 5-watt speakers power the audio in the newer “Plus” version. They do a pretty good job pumping sound into your room. You can always extend the audio capabilities by either plugging in external speakers to the 3.5mm audio out port, or pairing a Bluetooth speaker or sound bar. That may give you more of a “movie theater” vibe.
One major feature this model has, that I haven’t really seen claimed by any other manufacturer have, is the Dolby authorization. According to the GooDee company, and I’ll quote it, there’s “Genuine Dolby authorization, so that you will no longer have only the picture but no sound”. They’re referring to watching video apps having an issue when your device is using Dolby formatted audio. Many other similar projectors lack this feature.
Click the following button to read even more about this projector on its product page. Like I said, it’s probably what I’d recommend the most for a projector under $200 at the moment.
Kodak Flik X10
The Kodak Flik X10 is another native 1080p projector with an ANSI rating of 150. This model is equipped with 2 HDMI ports, 1 USB input, and dual 3-watt speakers. With this being another LED projector the light bulb has a lengthy life span rating of up to 40,000 hours.
If your picture isn’t perfectly aligned, you’re able to adjust the image up to 12 degrees using the keystone function. This will help ensure the image is perfectly against your wall instead of being slanted in some way.
Overall this model will be a bit less bright than some others on the list, but it may not be much of a concern to you if you plan on watching movies in the dark anyway. Kodak is also a major known brand to most people, so maybe you have some confidence in buying a more major brand.
The product information does say it can be used indoors or outdoors. Do you like the idea of having a movie night outside with your family and friends? Just get an extension cable and some comfortable chairs and you’ll practically be set.
This model is very basic and is perfect for someone that wants something straightforward and easy to use. The menus are simple without a million settings and things to deal with. If you want a projector without any frills but still wanna watch your modern media content on a huge screen, this may be a decent choice for you from a known brand.
The Fangor F-506 projector is another popular choice on Amazon’s best sellers list due to a few factors. It comes with a massive range of connectivity options such as HDMI, USB, AV, Audio Out, VGA, and MicroSD. There’s technically 3 total HDMI ports available if you count the two on one side and one on the opposite side in a hidden compartment. This would allow you to leave even more of your devices plugged into the projector at once. But the company states the HDMI contained in the hidden compartment is for Roku only.
This model renders at a native 1080p resolution and can be sharpened and aligned using the manual focus wheel and keystone settings. If you watch a lot of HD content you’ll be able to see more overall detail with a native 1080p projector. This is great especially for any gamers, since objects such as other players will appear less blurry, compared to a lower resolution projector.
There’s also a decent contrast ratio of 10,000:1 which means you’ll see more vibrant colors. Animated movies benefit a lot from this since the colors will be saturated and not appear washed out. The lamp life is supposed to last up to 65,000 hours as well. Like most LED projectors, the darker the room the better the picture will be.
This Fangor projector seems to be a popular choice on Amazon so perhaps the company is doing something right. If you have a lot of media devices you want to keep plugged into the projector and have a Roku, the 3 HDMI ports could be a big benefit for you. I did read that they recommend turning off the Bluetooth setting when you’re not using it. Apparently it can override the regular audio output when it’s turned on. I thought I’d just mention it here quick.
OSQ Mini Portable DVD Projector
Now here’s a really unique choice, the OSQ Mini Portable DVD projector. This model is called the OSQ-303 and has a built-in DVD player. If you have a lot of DVD movies this could be the perfect projector for you. Just be aware that “Blu-ray” discs are NOT DVDs. They both use a completely different laser diode and wavelength to read data. This model will play all DVDs from your collection.
The projector can take in a 1080p video source but internally it renders at a native resolution of 1280×720. This means you will get a softer image compared to a native 1080p projector. However it’ll still be sharper than a 480p model and DVDs have a standard resolution of only 720×480. So it renders a higher resolution than what a DVD contains anyway.
There is an official brightness rating of 200 ANSI lumens and they say the lamp can last up to 100,000 hours. This should make it decent for weekly movie nights or maybe playing animated movies in a kid’s room to keep them entertained.
Since the model comes with HDMI you can also plug in a streaming stick, like a Roku or Amazon Fire TV, and watch your favorite media apps as well. It’s actually pretty versatile overall, though be aware there’s only one HDMI port on this one. This could be partially due to the mini size of the machine.
This model choice really depends on how much you like the idea of having a built-in DVD player on your projector. It has the possibility of being super convenient if you already have a collection of DVDs. I should also mention that this projector is incredibly compact, measuring around 4.7 x 6.3 x 6.3 inches. That’s only slightly bigger than an actual DVD disc!
There’s dual 5-watt speakers that should do an adequate job filling your room with audio. But you can always use the 3.5mm audio out port to hook up external speakers or try pairing wireless speakers via Bluetooth. If you want a projector that also natively plays DVDs, you may want to check this option out.
Those were a selection of new projectors that all cost $200 or less. But what if you don’t mind spending a bit more to perhaps get something else? Visit the following other articles for more alternatives and suggestions.
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Epson EpiqVision Flex CO-W01
This is possibly the most affordable way to get a brand new, higher quality projector, from an extremely well-known brand. Epson is one of the leaders in the projector world and have been for a long time. They have countless experience with building products that consumers enjoy.
Is the CO-W01 model a good choice for you? Well, it provides up to 3,000 lumens for its color/white brightness. It’s also equipped with quality optics for a crisp image across the entire area. Overall you’ll see a bright, clear, and vivid picture. This makes it a decent choice if you can spend a bit more but be aware of some downfalls.
This CO-W01 model is unique, because it’s almost like a traditional projector, the lamp is a traditional bulb variety but is NOT replaceable like most Epson projectors. The lamp on normal mode will last up to 6,000 hours and under eco mode it’s up to 12,000 hours. That means if you used the projector for 4 hours every single day it’d last around 4 years in normal mode and 8 years under eco mode. Be aware that even Eco mode is very likely going to still be brighter than an LED-based projector.
Its native resolution is also 1280×800, which means it’ll internally render at a 720p resolution, even though it’ll output a 1080p image. The high-quality optics can make the whole picture very sharp though, even compared to some 720p/1080p LED-based models with lenses that aren’t as good.
Sure! If you don’t mind something more basic but still want a projector that’s higher quality. This Epson projector should last you a solid amount of time and give you a really nice picture. The fan noise is only 38dB under normal mode and down to 29dB in quiet mode. This means it won’t be nearly as distracting while watching movies.
I would highly recommend you run the projector in Eco mode continuously. The projector would run quieter and last roughly twice as long. You really need to ask yourself some important questions. Do you plan on using the projector everyday? How many hours? If you use the projector for 28 hours per week it could last up to 8 years and it’ll last even further if you used it less than that. It’s not for everyone but it could be a good choice for some people. Click the next button to read more about this model.
Are LED Projectors Worth It?
This is a major point of contention. Many people may not want to spend $500+ for something they may not even use or like. The LED projectors offer a low-cost entry point into watching movies on a massive screen. They seem to work fine for what they’re built for, just be aware of the drawbacks like needing to be in a dimmer room.
A traditional bulb projector or a laser-based machine will offer a higher brightness ceiling. However, they’ll typically be multiple times more expensive so it all comes down to your budget and what you’re looking for. You should be aware that almost all projectors at this price require you to use a manual focus ring to sharpen the picture on your wall. You’ll need to do this every time you move your projector to a new location. Another setting you’ll want to adjust is called the “keystone”, which is just a term for controlling the alignment of the image.
I’d say if your budget can allow for $500-800+ you should look into some other models. You’ll get something with similar connectivity but have better optics and a jump in brightness and performance. However, if you’re just looking to dip your toes into the projector world most of these will be a fine start.
Have No Audio?
Most projectors around this price don’t come equipped with Dolby authorization to playback that specific audio encoding. However, the solution tends to be a relatively easy fix for something like an Amazon Fire TV stick. Just go into your Settings and select “Display & Sounds” > Audio > Dolby Digital Output and choose PCM for the audio output. Other streaming sticks will require similar settings if you’re trying to use Dolby Audio.