2022 is definitely proving to be an interesting time in the 4K projector category. UST (Ultra Short Throw) projectors are starting to make some real noise with both home theater enthusiasts and the general public and that’s a good thing for the industry.
Sony and JVC, however, are rather unlikely to unveil anything in the category and that’s understandable when you understand that neither company views the UST market as their strength in the home theater category.
JVC has kicked some tires in regard to the UST segment but introducing anything that would diminish their standing as the premier manufacturer of home theater projectors is not on the horizon.
Samsung, Hisense, LG, and Epson have already demonstrated that they plan to invest a lot of time and money into the UST market and that’s a wise move for all of them because consumers will only spend so much for a 4K or 8K HDTV that is in the 85-inch range or larger.
It doesn’t make sense to buy a projector unless you want an image size that exceeds 90 to 120 inches in a home media room or den.
A new 4K projector is your key to watching TV and movies the way they were always intended to be viewed.
But which 4K projector is best for you in 2022?
We did a deep dive into dozens of the most exciting UHD projectors and reviewed them all to give you an easy to reference guide when picking yours.
We judged by different criteria so that whether you are a gamer, a hardcore videophile or just a casual viewer, it will be easy for you to make an informed decision.
Best 4K Projector in 2022
Here’s the cream of the crop. The overall best 4K projectors among dozens reviewed. We compared many different specs and criteria, from aesthetic design to price and of course technical capabilities. These are the standouts.
Price: $3,999 at ProjectorScreen
- Really deep black levels
- Terrific picture for the price
- Amazing color and high color brightness
- Efficient laser light source
- Perfect for both low and moderate light environments
- Requires some fine-tuning of the color right out of the box
- A bit more pricey than other 4K home projectors
- Cinema mode is lacking some contrast compared to other projectors
- Enormous number of buttons on remote control creates a less than user-friendly interface
- Features only two HDMI ports
Epson always has a strong showing. Last year’s model came in second overall, and this year the new Epson LS11000 takes the big prize.
The Epson delivers very deep black levels and excellent sharpness and image uniformity. The color accuracy is also very strong on this projector; it should be considering the price and how many years Epson have been working on the technology.
Price: $6,999 at ProjectorScreen
- Jaw dropping picture quality
- Awesome contrast and best black levels in the industry
- Glass lenses for sharpest picture quality possible
- Supports 3D video
- Tremendous color spectrum and near perfect accuracy of color
- Numerous options for picture customization
- Bulky chassis that is heavier than most
- Low brightness when compared to others. Probably best in a dedicated home theater room
- Poor remote control design
- Powered by bulb, instead of laser
Finding a balance between picture quality and price can be tough, but the NP5 has really found the formula. It is the next model after one of our favorites, the JVC NX5. What really sets the JVC apart are the black levels, contrast, and the sharpness of the image.
This 4K projector will take your breath away with strikingly sharp and colorful images, but is definitely best if used in a dedicated theater, as it is not the brightest. It does however, maintain almost full brightness even when engaged in calibrated picture modes like HDR.
Input lag isn’t optimum, but at 33.8 it is still good enough for most gamers to not notice.
Best Starter Projector
If this is your first foray into the world of projectors, these 4K options are going to be your best bet. For this, we looked at the best price and quality of image produced, to give you the best value.
Price: $1,699 at ProjectorScreen
- Terrific flexibility in setup
- Outstanding value for the price
- Great 4K projector, boasting HDR support and inexpensive price tag
- Input lag in the low 20ms, making it awesome for gaming
- Great visuals, but is still in the shadows of the higher end projectors
- Not the best black levels or contrast
The Epson powerlite home Cinema 3800 is easily the best value on this list, and is an amazing choice for your first projector.
Perfect for moderately lit rooms, this UHD projector provides bright distinct colors and more than enough lumens for most living rooms.
An awesome choice for gaming, with the very low input lag. Take your game to a larger screen and revamp the whole experience.
The low price point is easy to understand when comparing the black levels and contrast to other projectors in its class, but is still the way to go if you are trying to figure out what kind of 4K projector is best for you.
Price: $1,399 at ProjectorScreen
- Amazing value
- 4000 lumen super bright light source
- Great for gaming with an input lag of 4.2ms
- Affordable 4K projector with HDR support
- Longer than usual warm up time for lamp
- Low black levels and lacking in contrast
- More of a gaming projector than a home cinema
- Not as vivid and lacks the accuracy of color of most higher-end projectors
While this is definitely on the low end of the performance list, the UHD38 is still a super choice if a low price tag is your main concern.
One thing you can’t ignore is its 4000 women light source, that is perfect for even the brightest lit living room.
More awesome for gaming than movie viewing, but still a good choice for the price.
Best Image Quality in 4K Projectors
No longer figuring in price, this is the 4K projector that simply offers the absolute best image quality out of all their peers. If price is no limitation, this is the best 2022 projector to buy.
Price: $25,999 at ProjectorScreen
- Absolute tops in image quality for a consumer projector
- Possible 8K resolution
- Laser light source of 3000 lumen
- Terrific black levels and contrast ratio
- Calibrated picture mode maintains brightness
- Wide range of picture adjustments
- Bulky in size
- Expensive price point
This device is guaranteed to blow you away! It has been called the best home theater projector on the market, and we can’t see any reason to disagree with that. With a super crisp 4K image that can be upscaled to 8K, you will have an absolutely jaw-droppingly realistic image.
Nothing in the industry can top the color accuracy and output of the NZ9. Couple that with best in the business black levels that can even rival some OLED flatscreens, and you have the projector of your dreams.
Room brightness is hardly an issue with the 3000 lumen laser light source. You can move this projector into whichever room you like, and brightness will not be compromised.
It may be expensive, but if you have your heart set on the best projector available, look no further than the JVC NZ9.
Best UST Projectors
In 2020, ultra short throw projectors became the hottest trend in home cinema. Several top companies like Samsung, Epson, BenQ, Hisense and Optoma spent the last two years developing and releasing new laser TVs. Here are the best of 2022.
Price: $4,499 at ProjectorScreen
- Comes bundled with ambient light rejecting screen
- Vibrant and brighter colors
- Super sharp image
- Quality sound system
- Free setup and installation
- Great for 4K gaming with 120 FPS
- Black body
- Only comes and sizes of 100 and 120 in
- Not the best at handling lowlight and highlight details
- .47 chipset is slightly behind the .67 chipset of its peers
- Light can reflect off of its shiny chassis
- Does not come with Netflix
Turn any living room into a bona fide cinema with this serious triple laser projector. Enjoy vibrant and accurate colors, with a unit that is capable of producing 107% of the BT2020 color space.
This is an amazing deal when considering it comes bundled with either a 100 or monstrous 120 in ambient light reflecting screen. This alone gives the L9G the edge over several competitors.
With a simple design, this living room projector fits in great with almost any interior design scheme. And the sound system is good enough to stand head and shoulders above the crowd.
Once you see this beauty in action, you won’t be able to get it out of your mind!
Price: $6,496 at ProjectorScreen
- Super short throw distance
- Capable of producing images up to 130in
- Triple laser capable of producing stunningly vivid colors
- Excellent black levels and contrast
- Uses familiar Samsung TV interface
- Some reports of rainbow effect, although we did not see it
- Slight laser speckling
- Small amount of red tinting
- High price
Samsung’s first foray into the world of projection TVs. They wanted to set the standard for ultra short throw projectors, and they absolutely delivered.
The LSP9T is easily one of the best in the market, and an excellent choice for any cinefile. For more details, check out our full review of The Premiere by Samsung LSP9T.
Best 4K Gaming Projector
We are now more than a year away from the beginning of 4K gaming, and we have a whole class of projectors that are more than up to the task.
Price: $2,799 at ProjectorScreen
- Amazing 4K picture
- Awesomely bright 3000 lumen laser light source
- Super small input lag of 4ms at 1080p
- Enhanced gaming mode
- Weak speakers
- Inconsistent and frustrating streaming apps
- Slightly expensive
This was intended to be the ultimate gaming projector TV, and delivers with its outstanding visuals.
With a 3000 lumen light source, the Optoma UHZ50 gaming projector also works great as a casual viewing television in the living room or a home cinema.
Price: $3,999 at ProjectorScreen
- Bundled with a screen
- Great for highly lit rooms
- Short lag time
- Brightest UST 4K laser on the market
- Rainbow effect proof chipset
- Longer throw distance than your average UST
- Worst in class internal speakers
- Loud fan
- Bad interface for app
The Epson LS500 is the perfect UST for those wanting to game in a well-lit room.
As tested with a PlayStation 5, the image is phenomenal and terrific for those wanting to game on a 120-inch screen.
Best Projector for an Apartment
If you want a big screen with a crystal clear picture, and you have limited space, here are the best choices for you.
Price: $3,499 at ProjectorScreen
- Widest color spectrum of any single laser UST
- Vibrant colors and great contrast
- Automatic sunroof to protect from dust and other damage
- Easy setup
- Only two HDMI ports
- Side mounted USB media player power source
- Weak built-in speakers
Although this is BenQ’s first 4K UST projector, it quickly became the measuring stick for all others.
Perfect for apartments, this projector offers enough sharpness, brightness, color accuracy and contrast to compete with projectors at a much higher price point.
BenQ chose to focus on the visuals with this model opting out of a built-in soundbar. This may sound like a detriment, but when it is paired with a wireless surround sound speaker system,it integrates seamlessly.
The versatile design of the unit allows it to fit in in almost any decorative scheme.
It may not be the absolute best on the market, but if you’re in an apartment and want to upgrade from your flat screen this is definitely the way to go.
Price: $3,999 at ProjectorScreen
- Much smaller footprint and operational distance then the competition.
- Great built-in soundbar
- Comes bundled with UST screen
- Brilliantly bright colors
- Only available in 100 or 120 in screen size
- Fairly long warm up time
- Relatively high lag time
This Hisense UST projector gives absolutely amazing visuals right out of the box. Jaw-dropping clarity and vividly bright colors are definitely one of this model’s greatest selling points.
Being bundled with an ambient light rejecting screen, the L5G is a great choice for any moderately lit apartment.
What really makes the L5G stand out is the super short distance the unit sits from the screen, saving space and preventing anyone from accidentally blocking out the screen.
How We Made Our Rankings
Any quality home theater projector in 2022 should be expected to deliver amazing visuals and an overall great viewing experience while staying in balance with a price point that doesn’t make it impractical or unattainable.
Here is the criteria we chose:
- Picture Quality
- Contrast Ratio
- Color Accuracy
- Color Gamut
- Light Source
- Intended Usage of Unit
- Misc Features
- User Interface
What is “Picture Quality”?
When deciding on a 2022 projector, picture quality is the most important thing to consider. It commonly can be thought of as the sum of four different aspects: contrast ratio, color accuracy, brightness and color gamut.
This is one of the biggest contributors to how much your image pops, as it is the difference between the darkest parts of the screen and the lightest. With a good contrast ratio you can avoid having boring flat images and instead enjoy a terrifically lifelike and active picture.
Brightness is simply the light output of the projector. Typically for a home Cinema you do not need that much brightness because the room is commonly darker than average. But if you are looking to put your projector in a moderately lit living room, you will definitely appreciate the extra lumens. HDR content is also better with a higher brightness level.
This refers to how true the visible colors of the projector or to the natural world. Having a high color accuracy ensures that you will be seeing colors as they were originally intended, with no distortion or miss coloring.
This is the way of illustrating how many different colors the projector is capable of showing on screen. UHD content has a much higher color gamut then typical hi def. It is common for lower end projectors to simply not have the capability to display all the different shades of red, green and blue. But when you are dealing with a higher end model, the level of gradients and detail will knock your socks off.