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To find the best short throw projectors, we researched a wide swath of options over the course of 15 hours. During our research, we first focused on identifying the top features and functionalities you should watch out for during your own buying process. When it comes to finding the best short throw projectors, we recommend only choosing one with at least 1080p resolution. However, if you want more detail, then 4K Ultra HD short-throw projectors are great choices. We find that the top-rated ultra-short-throw projectors perform well for home theater setups. We also recommend purchasing an option with a level of brightness that will perform well in your intended installation location. For the most part, lumens ratings from 2,500 to 3,500 are more than enough for most applications. You should also consider user-friendly and ease of installation in your decision-making process.
With all of these considerations in mind, we selected the Optoma GT1080HDR Short Throw Projector as the winner for our best short throw projector. Keep reading about this, and our other top picks to learn more about the best projectors on the market today.
Award: HONORABLE MENTION
WHY WE LIKE IT: With a 120Hz refresh rate, fast response time, and an extra-bright lamp, this projector creates a stellar home theater experience that works well for all audiences, including gamers. Plus, it features a six-segment color wheel for accurate and bright colors.
The Optoma GT1080HDR short throw projector is an excellent option for movie lovers and gamers alike due to its high picture quality and fast response time. It provides a quick 8.4ms input lag time and extra-smooth 120Hz of motion handling. These features, plus full HD resolution and a six-segment color wheel for more accurate colors, make this the best short throw projector for golf simulators. You only need four short feet of distance to create display sizes up to 120 inches, corner to corner. And Optoma is also small, measuring 12.4 x 9.5 x 4.5 inches, so it won’t get in the way of your golf clubs or theater room furniture.
The GT1080HDR also produces an impressive level of brightness at 3,800 lumens. With this high amount of lamp brightness, you can use this unit in both well-lit and dark rooms without experiencing too much fading. You also get 15,000 hours of total bulb life, so you know you’ll be able to use this projector for a long time before you need to buy a replacement. The Optoma projector is also incredibly user-friendly, especially when it comes to installation and adjustment. You’ll get 40 degrees of keystone correction and 1.3x of optical zoom for highly precise placement. The onboard speakers could be better, but this won’t be a problem with an external speaker setup. You may also want to consider the best outdoor projector that’s good enough to use on its own, so you won’t need to connect an external audio solution to enjoy your outdoor viewing party.
Award: BEST ON A BUDGET
WHY WE LIKE IT: If you need short throw placement without paying extra for it, you cannot go wrong with this option. It features a unique 3LCD bulb that eliminates rainbow effects, plus mobile device connectivity and full HD resolution for a high-quality display.
The Epson Home Cinema 1060 short throw projector’s winning feature is its unique 3LCD bulb. This innovative technology creates smooth action scenes and completely eliminates the rainbow effect you see in color wheel projectors. Plus, the 1060 features full HD resolution and accurate color representation, so you’ll get a premium display quality that doesn’t hold back. Even better, the Epson can create display sizes up to an impressive 300 inches.
The Epson short throw projector also provides plenty of connectivity options. With two HDMI input ports, dual USB ports, and a VGA port, you can connect a wide variety of devices to this projector. The MHL-compatible HDMI port also means you can connect streaming devices to the Epson Home Cinema projector for a more comprehensive entertainment experience. The projector also outputs 3,100 lumens of brightness, making it an excellent choice for both dark and well-lit rooms. It’s built well with convenient controls and a durable design that will last you a long time. And if you’re looking for something a bit more budget-friendly, consider the best cheap projector.
Award: BEST RESPONSE TIME
WHY WE LIKE IT: This short throw projector is the best option for both casual and hardcore gamers with its low 16ms input lag and vivid colors. This product also features solid picture quality with DLP technology and a 15,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio.
The BenQ HT2150ST is the best short throw projector for gaming because of its super-fast response time, high-quality display, and accurate color reproduction. With 16ms of input lag, this projector works well for both casual and competitive gamers and performs better than the majority of projectors in this class. It also features a Game mode that produces crisp visuals with smooth motion handling. Plus, with full HD resolution, a 15,000:1 contrast ratio, and a six-segment RGBRGB color wheel, the HT2150ST creates a stunning display quality that’s hard to beat.
This short throw projector is also easy to install and set up. You get plenty of adjustability options with the included 1.2x optical zoom, vertical keystone correction, and focus settings. You can create displays up to 300 inches in size with only mere feet between the projector and the screen. We were a little disappointed in the lower lumens rating, coming in at just 2,200 lumens, which means you can only use it in darker rooms. However, it performs really well in those dark environments, so it shouldn’t detract too much from the overall experience. And just in case you own an iPhone, you’ll definitely love the best iPhone projector that also includes a sturdy tripod, which you can use to set the projector up virtually anywhere with ease.
Award: BEST QUALITY
WHY WE LIKE IT: From the dustproof lens to the low-profile and modern design, this short throw projector offers you the best quality in this category. Plus, it features laser lighting technology and excellent picture quality for the best home theater experience your money can buy.
The Optoma GT1090HDR short-throw projector offers tons of high-quality functionalities and design features for all of your home theater and gaming needs. For starters, this unit is a fine laser projector that provides the best and brightest lighting. You get a whopping 4,200 lumens of brightness that can display your movies in either bright or dark rooms. The lens itself is also IP6X dustproof, so you won’t have to worry about costly and time-consuming maintenance down the road.
When it comes to picture quality, you’ll get a 1920×1080 native resolution, but the Optoma can handle 4K UHD input from compatible sources. As such, you won’t have to worry about your current-gen video game consoles and 4K Blu-Ray players not working. The GT1090HDR produces a stunning display due to its HDR compatibility, 300,000:1 contrast ratio, and bright laser light source. You also get extensive connectivity options with HDMI cable inputs, VGA in and out, 3D sync, and audio ports. However, note that you will likely need to do some calibration out of the box to get the right colors, but with an easy user interface, this process isn’t hard at all. You may also love the best 3D projector with the best incredibly detailed picture that offers both 4K ultra HD resolution and 1080p resolution when in 3D mode.
Award: BEST FOR LARGE DISPLAYS
WHY WE LIKE IT: If you want the biggest display for outdoor viewing, large parties, or an immersive cinematic experience, then this is the short throw projector for you. It creates displays up to 300 inches in size with excellent picture quality and accurate color reproduction.
The BenQ HT2050A offers affordable and high-quality display qualities that work well for home theater enthusiasts and casual gamers alike. Its best feature is the large display size it can create with only a few feet between the unit and the projector screen. With display sizes up to 300 inches, you’ll be able to use the BenQ for outdoor viewing parties or for immersive home theater experiences. Plus, the HT2050A creates stunning picture quality with its full HD resolution, 96% Rec. 709 color gamut, and high contrast ratio. You’ll get accurate color reproduction and crisp images with the projector’s built-in DLP and CinematiColor technology.
This short throw projector also does well with video games, too. It has a 16ms response time that performs well with both casual and fast-moving games. Installation for the BenQ 2050A is also relatively simple. You can mount it on the ceiling or on a shelf. And with 2D keystone correction and 1.3x optical zoom, you’ll be able to create a precise picture with ease. We were also impressed with the BenQ’s onboard CinemaMaster Audio+ 2 speakers. They produce crisp, powerful audio that works well for all kinds of movies. Gamers will also be interested in the best projector for gaming that offers a stunning 500,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio for better differentiation between lights and darks.
Award: BEST FOR SPORTS
WHY WE LIKE IT: This short throw projector offers an extra-bright lamp, smooth motion handling, and fast response time to handle high-movement scenes from sports and video games. This option is also lightweight and compact enough to set up anywhere in your or your friends’ homes so everyone can watch the game.
The BenQ TH671ST short throw projector is perfect for sports lovers and video gamers of the world for a wide variety of reasons. For starters, this projector creates an amazingly detailed and crisp image with 92% Rec. 709 color accuracy, a 10,000:1 contrast ratio, and a bright, 3,000 lumens lamp. Plus, with blazing fast response time (16ms) and smooth motion handling that’s perfect for sports and video games. The projector also uses proprietary LumiExpert technology to automatically adjust the picture brightness depending on the ambient light in the room. That way, you’ll always get the best picture, no matter where you take the BenQ TH671ST.
Yes, the projector’s portability is another one of its top-selling points. If you want to watch the game at a friend’s house, the lightweight and compact design make it that much easier. Plus, it’s easy to set up and adjust, so you get the best picture in settings that weren’t necessarily made for projectors. The BenQ features vertical keystone correction and a 1.2x optical zoom setting, so you can position it in a variety of different locations. You even get 3D capability for watching 3D movies or playing 3D video games. And if you’re looking for a good model for use at your workplace, consider the best business projector that offers a long-lasting performance that you can rely on in any business scenario. We recommend one that’s perfect for business presentations, which you can read about in our Epson VS250 SVGA 3LCD review.
Award: BEST BRIGHTNESS
WHY WE LIKE IT: With a whopping 5,200 lumens of brightness from a laser lighting source, this short-throw projector is excellent for commercial and large-scale operations, like in churches or conference rooms. It also creates a stellar image quality with crisp details and accurate colors.
The ViewSonic LS810 is one of the best short-throw projectors available today, especially if you’re looking to use it in large-scale applications. It can project up to 150 inches in display size, from corner to corner. And with its best-of-class 5,200 lumens of brightness and 100,000:1 contrast ratio, you’ll get an incredibly detailed and colorful picture. The ViewSonic provides full HD native resolution, which is good, but we still wish it had gone the 4K route instead. All in all, though, the 1080p resolution still works very well.
The LS810 excels when it comes to installation versatility. While it is bulkier than many other UST projectors, it features a unique, stackable design that allows you to install multiple projectors simultaneously. This is perfect for use in the classroom or in churches or conference rooms when you need to have multiple video sources. You’ll also get both horizontal and vertical keystone correction, corner adjustability, and optical zoom to create the most square picture possible. We also recommend the best 4k projector that features an awesome 1000,000:1 contrast ratio which keeps bright screens clear and dark screens detailed.
Award: BEST UST
WHY WE LIKE IT: This projector offers the best in short throw technology, only needing 4 inches to create screen sizes up to 60 inches and 15 inches for screen sizes up to 100 inches. Plus, with CineBeam and TruMotion technology, you’ll get an extra-smooth, detailed, and colorful image quality.
The LG HF65LA UST projector is lightweight, compact, and incredibly versatile. It only needs mere inches between it and the display screen to create a large, beautiful picture. Plus, its lightweight design makes it incredibly portable so you can take it with you nearly anywhere, just as you’ll see in our ASUS Zenbeam E1 review. The LG short throw projector features an LED illumination system that lasts much longer than other conventional lamp setups and requires less maintenance, too. However, it is unfortunately much less bright than other options. At 1,000 lumens of lamp brightness, the LG HF65LA is really only good for use in dark rooms. However, it still does perform excellently in those lighting situations.
The LG produces a stellar display with a high level of detail and accurate, vivid colors. This is due to two proprietary LG technologies: CineBeam and TruMotion. They work together to create a detailed full HD picture with smooth motion handling. Sports and other high-action scenes look great on this projector. We were also impressed to find that the LG projector also features wireless connectivity. You can connect to smartphones and laptops to screencast content and use Bluetooth to connect to external speakers for an even more immersive audio experience. This model will even work better with the best projector screen that has the vinyl screen material that makes your colors shine in ways you never thought possible.
Award: BEST FULL HD RESOLUTION
WHY WE LIKE IT: This simple short throw projector offers amazing full HD quality with accurate colors and a lamp bright enough for most applications. Plus, it’s incredibly easy to use and can play content in 3D, if that’s something you’re looking for.
The BenQ W1080ST is a fairly unassuming and simply short throw projector. It doesn’t include a ton of cutting-edge technology or features but instead focuses on producing high-quality images in 1080p native resolution. This is a cheap short throw projector that doesn’t sacrifice quality for the sake of packing it full of new functionality. The 1080p resolution produces crisp, detailed, and colorful images, and you even get a fast response time for casual gaming needs. We were also surprised by its 3D compatibility, although with a 144Hz 3D refresh rate, you’ll need to hunt more carefully for compatible 3D glasses.
The BenQ doesn’t feature a flashy design, but it’s built well with a durable casing and easy-to-press buttons. The overall user interface is simple and easy to use, even when you need to adjust picture settings, which tend to be the most confusing thing to change. You get plenty of connectivity ports, including HDMI and VGA, along with older component ports. All in all, if you need reliable full HD quality in a short-throw projector at a lower price, you can’t go wrong with the BenQ W1080ST. For other cheap and affordable models, check out the best projectors under $1000. Alternatively, if you need a top-rated long-throw projector, we have a list for that, too.
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Award: TOP PICK
WHY WE LIKE IT: This premium projector offers a short throw configuration and a truly amazing picture quality due to its 4K resolution and high native contrast ratio. It also features premium Harman Kardon speakers built into the projector itself for a fully immersive experience.
The Vava 4K short throw projector saunters easily into our top pick spot because of the sheer number of cutting-edge functions and features it provides. For starters, as a top short throw projector, 4K resolution is a must for the Vava. It can project your movies and other entertainment up to 120 inches in screen size with a native 4K resolution that looks really great. Plus, with HDR10 support, all of those crisp details will also be in beautiful, accurate color. The best part about the Vava 4K projector is the native 3,000:1 contrast ratio, which is better than the projectors you can find in movie theaters. With this feature, you’ll get incredibly dark blacks and reliable uniformity in dark scenes. This projector would be the best projector for a classroom with such a high contrast ratio.
We were also impressed by Vava’s overall design quality. It features a simple, sleek design that won’t get in the way of your movie-watching experience. Plus, with its short throw configuration, you only need mere inches between the projector and the screen to generate large images. The Vava features an integrated Harman Kardon soundbar to give you an immersive audio experience without needing an external sound system. Remember that the Vava’s internal cooling fan can get a little loud in bright settings, but the Harman Kardon speakers help cover that noise. If alongside a hobby like movies, you’re interested in using a projector for art purposes, you can also check out the best projector for artists.
As we started our research, we had to first decide whether to include short-throw projectors or UST projectors, in our ranking. While all UST projectors fit into the short throw category, not all short throw options fall into the UST category. However, we have also reviewed short throw projectors in a different buying guide, and you can find a more comprehensive list of those options there.
Next, we focused our efforts on finding the best image quality that short-throw projectors have to offer. We restricted our rankings to options with full HD resolution but awarded bonus points to products that provided 4K ultra HD resolution. We also preferred projectors with HDR support for accurate and vivid colors. We ranked projectors higher if they included special lens technology or software to further increase color accuracy and brightness.
Finally, we considered overall build quality, connectivity options, and user-friendliness in the top short-throw projectors we identified. We only included projectors if they were built well and lasted a long time with continuous use. We preferred models that allowed you to customize your viewing experience both in software adjustments and physical positioning options. The best short throw projectors also offer plenty of input ports so you can connect to a variety of different video and gaming sources.