Formovie’s Best Short Throw Projector List for 2023
When it’s time to host your friends, family, and acquaintances for the biggest sports game of the season or the finale of your favorite series, a standard smart TV just doesn’t cut it. Honestly, projectors can be considered the backbone of every successful sports bar and movie theater in the world, and it makes sense for the best projectors to cost a limb or two.
Traditionally, long-throw projectors were the machine of choice for hosts who planned on giving their guests the best on-screen entertainment, however, that option was only available to those who had enough room to achieve the perfect display.
In more recent years, the space between the screen and the projector has gotten increasingly smaller thanks to the advancement of short-throw and ultra-short-throw (UST) technology, with the latter still being reserved for the select group of people who can afford it. This blog explores the projectors that dwell in the gray area between long-throw and ultra-short-throw projectors. The perfect way to get a 100-inch screen in your standard-size living room without compromising quality for the price.
Formovie has put together a list of the best short-throw projectors for you to consider in 2023 and going into the new year, and this blog will help you decide which is the best option for you. But first, let’s dive a little deeper into the specifics and the pros and cons of short-throw projection.
What Is a Short-Throw Projector?
A blog on Projectorpoint explains that the throw ratio simply describes how far a projector needs to be placed from the screen to achieve a large display. A long throw projector displays the best images from a long distance, while a short throw projector would require a shorter distance to achieve the same size display.
With a throw ratio of between 1.2:1 and 0.35:1, a short throw projector can cast a 100-inch image from just 2.64 - 0.77 meters away respectively. Additionally, short-throw projectors tend to be much smaller than their counterparts, making them portable and convenient enough to use in a smaller space like the living room or bedroom. This is achieved with the use of a larger lens, and a combination of mirrors and processors that help bring the image into focus a few feet away from the screen.
- A short throw allows you to save space by projecting from a short distance. A throw ratio of 0.4 gives you a 48-inch screen just 19 inches from the projection surface. You can calculate a projector’s installation distance using the throw ratio and the screen size.
- By placing the projector closer to the screen you can avoid disruptive shadows when viewers move around or get up making these the ultimate option for classrooms, office board rooms, and home theaters.
- The use of a tripod or simply placing it on the ground gives you more installation options as opposed to being permanently mounted to the ceiling or the TV stand.
- The portable build of these projectors allows you to maintain a clean and uncluttered room, and they can be packed away when not in use.
- Short-throw projectors warp images to project them at specific angles and an uneven projection surface can lead to image warping, so a flat and steady surface is essential.
- Extra processing power is needed to convert rectangular images into trapezoids for the perfect projection angle. This process can cause short-throw projectors to generate more heat than regular projectors.
- To manage the excess heat, short-throw projectors have internal fans. These fans activate automatically to cool the unit, but they can produce a disruptive noise.
- Choosing a suitable projection surface is crucial for minimizing image distortion and enhancing image quality. While ambient light-rejecting (ALR) screens are best suited for UST projectors, they do an excellent job of enhancing the picture quality for other types of projectors. The ALR screen will, however, make using your short throw projector more expensive.
Formovie’s List of the Best Short Throw Projectors to Consider in 2023
Now that we have a better understanding of what makes these projectors unique and suited for home theater entertainment, we’ve reached the juicy part. It’s time to discover the handful of short-throw and portable projectors that we think you should keep your eyes on if you’re looking for an immersive display that won’t break the bank.
The AAXA P400 Mini HD Projector is a versatile and compact powerhouse that boasts native 1080P (1920x1080) resolution and can operate on both battery and DC power. The host of Seen Through a Lense, Dave Samuel, says that this is probably the best mini projector he has ever reviewed, highlighting its ability to be taken anywhere.
It combines premium short-throw optics paired with a high-performance LCOS imager to set it apart from other projectors in its class. LCOS technology has been used in theaters for decades because it ensures outstanding picture quality, and consistency, and eliminates focus issues commonly found in low-cost projectors.
Equipped with a 39-watt lithium-ion battery, the P400 delivers a bright 400 Lumens for up to 90 minutes, making it one of the brightest battery-powered 1080P projectors available. This mini powerhouse utilizes a solid-state LED light source by Luminus, offering durability, a 30,000-hour lifespan, and vibrant colors for a superior viewing experience. The projector includes an onboard media player that supports direct playback of videos, images, and music from a USB stick or micro TF card. It's HDMI compatible and features a 3.5mm headphone port. This allows you to connect a suitable sound system to make up for the lack of good built-in speakers.
It has a 5-star user rating on Best Buy, with one customer stating that it was a lot better than they had anticipated. With a retail price of just $269, the AAXA P400 Mini HD Projector offers an exceptional, all-in-one entertainment experience in a compact package.
The Formovie Dice was reviewed on the JohnnyCanal YouTube channel early this year, and it was described as the best portable projector so far. It combines convenience, stunning visuals, and sound to elevate your entertainment experiences. With native 1080p resolution, a 16000mAh built-in battery, and 700 ANSI lumens of brightness, this projector is perfect for movie nights in a dark room, on camping trips, or at a friend’s pool party.
The Formovie Dice has an adjustable screen size, allowing you to adjust it to a 200-inch big screen. Whether you're watching an action-packed blockbuster or sharing a heartwarming family film, this portable short-throw projector can provide an immersive viewing experience.
A unique feature of the Formovie Dice is its DTS and Dolby-certified sound system that delivers immersive, high-quality audio, reducing the need for additional plugins or speakers. According to GSM Arena, it’s a sound system that deserves plenty of praise, boasting a rich sound that fills the room. Setting up your home theater will be a breeze, requiring minimal effort and ensuring that you and your companions can focus on the entertainment without worrying about complex configurations.
Additionally, the Formovie Dice comes equipped with certified Android TV 9.0, providing you with a wide range of onboard viewing options. It can access your favorite streaming services and apps directly from the projector, making it a versatile entertainment hub.
With a throw ratio of 1.23:1, the Xming Q3MAX just misses the criteria for being categorized as a true short-throw projector, but it’s a stunning portable projector that deserves a mention. Offering a remarkable Full HD resolution, this projector ensures every detail on the screen comes to life with astonishing clarity.
Unlike most 1080p projectors, the Xming Q3MAX has a certified brightness level of 600 CVIA (China Video Industry Association) lumens. With this level of brightness, the Xming Q3MAX transforms your living room into a cinematic paradise, providing an exceptional viewing experience from early evening till late into the night. The projector also boasts an impressive 2500:1 contrast ratio, providing a rich color gamut and sharpening the resolution for a truly immersive visual feast.
A feature that makes this projector stand out, according to iGeekPhone.com, is the built-in MEMC. Sports enthusiasts and action movie lovers will be pleased with the built-in Motion Estimation and Motion Compensation (MEMC) technology which renders smooth frame transitions even during fast-paced action scenes.
It also has multiple wireless and wired connection options, which makes accessing your favorite content a breeze. Enjoy direct streaming from popular platforms via the built-in Wi-Fi connection, or connect external media sources effortlessly through the HDMI 2.1 port, USB 3.0 port, DC port, or Bluetooth connection.
For the complete entertainment experience, the Xming Q3MAX is equipped with two powerful 8W speakers that ensure that every sound detail matches the stunning visuals. It's worth noting that the Xming Q3MAX does not have a built-in battery and requires a constant power source for operation.
Short Throw May Just Be the Way to Go
When it comes to transforming your living room into a cinematic paradise, short-throw projectors are the light and the way. They offer a perfect blend of convenience, versatility, and stunning visuals without the need for a dedicated home theater space. As we've explored in this blog, short-throw projectors have several advantages, including space-saving benefits, flexibility in installation, and mobility.
However, they do come with a few drawbacks, such as the need for a flat and steady projection surface, the generation of extra heat, and the presence of internal fans that can produce some noise. Additionally, the choice of a suitable projection screen is crucial for minimizing image distortion and enhancing overall image quality.
For those of you considering a short-throw projector for your home entertainment needs, we've presented Formovie's top picks for 2023. Each of these projectors has its unique strengths and caters to different needs and budgets. Your choice will ultimately depend on your specific requirements and preferences. Here’s a quick recap:
AAXA P400 Mini HD Projector: This compact powerhouse offers native 1080p resolution, a long-lasting lithium-ion battery, and premium LCOS technology for outstanding picture quality. With a retail price of just $269, it's an exceptional all-in-one entertainment solution that's both portable and versatile.
Formovie Dice: This projector offers convenience, stunning visuals, a built-in battery, and impressive brightness. Its DTS and Dolby-certified sound system provides immersive sound, minimizing the need for external speakers. Plus it has Android TV 9.0 to minimize the need for external connections.
Xming Q3MAX: It may not be a true short-throw projector, but the Xming Q3MAX offers remarkable resolution, high brightness, and impressive contrast. Its MEMC technology ensures smooth frame transitions, making it an excellent choice for sports and action movie enthusiasts. It offers multiple connection options but requires a constant power source for operation.
Short-throw projectors have come a long way in bridging the gap between traditional long-throw projectors and ultra-short-throw options, making them a fantastic choice for anyone looking to create a captivating home entertainment experience without sacrificing space or quality. So, whether it's a movie night with friends, an epic sports game, or simply enjoying your favorite series, these short-throw projectors are sure to elevate your viewing experience in 2023 and beyond. Happy projecting!