Top 10 Best Projectors Under 500 in 2022

Best Projectors Under 500

Nowadays, the era of the standard display is gone; people now want to immerse themselves on large screens. And what is the better way to do it than to opt for a projector that not only offers a large screen to enjoy your movies and games but also offers great flexibility.

But as a new buyer, you might think that you will have to spend a considerable amount of money to own a good quality projector. Thankfully, you won’t have to as you can easily get the best projector under 500 dollars. Confused? Well, don’t be, as we have found some top projectors under $500 that will meet your need for a big screen while delivering an astounding image quality.

Without further ado, let’s delve deep into all the products we have found out for you. All the products are carefully selected after stringent evaluation, and they won’t disappoint you in any way.

Best Projector under $500 : Our Top Picks

Best All-Around

ViewSonic PA503W

ViewSonic PA503W

  • Resolution: SVGA (800x600)

  • Connectivity: USB, 3.5mm Audio, HDMI, VGA

  • Lamp Life: 15,000 hours



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Runner Up

Optoma HD146X

Optoma HD146X

  • Resolution: 1080p (1920×1080)

  • Connectivity: USB, HDMI, 3.5mm Audio

  • Lamp Life: 15,000 hours



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Epson VS250

Epson VS250

  • Resolution: SVGA (800 x 600)

  • Connectivity: HDMI; Lamp Life: 15,000 hours

  • Brightness: 3,200 lumens



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BenQ TH585

BenQ TH585

  • Resolution: 1080p; Display: DLP

  • Connectivity: HDMI; Lamp Life: 15,000 hours

  • Brightness: 3500 Lumens



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XGIMI MoGo Pro

XGIMI MoGo Pro

  • Resolution: 1080p; Display: LED

  • Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.0, HDMI, USB 3.0

  • Brightness: 300 Lumens



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WiMiUS Upgrade Q1

WiMiUS Upgrade Q1

  • Resolution: 1080p; Display: DLP

  • Connectivity: Bluetooth; Contrast Ratio: 15000:1

  • Operating System: Android



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Anker NEBULA Capsule

Anker NEBULA Capsule

  • Resolution: 720p; Display: DLP

  • Connectivity: HDMI,USB,Bluetooth,Wi-Fi,Mirroring

  • Brightness: 200 ANSI Lumen



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Anker Nebula Solar

Anker Nebula Solar

  • Resolution: 1080p; Display: DLP

  • Connectivity: Bluetooth, USB, USB Type C, HDMI

  • Brightness: 400 ANSI Lumen



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InFocus IN116xv

InFocus IN116xv

  • Resolution: 1080p; Display: DLP

  • Connectivity: HDMI; Brightness: 3500 lumen

  • Lamp lifetime: 15,000 hours



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ZCGIOBN wifi Projector

ZCGIOBN wifi Projector

  • Resolution: 1080p; Display: LED

  • Connectivity: HDMI; Brightness: 8000 lumen

  • Lamp lifetime: 50,000 hours



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The 10 Best Projectors under $500 of 2022

1. ViewSonic PA503W 3800 Lumens Projector

ViewSonic PA503W 3800 Lumens ProjectorViewSonic PA503W is probably the inevitable choice when it comes to getting the best projector under $500, and there are many reasons behind it. The blend of Amazing color accuracy and WXGA native resolution creates a great output that is suitable for both home and office usage.

However, it is the super high 3800 Lumens brightness that takes care of clarity and vibrance as it helps the projector to counter any ambient light coming in its way. While watching fast-paced scenes in movies, you won’t get those ugly jitters, and the credit goes to the 16ms ultra-low latency that ensures smooth frame-by-frame action.

You will be surprised to know that it also comes with a heavy-duty lamp and it has the capability to last up to 15000 hours. The 3D Blu-ray-ready HDMI input makes things easier for you as it lets you project 3D movies without any degradation.

Loaded with ports VGA, HDMI, RS232, USB, Video in & out, and audio in & out, you will have all the required connection facilities for hooking an external device. The 2-Watt internal speaker is quite a poor one, and if you want to have a great audio experience, you will need to connect an external speaker system.

Pros

  • The images are really bright and clear.
  • It comes with all the standard ports.
  • Ensures smooth operations.

Cons

  • The options for adjustment are not that great.
  • The overall color output is not that impressive.
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2. Optoma HD146X High Performance Projector

Optoma HD146X High Performance ProjectorUndoubtedly Optoma HD146X is a high performance projector that would turn your room into a small movie theater. The native 1080p resolution with home cinema color calibration serves as the main highlighting point of this device which allows it to deliver stunning images.

Another reason behind its incredible picture quality is its 25000:1 contrast that not only takes care of its clarity but also ensures the required richness. The 3600 lumens of brightness creates an excellent image output which makes sure you can enjoy movies without worrying about ambient light.

The installation process is really easy, and it is due to the 1.1X zoom along with a 40-degree vertical keystone that assists you in getting the perfect setup. The 15000 hours of lamp life is really impressive, and it depicts that you won’t have to change the lamp for years even if you use it on a daily basis.

It can project up to 120inch images from 13-14ft away, meaning you won’t need a large space to set up a big screen. With HDMI, 3D support HDMI, USB A, and an audio port, you can easily connect all the latest devices without any issue. The automatic power on/off feature with HDMI-CEC technology makes the user experience much more impressive. You can enjoy true 3D content once you get this device, and it has the capability to play 3D content with a 120Hz refresh rate.

Pros

  • Incredible image quality with great contrast.
  • It plays full HD 3D visuals with ease.
  • The input lag is quite minimal.
  • You can set it up in any ambient light condition.

Cons

  • It doesn’t come with an image shift facility.
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3. Epson VS250 SVGA 3,200 Lumens Projector

Epson VS250 SVGA 3,200 Lumens ProjectorEpson VS250 is an incredible piece of device and many experts to new buyers who are out on the market looking for top projectors under $500. Whether you want to use the projector within the house or in your backyard, the 30-300inch screen size with a 1.45:1 throw distance will assist you in setting it up anywhere you want.

In terms of connectivity, you will have all the standard ports you need starting from HDMI, D-Sub to USB, RCA, and audio. The visual quality is equally amazing as it utilizes 3LCD technology along with 800 X 600 native resolution. The 3200 lumens of brightness make the real magic and assist you to watch movies on a large screen with a clear and bright view.

It has the capability to reproduce color up to 1.07 billion and produce contrast up to 15000:1, so you can expect a rich and sharp output in every frame. During the projection setup, if you face any issue, you can utilize the digital zoom, 30-degree keystone, and focus on ensuring a clear view. At this price point, the 10,000 hours of lamp life is quite decent, and we think it can last up to a minimum of five years.

Pros

  • The build quality is really impressive.
  • Automatic vertical keystone facility.
  • The image output is bright and rich.
  • The fan operates quietly.

Cons

  • The package only offers one VGA cable.
  • It lacks the full HD native resolution like its competitors.
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4. BenQ TH585 1080p Home Entertainment Projector

BenQ TH585 1080p Home Entertainment ProjectorIf you are in search of the best 1080p projector under 500 dollars, then don’t look anywhere else and check out BenQ TH585. When you watch a movie or play a game, the hyper-realistic visual output will leave you in awe, and it has been possible because of the full HD native resolution.

What’s more? It has the prowess to produce a 16ms response so that you can smooth gameplay and stutter-free visuals while watching action movies. The 3500 ANSI lumens and 10000:1 contrast ratio play an important role in helping the projector to create a mesmerizing visual output.

We bet if you plan to use it in your room, you won’t need any external speaker as its 10-watt speakers deliver room-filling audio. The CinematicColor technology takes the whole image output to a new level and brings out subtle colors that you won’t see on normal screens.

The industry-leading 3-years warranty is a big boon to the buyers as it gives them peace of mind once they buy the projector. Once you get the projector, the 15000 hours of lamp longevity won’t let you change the lamp for at least a decade. Ranging from HDMI, MHL, PC-In to RS232 IN, Monitor out, and USB Type A, you won’t feel any limitations while using the projector.

Pros

  • The color accuracy and contrast are simply unbelievable.
  • The image brightness is impressive at this price.
  • It supports 3D content at full HD resolution.
  • Also designed specifically for gamers.

Cons

  • It doesn’t come with HDR support.
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5. XGIMI MoGo Pro Portable Projector

XGIMI MoGo Pro Portable ProjectorSearching for the best HD projector under 500 dollars? And that too with portable facilities? XGMI MoGo Pro projector perfectly fills that spot not only looks compact but also comes with a lightweight body.

What’s more fascinating about this device is its 10400mAh battery that can offer 2-3hrs power back when you take it out during camping. Connecting other devices to this projector is a simple affair, and the credit goes to the HDMI, USB, Audio, Wifi, and Bluetooth 5.0. Besides, you can also utilize the Android 9.0 platform and play content from Prime, Hulu, HBO Max, YouTube, etc.

However, it is the 300 ANSI lumens and full HD native resolution that takes all the limelight as they are ones responsible for showcasing a mind-boggling visual output. It also holds the capability to play full HD 3D content, and that too without any degradation.

We also liked its 1.2:1 throw ratio as it doesn’t require you to maintain a great gap from the screen to achieve a large image size. Even though it is subjective, the two 3-watt speakers do a great job and put out a good audio performance. Moreover, the setup isn’t an issue with its 40-degree keystone correction and zoom facility, as they allow you to change any error with ease.

Pros

  • The image quality is simply impressive.
  • The Android platform works smoothly.
  • Great form factor with lightweight design.

Cons

  • It is a tad bit more expensive than its competitors.
  • Doesn’t come with the USB 2.0 type port.
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6. WiMiUS Upgrade Q1 Brightest Mini Android Projector

WiMiUS Upgrade Q1 Brightest Mini Android ProjectorAnother popular choice when it comes to portable movie projectors is WiMiUS Q1, offering loads of modern features along with great portability. The native 1080p resolution capability with 4K compatibility makes it a great choice for people who are looking to invest in the best 4K projector under 500 dollars.

The quality and clarity it has on offer are simply mind-boggling, and it is simply due to the high lumens count with rich color detail. The pocket-size structure is the most attractive part of this device, and you can easily carry it in your backpack. From HBO and Netflix to Hulu and Prime, you can access a lot of OTT content wherever you go.

Besides wifi, you will also get HDMI, USB, and audio ports for connecting other devices. The 6D keystone correction and autofocus function work like magic, and you can easily set up the projector or correct any error with ease.

With this device, you won’t need a large area for setup because the 1.2:1 throw ratio ensures a large display from a small distance. While watching, you won’t get annoyed by any noise because the fan works quietly and keeps the overheating issue at bay. Although it gets a dual Hi-Fi stereo speaker, the audio quality won’t satisfy and will require you to connect an external speaker.

Pros

  • Great body design with a lightweight body.
  • Loaded with both wired and wireless connections.
  • Holds the capability to play 4K contents.

Cons

  • Poor plastic build quality.
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7. Anker NEBULA Capsule Max wifi Mini Projector

Anker NEBULA Capsule Max wifi Mini ProjectorAnker Nebula Capsule Max has always been a popular option in the best HD projector under 500 dollars category, and people mostly buy it due to the blend of performance and portability. The unique “soda can” size design with onboard control on the top makes it extremely easy to use and carry wherever you want.

It might look small, but with cutting-edge DLP technology and 720p native resolution, the projector showcases some impressive visual output. The 200 ANSI lumens do a good job, while the 1-second autofocus makes sure you are treated with a quick focus adjustment during the setup process.

The auto keystone stone correction also made the projection correction process smoother and made sure you had a quicker setup. We also love the fact that it projects around a 100inch image on the screen from just 2.94m which is great for a portable unit at this price point. A major highlight of this device is durability and its 30,000 hours of lamp life gives you peace of mind for decades.

You will be surprised to know that the device also comes loaded with Android 8.0 OS and powerful hardware so that you can also explore the world of OTT content. Nebula has also put out the option of remote connectivity through its app so that you have complete control from a distance.

Pros

  • The built quality and portability are commendable.
  • The battery life is quite sufficient for outdoor usage.
  • You will be pleased with the image quality.

Cons

  • It lacks brightness like its competitors.
  • You won’t find any Google Play store.
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8. Anker Nebula Solar Portable 1080p Projector

Anker Nebula Solar Portable 1080p ProjectorAnother great addition to this list of best home projectors under 500 dollars is the Anker Nebula Solar projector, and it has all the features you need for a portable unit. Packing 1080p native resolution and HDR10 capability, you can expect a jaw-dropping visual experience wherever you take it.

The 400 ANSI lumens of brightness may seem slightly low for a portable projector, but according to many users’ reports, it does a good job of delivering bright images in any light condition. The award-winning design of this projector with a lightweight body makes it easy for everyone to carry it around wherever they want.

Plus, it also gets a heavy-duty battery that, on a single charge, can assist you to use the projector for a maximum of three hours. It is tailored made for entertainment because it comes with Android 9.0 OS and a lot of OTT apps to help you dive deep into OTT content. Whenever you set up the projector, you can expect a perfect image output, and the praise partly goes to the quadrilateral keystoning that ensures a properly angled image output.

You shouldn’t underestimate the product based on its size because it can easily project up to 120inches. For connectivity, you will get all the standard options which include wifi, HDMI, USB, Bluetooth, audio, and Chromecast.

Pros

  • Comes with the option of both wired and wireless connections.
  • The image output is outstanding.
  • It can autofocus quickly.
  • The battery offers a good power backup.

Cons

  • The color output isn’t good and lacks accuracy.
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9. InFocus IN116xv DLP WXGA 3800 Lumens Projector

InFocus IN116xv DLP WXGA 3800 Lumens ProjectorWhen you take a look at InFocus IN116xv, it might seem like a widely popular projector, but once you start using it, you won’t look anywhere else. It is a large projector that does not get large cooling vents but also houses a fair amount of ports which include HDMI, S-Video, VGA, composite video, and audio.

Apart from entertainment, it also comes highly useful for presentation, and the presence of AV Mute, test patterns, image shift, etc serves as the proof. The projector features native WXGA resolution and 16000:1 contrast ratio, and together it makes sure you are treated with an excellent viewing experience.

Whether you use it on the inside or outside of your house, the 3400 lumens won’t ever let you experience dim or poor visuals. Enjoy vivid and sharp colors with its Brilliant Color Technology that pops out all the colors on the screen. Although it might look big, in reality it is quite lightweight and has a good form factor that makes it easy to carry around.

It even supports 3D projection, so you can easily connect the projector to a Blu-Ray player or PC for the video source. It has a maximum projection distance of 12mm, which we think is more than sufficient for indoor and outdoor usage. The 1.95:1 throw ratio is a major downside of this device.

Pros

  • The projector offers a brilliant image quality.
  • Offers all the standard connectivities.
  • Simple installation process.

Cons

  • Poor audio output.
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10. ZCGIOBN Full HD wifi Bluetooth Projector

ZCGIOBN Full HD wifi Bluetooth ProjectorZCGIOBN full HD Bluetooth projector may not serve as a conventional choice for people searching for the best home theater projector under 500 dollars. But believe us, it is an incredible device with full HD native resolution and 8000 lumens to cater to visual requirements needs.

The blend of 6500K standard color and 10000:1 contrast takes the whole output to a new level and makes sure the projector reproduces the full HD contents properly. It is designed to give you a big-screen visual experience, and that is why it comes with a 61-200inch screen along with a throw distance of 6.23-20ft.

However, the feature that impressed us the most is two 15-watt speakers with a digital amplifier chip, which produces an outstanding audio output. Starting from HDMI, VGA, AV to USB and audio, you will find all the basic connection facilities. On top of that, it also features dual-band wifi and Bluetooth connection to treat you with wireless capability.

Correcting any image error with this device is straightforward as it is supported with 4D automatic keystone correction along with digital zoom. It also comes loaded with an Android platform which will not only allow you to play content from various apps but also play games on a large screen.

Pros

  • The audio quality is really impressive.
  • Simple setup and image correction option.
  • Comes with an incredible lamp life.

Cons

  • The overall color quality could have been better.
  • The cooling isn’t great.
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So before we end our guide, we want you to check out some of the important information that will help you in the process of buying the best digital projector under $500. Not only have we added the buying guide, but we also have some crucial FAQs that will clear some of the common doubts that many buyers face while getting themselves a projector.

How to Choose the Best Projector under 500 Dollars

If you are planning to purchase the top projector under 500 dollars that will cater to entertainment needs or professional needs, then you need to consider certain aspects. So let’s check out those aspects, and it will guide you to choose the ideal projector that will give you the best experience;

Projector Type

Whether you are getting a projector under $500 or $1000, the first thing you will have to take into account is the projector type. Under the 500-dollar range, the finest option for projector types you will get is DLP and LCD. DLP serves as the popular choice among the two, and it is mostly because of the sharp image quality and impressive brightness it has on offer.

Moreover, the 3D output and fast motion visuals are really impressive on a DLP projector in comparison to its LCD counterparts. However, the major drawback of owning this type is the poor color rendering and occasional rainbow effect that often occurs while you are enjoying the view.

When it comes to choosing an LCD projector type, you can stay assured you will get proper brightness and excellent color rendering, especially when showcasing any presentation. Although LCD type is largely found in the office or multipurpose projector, they won’t disappoint when it comes to entertainment.

Brightness

Once you have considered the projector type, it is time to check the brightness it has on offer. However, you should always remember brighter is not always the better, and you will have to find the right brightness range that will meet your needs. If you go for a highly bright projector, it will not only be hard for you to watch the screen, but you will also get a headache.

The brightness mostly depends upon the location and your need. For an entertainment setup in a dark room with little intrusion, a 1000 ANSI lumens projector is quite sufficient.

However, if you plan to set up the projector in an open area or room with a lot of light intrusions, then it would be best to go for more than 3000 ANSI lumens. For a large presentation setup where you will need to keep the lights on, you should opt for a device offering 4000+ ANSI lumens.

Resolution

Resolution plays an important role when it comes to choosing a projector as it will determine the visual experience you will get. According to the general thumb rule, the better resolution of the projector, the better visual quality it will deliver. When you want a movie theater visual experience at home or want to offer the best visual quality during a presentation, you should go for high-resolution devices offering 4K or full HD.

However, you can also go for HD native resolution, but you won’t have images like full HD or 4K. It would also be a great idea to choose a projector that can deliver a large stack of fixed resolutions so that you can play all types of content without any issue.

Contrast and Color

Contrast and color can’t go unnoticed as they are the ones who play a crucial role in the image quality of the projector. The contrast generally depicts the difference between the dark and white portion of an image, so the higher the contrast, the better the picture quality will be.

On the other hand, color, as the name suggests, determines the color saturation level of the projector. Always look for higher color accuracy because it will help the projector to produce better color output when playing high-end content. Another thing you should remember is that the projector must have an array of choices for contrast so you can achieve the preferred image quality you want.

Screen Size

In general, most of the projectors under the $500 range offer widescreen size options. A 30-200 inch screen size array is the usual choice you will get with most of the projectors, and it is more sufficient for both entertainment and official usage.

However, this factor largely depends upon your requirement and the place where you will set up the device. You can’t simply opt for a projector having a maximum of 300inch screens and then try to go for a 300inch view in a small room. Moreover, the distance from the screen will also come into question, so you should be careful with the screen size.

Lamp Longevity

The lamp of the projector is one of the most important pieces of hardware in the device as it is the one that helps in showcasing images. Not only is it tricky to replace, but the replacement cost is quite high. So it is better that you should get a projector offering long bulb life and help you cut down the cost of ownership. A 10000 hour of lamp life would be a good choice in this price range, and the higher, the better.

What can you expect from a projector under $500?

When you are spending your hard-earned money on a projector, you will surely grow some expectations. So here are some highlight pointers that you can expect from a projector quoted under the price range of $500.

Excellent Image Quality

An excellent image quality is the most obvious thing that you can expect from a projector at this price range. A large number of projectors in this range come with a full HD native resolution, meaning you won’t have to compromise on the quality. Although you might not get 4K as a native resolution, you will come across models offering resolution support up to 4K.

Appropriate Brightness and Color

The under $500 range serves as a sweet spot as you can easily own a projector offering a great brightness and color. Whether you want to use the projector at the home, office, or outdoors you will find a projector with the appropriate amount of brightness to deliver clear and sharp images. The color accuracy you will get in top quality projector in this price range is really high, and they would always excite you with their realistic color output.

Wide Range of Connectivity Options

When it comes to connectivity options, you will have an abundance. You will come across some projectors offering both wired and wireless connectivity to meet your connectivity requirement. Even if you get wired options in your projector, you will have varied types of ports which will allow you to connect both old and new generation devices.

Portability

If you have a requirement for a portable projector, then you will easily find one of those and that too without compromising on the image. There are some high-quality portable units that look cool and also pack some serious hardware.

Decent Amount of Bulb Longevity

You shouldn’t expect a high amount of bulb longevity from all the projectors. You will come across only some projectors that will offer you a lamp life of more than 30,000 hours. However, most of the models will get bulb longevity between the range of 10,000 and 20,000hours which we think is more than sufficient for usage in home and office.

Projectors Under $500 FAQs

Question: Does high resolution play an important role?

Answer: A high resolution in a projector plays an important role in determining image output on the big screen. When you get a high resolution projector, you not only get to play high-resolution content but also get a terrific image output in any screen size. The color clarity and brightness in these types of projectors are really impressive, and you will feel like having a theater-like experience in your home comfort.

Question: What is the right brightness level for a home projector?

Answer: When buying a projector for home entertainment or office tasks, you shouldn’t go for a very high brightness level unless you plan to place it mostly in an outdoor location. You should also take into consideration the place where you set up the projector and at what time of the day you will be using it.

In normal circumstances with minimal light intrusion in the room, a 1000 ANSI lumens is quite sufficient for a bright output. However, if your room has a lot of big windows with light peeping from outside, then you should look for a projector offering 1500-2000 ANSI lumens.

Question: Should you expect a 4K native resolution projector under $500?

Answer: Well, there are no projectors offering real 4K native resolution under the 500 dollars price range. If you want to go for a 4K projector, then you will have to go beyond the 500 dollar range as there are manufacturers who can offer 4K in such a price range. However, you will find some projectors that will offer 4K resolution support, but they don’t provide true native 4K resolution. They will have the capability to play 4K content but not in their truest sense.

Question: Can you use 3D glasses for watching movies on your projector?

Answer: Yes, you can use 3D glasses for watching movies on your projector as long as your device supports 3D projection. If your projector supports a 3D projector, then you will only need 3D glasses to view immersive 3D visuals on the big screen. DLP projector serves as the best choice for 3D projection in this price range.

Question: Are 500 lumens suitable for a projector?

Answer: Well, it depends, but in most scenarios, a 500 lumens projector is not suitable for a great viewing experience. According to research and SMPTE, a 100inch projection screen in a controlled dark environment would only be 350 lumens for a clear view. However, in a real-life scenario, you won’t get a good clarity and brightness with 500 lumens. So it would be better to go for a minimum of 1000 lumens when you want to enjoy a clear view with a good amount of brightness.

Question: What do you mean by the throw distance of a projector?

Answer: The throw distance of a projector basically describes the distance between the lens and screen where it will project the image. The throw distance varies from projector to projector, and you need to go for throw distance according to your setup space. The throw distance is denoted chiefly in terms of ratio, and the higher the ratio greater the throw distance. 1.5:1 is the standard throw distance, whereas 0.3-0.8:1 is considered as the short throw distance.

Final Verdict

The guide for the best projector under 500 dollars has been carefully formulated, and we hope it has been able to help you in finding the right model. After weeks of research, we found this product to be the best in the market at this price, and that is why we brought it up to you.

To make things easier for you, we have also come up with some important topics that will properly guide you to the right model. If you need any further assistance, you can get in touch with us, and we will try to contact you as soon as possible.

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