The Sony PlayStation 5 is finally here, and there is no better way to show off your awesome new console than to connect its HDMI cable to a great new projector for all to see. There is much to consider when choosing the best product for the job, so we’ve done the research and present to our readers a comprehensive, in-depth look at the best PS5 projectors.
The Top-Rated PS5 Projectors
Top Pick: BenQ HT3550
A great all-around living room projector
The BenQ HT3550 is a great short-throw projector that hits all of the key notes for gamers in the market for a cinema experience. This device outputs in true 4K at 60Hz or 1080p at 120HZ and has a solid input lag of ~50ms that makes it a good choice for displaying you new PS5’s glorious graphics.
Speaking of graphics, the BenQ HT3550 is factory-calibrated color accurate for dci-p3 color space, with a contrast ratio of 30,000:1 and HDR Pro support to ensure you’re seeing exactly what game developers intend. The screen is rated at 2,000 ANSI lumens, which is more than enough to project a very bright image in pretty much any room at up to 100 inch big screen display size.
Top it all off with a reasonable price tag and BenQ’s industry-leading three-year warranty and we have a winner on our hands! There is only one real caveat to to our recommendation of the BenQ HT3550 – its bulb is only rated for 4000 hours lamp life, which is the equivalent of roughly three years of use averaging four hours per day. The bulb is not covered by the three year warranty, which is par for the course with projectors, and though it’s quite a bit cheaper to replace than most – it’s still something to keep in mind before making your purchase.
While this projector isn’t the absolute best dedicated gaming projector, it does so many things so well that it’s hard to pass up the opportunity to put one of these in your living room. If you’re looking for the best 4K PS5 projector for the money, you’ve found it here with the BenQ HT3550.
Runner-Up: Optoma GT5600
Ultra-short throw gaming goodness
The Optoma GT5600 is one of the best, most affordable ultra-short throw projectors on the market right now and luckily for us, it’s also one of the best gaming projectors for PS5. Ultra-short throw projectors are great for gamers who prefer not to sit by their projector or mount it from the ceiling and would prefer to simply place one of these little devices where on would typically expect to find a traditional TV. Ultra-short throw projectors also have the added benefit of keeping the heat and noise they generate much farther away from users.
The Optoma GT5600 can project a 100 inch screen size from just a few inches away at a massive brightness rating of 3,600 lumens. Thankfully, that brightness is contrasted at a ratio of 20,000:1 for great picture quality. While this one is sadly only capable of reproducing that image at 1080p, the game mode allows for a ultra-fast 144Hz refresh rate that exceeds even the PS5’s capabilities!
Best of all, the Optoma GT500 has an amazing input lag of only 16ms – quick enough for even the most hardcore gamers out there. The cherry on top here is the great bulb that’s rated for 15,000 hours of lamp life – that’s over a decade of use averaging four hours per day.
If you’re in it strictly for gaming, the Optoma GT5600 isn’t just a great projector – it’s arguably the best PS5 projector you can shoot directly onto your living room wall due to that crazy lumens rating!
Budget Pick: Epson Home Cinema 2040
A great choice for hardcore gamers
The Epson Home Cinema 2040 is another solid pick for PS5 gamers, and one that is actually better than the top pick in terms of pure gaming performance. While this one only offers 1080p resolution (4K is off the table) at 60Hz, it does so with only 25ms of input lag in gaming mode. This is especially impressive when you realize that this device can scale to massive screens of up to 300 inches!
You might be concerned that brightness will fall by the way side with such as massive projection, but the 2200 ANSI lumens rating of the Epson Home Cinema 2040 means that it will output an extremely bright image even in a well-lit room. The 35,000:1 contrast ratio ensures vivid images despite this unit’s lack of HDR support, and the 4,000 hour rated lamp life will keep you in the game for years to come.
While the Epson Home Cinema 2040 doesn’t hit the high watermark of some of the other projectors on this list, it makes up for it by being extremely affordable – making it the best budget projector that’s great for PS5 gamers.
Luxury Pick: Samsung Premiere LSP9T
A legendary display of power
The Samsung LSP9T is fantastic laser projector from one of the biggest names in display tech, and it doesn’t disappoint – and at roughly five times the price of our top pick, it has a lot of work to do in order to merit that price tag!
The Samsung LSP9T delivers on expectations by offering what is arguably the best home theater experience of any projector out there. This ultra-short throw projector displays a 4K UHD image at up to 130 inch screen size with a peak brightness of 2800 lumens. While the input lag is a bit on the high side at 55ms, you’ll probably be happy to forgive it as it is the only device on this list that can actually deliver 4K resolution at 120Hz for true next-gen gaming – a fair trade off if you ask us.
Laser projection image quality looks amazing whether you’re gaming, watching streaming apps or TV; thankfully, Samsung has included a full Smart TV system and thrown in Bixby for good measure. The LSP9T is also an HDR projector; in fact it is the first projector to receive HDR10+ certification – meaning dark scenes look great in bright rooms, for example.
While we can’t recommend this one to all of our readers due to the extremely high price tag, we think it is nonetheless a great deal for the money considering the high quality of every aspect of its design from its lens to its sound system and beyond. It is not an exaggeration to say that the Samsung Premiere LSP9T is one of the best projectors on the market today.
Best Portable Pick: Anker Nebula Capsule II
For gamers on the move
The Anker Nebula Capsule II is an awesome little award-winning mini projector that we think you might fall in love with. The Nebula Capsule II’s form factor looks a lot like a soda can, but it’s actually even smaller than one!
Let’s get the bad stuff out of the way first; this projector is not going to blow your mind with its gaming prowess. The Anker Nebula Capsule II outputs a meager 720p resolution image with a so-so input lag of 35ms and the brightness peaks at a paltry 200 ANSI lumens. Still here? Read-on!
If you move around a lot or play simpler games, the Anker Nebula Capsule II is a compelling alternative for many due to its highly portable design, ultra-long lamp life (rated for 20,000 hours) and ability to be charged and used at the same time via USB-C. That last bit means that you can power it with the PS5 itself, or even a Nintendo Switch!
What to Look for in a PS5 Projector
While this has always been an important consideration for gaming displays, it has never been more important than it is now. Due to the nature of projector displays, the time it takes for your button presses to make their way to a screen and back to your eye is longer than on monitors and television sets. Perhaps no feature is more coveted on a projector for gamers, and this is reflected in the price tags of products that meet this need.
While it’s hard to say precisely how much input lag constitutes “low input lag” in terms of projectors, we think it’s wise to consider what you’re used to and adjust your target accordingly. For example, if you’re a PC gamer with a low-latency monitor, you may well be used to gaming at 5ms input lag or even lower. Unfortunately if this applies to you, you’re going to have some adjusting to do as no projectors on the market are going to produce a high resolution image at this speed – but things are getting much better in that regard.
A reasonable compromise between price and input lag will be found in the neighborhood of 16-24ms, and we think this is a good target for most gamers; casual gamers – who aren’t playing online games wherein reaction times are paramount to enjoyment – or have been spoiled by high-spec gaming monitors – tend to find that 40-50ms is fast enough to keep their head in the game. Bear in mind that short throw projectors tend to have lower input lag (though there are tradeoffs such as screen size and brightness) and are becoming more affordable every day.
A final note is to consider that there is a natural link between input lag and refresh rate; that is to say that projectors with higher refresh rates will typically have less input lag. We’ll go into greater detail about refresh rates in a moment, but we’re bringing it up here just to further reinforce that you absolutely need to make sure you’re getting a projector with low input lag in order to have a great experience with your new console.
The most exciting new feature of this console generation has over the previous gen is easily the ability to render graphics at high and variable refresh rates. Whereas previous console generations have typically aimed for a target of 30fps and peaked at 60fps, Microsoft and Sony have both taken a cue from the PC gaming market and leaned very hard into high frame rates as a marquee feature – and both promise 4K gaming at 120Hz for their new machines.
While most games currently available will make users choose between 4K 60Hz or 120Hz at lower resolutions, some do offer 4K 120Hz and the overwhelmingly positive reception from gamers tends to suggest that more games will continue to aim for this target in the future. Whereas 8K resolution may be an aspirational feature (more on this below) 120Hz is absolutely here to stay.
Though not quite as important as the raw refresh rate number in most cases, variable refresh rate (VRR) is another great capability that has finally made the leap from PC to console gaming. VRR allows for displays to synchronize with the graphics card of the output device to display every frame as it is rendered rather than at set intervals (i.e. 120Hz). VRR does not allow the display to exceed the maximum refresh rate of either device, but it does create a smoother gaming experience. Virtually no projectors on the market currently support VRR, but we expect to see more and more high-end sets with this tech in the coming years.
While we firmly believe that high refresh rates will be the most important factor in getting the most out of your new console, resolution is extremely important as well. Whereas the previous console generation was able to create crisp, beautiful images at 4K UHD (ultra-high definition) – very few games actually ran very smooth at that resolution. The Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 are able to easily output 4K UHD at 60fps and both consoles will eventually support 8K.
8K is a long, long way from ubiquity – if you don’t believe us, consider how long 4K displays have been on the market and how few of the people you know likely have one in their home – and very few projectors output 8K. The majority of 8K projectors have one or more fatal flaws that preclude use for gaming; high latency and low refresh rates being the most common. An 8K projector that also checks all of the other boxes needed for a great gaming experience will not be an affordable product at any point in the remotely near future, and we wouldn’t recommend holding your breath for such a thing to happen.
This goes without considering that these consoles are very unlikely to support 8K at refresh rates over 60Hz, and most games probably won’t go over 30Hz refresh rates. If the previous gen is anything to go by, we suspect that “pro” models of these consoles will likely drop at a few years from now with the promise of high refresh 8K gaming – but we’d bet our bottom dollar that this will happen no sooner than 2024.
To reiterate, 8K is absolutely not worth the money right now as you can’t do much with it – and will likely be dramatically more affordable by the time it is actually worthwhile as a feature. Get a 4K projector for your new console!
High dynamic range (HDR) is a feature that’s been around for quite a while now, and was a signature feature of the upgraded Xbox One X and PlayStation 4 Pro. The new consoles do of course bring HDR along and while the vast majority of 4K displays will already have the feature by default we think it is important to re-emphasize that you should ensure that your gaming projector bears the mark.
HDR is, for all intents and purposes, a dramatically increased color palette – effectively allowing content creators to reproduce their visions in a more accurate manner. HDR is most noticeable at high brightness settings and most profoundly impacts the darkest and lightest parts of a picture.
There are various HDR standards and accompanying certifications. Though some are naturally higher-quality than others, we don’t recommend spending too much time worrying about which your gaming projector has – not because it doesn’t matter, but because great displays have great HDR implementations in virtually all cases. HDR10, Dolby Vision and others are fully compatible with each other, so don’t be concerned about potential issues in that regard.
Though many game developers add HDR in post that effectively does little aside from certifying HDR compatibility, the vast majority of big-budget titles are designed from the ground up to support the tech – and you simply aren’t getting the full experience from these games if your display isn’t up to snuff.
Contrast goes hand in hand with HDR; after all, an increased color palette is irrelevant if the display can’t accurately reproduce the increased range of colors. To be HDR certified, a display must have a bare-minimum contrast ratio of 400:1 which is quite low.
As a general rule, there’s no such thing as too much contrast ratio – something that some display manufacturers are well aware of and use sneaky tactics in order to claim their screens have higher ratios than they actually do. That said, we’ve taken care to ensure any product we recommend is either honest in its marketing or great despite implementation of disingenuous tactics.
A contrast ratio of 700:1 is enough to reproduce a great HDR image at peak brightness, but most true 4K gaming projector products on the market will hit 10,000:1 or more. In short, a gaming projector with HDR and high brightness is going to have a solid contrast ratio in most cases.
The last big consideration with regards to picture quality is brightness. Intuitively, it is easy to understand that we would want extremely bright displays – after all, we can always turn them down if needed. While our recommendations for brightness will vary based on screen size (more on this below), the biggest consideration is to determine where you intend to use your gaming projector.
With regard to gaming projectors, brightness is typically measured in ANSI lumens as opposed to the standard touted by other display types (lumens) as a way of representing the effective brightness rather than the output brightness. Long story short, make sure you’re aiming for a bare-minimum of 200 ANSI lumens if you plan on gaming exclusively in small, dark room. If you expect to have considerable ambient light, you’ll want to aim for 400+ ANSI lumens. If your gaming projector is going to be used in a huge and/or very bright room you may want to aim as high as 2000+ ANSI lumens.
As you might imagine, price scales pretty closely with ANSI lumens, so don’t aim for a dramatically higher brightness level than you expect to really need in order to project a great 4K HDR image.
The reason most people decide to shop for a gaming projector instead of a monitor or TV is a desire for a massive screen. While there are certainly other benefits to consider, the greatest strength of a gaming projector is its ability to scale its image from really huge to really really huge.
As with other display types, you should determine the screen size you’re shopping for based on the distance between the screen’s location and that of the viewers. You’ll want to make sure the screen’s diagonal length is no more than half the distance between the screen and the nearest viewer. For example, if the nearest viewer is going to be someone sitting on the middle section of your couch, you’ll want to measure the distance from where the viewer’s head will be to the screen itself; if that measure is 10 feet, you’ll want a screen that is no more than 60″ diagonal.
There is also a maximum distance consideration if you intend to move around or host large groups of viewers. The ratio here is 5:1, so if the farthest-back seat in your viewing area is 25 feet away, they should still be able to comfortable view a screen that’s at least 60″ across.
Last Updated on January 31, 2021