Time was, if you wanted to watch telly at home, the humble CRT was the only option (considerable "junk in the trunk" included). Then, before even flat-panel televisions, older projectors promised cinematic thrills at home in exchange for tens of thousands of pounds and the pain of a bulky box that required a gantry to install.
Today, we’re spoiled for choice. Flat-panel TVs, even at the low-end, do a great job of pumping out Netflix and video game pixels at 4K resolution and at a hefty screen-size. But what if you wanted to go big? Really big? An 88-inch TV from Samsung costs a whopping £4,449, while a 77-inch OLED from LG costs £7,999. And a 100-inch TV? Forget about it.
Fortunately, thanks to some clever pixel trickery known as "pixel shifting” or “XPR” technology, you can skip the TV and go straight to a true 4K projector that casts a whopping 100-inch image.
Still not convinced? Here are six reasons (and a handy video) why 2018 is the year of the projector.
1. Yes, size is important
When it comes to picture size, they don’t come much bigger than from a projector. You can find LCD tellys up to 60-inches in size without remortgaging these days, but there’s something to be said about going bigger. Much bigger. A typical projector casts an image 100-inches across, which is far bigger than you'd get from a similarly priced TV.
2. Party Ready
If you’re throwing a party, say inviting friends over to watch a match, a projector ensures that everyone can enjoy the action as clearly as those sat front and center. And with a compact projector sat on the coffee table just a few metres from the wall – an easy feat for the latest models with short-throw lenses – there’s nothing to get in the way between you and the screen.
3. All the pixels
First we had standard definition (although no-one called it that until it started to become obsolete). Then, the biggest upgrade for most viewers arrived in the form of full-HD (let's forget about the halfway house of HD Ready 720p). Now we have 4K, which at 3180x2160 pixels is exactly four times the size of full-HD's 1920x1080 pixels. Image quality at such high resolutions is incredible. But the best way to appreciate all those pixels is only when they fill larger screens—and you can't get much bigger than the 100-inches of 4K projectors like BenQ's TK800.
4. You don't have to sit in the dark
Mention film projectors and many think of darkened cinemas and stumbling over legs in the dark. But modern projectors don't require full blackout conditions. In fact, projectors work just fine in a room with surrounding ambient light. Just look out for models with high lumens figures. A figure of around 3000 ANSI lumens does the job nicely.
5. easy to install
You don't need to break out a drill or a spirit measure to install a projector. A good modern projector works straight from its box, placed on the table with just a power lead and an HDMI cable for company. Some don’t even need the HDMI, if you take advantage of wireless connection kits that allow whatever’s on your Android or Apple phone or PC screen to be beamed upon high. Just be sure to check what’s on your screen before you cast it.
6. They're finally affordable
Perhaps the most surprising killer feature of modern 4K projectors is the price. First-generation 4K UHD projectors cost more £10,000, but thanks to clever engineering the likes of BenQ's TK800, which even includes HDR support, they now cost less than £1200. Try finding a 100-inch 4K TV for that kind of money – or lifting it one-handed, as you can with a 4K UHD video projector.
Click here to learn more about the TK800.