Upgrade Your Home Theater With a Projector That Brings the Noise

Unless you’re heading to the drive-in theater, it’s abundantly clear that, if you want to see a movie on a big screen in the next few months, you’ll probably have to do it yourself. The simplest solution is an all-in-one ultrashort-throw projector. Rather than being mounted across the room on the ceiling, as most standard models require, the $3,699CinemaX P1 (pictured) and the new $3,299 CinemaX P2 from Taiwan-based Optoma Corp. can sit 7 inches from the wall and cast a clear image that measures over 7 feet diagonally from corner to corner. Both max out at 120 inches. The difference maker is the P1’s integrated 40-watt NuForce sound bar, which renders dialogue clearly while packing enough volume into every explosion to rattle the windows—but not the picture.


• TheSony VPL-VZ1000ES remains, more than three years after its release, the only ultrashort-throw projector to offer native 4K resolution. At $15,000, that level of image quality doesn’t come cheap, and it doesn’t come with speakers, either.

• Samsung Electronics Co.’s new Premiere line of ultrashort-throw projectors includes the $6,500LSP9T model, which can beam a 130-inch image and comes with a built-in 40-watt, 4.2-channel audio system.

• For those with tight spaces and tighter budgets, the $2,800VAVA VA‑LT002 can project a 100-inch image while only 7 inches away from a wall. An integrated Harman Kardon sound bar won’t provide surround sound, but with 60 watts of power, it performs admirably.


Built-in speakers are not unique for projectors, but ultrashort-throws are somewhat better suited to serve as sound systems than other models because you set them up against the wall in front of the viewer, rather than behind or above. Optoma has the most complete package, with charcoal gray fabric and a minimalist body that looks good enough to prominently display. Plus, the 3,000-lumen light source and 1,500,000-to-1 contrast ratio mean your films will be projected with cinemaworthy levels of detail, even if your screening room is not a perfectly blacked-out home theater. $3,699

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