Want an image several meters wide but not the courage to drill holes in the ceiling to install a video projector? The short-throw models are there for you. We have chosen for you the best models of ultra short throw projectors of the moment.
The best short throw projectors
While projectors are far from new, they have long remained a niche area, reserved for home cinema enthusiasts. We must indeed admit that the classic models have annoying flaws, they are bulky, complicated to install and not ideal for everyday use.
In recent years, a real revolution has taken place with the democratization of (ultra) short-throw projectors. The latter only require a few centimeters of recoil to display a large image on the wall. Most of them also include a smart TV part and speakers, which allows them to be used independently, without having to invest in an amp and a 5.1 kit. You will have grasped it, buying an ultra short throw projector can be a good solution for your living room.
The majority of this progress has been driven by Chinese brands that innovate the most, with products with an amazing price/quality ratio. Only concern: a good part of the most interesting products are not officially marketed in Europe. And while it’s still possible to go through the gray market and AliExpress resellers, overall that’s a pretty bad bet.
Besides the fact that we have to give up on technical support and that, very often, the operating system is not translated into French (or even into English…). However, things seem to be improving since Xiaomi is now officially marketing part of its range in our region.
If you are interested in video projectors in general, head to our dedicated guide. And if you want to improve the sound part, read our comparison of sound bars and our guide to home cinema. And to have (legal) content to broadcast, the easiest way is to go through a streaming service.
Samsung The Premiere LSP7 Our recommendation
If it is the leader in TV or smartphones, Samsung is not exactly known for its video projectors. With its laser lighting, this ultra-short focal length model deserves to be better known. If its design is relatively classic, it has the merit of being all-purpose and will be forgotten in a living room.
On the image side, we will therefore have a diagonal of 120 inches at 60 cm from the wall. The result is more than convincing, with high brightness that does not require you to be in complete darkness to really enjoy it. On the other hand, the colorimetry disappoints by its lack of accuracy. The image is far from being unpleasant to the eye, but at this price we expected at least a well-calibrated cinema mode.
On the source side, in addition to HDMI and an aerial socket, we find Tizen, the operating system used on the manufacturer’s TVs. The latter is still as rich in applications, but we regret, however, a small lack of general fluidity. That said, we have here a completely autonomous device, in particular thanks to a very correct 30W sound system. The video projector can be associated with a projection screen, but also be used alone.
Despite some imperfections and a high price, this short-throw projector will delight those who don’t want to worry. To go into more detail, you can read our full test.
Samsung The Premiere LSP9T The best available
Your budget is unlimited? So fall for the LSP9T, still at Samsung. If this ultra-short-throw projector model looks a lot like its little brother from an aesthetic point of view, inside things are very different, starting with the adoption of a mono-DLP laser matrix.
Once again, we get a great image, with about 60 cm of recoil for 120 inches. It is far from ridiculous when placed closer to the screen since you get 100 inches at 15 cm away! The passage to the laser brings a much better luminosity, which reaches 2800 lumens. Use in broad daylight is therefore perfectly possible.
Another improvement compared to the LSP7: simply impressive sharpness. It is by far the best device on the market on this point. And if we had to quibble a little, we will note a default colorimetry which would have deserved a little more care and a somewhat average contrast.
For the software part, there is a very complete Tizen, which offers all the major streaming apps. An aerial socket completes everything on the content side. If the Samsung LSP9T is the best short-throw projector on the market, its price nevertheless reflects this excellence: it is generally available around 5500 €
Xiaomi Mi 4K Laser Xiaomi a little short on legs
Xiaomi is currently the only major Chinese manufacturer to offer its projectors in France. Unfortunately, the latest models such as the Laser Cinema 2 4K are not yet available from us and we must therefore be satisfied with this Mi 4K Laser Projector from 2019.
Despite its age, this model is not without strengths: we greatly appreciate its small size as well as the little distance it requires. You will get a 90 inch image with 20 cm back. The device is also relatively quiet despite good brightness (1600 lumens). Good point also for the very solid contrast.
Too bad, however, that the colorimetry has not been the subject of more attention, by default the image is too cold and we would have liked more adjustment possibilities. The image also lacks a bit of sharpness.
For the software part, Xiaomi has chosen Android TV here in version 9, so we will find all our favorite apps. Note that in the absence of an antenna socket, you will have to go through apps to watch TV.
Despite certain qualities, this Xiaomi Mi 4K Laser Projector is starting to show its age. This short-throw projector could however be interesting if you find it on sale.
Epson EH-LS300: the ultra-short-throw projector in Full HD
Known for its classic projectors, Epson also has a growing range of short-throw projectors. The brand is also one of the few to design its own devices and produce its own lamps.
The EH-LS3000 is one of the mid-range models of the brand, promising good performance, but containing Full HD to control prices. Mastery, however, all relative since the device is offered at a catalog price of 2900 €.
At this price, however, it offers first-rate performance, starting with a brightness of 3600 lumens. However, we advise you to lower the brightness a little. Pushed to the max, it actually heats up the projector and makes it noisy, forcing the fan to run at full speed. We advise you to activate the dynamic contrast to compensate for a slightly weak native contrast.
If the display is limited to Full HD, the rendering is particularly clean, with a very pleasant image in cinema mode. The integrated sound part also surprises with its quality. Among the weaknesses of the device, we note a relatively large necessary decline, of the order of about thirty cm for a diagonal of 110 inches.
If you’re ready to skip 4K, this EG-LS300W is undoubtedly one of the best short-throw projectors around.
The Epson EH-LS300 in brief
- Very good image despite Full HD
- Incredibly bright
- sound quality
Choosing the right short-throw projector
What sources for my content?
Most video projectors have at least a basic multimedia player and a growing number include connected functions similar to those of a TV. If you want something more advanced, you’ll have to go with a high-end media player like the Nvidia Shield TV or the Apple TV 4K. A latest generation console will also be a good option. For the TV, everything will depend on your projector, some being equipped with an aerial socket.
How to enjoy good sound?
The vast majority of ultra-short-throw models have an integrated sound section. If they are generally sufficient for a TV show, however, we advise you to go through dedicated speakers to really enjoy your films. Two solutions are therefore available to you. The easiest way is to go through a sound bar that will be connected via HDMI to the projector. For maximum quality, however, we will not do better than a complete amp and home cinema kit.
Is a wall enough to project its image?
The quality of the image will obviously depend on the support on which you will project the image. For many of you this will be a wall. If that can do the trick, it is preferable that the latter be very smooth and very white, the irregularities being particularly visible. At a minimum, wash your wall, but we recommend applying a coat of matte white paint special projector. It will only cost you around thirty euros. The ideal is obviously a projection screen. Fixed or roll-up, motorized or not, there is something for everyone and for every budget. It is with them that you will get the best image quality.
What is the distance between the wall and the projector?
For short-throw projectors, the question is quickly answered: against the wall. Depending on the model, it will take between 15 and 50 cm to have a large image.
How long does a short throw projector lamp last?
Historically, projectors used very powerful lamps that had to be replaced relatively regularly. If their lifespan was counted in hundreds of hours ten years ago, the latter is generally around 3000 hours. It will cost you a few hundred euros to replace it. For LED or laser projectors, the lamp is not replaceable, but the lifespan is much longer, around 20,000 hours.
To follow us, we invite you to download our Android and iOS application. You can read our articles, files, and watch our latest YouTube videos.