One potential disadvantage of projectors versus televisions is that they require more space to work correctly. If this is a problem for you, consider buying the best ultra short throw projector. It’ll give you the same massive screen with less than half the distance, giving you the option of using a projector in a smaller room.
While you won’t find any ultra-short throw projectors priced in a true budget range, you might be surprised by how affordable some of them can be. You can also get the same array of options and features you’ll find on standard projectors, like gaming modes or 3D capability.
We’ve picked out the best ultra-short throw projectors available today and reviewed them here, along with their stats and strengths. If pressed to pick a favorite, we’d have to go with the Epson EpiqVision Ultra LS500, which has a high picture quality and low input lag, with an included screen that makes it a great value. (>>> Check on Amazon)
Each of the projectors reviewed below as its strengths, though. No matter what kind of content you’ll use your projector for, there’s a model here to give it the proper treatment.
The stats of most concern when picking an ultra-short throw projector are the throw distance, the lumen rating, and the input latency. Considered together, these three factors will paint the most complete sense of the projector’s overall performance. Let’s take a look at how they stack up!
Best Ultra Short Throw Projectors in 2022:
|Epson LS500||BenQ V7050i||Hisense 120L9G||Samsung LSP9T||Optoma P2|
|Resolution||1920x1080 4K w/pixel shifting||3840x2160||3840x2160||3840x2160||3840x2160|
|Brightness (lumens)||4,000 ANSI||2,500 ANSI||3,000 ANSI||2,800 ANSI||3,000 ANSI|
|Input Lag||21ms||69ms||30ms||No data||67ms|
|Throw Distance||0.7' - 1.9'||0.2' - 1.1'||1.25’||0.4' - 0.8'||1.5' - 2.2'|
|Screen size||70" - 130"||70" - 120"||120”||100" - 130"||85" - 120"|
The throw distance or throw ratio determines the minimum distance separating the screen and the projector. Any model whose throw ratio is under 1 is considered a short throw projector. Short throw projectors can produce a 100” picture at only 4-5 feet away, as opposed to the 7-9 feet of distance most projectors would require to get the same screen size. With an ultra-short throw projector, that distance often drops to mere inches.
All of these models have a short throw distance, producing a 100” image with 2 feet of distance or less. The Samsung LSP9T deserves a shout-out for making a 120” image with around 9” between the lens and wall, though the BenQ V7050i edges it out with the shortest throw distance, needing as little as 3” to produce a clear image.
Projector with the shortest throw distance: BenQ V7050i
A higher lumen rating translates to a brighter picture. This is especially important for projectors that will go in well-lit rooms. In a dark space, 1,000-2,000 lumens is ideal, while a well-lit space calls for a projector of 3,000 lumens or higher.
One advantage of ultra-short throw projectors is that the light doesn’t have to travel as far, giving ambient light less of an impact on the picture quality. Thanks to that, projectors like the BenQ V7050i or Samsung LSP9T can still be used in moderately-lit spaces, even though their lumen rating is on the lower side. Even so, you’ll want a brighter lamp for rooms with lots of natural light. The 4,000 lumens of the Epson LS500 can prevent washout in any environment.
The brightness of the lamp is adjustable on most projectors. If you’ll be dealing with a variety of lighting situations, buy a projector that can cope with the brightest. You can always turn the lamp down if it ends up being too powerful.
Brightest projector: Epson LS500
Also called the input lag or lag time, this tells you how long it takes to process your content and send it to the screen as an image. A high input lag means there will be a delay between your actions and what you see. This is obviously a problem for fast-paced gaming, but can be just as frustrating when you’re navigating streaming menus, and can create annoying echo effects when mirroring content from a phone or tablet.
Every projector on this list has a low enough lag to use in a home theater. For gamers, the Hisense 120L9G and Epson LS500 both have a recorded input lag within the acceptable range for reflex-based games (roughly 30ms or lower), with the Epson the more responsive of the two at 21ms.
Projector with the lowest input latency: Epson LS500
Top 5 Ultra Short Throw Projectors Reviewed
Epson EpiqVision Ultra LS500
When you buy the Epson EpiqVision Ultra LS500 you get more than just a projector. It comes with a high-contrast ALR screen included, as well as the hardware you need to mount it. Since these screens sell for upwards of $1,000 on their own, that’s a massive value add compared to other projectors on this list.
The projector itself is equally impressive. It has a native 4K resolution and a high contrast ratio, which combine for a remarkably life-like picture with sharp details and rich black levels. This is supported by the 10-bit HDR processing for color, displaying the full gamut of the Rec. 709 spectrum. Best of all, that color is produced by a 3-chip design rather than a color wheel, so you don’t have to worry about image issues like the rainbow effect.
We also appreciate how easy the EpiqVisions Ultra LS500 is to use. Its Android operating system has a simple, intuitive design and supports voice search through Google Assistant. You can also stream content right to the projector through many popular apps. Add in the low input lag for gaming and it’s an all-in-one solution for all your home theater entertainment needs.
- 4K resolution with HDR10 support
- High color accuracy with no rainbow effect
- Low 16.7ms input lag
- Android TV operating system is easy to navigate
- Includes a wide viewing angle ALR screen
- Built in voice search with Google Assistant
- Smart features are more limited than other models
- Few image adjustment and alignment features
The BenQ V7050i is an excellent user-friendly centerpiece to a movie-lover’s home theater. Its true 4K DLP display is supported by HDR-PRO and CinematicColor technology, producing a realistic and accurate image for all types of content, including 3D. The Filmmaker Mode further optimizes the picture to match the director’s intent for movies.
Like other projectors that use an Android TV streaming interface, the BenQ V7050i has support for Google Assistant voice searches and can use any streaming app available on the Google Play store. You can also wirelessly cast content through Chromecast or AirPlay, so its wireless connectivity is solid.
The BenQ V7050i is easy to both set up and maintain. Its throw distance is one of the shortest on the list and its surround sound support makes connecting external speakers a snap. You also won’t need to do much once it’s installed. The laser phosphor light source lasts up to 30,000 hours, with a dust-reducing design that keeps it running efficiently without any user hassle.
- True 4K resolution with wide color gamut
- Optimized content in Filmmaker Mode
- Android TV streaming with Google Assistant
- Good wired and wireless connectivity
- Input lag is too high for gaming
- Lower lamp brightness
Most projectors require a few accessories, but with the Hisense 120L9G you’ll get everything you need right in the box. This includes a 120” ambient light reducing (ALR) screen, picked to pair perfectly with the image produced by the projector for a clear, vibrant image in any setting.
The Hisense 120L9G also has much better speakers than you’d expect from a projector. Dual full-range drivers are backed by 40 watts of power and Dolby Atmos sound, so many find they don’t need an external sound system. Add in the Android streaming interface and you’ll see why we call it an all-in-one entertainment package.
The picture quality of the Hisense 120L9G won’t let you down, either. The colors are produced with a 3-laser TriChroma display that exceeds the BT.2020 color space, with MEMC technology for smooth on-screen action. It’s just as smooth for gamers, with a low input lag that supports the latest games and consoles. While it’s not the cheapest option on the list, this versatility makes it worth the investment if you want a projector that can do it all.
- Sharp 4K picture with TriChroma color
- Low input lag perfect for gamers
- Comes with 120” ALR screen
- 40-watt speakers with Dolby Atmos sound
- Android streaming interface
- Supports multiple voice control services
- Higher cost
Samsung Premier LSP9T
The picture quality of the Samsung Premier LSP9T is exceptional. Its 3-laser DLP display technology produces a detailed true 4K image with a high dynamic contrast for rich black levels. The colors are just as impressive, especially in Filmmaker Mode, which optimizes the picture to the content you’re watching.
The 40-watt soundbar system built in to the Samsung LSP9T effectively emulates the surround sound experience, with Acoustic Beam technology that makes the sound more immersive. For content, it has one of the best smart TV interfaces you’ll find on a projector. Not only can you stream content through apps like Prime Video and Apple TV, but it also has apps that enhance your viewing experience and add helpful functions and features, making it a truly smart projector.
We also love how easy it is to set up the Samsung Premier LSP9T. Even a massive 130” screen requires less than 1 foot of distance. This maximizes the lamp brightness, too, and the picture is sharp and clear enough you can use this projector without a screen. The only downside of the LSP9T is that it’s an investment, with a price tag that might be outside some buyers’ budgets. For our more in-depth review of this projector click here.
- Triple laser array with powerful UHD processor
- Purcolor technology for wide, accurate color gamut
- Doesn’t require a screen
- 40-watt 4.2 channel sound system
- User-friendly Tizen Smart TV interface
- Supports Alexa, Google, and Bixby voice control
- Super-short throw distance
- Higher price point
- Input lag is on the high side
Optoma CinemaX P2
The Optoma CinemaX P2 is the best projector for smart home owners. It’s compatible with multiple voice control systems, first of all. Even better, it works with IFTTT, making it easy to integrate with other smart devices and letting you write it into home automation recipes and routines.
The CinemaX P2 is smart in other ways, too. The accompanying SmartFIT app is especially helpful during set-up, with automatic image alignment and geometry correction so you can get right to watching. You’ll still get full manual alignment controls if you need them, something gamers will likely need to take advantage of. Using the SmartFIT system pushes the input lag higher than the acceptable range for even casual play, something to keep in mind if you want to use the projector with your gaming systems.
Most viewers will be impressed by the Optoma P2’s picture quality. It’s sharp and realistic with excellent depth and vibrant colors, covering the entire range of the DCI-P3 color space. It does use a color wheel, however, so those who are sensitive to the rainbow effect may want to consider a different projector.
- Bright, high-contrast true 4K picture
- SmartFIT app for automatic geometry correction
- 6-segment color wheel produces the full DCI-P3 spectrum
- Excellent sound with integrated 40-watt soundbar
- Works with Google and Alexa voice control
- Supports IFTTT
- Using SmartFIT makes input lag too high for gaming
- Color wheel may cause rainbowing
What’s the bottom line?
To a certain extent, you do get what you pay for when it comes to ultra-short-throw projectors. The higher-priced models will generally have a better overall picture. This starts with the resolution, and you should budget at least $2,000 if you want 4K resolution along with an ultra-short throw.
If pressed to pick a favorite, the Epson EpiqVision Ultra LS500 is our top choice. (>>> Check on ProjectorScreen) It has a low enough latency for gaming as well as an exceptional picture quality. The included screen, streaming and casting support, and voice search capabilities are points in its favor, too.
As we said in the beginning, though, each of these projectors has its strengths. The Samsung Premier LSP9T is the top choice if you want the absolute best picture quality, while the BenQ V7050i has the absolute shortest throw distance on the list. For all-in-one capability, the high sound quality and built-in streaming of the Hisense 120L9G make it a great choice, and smart home owners will love the easy integration of the Optoma CinemaX P2.
Don’t forget to leave space in your budget for any necessary peripherals and accessories. The screen can also be very important to getting a good picture, so you’ll want to save part of your budget to invest in a good one if you don’t have one already. Of course, you won’t have to worry about that with the Epson LS500 or Hisense 120L9G since each comes with a screen included.
Hopefully, this article has helped you see the advantages and disadvantages of different projector models. Best of luck in buying the best one for your home! No matter what you need out of an ultra-short throw projector, we know one of the above models will suit your needs.