Best Home Theater Setups for Under $3K

        We all have been there before, it’s movie night, that bottle of wine you’ve been saving opens, popcorn fills the room with its aromatherapy, friends huddle around the couch to find a good spot to claim before it starts, of course you’re last to find a spot and have to sacrifice your favorite position on the couch, you dim the lights to set the mood, but realize you have to put the movie in the DVD player, might as well be a VHS player, because its novelty at this point. Scrambling through remotes and wires to set the picture to the correct channel, after a series of frustration but rewarding, you dim the lights, and the ambiance isn’t there. It’s not loud enough for guests even though you’ve turned it up louder than you normally do while listening to Queen. The resolution on your tv screen is at it’s highest, but you can barely see. all while watching a horror movie.

Group of diverse friends watching movie together
If only we could bring the movies to us. Recent technology has prevailed to do so. With innovations of short throw projectors, ALR (Ambient Light Rejecting) screens, and with portable screens that can bring an ambiance anywhere, there is a new wave of technology that is adding the experience to your own home theater. EPSON has released a short throw projector that is allowing customers to feel more than just being at home. As the progression of TV’s is becoming more unobtainable and unreasonably high priced, and inconceivably heavy, it’s harder for people to keep up with technology that is of quality and of pricing.
From VHS to now Projectors that are fueled by lasers, are well worth the few extra pennies to scrounge up. These haven’t been a hot commodity since your math class. I remember when I first had the chance to play “Halo” with a projector, it changed my life. Epson’s latest product is starting a revolution with their first short throw laser projector. Giving a whole new take on home theater. It is pushing boundaries of projection and as well making it affordable for the consumer.
You ask what is a short throw projector? A projector that you can use in any size room and wall. It displays high-quality images just inches away from the screen. With that, you don’t have to worry about getting up and ruining the favorite part of the most anticipated part of a movie or show again. Allowing you to roam freely and not having to worry about creating shadows. With a short throw projector, you don’t need as much space as you would with a traditional projector. So you can still display a beautiful image even in the smallest of rooms. Flexibility is another factor that plays into the Epson UST, with it being inches away from any whiteboard, wall, or ALR screen you can position its size up to 130” diagonal in 16:10 aspect ratio, which is matching to 127” in 16:9 without any compromise of image quality or sharpness.
Lighting has always been an issue with projectors, being in a well-lit environment causes visibility to be low with projectors, but now with the UST projectors and the laser technology built into Epson’s LS100, can operate in well-lighted environments. The projector itself is designed to beam light upwards, making it daylight friendly. Speaking of light, the laser built into the Epson UST allows for longevity, most traditional projectors deal with replacements of bulbs after a certain amount of hours. Epson lifespan spec shows up to 20,000 hours for it’s light engine lifespan. It also states that the white and color component is projected at 4,000 Lumens matching a contrast ratio of 2,500,000:1 which is pretty high compared to others in this market. The Epson LS100 can run up to 30,000 in a reduced lumens mode as well. Give you more time to enjoy your experience.
To give your audience the ambiance you want, it is usually paired with a good ALR (Ambien Light Rejecting) screen. Which are designed to give you that big screen picture in a well-lit environment without any saturation or contrast? These can play a great part with the LS100 and adding more value to your experience.
Another feature the of Epson LS100 is the Dynamic mode of the four features, which are bright cinema, cinema, and game. Dynamic mode allows a bright brightness concentration over 4,000 lumens. For most projectors that feature a Bright dynamic view usually distorts color and adds a green tint. This feature has reasonable color at the highest output. When selecting between modes the output is dropped. The dynamic mode will give you that pop and contrast you are needing on a bright day.
What also makes this projector so unique and rare is the 16-watt speaker that is built in. You won’t primarily need another audio source, but you will definitely want to. The LS100 also features pixel shifting technology to simulate a 4K resolution.
With all these features there are still some competitors for both design and price, Viewsonic’s LS 380 is a laser light source that carries 3D support and a higher brightness rating at 4,500 lumens all for the same price of $2,999.99. Optoma’s GT 5500 is a 1080 pixel projector that is a UST and a rating of 3,500 lumens but with an asking price of $1,099. With the overall pricing between these, it puts you on the fence of which one is best for your needs and overall better. Granted the LS100 is undeniable in its own environment that it is intended for. With the laser light technology, 4k compatibility, its high brightness, and with a pairing of an ALR screen really makes it tough to value that 100 LCD TV. If you are wanting to have a home theater experience and be able to feel from a big screen projection the LS100 can deliver the ambiance. For how simple it is, it provides a great depth of complexity, brightness, contrast, and a clean image that most cannot.