Best Projectors for World Cup 2018
Nothing beats the (really) big screen experience
While it’s all very nice to watch the footy on a big telly, there really is no substitute for the projector experience, with 100-inch plus images fairly easily attainable in the typical UK home.A home projector might not cost as much as you think, either, with some perfectly serviceable models – especially for sports viewing – available for £500ish and up. Of course, you could spend a LOT more but if football is the priority, where motion handling is more important than deep blacks and high contrast levels, then there are a few good candidates on the market.
Fortunately, as far as motion handling goes, you can get great performance for very little…
The W1050 is the latest in a long line of budget priced high performance home entertainment DLP projectors from BenQ. At the time of publishing, the W1050 was available for as little as £550, which we think offers phenomenal value. Images are sharp and motion is good, providing a rewarding experience with whatever source you use with the BenQ and even HD TV and Blu-ray looks superb. What the BenQ sets out to do is be an all-round home entertainment machine that will be portable and used for the occasional big screen event, be that gaming, sports or 3D movies. Used in its intended environment of light walls and ceilings, it is bright and colourful enough to provide many hours of big screen fun.
Were you to up your budget quite substantially – the TW7300 is currently available for approx. £2,000 – you could really treat yourself to a projector which is both excellent for sports and home cinema duties. The EH-TW7300 is Epson’s latest mid-range 3LCD projector that this year includes the ability to accept 4K Ultra HD footage and the projector uses a ‘faux’ pixel shift mode to create a 3840 x 2160p image from its 1080p 0.74 inch D9 chips, to great effect. . A motorised lens shift and cover are unheard of at this price point and there is also a frame interpolation feature for smooth video reproduction as well as an intelligent iris with two settings available. The colour performance is outstanding on the Epson and it is extremely accurate in tone and hue, while motion handling is generally clear and crisp. The Epson EH-TW7300 is Best Buy material, through and through.
While the likes of the Epson and the JVCs do a great job of portraying 4K content with clever processing, the Sony VW260ES is the most affordable way to experience native Ultra HD in the home. OK, ‘affordable’ is very much a relative term and the Sony will set you back about £5,200. It doesn't just have a native 4K (4096 x 2160) panel, it also supports High Dynamic Range and Wide Colour Gamut, includes Motionflow and Reality Creation and has a claimed brightness of 1,500 lumens. The motion handling was very good on the Sony and although there is Motionflow processing, we never really felt it provided much advantage. The VW260ES includes everything you would expect from the more expensive models with native 4K resolution, HDR10 and HLG support, Triluminos colour, 3D and Reality Creation and there are also motorised lens controls. It’s not cheap but if you really want native 4K in the home, it’s the least expensive route and by 2022, let’s hope we’ll all be watching the World Cup in UHD, here in the UK.
The TK800 is a budget faux 4K Ultra HD projector marketed as ideal for a home entertainment and, more pertinently, sports. This means that it is designed to work at its best in normal living rooms with light coloured walls and ceilings and some ambient light. Or you could even use it outdoors shining on to a white sheet or the side of your house for a World Cup party. It will set you back around £1195, at the time of publishing, which is approximately 4-5 cheaper than the least expensive native 4K projector on the market. It is capable of accepting HDMI 2.0/HDCP 2.2 signals so, if you have another £70, or so, to spare and a decent enough internet connection, you could use it to view the Ultra HD coverage from the BBC iPlayer, in tandem with a Roku Streaming Stick Plus. It doesn’t set itself out to be a home cinema projector or one that movie fans could use day in day out - there are better machines out there for that - but in terms of achieving its goal as being a candidate of World Cup duties, the TK800 scores a winner.
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