Dump Your HD TV for These Digital Projectors

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For some television lovers, no screen is big enough. They buy a 32 inch HDTV, and that serves as a sort gateway TV drug. They dump their 32 inch for a 56. When they discover there’s a 70 inch beat out there, they’ll beg, borrow or steal to get it. It’s only a matter of time before they’re selling plasma for a shot at a 92 inch screen, a TV big enough to house a small gypsy family — or a family of small gypsies.

However, the arrival of compact HD projectors to the TV scene means your TV can be as big as the widest empty wall in your home. Broadcasting from PCs, tablets, smartphones or any other media-ready device, these projectors can post a moving image as clear as an HDTV at a scope such TVs have trouble matching.

We got a hold of three consumer market projectors and tried them out under similar conditions to see which the TV addict might turn to as an alternative to the big HDTV.

XSories X-Project: Looking a lot like a classic slide show projector of decades gone by, the X-Project (top) is actually the equivalent of an HDTV in a box smaller than a PS4. With an MRSP of $499, the X-Project lays out 1080p video via LED to a size up to 120 inches.

The X-Project packs 100 lumens and employs two hour battery life for use away from an outlets. It connects to any tablet, smartphone or laptop via USB, SD card and mini HDMI, it also includes 4 GB of internal memory for projecting without an external data source. The XSories entry can also employ its Wi-Fi connectivity to stream wirelessly. Finally, there’s an onboard stereo speaker and remote control.

While not the most striking device aesthetically out of the box, the X-Project works flawlessly on all counts and can fill a room with your entertainment of choice. The inbuilt audio is good, but you might want to use an additional connected audio source with a bit more oomph for the best overall experience.

Related: Best HDTVs On a College Budget

casioCasio Slim XJ-A147: The most expensive option here at just under $1,400, the Casio Slim is also the most “professioanal” device here. With its pricetag and overall technology, it’s intended for business use or true videophiles. Fortunately, its performance honors both audiences. 

Casio employs its own patent pending Hybrid Light Source combining Laser and LED technology for high resolution, ultra-bright images with a shelf function life of up to 20,000 hours. It’s the largest of the devices here, but still only weighs about five pounds. The 2x Digital Zoom function adjusts the image for different spaces, allowing the Casio to entertain a much larger space.

In terms of projection quality, this Casio Slim wins the day. The buyer must decide if he or she is a big enough projection aficionado to sink the $1,000+ needed to bring it home.

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Celluon PicoPro: At only six inches in length, the PicoPro is a big image in a very tiny box. It’s easily the most compact and transportable HD projector on the market. At $399, it’s by no means cheap. Still, it’s a bargain compared to the Xsories and the Casio.  

The PicoPro uses a laser system to figure optimum projection range and focus. Regardless of angle or room size, it figures how to focus its 1920 x 720p resolution image. The little projector comes with all of the connectors you’d need, wirless capability and two hours of battery life — an essential element when you consider this is a device designed to move with you.

Price, specs and capabilities aside, it’s the size of this device that makes it a prime option. For any buyer looking to take their HD entertainment on the road, the PicoPro is the absolute best bet. If you have a wall space or a screen ready for it, the projector literally allows you to have an HDTV in your pocket — and you will be happy to see it.