Great smart projector deals bring the movie theater to your home (Week 8, 2023)

Sound Advice
By Don Lindich

Week 8, 2023

Q. I love movies and mainly stream from various sources, using a 65″ LG OLED coupled with a ZVOX sound bar you recommended. I am really satisfied with the package. We have friends over to watch movies but are limited to no more than 6 people at a time because of the room where we have the TV. We want to have more than 6 people over for movies and are interested in a projector set-up, as we have quite a large open living area that would easily handle more viewers. I want simplicity and read your recommendation of the Nebula Cosmos 1080P projector that has built-in speakers, apps for streaming, etc. Do you think the 810 lumen brightness is adequate enough for an area with two large windows and a balcony door? We do have shades, but not room darkening. I see Amazon has a sale now and you can buy the Cosmos 1080P projector for $549.00.

-D.B., Edina, MN

A. The phrases I am focusing on here are “I love movies” and “adequate enough.” If you get a good screen I think the Nebula Cosmos 1080P will be “adequate enough” and for only $549 it is a tremendous bargain. However, given your self-professed love of movies and the larger audience you will be entertaining it is worth considering going upmarket for your projector.

I do not make this suggestion lightly, but I know that a great projection system is life-changing for a movie lover and once you have the projector it can provide many years, if not a lifetime, of enjoyment. Recent personal experience is also informing my answer as I recently hosted a movie party with around 30 people. We watched “Top Gun: Maverick” on a 120-inch screen with the Nebula Cosmos Laser 4K projector (top of the current Nebula line, on sale for $1,899) fed by a Panasonic DP-UB820 4K Blu-ray player playing a 4K Blu-ray disc. To say the picture looked like you were in a theater, and a good theater at that, is not an overstatement. My guests oohed and ah-ed at the picture quality, with the incredible colors, extreme sharpness and detail, and smooth action that made the flying scenes breathtaking. Even though I am an enthusiast I was pretty much dumbstruck at the picture quality and knowing what people can enjoy at home today for about $2,000 including a screen.

Speaking of the screen, the HYZ 100-inch 1.1-gain 16:9 projection screen is $109.99 on Amazon and is incredibly easy to set up, like an old-school slide projector screen. For something bigger, the 120-inch JWSIT 1.1-gain 16:9 screen is $178.99. I have one of each and use them both, but the 100-inch will be a good place to start especially if you get the Cosmos 1080P projector. A smaller projected image means a brighter image.

The Nebula Cosmos 1080P is not the only projector currently on sale. The $1,599.99 Nebula Cosmos Max 4K is on sale for $1,099.99 and is rated at 1500 ANSI lumens. Please note that though these two projectors support streaming apps, they require an external streaming device (Roku, Fire Stick etc.) to play Netflix.

The Nebula Cosmos Laser 1080P and Cosmos Laser 4K both play Netflix directly from the projector and are rated at an amazing 1840 ANSI lumens. The Cosmos Laser 1080P is on sale for $999 (reduced from $1,699) and while brighter than the Cosmos Max, it does not have 4K resolution. That is a tough call and personally I would probably get the Cosmos Max 4K in that price range, though you would not go wrong either way.