Optoma HD146X Projector Review: the best 2020 model under $600


Which is the best projector under $500? In fact, it is not easy to find a perfect cheap model at that price, however, if we raise the budget a little bit, we would get a nice choice. Optoma HD146X has been rating as the best projector in 2020 at the price range of under $600. But is the Optoma HD146X Projector really worth this praise? What are Optoma HD146X Projector's pros and cons? Here we can take a quick look of what the customers say:

Optoma HD146X Projector Review: the best 2020 model under $600

Optoma HD146X Projector Configuration

Optoma HD146X
HighlightsBig screen home entertainment ideal for gaming & TV/Movie Streaming in 1080p. Easy on/off with HDMI-CEC.
Resolution & Contrast Ratio1080p resolution 25,000:1 contrast ratio
ColorHDTV color quality with REC.709
GamingEnhanced Gaming mode with 16ms input lag. Game Display Mode for boosted shadows and dark scens for greater visibility.
Brightness3600 lumens
Throw Distance120" image from approximately 13–14 feet away
Lamp LifeUp to 15,000 hours
Installation Flexibility1.1x zoom, ±40° vertical keystone correction
ConnectivityHDMI 1.4, Audio-Out, USB-A (Power)

Optoma HD146X Projector Review: things to be considered

1. warning of a serious design flaw

I set it up and it is definitely a nice bright picture. Everything was great until I realized that the picture that shows the mounting options - it is literal. The bottom of your screen is exactly horizontal with the top of the table that you set your projector on. The manual states very clearly:
Do not operate the projector in any orientation other that table top or ceiling mount. The projector should be horizontal and not tilted either forwards/backwards or left/right. Any other orientation will invalidate the warranty and may shorten the lifetime of the projector lamp or the projector itself. For none standard installation advise please contact Optoma.

Optoma HD146X Projector Review: the best 2020 model under $600

For us, to get to 120", the project must be 13' from the screen, which is fine except that there is a couch in front. We can not ceiling mount and so this means that NO ONE can sit on the couch in front of the projector. I am used to projectors throwing center so you can raise the projector to any arbitrary height. Not this one. The only other option is for us to put the project in front of the couch, which means a much smaller projection.

This is a serious design flaw in my opinion. I have tempted to send it back.

2. only 1 hdmi spot, no wifi or Bluetooth connectivity and the stock sound is really bad.

Picture is beautiful and for its price, it is almost perfect. Its pretty bulky so make sure you have space for it. The downside really is that there is only 1 hdmi spot, no wifi or Bluetooth connectivity and the stock sound is really bad. The picture quality makes up for it all but the minor tweaks would really take it to the next level.

Optoma HD146X Projector Review: the best 2020 model under $600

I know that there are 4k projectors out there but not worth almost double in price.

3. The fan constantly turns on and off and is NOT quiet

The brightness is great! It has a very good 3D picture.The color is decent for being a DLP projector. The remote has a hard time finding the projector half the time and YES, I took the plastic off the sensor!

The fan constantly turns on and off and is NOT quiet and is highly irritating on low volume scenes with an amp level of 60 on the receiver no less. My last projector was much quieter, Panasonic PT-AE7000U, you couldn't hear the fan at all.

The most IRRITATING thing on this projector is the corrupted screen (see picture)

Optoma HD146X Projector Review: the best 2020 model under $600

I get EVERY TIME I go to view a 3D movie. I have done every imaginable step you could think of with turning units off and on and changing modes on the projector etc. If you proceeded to watch a 3D movie anyway, the whole decoding of the signal is corrupted and you get partial 3D junk.

I found that the ONLY way to get it to work is to pause the movie at the very beginning then turn off the projector wait 10sec then turn the projector back on then continue playing the movie. YOU CAN'T even switch to another 3D movie after the first one is done. AGAIN need to pause the movie, turn off the projector and on again!!!!! Very IRRITATING! It ruins the moment every time!

Oh, I filled out a tech form in detail online and heard nothing. I have tried a number of times calling tech to no avail.


This was my first projector, so I was looking for something that was lower cost but still offered a quality image for movies and video games in our newly finished basement. After research this seemed like my best option in the sub $500 price tier. Was really pleased with the image and it fit our needs really well, until about 5 weeks into usage I noticed a few white dots on the screen, with several new dots appearing seemingly every few days. After a little online research I found out this is a common problem with Optoma projectors (dead pixels related to the DLP technology).

I contacted Optoma online for support but it took weeks to get a response other than an automated reply (I filled out multiple warranty service request forms). When I did get a response the workers I interacted with were great and really helpful, but the warranty itself is not great (Optoma wanted to do a repair, when I think a replacement makes sense that early in its life cycle while under warranty, and they required that I pay out of pocket to package, insure, and ship the product to them, while also waiting the approximately 7-10 business days after receipt for the projector to be returned to me). I then turned to Amazon to see if they could provide product support and they readily issued a refund and provided clear instructions for a hassle-free return. Really glad I bought through Amazon on this one.
After this experience I decided to go with a different projector style and manufacturer (Epson, 3LCD) and to go up a tier in quality (into the sub $1000 grouping). The difference in image quality and features (really appreciating the vertical lens shift and flexible throw distances on this new one compared to the 143x!) has made the extra cost well worth it for our needs.


Purchased it for backyard movies with friends and family and it works great. Its virtually plug and play. I plugged in my fire stick tv and my Nyne Bass Speaker and started streaming movies. I did have to buy a WiFi extender in order to get a strong enough signal. Works best after dark where I picture is great!

Bread Pitt

Great projector. Beautiful picture, super bright, not too noisy.

Unfortunately, I had to return mine because apparently I'm susceptible to the high-pitch wine of the color wheel. I thought this might just be a bad color wheel but reading the other reviews, it seems this is just how it is. Either you hear it or you don't. It didn't affect anyone else in my family, but it's all I could hear every time I turned the projector on, so back it went. Shame, because I didn't see any DLP rainbow effect (which was what I was actually concerned about when I ordered) and I really wish I could have kept it!

Settled on an Epson 2040 instead, which is a 3LCD system, and I have absolutely no regrets.