Best Golf Simulator Projectors | 2021 Buyer’s Guide & Reviews
If you want to get the most out of a golf simulator, you should definitely be looking to invest in a golf simulator projector. The best projectors for golf simulation are fairly expensive pieces of hardware, however. You should therefore be thinking long and hard about what you need from a projector when shopping for one as this will represent a huge percentage of what you have invested in your simulator package. Our buying guide will summarise the most important factors involved in selecting the best projector for golf simulators.
Main Types of Projectors
Digital Light Processing projectors (DLP)
When it comes to selecting a video projector for your golf simulator, there are several different options available to you. Video projectors come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but the vast majority of them use one of three key technologies.
Digital Light Processing (DLP) projectors are one of the most popular varieties. These projectors include microscopic mirror arrays with an adjustable tilt.
These mirrors tilt in the direction of the projector light source or away from it. This creates distinct pixels on a projector screen. The cost of a DLP projectors ultimately depends on whether you opt for a single chip device or a three chip alternative.
Single chip DLP projectors are usually the most expensive as they deliver the sharpest images possible. They are also incredibly bright and handle fast motion well. They are also suitable for use when projecting 3D displays.
Liquid Crystal Display projectors (LCD)
Liquid Crystal Display projectors, otherwise known as LCD projectors, are another potential option. LCD projectors are less bright than DLP devices, but they are somewhat brighter than LCoS models. LCD projectors usually deliver high brightness levels and are good at colour rendering, especially when it comes to blacks and darker shades.
They also handle motion relatively well, making them fairly suitable for use with gaming projection. However, they do produce fairly average 3D projections.
Liquid Crystal on Silicon projectors (LCoS)
Another projector option to consider is a Liquid Crystal on Silicon model, otherwise known as a LCoS projector. These projector models cast light through a panel to produce a projected image. This type of projector is good if you want to enjoy high contrast ratios and sharp black elements, but they do have some disadvantages.
LCoS projectors have limited brightness capabilities, making them unsuitable for projecting onto big screens. They are also a poor fit with 3D images and struggle to handle fast motion well. Despite their flaws, they are also relatively expensive. You should probably avoid such projectors when selecting hardware for your golf simulator.
No matter what type of projector you opt for, you should always look for a model that allows for short throw projection. A short throw projector / ultra short throw projector is always the best option for gaming applications, including golf simulator setups.
The reason for this is that short throw projectors can be placed relatively close to a display screen, without you having to make too much of a compromise in detail and clarity. This also means you can keep your projector close to your other tech and hardware, minimising the amount of space required for an indoor golf simulator arrangement.
Projector Resolution & Aspect Ratio
There is simply no point in purchasing a second-rate projector. The whole point of purchasing a short throw projector for golf simulator systems is to provide you with a realistic virtual environment in which to play and train in. Resolution is therefore very important. Understanding projector resolutions is relatively straightforward. Resolution refers to the number of pixels that your projector hardware utilises to produce a projected image. Unsurprisingly, the greater the number of pixels, the better the resolution will be.
When shopping around for a short throw projector, you will undoubtedly encounter something called the ‘throw ratio’ when assessing key specs and features. A short throw projector is the best option for those looking to build a simulator in a tight space as they provide impressive displays, even when the projector is placed relatively near to the display screen. The throw ratio refers to how much clearance between a projector and a display screen is required. The Throw ratio is calculated as Throw Distance / Image width.
Resolution and aspect ratio should always be considered at the same time. While resolution specifies the amount of pixels that make up an image and overall image quality, aspect ratio determines the shape of the image. More specifically, aspect ratio specifies the height and weight of a projected image.
There are three main resolution and aspect ratios you will encounter when shopping for projectors for your golf simulator. One of the most common is 4:3, which will apply in the case of SVGA, SXGA and XGA display modes. With this aspect ratio, the projected image will appear as a square shape. This aspect ratio and resolution is fairly limited. It offers the lowest overall resolutions of around 1023 by 768 pixels, while the square shape can restrict your simulator setup. However, projectors with this specification are without doubt the cheapest option.
Another commonly encountered aspect ratio and resolution combination is 16:10. This will apply when dealing with WXGA and WUXGA display modes. You can expect a relatively high resolution here of 1280 by 800 pixels. This not only provides a more expansive and rectangular projection, it also delivers much sharper images than what you can expect from SXGA and XGA display modes. Projector devices offering this aspect ratio and resolution are considerably more expensive, however.
The best option for golf simulator systems is a projector offering an aspect ratio of 16:9 with a 1080 p resolution. With this aspect ratio and resolution, you can enjoy rectangular projections and much sharper image clarity with maximum resolutions of 1920 by 1080 pixels. This aspect ratio is far better suited to immersive home theatre and golf simulator installations. Although home theater projectors with this spec are the most desirable option, they are understandably the most expensive.
Lumens & Brightness
Overall brightness is another key aspect of a good short throw projector for golf simulators. The light output of your projector will ultimately decide how bright your hardware is and dramatically affect the quality of a projected image. When selecting a projector, you should focus on the lumens rating.
The greater the lumens rating, the brighter the projected the image will be. If you are going to use your projector in a room that is exposed to secondary sources of light, a greater lumens rating is important. The resulting brightness will ensure your projected image is still clear and vivid when projected onto a display screen.
Another important thing you should not overlook when shopping for a golf simulator projector is how it will be mounted. If you are confident the place you have chosen for your simulator can be a permanent home for your hardware, you should think about ceiling mounts.
These projector mounts are fixed to the ceiling and keep the projector hardware out of your path to free up floor space. However, these are not always practical.
A floor enclosure is therefore a good alternative. These floor projector mounts provide a sturdy case for a projector that is to be placed on the ground. When shopping for floor mounts, make sure they are discreet in appearance and will not distract your attention from your training.
Reviews of Best Golf Simulator Projectors
Searching for the best projector for your golf simulator system? We have put together a premium list of some of the best golf simulator projectors available for you to consider.
The Optoma EH412ST is an ideal choice of short throw projector for golf simulators. This high-quality piece of hardware will project HD images to your simulator screens, even when you are constricted by tight environments. The short throw lens found within this projector means you can project sizeable displays, even when the projector itself is placed relatively close to your simulator screen.
You can also expect HD resolutions in full 1080P HDTV with this golf simulator projector. There is now unsightly downscaling to worry about or compression that will compromise the overall quality of your displays. This short throw projector is also significantly brighter than many other projector devices on the marker, with 4000 lumens on offer to ensure maximum brightness.
This makes it ideal for use in rooms that are already exposed to significant amounts of natural light. This projector will also impress anyone who is looking for higher levels of contrast. With a 50,000:1 contrast ratio as standard here, you can look forward to images with incredible levels of depth and detail.
Another neat detail of this projector is its integrated speaker. This allows you to enjoy a more immersive simulator scenario with exceptional sound quality, without the need to utilise additional pieces of home media hardware.
The Optoma EH200ST is another ideal option for anyone looking to enjoy superior projected displays with their home golf simulator setup. This short throw projector is suitable for use in small indoor spaces, with the projector able to cast crisp and clear images at maximum display size, even when placed relatively close to the screen.
Full HD displays come as standard with this projector, with no compression or downscaling to contend with. Another major benefit of this projector is that it delivers full 3D content from a wide range of media hardware sources. This projector also boasts a rapid refresh rate that removes the incidence of flickering.
This golf simulator projector should provide you with all the brightness you need to contend with light intrusion, with 3000 lumens of brightness. You can also expect rich colours to bring your virtual environments to life, as well as an impressive contrast ratio of 20,000:1 that will add essential depth and detail to your simulator software graphics. This projector has an aspect ratio of 4:3 and comes with two HDMI ports, MHL Connectivity 10 watt audio output and more.
This Optoma X318ST short throw projector will prove a good fit for golfers looking for high brightness levels and exceptional levels of detail, especially if you are restricted in terms of space. This golf simulator projector boasts an impressive short throw ratio that will deliver large images measuring 80 inches from only a few feet away.
This means you can enjoy a first-rate home simulator, even if you are limited to a relatively small room. This golf simulator projector also provides you with 3D functionality, allowing you to enjoy the very best in visuals and detailed graphics on any screen size.
This projector also utilises Digital Light Processing technology that provides your projections with significantly higher levels of contrast and delivers a faster response time. This innovative technology will also ensure your projected images maintain a premium pixel structure, with next to no degradation when it comes to colour.
Wide connectivity with a host of media devices is also supported by this golf projector, with Mobile High Definition (MHL) connectivity allowing you to enjoy instant displays from compatible tablets or smartphones. There is also an extensive connectivity option with HDMI, VGA and Composite.
The Optoma EH460ST is a good choice for those looking for a short throw projector that will deliver impressive HD visuals, even when you have to contend with light intrusion from other sources. This powerful projector not only delivers large projections at very tight distances, it will deliver crisp 1080p resolutions in almost any light condition, thanks to its 4200 lumens rating.
A 20,000:1 contrast ratio also ensures this projector scores well when it comes to depth and detail. If you are looking for a projector that will show off what your simulator software can really do, this is an essential bit of hardware to consider investing in.
The EH460ST also supports 3D projections should you have any 3D compatible hardware devices in your collection, although you will need to ensure you have invested in a pair of Optoma 3D classes beforehand. This short throw simulator projector also includes an integrated speaker, providing you with powerful audio output without the need for additional hardware.
The Maxell MC-EX5001 is definitely a contender for the best short throw projector for golf simulators. This powerful projector provides you with impressive 1024 by 768 resolutions, with an incredible 5,200 lumens output. This significant level of brightness means your graphics will be realised in more detail than ever before, while also granting you more flexibility when it comes to placing your simulator.
Thanks to the high levels of brightness offered here, you can use your projector in spaces that are exposed to significant amounts of natural light and secondary light sources. This simulator projector includes a variety of first-rate technologies that give this piece of hardware a noticeable edge over other devices.
In addition to an accentualiser feature, this projector includes a significant high dynamic contrast range and first-rate image optimiser that provide you with stunning visuals that are hard to top. You can also make quick adjustments and corrections to your projected display with the MC-EX5001, making it a good choice for the perfectionist.
The Optoma XH406 has a ton of terrific features that make it one of the best golf simulator projectors on the market. One of the standouts of this projector is the Digital Light Processing technology that it offers as standard. This combination technology provides you with significant levels of contrast and impressive response times, as well as superb pixel structure and next to no colour degradation.
Vertical lens shift also comes as a standard feature of this projector. This lens shift makes adjusting your projected displays incredibly straightforward, giving more scope when it comes to placing your projector. If your golf simulator is limited to an awkward interior space, this feature is very handy.
Four corner correction also makes adjusting your projected display simple. Thanks to this geometric correction function, you can make instant adjustments to the corners of your display. If you are contending with an uneven display screen or a display that is angled, this correction is essential. Integrated speakers also included, providing you with powerful audio output without the need to introduce additional hardware components.
The Optoma GT1080HDR short throw projector will more than impress with its first-rate performance and extensive technical capabilities. This golf simulator projector provides you with incredibly fast response times and a superior refresh rate. This means you can expect next to no disruption to your software graphics. This short throw projector will also provide you with large displays, with maximum image displays of 120 inches possible from a distance of only four feet.
If you are working with a smaller space, this short throw prowess will appeal. A crisp and bright image quality can be enjoyed every time with this projector. A powerful brightness output of 3200 lumens makes it an ideal choice for everyday interiors, while a significant contrast ratio of 50,000:1 means you can expect a high level of detail and depth.
Flexible connectivity is also assured with this projector. You can connect this Optoma projector you a wide variety of gaming consoles, as well as other media players and HDMI media devices. Dual HDMI inputs are included so you can connect multiple hardware devices at any one time. Vertical keystone correction also allows you to make quick adjustments to your image, with minimal effort required to ensure you have the best display possible for your home simulator system.
The BenQ TH671ST short throw projector is an affordable piece of hardware that will provide you with superior displays for your home golf simulator studio. This Short Throw Projector provides you high resolution displays in full 1080p HD, with significant 3000 ANSI lumen brightness levels.
You can also enjoy 10,000:1 contrast ratio performance, providing you with all the depth and clarity you need to get the best out of your simulator software and virtual training. This projector also has a fast response time, with minimal lag to ensure that simulator experiences are not hampered by motion blur and other degradation.
If you are looking for a compact projector that will provide you with significantly large displays, the BenQ TH671ST is a good option. This BenQ Compact Short Throw projector will deliver images as big as 100 inches from a distance of just 1.5 metres.
This makes it suitable for use in smaller environments where you do not want to compromise your simulator experience. An integrated speaker is also included, providing you with stereo audio output without the need to invest in additional hardware. This BenQ Projector also comes with a 3 year warranty (limited parts & labour).
If you want to push the limits of what your golf simulator system can do, this ViewSonic short throw projector is a serious contender. This projector can produce displays measuring up to 300 inches, even when placed in relative proximity to your display screen. These displays can also be enjoyed in full HD, providing an immersive simulator environment like no other.
Innovative colour technology is also included here, providing you with a cinematic experience and natural colour reproductions. If you have spent a significant amount of money in premium software packages, this projector will allow you to get the most out your investment.
This projector also boasts a reduced input latency, as well as a designated gaming mode that makes it suitable for use with software that includes high motion graphics. With this projector, you can enjoy smooth images with next to no lags every time you play.
When operated in Eco Mode, this projector will also ensure you do not have to worry about replacing lamps ahead of time. In Eco Mode, this projector will provide you with around 15,000 hours of lamp life, making it a cost-effective choice.
BenQ TH685 1080p Gaming ProjectorBenQ TH685 1080p Gaming Projector | 4K HDR Support | 120hz Refresh Rate | 3500lm | Enhanced Game Mode | Stream Netflix & Prime Video
The BenQ TH685 projector is relatively affordable when you compare it to what else is on the market, but if offers plenty of incredible features that make it ideal for use with golf simulators. This gaming projector will deliver displays in HD 1080p and is compatible with 4K displays.
When used with 4K HDR displays, you can expect significantly improved brightness levels and improved contrast, providing you with enhanced simulator experience. An integrated 5W speaker with equaliser is also included, ensuring you have first-rate audio output without the need to invest in additional media hardware.
This 4K projector has been designed with gaming in mind. The BenQ TH685 experiences very low latency and minimal lag, with designated gaming modes to ensure your audio and images always perform at their best.
This easy setup golf simulator projector can also be used with most gaming consoles (such as Nintendo Switch, XBON One, Sony PS4, Google Stadia) and media devices, granting you broader usage to ensure you get the most out of your investment. A 3 year industry leading warranty is included with this BenQ Short Throw Projector
Our Best Short Throw Projector For Golf Simulator Pick
If you want an advanced projector to take your home golf simulator up a notch, you should definitely think about purchasing the Optoma EH460ST. This projector has a very impressive lumens rating that makes it exceptionally bright and suitable for use in most environments.
It also offers a good contrast ratio that provides you with incredible depth and visual detail. Full HD displays can be savoured with this projector, while large displays are easily handled. This projector for golf simulator also supports 3D displays, making it ideal for those who want to enjoy an involved simulator experience.
Best Budget Projector
If money is tight, the BenQ TH685 gaming projector is your best bet. This short throw projector is fairly affordable, but offers you impressive features and technical prowess. You can enjoy full HD displays with the option to upgrade to 4K HDR displays. Low latency levels also make it a good fit with the latest golf simulator software.