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If you want to replicate the experience of going to a movie theater at home, your best bet is to get a projector. There’s nothing quite like watching your favorite movies, TV shows, and video games on a 100-inch screen.
Once you’ve chosen the right projector (we have some recommendations if you’re stuck), the next thing to do is get a handful of accessories. Most of us don’t have cinema-ready rooms, so we’ve concentrated on gear that will help you get a steady, clear image, or keep your projector from getting damaged when it’s not in use. Watching movies at home will never be quite the same as going to a professional theater, but the accessories below will help bridge the gap even further.
1. TaoTronics Projector Screen
You can technically project videos onto any wall, but TaoTronics’ projector screen is a large, white, perfectly flat surface designed to properly display an image.
It’s 104-inches wide, and is made out of a wrinkle-free PVC material that won’t reflect much light. The screen comes with a tripod stand, so you can set it up both indoors and outdoors. TaoTronics says it should only take two minutes to set up and break down the screen, and the company includes a carrying case for easy storage.
2. Pyle Projector Tripod Stand
Pyle’s Tripod Stand ensures your projector is completely level, so you won’t end up with a distorted image. Its plate (the flat surface on top of the tripod) is 11-inches deep and 14-inches wide, which is large enough to hold most projectors without any parts hanging off the sides. It’s height adjustable between 22 and 35 inches, so you’ll be able to position your projector to hit the surface it’s projecting onto perfectly.
3. Luxja Projector Case
If you’ve oped for a portable, battery-powered projector, you’ll need a carrying case to keep it protected while you’re on the move.
This one from Luxia has two sections: An inner pocket that holds your projector (with a strap to keep it securely in place), and a front-side compartment that contains four smaller pouches for cables and other accessories. The inner pocket can hold projectors up to 13.5-inches wide, 10-inches deep, and 4.25-inches tall; Most totally portable projectors are far smaller than that, so you won’t have any trouble fitting yours inside.
The bag has thick padding on all sides, so your projector and other accessories won’t get damaged while you’re carrying them around. The company doesn’t say anything about this bag being waterproof though, so we don’t recommend keeping a water bottle in any of its extra pouches.
4. Fire TV Stick 4K
Amazon’s Fire TV Stick 4K is our go-to media streamer, and it’s an especially good pick if you’ve got a projector.
It has a maximum video output of 4K, so you’ll get the best possible video quality when streaming movies and TV shows on a huge screen. Just remember that the video you choose, the service you stream from, the streaming plan you’ve subscribed to, and your internet connection will also play a part in the video quality you’ll actually get.
The Fire TV Stick 4K’s other strong suit is its small size. It’s not much bigger than a flash drive, and can be powered by the USB port on your projector, so you won’t have a big dongle hanging off the back of your machine. This is especially helpful if you’ve decided to mount your projector to the ceiling, where it’ll be harder to access most of the time.
As a bonus, the Fire TV Stick 4K comes bundled with a voice-activated Alexa remote, which allows you to search for the video you’re watching by hitting the microphone button on top and asking. You can also ask Alexa for answers to questions like “will it rain tomorrow?” The answer (in this case a five-day forecast) will be projected onto your screen.
5. AmazonBasics Tilting Projector Bracket Mount
If you’d like to keep your projector in a permanent space that’s out of the way, your best bet is to mount it to your ceiling. AmazonBasics’ bracket mount can hold projectors up to 33 pounds, and can be tilted up or down by 15-degrees, so you can get the perfect angle. This DIY project may seem a little complicated, but the only tool you’ll need is a Phillips head screwdriver. Just be sure to take measurements beforehand, so your projector placement is just right.
6. Altura Photo Professional Cleaning Kit
If your projector’s lens gets dusty, it may impact the clarity of its image, so it’s smart to keep some lens cleaner around. This kit from Altura is meant for camera lenses, and includes a set of microfiber cleaning cloths, optical cleaning spray, a pair of brushes, and and an air pump. The cleaning cloths and spray are the two components you’ll use most often, but the air pump is good to keep on hand if your projector’s fans get clogged with dust and lint.
7. Edifier R1850DB Active Bookshelf Speakers
Most modern projectors have a built-in speaker, but this stereo pair from Edifier will offer a better, fuller sound.
These are active (powered) speakers, which means they have an amp built into them; all you have to do is connect a cable from your projector’s headphone jack (sometimes called Audio Out) into RCA (red and white) inputs on the right speaker.
The speakers have an additional pair of RCA inputs, an optical audio input, coaxial input, and Bluetooth support, so you can connect more home theater components — from turntables to your phone —at the same time. Although it’s a 2.0 stereo audio system, the R1850DBs have a subwoofer output, so you can add one for extra bass.
If you have a projector that can produce a big image, this set of speakers can deliver audio that’s just as impactful.