The Best Outdoor Projectors For An Amazing Night In

best outdoors projector screen
Joe
Written by Joe

Fancy throwing an old school movie night in the great outdoors? Here’s the best outdoors projectors and screens available today. All you need is popcorn!

Entertainment can be complicated. You can throw a dinner party for sure. However, there are many variables you have to contend with. The children have to be squared away, the mood music can’t be depressing, the menu should be general enough to impress everyone and whatever happens, everyone should leave the party impressed. It can be exhausting thinking about everything. Investing in an outdoor projector can help make everything easier.

The only things you need when planning an outdoor movie night is just the projector screen, refreshments and sandwiches. However, the process of purchasing an outdoor screen projector is very different compared to other consumer products. There are many variables that go into buying an outdoor projector and to get you started, let’s look at the different types of outdoors.

Image

Model

Display Technology

Lumens

Resolution

Price

Rating

Epson Home Cinema 1440 1080p 4400 Lumens

Epson Home Cinema

LCD

4400

Full HD 1080p

$$$$$

Epson VS240

Epson VS240

LCD

3000

SVGA 800x600

$$

Acer P1173 SVGA DLP Projector

Acer P1173 SVGA DLP Projector

DLP 3D

3000

SVGA 800x600

$$

BenQ MS524A SVGA 3300 Lumens 3D Ready Projector

BenQ MS524A SVGA 3300 Lumens 3D Ready Projector

DLP 3D

3300

SVGA 800x600

$$

ViewSonic LightStream PJD5255 Projector

ViewSonic LightStream PJD5255 Projector

DLP

3300

XGA 1024 x 768

$$

Optom X341 3300 Lumens XGA 3D DLP Projector

Optom X341 3300 Lumens XGA 3D DLP Projector

DLP

3300

XGA 1024 x 768

$$$

Epson PowerLite 1761W Wireless 3LCD Projector

Epson PowerLite 1761W Wireless 3 LCD Projector

LCD

2600

WXGA

$$$

Gemmy Airblown 39127-32 Inflatable Movie Screen, 12-Feet

Gemmy 39127-32

Blow up Screen

123"x70" and 12-feet (144-Inch) Wide

Self Inflates

$$

Elite Screens Yard Master 2, 100-inch 16:9, Foldable Folding Frame Outdoor Front Projection Movie Projector Screen, OMS100H2

Elite Screens OMS100H2 Yard Master 2

Foldable Screen

100-inch Diagonal, 16:9 Aspect Ratio

Front projection

$$$

Visual Apex

Visual Apex

Foldable Screen

144 inch

​Front Projection

$$

Types of outdoor projectors

An outdoor projector is a sizeable purchase and as such, taking inventory of what you need and narrowing it down to a specific type is important. Here is a closer look at the different types of outdoor projectors.

DLP Projection

This utilizes millions of micro mirror technology and standard lamp light source todeliver detailed images to your screening surface. It is known for less pixilation and better projection. DLP projection is commonly used in movie theaters and provides enhanced viewing experience as compared to LCD technology but at a higher cost.

LCD Projection

This technology was introduced in the 1980s and utilizes three mirror configuration as well as liquid crystal displays to cast video images onto a screening surface. And while it may sound like an antiquated technology, it has been modernized during the past two decades and now offers brighter projection. It isn’t the crispiest of technologies but is a great option if you are on a budget.

LCOS Projection

This is a combination of LCD and DLP projection technologies. It is designed to limit the deficiencies and maximize on the best qualities of both technologies to offer the ultimate video viewing experience. LCOS projections offer the crispiest and brightest images and can be very costly for the average consumer. They are also hard to find.

Wireless Connectivity

Many manufacturers are designing projectors that can be connected to your device directly without the need for USB or wires. This function works more or less like other modern DVD players that have Wi-fi connectivity. You can stream Chromecast, Netflix or other services as long as you are near a strong signal. Consider the strength of your wifi signal in the backyard before purchasing a wireless projector.

Wired Connectivity

Many projectors require the use of external wired connection such as USB or HDMI connection to deliver visual content. Such movie projectors receive content from third party devices including laptops and Blueray players that require wired connections. If you are on a budget, a projector that utilizes wired connection is a cheaper option compared to one that uses wireless connection.

Overview of the 10 best outdoor projectors

Nothing is quiet like sitting down with friends and family to watch a movie. And when the weather is great, you can always take this adventure outdoors and utilize a projector screen to enhance the experience. The good news is that there are many outdoor movie projectors available on the market. But the question remains – which are the best outdoor HD projectors? Here are the reviews of the best that Amazon has to offer.

Epson Home Cinema 1440 1080p 4400 Lumens

Epson Home Cinema 1440 1080p 4400 Lumens

With 4400 lumens projection and 3LCD technology, the Epson Home Cinema 1440 will have everyone thinking they should have purchased a ticket.

It’s a bit pricey, but as far as home electronics purchases go, this is the best outdoor movie projector you can ask for. It doesn’t have wi-fi connectivity but where it matters most, it delivers.

It has very bright projection and utilizes 3LCD technology to deliver sharp images.

Epson VS240

Epson VS240

This is a small sized outdoor projector that’s versatile and comes with advanced features. It comes with 3000 lumens of white brightness and 3000 lumens of colored brightness, which allow for crisp, sharp images. It also offers up to 5000 hours of lamp use in normal mode and 10,000 hours in ECO mode.

And while it does feature manual digital zoom, it does so with exceptional clarity. The viewable screen size with the VS240 is 30-350 inches. It has built-in 3 chip technology that offers quality life-like image detail. USB and HDMI connections allow you to deliver content from phones, media players and laptops easily.

The Epson VS240 is an impressive outdoor projector that covers all the bases and which is a great option if you are on a budget.

Acer P1173 SVGA DLP Projector

Acer P1173 SVGA DLP Projector

When it comes to exceptional outdoor screening experience, the Acer P1173 is a serious contender. Whether you are watching a movie or gaming, the images cast by this projector are stellar. It guarantees up to 10000 hours of lamp use on extreme eco mode, meaning that it’s a great purchase for heavy users.

And unlike other projectors that require an outdoor screen, this one is powerful enough to cast images on a wall. The Acer P1173 is also MHL compatible, allowing you to connect it to your tablet or smartphone without the need for a laptop.

Other connections that are compatible with this projector include 2 VGAs and HDMI. The speakers aren’t the best though and this could be a problem for some.

BenQ MS524A SVGA 3300 Lumens 3D Ready Projector

BenQ MS524A SVGA 3300 Lumens 3D Ready Projector

BenQ is known for producing pricey outdoor projectors and as such, it may come as a surprise that this particular model sells for less than $300. The best thing about this is that the quality of video imagery is top notch. It comes with a nice lamp life of up to 10000 hours on eco mode.

In addition, the BenQ MS524A supports rear projection, although a special rear projection screen is required. Pressing the “AUTO” key on the remote control allows you to automatically choose the best picture quality.

As you would expect from a lowly priced outdoor movie projector, this one compromises on a few things. It has SVGA resolution of 800x600, 2W speakers and lacks a carry bag. Despite these shortcomings, this is still a great option for a backyard movie night.

ViewSonic LightStream PJD5255 Projector

ViewSonic LightStream PJD5255 Projector

This is a small projector that is designed for more than just outdoor use. It features five viewing modes for an enhanced viewing experience. The projector comes with 3200 lumen lamp as well as 1024x768 resolution to deliver crystal imagery.

The projector can be connected to multiple devices thanks to its USB, HDMI and VGA port connections. It also comes with Exclusive SuperColor Technology that offers a broader color range for a richer, viewing experience. The downsides f this projector include low quality sound and high fan noise.

Optom X341 3300 Lumens XGA 3D DLP Projector

Optom X341 3300 Lumens XGA 3D DLP Projector

This is the upgrade of the Optoma X316 and is jammed with impressive features that are sure to score points among consumers. At just five pounds the Optoma X341 is relatively portable.

It is powered by a Texas Instruments 3300 lumens lamp, whose life is clocked between 5000 and 10,000 hours depending you use the projector on eco or normal viewing mode. It offers several connectivity options including VGA, HDMI, Composite, Audio in/out and USB.

As such, you can connect several devices including your laptop, smartphone, amplifier and media players.

Epson PowerLite 1761W Wireless 3LCD Projector

best outdoor projector

If you are in the market for the best wireless outdoor projector that your money can buy, the Epson PowerLite is a great investment.

It offers several connectivity options such as HDMI and USB. It comes with a white USB dongle stick and offers standard wireless connectivity. Its portability and quick set up make it popular for a variety of uses.

Best outdoor projector screens

Gemmy 39127-32

Gemmy Airblown 39127-32 Inflatable Movie Screen, 12-Feet

This is the best outdoor movie projector that you can invest in. It is an inflatable movie screen that inflates automatically once plugged in. It comes complete with tethering ropes, fans and stakes for maximum durability.

Two people may be required to set it up and all the air has t be removed before it can be put into the storage bag. The main downside of this outdoor movie screen projector is that it can’t be used far from the house as it requires an electric power source to work but a quiet generator can easily solve that. And while it may require more room compared to other movie screen projectors on this list, you can rest assured that it’s good value for your money.

Elite Screens OMS100H2 Yard Master 2

Elite Screens Yard Master 2, 100-inch 16:9, Foldable Folding Frame Outdoor Front Projection Movie Projector Screen, OMS100H2

It comes with a single frame, which makes set-up easy. It also has snap button attachments that eliminate the need for tools during set-up. It utilizes square tube aluminum construction, which makes the frame as light as possible. Also included are stakes, support rings and ropes for added stability to ensure that even during breezy summer evenings, the screen stays put. The frame is robust and sturdy to ensure a long lifespan while the padded carry bag makes transportation of your projector screen to anywhere easy. The screen is edged in black and is generously sized to provide an excellent viewing experience.

Visual Apex

best outdoor projector screen

The Visual Apex ProjectoScreen is a portable movie projector screen that measures 8 feet 7 inches high and 11 feet wide when assembled, making it the perfect solution for outdoor movie nights.

And while the increased size is better, it also requires an extra pair of hands to stand after assembly. The manual outlines the assembly instructions clearly in visual illustrations, making setup easy and a straightforward process. And to go the extra mile, there is a set-up video you can watch on the official website of Video Apex.

It comes with stakes and a lightweight aluminum frame with ropes for added stability. It also comes with its own carry bag and weighs 36 pounds when parked, making portability easy. The black backing eliminates light from behind the screen to provide a better viewing experience.

Considerations to Make When Buying an Outdoor Movie Projector

Unlike other consumer products, buying an outdoor HD projector is not necessarily going to put you in the poor house. You probably need to do a little budgeting during the winter if you wish to have an outdoor projector by summer. Whatever the case, you will realize that purchasing a quality outdoor projector is a worthwhile investment. Regardless of the financial investment, keeping the following factors in mind will guarantee you a great purchase.

Brightness

You want to make sure that your projector has a high level of brightness, and this is measured in ANSI lumens. The brightness for outdoor projectors generally ranges from 1000 lumens all the way up to 10,000 lumens. Of course, the higher the lumens, the higher the cost of a projector. The best range for outdoor projectors is between 2200 and 6000 lumens. A 4400 ANSI lumen project will suffice if you intend to start screening your outdoor movie in the afternoon.

Connection

Your outdoor movie projector should be easily connected. This means considering two secondary factors – content delivery and mobility. Your projector should be mobile if you are solely relying on it for outdoor entertainment. And while many projectors are big and awkward, you can find something that is reasonably sized. Anything whose size ranges from an iPad to a reasonably sized cable box will do. In this day and age, your projector should at least have provision for HDMI connection so that you can deliver content from a streaming stick or laptop. Some projectors come with Wi-fi connectivity as well as internal storage units.

Projection system

Outdoor projectors utilize one of three projection systems i.e. DLP, LCD or LCOS. LCD projectors utilize three mirrors and liquid crystal display technology to cast video imagery. They are the cheapest. DLP projectors, on the other hand, utilize a color wheel and millions of micro mirrors to cast video images on the screen. They cast sharper images and are pricier as compared to LCD projectors. LCOS combines the best qualities of both LCD and DLP technology to cast the crispiest, sharpest images onto the screen. Due to the superior quality of the images they cast, LCOS projectors are extremely expensive and not recommended for average home use.

Conclusion

So that's our take on the best outdoor projectors and hopefully this guide makes things clearer. The process of purchasing an outdoor projector doesn’t have to be hard or stressful if you have a quick overview of the top projectors available now. We hope that this guide has put you on the right path in choosing the right projector for you.

About the author

Joe

Joe

I'm Joe, I run Nature Rated. I love spending time in the outdoors. Whenever daily life gets me down I head to the nearest lake or river with my kayak and my camera and I spend time recharging my batteries. I hope you'll love my no fluff to the point reviews and that they'll help you choose the right gear for your next adventure!

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