When it comes to projectors, they are usually universal for inside and outside use. The most important thing is the lighting around. You can find simulations online that show how even the highest-quality projectors show images differently before and after the sunset.
So, there are other things to consider when choosing a projector for outside use. First of all, the quality of the image you will get and its brightness. There are many other things, and to save you time and effort on your own research, we’ve created this review.
It’s crucial to do your research, but why not use the data professionals provide, right?
Here, we have the TOP 5 projectors; all are very powerful and suitable for outside use. Relatively portable units with HD capabilities and versatile use are what you should be looking for. If all the letters and numbers make you dizzy, we have a buyer’s guide after the list that explains every quality of a perfect outside projector.
Are you ready to bring your movie parties to a new level?
1. GooDee 2020 Upgrade 6000 Lux HD Video Projector With The Highest Luminosity
This is the company’s best-seller because, in 2020, the brightness was upgraded. As a result, you’re getting an 80% brighter image than most other common projectors. The contrast ratio is 3000:1, meaning you’re getting a crispier image even in conditions with slight lighting.
Image and Sound Capabilities
The projector supports 1080p Full HD movies. The viewing space is 44” to 230”. The most common and optimal variant is viewing at a 10ft distance with a 98” viewing screen. There are also two 3W speakers built in the unit with Hi-Fi stereo and SRS sound system. You don’t need additional speakers; the quality of sound is very high and clear.
There are two USB and two HDMI ports, as well as VGA and AV ones that can be connected to your Chromecast, laptop, PC, TV Box, external speakers, DVD player, even Xbox and PlayStation. The number of devices available for connection is impressive. The image and connection types offer you an opportunity for a gaming night!
We love the cooling system of this unit. It’s quiet and very effective, built with an innovative material that helps increase the longevity of the bulb and reduce the noise that often annoys. The warranties and support are great as well. You can contact GooDee within 2 months from the purchase if something is wrong. Plus, there’s 5-year factory support for the unit.
You can use the speakers built in the projector or connect an external system. The unit can also be mounted on the ceiling for more convenience.
2. LG PF50KA Portable Theater Projector For a Great Portability
Image Quality and Lamp Life
You get a Full HD resolution of 1920×1080 with 2.1 million pixels! They are projected by Expanded Pixel Resolution (XPR). The screen size is up to 100”, and the brightness of the projected image is 600 ANSI lumens.
The lamp life is around 30,000 hours, which is usually years of use, depending on the frequency of use.
As this is an LG unit, you can connect it to the Smart TV of the same manufacturer. There are also the following connections available:
- USB Type-C cable;
- Wireless ScreenShare;
- Sound-out using Bluetooth connection.
The Smart TV connection allows you to find favorite movies in the shortest time. ScreenShare is great for connecting to your smartphone or tablet. And all external speakers can also be connected wirelessly. This contributes to the portability of the device.
When using Apple devices, make sure you download the LG TV Plus application.
If you’re after portability, this might be a great option. It works great with other LG tech, as well as with all kinds of smartphones, tablets, PCs, and laptops. Lots of wireless capabilities make the device very easy to use, except for the remote. Some reviewers state you have to get used to it as there are lots of buttons. We, on the other hand, find it highly functional.
3. Optoma GT1080HDR Great Gaming Experience
It offers 1080p 120Hz Gaming at 8.4ms, incredible graphic capabilities, and 4K compatibility.
The projector supports HDR10 tech, which brings out brighter whites, saturated colors, and deeper dark tones. The lamp is 3,800 lumens, which is quite bright for evening and night viewing. It’s compatible with 4K and responds very fast; this is a great feature for gamers.
Lens and Lamp Capabilities
The lens used for this device is a short-throw type, so you can enjoy an image as large as 120” projected in high-quality from about 4ft from the screen. This is great if you have a small backyard, and saving space is a priority. Also, it’s easier to install and adjust a short-throw projector.
The lamp life is up to 15,000 hours, which is over a decade of everyday use. You also get 0.8 to 2.0x zoom.
The connection opportunities are plenty:
- Any Firestick;
- Apple TV;
- Gaming consoles;
- Smartphones and tablets;
- PCs and laptops.
This is a high-quality, easy-to-install model suitable for small places. There’s a variety of correction options, including zoom. If there are gamers in the family, the projector is very good for playing games; it’s very responsive, and the quality of the image is impressive!
4. ViewSonic X10-4KE Home Assistant Compatibility
With a luminous flux of 2,400 lumens, you’ll be able to see vivid colors and great contrast after sunset. This projector is suitable for large screens up to 200” and has a resolution of 3840×2160 4K UHD. The capabilities of the projector are almost limitless with such a resolution!
The projection is lamp-free, but there’s a LED tech with 30,000 hours of life. It’s power and money-saving. The colors are close to life, full and vivid, due to the HDR content support and high accuracy.
Sound and Smart Tech
There are built-in Harman Kardon dual Bluetooth speakers that offer high-quality, crisp audio. The projector is a part of the smart technology world. You can use the voice control of your home assistant, connect the device to a Smart TV, and stream from YouTube and other services. Wi-Fi connection is also available, opening new doors for your movie party.
The hardware connection is USB Type-C, and the mounting capabilities are limited to ceiling mount, which isn’t that convenient for outside work but can be worked on.
We’re big fans of everything smart-home, so this projector got on the list immediately after testing the voice control. It’s power-saving and offers lots of opportunities along with nice picture quality. The image is way too bright at times, but the other advantages compensate for that.
5. Nebula by Anker Mars II Pro Amazing Sound
The projector can be connected via USB and HDMI to:
- Nintendo Switch, etc.
If you have Android 7.1 and higher, you’ll be able to watch videos on YouTube, Hulu, Netflix, and other services. Keep in mind that to use most of them, you will need paid accounts. The device doesn’t support Chromecast, but you can use ScreenCast.
500 ANSI lumens provide sufficient brightness; the videos are clear and crisp at 720p. The projector has an autofocus feature that will make sure you’re watching movies in the best quality. There’s no need to adjust it manually; just switch it on, connect to your device, and enjoy.
You can use your phone as a remote control. Just download the Nebula Connect application, and you’ll find lots of useful features of this table-mount projector.
If in search of a high-quality in-built sound system, this is definitely a good choice. The quality of the image is standard, but for a backyard movie night, you will rarely need more. It’s bright, it’s loud, has deep bass, app control, and lots of other useful features. A solid choice!
How to Choose the Right Option, Additional Spendings
There are quite a few features to pay attention to when choosing an outdoor projector. The most important thing is image brightness. While at home, you can turn off the lights and get a blackout curtain, it’s better to have some lights on if you’re outside. It will be cozier and more convenient due to multiple reasons. So the brightness of your projector has to be sufficient for a clear view with some ambient light.
There are other things to consider:
- Aspect ratio. The best aspect ratio for home theaters of any kind is 16:9. If using a business projector, the ratio of 16:10 is also great because it’s very close to the perfect one. Especially if you invite people over, there has to be enough viewing space for everyone to be able to see the movie. Also, the movies are usually filmed to be 16:9, so you won’t crop the image.
- Moving the projector outside and installing it there might take some effort if it’s bulky and needs lots of wires. Portable projectors are wonderful because they are lighter, take less space, and are easier to install.
- Wireless connection. The ability to connect to your laptop or phone wirelessly is another great advantage. This offers ease of installation and almost no wires to block the way. If the speakers can be connected via Bluetooth, you’ve got yourself an amazing set. The built-in speakers are also great if they are of high quality.
- Luminous flux. As said before, brightness is one of the top priorities. It’s represented in the lumen rate of the lamp. You can get a projector as bright as 6,000 lumens, but it’s not always necessary. Consider how far from the screen you’ll be sitting, what the screen is, what amount of ambient light you will have. The more light there is around, the brighter your projector should be.
- The company that sells the device is also important because you deserve the best customer service. Everything starting with customer support reply time to warranties is important. If any of the parts are faulty or break within the warranty period, everything depends on the customer-friendliness of the brand. It’s not necessary to buy only from world-famous brands like Epson; there are smaller companies that will give you the same quality for a lower price.
- Lamp life. This determines the longevity of your projector before replacing the lamp or buying a new device. It can be from 15,000 hours or less to 70,000 hours and more. Considering you may not be using the projector every day for 10-20 hours, a high-quality device can serve you for decades.
High-Quality Outdoors Projector Benefits
Here are the main advantages of getting a projector suitable for outside use:
- Such devices are usually lighter and smaller in size. It’s easy to install them and move from the house to the yard. Small projectors are also easier to store since you don’t need a lot of space for it and its add-ons. Talking about super-compact pocket projectors, they weigh around 2+ pounds, so you can take one with you when going camping.
- Outdoor projectors are usually more compatible with different surfaces. So even if you don’t have a screen, there’s no problem.
- They are also brighter on average, so a little ambient light won’t make you want to squint your eyes to see something on the screen.
- The image is easier on the eyes than a TV one. You can watch movies for as long as you’d like without feeling like your eyes are burning out.
Additional Spendings on Add-Ons for a Projector
While a projector itself is an amazing investment in your household, there might be additional things you will need. If you have them already or like DIY stuff, it’s fine. But for the best cinema-like experience, it’s better to give an extra buck for the following:
- External audio system. Some projectors have built-in speakers, and a lot of them are great. But if you feel like there’s not enough “drama” in the sound, buy an external audio system. There are wirelessly-connected, super-powerful, compact sound systems for home theaters. Just find an option that will work well outside and won’t get damaged by the environment.
- Cables and adapters. To connect the projector, you will need HDMI, VGA, AV, and/or other cables. Wireless connection is the best choice, but sometimes it doesn’t work, or your software might not be compatible. Then, the cables really come in handy. Adapters are another great investment if you’re using Apple devices or any smartphone to connect to the projector.
- A screen. While an ironed and tightened white sheet is great, a projection screen will provide the best image quality and improve the overall experience. There are so many types of screens, their materials and built, setup and mount types, colors, and sizes. If you haven’t already, read about the most compatible screens for your projector. There’s a great range online for different devices, lighting, and budgets.
- An extra lamp. We’ve talked about the longevity of a projector lamp. While some might serve you for years, environmental damage, improper storage, and many more factors might affect the lifespan. If the projector isn’t new or you want to get the full package, it’s better to buy a spare lamp suitable for the device. You can find out if the manufacturer sells them or consult customer support to find out which lamp will fit the best. Remember that your warranty might include lamp replacement if something goes wrong too quickly.
By getting the full package, you’ll create an opportunity to dive into the cinema atmosphere in your backyard anytime! While it will cost a few hundred (if not thousands) dollars, think about the joy you’ll experience after all.
The Final Words
Backyard movie nights are very cozy and romantic experiences. Throwing some LED lights on the trees or fence, getting a nice cup of coffee and popcorn, and watching your favorite movies – what could be better on a Saturday night? High-quality rest is important, and, given you may not be able to go to the cinema every week, creating one at home is a precious chance.