Best Projector For Outdoor Movies – Expert’s Guide

Are you looking for the best outdoor projectors that provide high resolution and best vivid images? Well, we have saved you the hustles of researching and comparing hundreds of outdoor projectors that are available in the market today.

If you’re new to projectors and how their technology works, this guide will help you learn more about outdoor projectors and how to choose the best outdoor projector that’ll suit all your entertainment needs. 

Be it summertime, camping vacations, outdoor events or classical holidays; outdoor projectors can provide you with unlimited entertainment as you catch up a game, movie or live stream video.

Outdoor projectors can be perfectly installed in your backyard, outside park or rooftop, and as long as there is enough roofing, these devices can give you the best outdoor entertainment experience. 

What’s a projector?

We can describe a projector as an inverted camera that broadcast light out of a lens. There are four major categories, namely; home theater, multimedia, large venue and pocket (also known as pico).

Outdoor projectors fall in the Multimedia category that represents general-purpose projectors that can be used for PowerPoint presentations, slideshows at weddings and, screening video clips.

They come with the highest brightness ranging from 2500 to 6500 lumens, that is perfectly suited for outdoor use. Pocket projectors are very portable and some comes in the size of a smartphone.

They typically use LED lamps that help to conserve power and are most common in offices. Home theater projectors are quite similar to multimedia projectors but differ on image quality. They are designed to suit indoors and comes with a brightness average of 1800 lumens and below.  

Can someone use a living room or home theatre projector for outdoor events?

Well, not really. While a home theater projector might run in your backyard, it’s not recommendable due to various considerable reasons. Living room projectors are only designed to serve indoors and are sensitive to humidity, rain, dogs, dew and mist.

So, it’s always good to use outdoor projectors in your backyard since they come with slightly different modifications and a higher throw radius than living room projectors. 

How to choose the best outdoor project solution

If you want to experience the best entertainment from your outdoor projector, consider reducing all lights interferences as possible. For example, you can alter the angle of your screen projection away from ambient lighting to improve image clarity. Depending on your screen-size-projection, the following dimensions (in ft) are recommendable in achieving the best outdoor projection solution

Five Key Tips for Choosing the Best Outdoor Projector

If you’re shopping for the best outdoor projector, consider the following factors that will ensure all your money is well invested in the right product. Be it outdoor movie festivals, multimedia attractions and other concerts, a great outdoor projector will serve you better.

All outdoor projectors look similar but differ a lot in terms of technology used to power them, lumens power, lamps, etc. below are the 5 key things that you should compare in order to pick the best outdoor projector that will serve your entertainment and broadcasting needs. 

1. The Throw Ratio

Throw ratio refers to the distance from your screen to the projector and the screen width. If you don’t choose an outdoor projector with adequate throw ratio, you’re going to experience screen overbleed.

Larger screen displays require higher ratios. If you’re shopping for the best outdoor projector that will perfectly fit in your backyard, please consider measuring the length and width dimensions of your backyard.

A throw ratio of 2.0 is the most common and moderate setting for most outdoor projectors. With this ratio, your screen should be at least 5ft wide and your projector will need to sit a distance of 10ft away from your screen. 

You can use the following formula for achieving the correct throw ratio

Ratio X Width =Distance (ft)

***Tip*** 

Change the variables and divide to get a perfect ratio. All brands come with a set range of different customizable throw ratio. Once you’ve your outdoor space dimensions and screen size it’ll be much easier to choose the best outdoor projectors for all your outdoor venues and places. 

2. Brightness 

When it comes to projectors, brightness is usually measured in candle feet or Lumens. Which refers to the light emitted by a candle from a distance of 1ft away. A typical 75watts incandescent bulb can emit 1100 lumens. Generally, the more ambient lights you have in your viewing space or area, the higher the lumens. 

Outdoor projectors have a lot more to contend when it comes to sound control and extraneous light. Indoor Multimedia projects are quite easy to handle since one can control the amount of light coming from all overhead sources, windows, doors and hallways.

For outdoor projectors, even if you construct a viewing area away from shops, homes or streetlights, you still have very limited control over stars and moon. Due to these uncontrollable factors, always go for an outdoor projector with the best lens that emits the highest lumens. It’ll serve you better and no one will ever complain about the picture quality. 

3. Contrast ratio

The contrast ratio refers to the ratio of light to dark in a picture or image. How clear, vivid and sharp a video or image appears on screen is determined by contrast & ambient light.

A high amount of ambient light can kill or damage contrast. If you have a better quality of the medium, your contrast ratio will be higher. For example, with a contrast ratio of 3500:1, means that your lightest areas are 3500 times brighter than all the darkest parts. 

Generally, you will need an outdoor projector with low contrast and higher contrast emitting projector for indoor places with super dark or dim lights. So, when shopping for an outdoor projector, please pick a suitable deal that offers the lowest amount of contrast. 

4. Resolution

Resolution is measured by the number of pixels in an area of the screen. If you want a better and higher quality of video or images, just choose an outdoor projector that offers the highest resolution.

Blu-ray standard resolution is 1280p X 720p, if you want to get the best image quality from an outdoor projector, make sure you choose a projector with a resolution of is 1280p X 720p, 1920 X 1080 or higher. 

5. Other considerations

If you’re shopping for an outdoor projector, you need to get the best projector that can withstand hash outdoor environment conditions that are hard to control. A good projector should have the capabilities of resisting dust, moisture and durable enough to serve you longer. 

Advantages of Using Projectors 

Projectors provide us with so many advantages for home entertainment and offer a better eye health while compared to traditional TV screens. 

#1 comes with customizable screen size

The good thing about projectors is that unlike traditional TV sets, they can be operated and projected on any surface rather than one screen set. Most projector owners project onto white painted walls or special screens, but that not mandatory.

Depending on your entertainment desires, projectors can be easily customized or configured to fit any screen size that you want, small or large. With this unique feature, you don’t have to buy a bigger TV screen every time you move to a large or smaller entertainment room. 

#2 Compact size

Nowadays, most manufacturers are striving to design compact size devices. Long-time ago, telephones were so huge and were mounted on walls, today they are just small smart devices that can be carried in the pocket.

Outdoor projectors have also come a long way, in the olden days of black & white images projectors were very big and heavy to carry around, nowadays outdoor projectors are devices that you can put in your bag and carry them to your outdoor venue. Outdoor projects have been improved over the years and now come in a convenient compact size to weight ratio. 

#3 Portability 

Not so many home entertainments small, but outdoor projectors are so lightweight and portable. The best outdoor projectors weight between 2 and 18 lbs. which is an average weight that everyone can easily move around with the projector. 

#4 Provides Eye Comfort

If you’ve ever taken an eye exam, it’s easier to read large letters than smaller ones. This principle applies to eye comfort associated between TVs and projectors.

When compared, projectors tend to offer better images that are clear to the audience, TVs emit more light and broadcast images that requires one to pay keen attention to his/her eyes. Just as large numbers and letters are easier to view, it’s also easier to view large images on a projector screen than a small screen TV set.

 Best Outdoor Projectors For your Value & Quality 

Buying a projector is a great investment, if you choose the best brand in the market, it will pay off for years and you’ll enjoy the best quality of entertainment with your family and friends. Below are some of the best outdoor projectors that we have carefully reviewed and considered as the best fit for outdoor venues.

1. Epson Vs240 SVGA 3LCD Projector Review (best for image quality)

Epson is one of the top manufacturers with the best high-end projectors in the market. The VS240 is one of the most priced outdoor projector models, and you can think of it as the main Ford Focus of Epson.

This projector is a great option because it comes with an extremely high-quality bulb and internal components. When it comes to enjoying outdoor entertainment, having a projector with high color definition will make your videos clear and enjoyable to watch. 

Key Features 

  • Comes in 3000 lumens that offer high color brightness.
  • Built for fast and easy setup 
  • Support for HDMI
  • Lamp lasts up to 10000 hrs.
  • Comes in a compact size and lightweight design

Epson Vs240 is the only outdoor projector below the $1000 mark that comes with the 3-chip technology for ultra-clear and high-resolution image & video quality. 

2. ViewSonic PA503S Projector Review

The ViewSonic PA503S Projector is one of the high-end outdoor projectors that come with the best brightness for any outdoor environment. With 3600 lumens, the projector combines super-colour and contrast ratio of 22,000:1 to provide amazing picture quality. Even though it doesn’t support resolutions of 1080p its (800X600) is enough to provide you with quality pictures and 3D images. 

Key Features 

  • Comes in 3600 lumens brightness. 
  • Long lamp life, up to 15,000 hrs.
  • Vertical Keystone correction.
  • Reduced input latency
  • Super Color.
  • 3D Blu-Ray HDMI input. 

Specs 

  • Weight -7.15 lbs.
  • L X W X H – 4.34” X 11.58” X 8.58” (inches)
  • Type of Display technology DLP
  • Connectivity – Mini USB type B, VGA, RS232, HDMI, 3.5 Audio out and In.
  • Resolution – SVGA (800×600)
  • Lamp Life – up to 15000 hrs. 

Pros 

  • Amazing remote control
  • Can be used both indoors and outdoors
  • Built-in sturdy material
  • Projects strong picture quality
  • Very portable

Cons 

  • Has DLP rainbow effect
  • No features for 1080p
  • No speakers

3. Vankyo Leisure 3 outdoor projector

Vankyo Leisure 3 is one of the inexpensive outdoor projectors that’s known for great gaming experience and quality picture projection.

The projector is very portable and comes with its carrying bag and tripod stand that allows you the convenience of easy connectivity of TV sticks, gaming console, laptop, TV box, and much more. It’s a good deal as it’s designed with sturdy materials that add more years of durability to serve you. 

Key Features

  • Superb color and contrast.
  • Focus Innovative.
  • Supports Smartphone Connectivity
  • Large Projection.
  • Comes with a carrying bag and tripod stand.
  • Dual Speakers 
  • Quality brightness

Specs

  • Weight – 2.2 lb.
  • L x W x H – 7.9” x5.9” x3.2”
  • Display Technology- LCD/LED
  • Image Brightness – 2400 lumens
  • Connectivity ports – VGA, HDMI, AV, USB, TF Card, 1080p support. 
  • Resolution – Full HD Supported
  • Average Lamp Life – 40,000 hrs.

Pros 

  • Amazing projection outside at night
  • Great for Gaming
  • Built-in sturdy material
  • Projects strong picture quality
  • Very portable

Cons 

  • Only good in the dark during outdoor projections
  • No true 1080p
  • Not the best sound quality

4. QKK Mini Projector: Best LED Budget Outdoor Projector

If you are looking for an affordable outdoor project with good image quality, QKK Mini Projector is the deal to go for. This outdoor projector is very portable and comes with lots of versatility including; smartphone connectivity, laptop, USB, TV box and other connections.

It’s a great budget projector for those who don’t want to break the bank. It’s 2,200 lumens and 2000:1 contrast ratio is enough to provide you with unlimited outdoor entertainment that can last for up to 50,000 hrs. 

Key Features

  • Comes with longer lamp life.
  • Supports multimedia connection. 
  • Supports 1080p
  • Portable compact size. 
  • Comes with inbuilt speakers.
  • Supports a big projection screen size.
  • Low radiator

Specs

  • L x W x H – 9.5” x9.2” x4.4” 
  • Weight – 3.1 lb.
  • Connectivity Technology – HDMI, USB, AV, SD, 1080p, TV box, VGA supported
  • Image brightness – 2,200 lumens
  • Lamp life -50,000 hrs.
  • Resolution – 1080p supported.
  • Display technology – LCD/LED

Pros 

  • Very versatile
  • Nice picture quality
  • Great for the money value
  • Great brightness
  • Very portable

Cons 

  • Not fully HD
  • Only good at night or darker rooms
  • The bigger the screen, the less clear images

5. Epson VS355 projector

If you’re looking for the best versatile outdoor projector that has plenty of features to enjoy, Epson VS355 outdoor projector is the deal. Its video and image quality is so great, with 3300 lumens, this projector provides superb images on a WXGA (1280 x 800) resolution.

Unlike the QKK Mini Projector, this outdoor projector doesn’t need a dark environment and works fine in the backyard, even with moderate sunlight, the color and images look perfect. 

Key Features

  • Supports multimedia connection. 
  • Supports 1080p x 800p resolution.
  • Portable compact size. 
  • 3,300 lumens brightness ideal for backyards and outdoors

Specs

  • L x W x H – 11.9” x 3.2” x 9.3”
  • Weight – 5.5 pounds.
  • Connectivity Technology – HDMI, USB, AV, SD, 1080p, TV box, VGA supported
  • Image brightness – 3,300 lumens
  • Lamp life -10,000 hrs.
  • Resolution – 1080p supported.
  • Display technology – LCD/LED

Pros 

  • Very versatile
  • Nice picture quality
  • Great for the money value
  • Great brightness
  • Very portable

Cons 

  • A bit expensive
  • Less lamp life

6. Optoma HD27HDR: Best for 3D image quality (best overall)

If you’re looking for a big screen and best 3D movie experience in your backyard, Optoma HD27HDR is the deal. This superb outdoor projector features 3400 lumen of brightness and its HDR10 enriches vibrant colors of up to 4K HDR input and HD (1920p x 1080p) resolution. With a contrast ratio of 50000:1 you’ll be able to enjoy outdoor 3D movies and videos with comfort. 

Key Features

  • Supports multimedia connection. 
  • Supports 1920p x 1280p resolution. 
  • Portable compact size. 
  • Vibrant 4K images.
  • 3D videos supported.
  • 3,400 lumens brightness ideal for backyards and outdoors

Specs

  • L x W x H – 12.4” x 4.3” x 9.7”
  • Weight – 6.2 pounds.
  • Connectivity Technology – HDMI, USB, AV, SD, 1080p, TV box, VGA supported
  • Image brightness – 3,400 lumens
  • Highest Resolution – 1920p x 1080p supported.
  • Display technology – LCD/LED

Pros 

  • Best 3D experience
  • Nice picture quality with 4K
  • Great for the money value
  • Great brightness
  • Very portable

Cons 

  • A bit expensive
  • Less lamp life