Best Projectors for Outdoor Movies – A Complete Buying Guide

Have you ever fancied of watching a movie out on the lawn with your friends and family under millions of stars? Yes, right! At some point, we all crave for this kind of setup because we all have seen this type of thing in movies.

It is quite expensive to bring large TVs and home theater system out on the lawn for watching movies, and it is not possible for everyone. So even if you are slightly short on a budget, then you can still treat yourself with the best projectors for outdoor movies. Whether you choose any of the projectors that cost under 500 or something costly, you will be undoubtedly delighted to utilize them for watching movies.

However, you can’t use a projector while the sun is out because you can hardly see visual when the projector is out on the lawn. Even the costliest Church’s projector doesn’t carry enough brightness to showcase high clarity visuals during the day. So it is always preferable to watch movies when the sun sets because at that you can easily enjoy vivid visuals of the film without any ado.

Getting an HD or Full HD projector would an enough for your craving, and you can easily set them up along with a projector screen. For video source, you can use various streaming devices to enjoy a quality time with your family and friends.

If you make a market survey, then you will be overwhelmed the number of choices you will get. So, choosing the best projectors in order to watch movies in outdoor would get tough for you because most of them would quench your thirst for owning the most efficient projector.

So, to relieve you from all the ado we have come with the best 5 products which will serve as best backyard projector and as well as official one. We have carved out the top 5 pick after scrutinizing a lot of potential projectors that will meet your need.

If you are in a hurry (else just keep reading), check out our recommended projector for your outdoor movie theater (cheapest):
Chart of top projectors to watch outdoor movies:

What Qualifies A Projector For Outdoor Use?

A projector to be utilized for outdoor purpose requires some extra edge than its indoor counterparts because they will face some dynamic condition than usual ones. If you really want to buy the best outdoor movie projector, then you need to be knowledgeable about these. It is logical for an outdoor movie projector to carry a right amount of raw power so that they can produce high quality visual in open environment.

Attributes like high lumens, large screen size, powerful lamp and projection technology come into factor when describing an outdoor projector. Ambient light serves as a most potent enemy for an outdoor projector because when outside light interacts with light projection from the projector, the visual quality you see becomes very poor.

Generally, projectors are mainly intended for indoor use, so they come with a certain amount of Lumens and contrast. You can easily control the environment light when watching a movie in your room. However, when playing video out on your lawn, you can’t just stop the incoming light pollution from the streetlight, cars, neighbor houses, etc. So visuals become hazy and milky with a low amount of color and detailing which ultimately deteriorates the whole scenario. But an outdoor projector crosses all these hurdles by producing visuals with high brightness and rich contrast so that you get the same quality as the video source.

20,000:1 contrast ratio, 3000 Lumens, DLP technology, LED bulb are some common traits of a powerful outdoor projector which helps them to cut off the ambient light. The manufacturer design in such a way so that you can enjoy your outdoor session without worrying about the outside light which will jeopardize the visual quality.

Another criteria that differentiate an outdoor projector from regular ones is its battery power source. Not all outdoor locations have AC power source, so many outdoor projectors come with the facility of battery power. So these factors help you to qualify a projector for outdoor as projector doesn’t come with the tag of outdoor or indoor usage mark.

How Many Lumens Do You Need For An Outdoor Projector?

Brightness level plays a crucial role in deciding the vividness of image in outdoor condition. Lumens number primarily depicts the intensity of light radiation that the light source would throw on the screen. Outdoor theater setups get a lot of interference of outside lights, so it becomes crucial to have a projector with good brightness.

Generally, it is 2500 lumens number serves as the baseline although there is a calculation based on the screen size that can be used to determine the lumens number.  The calculation will be measured on foot lamberts which is a standard unit movie industry. So prediction will be Foot Lamberts= Lumens / Screen area in Sq ft.

However, it may not be feasible for everyone to get substantial technical before purchasing a projector. The above formula will give a rough idea about the needed lumens number. So it would be ideal to choose a projector offering 3000 lumens although it might not be possible for everyone due to budget constraint.

Other factors also come into play while deciding lumens like material of the skin, bulb and ambient light source. While buying an outdoor projector you should check if it can offer enough vividness and provides a decent quality you are good to go. The primary purpose is to have fun in your backyard.

How To Choose The Right Outdoor Projector?

Choosing an outdoor projector is slightly a tricky process because you will have to consider a lot of factors before you buy. Lumens and contrast ratio serves as the principal factor along with some other factor that comes into consideration when buying an outdoor projector. When you are browsing for the outdoor projector you need to look for a projector that has high lumen number like 3000 which is sufficient to produce bright images.

Along with lumens, you also have to consider the contrast ratio which determines the dynamic range of an image. A projector with high contrast ratio will bring tremendous vividness and color clarity in a visual even in the presence of ambient light. While these two serves as the primary factor, you also need to consider factors like screen size, resolution, aspect ratio, keystone and power source.

When you plan to watch movie or TV series out in the garden or lawn, then you need to have significant screen size with short throw distance. Along with screen size, it is necessary to go for minimum 16:9 aspect ratio which will deliver crisp visual quality.

To get proper quality in an outdoor environment, you need to opt for projector minimum HD resolution with the support of Full HD. An HD or Full HD projector always produces a good light output which is necessary for when you plan to watch movies on the lawn. Ambient light continually pollutes the clarity and quality of a visual but with HD or Full HD projection, this fact get submerged by a large margin.

Keystone correction is another crucial feature that you need to consider especially when you are looking for an outdoor projector because you will often need to correct the image size. Lastly, always opt for a projector that has battery power source as an option because it is not possible to get AC power everywhere.

Top 8 Best Outdoor Projector to Watch Movies in 2018 Reviews

1. Epson Pro EX9220 Projector

Epson Pro EX9220 3LCD projector
  • 1920 X 1200 native resolution.
  • 3LCD 3-chip technology.
  • 3600 lumens.
  • Lamp longevity of 10000hours.
  • Wireless screen mirroring.
What we liked
  • Crystal clear quality with excellent brightness level.
  • The absence of rainbow artifacts.
  • 1080p native resolution.
  • The wireless mirroring is efficient and lags free.
What we didn’t like
  • It doesn’t have an audio-out port.
  • The fan noise is quite high.
Epson Pro EX922 is a well-known outdoor digital projector that puts up a marvelous visual quality in outdoor condition, and it is due to the combination of WUXGA resolution and 3LCD technology. The inclusion of 3600 lumens and 15000:1 contrast ratio also helped the Epson outdoor projector to produce visuals with rich color output, massive black depth, and excellent clarity.

Surprisingly it treats you with 10000hours of lamp longevity allowing you to enjoy movies at your backyard for many years. It even gets a 2-watt inbuilt speaker to make the device a complete entertainment package.

Epson Pro EX922 serves as a complete outdoor home theater projector as it allows you to shoot up the screen size from 30inch to 300inch and that too with 1.38:1 throw ratio. While setting up the projector, you won’t have any issue regarding image correction as it comes with 30-degree keystone correction, manual focus, and optical zoom.

Most importantly it takes only a few seconds for setup, and all the credit goes to its Plug-n-play facility. It excels quite well in the longevity department as it offers 10000horus of lamp lifespan.

2. BenQ DLP HD 1080p Projector Review

BenQ DLP HD 1080p Projector (HT2050A) - 3D Home Theater Projector

What We Liked Most About This Product

Surprisingly, this is our third inclusion from the manufacturer BenQ. That’s not because of the enormous reputation that the brand has. But because of some unique features that BenQ DLP HD 1080p Projector really offers.

Check this video on unboxing and setting up a BenQ 1080p Projector:

In BenQ DLP HD 1080p Projector, we liked the way it displays in outdoor environments. In case of outdoor movie sessions, you can’t control the amount of light around, and have to rely on the projector display itself. Surely, BenQ DLP HD 1080p Projector doesn’t disappoint with that.
Features and Benefits
The most lucrative part of BenQ DLP HD 1080p Projector lies in its HQ bright display. This 3D 1080 projector has a brightness scale of 2200 lumens, which is pretty much for outdoor shows. Also, a contrast ratio of 1500:1, an ISFccc certified day/night viewing calibration and premium 6-color scheme made it stand out from the crowd.

It’s a short throw projector that has a throw ratio of 1.15 to 1.5. While displaying one of the diagonal screen of 60” to 180”, anyone within the viewing range can have the clear vision of the movie and sound.

We don’t have that much time to setup a complex projector when we’re in outdoor camps, right? To make it even easier, BenQ DLP HD 1080p Projector is pretty easy to set up, wrap-up and carry.

In case you don’t have any AC power source in camping hangouts, this BenQ DLP HD 1080p Projector is pretty much energy efficient. Try it yourself to see the magic.

In outdoor, there are already noises around. So, to let you guys concentrate on the movie, BenQ DLP HD 1080p Projector had been made completely whisper-silent.

Things We Like
  • Conserves energy with SmartEco technology
  • Comes from a projector brand that’s reliable for past 10 years.
  • High resolution with a perfect throw ratio
  • 1.3x zoom with vertical lens shift.
  • Clear and maximized image size
  • A 3D-ready outdoor movie projector.
Things We Didn't Like
  • Picture quality is claimed not to be consistent for hours.

3. Optoma EH200ST Full 3D 1080p 3000 Lumen DLP Short Throw Projector Review

Optoma EH200ST Full 3D 1080p 3000 Lumen DLP Short Throw Projector

Features and Benefits

Optoma EH200ST is our top pick that treats you with a Full HD picture quality with short throw lens. ECO+ technology serves as the highlighting feature of this projector which notches up the lamp life by a huge margin. EH200ST can be coined as one of the cool home theater projectors that is available in the market.

The crystal clear picture clarity with the help of DLP technology give this projector an extra edge in this price range. Optoma always tries to come up with an innovative feature with their every product and with EH200ST they have provided an all-digital short throw system.

EH200ST is quite famous for its capability to deliver a screen size ranging between 40 inches and 300 inches at just 0.50:1 throw ratio. All thanks to the DLP technology and dynamic black facility, you will get bright images coupled with deep black texture. The 20,000:1 contrast ratio along with brilliant color technology and 3000 Lumens adds to the crispness of picture quality.

The sharpness of the visual and razor-sharp text makes it ideal for multipurpose use. To makes things more exciting it is coupled with a VESA 3D sync port that allows projection of actual 3D content at the 144Hz refresh rate. Apart from watching a movie on your lawn, you can even utilize this projector for gaming purpose.
This is crazy, right? Yes!

All the hardware of EH200ST is packed inside a sturdy white box which can be easily mounted for projection. It also comes with heavy duty lamp which is backed by modern Eco+ technology to notch up the longevity. Optoma has packed this projector with a commanding 10-watt speaker that delivers soothing sound quality.

While working, this projector only makes the 20dB sound level so you won’t have to worry about the noise level. The exciting part is that it only consumes 0.5 watts and it shut down the power unit whenever it is left ideal.
Now, take a look at pros and cons section:

Things We Like
  • It delivers superior picture quality with high color detailing
  • Sharp text projection
  • It projects real 3D content.
  • It works quietly
  • It works well in the outdoor environment
Things We Didn't Like
  • The lag is quite noticeable.
  • The keystone correction is a tough task

4. iCODIS G6 Video Projector, Supports 1080P, 3200 Lumens LCD Projector Review

iCODIS G6 Video Projector, Supports 1080P, 3200 Lumens LCD Projector

Features and Benefits

iCodis G6 sits on the top spot of our low-budget pick, and it’s 3200 Lumens along with LED light technology serves as the primary reason for its position. iCodis has employed modern LED bulb technology which makes it twenty percent brighter than average projectors.

G6 might look like a small projector, but this little master boasts a vast amount of features which include Full HD video support. Whether you use it outside or inside, you will be treated with superior picture quality and clarity with heavy detailing. It also comes with 120-inch large screen display capability so that you can enjoy movie or TV series with your big family.

The G6 is embedded with a 3000:1 contrast ratio and WXGA 1280 X 800 pixel native resolution which never fails to deliver crisp visuals with thick edges. To make things interesting, it also boasts split screen mode without producing any lag. You will be awestruck with its colossal lamp life hour which measures around 30,000 hours. You will hardly find this feature in top ranges as well as projectors that are under $100. In G6 you can easily tweak the size of the screen as well as the orientation with the help of keystone correction functioning.

iCodis has packed this little beast in a small box making easy to handle especially when you are mounting it for an outdoor session. G6 comes with an array of connectivity option which includes ports for HDMI, VGA, USB, and AV. These ports allow you to connect various Blu-Ray player, DVD player, PlayStation and multiple other devices. The company offers a 12-month warranty with full replacement facility.
It doesn’t end here:

Things We Like
  • Crisp and bright image quality.
  • Full HD support
  • Affordable price tag.
  • Huge lamp life hour
  • Large screen size range.
Things We Didn't Like
  • It slightly bulky when compared with other small models.
  • It doesn’t come with a battery
  • It doesn’t include an English instruction book

5.RAGU Z720 HD Projectors Portable Movie Projector Review

RAGU Z720 HD Projectors Portable Movie Projector Review

What We Liked Most About This Product

Again, something from a new brand with an awesome set of features.

We’ll talk about RAGU Z720 HD Projector series a lot, but let me tell you what you’ll love most about these best projectors for outdoor movies. The display standard and projection quality that it offers, are way more than the price it’s being sold. So, if you don’t want to break the bank for a quality projector, go for RAGU Z720 HD Projector without any hesitation.

Features and Benefits

The most charming fact about RAGU Z720 HD Projector lies its display quality. A resolution as high as 1280×768, a 3200ANSI luminous efficiency, a 50% brighter display and a projection size of 3-150 inches- what else do you think of?

It’s a built-in HD video decoder that takes up to 1080p of video inputs, and the quality can be adjusted by changing the distance between the projector and the display.

To let the viewers have more eye-soothing video experience, it has got a built-in 12-degree manual cornerstone correction. And don’t ask about the color support. RAGU Z720 HD Projector has 1.67 million number of color that it displays with ease.

Lastly, it takes multiple inputs and has built in speakers to make an outdoor party complete.

Things We Like
  • 12-degree corner correction
  • Extended lamp lifespan up to 30,000 hours
  • Can be well-played with video games and office uses
  • Adjustable image size
  • Cheap in price
Things We Didn't Like
  • No AV and VGA cable comes with the package

6. CAIWEI Video Projector Wireless Review

CAIWEI Video Projector Wireless Review

What We Liked Most About This Product

So, this is going to be the last pick of our best projectors for outdoor movies. But trust me, the model itself is one of the winners.

CAIWEI Video Projector Wireless is from a new but promising manufacturer Caiwei, which has already put its mark with hi-tech displaying quality. If you ask me, I would express my impression with a 4200 Luminous efficiency in such a mid-range price.

Features and Benefits

CAIWEI Video Projector Wireless proves that technology needs to be running at equal pace to keep people satisfied. In the latest CAIWEI Video Projector Wireless, it has embedded a superb lamp with a superb lifespan of 50,000 hours.
In case of fetching multimedia from devices, CAIWEI Video Projector Wireless is an expert. It can catch up wireless iOS and Android devices also can play movies and videos online. Playing thousands of videos from YouTube or Netflix is just a matter of seconds.

Let’s talk a bit about its video quality.

As said before, it has a 4200 Lumens display performance align with a native resolution of 1280×800. A contrast ratio of 5000:1 and a projection size of 50-200 inches will make your video experience better than ever.

As we’re talking about projectors that work on outdoor, there comes a question of lenses angle adjustment. CAIWEI Video Projector Wireless has a magical wide-angle adjustment that can project on large screens from relatively short distance.

Things We Like
  • Wireless iOS and Android connectivity
  • 4200 Lumens outstanding display performance
  • The Lifespan of the light is up to 50,000 hours
  • 50-200 inches projection size
  • Goes fine with online streaming from YouTube, Netflix etc
  • Highly compatible with mobile devices.
Things We Didn't Like
  • Costs a bit more than the features it offers
  • Weight is too much to carry around easily.

7. Optoma HD25-LV 1080p 3D A Top-End DLP Projector Suitable for Outdoor Movies

Optoma HD25-LV 1080p 3D DLP Projector

Features and Benefits

Optoma HD25-LV can be depicted as a high range projector which is very good to watch movies at the outdoor theater. This model will not only surprise you with the performance but also with body outlook. The manufacturer has tried to offer the best quality possible with this model, and that is why it has included DLP projection along with 1920 X 1080 native resolution.

It also houses 3500 ANSI lumens of brightness which makes the visuals bright and lifelike. You won’t be able to complain about the black depth and clarity level of the visuals as it gets 20000:1 contrast ratio. Not only that it also excels well in color segment and it is due to Brilliant Color technology that ensures color richness in every frame.

A plus point of owning of Optoma HD25-LV is that you will get to see Full HD 3D visuals without any lag and that too at 144Hz refresh which offers smooth flicker-free frames. However, it doesn’t come with DLP Link or RF 3D glasses, and you would have to buy them separately.

Even though it is a home theater model but still it offers a massive projection size that expands from 28inches and goes all the way to 300inches. In addition, it also provides a decent projection distance that lies between 5ft and 33ft. To make things complete, it also houses a stereo speaker, but it fails to deliver high volume as well as good quality.

Optoma is well known for its longevity and with D25-LV they have done the same as they provided a 240-watt lamp that can run up to 6000hours. You will get an adequate amount of tuning options, and it comprises manual focusing, manual zoom and +/- 20-degree vertical keystone correction.

It allows you to hook a lot of external devices and all the credit goes to its HDMI, D-Sub 15pin, stereo 3.5mm, RS232C, VGA, and USB. The manufacturer offers a top-notch one-year parts warranty and 90 days lamp warranty with this model.

Things We Like
  • Excellent picture quality for the price
  • Top notch design with excellent durability
  • Decent amount of lamp hours
  • Bright visuals with excellent clarity
  • A significant amount of connectivity options.
Things We Didn't Like
  • The absence of vertical image shift

8. Epson VS350 – A Perfect Outdoor Projector

Epson VS350 outdoor projector review

Features and Benefits

Epson is a legendary projector maker who is well known for providing top end products, and VS350 is one of those products that has amazed many customers. It houses the traditional 3LCD 3-chip technology and Poly-silicon TFT active matrix driving method that assist the projector in promoting top-notch performance.

It works with the assistance of 1024 X 768 native resolution which offers a lucrative visual quality, and you will also get maximum support up to 1400 X 1050 resolution. The black depth in every frame is adequate, and it is due to its 15000:1 contrast ratio. The vividness in the picture is praiseworthy, and brightness is supplied by 3300 lumens.

Epson has never compromised on the color accuracy in its models and VS350 carries the same DNA as it gets 1.07 billion color support from the 10bit color processor. Despite all these, it only gets 4:3 aspect ratio which can offend you if you are a movie lover.

This model offers you a series of ports in its white box, and it includes HDMI, USB Type A and Type B, S-Video, D-Sub 15pin, Audio and composite video. Interestingly for fast set up process, it offers you USB Plug ‘n Play facility with PC and Mac compatibility. It even has a 1-watt inbuilt speaker which is wholly ineffective even in small rooms.

The projection size of Epson VS350 is, and it starts from 30inches and expands up to 300inches. Likewise, throw ratio range is also excellent, and it lies between 1.48 and 1.77. With this model, you will find manual zoom, manual focus, horizontal slide and +/- 30-degree vertical keystone correction for tuning process.

It houses a 200-watt UHE lamp that offers decent lamp life which is around 6000 hours. If you are using eco mode than the lamp can last upto 10000 hours. Even though it is not a dedicated portable model, but you can easily carry it anywhere due to its 8lbs weight. It is one of those models that allows you to instantly switch off the projector without waiting for the lamp to cool off.

Things We Like
  • The visual performance is quite good
  • The clarity level is commendable
  • The lamp longevity is decent
  • It is portable
  • Availability of enough connection ports.
Things We Didn't Like
  • It doesn’t offer any carrying case
  • Poor audio output
  • The absence of 3D support

When you are hunting for the outdoor-movies projector, then you will always want your projector to produce minimum 720p HD picture quality along with 2000 Lumens. And both G6 and EH200ST deliver more than your expectation with a considerable number of exciting features that you mostly find in top range projectors. Most importantly you are offered with highly durable body part and long lamp life hour which serves as the crucial part of a projector. Keystone correction serves as a favorite feature in highly rated projectors, and you will get this feature on these two devices.

The price tag of a projector determines its potency in the market, and you will always prefer a device that worth every buck you pay. With that being, both G6 and EH200ST is tagged with an affordable price mark, and we consider them as the value for money products. Optoma and iCodis is well-known projector manufacturer in the market, so you can have faith that it would deliver optimum performance. Thus these two serve as the most logical choice for you to own any of them as it will meet all your demand for outdoor movie session.

Before ending, let’s take a look at:

Why Should I buy An Outdoor Projector?

People often believe that they can use a standard indoor projector for outdoor use, but they forget the indoor projector are only good in dark environment surrounding. So these projectors fail to provide the intended quality when used in outdoor areas to watch movies as they face many obstructions, especially in outdoor light pollution.

But a projector specially curated for open-air purpose successfully overcomes all the obstacles and presents you an excellent quality with good vividness and color richness. Outdoor models are embedded with an extra amount of lumens which helps the projector offset the interference caused by outside thus maintaining a good quality visual with optimum brightness.

Contrast ratio also serves as a crucial factor behind the reason of buying a projector that is dedicated for outdoor use. A standard home theater projector is not suitable for portability, so it becomes hard to carry them during the outdoor session.

On the other hand, outdoor projectors are incredibly portable, and they weigh around 6lbs which makes them easy to carrying anywhere. Most of the indoor projectors don’t get varied throw ratios which becomes problematic for users to use it backyard but outdoor models often get a decent range for projection distance making it easy for setup

Outdoor models also get a lot of zoom and lens shift facilities that makes them the most appropriate choice when a user plans to buy a model for open-air setup. They also possess the right type of technologies that assist them to offer a mesmerizing entertainment session.

Moreover, they also carry vast options for aspect ratio which is not usual in indoor home theater models. So these are significant factors that set an outdoor projector from all other regular models in the market. So if you are someone who wants to enjoy good visual quality in the outdoor area, then the outdoor projector is the most logical choice.

Final Thoughts

Getting the best products from the market is always tough, but we hope our top two picks will assist to cross that hurdle. Both Optoma EH200ST and Epson VS350 possess the right quality and features to fit to set the mood when you plan to watch a movie with your friends or family. They carry the necessary Lumens to deliver bright visual along high color accuracy and heavy pixel density. People often get swayed by flashy feature, but they forget the fact that not all outdoor projector possess the right quality. However, you can entirely lay your trust on these two gems as they won’t leave you disheartened.

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