Entertainment Reviews

Best Outdoor Projector Reviews: Complete Buyer’s Guide

Are you looking for the best outdoor projector for your backyardyard? Then read on as we review the top 7 options available with all the Pros & Cons
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Summer nights are the perfect environment for spending quality time with friends and family. You can swim under the lights of your above ground pool, shoot hoops with the neighbors, or even watch some of your favorite movies in the backyard.

An outdoor projector is exactly what you need to make your backyard the hottest in the neighborhood. You can easily stream movies, television shows, or even video games to a large audience. Plus, you get to enjoy the outdoors and summer weather at the same time.

Since outdoor projectors tend to be a huge financial investment, you want to make an educated decision here. So, we’re going to be reviewing everything you need to know about outdoor projectors. From the best options on the market today to what you need to know before making your final purchase decision.

Top 3 Picks

If you are in a hurry, here are our top 3 picks.

Best Pick: VANKYO LEISURE 3 Mini Projector

VANKYO LEISURE 3 Mini Projector, 1080P and 170'' Display Supported, Portable Movie Projector with 40,000 Hrs LED Lamp Life, Compatible with TV Stick, PS4, HDMI, VGA, TF, AV and USB
  • SUPERIOR VIEWING EXPERIENCE: Supporting 1920x1080 resolution, VANKYO Leisure 3 projector is powered by MStar Advanced Color Engine, which is ideal for home entertainment. 2020 upgraded LED lighting provides a superior viewing experience for you. (Not recommend for PowerPoint or other office presentation)
  • MULTIMEDIA PORTABLE PROJECTOR: VANKYO Leisure 3 projector is perfect for video viewing, TV series watching as well as photo browsing. It can be easily connected to your smartphone, PS3, PS4, X-Box ONE or Wii to enjoy diversified games. A customized bag is designed for easy carry and convenient storage.
  • BIG SCREEN SIZE: It provides a watching size from 32” to 170” with the projection distance between 4.9ft to 16.4ft. 6.5 ft is the recommended viewing distance and it’s straightforward to achieve a clear and regular image by the focus and keystone correction adjusting.
  • FAN NOISE SUPPRESSION SYSTEM: VANKYO projectors are equipped with an innovative cooling system which contains heat dispersion and noise suppression technology that halves the fan sound. (Power input : 100V-240V 50/60Hz)
  • SMARTPHONE CONNECTION AVAILABLE: Without installing any app, you can easily realize the smart-phone connection. An extra Lightning to HDMI adapter is needed for iPhone connection while Micro USB/Type C to HDMI adapter is needed for Android phone connection.(Adapter is sold separately)

This is our top choice because it’s absolutely the best bang for your buck. This physically tiny projector provides a superior 1080p viewing experience and supports up to 40,000 hours of playback with the included lamp. Better yet, you can hook it up to any of your favorite gaming systems or even your smartphone device. Most importantly, it can support a screen size up to 170” and doesn’t make too much sound from the fan.

Premium Pick: VANKYO Performance V610 Native 1080P LED Projector

VANKYO Performance V610 Native 1080P LED Projector, Full HD Video Projector, ±40° Digital Keystone Correction, Compatible with Smartphone, TV Stick, HDMI, SD, AV, VGA, USB for PowerPoint
  • 【INNOVATIVE 4D KETSTONE CORRECTION】Vankyo Performance V610 Full HD 1080P projector with ±40° 4D (vertical & horizontal) electronic keystone correction function to ensure the projected image is always a standard rectangle. It’s very convenient to adjust the screen by using the remote control, especially for the projector suspended from the ceiling.
  • 【FULL HD 1920*1080P NATIVE RESOLUTION】The projector with a real native resolution of 1920*1080, a high dynamic contrast ratio of 5000:1, and 50,000 Hours lamp life. Bring you a real and vivid cinema experience. Revolutionary 6000 LUX video projector meets all audio-visual satisfactions for office PowerPoint Presentation or home entertainment.
  • 【GIANT SCREEN & WIDE COMPATIBILITY】The video projector offers the projection size from 45" to 200". (9.84ft is the recommended viewing distance.) Equipped with 2*HDMI, 2*USB, AV, VGA, SD Card, and Audio Out Ports, Performance V610 video projector enables us to flexibly connect to various devices like TV Stick, X-BOX, PS4, PC, Laptop, USB sticks, SD cards, Android or IOS devices, etc.
  • 【HIFI STEREO SOUND & ADVANCED COOLING SYSTEM】The LED projector has a built-in 5W dual stereo speaker and SRS sound system that provides an excellent listening experience without the need for an external speaker. Run 3 fans simultaneously using the latest SmarEco technology to minimize noise and reduce lamp power consumption. Extend lamp life to 50,000 hours.
  • 【3-YEAR WARRANTY (100% MONEY BACK GUARANTEE)】VANKYO provides customers with a three-year 100% money-back guarantee with professional customer service and technical support. Any questions please feel free to contact our customer service.

This is our top premium choice purely because of every unique feature that it offers. Most importantly, it can provide you with an astonishing 50,000 of lamp life while still providing you with an unmatchable 1080p display. You can create a massive screen of up to 300” and connect it directly to any device you can think of. You’ll also love the fact that you can automatically correct certain display features and the fan is up to 40% quieter than other varieties.

Budget Pick: VIVIMAGE C480 Mini Projector

VIVIMAGE C480 Mini Projector, 3800 Lux 1080P Supported and 170'' Display Portable Video Projector with 40,000 Hrs LED Lamp Life, Compatible with TV Stick, PS4, HDMI, VGA, TF, AV and USB
  • PREMIUM VIEWING EXPERIENCE - Vivimage C480 projector is a Full HD professional video projector, optimized for home entertainment. Supporting 1080p resolution, enjoy the feeling of pure immersion. (Note: Not recommend for PowerPoint or office presentation. )
  • MULTIMEDIA PORTABLE PROJECTOR - Vivimage projector is compatible with TV Stick, PCs, Laptops, Tablets, Blue-ray DVD player, SD Card, USB Flash Drive, PS4/XBOX/WII, Media players (Music, Pictures, Video, TXT), Smartphones. ( Wireless HDMI Dongle not included).
  • BREATHTAKING BRIGHTNESS - Vivimage advanced LCD technology offers 3800 lux brightness and 2000: 1 contrast ratio, presenting all the details to you. Experience dramatic depth from the dark to bright scenes for a more remarkable watching experience.
  • GET PULLED INTO THE ACTION - Vivimage provides a watching size from 37” to 170” with the projection distance between 3. 8ft to 18ft. Immerse yourself in a cinematic experience where your favorite movies, shows, sports, and games appear larger than life. A projection distance of about 6. 5 ft is the recommended viewing distance.
  • RELIABLE QUALITY AND SERVICE- Vivimage offers our customers a 90-day 100% Money Back and a 3-year to assist you through your worry-free shopping process. Please feel free to contact us if you have any problems.

This is our top budget pick because you’re getting a super high-end projector for about half the cost of the average projector. Aside from saving some cash, you’re able to connect this device to just about any system while also getting a superior 1080p playback. This projector also boasts an incredible lumen value (3,800) and a screen size of up to 170”. It would be hard to find a cheap projector that can support such a high-quality contrast and viewing experience.

Top 7 Reviews

VANKYO LEISURE 3 Mini Projector

Our top choice for the best outdoor projector goes to the LEISURE 3 Mini Projector by VANKYO. What we like best about this product is that it does everything a projector should do without all the extra bells and whistles. Why spend extra on features that you don’t need or you’re never going to use in the first place?

This projector is ideal for all types of viewing purposes, whether you’re just watching some movies with the family, gaming on your favorite entertainment system with friends, or even scrolling through images on your flash drive. What’s even better is that this outdoor projector can integrate with your Android or Apple smartphone with ease.

What makes this projector different is that it implements brand new LED lighting technology to give you better viewing experience. In fact, the manufacturer claims that this projector offers 60% greater brightness than most other projectors on the market. That means you can use this projector in the early evening, even before it really starts to get dark in your yard.

In terms of your viewing experience, you won’t be disappointed by what this projector has to offer. Most importantly, it can support a screen size between 32” and 170”, which is just about 14’ at its maximum size. This is more than enough for the average backyard and gives you the opportunity to manipulate the screen based on the size of your viewing party.

What’s also great is the fact that it offers a keystone adjustment up to 15 degrees. This will help you to get the perfect rectangular screen, even if you don’t have a sturdy projector stand that’s even with the screen level. Plus, you won’t be disappointed by the 40,000 hours of lamp life offered with this projector.

But, we do want to point out that this projector’s listing is a little misleading to consumers. Even though it does support up to 1080p of playback, the fine print explains that it’s nowhere near as high resolution. Don’t be surprised if the video playback isn’t as clear or high-quality as you may have been expecting.

Pros:
  • Lamp life supportive of over 40,000 hours of playback
  • Integrates beautifully with all types of devices
  • Supports up to 170” of screen size (about 14’)
  • Has an awesome 2000:1 contrast ratio
  • Perfect 1080p display
Cons:
  • Doesn’t work well in dim light or during daylight hours

View Details

VANKYO Performance V610 Native 1080P LED Projector

When you have a little extra cash on hand and want an even higher quality projector, you can’t go wrong with the Performance V610 Native 1080P LED Projector also by VANKYO. Unlike the previous projector we just reviewed, this product actually has a native 1080p display to provide you with the highest quality playback possible.

This projector takes all the great qualities of the previous item and steps it up a notch. You’ll be pleased by the 5000:1 contrast ratio, which gives a much more vivid viewing experience and clearer colors when watching your favorite films. Plus, it offers an astounding 6000 LUX, providing an incredible brightness that allows for outdoor viewing nearly 24/7.

In terms of your screen size, this is a perfect projector if you plan on hosting larger parties. The screen size ranges between 45” and 200”, which is about 17’ and 3’ larger than the projector we just reviewed. What’s even more impressive is the 40-degree keystone correction, meaning you’ll never have to worry about a skewed or misaligned screen, no matter where your projector is resting.

Most projectors have some type of speaker system, but they tend to be weak and overpowered by the sound of the projector’s fan. What we like about this projector is that it offers dual 5W speakers for optimal playback and improved viewing experience. What’s even better is that this system uses three different fans to keep the system from overheating while also reducing the fan noise by up to 40%.

And, you definitely won’t be disappointed by just how much you can personalize this system. First off, you can raise and lower the footpads to adjust the height and position of the screen. You can also adjust the focus wheel to boost the clarity of playback for your TV shows. But, what’s even more notable is the fact that it comes with 2 HDMI and 2 USB ports, so you can leave just about all of your favorite devices connected at once.

Pros:
  • Offers an impressive 5000:1 contrast ratio for unbeatable color
  • Superior brightness at 6000 LUX
  • Supports a 1080p screen size up to 200” (about 17’)
  • Comes with a 3-year warranty
  • 50,000 hours of lamp life
  • Offers 2 HDMI and 2 USB ports for greater versatility
Cons:
  • Might take a little time to adjust the settings to your needs

View Details

AZEUS RD-822 Video Projector

Why spend so much money on an outdoor projector when you can get a decent product for sometimes half the price? That’s exactly the case when it comes to the RD-822 Video Projector by AZEUS. And, you’re definitely getting a pretty high-quality product, even though you’re saving a lot of cash.

What’s really surprising is the 5000 lumens produced by this low-cost projector. In fact, this projector is about 80% sharper than most other projectors and will allow you to watch at all times of day without issue. You’ll also love the impressive 3000:1 contrast ratio that can produce vivid coloring and ideal viewing experience.

Even though you can play 1080p videos and clips with this projector, the native resolution is actually closer to 720p. So, your 1080p videos might not be quite as clear as they would be with a higher resolution outdoor projector. But, the other features of this projector surely make up for this one downside.

What you’ll definitely like is just how long the lamp can last with this projector. It comes with an astounding 50,000 hours of bulb life, which is actually quite impressive given the incredible brightness offered by this device. Better yet, you’ll also be able to listen to your favorite movies directly though this projector with the assistance of the included 5W speaker and quiet fans.

The maximum screen size maxes out at about 200”, which is equivalent to 17’. This is a great size for just about any yard. What’s even cooler is that this projector weighs barely over 2 pounds. That makes it incredibly easy to transport and pack it up and bring it over to your friend’s yard when movie night changes locations!

In terms of additional connections and ports, you can actually use this projector to connect to 2 HDMI and 2 USB devices at the same time. You can also link up your own adapter and hook up your smartphone to play on your device.

Pros:
  • Infused 5W speaker removes the need to buy a speaker set
  • Can create a screen size up to 200” (about 17’)
  • 50,000 hours of bulb life (approximate)
  • 5,000 lumens make this projector sharp and vivid
  • Dual fans keep the device cool and quiet
Cons:
  • The native resolution is actually 1280×720
  • Might be difficult to find a ceiling mount that fits

View Details

APEMAN Mini Projector

When you don’t need anything quite as fancy as our other top products, the mini projector from APEMAN might just be what you’re looking for. Just keep in mind that this projector offers a native resolution of 800x480p, but it is capable of playing back 1080p videos and clips. This is definitely not a good choice if you really value high-quality video playback.

This projector is your run of the mill outdoor projector. It comes with a 2000:1 contrast ratio, which isn’t the greatest but is definitely normal for the price range of this projector. It also boasts 4000 lumens, which is about 80% brighter than a majority of the other projectors on the market. So, you’re getting a decent product for the money you’re shelling out.

But, this isn’t just a projector for visuals. The projector also includes dual speakers so you can listen to your favorite videos directly from your projector during playback. What’s even better is that the interior fan is relatively quiet. So, you can be sure that your system will stay cool at all times while also not disturbing the playback volume of the projector’s playback.

You can connect just about any external device to this projector, including HDMI, USB, AV, and Micro SD cards. Just keep in mind that the USB ports apparently don’t work with USB cables, only supporting USB flash drives. You’ll apparently need an additional USB adapter to link up your favorite devices to this projector.

We also want to point out that the 45,000 hours of bulb life is quite impressive given the high brightness produced by this projector. We should also applaud the 15-degree keystone correction that’ll help you to get the perfectly skewed screen each and every time. And, you’ll be getting a carrying case to make this projector easy to transport and carry around.

Pros:
  • Up to 45,000 hours on bulb life
  • 4,000 lumens (80% brighter than other devices)
  • Very cost-effective
  • Creates a screen up to 180” (up to 15’)
Cons:
  • Won’t support Dolby sound
  • The USB port only works with USB flash drives, not USB cables

View Details

VIVIMAGE C480 Mini Projector

This C480 Mini Projector from VIVIMAGE while being average in terms of features and characteristics, it comes very highly regarded by customers. What we definitely want to point out first is that, though it’s capable of producing an HD-quality image up to 1080p, it really has a native resolution of 800x480p. This might mean lower quality playback for HD videos.

What’s most important is the number of devices that you can link up to this projector. It offers connections for your computer, your gaming systems, and just about any other device that can hook up through a USB port. And, you’ll definitely enjoy gaming or watching your favorite movies on a screen up to 170”, or about 14’.

In terms of playback quality, this projector is actually a little better than some of the other products that we’ve reviewed. The combination of 3800 LUX and 2000:1 contrast ratio makes videos and gaming come to life. You also have the ability to adjust the keystone up to 15-degrees for the perfect rectangular screen.

What’s also pretty neat is the one-touch zoom feature. With simply the touch of a button, you can zoom in on your screen at either 2X, 4X, or 8X. This can be a saving grace for smaller screen sizes or if there are certain areas of the screen or video that you’re trying to highlight to the rest of the audience.

Pros:
  • Supports up to 170” screen size (14’ maximum)
  • Up to 40,000 hours of lamp life
  • Low-noise fan
  • Offers zoom features for an optimal viewing experience
  • Very affordable
Cons:
  • The contrast ratio is less than impressive (2000:1)
  • Native resolution is actually 800×480

View Details

FANGOR Bluetooth Projector

Even though this Bluetooth Projector from FANGOR is relatively low on our list, that doesn’t mean that it’s not a good outdoor projector. It just simply isn’t as highly regarded as some of the other projectors on this list. But, we do want to point out that this projector does hold its own, able to produce a brightness of over 70% higher than similar projectors.

In terms of playback quality, this projector does support videos up to 1080p. But, this projector’s native resolution is actually 800x480p, which is much less impressive obviously. That means this wouldn’t be your go-to projector if you plan to watch high-definition movies in your yard. If video quality is important to you, get a higher native resolution.

When it comes to screen size, this projector can create a screen up to 170”, which is about 14’. This should be great for most yard sizes, but you probably won’t want to use this projector in the office. The manufacturer even states this projector is built specifically for video playback, so you won’t get the best visuals when you’re using this device to play PowerPoint presentations.

But, what sets this projector apart is the fact that the fan isn’t too loud where you can’t hear the speakers. What’s even better is that you have a choice to hook this projector up to your favorite set of Bluetooth speakers. This gives you the opportunity to personalize your audio playback and support larger audiences during movie night in your yard. No longer do you have to huddle on the projector in order to hear the movie.

Though this projector will connect to just about any of your favorite devices, it doesn’t seem to support Dolby sound. So, you’ll have to intentionally turn this feature off on your playback device to even hear sound coming from this projector’s speakers.

Pros:
  • Up to 70% brighter than most other projectors on the market
  • Can create a screen up to 170” (about 14’)
  • Able to connect to your Bluetooth speakers
  • Works in a pinch when you need a movie night
Cons:
  • The edges of the display aren’t as clear as the center
  • Really has a resolution of 800×480 (but can support up to 1080p)

View Details

FANGOR 1080P HD Projector

Last but certainly not least, we have the 1080P HD projector by FANGOR. Even though this isn’t the best projector on our list, it definitely has a lot of potential to please some audiences. Most importantly, it actually has a native resolution of 1920×1080, which is much higher than some of the other projectors on our list.

You’re definitely not losing out on quality. In addition to a great native resolution, you’re also getting a contrast ratio of 5000:1. This will give you incredibly vivid colors when you watch your favorite movies and is actually much better than a lot of our choices. Like the previous FANGOR model we just went over, you can link this device to a Bluetooth speaker.

You can connect this outdoor projector to just about any device in your home. But, you’ll definitely appreciate the fact that you can connect this projector to your smartphone via a WiFi connection. That means you can mirror the screen of your smartphone to your projector without needing to fumble around with wires or cables

What’s also pretty great is the incredible screen size supported by this projector. It’s much larger than any of the others that we reviewed early, at an impressive 230”, or 19’. This is the perfect choice for neighborhood block parties or large family gatherings in the backyard. You’re also guaranteed up to 3 years of free repair if something happens to go wrong with this projector.

But, even though this product is advertised as having a quiet fan that provides a great listening experience, many have noted that the fan is actually quite loud. You’ll definitely want to use your own Bluetooth speaker to drown out the sound of the fan.

Pros:
  • 5000:1 contrast is great for a vivid image
  • Comes with 3 years of free repair
  • Supports a screen up to 230” (about 19’)
  • Wirelessly link your smartphone device for screen mirroring
  • Offers a native resolution of 1920×1080
Cons:
  • Seems to be no zoom settings
  • Fan seems rather loud

View Details

Other Best Selling Options

Bestseller No. 1
DR. J Professional HI-04 Mini Projector Outdoor Movie Projector with 100Inch Projector Screen, 1080P Supported Compatible with TV Stick, Video Games, HDMI,USB,TF,VGA,AUX,AV [Latest Upgrade]
  • [100Inch Projector Screen Included] PORTABLE LED VIDEO PROJECTOR: To meet our customer's new needs, DR.J has improved not only the brightness, contrast ratio of the projector, but also included a 100" Portable Projector Screen in the package. Enjoy the great movies outside with your family in your yard.
  • HIGHEST 1080P RESOLUTIONS SUPPORTED: Supported resolution:1920*1080, Aspect Ratio: 4:3/16:9, Contrast Ratio: 2000:1, Lamp lifetime: 40000 hours, Watching Size: 32”-176” with projector distance 1.5m-5m. [Note: not recommended for PPT, word, excel or business presentation.]
  • MULTIMEDIA PORTABLE PROJECTOR: DR.J projector is compatible with TV Box, ChromeBook, PCs, Laptops, Tablets, Blue-ray DVD player, SD Card, USB Flash Drive, Video Games, Media players (Music, Pictures, Video, TXT), Smartphones ( Wireless HDMI Dongle not included).
  • IDEAL CHOICE FOR HOME ENTERTAINMENT: DR.J LED projector is great for home theater, indoor and outdoor movies & kinds of video games by HDMI port connection. You can also connect your home theater system or surround sound system to get a better sound quality. Recommended to use in dark environment.
  • IDEAL CHOICE FOR CHRISTMAS: DR. J Professional HI-04 movie projector is definitely the best choice for Christmas. It works well with both your daily TV Stick but also smartphones. With DR. J Professional unique packed100Inch Projector Screen, you will enjoy the happiness home theater time with your family in both indoor or outdoor time.
Bestseller No. 2
QKK Mini Projector 5500Lumens Portable LCD Projector [100" Projector Screen Included] Full HD 1080P Supported, Compatible with Smartphone, TV Stick, Games, HDMI, AV, Projector for Outdoor Movies
  • 🌷 high resolution LED projector: QK02 LED projector upgrade with high Native Resolution which can meet all your home entertainment games or indoor and outdoor movies. It’s also ideal for home entertainment like movies and video games
  • 🌷 big bonus [100inch projector screen] for customers: QK02 video projector packed with 100" Portable projector screen for our customers' Daily home theater use. It's the definitely best choice for your outdoor camps, trips and night movies with family. Projection display is 40”-170” at the distance of 1-4m (the ideal projection display is 120” in 3M). aspect ratio is 16: 9/ 4: 3 with manual focus and keystone on projector
  • 🌷 longer lamp life & protect your eye well LED projector: QK02 LCD projector has five layer LCD display which allows the projector lamp life Max support to 50, 000 hours. The LED light source can perfectly protect you and your family’s eyes. It’s definitely the best choice for your home theater entertainment
  • 🌷 Multimedia projector with flexible connectivity: QK02 video projector has AV/USB/SD/HDMI/VGA/Headphone plug which allows you to play most media players on it like PCs, Macs, video games like PS3/Xbox, blue-ray DVD player, TV stick, Roku stick and mobile devices (Wireless display dongle not included. )
  • 🌷 three year 100% satisfied : QK02 projector offer every customer a 100% satisfied and 3 year Money Back . If there is any questions you met, you can contact us freely to get an immediate reply from our professional technical department
Bestseller No. 3
Wi-Fi Mini Projector, Bomaker Ultra Portable Projector for Outdoor Movies, 6000 Lux, HD Outdoor Movie Projectors, Wireless Mirroring, for iPhone / Android / Laptops / PCs / Windows /DVD Player
  • ❥(Encode: S9UWT6V4 to get a 💚FREE Portable Projector Screen💚.)【True HD WiFi Projector On the Go】No need to buy cables to connect devices to larger screens. Wireless screen mirroring movies, videos, apps, games, photos on the mobile devices to the big screen anytime without the hassle of cords, adapters and dongles. AirPlay, Miracast, compatible with iOS/ Android/ Samsung Smartphones, /PCs/Mac and Windows 10 Laptops.
  • ❥【Enhanced 6000Lux brightness】Upgraded 6000lux is 50% brighter than the older version and other 720p projectors. 1280x720 native resolution, 50000 hours for rich detail in different scenes. The fan noise decreased by 15% than ordinary projector. Perfect for home entertainment and home office.
  • ❥【Wireless Screen Mirroring in 5 Seconds】Simply 2 steps to cast content from your mobile or laptops. 1. Go to Settings, connect to projector WiFi named “Mirroring-EBCE88”, enter password: 12345678, Turn on the Screen Mirroring settings in the control center and connect to “Mirroring-EBCE88”
  • ❥【Multimedia Projector】 Bomaker projectors has wifi function, which enable fast wireless connection with iPhone, iPad, Mac, Huawei, Android phones and Laptop. (Supporting Miracast on devices that come with Windows 10. Miracast Android devices include those that are 4.2 and later.)
  • ❥【Giant Home Cinematic Theater】 Miracast what you’ve seen on small screens to 35-300’’ giant screen, instantly – The ideal distance is 8.2-11.4 ft with 80-100’’ large screen. Enjoy outdoor movie nights with your family!

Outdoor Projector Buyer’s Guide

Simply knowing what the best outdoor projectors are is a great start. But, you want to make sure that you’re getting the exact product that meets your needs and desires. That’s why we’re going to be reviewing everything you need to know before making that final decision.

Let’s take a look!

Resolution

When it comes to having a high-quality viewing experience, the most important thing you need to think about is the resolution of your projector. This describes the number of pixels on the screen and thus, how clear the image actually appears. So, the greater the resolution, the greater clarity!

This also can help you to figure out how far back you have to sit from the screen in order to see the best visuals. Lower pixel outputs will require you to sit much further back, which might not be possible if you have a smaller yard or patio.

You should avoid any resolution values lower than 720p. For the best viewing experience, you’ll want to lean toward 1080p instead. You can also invest in a 4K Ultra HD projector if you want a superior viewing experience and have a little extra cash to spend.

There are resolutions as low as 240p and 480p. Though these projectors will be much more cost-effective, you’re risking a ton of quality and clarity in the process.

The resolution of your projector will also impact the aspect ratio of your projector. This describes the ratio between the height and the width of your screen. Here’s a brief run-down of different aspect ratios.

  • Standard: 4:3
  • Widescreen: 16:9
  • Cinemascope:4:1

The aspect ratio you choose will all come down to personal preference. For example, you’ll want to get a widescreen or cinemascope aspect ratio if you want the ideal outdoor home theater experience. These ratios also do much better when it comes to newer video playback devices.

But, you also need to look for what’s called the “native resolution” of the projector. This describes exactly what the resolution of your projector is. However, your projector might also be able to support a higher resolution, though this might just stretch the image and reduce clarity.

Bulb Lifespan

When you’re making your purchase decision, you also want to take into consideration the cost to replace the bulb or lamp. This can force you to shell out an extra few hundred dollars to replace when the bulb blows.

Most lamps will last at least 2,000 hours, though some claim to last 40,000 or more. Just keep in mind that the rate at which the lamp burns out will depend on the number of lumens in your projector. The greater the lumen level (and the greater the brightness), the shorter the lifespan of your bulb.

That means you’ll want to take into consideration the bulb lifespan before you make your projector purchase. Most product descriptions will let you know an approximate lifespan. From there, you can also research the pricing of new lamps to see how much a replacement will cost.

Throw Ratio

The throw ratio of your outdoor projector will help to describe how wide the image is from far back. This is important to take into consideration if you want an optimal viewing experience. The throw ratio will explain how far away the projector has to be to create a screen width of X feet.

It’s important to keep in mind that there are some short-throw projectors out there. These are simply projectors that you can keep closer to the screen without ruining the view or display. Short-throw projectors would be the best choice in smaller or more narrow yards.

Brightness

The brightness of your projector will be most influential when determining how often you can use your outdoor projector. This value is usually listed in lumens. The more lumens your projector is listed as having, the brighter your projector’s display will be. But, higher lumen projectors will cost you more in the long run.

When looking at the brightness, you need to take into consideration the white and color brightness. You want optimal levels of each of these to get the clearest and most vivid viewing experience.

But, you also want to think about when you actually plan to use your projector. When you get a projector with more lumens, it’ll be much brighter. That means you’ll still be able to view the image, even when it’s not completely dark out. This is perfect if you’re looking to start your movie watching in the early evening prior to sunset.

Even though a higher brightness is better, it will cause your lamp to burn out sooner and it will cost you a lot more money. If you’re not planning to use your projector unless you’re in complete darkness, a lumen value of 2,500 or more should be more than enough.

Available Ports

It makes no sense to buy a projector if you can’t hook up any of your favorite devices to it. The most important connection or port that you should be looking for is the HDMI port. This hooks up to just about any modern device, including DVD players, Blu-ray players, and even your favorite video game systems.

Some even have USB ports and a MicroSD card slot, or a VGA port for more old-school device connections. Ultimately, you need to figure out which devices you plan to use with your outdoor projector and the connection or port that they require to connect. Also, consider the availability of several HDMI ports if you plan to use your projector for several different uses (DVD, games, etc.).

Another important connection you need to think about is the audio jack. While most projectors will play audio straight from the device, the speaker isn’t quite ideal when it comes to large parties and surround sound. You’ll probably want to invest in a high-quality outdoor speaker system to get the best listening and viewing experience.

Contrast Ratio

The contrast ratio is all about giving you the best color when you’re watching a movie on your outdoor projector. This impacts the difference between the dark and light colors and gives you the most vivid viewing experience. The higher the contrast ratio, the better the quality of the image.

You’re going to want a contrast ratio of at least 1,500:1 for the best viewing experience. But, 2,000:1 is even better. So, that’s definitely what you should be looking for if you truly value high-quality images when watching movies.

Extra Supplies

The projector isn’t all you need when it comes to setting up your outdoor home theater, though it is quite important. You’ll also need to invest in a projector screen and a stand. Most important is the sound system. You’re going to want an outdoor speaker set, in particular, and a Bluetooth set if you want a more user-friendly option.

Keep in mind that most protectors do come with their own speakers built-in. Even though some are 5W and offer a dual set-up, the loudness of the fan might ruin your listening experience. It might be best to purchase speakers separately.

Cost

Exactly how much you spend on your projector will depend on the features that you’re looking for and how high quality of a viewing experience you’re expecting. Here’s a look at what your entire outdoor home theater system might cost you.

  • Projector: About $100 to $250
  • Projector Screen: About $50 to $100
  • Projector Stand: About $40 to $100
  • Outdoor Speakers: About $30 to $200

Overall, it really depends on quite a few factors. It’s possible to set up your entire home theater system for less than $300. If you’re looking for higher quality products that are built to last and provide a supreme viewing experience, you’re probably going to be spending closer to $1,000 in total. Just remember that this doesn’t include the cost of a lamp replacement in the future.

Keystone Adjustment

There’s always the chance that your projector won’t be exactly perpendicular to the screen you’re trying to display it on. This can make your screen look skewed and unusual. That’s where the keystone adjustment setting will come into play.

These are designed to fix the skew of the image to look perfectly rectangular each and every time. Better yet, a lot of projectors out there have an automatic keystone adjustment setting. Just click the button and the image will be skewed to look perfect! The greater the keystone angle adjustment, the more control you have over the rectangular appearance.

Outdoor Projector FAQ

How many lumens do you need for an outdoor projector?

While any amount of lumens will work, some levels are obviously better than others. 2,500 or more is best if you’re looking for a high-quality picture that’s visible even during daylight hours. The more lumens, the greater number of hours you can view per day. Just remember that higher lumen levels might cause the projector to burn through the bulb much quicker.

How much does an outdoor projector cost?

There are plenty of options online where you can actually buy an outdoor projector for less than $100. But, most options are somewhere between $150 and $250. There are obviously more high-end pieces that are well over $300. The price usually depends on the quality of pixels, lumens, and brand name.

Do projectors work outside in daylight?

That all really depends on how many lumens your projector has. The greater the lumens, the brighter the image. That means you can still see the image clearly and brightly during daylight. If you’re looking to watch outside in late afternoon before it gets too dark, higher lumens will be your best bet.

How do I project a movie in my backyard?

Your best bet would be to get an outdoor projector that has 1080p and at least 2,500 lumens. Make sure the projector supports connections like HDMI, allowing you to link it to your computer or other video playback device. You’ll also need a projector screen for a clear and even display as well as a projector stand to keep the projector stable and focused on the screen.

Do you need white background for a projector?

It’s not necessary, but it definitely provides you with a lot better playback. A white screen will give you absolutely clear coloring and contrast. Plus, they’re not all that expensive. You can usually find a good projector screen for between $50 and $100 online. It’s definitely worth the investment for the best viewing experience.

Conclusion

Now that you’ve decided to purchase an outdoor projector, it’s time to actually make your purchase and set up your brand new outdoor theater. Make sure that your projector supports at least one HDMI connection and that you also purchase a projector screen and a projector stand (of some sort).

When it comes to the best outdoor projectors out there, we’d have to recommend the Leisure 3 Mini Projector by VANKYO. Not only is this projector extremely affordable and portable, but it also supports over 40,000 of use and can integrate with just about any of your favorite devices.

If you’re looking for a more high-end and durable option, you’ll want to try the Performance V610 Native 1080P LED Projector, also by VANKYO. This is definitely more suitable for large screen and high-quality viewing. Plus, you’re getting over 50,000 hours of lamp life and practically unmatchable viewing experiences.

We hope this guide helped you to decide on the perfect projector for your yard. Now it’s time to hook up your favorite device and plan a family movie night.

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Robin Watson

Robin owns his own Landscape Gardening company based in the UK and has over 10 years professional experience working outdoors, creating beautiful landscapes for his clients in the UK. He is also a keen garden-grower and maintains his own fruit and vegetable gardens. He also has a level 3 Certificate in Practical Horticulture from The Royal Horticultural Society and is currently working on his first book about gardening. Contact him at Robin@gardenbeast.com

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