- The best large screen projector is the Optoma EH500 3D DLP Projector. With 4400 lumens, it projects an incredibly bright image that stands up to high levels of ambient lighting, perfect for outdoor use. It can cast a gigantic 300″ image, which is as large as a warehouse wall.
- The best outdoor projector for backyard movies is BenQ’s HT2050. For an affordable price you get a projector that is portable, easy to set up, and projects a true HD image up to 180″.
- Elite Screens Yard Master 2 is the perfect for outdoor use. The professional looking screen is weather-resistant and easy to assemble, making for a painless set-up process and impromptu movie nights under the stars.
Summer is coming. Whether you want to watch the new season of Game of Thrones in the backyard or show MLB games on your bar’s patio, a projector is a great alternative to outdoor TV. You get a much larger screen size and some peace of mind, knowing that you can take the projector inside with you at night.
While there are no projectors specifically designed for outside use, there are a few elements that determine if a projector is suitable for the great outdoors. The main factor is brightness, which is determined by the lumen count. Anything less than 2000 lumens won’t hold up to outdoor ambient lighting — so get something north of that number. For daytime use, you want over 4000 lumens for a decent image. The good thing about high lumen projectors is that they also cast a larger screen, which is great for backyard movie nights and other big gatherings.
So do you a need a screen specifically designed for projectors? Nope! Any flat surface will do, although it is better if that surface is white and contour free. Go ahead and string a sheet up between two trees, or point the projector at the side of your house.
If you have want the clearest possible image, outdoor projection screens are available and do an excellent job of maximizing contrast and perfecting the entertainment experience.
The Best Large Screen Projector
Hold on to your hats. The Optoma EH500 3D DLP Projector is a blindingly bright 4700 lumens, which means it gives true HD images on 300 inch screens without a problem. So cast the game or a movie on a 3 story wall and impress your guests.
Using Texas Instrument’s DLP BrilliantColor technology for multi-color processing and native 1080p HD resolution, the Optoma EH500 gives a stunning picture in 10,000:1 contrast ratio. This is ideal for presentations and DIY drive in movie theaters. An array of connectivity options- including VGA, HDMI, and USB- make it easy to get your media on the screen.
Don’t be afraid to bring it outside. It can operate in temperatures as low as 40 degrees and as high as 100 degrees, making it suitable for a variety of climates. It has a projection distance of 1-10 meters, which allows for a good deal of flexibility. It also has front, rear, ceiling, and table top projection.
The downside of the Optoma EH500 is its short run-time. It is made for six hours on and six hours off, which means it is not the best for sports bars that want to show back-to-back games on their patio. The high lumen count also means that bulb life isn’t as long as we’d like — just 2500 hours on regular setting.
The Optoma EH500 projector is available at Amazon for about $1200.
The Best Outdoor Projector
A good outdoor projector is light enough to be lugged around, bright enough to cut through some ambient lighting, and equipped with options to make alignment a pain-free process. It should also be affordable enough that, should the worst happen, you aren’t out an entire car down payment. BenQ’s HT2050 satisfies all these requirements and more, projecting true HD images on screens up to 180 inches in size.
The latest in BenQ’s line of quality affordable projectors, the HT2050 is a 1080p Full HD projector with a 15000:1 image contrast ratio. At 2200 lumens, it is bright enough to use outside with some ambient lighting, but can’t be used during full daylight like the Optoma EH500. At night the black levels are very good for this price range, but do fade away a bit with ambient lighting. It uses 3D DLP.
This is not a short throw projector. The throw range is 1.15 to 1.5 meters, but from the furthest distance you can achieve an image size of almost 200 inches, which is massive and will satisfy a crowd of hundreds of people.
It has vertical lens shift and keystone correction, which helps with set up. Most projectors at this price range do not have horizontal keystone correction and lens shift, and unfortunately this projector is no exception. The zoom is about standard for this class, as are the HDMI and USB connectivity.
It weighs about 10 pounds, which is light enough to easily be brought over to a friend’s house and for easy storage.
BenQ’s HT2050 projector is available at Amazon for about $800.
The Best Outdoor Projector Screen
Invest in a projector screen if you want a professional and polished viewing experience. Good outdoor projectors are weather resistant to an extent, but you will still want something portable that you can disassemble in inclement conditions or if not in use. Elite Screens Yard Master 2 is a great outdoor option. The screens are durable and can be put up and broken down with ease. Sold in many sizes, they can be set up indoors and outdoors, just like your projector.
The Elite Screens Yard Master is a snap button single-piece frame supported by detachable aluminum legs and frame. Full tension gives the screen taught appearance reminiscent of a theater viewing experience, and black masking borders provide additional contrast for the best possible image.
Ground stakes, rigging cords and support rings help the Yard Master 2 stand up to moderate gusts of wind. The screen is also made for the outdoors, and can weather a spontaneous rain shower. It comes with a carrying bag for easy transportation.