Summer is around the corner and I really fancy those movie nights with my buddies. We normally invite over our girlfriends, buy lots of beers and popcorn and enjoy watching the latest movies under the moonlight. Talk of real fun!!!
If you happen to have similar plans, then you will definitely need a very good surround sound system and an outdoor projector. However, purchasing an outdoor projector especially when you are on a very tight budget is not an easier task either. There are also a lot of brands of projectors in the market.
Furthermore, you have to consider whether you will be using the projector during the day or during the night. To make this easier for you, I carefully analyzed the current brands and came up with a list of some the best projectors that the market has to offer.
To make things even better for you, you will find more tips on how to select the best outdoor projector that will suit your needs. Also included in this article are some of the frequently asked questions by people who own or aspire to own projectors.
Let us dig deeper!
Important factors to consider when choosing an outdoor projector
Deciding on the perfect outdoor home projector can be an uphill battle considering a large number of projectors out there. When making your choice, there are certain aspects that you should put more emphasis on; they include:
1. The resolution
The best outdoor projectors have the highest resolution. Get a machine with at least 1920 X 1080 pixels. The 1080 projector will help you watch your favorite movies clearly, even if you are far-off.
Additionally, machines with the highest resolution usually give project top-notch images. Who would not want that?
2. Keystone correction.
It can be quite a struggle adjusting your projector’s position accurately. Being in the outdoors can make it even more difficult. That is why it is essential to choose a mobile projector that has a digital keystone correction feature.
The feature fixes the image so that it displays smoothly on your outdoor movie screen. Without the feature, you would most likely get images with ridiculous shapes.
Outdoor projectors are exposed to ambient light. The light interferes with your viewing experience and can be very irritating. This is why outdoor projectors with higher brightness are preferred. Home cinema projectors with at least 2000 lumens can be an excellent fit for outdoors. They can withstand the ambient light by emitting enough light of their own.
4. Throw Distance
Some state-of-the-art projectors can still project images to screens even if they are further away. This gives them an edge over other cheap outdoor projectors that can only display when close to the screen. When making your decision, get the projector with the right throw distance.
5. Aspect Ratio
The aspect ratio can be defined in simple terms as the shape of the image being projected (ordinarily rectangular). It is very crucial in determining the quality of pictures being displayed. There are two types – the 4:3 and 16:9. The 16:9 is known for producing the best quality picture.
With that said you should never forget the aspect ratio when considering your options.
6. Input connections
A good outdoor USB projector should have a decent number of input connections. They include the HDMI, AV and USB ports. The memory card slot can also be an added advantage.
7. Sound system
Since outdoor projectors are designed to be used in backyard events and parties, they should have the best speakers. Sadly, not all outdoor backyard projectors have powerful sound systems.
If you are willing to buy an extra set of speakers, this should not worry you.
As you already know by now, you will be carrying your media projector from place to place. It makes sense that it should be as portable as possible, doesn’t it? The last thing you want is for you to struggle to transport your projector.
9. Projector Price
Everything comes at a price. The best outdoor projectors also come at a price. However, you can be fortunate to get impressive, cheap HD projectors.
Don’t assume a projector is excellent because it is expensive. Also carefully evaluate the features of the cheap ones before you make a purchase.
10. The Technology
The modern projectors feature either the DLP or LCD technology. If you prefer reliability, then get an outdoor LCD projector.
When it comes to image quality, nothing compares to the Epson brand. The brand is famous for manufacturing cutting edge, easy to use, and affordable projectors.
The Epson VS240 home theater projector seems to have followed suit. The device is arguably one of the most innovative Epson’s releases to date.
The state of the art Epson VS240 was initially designed to act as a multi-purpose machine that satisfies both the movie fans and business-minded folks. You can take your presentation to the next level by displaying charts, clear slide shows, and uncomplicated graphs on the user-friendly VS240.
However, what makes the Epson VS240 particularly unique is its home theater features. The machine is commonly used as an outdoor movie screen where it produces high-quality images even in dim light. You can make use of the VS240 in movie nights or even in an outdoor movie party.
The Epson VS240 has an elegant white and black design with a round-cornered shape. The device is one of Epson’s larger projectors as it weighs approximately 5.29 pounds. Its portability is further enhanced by its dimensions that are 9.2 X 11.7 X 3.2 inches.
The LCD projector has some ports that involve a VGA port and an easily accessible HDMI port. The device is also one of the easiest DMV projectors to set up – it only takes a few minutes to put it together. This means you can save much time in case you are too impatient to start your movie.
High color brightness
One of the most impressive features of the Epson VS240 is the 3000 lumens high color brightness. To enhance its clarity in rooms that are adequately lit, it has also been fitted with a 3000 lumens high white brightness. This excellent feature enables it to project accurate and animated color.
Another essential feature of the device is it’s A/V Mute or sleep mode. When delivering your presentation, you will not have to strain to turn off the projector – you can quickly pause it and then continue later. This feature gives you an easy time during your presentation.
The Epson VS240 provides a basic HD quality with an average 800 X 600 resolution. The high-resolution projector further has an aspect ratio of 4:3. This resolution is convenient for standard presentations and elemental graphics.
As mentioned earlier, the Epson outdoor projector is designed with an HDMI port. This feature enables you to connect the VS240 to most media players using a single cable that supports both audio and video.
From its features alone, the Epson VS240 is undoubtedly one of the best video projectors in the business. Its ability to provide high quality and crisp images makes it stand out from its competition. I would genuinely recommend it to any company or school that is on a tight budget.
The iDGLAX brand has catered for the needs of gamers and movie enthusiasts with the release of the iDG-787W LCD projector.
The iDGLAX iDG-787 is a one-of-a-kind accessory that acts both as a multi-purpose device and a home theater projector. The machine is perfect for movies and video games including PS2, PS3, PS4, and Xbox one games. The powerful projector gives a movie night a whole new feeling.
Favorite among movie die-hards, the device has been rated as one of the most remarkable in its category — it occupied the pole position in Best Budget Projectors…
Here is a complete breakdown of this fantastic beast:
The iDGLAX iDG-787W is known for its lightweight and small appearance. This is because of its 5.8 X 2.7 X 7.3 inches dimensions. The relatively small proportions give it a unique look compared to its competitors. The tiny projector has an estimated weight of about 1.54 pounds. You can carry it easily to your movie room without struggling. It also won’t pose a challenge when you are traveling.
The low-cost projector is fitted with an HDMI USB port that has a 5V output rating. Apart from connecting the HDMI cable to your laptop or any media player, you can also use the port to charge your tablet or phone.
The HD video projector has a simple look and an ergonomic design that enables you to make the most of your game-playing experience. The device has been designed with lumens bulb and two speakers that are in-built. The iDGLAX iDG-787W can produce tremendous sound with its speakers.
One of the most important features of the iDGLAX iDG-787W is that it provides a huge screen where images can be formed. It is estimated that it projects images whose sizes are between 30” to 100”. You can efficiently adjust the image size to your liking by altering the distance.
Ball Bearing Fans
The video projector has been fitted with a current cooling system with two ball bearing fans. This powerful feature minimizes any heat produced by the projector. It also decreases noise to a great extent. Your maintenance cost will, therefore, reduce because of the regulation of temperature. You will also use your device for longer.
LED Source Display
The iDGLAX iDG produces brighter images than any other average LED projector. The mini portable machine produces vivid and crisp images admirably. When watching movies or playing games, it projects brilliant and well-illuminated colors. This clarity of images has been enhanced by its 2000 lumens brightness. In addition to that, the accessory has a native resolution of 800 X 480 that enables the best viewer experience.
Despite all its remarkable features, the iDGLAX iDG-787W is surprisingly very pocket-friendly. Coupled with its 3-year warranty, the home entertainment projector is a must-have for any gamer or movie lover.
The device gets my recommendation based solely on its cutting-edge features and affordable price.
Over the years, there has been a drastic increase in the production of high-resolution projectors. With the age of 4k and 1080p resolution now with us, movie and gaming experiences have never been better.
However, when we talk about 1080P resolution projectors, the iCOD G6immediately comes to mind.
The machine is one of the best 1080p outdoor projectors in the market today. It has been packed with outstanding features that give other multimedia projectors a run for their money.
The iCOD G6 has a straightforward and compact design with a dominant black color that gives the machine a neat and elegant look.
The iCOD G6 is relatively bulkier than other DVD projectors in its category. It has an approximate weight of 4.85 pounds and has dimensions that are in the range of 11.3 by 4.5 by 9.1 inches.
The impressive 1080p projector is also packed with several ports that include dual USB ports, a VGA port, two HDMI ports, an AV and Headphone port. The HDMI ports enable you to connect your laptop or gaming console to the projector through a cable that sustains both audio and video. You will also notice that the HDMI projector has been fitted with the picture, means and keystone corrections buttons that are very essential.
Effective LED lamp
The iCOD G6’s lamp is not your typical cheap projector lamp. It boasts an impressive brightness of 3200 lumens – higher than most LED projectors. Besides that, you can save up to 20 percent more energy with the iCOD G6’s lamp than any other ordinary projector.
To say that the iCOD G6 is an extraordinary machine would be an understatement. This is because its LED light bulb has a long lasting life that can go for up to 30000 hours – equivalent to 3 whole years.
The iCOD G6 can make gaming or a movie experience more captivating. Its fascinating Full HD 1080p resolution will blow any gamer away. Moreover, if you are a movie enthusiast, you will be hooked to your favorite movie up to the last scene. The machine projects crisp and animated images like never before.
With a native resolution of 1280 X 800 and a 3000:1 contrast ratio, you can be sure the HD video projector will not fall short of your expectations. The machine’s picture is further boosted by a projection size of between 60- to 120 inches diagonal.
Efficient Keystone Function
When using other projectors, you will probably have a hard time adjusting the picture sizes and orientation.
This is not the case with the iCOD G6 as it has been fitted with an efficient keystone function that ensures you make adjustments effortlessly.
The iCOD G6 is very affordable. Compared to its astounding features, you will not believe it goes for such a low price. From its sturdy lamp, high brightness to its keystone function the HD projector is not short of effectiveness.
The Epson brand has a reputation for producing top-notch, inexpensive projectors with the highest quality. One of these impressive projectors is the Epson Home Cinema 3020.
The projector has been packed with some decent features that make it one of the best for both indoor and outdoor home entertainment. The machine can be a perfect fit for your family room, theater or bonus room. You can also make maximum use of it by conveying it out in your backyard.
The home theater projector boasts of a smooth 2D to 3D conversion feature, captivating picture, and fascinating brightness.
If there were a ranking for the most attractive cheap projectors, the Home cinema 3020 would probably top the list. It has a prevalent white color that gives it a sensational look. To add on that, it has two appealing exhausts attached to its front.
The Home Cinema 3020 is relatively bulky with an estimated weight of 13.3 pounds and 16.6 X 5.5 x 14.4 inches dimensions.
To guarantee the best cinematic experience, the inexpensive outdoor projector has been fitted with dual built-in powerful 10W speakers. The machine also comes with an all-inclusive remote that ensures you control the projector quickly.
2D, 3D, Full HD technology
With the H0320, you can effortlessly transform your favorite 2D movies into a breathtaking 3D experience thanks to the 2D to 3D conversion feature. The device can also project images at a captivating Full HD performance with a contrast ratio as high as 40000:1.
For the 3D enthusiasts, the cinema movie projector has also included two RF 3D pair of glasses that will get you engaged in eye-catching 3D films and many more. The lenses are even more impressive in that they add a well-needed filter to the image’s black levels.
The machine will surprise you further as it expresses very minimal crosstalk in images that are immensely contrasting.
The Home Cinema 3020 has a spectacular color brightness of 2300 lumens coupled with a white brightness of also 2300 lumens. It can be well argued that H3020 is the best 3D projector in its category.
The 3LCD technology enables the H3020 to project vibrant and animated images with clarity. The technology also delivers fascinating detail in all images and boosts your theatrical experiences. It uses three different RGB panels to project images. The technology has further been improved with a functional motor iris that enhances black levels.
Compared to the 1-chip technology, the 3LCD saves more energy and generates 3X more brightness color.
For an LCD projector, the Home Cinema 3020 certainly delivers satisfactory shadow details and black levels. If you want to buy a budget projector that will take your home entertainment to the next level, the Epson 3020 is a worthy contender. It gets my recommendation.
Although the Ragu brand is not well-known, one of its devices, the Ragu Z720 is a big name when it comes to outdoor projectors.
The impressive device has a high contrast ratio, decent brightness, and the LED and DLP technology – all necessary traits for an efficient outdoor projector.
Only a few projectors can withstand ambient light like the Ragu Z720. The home theater projector displays images clearly when outdoors. It is perfect for backyard movies or anything that involves watching films in daylight.
The Z720 is a predominantly black, solidly built projector with an in complex design. It’s a mid-sized device that you won’t have a problem carrying to your backyard.
The top of the Z270 is super smooth. The lens is at the side of the gaming projector while the focus and the keystone adjustment knobs are just above it. The keystone adjustment is very important as it controls the shape of the image.
You’ll also notice the machine has several ports that include the HDMI ports, VGA slot,and two USB ports. Also included is the full-sized SD card slot. You can easily use the projector with almost any device. In addition to the remote, the Z270 is also fitted with a control panel.
High brightness and resolution
The Ragu Z270 boasts of the high brightness of almost 2300 lumens – brighter than half of the LED projectors in the market today. It also has an awesome 1280 X 768 native resolution and supports an astounding 1.67 million colors.
It‘s hardly possible to have an amusing outdoor viewing experience without fixing the image size on your backyard tv projector.
The highly effective Z270 has an amazing 12-degree manual cornerstone correction that enables you to easily adjust your image size with the touch of a button.
The Ragu Z270 supports the 1080P video input, unlike most cheap outdoor projectors. The 1080P feature is enhanced by the HD decoder cheap that is part of the machine.
You can alter the distance between the display and your projector to get an image quality of your liking. Try to get a better projection distance of about 2.5m to 5m. This will give you an awesome projection size that is almost 50 inches.
Lengthy Lamp Lifespan
The Ragu Z270 has a long lamp lifespan that guarantees you won’t have to change your lamp for the next few years. It has a lifespan of 30000 hours (almost 4 years.)
The biggest drawback of this entertainment projector is probably its noisy fan. But it shouldn’t worry you because you can easily use an external speaker to reduce this noise.
If you wanted a low-cost projector for your presentations, the Ragu Z270 is not your ideal machine. But if you want to enjoy an outdoor party or a movie night, the Z270 is definitely for you. And you won’t spend a fortune buying it – it is very cheap.
How to take care of your home projector
After spending a lot of bucks in buying your projector, the last thing you would want is for it to stop functioning all of a sudden. You need to take maximum care of it – for it to be in the best condition possible.
Here are a few precautions you should take to ensure your projector is faultless.
Always ensure you regularly check on the delicate parts –the lamp, projector lens, and cabinet to make sure they are functioning well. They can be damaged even by the slightest interference.
Always try your best to use your projector in smoke-free zones. Smoke can greatly ruin your projectors optics such that even your warranty won’t be applicable in such an event.
If you mainly use your projector for outdoor movies or presentations, it makes sense that you transfer it from place to place. When moving, always make sure to move it in its packaging.
Clean the projector from time to time especially the fragile parts. Remove any present dust, solid particles or any substances that may cause interference. Also, cleanse the neighboring areas of the fan to establish adequate air flow. For the best picture quality, always dust the lens once in a while.
Taking these precautions won’t be enough if you don’t take the most critical measure – always store the projector in a cool and dry place. This is like the number one rule for taking care of all dainty objects in this world. The modern day projector is no exception.
And finally, NEVER EVER touch the lamp. Whenever the projector functions for long periods of time, the lamp usually gets hot. At no time should you ever make any form of physical contact with the lamp when it is in its hot state.
My projector seems to produce no light. What do I do?
This might be as a result of the projector lamp blowing out. You should remove the lamp and check if there are cracks, smoky appearance or any discolorations as this could be hindering it from producing light.
My projector does not seem to illuminate. Do I need to replace my lamp?
Check if the lamp is blown out before deciding to make a replacement. If the lamp is cracked or has some discolorations, it means that it is the primary lead for illumination failure and you will need to replace it.
Why do I see green, blue, or red ‘smudges’ or ‘blobs’ on my projected image?
The smudge could be as a result of dust on the LCD panels. Try de-focusing the image to see if the stain will turn into a solid object. You will need to service the projector for the dirt to be removed from the optical components of the projector. Also, you can prevent this issue by having the filters cleaned regularly to prevent such foreign objects from reaching the projector.
I have a new laptop, and the projected image is too big for the screen. How do I fit it in?
This issue shows that the projector and the laptop resolutions do not match, the PowerPoint resolution does not match the projector resolution, or both the laptop and the PowerPoint resolutions do not match with the projector resolution. You will need to change either the PowerPoint resolution, laptop resolution or change both to ensure that they match the projector’s resolution for the images to fit the screen.
I get an image from my projector, but my computer screen has gone black. I need to see images on both displays, what do I do?
To see images on both the computer screen and the projector, you will need to activate the external monitor port on the computer. This is mostly displayed as an LCD or an icon that resembles two monitors. If the problem persists, it shows that the video card in your computer does not display dual display.
Can I leave an outdoor projector outside? Does it withstand severe climates like heat and rain?
It is an outdoor projector, but it requires proper care and maintenance to serve you for an extended period. It is advisable that you keep it covered to avoid extreme sunlight exposure and rain. The rain has no direct effect on it, but if the area is muddy, the projector could acquire dirt. The typical night and mild weather cause no harm to the outdoor projector, but direct sunlight exposure can damage it.
What is the best color setup for an outdoor projector?
The color of the video differs with the sources connected to it which may include DVD player or a Blu-ray player just to mention a few. You will need to calibrate your projector with every source. The brightness is recommended to be at the black level, a white level for contrast or picture, hue for tint and chroma or saturation for the color.
How do I connect my PowerPoint presentation to a projector?
Start by turning off the power buttons both on the laptop and the projector, connect an HDMI or a VGA cable to the video output on your computer and connect the other end of the cable to the projector’s video output. Connect the 3.5 mm plug on the audio cable to your computer’s headphone jack and the other end of the cable to the projector’s audio input. Turn the computer and projector’s power buttons on before pressing the input button that matches with the video input that you used and the press the computer’s key combination to activate the video port and there you will have your PowerPoint presentation connected to your projector.
Can I have a backyard movie theater without a screen?
Yes, you can enjoy a backyard movie theater without a screen. You will only need to have a white sheet where you will have the video and images focused, but the image quality will differ slightly.
What are some of the best places to buy an outdoor projector?
Ensure that you get your projector from a known and genuine source. Make sure that the seller is satisfied and licensed to sell the outdoor projectors. Check the services they offer such as a warranty, installation services or tips on how to install, use and maintain the projector. Some of the best suppliers include Amazon and eBay.