unforgettable movie night with outdoor projector

7 Best Outdoor Projector Reviews 2019 | Ideal for Movie Nights In Your Backyard

It can be a bit tiresome to simply watch movies indoors all the time. Sometimes it’s great to watch them outdoors, especially during summer nights. With an outdoor movie screen and the right movie, you can have a nice bonding moment with the family or a party with the neighbors. All you need is the best outdoor projector and you’re all set.

Top 3 Outdoor Projectors 

4.5/5

  • Exceptional video quality with large display
  • Easy to use and compatible with many other devices
  • Portable and great for camping or parties

4.5/5

  • It’s very bright​
  • Works with numerous gadgets 
  • Also comes with built-in speakers

4.6/5

  • Much clearer and brighter video image
  • Display can expand up to 176 inches
  • Lots of connection options for movie sources

Some people (particularly teens) seem to think that movie projectors are as ancient as typewriters. That’s because they’re thinking of those ancient film projectors that need a roll of film to show. Today’s movie projector models are much more advanced, and they can be just as great as modern LED TVs. You even have Bluetooth projector models that can connect wirelessly. Pair one with the best outdoor projector screen that fits the budget and you will get an awesome setup for a movie night.

To complete the setup, you still need to think about the “audio” part of your audio-visual setup. That’s not going to be expensive if you know where to look. You can find the best tower speakers under 500 dollars for your movie sound effects and dialogue. If you’re setting up a complete home movie theater system, you can get the best AV receivers under 1000 dollars.

Factors to Consider for the Best Outdoor Projector

It’s certainly not true that one projector us just as good as another. You can have a HD projector that can show ultra-crisp images, while other models may be limited showing only 480p definition, with dark images with poor contrast. That’s like comparing Blu-ray films shown ion LED TVs to movies in old VHS tapes played on black and white TV sets.  

You ought to check more than just the product descriptions offered by the manufacturers, though they can be very informative. But to confirm the truth of their advertisements, you should read the customer reviews as well.

Here are some of the factors that you need to focus on when you read the product descriptions and reviews:

Video Quality

Instead of mentioning specific factors like size of the image, tolerable contrast, increased levels of brightness, and high resolution, we just combined all of them under the single heading of video and picture quality.

All of those specific features are crucial, but how they work together is what ultimately matters. In the end, if you’re not satisfied with the quality of the video, then it isn’t good. The best ones will have such a great video quality that you forget you’re just in your backyard, and that you’re in a high-tech theater.

Then you remember that you just at home and you thank your lucky stars that you live in the modern age.

Don’t forget that some modern projectors even come with 3D capability. Others may let you connect SD cards containing videos it can play, or even to your smartphone so you can show off your private videos. The best home theater projector may also have HDMI ports so you can connect your Blu-ray or DVD players.  

Extra Features

Aside from the overall quality of the video, your outdoor projector should have other features that let you adjust the various facets of the video. It’s great if you have options for picture alteration, and there may be preset viewing options for you to pick from.

The ports the projector has will also be important. Aside from the HDMI ports for your video players, you may also have ports that let you connect external speakers. The sound quality of projectors is actually as unimportant as the sound quality of modern LED TVs. In today’s world, having a movie theater outside the house also means having the appropriate speakers that everyone can hear.

Other advanced features you may like can include built-in DVD players. That means you won’t have to also get your DVD player outside. You can just pop in your DVDs and you’re good to go.

Ease of Use

How easy is the projector to use? Using the outdoor movie projector shouldn’t be overly complicated, especially at night when all you want to do is to relax and watch a movie outdoors with family and friends.

You may also be looking for the best portable projector if you plan on bringing this to a camping site. It’s a great plan, especially with kids who are easily bored. That means you need something compact and lightweight like the best small projector, so it’s not too bothersome to bring along especially if you’re hiking to a campsite.

Durability

How long do you expect the projector to last? The best ones should last a long while, especially considering that you’re not using the thing daily. Look to customer reviews regarding complaints about breakdowns, and check the length of the warranty.

Value for Money

Usually, the better something is, the more money you have to pay for it. That’s also true for movie projectors. However, you may find that the best budget projector will actually have the features you like.

The Best Outdoor Projectors to Choose From

Now that you’ve checked out the factors you ought to keep in mind, you can then pick among these recommendations. We picked among the more affordable models, as some of the much more expensive ones may not be all that practical. We thought about price, features, portability, and all the other factors you have to consider:

4.5/5

As the best overall choice, it’s easy to pick the ViviMage C460. It’s not really all that expensive, yet its features are quite impressive. Many have chosen this and have written gushing reviews about it.

The images it displays are brighter and sharper, and that’s saying a lot considering that the display measures 170 inches. That’s longer than 14 feet, so everyone can watch in your backyard.

Displays that large tend to have rather muted colors, especially with average projectors. It’s like every scene is done at dusk. It’s not as bright as it should be. But here, it is. It’s 60% brighter than most other projectors.

The color reproduction is very accurate, with 16,700 colors. You won’t get eye fatigue watching the screen, as you get the full HD viewing experience without flickering. The wide range of colors displayed can make it feel like you’re watching your living room LED TV, except that now it measures 14 feet.

It’s very easy to use, and it’s compatible with many other devices and movie players. It’s actually well-suited for newbies, and it comes with lots of clear directions anyone can follow. The problem with some projectors is that they come with rather complicated controls, and not very many people have the patience to spend time familiarizing themselves with the directions.

It also includes the various AV, HDMI, and even VGA cables you may need. This means you can just connect your video players and even speakers to this without trouble.  While the VGA cables may seem quaint—do people still use those—but at least you have them if you do need them. It’s annoying when you buy an outside projector and you still have to buy the cables separately.

It’s actually portable too. You can have movies played from your USB stick, and it even has 2 speakers for Hi-Fi sound. This makes it great for camping. It’s compact with a length of about 8 inches and it weighs less than 3 pounds.

It helps that this is a very durable unit, as it uses carefully chosen lens and robust welded cords inside. The cooling system has been upgraded, so it’s not as noisy while the heat dispersion has been improved.

The defect rate for this model is much lower compared to other similar models. What this means is that with the quality control standards they have, rarely do their units show any problems.

This explains the long 3-year warranty and the estimated lifespan of 50,000 hours. It’s estimate to last for up to 10 years if you use it 3 to 4 hours a day. If you’re only using this for backyard movie nights, then it will last for generations. With the 50k-hour lifespan and 4 hours of daily use, you can look forward to enjoying this for the next 34 years.

You’ll get a complete reimbursement for any unsatisfactory performance or breakdown during the warranty period. But that’s unlikely, seeing as it’s very durable indeed.

Things We Liked

  • Exceptional video quality with large display
  • Easy to use and compatible with many other devices
  • Portable and great for camping or parties
  • Very durable

Things We Didn't Like

  • The clarity may not be enough for text-based PowerPoint presentations

4.5/5

This Meyoung TC80B is a projector that really gives a lot of value for your money. That explains why it’s so popular, and why the vast majority of customers consider it a true projector best buy. Not everyone can spend too much money on a projector, and sometimes you can spend a lot and still get junk. This TC80 isn’t expensive, yet it offers a lot of seemingly expensive features.

The price is very affordable, but it offers 1200 lumens for brightness with native 800p definition. The display size ranges from 50 to 130 inches. These are the stats for indoor use, since lots of people like to use this in their living room. Who wouldn’t want to watch a movie on the best projector screen instead of your regular 50-inch LED TV?

Get it outdoors, and it can project a maximum of 1080p resolution. The display can reach up to 150 inches, and that’s great when it’s dark outside and lots of people are watching. The problem with many large displays is that the definition isn’t as good, so you see a lot of blurs and pixilation.

That’s not going to be a problem here. It will feel like you’re just watching good movie on an HD projector screen. The projector contrast ratio is great so you don’t just see a confusing blob of black and grey images on screen.

What really sets this apart is that it is compatible with a very long list of devices. You can connect an SD card, USB stick or mobile hard disk and you can play the movie files from those sources. You can even play videos from your smartphone.

Of course, the main source of the videos will be the compatible Blu-ray and DVD players, along with laptops, PCs, and tablets. In fact, you can use this to project on screen when you connect your gaming console to the projector.

It really is a compact unit, with measurements of 7.8 by 5.75 by 2.68 inches. It even weighs less than 2 pounds. All in all, spending your money on this will give you full value for every cent.

Things We Liked

  • It’s very bright
  • Works with numerous gadgets
  • Also comes with built-in speakers
  • The dual fans don’t make any noise while keeping the unit cool

Things We Didn't Like

  • Even the manufacturer admits that it’s not meant for professional PowerPoint presentations

4.5/5

If you’re thinking about holding frequent outdoor movie nights, you really should think about getting the Wsky 2019 Portable Home Theater Video Projector. This is a 2019 model, and it has the latest technologies that can provide you with a great backyard movie theater.

The great features you get here start with the terrific contrast, which is always problematic when it comes to ordinary projectors. When you’re watching a movie on an outdoor projector screen, often the video images seem washed out. It’s not really all that clear and bright.

But this time, the contrast rate has been boosted to 2000:1 so you can see what’s happening on screen. The LED technology has also been enhanced so that the brightness and clarity has almost doubled what you enjoy from an ordinary projector. This makes this among your best buy projectors for outdoor viewing, especially at a picnic or in your backyard at night.

You don’t have to sacrifice the video quality you’re used to when you’re watching movies on your living room TV. This still supports 1080p high definition. The display can offer 16:9 ratio like in a regular cinema or LED TV. This can also be adjusted to fit your screen, so that the display measurement can range from 10 to 176 inches. That 176-inch size is actually 20% bigger than what you get from the 2018 model.

This has numerous input options, so you can connect various video sources for your projector. There’s a USB slot so you can connect a mobile hard disk or a USB stick where you’ve saved your movie files. There’s also an HDMI slot so you can plug in your Blu-ray or DVD player. It’s even possible for you to use this for your game console, so that everyone can enjoy your RPG adventures. Or if you want, you can just connect your smartphone to this so you can really enjoy your own amateur movies.

This does have built-in speakers. They’re not just regular speakers, as they’re from Dolby so you know they’re good. But for the ultimate outdoor viewing experience, there’s an audio port so you can also connect your own speakers to boost the sound quality of the movie. The speakers, though, let you enjoy these movies at a camping site if you’re unable to bring those speakers along.

The durability of the Wsky 2019 is also undeniable, which is why the manufacturer assures every customer that they offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee. The advanced LED technology for the bulb allows it to last for 40,000 viewing hours. The low-volt tech also uses less energy, which cut down on your energy bills.

Overheating isn’t a problem either. This has dual fans for cooling the inside. This allows you to use it for longer periods of time, because it won’t overheat as quickly.

Things We Liked

  • Much clearer and brighter video image
  • Display can expand up to 176 inches
  • Lots of connection options for movie sources
  • Exceptional durability

Things We Didn't Like

  • It’s not meant for business presentations using PowerPoint, MS Word, or Excel.

4.5/5

Now we’re venturing into rather more expensive projectors with the EUG LCD LED Multimedia HD Video Projector. This may be for those who really want advanced features regardless of the price. This can really make for a wonderful movie night in your backyard, and it’s likely that hordes of people in your neighborhood will be coming in to share in the view.

Let’s start with how easy this is to use first. This comes with all the necessary equipment, and it’s basically a plug and play device. Once it’s delivered to your door, it’s ready to use right out of the box.

The connections options you have here are quite numerous. You have not one but 2 HDMI inputs, so you can put in your DVD and Blu-ray players, TV box or cable, gaming console, or laptop. Then you have the dual USB inputs too, so you can plug in a 32GB USB stick or a portable hard disk with 2TB of movie files.

Of course, you’re still able to connect via Video (YPbPr), VGA, AV, and Analog-TV devices, plus you can plug in your speakers to recreate that outside movie theater experience.

The viewing experience is heightened by a magnificently bright screen, as you get up to 3900 lumens. The contrast is also startlingly superb, with up to a 5000: ratio. The native resolution reaches up to 1280 by 800, with a maximum resolution of up to 1920 by 1200.

That makes it the video images wonderfully clear even as you go up the projection size. This projection size ranges from 50 to 200 inches, and at the furthest end of this range people might not find it strange if you’re charging them money for tickets. It’s that good.

The projector bulb can handle it, as even with that brightness and contrast it’s able to last for 50,000 hours. The lighting technology is highly efficient, with energy efficiency at about 80 to 90 percent better than regular bulbs. There’s no warm-up period needed when you want to power on or off. You can even use this outdoors during the winter season, as it can start in subzero weather. Bring plenty of blankets!

Video doesn’t mean squat without good audio, so you can connect your expensive speakers here. You can connect a Bluetooth speaker if you have a Bluetooth audio transmitter. You can also plug in your headphones. If you don’t have speakers because you didn’t bring one with you on the road, you still have nice crisp sound thanks to the dual 5W stereo speakers.

Durability isn’t an issue either. The hard projector shell is flame-retardant, with high resistance to heat and extreme weather. It employs pure copper-tube heat dissipation technology, along with the latest advanced fan cooling system. This ensures proper heat dissipation, while it also minimizes the noise to lower than 30 decibels. There’s a removable dustproof net too.

Things We Liked

  • Highly efficient lighting with an estimated energy efficiency
  • Instant power on and off
  • Operational life up to 50 000 hours with long bulb life
  • Easy to use

Things We Didn't Like

  • Fans can get a little louder than expected

4.5/5

This EUG Wireless Bluetooth HDMI Projector is an even more expensive projector from EUG, but then you get more too. Here linkup isn’t all that much of a problem when you want to watch streaming movies as it features Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. So you can just download apps and you’re not limited to watching films on your tiny smartphone screen.

Instead, it’s like watching a movie on a 200-inch TV. The projection size ranging from 50 to 200 inches doesn’t mar the quality of the video image as you get bigger. The native resolution is at 1280 x 800. The maximum resolution is 1920 x 1200. To get an idea of how sharp that is, it’s almost twice as detailed as SVGA images.

It helps that it supports full HD 1080p with a brightness level of 3900 lumens, along with a superb contrast ration at 5000:1. You get rue color reproduction with no issues like rainbow effects and washouts, and there’s no harm to your eyes. You get 16.6 million colors.

The brightness is uniform (no dark edges), you have terrific black levels, and it’s even bright enough so you can watch a movie with the ambient light of your living room. In your backyard at night, the movie images are stunning.

You get a surfeit of multimedia ports, including dual HDMI and dual USB ports. So you can connect your DVD and Blu-ray players, game consoles cable boxes, laptops, along with USB sticks and portable hard disks.

These ports also allow you to connect external speakers, which include Bluetooth- enabled ones. But if you’re at camp without them, you still have the dual 5W speakers that support Dolby digital decoding.

It’s extremely easy to use, as it can be installed at home in various ways. It features Keystone Correction, 25x electronic zoom function, and 360-degree image flip.

Things We Liked

  • The projection size goes up to 200 inches
  • The resolution reaches 1920 by 1200
  • The brightness levels are terrific at 3900 lumens
  • The dynamic contrast ratio is great too at 5000:1

Things We Didn't Like

  • It’s somewhat bulky at 13 by 10.2 by 4.7 inches

4.1/5

The CAIWEI 3500 Lumen home theater projector is another projector that can display the movie up the side of your entire wall. Put up a proper screen in your backyard, and you may just think that this is another projectors best buy option. 

The video quality is stunning, with 16.7 million different colors to offer. You won’t have to suffer a dark image with all scenes seemingly happening at night, since the brightness levels can reach 3500 lumens. It’s about 30% brighter than other projectors, and you don’t need to endure problems like color diffusion and rainbow effects.

The native resolution is 1280 by 800 with a maximum of 1920 x 1200. The color contrast is 4500:1 with a projection size range of 50 to 200 inches. There’s an easy to use 25-level digital zoom to reduce the screen size easily.

This comes with a bunch of ports for your video sources, including 2 HDMI ports and 2 USB ports. Plug in a portable hard disk and you can watch entire seasons of TV shows. Don’t worry about longevity issues as it’s rated to last for 50,000 hours.

The ports here also allow you to connect your speakers for a truly immersive viewing experience. But you can just bring this to your camping site without those speakers and rely on the projector’s built-in speakers. These are great, as it has 10W subwoofers that can produce even realistic bass sounds.

It’s not that bulky, and it’s not terribly heavy either. It’s not quite as silent as a regular DVD player, but it a lot quieter than some projectors. It features a special air duct that reduces the noise levels to under 30 decibels. That’s like the rustling of leaves, which just adds to the outdoor ambience.

Things We Liked

  • Great video quality
  • Terrific built-in speakers
  • Easy to use
  • Multiple HDMI and USB ports

Things We Didn't Like

  • No Bluetooth connections

4.4/5

Let’s get back to more affordable projectors with the Sourcingbay BY58 Video Projector. But that doesn’t mean you don’t get to enjoy terrific projector features. It feels like you’re in a proper cinema, since the display size ranges from a compact 32 inches up to a large 200-inch display. 

The brightness is more than good at 3200 lumens, with 1280 x 800 native resolution. It supports up to 1080p with a nice contrast ratio of 3000:1. If you project the video images to a dark place with reflective surfaces, you’re good to go.

This supports various video sources with its 2 HDMI ports. You’re able to connect your Blu-ray and DVD players, and even your gaming consoles. You also have 2 USB ports so you can connect portable hard disks and watch downloaded TV shows.

There’s also a port as well that supports your own set of speakers for a great cinematic experience. Yet if you’re unable to bring those to a picnic, then you can always rely on the built-in SRS sound speakers. SRS (Sound Retrieval System) sound technology is considered the best for true surround sound.

You can use this to connect to a smartphone, but you need to have your own wireless HDMI adapter. This isn’t really meant for business presentations, but for movie watching it’s great. You should just take a break after each movie so you can let the heat dissipate in the meantime. It does have a fan for cooling, but when it gets a bit too hot it may make a bit of noise.

This is easy enough to use, and with the remote it’s like watching your TV back home. For watching movies in the backyard, it’s fantastic. The projection display is harmless to the eyes, and you have zoom function too.

Things We Liked

  • Large display
  • Easy to use
  • Good contrast
  • Lifetime technical support with 12-month warranty

Things We Didn't Like

  • Not ideal for text business presentations

About the Author David Lahav

Hi, David Lahav Here. I'm Sound Out Media Founder and a BIG music gadgets geek. I love everything from futuristic music instruments to the silliest pig-shaped headphones. Welcome to my world!

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