We have noticed that many things have already changed with our current situation. From the way, we people greet each other to the way we buy our groceries and other necessities.

Even the way we conduct seminars and classes has already been brought online. Back in the 1950s, people used to go to drive-in theaters where people brought their cars to a parking lot to watch movies outside.

However, today we are not allowed to do that yet, and we don’t have many drive-in theaters.  For some movie enthusiasts, watching movies in the comfort of their homes would be a great alternative to going to movie theaters. And what better way to do that than using a projector for everybody to be able to watch with you?

Highly recommended projectors

Here are some of the best projectors in the market that we can recommend:

ViewSonic M1

This is an affordable DLP-type tiny projector with built-in Harman Kardon speakers. It is affordable, has a sophisticated design, has a great range of ports, and has decent battery life. It has a resolution of 854 x 480 with three inputs: USB, HDMI, and microSD. Its downside is that it does not project a sophisticated picture.

Other specification:

  • Smart platform: No
  • Battery: Yes, three hours
  • Brightness: 300 lumens
  • Speakers and audio out: 2 x 3W, 3.5 mm
  • Storage: 12GB

Downside

  • Fiddly focus
  • Standard definition

Epson EF-12

This LCD projector is smart, small, and has a decent sound system. It has a brightness of 1000 lumens with HDMI and USB input with a 1080p resolution. Despite its high resolution, it lacks color complexity.

Other specifications

  • Speakers: 2 x 5W
  • Audio out: Bluetooth, 3.5mm
  • Smart platform: Yes
  • Battery: No
  • Storage: 10GB

Downside 

  • No battery, main power only
  • Lacks some apps like iPlayer and Netflix
  • Poor picture quality

Anker Nebula Solar Portable

This DLP projector is the best Nebula portable projector so far. It is very portable and has the right spread of sound. It also has a clear and balanced picture with a 1080p HDR resolution with HDMI and USB inputs. This projector is packed with features.

Other specifications

  • Speakers and audio out: 2 x 3W, Bluetooth
  • Brightness: 400 Lumens of brightness 
  • Smart platform: Android TV OS |
  • Battery: Yes, three hours
  • Storage: 8GB

Downside

  • Lacks depth in color black
  • Lacks some of the UK catch-up services such as iPlayer
  • Sound system lack impact

Nebula Mars 2

This DLP-type projector is perfect for outdoors because of its battery and highly portable power. It has built-in speakers, wifi connectivity, and an app store for downloading iPlayer, Netflix, etc. With a 1280 x 720p Full HD resolution, it can project good quality images at 75 inches, with well-balanced, colorful pictures.

Other specifications

  • Speakers and audio out:: 2 x 10W, Bluetooth
  • Brightness: 300 lumens
  • Inputs: HDMI, USB 
  • Smart platform: Android 7.
  • Storage: 8GB

Downside 

  • Color reproduction is at the basic level

Nebula capsule

Another DLP type projector for outdoors because of its battery. It has an app store where you can download apps like Netflix, BBC player, Amazon Prime, etc., and play them in an 854×480 resolution.

Its small and highly portable size can also be used as a Bluetooth speaker. It can also be connected to Apple and Microsoft products for streaming via AirPlay connection and Miracast.

Other specifications

  • Speakers and audio out: 5W, 3.5 mm, and Bluetooth 
  • Brightness: 100 lumens | Inputs: HDMI, USB
  • Smart platform: Android 7.1 
  • Storage: 8GB

BenQ TK850

The BenQ TK850, another technically inside type that could be persuaded to trail outside with an extension wire, delivers very high brightness at 3,000 lumens – making it a wise choice for assuring visible visuals in the evening light dimmer projectors may struggle with.

The BenQ TK850 has a high degree of brightness, resulting in vividly realized colors and immediately visible detail even during the day or with ambient light in the room. We give it a thumbs up for that.

Although some video noise is in gray shadows or grey areas, and the lack of streaming apps may surprise some, the TK850 is a terrific projector for your house.

Other specifications

  • Projection system: DLP
  • Resolution: 4K
  • Brightness: 3,000 lumens
  • Projection size: 40-200 inches
  • Video inputs: 2x HDMI, 1x SPDIF, 1x AUX In, 2x USB
  • Dimensions: 380 x 127 x 263mm
  • Audio: 2x 5W

Downside

  • No streaming apps
  • Some fan noise

LG CineBeam HU80KSW

This DLP 4k HDR pixel shift projector, at 66 to 150 inches, is an all-rounder despite being pricey. It is a one-box portable system that is busy to build around. Its flexibility and portability make up for its price.

Other specifications

  • Speakers and audio out: 2 x 7W, 3.5 mm, Bluetooth, S/PDIF
  • Brightness: 2500 lumens
  • Inputs: HDMI (x2), USB (x2) 
  • Smart platform: webOS 

Downside

  • No battery and storage
  • Details can be lacking
  • Motion needs improvement
  • Built-in speakers are not the best out there

Optoma UHD65

This high-end 4k HDR pixel shifting projector gives you top-notch performance, worthy of every penny you spend. Though smaller in size, at 50cmx30 cm, it has a contrast of 1,200,000:1 and a throw ratio of 2:22:1. This is an ideal projector for indoor use.

Other specifications

  • Type: DLP
  • Speakers and audio out: 2 x 4W, 3.5mm optical 
  • Brightness: 2200 lumens
  • Inputs: HDMI (x2), VGA, USB

Downside

  • No battery and storage
  • Dark scenes need more details 

Should you buy a projector screen?

Many may still wonder whether it would be worth buying a projector screen when trying to create your outdoor cinema. What if I project it anywhere? Well, you can.

However, there are still a lot of inevitable situations that might happen when having an outdoor cinema, even if you have it inside your house. One of those could be the light from the moon falling on your screen.

At least you can move your projector screen anywhere instead of relocating your garage door, right? Well, there are still mixed opinions on this one and what I can say is that if you buy a projector screen, you will be given the ability to have more control over where you can project the video or image.

  • The qualities you should look for in a good projector screen are the following:
  • Have a dark border to aid frame your image
  • Made from materials of better quality so that it can enhance the image quality
  • It should have a size big enough to cater to a large crowd
  •  No creases or inscriptions that could get in the way of picture quality
  • Easy to store

For the best viewing experience, it would be best if we invest in high-quality projector screens ranging between $100 to $200.  This will greatly help your picture’s brightness and quality, too.

Factors to consider when buying your projector

Before going to the movie-watching part, you still have to consider many factors when choosing what projector to use to give the best experience to yourself and the people watching.

Streaming Capabilities

In this factor, you need to consider your WiFi connection. Will you be able to stream properly if you set up your projector outside? If not, you can try to extend your signal by adding a mesh network or buy an all-in-one or one-box system with built-in WiFi installed.

Connectivity

Will it need an HDMI port to play movies on your laptop? Do you want to connect external speakers? You also need to consider what you want to plug in your projector because not all models will have what you need.

Power source

Most of the projectors need to be plugged in. For these types, it would be best to have an outlet with a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outside your house installed by a professional, which will protect you against electrical hazards. However, you can also opt to buy projectors with built-in batteries.

Throw distance

To view the movie properly, you must determine the distance between your projector and screen. Standard throw projectors should be 10 feet from the screen, while short throw projectors should be positioned a couple of feet or closer to the screen.

Brightness

Always try to choose an outdoor projector with good brightness measured in lumens. Most adequate outdoor brightness ranges from 2,000 to 2,500 lumens.

Resolution

Consider also the picture quality. Picture quality is measured in pixels. The higher the pixel resolution, the better. The minimum resolution is 720p which can already give you a satisfactory outdoor viewing experience.

For outdoor usage, you can have a 1920 x 1080; however, 1280 x 720 may also be acceptable for portable models. You may refer to this for the list of common projector resolutions:

  • 4K (4096 x 2160) 
  • Full HD (1920 x 1080) 
  • HD Ready (1280 x 720)
  • WXGA (1280 x 800)
  • XGA (1024 x 768)
  • SVGA (800 x 600)
  • WVGA (800 x 480)

Sound/audio source

In this factor, Bluetooth-enabled speakers are highly suggested since there are a lot of ambient outdoor sounds.

Portability

Find a speaker that is lightweight and easy to carry inside and out.

Contrast and aspect ratio

Another thing you should consider is the contrast ratio and aspect ratio. This will have a major role in picture quality and in what way the projector will be able to contest ambient light.

Keystone correction

Many new models of projectors already have this feature. Keystone correction allows you to change the shape and angle of the image from the projector without having the hassle of moving the projector.

Price

This will always come down to your budget. The price of most projectors ranges from $700 to 800 dollars. However, we cannot deny that most of the time, the more expensive the object is, the better it is.

How to create an outdoor cinema

Where do I start? Most of us could be asking this question when we try to have our outdoor cinema. Creating an outdoor cinema might be a hassle for some, but people still find it therapeutic, especially those who like to host parties or events in their houses.

The simplest preparation is to have a wall you can project the movie and, of course, the projector. However, it does not hurt if you try to go the extra mile for your outdoor cinema. Here are some things we can do:

  • ·Position your outdoor projector properly.

Find the best location to set up the projector for your outdoor cinema. It can be in your garage or garden. Make sure that it has a comfortable location and enough space for when you invite people over.

  • Try to fix up your sheet.

You also have to find a wall or prepare a sheet you can use in projecting the movie you want to watch. If you are using a white sheet, the best thing you can do is peg it to a washing line or use a solid masking tape to attach it to a wall.

  • Add some extra decorations.

You have already set up your projector in a nice and cozy place, might as well decorate it and make it look more pleasing to the eye. Some of the suggested decorations you can add are fairy lights, festoon lights, and lanterns to give that gorgeous glow, or you can also try adding a duvet, cushions, blankets in baskets, and a rug for a more outdoor living room feeling.

Conclusion

Whatever projector you choose, make sure that it serves its purpose properly and make sure that it is still under your budget.  Choosing the best projector model for your needs will greatly enhance your film viewing experience.

Last update on 2022-12-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API