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Even if you can’t trust the weather enough to set up a permanent entertainment space in your backyard or garden, an outdoor movie projector is a fantastic way to achieve a theater-like experience. You can cuddle up with your significant other while watching your favorite movie under the stars or watch the big game with your friends without leaving your home. Outdoor projectors only have one huge issue to contend with—the sun.
Movie theaters aren’t dark so you can hide from the people sitting around you. It's actually because the light and colors of indoor projectors aren’t strong and vivid enough to compete with house lights. Similarly, outdoor movie projectors aren’t made to work well when the sun is out, but you need to consider other aspects as well to pick the right product. We rated and reviewed some of the leading outdoor movie projectors of 2022 to turn your backyard into a non-stop entertainment space.
Best overall: BIGASUO Outdoor Movie Projector
The BIGASUO Outdoor Movie Projector works both as a home projector and a DVD projector, offering you non-stop entertainment. Compatible with most devices and inputs, it also allows you to play movies or TV shows on discs and enjoy them on the gigantic screen with your friends and family, eliminating the need of purchasing a DVD player separately. This outdoor movie projector has amazing color details and brightness for crisper and more vivid images. Plus, it features coated lenses to reproduce HD quality images with richer color levels and the built-in speakers provide you with HIFI sound quality to fully immerse you in your favorite entertainment. With all these amazing features, this outdoor movie projector is the best overall option on the list.
Lamp life: 65,000 hours
Projection size: 200 inches
Mounting type: Ceiling, table, or tripod
Budget-friendly: NICPOW Outdoor Movie Projector
The NICPOW Outdoor Movie Projector is a compact unit that comes with an affordable price tag without missing any amazing features. Besides being easy to carry around, this projector also boasts amazing resolution and sound quality. This projector with an easy-to-use screen display projects bigger-size images for a cinematic experience right from the comfort of your home. Additionally, it has two stereo speakers that provide you with a HIFI sound experience to meet your open-air sound needs. What’s more, this outdoor movie projector is compatible with a wide range of multimedia and you can also connect it with your phone for entertainment on the go. This outdoor movie projector comes with a 100-inch screen, so you don’t have to buy one separately.
Resolution: 1920 x 1080P
Connectivity: HDMI, USB, or AV
Lamp life: 65,000 hours
Projection size: 240 inches
Mounting type: Ceiling, table, or tripod
Seamless connection: NISOO Outdoor Movie Projector
The NISOO Outdoor Movie Projector allows you to easily connect your devices with it via WiFi or USB cable without needing any extra HDMI adapter. This option offers crisper image quality because of its amazing brightness quality. What’s even better, you also get a projector screen to set up your outdoor theater instantly. This projector doesn’t need you to buy extra speakers because the built-in stereo speakers are strong enough to cancel out background noises. The adjustable keystone and huge projection size offer a spectacular experience like never before. Another great thing about this pick is that it allows you to synchronize your phone, either Android or iOS, via WiFi or USB to surprise your loved ones on special occasions by playing funny or heartfelt videos.
Resolution: 1280 x 720P
Connectivity: HDMI, USB, AV, VGA, or WiFi
Lamp life: 60,000 hours
Projection size: 176 inches
Mounting type: Tabletop mount
Dust-proof design: ONOAYO Outdoor Movie Projector
The ONOAYO Outdoor Movie Projector has the latest bidirectional Bluetooth technology that not only connects with Bluetooth-enabled speakers but also with phones and other devices. What’s cooler is that this projector can receive signals from a distance of up to 50 feet. Plus, the latest 5G WiFi helps in smoother and uninterrupted projection, offering you a cinema-like experience. What makes this outdoor movie projector different from others on the list is its dust-proof design, which prevents even tiny dust particles from blocking the view. The lens is designed to depict crystal clear images with vivid color contrast so you can see even the subtle expressions clearly. Also, the user-friendly keystone correction allows you to easily adjust the vertical and horizontal angle to play video games or watch movies on the same screen.
Connectivity: USB, Bluetooth or WiFi
Lamp life: 100,000 hours
Projection size: 300 inches
Mounting type: Ceiling, wall, or tripod
Most aesthetic design: GooDee Outdoor Movie Projector
The GooDee Outdoor Movie Projector combines performance and aesthetics, allowing you to enjoy your favorite entertainment outdoors while adding a dash of style. This option has an 80% better brightness level than other ordinary projectors on the market and the amazing color contrast ratio produces clearer and like-like images. It’s equipped with the latest cooling technology and has an improved fan design to keep the projector from overheating or making annoying noises. If you can’t compromise on the sound quality and don’t want to invest in extra speakers, this outdoor movie projector comes with built-in HIFI stereo speakers to provide an immersive and rich listening experience.
Connectivity: USB, VGA, HDMI or AV
Lamp life: 50,000 hours
Projection size: 230 inches
Mounting type: Tabletop mount
Buying guide: Outdoor movie projector
Whether you’re planning a movie night in your backyard or want to play some video games on a big screen, selecting the optimal outdoor movie projector is the difference between a distorted image and sound quality or a cinematic experience. In this buying guide, we will cover the most vital factors and other information you should pay attention to when purchasing your next outdoor movie projector.
How to pick the ideal outdoor movie projector
Decide on the projection type
You can find outdoor movie projectors in three different projection types:
Liquid crystal display (LCD): These types of outdoor movie projectors are the most affordable options available. LCD projectors operate quietly and have excellent brightness levels, making them ideal to use in shady areas and in slight daylight as well.
Light emitting diode (LED): While these projectors aren’t as bright and quiet as LCD models, they are more popular due to their better viewing experience, longer lifespan, and great value.
Digital light projection (DLP): These types of projectors use lasers rather than just the basic lightning bulbs and have high contrast capabilities, offering you a more realistic listening and viewing experience.
Pick the right image resolution
While 720 pixels is a decent image resolution, it’s better to go for at least 1080P because this is the most standard option and offers sharper image quality and clearer object movements. You can also find some high-quality outdoor movie projectors with 4,000 pixels image resolution that provide you with crisper and impressive image quality with a great viewpoint.
Most outdoor projectors have wired connectivity options like USB, HDMI, VGA and VA ports and others allow you to connect devices via WiFi or Bluetooth connections.
Almost all outdoor movie projectors come with built-in stereo speakers for an easier and hassle-free set-up, making them portable and easier to use. Some people prefer to purchase separate external speakers for better sound quality because built-in speakers aren’t always up to their standards. If you want a portable and compact outdoor movie projector that’s easy to carry around, you have to compromise on the sound quality because the built-in speakers will be smaller in size and a little lacking.
You also have to decide on the power source of your projector — either battery or AC. If you have a power outlet outdoors, getting a projector that uses AC power is better because the last thing you would want is your projector’s battery depleting halfway through the movie or gaming session. If you’re more inclined towards battery-powered projectors due to their portability, make sure that the battery is strong enough to last at least seven hours.
People also asked
Q: Can I connect my outdoor movie projector with my PC or laptop via an HDMI or USB port?
A: If both your projector and laptop or PC have HDMI ports, then you can easily connect them. Simply turn on the projector by pressing the power button on the unit, then connect the HDMI cable to the projector and the laptop. After that, go to your movie projector’s input setting, click the “HDMI video” and position the projector to enjoy whatever you want to play from your laptop.
Q: How do I know if my outdoor movie projector is waterproof?
A: If you want to install your outdoor movie projector permanently, it’s better to check the product’s description or contact the manufacturer to confirm if it's waterproof or not. Most models are water-resistant, but not completely waterproof; the fully waterproof models come at hefty prices.
Q: Where should I position my outdoor movie projector?
A: You should place your outdoor movie projector in a darker or shaded area for perfect image quality because these projectors aren’t made to beat the sun's rays. The projector and the screen shouldn’t be directly facing the sun if you want vivid colors and clearer images.