Top 9 Best Projectors For Outdoor Movies 2021 Review & Buying Guide

If you ask us, which one is the best projector for outdoor movies, we will recommend you to go for Optoma HD39HDR. We have 9 more outdoor projectors listed and reviewed below.

With the increasing spread of the Covid-19 virus, it has become almost impossible to enjoy movies in the theaters. The safest way to enjoy movies and still have the experience of theaters is by throwing an old-school movie session in your backyard or any outdoor place.

But how can you do it? Well, you just need a good-quality outdoor projector to watch movies in your lawn or any other place for a mesmerizing theater-like experience.

At a Glance: Top 5 Best Projectors for Outdoor Movies:

Apart from movies, you can binge-watch with your friends for hours while enjoying the soothing climate of retreating autumn. These projectors are perfect for big game nights, tailgate trips, or camping in the woods as it lets you set them in almost everywhere.

In this article, we have devised a list that comprises some of the best projectors for outdoor movies available in the market. However, not all the projectors are made exclusively for outdoor sessions, but they carry certain features that allow them to be comfortably used for outdoor movies.

So without further ado, let’s start with the reviews of the entire list of the best outdoor projector to watch movies and series.

Top 9 Best Projectors for Outdoor Movies Reviews 2021

1

Optoma HD39HDR – Outdoor Projector for Daytime Use


Optoma HD39HDR outdoor projector

Searching for a projector that meets your need for a big-screen experience in the outdoors? Then you should try out Optoma HD39HDR that has all the features you need from an outdoor device.

It can easily notch up the screen from 30inch to 300inch so that you can use it for various occasions without limiting yourself to certain situations.

With a high screen size, you need outstanding image quality to match up the experience, and this is why it packs full HD native resolution with incredible 4000 lumens. You will be surprised by the fact that you can even play 4K content and that with HDR10 compatible content. With a 50000:1 contrast ratio and 6-segment color wheel, this projector renders detailing and high color accuracy in images.

Whether you want to watch movies or play your games, you will always be treated to silky smooth visuals for all time frames, and the credit goes to the 4ms response time. It is quite a versatile projector that comes with HDMI, RS232, VGA, USB, and audio-in & out, thus allowing you to connect various types of devices for playing movies.

Although this projector’s size might not be highly convenient, the 7.7lbs weight makes it suitable for carrying to different locations without feeling much weight. Most importantly, you can install this device almost anywhere you want, and you will have a vertical keystone along with 1.3X zoom at your disposal.

In terms of durability, it doesn’t shy away from offering 15000hour of lamp life that indicates you can run this projector for at least 5-years with daily usage. Overall, this is one of the best outdoor projectors for watching movies on our list.

Pros
  • Super smooth visuals without blur.
  • Rich color with excellent brightness.
  • Plays 4K contents fluidly.
Cons
  • The HDR isn’t highly effective.
2

Optoma GT1080HDR – Short Throw Projector for Outdoor Movies

Optoma GT1080HDR Outdoor projector

Optoma GT1080HDR is a top-of-the-line outdoor projector that showcases numerous modern features and the perfect design for outdoor movies. The main motto is to immerse you in a cinematic visual experience, and that is why GT1080HDR utilizes full HD native resolution with HDR10.

With a 6-segment color wheel and 50,000:1 contrast ratio, you can enjoy the razor-sharp texture and accurate color output in all your movies. This is one of the best short throw projectors for outdoor movies for sure.

However, it is the 3800 lumens of brightness that makes the video come alive and makes the visuals clear and more detailed. The superfast response time of 8ms at 120Hz refresh makes action movies a treat to watch as you will get buttery smooth frames for all fast action scenes.

You can even enjoy all your favorite 3D movies in your backyard as it supports full HD 3D output from Blu-ray, game consoles, and 3D broadcasting.

Whether you want to watch alone or with a group of friends, the 36-307inch screen-size range will always cater to all your image size requirements. A scintillating feature of this device is the short 1.3-11.3inch throw distance where you can achieve a 120inch movie screen from just 4-feet away.

Optoma GT1080HDR short-throw

High-end projectors generally get poor lamp life, but not this projector, and the 15000 hour lifespan serves as the proof.

Easy projector set up with the assistance of 40-degree keystone and focusing makes this projector an effortless device to use for frequent outdoor sessions. With numerous connectivity supports like HDMI, VGA, audio-in and out, RS-232, and USB, you won’t face a shortage in port options.

Pros
  • True to life image quality.
  • The fast-paced scenes are buttery smooth.
  • Easy setup process.
  • Portable body design.
Cons
  • It often shows a rainbow effect.
3

ViewSonic PG800HD – Top-class Projectors for Outdoor Gaming & Movies

ViewSonic PG800HD outdoor projector for movies

ViewSonic PG800HD is simply a high-end and powerful outdoor projector for movies that has the capability to offer a cinematic viewing experience even in outdoor locations. Light pollution is a big issue for outdoor movie sessions, and that is why it packs 5000 ANSI lumens and a 5000:1 contrast ratio to ensure optimum clarity and detail.

It effortlessly reproduces all the color and textures in all the movie scenes because it is based on full HD native resolution and SuperColor technology.

You can’t expect a great movie night without good audio, so ViewSonic has supplied a dual-integrated speaker with SonicExpert technology. Despite having so many perks, the cost of ownership is quite high for this device as 2500hr of lamp longevity will require you to do frequent lamp replacement.

Whether you want to enjoy it with your friend or with a large group, the 30-300inch screen size range will cater to all your visual requirements without much fuss. It also gets a decent throw distance where you just need to maintain a 2.5 mm distance from the screen to project a clear 100inch image.
ViewSonic PG800HD top view
When dealing with a screen size as big as 300inch, there is a chance that you would get an image error, so you can use lens shift and the keystone to correct it.

It also shines nicely in the connectivity department, and the ports that it offers are computer-in, composite, S-video, 3D Vesa, HDMI, MHL, USB, RJ45, RS232, and audio in & out.

However, you might face some problems if you plan to carry it while traveling as it weighs around 13.67lbs and doesn’t fit easily inside a backpack.

Pros
  • Amazing visual and color performance.
  • Easy setup and operation.
  • Industry-leading 3-years warranty.
Cons
  • Extremely low lamp lifespan.
  • It is slightly heavy.
4

WiMiUS S1 Outdoor Projector for Watching Movies

WiMiUS S1 outdoor projector

Want to throw a night backyard party and also enjoy movies/series with your friends? Well, WiMiUS S1 could serve as a great buy because it is designed with massive 7200 Lux of brightness that can deliver impressive image quality at any outdoor area.

The combination of native full HD resolution and six high-definition lenses makes a significant impact and treats you with a theater-like movie experience while you are relaxing under billions of stars.

However, the features that make it stand out are the 4K UHD 50Hz refresh-rate support, meaning you can easily enjoy all the latest 4K movies and documentaries at their optimum quality. The full HD resolution is also backed by a 10,000:1 contrast ratio, and it makes you never miss out on details and clarity even while watching a 200inch screen.

We can confidently say that this high-quality and budget-friendly outdoor movie projector will make your backyard movie session more frequent as it is compact and quite effortless to carry. With a screen size of 45-300inch, you can easily enjoy a big-screen movie viewing with friends anywhere you want.
WiMiUS S1 brightness

When you go for large screen sizes, there are chances that you might face some image error, and that is why it employs a 4D +/- 50-degree keystone for rectifying errors. Designed with HDMI, VGA, AV, USB, and audio 3.5mm, connecting different types of devices won’t be a problem.

To make it suitable for long movie sessions, the manufacturer has loaded it with an efficient heat dissipation system and a large fan. The 100,000hrs of lamp life is simply incredible, and you can expect it to last for two decades. This is one of the cheapest outdoor projectors for watching movies and series for sure.

Pros
  • Top-notch lamp durability.
  • Spectacular image detailing with 4K support.
  • Effortless to carry.
Cons
  • It fades out under direct sunlight.
5

XINDA HC-1 – Another Inexpensive Projector for Outdoor Movies

XINDA HC-1 outdoor projector

You might consider XINDA HC-1 as an ordinary outdoor projector based on its brand name and pricing. But once you start using it, it will blow your mind with its sharp and fluidic full HD visuals and that too at large screen size.

Whether you want to enjoy movies in the afternoon or night, the 7200 lumens and 10,000:1 contrast ratio will always make sure a clear and top-quality visual output in any light condition. These all make it a great projector for outdoor movies. This is really an affordable option for those who are looking for a great yet affordable outdoor projector.

Surprisingly, you can play all the latest 4K UHD contents with Dolby support in this projector, and it doesn’t cause any downscaling. To add to the visual experience, XINDA has supplied dual 5-watt power speakers with an SRS sound system that does the job when you have a small crowd.

XINDA HC-1 will surprise you with its humongous 60-400inches that will not only allow you to accommodate a large crowd but will also open up new possibilities. What’s more?

You can achieve a widescreen with just a 1.5-7m throw distance range; thus, you won’t have to arrange a large place for setup. You can utilize the +/- 15-degree keystone correction and focus ring to get the clearest visual output possible while setting up the screen.
XINDA-HC-1-comparison

The rear side of the projector is loaded with all the standard ports, and it includes HDMI, AV, VGA, USB, TV, SD card, and audio out. An outdoor projector needs to be portable, and that is why XINDA has opted for a compact design with 8lbs lightweight body.

To give you peace of mind, this projector also carries a 3-years warranty coverage along with life-long professional customer service.

Pros
  • Superb image brightness and contrast.
  • Extremely high lamp longevity.
Cons
  • Poor audio output.
  • Lacks keystone.
6

WOWOTO T9 – Portable DLP Projector for Outdoor Movies

WOWOTO T9 outdoor projector

WOWOTO T9 is a uniquely designed outdoor projector that is not only suitable for outdoor use but also works perfectly for indoor home entertainment. It may be a highly compact device with 1.5lbs weight, but it holds the prowess to expand the screen size from a minimal 60inch to a massive 300inch.

While notching up the screen size, you won’t have to arrange a large setup space as it gets an excellent 1.6-8m throw distance range.

Since it is meant for outdoor movie sessions, you might think the 1280 X 800 native resolutions is relatively low given its high price point. Surprisingly, you can comfortably play full HD and 4K contents at their optimum quality, and the credit partially goes to DLP projection technology.

Watching movies outdoor with WOWOTO T9 projector

Crisp and high contrast image quality is a big highlight of this projector, and it has been made possible by 35000lumens along with a 1000:1 contrast ratio. Whether you want to connect devices wirelessly or with wires, you can do it all by using Wi-Fi, HDMI, USB, AV, micro SD, and audio 3.5mm.

The inbuilt 7800mAh rechargeable battery acts as a crown on this projector because it lets you travel and watch movies anywhere you prefer. So, undoubtedly, this is one of the best portable projectors for outdoor movies.

In terms of longevity, it does a great job by offering you a 20,000hour lamp life, indicating you can use the projector for at least 5-years with daily usage. Stay assured watching movies for long hours won’t cause any harm to the eye, and the credit goes to diffused light reflection.

Pros
  • Superfast image correction.
  • Seamless wired and wireless connectivity.
  • Excellent battery backup.
  • Great visual experience.
  • It supports almost all the latest OTT platforms.
Cons
  • Low native resolution compared to its competitors.
7

Optoma W365 – Outdoor Projector for Watching Movies

Optoma W365 Outdoor Projector

Built to deliver the brilliant image quality and rich color, Optoma W365 makes use of 1280 X 800 native resolution and DLP projection that ensures accurate visual reproduction. The DLP projection also gets the 3600 lumens, whose main job is to maintain clarity and vividness even when there is a little amount of ambient light in the outdoors.

You will love the clarity and color quality it brings out in all the frames, and it has been made possible by a 22,000:1 contrast ratio. Surprisingly, it packs a 15-watt speaker that not only delivers a crisp audio quality but also makes it suitable for backyard and outdoor movies.

Like every other good projector for outdoor movies, it also gets a 30-300inch screen size, which is more than sufficient for any backyard party. This Optoma outdoor projector is a great option to consider as an outdoor projector to watch movies in your backyard.

An exciting part of Optoma W365 is the 1.56-1.7:1 throw ratio range, and it implies that you can easily get a 100inch without needing a considerable projection distance. Four corner correction with manual zoom and focus acts as one of the major perks of this device.
Optoma W365 Outdoor Projector pc free feature

However, you might not be impressed by its 10000hour of lamp lifespan, and it is relatively low when compared with other outdoor units.

With all the standard connectivities like HDMI, USB, RS-232C, VGA In & Out, Audio In & Out, and RJ45, you won’t ever have a problem in hooking various types of devices.

Moreover, it also supports LAN display via Ethernet that comes really handy when you are projecting something through your laptop or Macbook. In terms of portability, it is slightly compact and weighs only 5.51, meaning you can easily put it in your bag and take it to your friend’s backyard.

Pros
  • Great color and vividness in images.
  • Easy and hassle-free installation.
  • The inbuilt speaker delivers excellent audio.
Cons
  • It is a tad bit expensive.

JIFAR is an underrated gem in the portable outdoor projector (to watch movies) market that hasn’t gained much popularity despite offering some of the most delicate features.

Engineered with native 1080p resolution and HD reverse lens design, you will always be treated with outstanding detailing and quality at any screen size.

With that being said, you get an extensive 60-400inch screen size range, meaning organizing a backyard movie session for fifty people won’t be a problem for you.

The 7300 lumens of brightness serve as one of the main pillars behind its terrific visual performance as it ensures optimum vividness in most lighting conditions.

Despite being a budget outdoor projector, it gets a 10,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio, so you can expect to have excellent clarity and color saturation even for 4K contents.

Whether you watch movies for a short or long time, you won’t have to worry about overheating as JIFAR has an advanced cooling system that quickly dissipates all the heat.

It is designed to offer you the best outdoor viewing experience possible, and this is why it packs +/- 15-degree keystone, zoom, and manual focus for correcting image errors.

Even though it gets a powerful 2 X 5-watt speaker with SRS sound, we still recommend getting a high-wattage external speaker for a proper audio experience. High lamp lifespan is a common trait in most outdoor units, and this projector is no different as it gets 100,000hour of LED lamp life.

With 3-years warranty coverage, you can freely use the projector without worrying about hefty repairing or hardware replacement cost. Overall, this is again one of the best yet cheap projectors for outdoor movies.

Pros
  • Dynamic visuals with optimum brightness.
  • Versatile connectivity supporting almost all modern devices.
  • Extremely simple to store and carry.
Cons
  • The keystone correction isn’t highly efficient.
9

Optoma HD26 – 1080p Projector for Outdoor Movies

Optoma HD26 projector

Another high-quality (HD) outdoor projector for watching movies and series from the house of Optoma is HD26, and it has impressed numerous users with its splendid visual output. It may not have a prolific set of features, but the 1080p native resolution combined with DLP technology gets the job done.

Thanks to the 3200 ANSI lumens and Brilliant color technology, this projector generates sensational visual quality for all your full HD movies with rich colors.

The blend of 25000:1 contrast ratio and DynamicBlack technology creates a magnificent detailing in your images and transforms the view into a reality. It can display accurate full HD 3D continents from various sources and that too, with a high refresh rate and flicker-free frames.

Optoma has engineered it with a 10-watt powerful speaker that does a decent job when you have a small crowd in your backyard to match up to the big screen viewing.
Optoma HD26 projector connections
Optoma is well known for offering a wide image size range, and this projector is no different as it comes with a 41-305inch screen size range. However, you need to arrange a decent amount of place for setup, and it is due to the 3.9-32.8inch projection distance.

Quickly rectify any image error with lens shift and keystone correction and get the best out of this projector. Unfortunately, it will really disappoint you with its 6500hrs lamp longevity, and it is quite low when compared with its competitors.

Moreover, it is not as compact as other outdoor units, but it only weighs 5.5lbs, making it easy to transport in different locations.

Pros
  • The images are sharp and detailed.
  • Bright and vibrant colors.
  • Efficient picture calibration and image correction options.
Cons
  • Low native resolution compared to its competitors.

What Qualifies A Projector for Outdoor Use to Watch Movies & Series?

Projectors are meant for viewing purposes, but different devices have different purposes. In contrast, some are designed for indoor use, whereas some sets of units are intended to offer a great viewing experience in outdoor areas.

A projector designated for outdoor use gets some better features than indoor units as they need them to tackle different outdoor conditions and offer top-notch visual performance at the same time.

1. Large image sizes and high brightness

Large image sizes and high brightness is the main feature that makes an outdoor projector stand out from its counterparts in the market.

When you set the projector, the outdoors, lights from the neighborhood, streetlights, cars, etc., will cause a lot of light intrusions, and it will make the visuals hazy, less detailed, and colorful.

You will agree to the fact that you can’t control light pollution, so you need high lumens and rich contrast to counter light pollution and get the best visual output possible.

With high brightness and rich contrast, you also need a large screen size as you would surely watch movies or series with your friends or families. When you set the projector in your backyard, you would obviously want a bigger screen that would give you a theater feeling.

This is why an outdoor projector comes with a large screen size so that you can set it up according to the outdoor area and audience. 30-300inchs screen size range, 20,000:1 contrast ratio, and 4000 ANSI lumens are some standard features that you will find in a high-quality outdoor unit.

2. Portability

Another aspect that is common in most outdoor projectors for movies is portability. Since outdoor projectors need to be carried in various locations, so most of the projectors are relatively lightweight and get compact body construction.

The weight generally varies from 2lbs to 15lbs, but nowadays, some premium outdoor units are coming up with 20lbs weight. The compact size gives users the advantage of storing them in their homes or putting them in their bags. Most of them follow a minimalistic design and are aesthetically neutral that helps them to maximize space, and are easy to carry.

3. Inbuilt power backup

Inbuilt power backup is another crucial factor that differentiates an outdoor projector from a normal one. You can’t expect to get a power outlet in all the locations where you place the projector.

So an inbuilt battery back helps you enjoy movies without worrying about power. The battery backup varies from a projector to a projector, and the minimum battery backup you will find is 2hrs.

How to Choose the Best Projector for Outdoor Movies?

Whether you are an old or new user of an outdoor projector, you will agree to the fact buying a new outdoor unit is a lot more difficult task than it looks. Here we have devised a buying guide that will properly direct you to the right product:

DLP or LCD: Which is Better for an Outdoor Movie Projector?

LCD vs DLP Projector Comparison

The first thing you need to decide while choosing an outdoor projector for watching movies is whether you want a DLP or LCD. Both DLP and LCD are suitable for outdoor movie sessions, but each of them has their own perk.

DLP technology is known for delivering high contrast, colorful images, and low screen-door effects that ensure a great movie session. However, they have moving parts like color wheels that don’t offer much reliability.

If you consider LCD over DLP technology, you will not only enjoy visuals with excellent brightness and color saturation but will also get visuals without any rainbow effect.

Moreover, they offer better reliability than DLP as it has no moving hardware; thus, the chance of malfunction is quite less.

What Resolution is Right for an Outdoor Projector to Watch Movies?

The resolution that is suitable for your outdoor session entirely depends upon your requirement and budget. The higher the number of pixels better will be the visual quality and also the detailing.

4K UHD and full HD native resolution are ideal for big-screen outdoor projection because it can deliver optimum visual quality without any pixel break.

Right Projector Resolution
Credit: ViewSonic

These two resolutions are quite suitable for large-screen video output and give the image more height than the standard display. However, 4K outdoor units are quite expensive, and even a full HD projector comes with a high price tag.

If you aren’t ready for an expensive outdoor projector but still want a decent visual experience, then HD, WXGA, or SVGA native resolution will be a good option for you. Both 720p and 1280 X 800 native resolution delivers a widescreen display with clear and detailed frames.

You will find these two resolutions in most of the entry-level outdoor projectors that are marked with a reasonable price tag. SVGA, on the other hand, are mostly found in budget range devices and don’t have much detailing and clarity like HD or WXGA projectors. Since they mostly get a 4:3 aspect ratio so you can’t expect a great movie experience.

Can You Rely On Built-In Speaker of Projectors for Outdoor Use?

Almost every outdoor projector comes with an inbuilt speaker, but you can’t simply rely on them as they can’t deliver a great sound while you are enjoying the movie. Most of the models get a low-wattage speaker that can’t deliver high volume nor detailed audio in the outdoors.

Rather than focusing on inbuilt speakers, you should opt for an external sound system for a great movie experience. For the outdoor location, you can either opt for a soundbar or stereo system with a minimum of 20-wattage; otherwise, it will be a futile investment.

Should it be Portable?

When you are getting an outdoor projector, it needs to be compact and lightweight as you won’t love to carry a massive projector in different locations. The maximum weight limit should be 10lbs; otherwise, it will be quite difficult for you to move it frequently during outdoor movie sessions. Most importantly, opt for a projector that has a compact body structure as it will allow you to easily store it in your home and also carry it in the bag.

But if you are planning to set the projector in your lawn and don’t have any plan to move with the projector, then you should not worry about the weight or portability.

Excellent Battery Backup

You can’t always expect to have a power source when you set the projector in the outdoor area, especially when you go out in the woods or mountains. Sometimes it gets quite tricky to set up the projector in the backyard as most of the power outlets are located near the house.

Having an inbuilt battery system in the projector will help you to overcome all the issues and watch movies anywhere you want. However, different projectors get different backup times, so depending upon your requirement; you should choose the battery power.

While considering the power backup time, you shouldn’t settle for a projector below 2hrs; otherwise, you won’t be able to enjoy the whole movie.

Large and Adjustable Image Size

Last but not least, the image size range offered by the outdoor projector as you will need at least a 100inch screen size to host a movie session.

Make sure it gets a wide and adjustable screen size so that you can configure the display depending upon the crowd and your liking. While checking the screen size, you should assess the clear screen range because not all projectors can offer detailed and fluid image quality at high ranges.

Frequently Asked Questions about Outdoor Projector

1. What Lumens is Perfect for an Outdoor Movie Projector?

The amount of lumens you need for outdoor movie projection entirely depends upon the location where you will set it. Lumens depicts the intensity of light that your projector light source can put on the screen, and the higher the lumens, the better will be the brightness.

The minimum amount of lumens you will need for outdoor sessions with minimal light pollution is 2500 ANSI lumens. If you are planning to use it in a location where there is a lot of light pollution, it would be best to get an outdoor device with 4000-5000 ANSI lumens of brightness.

However, if you aren’t sure about the location, then you should go for a projector with 3000-3500 ANSI lumens as it can deliver optimum quality in any place.

Not only lumens, but you also need to go for a high gain screen with the right materials; otherwise, a high lumens projector won’t be able to give you a clear visual output. Similarly, while deciding on lumens, it would be best to go for a powerful light source like a laser that can counter light intrusion and deliver outstanding image quality.

2. Are Outdoor Projectors Weatherproof?

Most of the outdoor projectors that you will find in the market aren’t weatherproof, and they will start to get wear and tear over time.

Many experts say it is safe to leave them outside, but keeping them under sun, wind, rain, and snow will reduce their life by a large margin. Moreover, rain and snow will damage the hardware and will incur substantial repairing costs.

Outdoor projectors come in small sizes so that they don’t get a highly efficient cooling system like their standard countertop. So if you use it under direct sunlight for a long time, then it would cause overheating, which will lead to severe damage to the lamp.

Nowadays, you can install aftermarket weatherproof seals to your projector and prevent them from any kind of damage from the weather. Although those weatherproof seals are slightly expensive, if you are someone who uses an outdoor projector a lot of the time, then it can be a good option.

For frequent users, the typical casing can do the job and assist them in saving their projector from any kind of weather effects.

Conclusion

Since you have gone through the entire list of the best projector for outdoor movies along with their reviews, we hope we have been able to guide you to the right projector. Our team has invested in creating this list, and they have added products from various price segments so that they can cater to everyone.

You can opt for ViewSonic PG800HD that costs more than $1000, or else you can go for WiMiUS S1 that serves as one of the best value for money outdoor projectors. So what are you waiting for? Simply order your choice before it vanishes away from the site.

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