With the high standard of technology today, viewing images, watching videos, or playing games on a handheld screen is the norm. However, there may be times when you want to experience movies and games on larger screen – and maybe even underneath the twinkling stars. If so, this article is made just for you, since we’ll show you the best outdoor projector 2018.
Projectors use to be restricted to indoor auditoriums or conference rooms for business meetings, school functions, and formal events. Nowadays, these newly designed projectors can be used in creative ways, indoors or outdoors, and sometimes without even needing a designated projector screen. So if you get your hands on one of the best outdoor projectors, you can grab a simple white sheet, hang it up outside, and see your favorite movie while relaxing in the cool nighttime breeze.
(In case you’re on a budget and are looking for the best projector under 200, look no further…)
Best Outdoor Projectors 2018 Compared
- ViewSonic PJD5155 3300 Lumens
- BenQ DLP HD1080p W1070
- TRONFY TP60 130-inch LCD
- Epson HC1450 Home Cinema
What to Look for When Buying Projectors
With multiple companies offering their best projectors, it is easy to be persuaded by one that has a high price and plenty of features. But the best projector for you may not be the one that has too many bells and whistles. For people buying for the first time, and who need help making sense of the technical projector jargon, we’ve got you covered with this list of the best outdoor projector 2018. Before we get to the projectors, here are the terms you should be familiar with when buying an outdoor projector:
It is not completely accurate to judge lumens by the brightness of image, but this is the scale used, nonetheless. If the room/area is dark, then 1000-1500 lumens will be sufficient for entertainment purposes. However, if the ambient light cannot be completely hidden, then we suggest to get a projector that has higher lumens (around 2000 or more). One thing to note is that if there is a difference in lumens by just 200-300 more, the effect of the larger lumens is not very obvious. It will take twice as many to see a drastic improvement in picture quality.
Just like a bulb which has a life that diminishes when it starts to dim, the projector bulb’s life ends when you see an image start to dim. While choosing your best outdoor projector 2018, you may come across a dilemma where the contrast ratio is low but lamp life is excellent. Decide which is more important to you and base your choice from there.
Of course, you can’t expect the same visual quality like with an HD Plasma Screen or in futuristic movies where projectors are highly advanced. This is the term that will help you to distinguish if a high price is justified for the level of contrast ratio. Good contrast is an indicator of seeing the details and the prominence of different shades of color. The reason why certain projectors are not fit for business presentations or classroom multimedia is because of low contrast ratio. Moreover, with low contrast ratio, if you are seated far in the back, then the poor quality will be easily noticeable.
The enemy of contrast ratio is ambient light. No matter how great your projector’s contrast ratio is, it will not display the expected quality of image in the presence of light. For outdoors, the best time to watch a movie or show is after dusk.
This is important to know so that you can maximize your projector’s features. In choosing the best outdoor projector 2018, you can use this easy formula to determine image width or throw distance (how far the projector is from the screen). So, if you’re using a projector with a throw ratio of 2.0 and you have an image width of 5 feet, then your throw distance must be 10 feet (multiply the throw ratio with the image width to get throw distance). Conversely, if my distance from the screen is 20 feet then my image must be 10 feet wide (to get the image width, divide your distance with the throw ratio).
Just because the item claims to be very sturdy and dust-proof doesn’t mean you can be careless with it. Make an effort to find a suitable place to position the projector where it can vent out heat. Once you’re done using it, take it back indoors. Protect it from inclement weather (this also means keeping it inside when there is rain or snow– sorry, daredevils, no outdoor snowy day movie marathon for you). While placing it on a pedestal or elevated place, make sure the wires aren’t in anybody’s the way. Furthermore, to cover all bases, do not consider your projector as a coaster.
This depends on you whether you are getting for children (younger cousins or kids), or want a permanent installment for a dedicated theatre area. Since you might be looking at an outdoor set-up, a portable unit must be on top of your list. Whichever you choose as the best outdoor projector 2018, you must make sure you keep it well-taken care of, portable or not so much.
Number & Type of Ports
Nowadays, everything can function with an HDMI cable. If you have a device which doesn’t have an HDMI port, then look for USB, VGA, Component, Displayport or DVI.
Reviews of the Best Outdoor Projector 2018
Now, we understand how you may think the best projector must be very expensive. But you should know that there are affordable options available in the market that also have superb quality. In addition to buying the projector, you should also think about future costs in maintaining it. It should be well maintained by taking care of its lamp life, cleaning the air filters, and keeping it in a dust-free cool place.
Let’s get to the list of best outdoor projectors of 2018:
ViewSonic PJD5155 3300 Lumens SVGA HDMI projector
- Product Dimensions: 12.4 x 8.98 x 4.08 Inches
The ViewSonic PJD5155 is an excellent choice for customers who are looking for quality and durability while still being budget-friendly. This gives 83 inches projection size from 12 feet and 207 inches from 30 feet. With industrial level durability, lamp life up to 10,000 hours, and amazing 20,000:1 contrast ratio, ViewSonic offers a projector that makes competitors take a run for their money.
BenQ DLP HD1080p W1070 3D Home Theatre Projector
- Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 12.3 x 4.1 inches
With a short lamp life of 6,000 hours, you might wonder this projector is in the best outdoor projector 2018 list. Well, the BenQ DLP HD1080p W1070 provides its viewers with 2,000 lumens display with a contrast ratio of 10,000:1. It also provides 200 inches projection in diagonal.
TRONFY TP60 130-inch LCD LED Multimedia Portable Pico Projector
- Product Dimension: 2.9 x 0.8 x 2.3 inches
The TRONFY TP60 130-inch LCD LED Pico Projector offers customers long lamp life of 30,000 hours at an extremely affordable price. However, Tronfy’s projector can only be used for entertainment purposes, as it is still not fit for business meeting presentations or classroom lectures. Contrast ratio is 1000:1, with brightness of 1,000 lumens giving a projection size of 49~130 inches at 4.9~6.5 feet projection distance.
VISSSVI c800 Portable Pico Video Projector Android Wi-Fi Bluetooth
- Product Dimensions: 5.71 x 3.11 x 0.71 inches
Don’t let its small size fool you! The VISSSVI c800 Portable Pico Video Projector gives up to 120 inches image projection with a contrast ratio of 2000:1. What it lacks in lumens (100), it compensates for in lamp life (30,000 hours). The advantage of size is the portability and because it has bluetooth capabilities, there is no need for an HDMI cable to use it if using with a bluetooth capable device. This is the most portable one in our best outdoor projector 2018 list.
Optoma X341 3300 Lumens XGA 3D DLP Projector
- Product Dimension: 11.73 x 9.05 x 3.79 inches
A close competitor of the ViewSonic PJD5155 (mentioned above), the Optoma X341 3300 Lumens XGA 3D DLP Projector also gives impressive performance by providing viewers quality entertainment with 3,300 lumens and 22,000:1 contrast ratio, with a lamp life that can last up to 10,000 hours.
Epson HC1450 Home Cinema
- Product Dimension: 14.8 x 11.5 x 4.9 inches
It is no surprise why Epson HC1450 Home Cinema deserves a spot on the best outdoor projector 2018 list. With a whopping 4,200 lumens and 15,000:1 contrast ratio, Epson has managed to introduce another hit in the market. Because of its specs, customers are willing to pay a four figure price for this projector. Moreover, the 3x Higher Color Brightness with 4 convenient color modes provide features that enhances your image quality making your entertainment that much awesome.
DBPOWER T20 1500 Lumens LCD Mini Projector
- Product Dimension: 8 x 12 x 4.5 inches
Claiming to be 50% brighter than any ordinary projector, DBPOWER T20 1500 Lumens LCD Mini Projector offers customers 1,500 lumens with a contrast ratio of 1000:1. As far as image size is concerned, it provides a screen size or 32-176 inches (placing the projector at 2-2.5m distance you get the best image of 130 inches). But even with these specs, it is not fit for presentations or lecture purposes.
Fixeover Video Projector GP100
- Product Dimension: 9.84 x 11.41 x 4.72 inches
Great thing is that in less than $200, the Fixeover Video Projector GP100 gives stunning image brightness of 3500 ANSI Luminous efficiency lumen and contrast ratio of 10000:1. At 16 feet projector distance, you can get a projection size of 150 inches Also, it has 2 HDMI, 2 USB, and 1 VGA port should the need for extra devices arise.
Android Bluetooth LCD Projector
- Product Dimension: 10.43 x 13.38 x 4.92 inches
At its price, you will not be disappointed to find out that the Android Bluetooth LCD Projector (WXGA HD 1080p) provides 3,600 lumens of brightness with a contrast ratio of 4,500:1. Using Wi-Fi and smart Android system of 1GB RAM and 8GB ROM, stream movies from subscription services like YouTube, VUDU, Hulu etc. Also equipped with Bluetooth 4.0 technology, you can pair with Bluetooth-enabled audio speakers to enjoy crisp quality music, while offering 50-200 inches image size.
Best of the Best Outdoor Projector 2018
The most expensive projector in the list (Epson HC1450), is not always automatically the best. We took into account every factor along with the price to help you make a better judgment about outdoor projectors for 2018. With such high quality (3,300 lumens and 20,000:1 contrast ratio) and at such a reasonable price, the award for the best of the best projector goes to… *Cue the drum roll please* ViewSonic PJD5155 3300 Lumens SVGA HDMI projector!
Best Bang for Your Buck
Want to try a rich enhancing experience of gaming with a giant screen, or a giant outdoor party/music concert, but can’t afford the ViewSonic PJD5155? Our best recommendation for you is the TRONFY TP60 130-inch LCD LED Pico Projector. It is pretty cheap but offers roughly the same features as its competitors, hence a great affordable option.
How did we do helping you to find your best outdoor projector?
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