Top 5 Best Outdoor Movie Projectors of 2021 - Open Air Cinema
Looking for the best outdoor movie projector in the market? Well, you’ve come to the right place.
These days technology has taken off, converting our parent’s quaint outdoor pastimes into high tech contraptions with HD capabilities. Outdoor theatre certainly isn’t what it used to be.
We’ve moved on from pixelated black and white movies to 1080p, high-resolution pictures. These days, we spend too much time cooped up inside, whether we’re working or just relaxing. Open-air cinemas are perfect for this reason. You can enjoy movies and fresh air outside under the night sky.
If you’re interested in high-quality portable movie projectors, our list reviews some of the best. Additionally, for those who don’t know much about the subject, we’ve compiled a guide that tells you how to look for the best outdoor movie projectors:
You might also be interested in: Top 5 movie projector for your Netflix sessions.
Table of content:
- Best outdoor movie projectors comparison
- Best outdoor movie projectors reviews
- Outdoor Movie Projectors Features: 2020 Buying Guide
Best Outdoor Movie Projectors Comparison
Each product we’ve picked is rated highly by users, with positive reviews all-around. Our top pick, however, is the PIQO 1080p Mini Projector, as it offers the most versatile features. You’ll know more once you get to our reviews.
In the meanwhile, here’s a quick look at our list.
Screen size range
2.25 x 2.25 x 2.25 inches
12 x 9.4 x 4.7 inches
14.7 x 11.3 x 5.1 inches
8.08 x 6.18 x 3.35 inches
8.6 x 6.6 x 3.1 inches
Best Outdoor Movie Projectors Reviews
Before we move onto the main event (i.e., the reviews), keep in mind that projectors, due to their price, are investments. Adding one to your home theatre systems is necessary, but you must make an informed decision.
Therefore, if you don’t know much about projectors, we recommend looking at our buying guide first. If you do, here are our comprehensive reviews on the best outdoor movie projectors in 2019.PIQO 1080p Mini Projector
As mentioned, our top pick is the PIQO 1080p Mini Projector. PIQO is an entertainment technology company with offices in Asia, North America, and Europe. The brand aims to develop high-quality products with innovative designs and the latest technology.
The PIQO 1080p Mini Projector is their exclusive indoor and outdoor movie projector.
The reason it’s our top pick is that it’s one of the most intuitive and compact devices in the market. In terms of performance, it’s certainly faster and delivers better image quality. For instance, it has a DLP technology that gives you up to 200 Lumens brightness.
Also, it has very fast connectivity. You can connect to any iOS, Windows, or Android device within seconds through both wired and wireless means. PIQO comes with both USB and HDMI wires and supports WiFi and Bluetooth 5.0. You can even connect it with waterproof wireless earbuds.
Additionally, you also get Hi-Fi speakers, which are engineered to give you clear sound quality. Consequently, you don’t have to worry about static or other forms of interference, even if you’re outside.
The PIQO has a built-in battery that gives you up to five hours of run time. Moreover, it has fast-charging capabilities whereby 15 minutes of charging can play around one hour of videos.
Lastly, the PIQO 1080p Mini Projector also has offline storage, so you can directly download movies and videos onto the device. All these features make it the perfect outdoor Netflix projector.
- Weighs less than 210 grams
- Can access all apps, including Netflix, Hulu, and YouTube
- Has gravity sensors that automatically adjust the screen
- Easy, touch-screen navigation
- The offline storage could be bigger
GooDee Upgrade HD Video Projector
In the second place, we have the GooDee Upgrade HD Video Projector. Founded in 2017, GooDee is a Canadian and US-based brand that sells high-quality and sustainable home products. From decor to furniture, the company sells everything you need to make a green home.
The GooDee HD projector is a great product for both indoor and outdoor home theatres.
This projector gives you high-resolution images with 1280*768p video quality. It has a maximum display of 230 inches and a minimum display of 44 inches. The manufacturer recommends placing the projector at a distance of 4.9 to 18 feet from the screen for the best result.
Unlike other projectors on the market, the GooDee HD has a low-sound fan, so you’re not disturbed by the heat dispersion while watching your movie. Consequently, you can enjoy your home theatre experience without the annoyances of external noise.
Moreover, the GooDee projector has two ultra-powerful 3W speakers, giving you high-quality sound.
You can use the projector to watch movies, play video games, and do presentations. It’s portable, so you can carry it with you wherever you need to. Video game lovers, in particular, will appreciate this product as it has Xbox connectivity and multiplayer options.
If you’re having a gaming party, the GooDee HD is a great way to get everyone to participate, especially outside. The projector works best in an open space, particularly at night.
- Three-year warranty
- Multidirectional features (can adjust picture easily)
- Perfect for night-time outdoors theatre
- Compatible with Android TV
- The LED light gives off heat
- Limited zoom control
EUG Video Projector Home Theater System
Thinking of having a karaoke night? The EUG Video Projector Home Theater System may be the outdoor projector for you. It’s made by EUG, another US-based brand that makes versatile, energy-saving projectors. The company’s line of projectors ranges from minis to DLP, with this one being a good combo of both.
In essence, the best part about the EUG Video Projector is its sound quality. The double-chamber sound system consists of 10 W, Hi-Fi speakers. Moreover, the speakers are Dolby supported, meaning you can link the audio to an external soundbar (i.e. either your phone, tablet, or computer).
Therefore, if you’re listening to music or require clear-cut sounds, the EUG built-in speakers will not disappoint.
However, the video quality is also great. The EUG Video Projector has advanced imaging that goes up to 5000 Lumens in brightness. Additionally, the projector design eliminates the rainbow effect, so you can enjoy your videos without colors bursting out of the screen.
Another great feature of the EUG is its multi-functionality. As mentioned, EUG products are all versatile and energy-efficient and this outdoor video projector isn’t an exception.
You can use the EUG projector with HDMI, USB, AV, ATV, and VGA interfaces. Moreover, the projector is perfectly compatible with all smartphones, laptops, tablets, Wiis, Xboxes, PS4s, and Macs.
It even supports multiple video file formats, including:
- Convenient access to zoom settings
- The dust board is removable (makes for easy cleaning)
- 200W LED lamp for dark environments
- Set up is very easy
- The fan is a bit loud
- Hard to suspend from the ceiling
Weton Portable Mini LED Video Projector
A German group, Weton is a home-technology brand that primarily designs and distributes home theatre products. Like all other Weton products, the Weton Portable Mini Video Projector has impressive specs and features. Consequently, it’s very one of the company’s best-sellers.
In sum, the Weton Portable Mini LED Video Projector is a complete home theater set for your entire family. You can directly connect it to your iPhone or Android smartphone and play whatever you want. It has both Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity.
The recommended projection distance is between two to four meters. Moreover, the screen size ranges from 40 to 150 inches, perfect for a big-screen movie experience. If you’re interested in a backyard cinema, the Weton projector is a good choice.
Additionally, Weton utilizes low-energy consumption technology, which gives you more battery life. According to the manufacturer, you can use the projector for up to 30000 hours without needing battery replacement.
Also, the screen has a native resolution of 800x480p and 1200:1 dynamic contrast ratio. Moreover, it has a 125 mm lens with manual focus adjustments. The projector operates at a voltage of 90-240, which saves energy and focuses it on picture results.
All this gives you sharper and clearer picture quality. You can even adjust the settings to your liking using the quick-access buttons on the remote control.
- Great customer service
- Easy to connect with external devices
- Multimedia compatibility
- Durable build quality
- Not good for presentations
- Not Alexa compatible
Wsky 1080p Portable Video Projector
Last but not least, the Wsky 1080p Portable Video Projector is a high-performance yet reasonably-priced outdoor projector. Wsky, an American entertainment and home-improvement brand, aims to market affordable yet good quality products. The Wsky 1080p has several features that make it ideal for outdoor use.
For example, the projector has a 16:9 screen display with a 15-degree vertical keystone and a 2000:1 contrast ratio. All this makes screening outside much easier as it gives you 90% more brightness and clarity than in normal projectors.
The Wsky 1080p Portable Video Projector is small and compact, weighing less than three pounds. Consequently, you can easily move it in and out of your house. The wires are also removable and come with extensions, so you can connect your device without difficulty.
Another distinctive feature of the Wsky 1080p is its high fidelity and immersive technology. This means the sound quality is very powerful and the combination of sound and picture creates an illusion of complete immersion.
Also, this projector has a dual-fan cooling system, so it doesn’t get as hot as other similar projectors. Due to this, you can use the projector for longer periods without worrying about the battery or energy consumption.
Keep in mind though, the Wsky 1080p performs best when in the center of the room. Therefore, consider your suspending space before you decide to buy it.
- Easy to adjust the screen size
- Relatively affordable
- Visible in normal light
- Good for video games
- Doesn’t come with an MHL cord
- Difficult to scroll focus
Outdoor Movie Projectors Features: 2020 Buying Guide
Now, let’s get to our buying guide.
If you know anything about projectors, you know they’re like cameras except inverted. Digital projectors, like the ones in this list, are a little different. Unlike cameras, they combine sound, pictures, and videos. Consequently, these are exactly the aspects you need to assess when buying a projector.
What other things make a portable outdoor movie projector high-quality? There are many things to consider when looking at projectors, particularly outdoor ones. Some of these things you may know already.
- Screen size
- Picture quality
The price is very straightforward. You set a budget according to the funds you have and find the best outdoor movie projector for the money. However, what does one mean by the picture quality and screen size? Let’s find out.
Features to Look for in Good Portable Movie Projectors
Picture quality includes a few main things:
- Color (how many shades the projector supplies)*
- Lens (how sensitive the zoom settings are)
- Contrast ratio (how sharp the image is i.e no blurriness)
- Frame interpolation (how fast the projector inserts new frames on screen)*
*Deep color is a new addition to home theatre technology. Before, projectors only supported 8-bit colors (which gave you only 16.7 million colors). Now, deep color projectors give you up to 2,800 trillion shades.
*Every video or film is shot one frame at a time. On-screen, the frame comes on one by one, but some projectors aren’t able to match the speed. Therefore, make sure your projector’s frame interpolation is between 780p and 1080p.
Size and Portability
Secondly, size is the most important thing. Size, here, not only refers to the screen size but also the projector size. Usually, for home theaters, you don’t need screens larger than 250 inches.
When you’re looking for appropriate screen size, keep in mind:
- Your screening wall. Make sure to measure it beforehand, so you know what size screen you want.
- Your screening room. Even if you know your wall size, you’ll also need to know at what distance you’ll keep the projector.
As for the projector size, smaller projectors are better for outdoor use. However, don’t get pocket-sized projectors as these are better for presentations and graphs. An ideal-sized outdoor movie projector is the PIQO 1080p with compact dimensions of 2.25 by 2.25 by 2.25 inches.
As you may have noticed, brightness is measured in Lumens for projectors. Outdoor movie projectors usually range from 1000 L to 3500 L in brightness. Most projectors have options to control the brightness (either on the remote control or the box itself).
If you’re indoors, you can control the room lighting more easily. Consequently, for indoor rooms:
- The projector brightness shouldn’t exceed 1500 L in normal lighting.
- However, in a brightly lit room, the projector brightness can go up to 3000 L.
Alternatively, for outdoor usage:
- Above 2500 L during the day time
- Between 1000 L to 1500 L at night
It’s a good idea to get an outdoor projector with universal compatibility. As with the projectors on this list, most projectors are compatible with both HDMI and USB connections.
However, you can also find projectors compatible with:
It’s simply more convenient to get a multi-interface projector. If one device doesn’t connect, you can just try another one (be it Android, Windows, or Mac).
How long does the projector last? Since projectors are a bit pricey, you need something durable and long-lasting in terms of performance. Dust accumulates inside the projector, particularly near the fan. If the dust accumulates on the fan, it’ll hinder its heat dispersion ability.
Consequently, it’ll heat up more quickly. You can get projectors with detachable pads, so you can clean it out easily.
Moreover, the construction should be strong. Projectors are usually made with aluminum and other lightweight metals. Don’t buy anything too heavy. However, make sure the build quality is sturdy and stable.
What should the brightness level be?
As mentioned above, the best outdoor movie projectors have a sensitive brightness range. During the daytime, you’ll need higher brightness (between 2000-2500 Lumens) and at night, you’ll only need 1000-1500 Lumens.
As you can infer, your viewing environment is an important factor to determine the brightness level.
We don’t recommend using projectors outside during the day (unless you have to). This is because the higher brightness causes the projector to heat up quicker. Consequently, the projector doesn’t perform as well as it does at night.
Should I get a 3D outdoor movie projector?
If you’re a true movie fanatic, go for it. However, 3D projectors are far more expensive than 2D projectors. Make sure you have the funds before you invest in a 3D outdoor movie projector.
Although, in recent years, 3D movie projectors have become more affordable. Who knows? In a couple more years, the 3D projection will be more widely accessible and consequently, more affordable.
How do I install my outdoor movie projector?
There are two main ways to install your outdoor movie projector:
- On the table
- On the ceiling
If you’re putting your projector on a tabletop, keep in mind that the table is:
- At an appropriate distance from the ‘screen’
- Positioned precisely in the center
- In a fixed position
However, the disadvantage of tabletop projectors is fan noise. Luckily, all of our picks in this list, particularly the PIQO 1080p, have fan noise-canceling technology.
As for ceiling installation, this is:
- A more permanent method. With tabletop installation, you can still move the projector around. With ceilings, on the other hand, that’s not possible.
- More precise. Projectors can be mounted on ceilings. For this, you’ll probably need to call a professional. Also, for ceiling installations, you need to know the exact distance between the projector and screen.
- And more aesthetic. Ceiling installations are more polished and secure than tabletop ones. At the same time, tabletop installations give you more flexibility.
Taking into account all these factors, it’s up to you which one you want.
What does the native aspect ratio mean?
As mentioned in our buying guide, projectors have fixed resolutions, within which there is something called the native aspect ratio. The native aspect ratio is a mini chip inside the projector. You can think of it as a mini version of the picture you see on screen.
The ratio we’re referring to here is the proportion of how the image is shaped.
Most projectors come with either 4:3, 16:9, or 16:10 ratios. Blue-Ray, DVD, and HDTV are more broadcast, for which they need 16:9 native aspect ratios.
Moreover, 4:3 ratios also display wide images. However, these aren’t meant for 1080p or HD screenings. If you play a widescreen movie on a 4:3 projector, black boxes will appear at the bottom and top of the screen (as known as letterboxing).
How much do outdoor projectors cost?
The cost differs based on the model, size, manufacturer, and features of the projector. For example, some outdoor projectors cost more than $1000. However, most of the time, these are industrial-grade projectors that aren’t meant for home use.
The normal price range is anywhere from $100 to $600. At the more expensive end, you’ll probably get projectors with fancier features (such as 3D screening). However, you can find suitable options at the lower end as well.
Just make sure that you buy your projector from a reliable source i.e. either directly from the manufacturer (like PIQO) or online stores like Amazon. You don’t want to risk getting something defected from a second-hand source.
In sum, the best outdoor movie projectors combine great picture and sound. When you’re buying a projector, you’re essentially buying an entire home theatre system. With these reviews and buying guide, we hope you’ll make an informed decision on your purchase.
However, we highly recommend the PIQO 1080p Mini Projector as it’s the most well-rounded product on this list. It delivers high-quality pictures and sound. At the same time, it’s easy to set up and carry around.