The 10 Best Outdoor Projectors

Updated January 30, 2018 by Daniel Imperiale

10 Best Outdoor Projectors
Best High-End
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We spent 45 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. Enjoy your favorite movies in the fresh air and under twinkling starlight with one of these outdoor projectors. The models we've selected produce enough brightness and contrast to overcome most light pollution, and some even run on battery power. We've ranked them here by their light output, portability, software and hardware features, and maximum resolution. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best outdoor projector on Amazon.

10. iCodis G6 Video

Considering the brightness of the image projected by the iCodis G6 Video, you'd be forgiven for doing a double-take when you see its price. But it manages to offer you a bargain by being a lot bulkier than many other models, and by not having an operating system onboard.
  • 3200-lumen led lamp
  • simple on-body controls
  • only fills screens up to 120 inches
Brand iCODIS
Model G6
Weight 7.2 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

9. Piqs TT Mini Video

The little camera next to the lens on the Piqs TT Mini Video isn't there for you to take a selfie. It's designed to see the image projected on the screen and let the unit make automatic focus and keystone adjustments, so you don't have to fuss with it.
  • long-lasting led light
  • 5000-to-1 contrast ratio
  • wi-fi is only single-band
Brand PIQS
Model PIQS- Gold TT pico
Weight 3.3 pounds
Rating 3.7 / 5.0

8. Caiwei Wireless CW-A9+

With its impressive 4,200 lumens, the Caiwei Wireless CW-A9+ can project a bright image onto a screen situated outside, even if there's a fair amount of other light present. The unit's built-in Android OS means you only have to connect it to Wi-Fi to stream content.
  • 5000-to-1 contrast ratio
  • 1080p resolution
  • keystone adjustments cause some blur
Brand CAIWEI
Model CW-A9+android
Weight 12.6 pounds
Rating 3.6 / 5.0

7. Dinley Wireless Mini DLP

The rechargeable Dinley Wireless Mini DLP has an onboard battery that can provide up to 120 minutes of playback, enough to enjoy the majority of films. Unfortunately, it can only put out around 1,600 lumens of brightness, which may not suffice in some environments.
  • android operating system built-in
  • weighs just over one pound
  • not the best contrast ratio
Brand Dinly
Model Dinly
Weight 3.7 pounds
Rating 3.6 / 5.0

6. EUG Wireless Home Cinema

The EUG Wireless Home Cinema is ideal for backyard movie watching, especially if your Wi-Fi signal reaches out there. It has Android 4.4.4 built in, so you can hook it up and start streaming from your favorite apps with ease.
  • quad-core processor
  • bluetooth sound output
  • lamp should last 50000 hours
Brand EUG
Model PJX99+AB
Weight 12.4 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

5. Epson Home Cinema HC1450

Given the professional caliber of the Epson Home Cinema HC1450, you may not be too eager to take it outside. However, its 4,200-lumen brightness and built-in 16-watt speaker make it one of the most capable options for watching a movie under the stars.
  • split-screen capability
  • full 1080p support
  • a little too noisy
Brand Epson
Model HC1450
Weight 13.8 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

4. ViewSonic PA503W

The ViewSonic PA503W puts out an impressive 3,600 lumens, which is enough to see your projection even if it has to fight against ambient light from street lamps or a campfire. At a distance of 30 feet, it can project up to 260 inches.
  • three-year parts and labor warranty
  • full hd resolution
  • works with 3d blu-rays
Brand ViewSonic
Model PA503W
Weight 7.1 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

3. Epson EX9200 Pro WUXGA

What makes the Epson EX9200 Pro WUXGA such an ideal model for using outside is its triple LCD chip technology, which gives you 300 percent more light and color than similar DLP options. It also connects wirelessly to your laptop, so there's less hardware to lug around.
  • up to 1920x1200 resolution
  • setup is very fast
  • lamp lasts 10000 hours
Brand Epson
Model EX9200 Pro WUXGA 3LCD P
Weight 9.2 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

2. Wowoto T8E Full HD Mini Portable

The Wowoto T8E Full HD Mini Portable features a built-in rechargeable battery that lasts long enough to let you watch a full-length movie. If you're taking this one on the road, you'll also appreciate its integrated speaker, which provides sufficient volume.
  • 80-degree keystone correction range
  • runs android os
  • one-year warranty
Brand WOWOTO
Model W02
Weight 3 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

1. Epson PowerLite 1795F 3LCD

It's an impressive feat of engineering to take the powerful specs of the Epson PowerLite 1795F 3LCD and deliver them in a package that's so exceedingly portable. This unit is as useful in the boardroom as it is displaying a movie up against the side of an RV.
  • weighs only four pounds
  • three-chip technology
  • creates an image up to 300 inches
Brand Epson
Model PL1795F
Weight 5.2 pounds
Rating 5.0 / 5.0

The Magic Of The Outdoor Movie Night

About a decade ago, I was working all around Virginia with a buddy of mine, painting houses, performing light demolition work, and doing my best impersonation of an itinerant beatnik. One evening, after a long day of demolition, the two of us drove into the town on the outskirts of which we’d spent our day. It was a quaint place, a throwback to the Main St. days of post-WWII America — and yes, that means it was shamefully homogenous. It was an easy-going atmosphere, though, with an old mill slowly turning by a waterfall and a long, expansive park occupying the town center.

As we drove past the park around sunset, the orange sky turning the trees a deeper green than I’d ever seen, we noticed a crowd of people standing at roughly the center of the grass. We decided to park and go investigate. When we got to the crowd, we saw that people were taking their seats in front of an outdoor projection system, complete with a projector, a small speaker system, and an inflatable screen.

The mood in the crowd was almost saccharine, but there was nothing abrasive about it despite my young poet heart’s yearning for constant adventure. Perhaps it’s because the days of the drive-in were long gone before I was even born. Perhaps it was a sense of community I hadn’t felt much of during my long journey through the south. Perhaps it was just spending a nice night outdoors after being cooped up in a crumbling house all day. Whatever it was, that screening was magical.

These are the kinds of experiences you can foster with an outdoor projector: mysterious nights of light and shadow, the thick, flowery air of a summer evening mingling with the sights and sounds of the cinema.

What Qualifies A Projector For Use Outdoors?

One look at the projectors on our list will confirm that there isn’t some exceptionally rugged design that makes outdoor projectors more durable in the elements than their indoor counterparts. In fact, outdoor projectors are usually just more powerful than indoor projectors. The reason that the extra power is necessary requires a little understanding of the projection process.

A projector screen is designed to reflect light back at an audience in as much detail as possible. There are a lot of things that can interfere with that relay, however, and the most common culprit is ambient light.

Picture yourself in a movie theater. The show’s about to start after what seemed like an hour of previews. Before the previews started, you might have noticed the house lights in the theater getting a little dimmer. By the time the main event begins, those light are completely out. That’s because particles of light can collide, and any light that gets in between the reflection coming off the screen and your eyes will dilute the clarity of the picture.

To battle against this, movie houses screen their films in darkness. Outdoors, however, you can’t simply turn off all the streetlights, close off all the roads, and reverse the constant hum of light pollution. With a projector that only has the specs to work indoors, in a controlled environment, your movies will look pale and milky on an outdoor screen, lacking detail and sharpness.

In order for a projector to be useful outdoors, it has to have the ability to create a brighter image with more contrast than what comes out of more conventional projectors. These two features of an image can do a better job cutting through ambient light, and will help ensure that your movie is as enjoyable as possible.

Some outdoor projector are also capable of running on batteries alone. These are ideal for outdoor movie nights where there isn’t access to AC power. It’s rare to see any kind of weather sealing added to a projector, even if it’s marketed as an outdoor unit. Traditionally, rain, fog, wind, snow, and other inclement weather events don’t make for the most comfortable movie nights, so manufacturers don’t expect you to run their devices in such conditions.

How To Choose The Right Outdoor Projector

As we mentioned above, brightness and contrast are among the most important features to consider when evaluating a projector for outdoor use. Manufacturers relay these two variables to consumers by a pair of numbers called lumen output and contrast ratio.

A lumen is a unit of brightness derived from an old standard measurement known as a candle. The higher the lumens number, the brighter you can make your image. Contrast ratio is displayed as a ratio, such as 1000:1. In this ratio, one (the number on the right of the colon) is always used to represent the darkest black level of the image in which there is still visible detail. The number on the left side of the ratio corresponds to the level of brightness at which an image still contains detail. This equates to what is often called the dynamic range of an image. Generally speaking, the higher the number on the left, the more dynamic a picture you’re going to see, even with interference from ambient light sources.

If you narrow down your choices to two or three projectors that have very similar lumens ratings and contrast ratios, it might provide you some peace to know that these numbers aren’t terribly exact. It’s smart to think of them like television measurements, which are divided into classes. You might get a 46-inch class TV that’s actually 45.6 inches as easily as you can get a 46-inch-class TV that’s actually 46.7 inches. Lumens and contrast ratio are figures designed to loosely classify brightness and dynamic range.

After that, you can look at these projectors like any other. What’s the minimum distance between the unit and the screen? How large of an image can you project without losing detail? How adjustable is the keystone? In most cases, shorter throw distances, larger screen capabilities, and more keystone adjustments are all good things.



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Last updated on January 30, 2018 by Daniel Imperiale

Daniel is a writer, actor, and director living in Los Angeles, CA. He spent a large portion of his 20s roaming the country in search of new experiences, taking on odd jobs in the strangest places, studying at incredible schools, and making art with empathy and curiosity.


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