Top 10 Best Outdoor Movie Projectors 2020

Picture this… it’s a beautiful summer evening with lots of friends and family around.  What’s better than enjoying a great movie in the backyard with your loved ones?  It’s a great night-cap after a long day of BBQ and backyard games!  Or perhaps you’re gathering around a dimly-lit fire at the campsite, or just want to catch the big game and a cold one with the guys.  Either way, finding the best outdoor projector affords you tons of ways to have a great time outdoors this summer!
Uniden R3 Radar Detector

Epson Cinema 1060 Full HD 3LCD Projector

✔ Full HD 1080p Widescreen Resolution
✔ 3100 Lumens 
Up to 300″ Life-Sized Images 
✔ 15,000:1 Dynamic Contrast Ratio
✔ 3LCD Technology (no rainbow effect)
✔ Compatible with Streaming Devices

BenQ TH671ST

BenQ TH671ST 1080p Short Throw Projector

✔ Full HD 1080p Widescreen Resolution
✔ 3000 Lumens 
Short-Throw Technology (100″ screen from 5 feet away!)
✔ Vertical Keystone Correction
✔ QCast Mirror HDMI Wireless Dongle – Instantly Stream from Smart Devices
✔ Ultra-Fast Response for Smooth Motion

Epson Home Cinema 3200 4K Pro-UHD Projector

Epson Home Cinema 3200 4K PRO-UHD Projector

✔ 4K PRO-UHD Projection Technology
✔ 2900 Lumens 
True 3-Chip Projector w/ Full 10-Bit HDR
✔ 40,000:1 Contrast Ratio
✔ Apt Bluetooth and Active 3D Support
✔ Compatible with Nearly All Media Players and Mobile Devices

YABER Y31 Projector Review

YABER Full HD 1080p Projetor

✔ 1080p Native Resolution (1920 x 1080), Supports 4k Video
✔ 7000 Lux
✔ 10,000:1 Dynamic Contrast Ratio
✔ Easily Connects with Most Streaming Devices
✔ Affordable Price & Amazing Value!!!
✔ 4D 50-Degree Keystone Correction
✔ HiFi Stereo 3w Speakers w/ SRS Sound System

ViewSonic PA503X Projector

ViewSonic High Brightness Projector (PA503X)

✔ Native XGA 1024 x 768 Resolution
✔ 3600 Lumens – High Brightness Projector
✔ 3-Year Warranty
✔ Inexpensive Name-Brand XGA Projector
✔15,000 Hour Expected Lamp Life
✔ Supports Most Media Players and Mobile Devices

VANKO Performanc V630 1080P Full HD Outdoor Projector

VANKO Performance V630 1080P Projector

✔ 1080p Native Resolution
✔ 5000:1 Contrast Ratio
✔ 45-degree Electronic Keystone Correction
✔ Compatible with Most Devices (Mobile & Streaming)
✔ 3-Yr Professional Support – 50,000 Hour Lamp Life
✔ Lots of Happy Customers!

YABER Y21 Outdoor Projector

YABER P21 Full HD Home Projector

✔ 1080p Native Resolution, Supports 4K Video
✔ 7000:1 Contrast Ratio
✔ Dual 5-Watt Stereo Speakers w/ SRS Sound System
✔ Compatible with Most Devices (Mobile & Streaming)
✔ 3-Yr Free Repair, Lifetime Professional Support – 78,000 Hour Lamp Life
✔ Supports Projection Screen Sizes Up To 300″

Anker Nebula Mars II Pro Projetor

Anker Nebula Mars II Pro Portable Projector

✔ 720p Resolution (16:9, HD)
✔ 500 ANSI Lumen Image
✔ HDMI, USB, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and Screen Mirroring 
Ultra Portable: Perfect for On-the-Go
✔ Built-in Android 7.1 (Access to YouTube and Netflix Apps, and More!)
✔ Transform Smart Phone into Remote Control w/ Nebula Connect App

Anker nebula Apollo Wifi Mini Portable Projector

Anker Nebula Apollo Wi-Fi Mini Portable Projector

✔ 854 x 480 Resolution (16:9)
✔ 200 ANSI Lumen
✔ 4 Hours Video Playback Time
✔ HDMI, USB, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and Screen Mirroring
✔ Android 7.1 Built-in / Download Apps, Use Smart Phone for Remote Control

GooDee HD Video Projector for Outdoor Movies

GooDee HD Video Projector for Outdoor Movies

✔ 1280 x 768p Native Resolution (Supports 1080p HD)
✔ Advertised as 6000 Lumens
✔ 3000:1 Contrast Ratio (Claims to be good for outdoors)
✔ Easily Connects with Multimedia Devices
✔ Advanced Cooling Technology and Lower Noise

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Outdoor Projector Buying Guide

Unless you buy projectors often (most of us don’t of course), it can seem like a difficult and perhaps even almost impossible task at first.  There are so many different options at price points all over the place from roughly $100 up to $3000! 

This guide was written to help a novice navigate the choppy waters and direct you down a path that assists you in finding the best fit for you in particular.  To be honest, there really is no one-size-fits-all outdoor projector for everyone.  

Below, we’ll methodically go through the many features that differentiate between different models available.  Of course finding the best outdoor projector for your specific needs is exactly what you need to ensure you’re happy with your purchase.  It also protects you from making poor decisions and that you secure a good value for the money you work so hard for.

What to Look For in Outdoor Projectors

No different than any other tech device these days, the best outdoor projectors have many features you’ll need to consider when making a purchase.   It can take many hours, or more likely several days of your time to become even a pseudo-expert on projectors.  

We’ve spent the time so you don’t have to.  The information below will help guide you down the path of making a sound purchase of the utmost value.  It also simplifies the process and only focuses on the items that are most imporant.

friends watching backyard movie on outdoor projector

Resolution

Probably the first detail to consider in filtering the potential outdoor projectors in your selection is the resolution.  For someone not familiar, this is how clear the image projected appears.  More technically, it’s the number of pixels displayed in a given set of dimensions.  The most common outdoor projector resolutions at this time are 4K, 1080p, 780p, and 480p, with 4k being the best picture, and most expensive, and then going down from there.  

What resolution do you need in an outdoor projector?  It really depends on what matters most to you.  We suggest 1080p as the most commonly bought.  If the picture clarity is very important to you, or you intend to keep this project for a long time, it might be worth the extra money to you to invest in 4K video.  It does appear to be the future.  On the other hand, you’ll be able to save money by staying on the lower end  of resolution specs.

Brightness

Another important factor to strongly consider in projectors, especially those used outdoors is their brightness ratings.  Projector brightness is almost always measured in lumens.  The higher the number, the brighter the projector gets.  Since there might be a lot of ambient light such as the moon, street lights, porch lights, or camp fire when used outdoors, brightness can be a key factor.  

One thing to keep in mind is how lumens are measured.  Most manufacturers do a good job about advertising accurate brightnesses, however, as with most things, there is some gamesmanship played in this arena.  If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.  

family watching outdoor projector

Streaming Devices and Other Features

Another VERY popular consideration in the past couple of years on outdoor projectors is their compatibility with media streaming devices such as Amazon’s FireTV Stick, Roku, or Apple TV.  These devices are almost like mini computers that plug into your TV or projector’s HDMI port to make it a smart device.  As long as you have access to Wi-Fi, it’s easy to get access to Netflix, Hulu, and more by downloading an app (note: an account is required).

Besides streaming devices, smart phones and tablets can also be used for streaming media, either by connecting it to the projector or wireless, depending on the projector’s features.  Connectivity is king! 

Affordability

Since pricing can vary widely between outdoor projectors depending on the resolution and brightness specs, it’s important to keep an eye on it.  Of course pricing isn’t always the most important factor when making such a decision, but let’s admit it, it is usually a consideration.  you’ll just have to weigh the features you want against the budget you’ve given yourself.  

One thing that we should definitely mention however, is that it’s always best to stick with a well-known brand versus buying something super cheap that seems too good to be true.  Just like we mentioned in the brightness specification section above, not all projectors are created equal.  And, if you want yours to last and be of high-quality, consider buying from a brand that you know and trust to stand behind their product.  Not sure who you can trust???  Check their warranty.  That’s usually a good place to start and find out who believes in their product.

family and friends watching outdoor projector on summer night

Conclusion

One of my favorite things to do on a cool summer evening is to gather around with family and friends and watch a movie outside.  It really doesn’t take much to put together a make-shift outdoor movie theater.  You just need an outdoor movie projector (presumably from the list above), a projector screen, a small table or cabinet to set the projector on, and some seating for your guests.   

Small Foldable Outdoor Projector Screen

foldable outdoor projector screen

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Jumbo Inflatable Outdoor Projector Screen

jumbo inflatable outdoor projector screen

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We sincerely hope that this buying guide and the outdoor projector reviews above have been helpful in guiding you down the right path to your new favorite past time, backyard movies with family and friends.  If you just aren’t sure between two of the projectors listed above, we highly recommend reading the reviews online from previous buyers. They’re often a great source of information when you’re looking to buy something online.

Please take a look at our top pick for the Best Outdoor Projector, the Epson Cinema 1060 Full HD 3LCD Projector!  

If you have the budget and want the very best picture, consider the Epson Home Cinema 3200 4K UHD-PRO Projector.

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