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Best Movie Projector For Outdoors

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Outdoor movie night is always special and something to look forward to. It’s great to get out of your living room and into the fresh air. The only problem, your indoor projector may not be able to handle ambient lighting. Your solution is an outdoor movie projector.

We’ve taken care of the research and reviewed 5 top-rated outdoor movie projectors. We looked at important features like image size and brightness, along with portability. Each of these projectors offers great performance, but the Optoma UHD38 is the one we choose for outdoor movie nights (>>> Check the current price on Amazon).

The Optoma UHD38 has a high lumens rating and weighs under 10 lbs. The Optoma GT1090HDR is also lightweight but it comes at a higher price. You get wireless connectivity with the Epson Pro EX1000 but lose some image quality.

Knowing what you want from an outdoor movie projector makes it know which one works best in your backyard.

Best Movie Projector For Outdoors – Our Top Picks for 2022:

 Optoma UHD38Optoma GT1090HDREpson Pro EX1000ViewSonic PX748-4KEpson LS800
Brightness (Lumens)4,000 ANSI4,200 ANSI4,500 ANSI4,000 ANSI4,000 ANSI
Resolution3840x21601920x10801920x10803840x21603840x2160
Contrast Ratio1,000,000:1300,000:1100,000:112,000:12,500,000:1
Image Size33" - 300"Up to 300”40" - 500"30" - 301"80" - 150"
Throw Distance4.0' - 32.7'1.3' - 10.9' 6.3' - 48.3'3.2' - 24.7'0.9' - 1.8'
Projector Size4.60" x 12.40" x 10.60" 4.80" x 13.26" x 10.50" 4.10" x 12.70" x 11.70"4.30" x 12.20" x 8.70"6.20" x 27.40" x 13.40"
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The Optoma UHD38 has a high lumens rating and weighs under 10 lbs. The Optoma GT1090HDR is also lightweight but it comes at a higher price. You get wireless connectivity with the Epson Pro EX1000 but lose some image quality.

Knowing what you want from an outdoor movie projector makes it know which one works best in your backyard.


Optoma UHD38

Optoma UHD38

Pros

  • 4K resolution
  • Dynamic contrast
  • Bright images
  • Built-in speakers
  • Flexible installation

Cons

  • Image quality is reduced to full-HD in gaming mode
  • The lack of lens shift limits where you can install the projector

Ease of Installation and Set-Up

You won’t have any problems moving the UHD38 around. At 9.25 lbs., you won’t pull a muscle carrying it outside. Its compact size also makes it easily portable. It’s not a short-throw projector, you need at least 10’ of space between the screen and lens for 100” images. To cast 300” onscreen pictures, you’ll need a few more feet.

Vertical and horizontal keystone correction make image alignment a breeze. The UHD38 doesn’t come with lens shift, but 1.1x manual zoom and focus allow you to fine-tune images for optimal clarity. If you’re still having trouble centering images, the projector also comes with a handy geometric correction feature.

Picture Quality

The UHD38 boasts a true 4K resolution. With 8.3 million pixels, images are crisp and detailed. The 8-segment color wheel produces accurate colors, and UltraDetail technology enhances image sharpness. You get incredibly colorful images whether you’re watching movies indoors or outside.

Ambient light is impossible to control outside. You can’t turn off the moon or your neighbor’s porch lights, and it’s not a problem with this projector. The 4,000 lumens light source produces bright images in most low lighting.

Connectivity

You don’t want to get the projector outside only to discover there aren’t enough connections for your devices. It’s not a problem with the UHD38. Along with audio, optical, and USB ports, there are also 2 HDMI inputs. The projector is compatible with most streaming services, included Amazon Fire, Apple TV, and Google Chromecast Ultra.


Optoma GT1090HDR

Pros

  • Has a short-throw ratio of 0.50:1
  • Automatic keystone correction
  • Lightweight build at 10 lbs.
  • Easy installation
  • Budget-priced

Cons

  • Automatic keystone correction can limit how the images are aligned on-screen.
  • Images may be blurry in some outdoor lighting.

Installation and Ease of Use

Optoma designed the GT1090HDR laser projector to be easy to use and set up. It is a short-throw projector so you only need to be a few feet away from the screen to show 100-inch images. It does make set up easier outside when you don’t need a lot of space between the projector and the screen. >>> Check current price on Amazon

Getting images centered on the screen won’t require a lot of work. It comes with automatic keystone correction. You are limited by the keystone correction, the projector doesn’t allow for lens shift.

Picture Quality

With a 4,200 lumens rating, ambient lighting outside at night won’t interfere with picture quality. Images will still be clear and detailed at a 1080p resolution. Colors will also be clearly defined with a dynamic contrast ratio of 300,000:1. A four segmented color wheel ensures that there won’t be any fading from frame to frame. Colors are accurate and realistic.

Image quality can suffer from ambient lighting without enough lumens. The Optoma GT1090HDR comes with a 4,200 ANSI lumens rating. You will have to wait until dark to start watching movies, but clear night skies won’t interfere with your viewing experience.

Connectivity

You won’t have any problems connecting your devices, even outside, You have plenty of ports on the projector, including a 4K input for improved image quality. The 4K UHD input also allows you to connect a dongle for streaming content services.

There are also ports for USB devices, along with the audio. You can connect almost any device to Optoma’s short-throw laser projector. A more detailed Optoma GT1090HDR review can be found here.


Epson Pro EX1000

Epson Pro EX1000

Pros

  • HD resolution
  • Bright picture
  • Flexible installation
  • Dynamic contrast
  • Wireless connectivity

Cons

  • The resolution is lower than some competitive models

Image Quality

You get bright, crisp images with the Pro EX1000. It uses 3-chip 3LCD technology to produce true-to-life colors. Every frame has brilliant colors without fading or rainbowing. There’s nothing to distract you from the onscreen pictures.

Full HD resolution, combined with dynamic contrast, ensures crisp whites and deep blacks. You won’t confuse blacks and greys even in ambient light. The high 4,500 lumens rating ensures images are still sharp and bright in full moonlight.

Ease of Installation and Set-Up

Compact and lightweight, you won’t dread moving the Pro EX1000 around. It only weighs 9.5lbs, and installation only takes a few minutes. It’s a standard throw projector, you need to place it 9’ away from the screen for 100” images. If you want to impress your friends and family, set the projector up 15’ away. You’ll get amazing 300” images. You’ll feel like you’re at the drive-in.

It doesn’t matter if the projector is centered on the screen or at an angle. Horizontal and vertical keystone correction take care of image alignment. 1.6x manual zoom gives you some flexibility, along with manual focus.

Connectivity

Along with dual HDMI and USB ports, there are also inputs for audio. You can connect gaming consoles, DVD players, and other external devices.

You’ll appreciate the projector’s wireless connectivity that includes Miracast, especially on outdoor movie nights. You don’t have to drag cords outside to stream content. Watch Fire and Apple TV, along with Roku and Google Chromecast. Add in the two onboard 16W speakers and the only thing you need to bring outside is the projector.


ViewSonic PX748-4K

ViewSonic PX748-4K

Pros

  • 4K resolution
  • Fast refresh rate
  • Bright light source
  • Plenty of ports for wired connectivity
  • Wrapping tool and four-corner correction

Cons

  • The long throw distance eliminates its use in small spaces

Image Quality

The PX748-4K combines XPR technology with a DLP display to produce immersive, true 4K resolution. You get an incredibly sharp picture whether you are watching streaming or live content. Image accuracy is further enhanced with HLG and HDR support.

When it comes to color accuracy, the projector comes with SuperColor technology. You get accurate colors across a broader spectrum than some other comparable projectors. Best of all, with the high 4,000 lumens rating, colors remain vivid under most light settings.

The contrast ratio is a little low at 12,000:1. Included technology helps prevents issues with fading and bleeding, but blacks and whites may not be as crisp in areas with bright ambient light.

Ease of Installation and Set Up

Weighing a little under three pounds, the PX748-4K is easy to move from the living room to an outdoor patio. Thanks to the 4,000 lumens light source, you can enjoy outdoor movie nights under a full moon. Ambient lighting is rarely an issue.

The downside is the long throw distance. To enjoy 100” images, you need around 9’ of space between the lens and screen to cast 100” images. Centering the images isn’t difficult, but it may take some time to adjust the 1.3x zoom and keystone correction.

Not everyone has an outdoor movie screen, and the wrapping feature ensures it isn’t an issue. It centers images on uneven surfaces, so you can project movies and shows on a white wall. Aligning the projector is still key, and it can take some time to get it centered.

Connectivity

The downside to the PX748-4K is its lack of wireless connectivity. It does come with LAN-based connections, but it is difficult to integrate the projector into a home-based smart entertainment system.

It does come with plenty of wired connections. Along with two HDMI ports, it also boosts dual USB inputs. You can also take advantage of the USB-C input to stream content from gaming devices. For a more detailed review of this projector, click here.


Epson LS800

Epson LS800

Pros

  • Ultra-short throw distance
  • Low input lag
  • Bright lumens rating
  • Integrated speakers
  • Pixel-shifting technology

Cons

  • Its heavy weight makes the projector difficult to move around

Image Quality

While the LS800 isn’t a true 4K projector, it’s difficult to tell the difference. It uses Epson’s pixel-shifting technology, giving you an ultra HD image with the clarity of 4K. The lack of a color wheel ensures flickering and rainbowing aren’t an issue.

The projector uses a three-channel laser light to produce vivid, accurate colors. The onboard sensor also automatically adjusts contrast and brightness levels to match the space. You get bright content during the day and nighttime viewing. The 4,000 lumens light source also ensures ambient light isn’t a problem.

Ease of Installation and Set Up

Weighing a little over 27 lbs., the LS800 isn’t a projector you want to carry around. However, it is an ultra-short throw projector. It means you only need around 2 feet to cast 150” images. For 100” images, place the projector about 14” from the screen.

Its short-throw distance makes installation a breeze. You don’t need to mess with image alignment functions. Center the projector at the screen and you are ready for movie night.

Connectivity

The LS800 makes outdoor movie night easy with its built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. You can stream content without having to connect external devices. The Android operating system supports most streaming apps, including Prime, Hulu, and Disney+.

With the included remote, you have limited voice control. The projector is not compatible with other services like Alexa and Google Assistant, but with the remote, you can control the projector without pressing a button. Click here for our more in-depth review of the LS800.


Conclusion

Any one of these projectors will make outdoor movie night a memorable one. You can easily turn your backyard into a home theater. Each projector produces bright images and is designed for easy portability. You also won’t have any problems with installation. It comes down to resolution and price when you’re trying to make a choice.

The Optoma UHD38 boasts a 4K resolution and a flexible set-up, but it lacks wireless connectivity (>>> Find on ProjectorScreen). With the Optoma GT1090HDR, you also get stunning image quality at a higher price. The Epson Pro EX1000 comes with built-in wireless connectivity but has a lower resolution.

When you’re making your final choice, pay attention to the lumens rating. The higher the better. It ensures images are sharp and bright in moonlight or with the porch light on.

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