What Kind of Projector Do I Need For Outdoor Movies?

Table of Contents

  • Introductions
  • What’s the difference between indoor viewing and outdoor movie watching?
  • What kind of projector do I need for outdoor movie watching?
  • WEMAX outdoor portable projectors kit
  • Can I have an outdoor movie theater without a screen?
  • Wrapping It Up

Being able to watch your favorite movies outdoors is a real treat that is absolutely perfect for sharing with your friends and family. Whether you want to have a late-night movie fright night or plan on inviting the whole family over for a barbeque and Simpsons reruns you will need to ensure you have the right projector for the job.

Not all projectors were created equal, some excel at outdoor viewings and some certainly don't! This quick article is going to cover what makes a great outdoor projector and why.

wemax projector for outdoor movies

What's the difference between indoor viewing and outdoor movie watching?

The biggest difference between indoor and outdoor movie watching is the external light sources that can make a screen difficult to view.

Have you ever sat on your couch watching tv and had to close the blinds because even a little bit of sun glare made the whole viewing process impossible?

Watching movies outdoors usually requires a much brighter projector partially to combat the glare from the sun and partially because outdoor projectors are often sat farther back than indoor ones from the screen.

An increase in brightness is needed to combat this increased distance and avoid a subpar viewing experience. You also very likely need a specialist projection screen that can handle the increased wear and tear of the elements and doesn't become dulled by constant sunlight. 

What kind of projector do I need for outdoor movie watching? 

wemax portable outdoor movies projector

There are a few key factors that determine whether or not a projector will be good for outdoor movie watching or not. The basis for most of these criteria naturally focuses on the viewing experience for you and your guests.

Here are 6 of the most important criteria for a good outdoor projector and screen and why they should matter to you. 

1. Ideal lumen range

Light from a specific source is measured in lumens. A lumen is a clever unit of measurement that measures the quantity of visible light stemming from the said source per unit of time. A simple way of conceptualizing this is that a standard modern car headlight with full brightness will be about 2000-4000 lumens while a simple candle's light would be around 14. A good lumen range for a very large outdoor movie projector kit is about 3000 - 5000.

2. ANSI lumen ratio

ANSI lumen ratio refers to the American National Standards Institute lumen which is a methodology of ensuring that all lumens when compared are equal and thus comparable. ANSI ratio is the difference between the brightest and darkest colors that can be projected by your projector. This will almost always be displayed in the format of 3000:1 or 5000:1 using our above examples. 

3. High-Resolution

Resolution and quality go hand in hand. A higher picture resolution, like HD and 4K will be of a vastly superior quality to a lower resolution like 720p. Some people argue that any resolution higher than 4k is probably wasted when being used outdoors due to screen size and distance from the screen by the viewer. But, that's a personal preference.

4. Throw Ratio

The throw ratio is really simply how far away the projector is from its screen. The further an outdoor movie projector kit is from the screen the less clear the picture will be. Conversely, if you set up your projector too close to the screen it will cause your image to become squashed and muddy. The throw ratio is measured as follows: Throw Ratio = Throw Distance / Image Width. Simply put, the bigger your screen the farther away your projector will need to be.

5. Audio Source

An often overlooked factor for outdoor movie watching is having a suitable audio source. Most projectors contain an inbuilt speaker but very few of them are actually up to the job. Since outdoors tends to be a lot louder and most of the noises you will be dealing with our out of your control, it is perhaps best to get an additional Bluetooth speaker. Surround sound is best but not a necessity.

5. Power Source

A constant problem with outdoor projectors is that they will of course require a power source, but, there isn't always one available. That's why it's usually best to choose a projector that can be run off of a standard power cable that in turn can be powered from your home's mains or an external alternating current battery.

WEMAX Outdoor Portable Projectors Kit

WEMAX Outdoor Portable Projectors Kit

Not all outdoor projectors are suitable for packing in your bag and being taken on a road trip or vacation. Your 6000-lumen mega projector with a 300-inch screen is NOT going to make it through airport security.

That's why choosing an awesome outdoor portable projector is such a cool option for most people and perfect for those on a stricter budget. Here are two amazing choices:

WEMAX Dice Portable Smart 1080 LED Projector

The WEMAX Dice Portable is a perfect little projector for taking on the road and is even suitable for indoor and outdoor use. It features a 120" screen with a built-in battery and a flexible tripod. Perfect for finding the right viewing spot no matter where you are in the great outdoors.

The Dice Portable Projector is full 1080p HD with a 700:1 ANSI lumen ratio. This mini projector has everything you could need to be built in, including audio, making it a great all-in-one choice.

WEMAX Go Ultra-Portable ALPD TI DLP Laser Projector for Gaming and Camping

The Wemax Go is a fully 1080p HD supported laser projector for outdoor movies while camping with a free tripod that boasts an inbuilt wifi connector, audio system, data storage, and multiple connection options allowing you versatility and reliability when on the go.

As the name suggests, this speaker is perfect for gaming or movie nights while camping since it is quite a bit smaller, less than one inch thick, with a focus on color and brightness. With 25,000 hours of life and a 709-color gamut, there is little left to be desired with this spectacular projector.

Can I have an outdoor movie theatre without a screen?

The larger the image you are attempting to project the blurrier it will be without the use of a screen. You will need a good flat surface to project on which is less likely to be readily available without a screen!

The WEMAX Go mentioned above is a good example of a portable projector for outdoor movies that works especially well without a screen since it is quite small. so the answer is yes you can absolutely use a projector without a screen.

Wrapping It Up

Quality is key and not something to be ignored. Ensuring your projector is positioned correctly, at the right distance, and a good supplementary sound system cannot be overlooked and is a common pitfall for first-time projector purchasers.

Related blogs from WEMAX

Hands-on: One Month With The WEMAX Go Advanced

5 Tips for New WEMAX nova 4K Laser Projector Users 

WEMAX Dice In-Depth Review–The Best Portable Projector for Both Movie and Games!

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