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Best Outdoor Projector For Low Budget – 2017

best outdoor projector
Organizing an outdoor movie screening can be a unique and quirky way of spending time with family and friends. But the fun can be greatly spoiled if the projector used for the screening is not up to the job. Hence, when buying a new projector, it is best to go with a multifunctional device which can be used both indoors and outdoors and has wireless capabilities along with a decent resolution. Here we bring you a detailed compilation of the best outdoor projectors in the market today.

 ViewSonic PJD5255Optoma X341BenQ MS524AEpson 740HDAcer P1173
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Brightness3300 ANSI lumens3300 Lumens
3300 ANSI lumens3,000 Lumens3000 Lumens
Resolution
1024x7681024 x 768800x600720p800 x 600
Contrast Ratio20,000:122,000:1 13000:1 15,000:113,000:1
Lamp Life10,000 hours (eco mode)10,000 hours (eco mode)Up to 10,000 Hours 10,000 hours (eco mode)6,000 hours *
3DYesYesYesNoYes
HDMI PortYesYesYesYesYes

It must be said at the outset that there few projectors that are specifically designed for outdoor use. To make the comparison simpler, we use the following benchmarks to qualify a projector for outdoor use:

  • Minimum Brightness: 2500 Lumens
  • Minimum Resolution: 720p
  • Priced between $300-$400
  • Must have a HDMI port

That is all. Keeping these minimum benchmarks in mind, here are our recommendations for the best outdoor projector:

1. ViewSonic LightStream PJD5255 Projector:
This Viewsonic device is one of the most popular selling projectors on Amazon with an average customer rating of 4.6 out of 5. The device has color brightness of 3300 lumens and is 3D capable. It comes with a HDMI port allowing for a resolution of 1024×768 DLP. Just attach this projector to a screen and speaker and you can have a pretty decent home theater.

2. Optoma X341 3300 Lumens XGA 3D DLP Projector:
The XGA version (recommended) is priced at around $400 and comes with a resolution of 1024×768. The good thing about the device is the long lamp-life which lasts upto 10000 hours. The Optoma X341 is also 3D and wireless capable which is an added bonus. The color brightness of the device is 3300 lumens.

3. BenQ MS524A DLP HD 1080p Projector

You will be hard-pressed to find a new-ish BenQ projector for below $300. So I was surprised to see the newly launched BenQ MS524A being sold at just below $300 and also with such high end specifications. A normal user can expect 4000-6000 hours of lamp life, which is pretty much the standard these days. The brightness is great @ 3300lumens, the resolution is a bit below par but the contrast ratio of 13000:1 kinda makes up for the image quality. The gist of it being that you can expect bright images with decent quality (not HD though).

4. Epson Home Cinema 740HD
Another one of the popular devices in the market and also one of the cheapest Epson projectors you can buy. The device has a native resolution of 720p. It is different from the other devices on the list because it uses Epson’s in-house technology known as 3LCD as opposed to the other projectors which are DLP lamp powered. It gives the device a very competitive brightness at around 3000 lumens, but this should still be enough to function outdoors. However, the device does not support 3D.

5. Acer P1173 SVGA DLP Projector
ACER is known to produce laptops and cell phones, hence the projectors produced by ACER are relatively unknown and under-rated. The P1173 is a noted exception and has garnered several good reviews. The device is SVGA with a native resolution of 800 x 600. The device does not meet our benchmark of 720p but we’ve made an exception because the picture quality and brightness of this projector is superior. The lamp life is 10000 hours is also above average.

 

The devices in this list can make for some great cheap outdoor projectors. However, if budget is not a big constraint, then one can go for a full fledged high powered outdoor projector like the Epson Home Cinema 5030UB.

There are certain best practices associated with using projectors outside. For example, make sure you set-up the device in place with as little light as possible. A dark surrounding is best to get the most of your movie watching experience. Also, do not leave the projector outside for extended periods of time. The night dew can damage the lens.

 

 

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