Selecting a projector for Outdoor Movies

Selecting a projector for Outdoor Movies main image Selecting a projector for Outdoor Movies image
How to pick the right projector for outdoor movies and sport.


A projector can be an awesome addition to your outdoor entertainment area. Perfect for those warm evenings you can entertain by projecting the latest movie or a live sporting event on the big screen.

When selecting a projector for outdoors there are some important factors to consider.

Native Resolution - This is basically the detail of the image. For home use we always recommend a widescreen projector to watch up with DVD's and TV broadcast. Either WXGA (which is HD quality), or WUXGA (which is FULL HD). Whilst current TV broadcast does not go over HD, having a FULLHD projector is great for movies.

Brightness - Brightness on projectors is measured in ANSI Lumens. The number of lumens you will need depends on image size and how bright the area is. For an image around 2 metres wide and projecting mainly at night then we recommend a brightness level of 3000 lumens or higher. If you plan on using the projector a little earlier (during twilight hours) then something with 4000 lumens or higher would be better.
Keep in mind projectors cannot compete with the power of the sun, even the brightest models may struggle to give a clear image when used during the day.

Contrast - Contrast is usually advertised in ratio form so will look something like 5000:1 or 15000:1. The ratio represents the difference between black and white, so if the contrast ratio is 5000:1 it means the black levels are 5000 times blacker than the white. Contrast is an important factor to consider when using the projector at night as it determines the quality of the black levels and shading. Brands can use various methods to measure contrast, so the figure can be deceiving sometimes however as a rule the higher the number the better.

Installation Distance - The installation distance (or throw distance) has tripped some customers up in the past so always make sure you measure prior to purchasing. Each projector has a particular distance that it must be installed at to project a certain image size. To work out how far back a projector must sit just multiply the image width by the advertised throw ratio on the projector. If the throw ratio is 1.15:1 and your image size is 2 metres wide, then 1.15 x 2 = 2.3. So the projector must be installed 2.3m back. If you have a very long installation distance (such as 8 or 10 metres) you may need to look at a large venue projector with a long throw lens attachment. We are happy to double check the projector you are considering will be suitable, just let us know your measurements

Weather Resistance - Just like any typical electronic device in your home a projector is not water resistant. For the best longevity, it's best to store the projector inside when not in use. If you decide to install it outside best to ensure the location is not susceptible to rain or dew. When not in use best to put a cover or bag over the projector too... you don't want insects making a home inside of your projector!

We know it can be confusing selecting the right model, our staff are always happy to help you if required.