Just about any projector can be taken outdoors under the right conditions, and we can help you choose the right package to make the most of your available budget.
So what do you need?
- A Projector!
- A screen or wall to project onto (flat white walls can work ok but a portable screen will give you the best picture quality).
- Output device – DVD player/laptop for films or a games console. You can connect TV and Sky but you would need to run a cable from your sky box or freeview box to the projector.
Obviously the budget you have will determine the level of performance you get but here is a guideline for you.
Ideally go for a home cinema projector as this will give you the best picture quality especially for watching films.
specifications you should aim for:
There are a number of options, if you have a flat wall (preferably white) then this can be used, but to get the best out of the image you may want to consider using a portable floor screen.
You may not want to move all your home cinema equipment outside! So to keep it simple and easy to set-up we suggest the following:
- DVD player
- Games console (Xbox 360 and PS3 will run dvd’s as well)
- Laptop – another option to play a DVD off or for computer games
- Sky/TV – can be done by you would need a long cable to run from your sky box or digital tuner to the projector. Over 10m and the image quality may be reduced so this may not be an option for everyone
Again assuming you don’t want to have to move all your equipment outside so we suggest some portable powered speakers to give you enough sound but wont disturb the neighbours too much!!
Remember, the further back your projector is from the screen, the larger the image will be. Don't get to carried away with the size of your image as it may dull the image if the light needs to travel too far and also if too big it’s a bit like sitting in the front row of the cinema and you get a crick in the neck!
A low priced DVD player that is not connected to your current home system is a good investment if you plan to use your garden home cinema. This will save you the hassle of unhooking your components every time you want to take it outside. You may also be able to use a laptop computer with a built in DVD player too.
Some projectors have built-in DVD players (like the Optoma DV11) which is ideal for situations such as outdoor use. The only drawback is that there are fewer inputs if you want to use another source.
Last but not least cold beer/wine, BBQ, and few friends and a film and your ready to go!
Use common sense when setting up for your home cinema outdoors. This is by no means an inclusive list of safety advice, but here are a few suggestions for safer enjoyment.
- Check the weather forecast! Rain does not mix well with electrics
- Keep power cords out of the way as much as possible to avoid tripping.
- Keep electronics away from pools & BBQs. (away from all heat & liquid sources)
- Consult your projector owner's manual for specifications on outdoor use
- Do not leave your equipment outside when not in use and put away once you have finished avoiding moisture/dew getting into your kit.
Ready to choose your outdoor projector? View our range of home cinema projectors