Just about any projector can be taken outdoors under the right conditions and safety precautions, and we can help you choose the right package to make the most of your outdoor space so you can enjoy the unbeatable experience of big-screen projection.
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So what do you need?
- A projector
- A projection screen or flat white wall to project on to. (white walls will work but a portable screen will give you the best picture quality)
- Source device – DVD player, laptop, games console, streaming stick (chromecast or Amazon Firestick) or Sky box etc.
- Sound System
- HDMI cabling or HDMI Wireless Sender Kit
- A power source to run the equipment
Projector – What specifications should you aim for?
5000 lumens or more if your budget allows if you are competing with daylight, but remember you will still need to adequately shade the area you are projecting in otherwise the image will be washed out and unwatchable.
Resolution – at least 1080p, but with more and more 4K UHD content and source devices available, the choice of 4KUHD projectors has increased some starting from as little as £800.
Connectivity inputs – Dependent on the projector and components you have but generally look to have at least two HDMI inputs if you want to have more than one source connected to the projector.
Below is a selection of popular projectors being used for outdoor cinema use.
BenQ W2700, 2000 lumens, 4K UHD home cinema projector
Epson EH-TW7000, 3000 lumens, 4K UHD home cinema projector
Epson EH-TW9400, 2400 lumens, 4K UHD home cinema projector
Optoma EH400, 4000 lumens, 1080p projector
Optoma ZH403, 4000 lumens, 1080p projector with a laser light source
ViewSonic X10-4K, 2400 lumens, 4K UHD all in one projector with integrated harmon kardon speakers, bluetooth and carry handle.
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 or a Fastfold projection screen
You may not want to move all your home cinema equipment outside! So to keep it simple and easy to set-up. The most popular sources people tend to want to use are:
- DVD player
- Games console (Xbox One S and PS4 will run dvd’s as well)
- Amazon Firestick or Google Chromecast streaming devices for use with subscription services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime or Disney+ (You will require the relevant subscriptions to use the services and you must have a stable wifi range coverage from the house to your garden where you are using the streaming device)
- Laptop – another option to play a DVD off or for computer games.
Again assuming you don’t want to have to move all your equipment outside, we suggest some portable powered speakers to give you enough sound but wont disturb the neighbours too much!!
Depending on your source device / set up you may need to separate the audio at source and send it to your chosen sound setup. Not sure how to do this? No problem, simply give us a call and we can advise.
Remember, the further back your projector is from the screen, the larger the image will be. You cannot beat the sun so even the brightest projector will be on a losing battle if you are unable to shade your projection surface from direct sunlight or ambient lights if using the projector in the evening.
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 as an outdoor 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.
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 and cable runs from source to projector out of the way as much as possible to avoid tripping.
Keep electronics away from pools & BBQs. (Away from all heat & liquid sources for that matter!)
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 and causing potential damage.