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DIY or Buy: 7 Screen Ideas for an Awesome Outdoor Movie Night

Summer family movie nights just got a whole lot more fun

Published on: June 11, 2020

DIY or Buy: 7 Screen Ideas for an Awesome Outdoor Movie Night


What to look for in an outdoor projector

You’ll need to consider a few things when shopping for an outdoor projector. The first is how much space you have to set up your movie. Most projectors need to be between 5 and 15 feet away from the screen. The “throw ratio” tells you how far away the projector can be while still getting a good image. So, for small backyards, choose a “short throw” projector.

Brightness is another consideration and the lumens rating tells you how bright the picture is. Look for a lumens ratio of 1,000–2,000 for smaller screens and 2,000–3,000 for the big ones. Last, be sure to match up the display size listed on the projector to the size of your screen.

ViewSonic 1080p Short Throw Projector: This projector works well for small spaces and is rated 4.5 stars on Amazon. It is compatible with most media players and works for screens up to 300 inches. Reviewers warn that the fan is loud, so you will definitely want extra speakers. 

Vankyo Leisure 3 Mini Projector: This is a bestseller on Amazon and at just over two pounds, is very portable. It also features excellent brightness with LED bulbs and a noise suppression system to cut fan noise by half. 

Editor’s note: This article was originally published in August 2019, and updated in June 2020.

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