Anyone who wants to experience their favorite film or the current series outdoors when the weather is nice can get a real cinema feeling in the garden with the right projector. We give tips so that you can really enjoy your outdoor cinema evening.
By Sebastian Weber
With the right equipment, you can set up your private outdoor cinema in the garden. The centerpiece is of course an outdoor projector: Below you can read what you should consider when choosing the right device and which models are recommended.
Outdoor projector for open-air fun
ACER Aopen QF12
ACER Aopen QF12 Image: © Acer 2022
This projector from Acer offers decent quality at an affordable price. With its Full HD resolution and a very good lumen value, the picture impresses on every gaming or movie night. Thanks to the WLAN adapter, the projector can be flexibly networked with other devices or sources.
ACER Aopen QF12 Buy now from
EPSON EH-TW7000 Image: © Epson 2022
Epson's projector is a slightly larger investment. This projector delivers perfect image quality in 4K resolution and even 3D. However, this model does not support WLAN, and only players with an HDMI connection can be used as sources.
EPSON EH-TW7000 Buy now at
The Mercedes among the projectors offers the latest laser technology and a matching screen. It is suitable for anyone who wants to build a real outdoor cinema in their garden. With this projector, you don't care about the ambient light, because the picture quality hardly differs from that of a regular television.
HISENSE 100L5F-B12 Buy now at
Projector for on the go
ANKER Nebula Mars II PRO Mini Projector
ANKER Nebula Mars II PRO Image: © ANKER Nebula Mars II PRO 2022
Small, light and with a practical carrying handle: This projector is extremely mobile. But that also has disadvantages: for example, the low resolution of only 720p and the low luminosity, which makes it difficult to use outdoors during the day.
ANKER Nebula Mars II PRO Mini Projector Buy it now at
ANCHOR Nebula Capsule II
ANKER Nebula Capsule II Image: © Anchor 2022
This model is almost tiny: It measures about 12 x 13 x 12 centimeters and weighs less than 1.5 kilograms – comparable to mobile Bluetooth speakers. However, the small projector has the same disadvantages as the previous ANKER device: low resolution and luminosity.
ANKER Nebula Capsule II Buy now from
SAMSUNG The Freestyle
The mobile projector from Samsung is a bit reminiscent of a spotlight and is very easy to take with you and place anywhere. This model is also only suitable to a limited extent for use during the day, but it convinces with its easy operation, WLAN and usable sound.
Samsung The Freestyle Buy now at
XGIMI MoGo Pro+ Mini Projector
This projector is really mini: It measures just 9 x 14 x 10 centimeters – and still offers everything that mobile cinema fun needs. The device can be operated with batteries, has Harman Kardon speakers for decent sound and, thanks to Android support, is extremely flexible when it comes to player sources.
XGIMI MoGo Pro+ Mini Projector Buy it now at
XGIMI Horizon Projector
The XGIMI Horizon could also appear in the permanently installed projectors. However, due to its compact dimensions (20 x 20 x 13 centimetres) it is also suitable for mobile use. The projector offers a decent Full HD image, a good lumen value and also speakers from Harman Kardon.
XGIMI Horizon Projector Buy now at
Mobile projector or permanently installed cinema fun?
Flexible or mobile – an important decision. Image: © Thinkstock/iStock/BrianAJackson 2017
An important question that you should clarify right at the beginning: Should the projector be permanently installed in your garden or do you want to remain flexible and take the projector with you to friends, for example?
The permanently installed variant has many advantages. For example, you can align the image perfectly with the right projector screen and the appropriate bracket for the projector . In this case, it is also worth getting separate speakers for your outdoor cinema, since most built-in projector boxes are rather narrow. With good speakers, you can take the cinema experience to the next level.
The biggest disadvantage of a permanently installed outdoor projector: You can only use the device at home. And be careful: With a permanently installed solution, you have to make sure that all devices are protected from wind and weather. You should also dismantle the setup in winter and store it in the house or apartment to avoid damage.
If you want to be able to take the projector with you at any time, for example to watch football, films or series with friends, smaller and lighter projectors are more suitable. In addition, a screen with a tripod should be part of your equipment so that you can take it with you and set it up with friends.
The brightness makes the difference
A bright luminosity is important for a real home cinema feeling. Image: © Sony 2017
The main factor that decides between cinema fun and cinema frustration is the radiance of the projector. That means: How well can a projector display the image, even if the surroundings are comparatively bright? Because while indoor spaces can usually be easily darkened, you don't have this option outdoors.
Therefore, before buying an outdoor projector, you should consider where you want to set it up and where the screen will be. With blazing sunlight on the screen, even the best projector reaches its limits.
As a rule of thumb, the higher the lumen value of the projector, the more radiant the device is and the better the image looks, even in relatively bright surroundings. If, on the other hand, you only use the projector in the evening or at night anyway, or your garden is generally quite dark, this value can also be somewhat lower without the image quality suffering too much.
- Before purchasing a projector for outdoor use, you should clarify the question of whether the device will be permanently installed or should be mobile.
- The lumen value of the projector and usage habits also play a major role in the selection.
- Mobile projectors often weaken in terms of image and/or sound quality.
- For the best outdoor cinema experience, you should not only have a good outdoor projector, but also a suitable screen and good speakers.