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Few things are more entertaining on a warm summer evening than watching movies in the backyard surrounded by friends and family. But first, you need to sort out your setup by choosing the best outdoor projector screen for an outstanding viewing experience. Some of the most important things to take into account when choosing an outdoor projector include brightness, image quality and playback resolution. All of these are essential for your viewing experience, but you also need to take into account other features such as size and the way you install it.
To make the hunt for the best outdoor projector screen easier, we researched some of the best models on the market and reviewed them, taking into account multiple features such as diagonal size, viewing angle, aspect ratio, and overall dimensions. From our Editor’s Choice – the Visual Apex Projector Screen – to models that are more budget friendly, there’s something out there for anyone who wishes to take their passion for movies outdoors.
We researched the best outdoor projector screens on the market by testing them and reading hundreds of reviews from users who already test them in their homes. After days of research, we came up with a comparison table that outlines the best features of each product, as well as detailed reviews of each of the projectors mentioned, together with a buying guide that will offer you a wealth of information necessary to make the best choice for your needs. Now let’s have a look at the best outdoor projector screen we selected.
Designed for those who are looking for a portable projector screen that you can store away quickly and easily and set it up and take it down in just minutes, the Visual Apex Projector Screen is one of the best choices out there for those who want to use a projector in their backyard or in other outdoor location where hanging a projector screen is not possible. This projector screen comes with a storage bag, a frame for the screen, robes for increased stability, as well as optional legs that you can use to make the screen stand on its own.
While this projector screen is available in multiple sizes, we selected the 144 inches is our editor’s choice, which happens to be the largest size. What we like best about this screen is the quality of the image you get for both standard and widescreen movies. According to the manufacturer, the Visual Apex Projector Screen is made from mildew resistant materials that are also UV protected. It is also easy to wash the screen in the event it gets dirty, which is important to consider for outdoor projector screens.
The viewing angle of this outdoor projector screen is 160°, which means that everyone in your party will be able to watch the movie comfortably. Users liked that you can also use this screen indoors, and that is very easy to set up as all you need to do is unfold the sides.
Inflatable outdoor projector screens are preferred by many movie enthusiasts because they are very easy to set up and put away once the screening is over. The EasyGo Products 14′ Inflatable Mega Movie Screen comes with a detachable screen and a mains powered blower motor so you can assemble it very quickly. According to the manufacturer and reviews provided by many users, the entire process of attaching the screen and getting the screen ready for projection takes just a couple of minutes.
Even though this outdoor projector screen is not suitable for ratios or decking because it needs to be staked to ground, it is a cheap and portable solution that is also durable and robust, making it ideal for those who are only into watching movies outdoors occasionally. The best thing about the EasyGo Products 14′ Inflatable Mega Movie Screen that got lots of praise from users is the fact that it is very easy to take the screen down and store it by simply folding it and putting everything in the storing case provided.
This inflatable movie screen is also travel friendly, which means you can take to picnics, camping adventures, or even wedding parties to entertain your guests. The wide display canvas is easy to remove so can clean it, and it only takes a couple of minutes to inflate the frame thanks to the quiet provided fan. Because the screen is rather heavy, you may need to tether it to something, as it may not stand on its own.
A portable outdoor folding frame screen that is also suitable for indoor use, the Elite Screens Yard Master Plus Series is easy to set up in just a couple of minutes. Because it features a durable lightweight aluminum frame, this screen is highly portable so you can be prepared for virtually any projection scenario, be it a movie night with friends and family in the garden or outdoors event such as a wedding.
Most of the users who tested this outdoor projector screen like the fact that it has 160° wide angles and that it features black material backing that eliminates light penetration make the most of the way your projector reproduces colors. The detachable T-legs of the Elite Screens Yard Master Plus Series made the entire set up very easy to handle, while the sealed edge detachable frame has corner pull-tabs for easy installation.
This projector screen comes with a caring bag that fits the entire product including the legs for enhanced portability and protection. We liked that the carrying bag is wheeled for extra easy transportation. The Elite Screens Yard Master Plus Series comes in multiple sizes up to 200 inches diagonal, which makes it suitable for just about any type of screening, for both personal and business purposes.
Our budget pick is the Kandoona Portable Outdoor Projector Screen, which features anti wrinkle materials that are generally not expected in a projector screen with this price tag. According to many of the users who tested it, this screen is not see-through, and comes with a high quality colour absorbance that makes it one of the clearest HD projectors on the market.
The 160° viewing angles and the 16:9 aspect ratio offer guaranteed satisfaction for HD movies, and you also get superior quality for both front and rear projection. Because this is not an inflatable screen, it only takes a couple of minutes to fasten it using the included ropes or hooks.
The Kandoona Portable Outdoor Projector Screen comes complete with a storage bag so you can take it with you camping, and it is also easy to clean simply by using some lukewarm water. Inside the package you will also find two ropes and 20 hooks for easy installation. Many users raved about how this budget projector screen designed for the outdoors is not flimsy or thin as you would expect from a product in this price range. The material is soft and thick and even though it comes folded, most of the users who tested it mentioned that there is not a single crease in sight when you spread it out for use.
Offering clear projections and wide viewing angles of 160°, the ZUEDA Large Portable Projector Screen features a stable tripod stand for increased stability. Both the frame and the tripod support stand are made from rugged materials that make this outdoor projector screen suitable for outstanding the rigors of outdoor use. There are no tools needed to install the screen and you can finish setting it up in just a couple of minutes thanks to the auto locking mechanism that provides easy operation and adjustable height for a personalized viewing experience.
This large projector screen is not only suitable for garden screenings, but also offers you superior working experiences in the classroom or office, or for indoor home cinema. Some users mentioned that projector screen may need additional restraints when using outdoors depending on weather conditions, but overall the tripod stand offers a good degree of stability on its own.
Suitable for groups of up to 12 to 20 people, this tripod comes with a carrying bag that is also suitable for storage. This outdoor projector screen is suitable for most LCD, LED, 4K HD and 3D projectors on the market. According to the reviews of many users, there is little to no light penetration thanks to the black backed screen material, and it is easy to clean the screen surface by simply wiping it with water.
Why did it make our list?
Works with almost all projectors
High contrast screen
What is not ideal about it?
May not remain stable in all types of weather
Things to Consider
If you have purchased a high-quality outdoor projector to make movie nights fun, remember that it is also important to complement the capabilities of your new projector with the best outdoor projector screen. An outdoor projector screen needs to be durable and easy to install and store, while also bringing out the best colors, contrast ratio, and resolution your projector machine and provide. Below you will find a buying guide that will help you purchase the best outdoor projector screen with the characteristics you are looking for to enhance your viewing experience.
Benefits of having an outdoor projector screen
An outdoor projector screen makes it possible to enjoy your favorite under the stars, together with your friends and family. This is a great choice for those long summer evenings, but it may also be a good solution for those who need to project images in spaces where hanging a regular projector may not be feasible. These screens are portable and easy to set up, which means that you can get to the viewing part very quickly. Moreover, a high-quality outdoor projector screen is essential for enhancing the abilities of your projector in various kinds of light.
Features to consider when choosing an outdoor projector screen
There are, of course, multiple features to consider when shopping for an outdoor projector screen, but some of the most important of them include size, viewing angles, aspect ratio, ease of installation and materials.
The size of an outdoor projector screen is not only important for the viewing experience, but also for the space you have available for installation. While size is all about personal preference, many users prefer the largest diagonal size possible, going up to 200 inches, because this offers a truly cinematic experience at home. When choosing the size of your screen, make sure you take into account what your projector is capable of. As a rule of thumb, you should opt for an outdoor projector screen with a diagonal size allows you to get a 16:9 aspect ratio because that is the most common ratio for movies.
The aspect ratio of a projector refers to the ratio between its width and height. While most of the standard HDTV movies have a 16:9 aspect ratio, other common formats include 4:3 (XGA & SXGA) and 16:10 (WUXGA). When choosing the aspect ratio, it’s important to consider what you want to project. Keep in mind that the 16:9 aspect ratio is the only one supported natively by DVD players and also the standard for HDTV signals and Blu-ray discs. Of course, you can watch 4:3 content on a 16:9 display, but this means that you’ll see black bars on the top and bottom, because the content doesn’t match the projector’s native resolution. For a 4:3 projector screen, look to the ZUEDA model.
The optimum viewing angle depends on how far from the screen you want to sit. As a rule of thumb, it is recommended for home theater ranges to be somewhere between 30 to 40 degrees. If you watch at a larger angle, the image may become dimmer and reveal artifacts. Projector screens intended for multiple users have viewing angles that go up to 160 or even 180 degrees, which means everyone who’s watching can have an immersive experience.
The gain measurement of the projector screen is an important feature to consider when it comes to brightness.
As a rule of thumb, the higher the gain, the brighter the image you get on a particular screen.
The gain number is a ratio of light reflected from a light source back from a surface. Gain is measured from the point where the screen appears to be brightest. For instance, a screen with a gain of 1.1 has the ability to project back light 1.1 brighter than the one projected at the screen.
Front vs. rear projection
This distinction refers to the way the projector is used to display images. A front-projection screen is usually recommended if you want a genuine home theatre experience. This means that the projector needs to be mounted on a ceiling or on a floor mount and the screen is separate. On the other hand, rear projection mirrors the traditional big-screen TVs, which means that the projector illuminates the back of the screen and not the front. Rear projectors are more budget friendly and may be easier to set up for outdoor use.
When shopping for the best outdoor projector screen for your home, consider the way you need to install it and whether it comes with all the tools required for installation. Some models such as the EasyGo Products 14′ Inflatable Mega Movie Screen are inflatable, which means that you have to use the blowing fan provided to install it, whereas others require the use of hooks and ropes or a standing tripod for installation.
Fabric and stand materials
The quality of the materials used to construct outdoor projector screens can have a tremendous impact or only on the viewing experience, but also on the ease of use and durability of the screen. Opt for wrinkle-free materials when possible, and for frames that are sturdy and don’t become wobbly when you install the frame or worse, during viewing.
Overall dimensions and weight
This is essential to consider because you need to make sure the screen you opt for fits well in the space you have available for projection. Weight is an important factor especially for those who want to transport their projector screen often, for camping, for example.
How to install a projector screen outdoors
The way you install your outdoor projector screen depends on its type and the instructions provided by the manufacturer. Some models are inflatable, so all you need to do is press a couple of buttons and inflate them with the fan provided. For other models, you will need ropes and hooks, which are often provided by the manufacturer together with all the information you need for quick installation. Keep in mind that some other projector screens may require installation against the wall and some of them may not be able to stand on their own even though they feature legs or tripod stands.
Finally, a key thing to make sure of when installing your projector screen outdoors is to make sure it’s stable and won’t be blown down by an unexpected gust of wind. It’s also important to keep the screen taut, so that the image is even and isn’t distorted by any wrinkles or folds in the material.
Most outdoor projector screens are designed to resist the elements when they remain outside. Even though for many models you can leave them outside for a couple of days or even more, it is always a good idea to bring the screen inside for storage during the winter season or when it’s raining. If you want to live you are projector screen outside during spring or summer, you should make sure you cover it to avoid exposure to direct sunlight.
Most projector screens designed for the outdoors are also suitable for indoor use. It’s always a good idea to consult the manual provided by the manufacturer to find out if the screen can be used both ways.
This depends by the technical specifications of your projector. To watch a movie during the day, you will need a projector with at least 5500 lumens. If you intend to use a projector during the day, it is a good idea to choose a projector screen with a high gain because this will help with the brightness.
When shopping for the best outdoor projector screen, you need to take into account factors such as size and aspect ratio, but also the quality of the materials and ease of installation. We found that our editor’s choice, the Visual Apex Projector Screen meets all the criteria you may look for in an outdoor screen projector while also coming with a reasonable price tag. If you’re looking for an inflatable model that you can have up and running in no time, the EasyGo Products 14′ Inflatable Mega Movie Screen would be an excellent choice. Finally, those who want the flexibility a projector screen with detachable legs offers would be happy with the Elite Screens Yard Master Plus Series screen. No matter which model you decide to go for in the end, remember to consider your type of projector and its compatibility with your chosen outdoor screen.