LUMENS 3000 | DLP TECHNOLOGY | CONTRAST RATIO 23,000:1 | KEY STONE CORRECTION VERTICAL | NATIVE RESOLUTION WUXGA 1920 X 1080 | NATIVE ASPECT RATIO 16:9 | WEIGHT 5.5 POUNDS |
SIZE 11.7 x 9 x 3.7 INCHES
With raving reviews on Amazon about how well the Optoma HD142x handles ambient light in back yards, its easy to see that the 3000 lumens do a superb job. At such a fair price you may think it's too good to be true but the Optoma HD142x certainly packs a punch for every penny.
This is backed by its impressive contrast ratio of 23,000:1 giving deep blacks and pure whites in brighter settings. Its advanced optical lens and sRGB colour profile enables rich and accurate color when paired with compatible devices.
This model also boasts a long lamp life of a maximum 8,000 hours. If you were to watch a 2 hour movie every day, that'd be 10 years worth of viewing! For your first movie projector, this will certainly ease you in smoothly and give you many years of pure enjoyment.
Best bang for buck
Super high contrast
2 HDMI ports
TOP 10 BEST ENTRY LEVEL PROJECTORS FOR YOUR BACK YARD -
In this review of the top 10 best entry level projectors for your back yard cinema, we are dipping into the old and new. The tried and true along side it's shiny newer counterparts, all put up a good fight and have stood the test of time in continually gaining beaming reviews.
Whilst you're on the mission of buying your first ever projector, we hope to help boil it down for you. We have briefly put together a snapshot of the top qualities most desired in an outdoor cinema projector, such as brightness, contrast, portability and zoom capabilities. Our full in depth reviews will be coming soon.
Want an easy list of the top entry level DLP and LCD projectors? Whilst highlighting qualities suited for your back yard cinema and giving you the best bang for your buck, all under $1,000? You made it!
DLP projectors have many qualities that will suit your back yard movie night. The main being their compact size and portability. Aside from their tiny Pico projector counterarts, DLP projectors have paved the way in creating increasingly light devices. Another advantage of DLP projectors for outdoor use are their generally extremely high brightness, great for combating ambient light in your yard.
DLPs are also the standard within your local movie theater as they provide incredibly crisp and clear images with beautiful vibrant color and depth. Maintenance for a DLP projector is fairly low as they seal the DLP chip to eliminate any dust particles from creating spots on the image. However, while longer lasting they tend to run high in price on bulb replacements.
They can also have the tendency to display a rainbow effect over contrasted areas of a movie. Also be sure to note that an excellent brightness with a low contrast may mean that the darker areas could look grey, so we have found the best balanced projectors out there.
LCD projectors are the way to go if you definitely cannot handle the idea of the rainbow effect on your screen. LCD projectors typically have a lower brightness of around 2200. Their design makes them better suited to darker rooms or in our case...a later and darker screening time.
On the plus side, their bulbs are considerably less expensive to replace but do tend to deteriorate quicker than a DLP. LCD also have much more flexibility in their set up, with greater zoom lenses, added features plus horizontal and vertical key stone. This is perfect if your outdoor space is a little trickier to set up in and needs a little playing around with. Although DLP is the chosen technology for cinema's and home movie goers wanting unrivaled video quality, LCD still produce outstanding image quality for such a fair price.
Visit our guide on How to Choose the Best Projector for my Back Yard Cinema
1. Optoma HD142X
No bluetooth or wifi connectivity
Best entry level movie projector
2. ViewSonic PJD5155
Lightest and most portable model
LUMENS 3300 | DLP TECHNOLOGY | CONTRAST RATIO 20,000:1 | KEYSTONE CORRECTION VERTICAL |
NATIVE RESOLUTION WXGA 1280 X 800 | NATIVE ASPECT RATIO 16:10 | WEIGHT 4.6 POUNDS |
SIZE 9 x 12.4 x 4.1 INCHES
Limited zoom range
An even greater step in lumens is the VIEWSONIC at 3300 with a slightly lower contrast ratio, but still impressive non the less at 20,000:1. Although this may still not be bright enough to play your Blu Ray movies at the brightest time of the day, it will handle ambient light within the evening like a breeze!
Another projector on our list offering a very fair price for such a crisp and vibrant image with many reviews stating how well it holds its own in their back yards.The super light weight body at 4.6lbs will ensure its flexibility when moving around your yard to find the perfect sheltered spot and will allow a quick getaway when the clouds move in.
Overall, at such a low price, the Viewsonic PJD5155 gives you a great amount of brightness and a high contrast very similar to much higher priced models. If you're on a super tight budget and need a solid film projector to cover your basic needs, this is a fantastic option.
4. Epson PoweLite Home Cinema 2040
Best Budget 3LCD Projector
LUMENS 2200 | LCD TECHNOLOGY | CONTRAST RATIO 35,000:1 | KEYSTONE CORRECTION VERTICAL & HORIZONTAL | NATIVE RESOLUTION WUXGA 1920 x 1080 | ASPECT RATIO 16:9 | WEIGHT 6.4 POUNDS |
SIZE 14.6 x 14.3 x 7.2 INCHES
No rainbow effect
Low maintenance cost
Great quality and features for money
Weaker black levels
No lens shift
The first 3LCD projector on our list has to be an Epson as they manufacture the majority of LCD panels being used on LCD projectors across the world. With the greatest knowledge on what makes a great LCD projector, the 2040 is one of the best competing models for a home cinema.
Although there are only 2200 lumens, some customers state being able to project movies at early dusk in their back yards. Epson claims an incredible contrast ratio of 35,000, boosting your image to create vivid and clear HD quality video, but similar to many LCDs, has pooer black levels. Purposely built for a home cinema, the 2040 offers a larger projected image at shorter distance than the 1040 model.
This LCD is the way to go if you definitely want to avoid the dreaded rainbow effect and have much more flexibility in fitting your screen to its surroundings.
5. JVC LX WX50
Brightest model in our list
LUMENS 5000 | DLP TECHNOLOGY | CONTRAST RATIO 4000:1 | KEY STONE CORRECTION HORIZONTAL & VERTICAL | NATIVE RESOLUTION WXGA 1280 X 800 | ASPECT RATIO 16:10 | WEIGHT 10.8 POUNDS |
SIZE 10.9 x 16.3 x 4.6 INCHES
Great set up features
1.6 x wide zoom ratio
Lower lamp life of 2500 in Eco mode
The WX50 boasts an incredible 5000 lumens for such a low price making it ideal for bright outdoor settings. This full HD 1080p projector can offer superb crisp images and is also 3D ready for when you decide to take your back yard theater to the next level.
Many reviews state how easy the set up is for the WX50, with an array of keystoning, vertical lens shift, optical and digital zoom and corner correction meaning you can really tailor the screen to your difficult shaped yard. With impressive color accuracy, sharpness and bountiful lumens, this one's hard to beat.
6. Optoma HD29Darbee
Enhanced vivid color with Darbee technology
LUMENS 3200 | DLP TECHNOLOGY | CONTRAST RATIO 30,000:1 | KEYSTONE CORRECTION VERTICAL |
NATIVE RESOLUTION WUXGA 1920 x 1080 | ASPECT RATIO 16:9 | WEIGHT 5.5 POUNDS |
SIZE 9.1 x 11 x 3.8 INCHES
Super light weight
Darbee Vision Image Processor
Only vertical key stone correction
No auto focus
The standout feature for this projector against its newer versions is its highly praised Darbee Vision image processor. Reviews stating the noticeable difference in crisp and vibrant images makes it a worthwhile older model, with great depth in color, textures and automatic removal of residuals.
Its 3200 ANSI lumens and incredible 30,000:1 contrast ratio make it feel like a standout for projecting within moderately lit areas. Coupled with a long lamp life of 8,000 hours which is an extra bonus.
7. BenQ W1070
Long lasting quality
LUMENS 2000 | DLP TECHNOLOGY | CONTRAST RATIO 10,000:1 | KEY STONE CORRECTION VERTICAL |
NATIVE RESOLUTION WUXGA 1920 x 1080 | ASPECT RATIO 16:9 | WEIGHT 6.1 POUNDS |
SIZE 9.6 x 12.3 x 4.1 INCHES
Positive reviews after 3+ years of use
Beautiful image quality
Needs darkest viewing time
Another older model on our list, but that just shows it's standing the test of time. With customers coming back with reviews years on stating how well it is lasting, the W1070 is proving a tough cookie and a great 1080p contender in this price range.
Offering beautiful crisp color and definition with a screen size of up to 200" diagonal, the W1070 provides an easy set up with a light weight body. Although this model offers the lowest contrast ratio and brightness, we still think it belongs in this list as its performance is highly rated purely for its longevity and quality crisp image in dark settings.
8. Optoma GT1080
Great for Gamers
LUMENS 2800 | DLP TECHNOLOGY | CONTRAST RATIO 25,000:1 | KET STONE CORRECTION VERTICAL |
NATIVE RESOLUTION WUXGA 1920 x 1080 | ASPECT RATIO 16:9 | WEIGHT 5.8 POUNDS |
SIZE 8.8 x 12.4 x 4 INCHES
Large screen in small space
25:000:1 contrast ratio
Louder fan noise
Limited screen adjustments
This Optoma model is specifically great for you gamers, with an incredible short throw perfect for small yards or to fit wtihin a garage space producing a super large screen. With its fast digital video performance built to cope with the quick reaction times needed for gamers, a 16 microsecond response rate is impressive.
Not only great for gamers, its high contrast ratio ensures your deep and detailed blacks against pure whites and color. Although the key stone feature on this model is limited, it for sure makes up for it with portability and weight, ensuring its super easy to move the projector manually into the right spot.
If that isn't too much bother for you, this short throw projector provides solid competition within the budget range.
9. Optoma HD141X
LUMENS 3000 | DLP TECHNOLOGY | CONTRAST RATIO 23,000:1 | KEY STONE CORRECTION VERTICAL |
NATIVE RESOLUTION WUXGA 1920 x 1080 | ASPECT RATIO 16:9 | WEIGHT 5.4 POUNDS |
SIZE 8.8 x 12.4 x 4 INCHES
Super light weight
Handles ambient light well
Beautiful crisp 1080p image
Fan can be noisy
Yet another Optoma in our list, creating great affordable DLP projectors. This model being the older version of the HD142X offers a similar spec sheet to its newer version. Although this is the 2017 list, there's still a few golden oldies that are repeatedly gaining great reviews, and that still stands for the HD141X.
Offering a modest amount of brightness and contrast for such a low price is a great option in our budget range. Although it does not offer as high a color accuracy as its newer model, it's still tough competition that doesn't seem to be going anywhere fast.
10. Optoma WU416
Whopping 4,200 lumen brightness
LUMENS 4200 | DLP TECHNOLOGY | CONTRAST RATIO 20,000:1 | KEY STONE CORRECTION VERTICAL |
NATIVE RESOLUTION WUXGA 1920 x 1200 | ASPECT RATIO 16:10 | WEIGHT 9.7 POUNDS |
SIZE 12.3 X 8.8 X 4.4 INCHES
1.6 zoom lens
Full WUXGA resolution
Highest price in our list
Only suitable for large screens/ yards
If brightness is what you want...the Optoma boasts a humongous amount of ANSI lumens, and an array of features that are perfect for outdoor use. Great contrast ratio, check. And a brilliant 1.6 zoom lens, check! Plus this model can come in varying prices as you can choose between 3800 and 4500 lumens.
Our reasoning for choosing the 4200 ANSI lumens model was due to that fact it was the most purchased and highly rated model on Amazon at the time of this review. Also, depending on your screen size, you may not need 4,500 lumens of brightness as this would be more suited to a very large screen.
So if you need to pack a punch with a large bright screen, flexibility to adjust your zoom freely and 1.07 billion displayable colors...this is the one for you.
Feel ready to take the next step and choose a model more specific to your needs? Try out some of our other Top 10 lists
3. BenQ HT2050
Best Short Throw for a Small Yard
LUMENS 2200 | DLP TECHNOLOGY | CONTRAST RATIO 15,000:1 | KEYSTONE CORRECTION VERTICAL |
NATIVE RESOLUTION WUXGA 1920 x 1080 | ASPECT RATIO 16:9 | WEIGHT 7.3 POUNDS |
SIZE 10.9 x 15 x 14.7 INCHES
Up to 6,000 lamp life
With similar newer and older models in BenQs line of projectors, this model has the modest 2200 ANSI lumens with still a great price. The newer HT3050 has a considerable price jump but with lower lumens and the same contrast ratio of 15,000:1.
Gamma control provides crisp gray scale display providing detail in the dark and shadowed areas of your movies, a plus when you're projecting outside. Fully HD compatible with 96% color accuracy provides vivid and bright images within a lower light environment. Also, boasting a 100" screen at an 8ft distance is a huge bonus for a smaller yard, making it a great short throw option.