Best outdoor projector 2020: create your own outdoor cinema

Invest in the best outdoor projector for summer screenings, at the best price

the best outdoor projector: friends enjoying outdoor projector in garden
(Image credit: Getty Images)

It's worth investing in the best outdoor projector before summer comes around and now, with the lighter evenings making a come back, there has never been a better time to head back out into the garden. When it comes to enjoying the good weather, all you'll need to do is add some of your favourite people, as well as some cushions and blankets to make things cosy. A great option for an affordable summer evening? We think so.

We've rounded up the best projectors below, taking into account cost, image quality and other factors that will affect your overall experience. Those featured are suitable for indoor and outdoor use, just don't forget to bring them inside when you've finished screening..! For tips on choosing the best outdoor projector to suit your needs, jump down the page to our guide on how to choose the best outdoor projector.

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What is the best outdoor projector?

If you want the best outdoor projector (in our opinion), we wouldn't hesitate to buy the Optomoa UHD60. While there's no denying that this is a pricey piece of equipment, it's worth the investment if you're looking for stunning 4K quality, incredible colour contrasting and stereo sound as the centre piece for your home cinema experience in the garden.

Discover more of our favourite projectors and retailers below, and don't forget to read the full model reviews.

The best outdoor projectors

The best outdoor projector: Optoma UHD60

1. Optoma UHD60 3000 Lumens 4K UHD Projector

Best outdoor projector

Specifications
Lumens: 3,000
Resolution: 4K
Contrast ratio: 1,000,000:1
Reasons to buy
+ Boasts stereo speakers + Incredible 4K resolution 
Reasons to avoid
-Very expensive-Does not support 3D

If you want the best, and you're prepared to pay the hefty price tag, then this is the projector for you.
Buy the Optoma UHD60

Enjoy a truly stunning visual experience

For your money, you're guaranteed to receive stunning 4K quality and incredible colour contrasting. This means enjoying your favourite film and TV series in the best possible quality. 

And impressive sound

As well as a stunning visual experience, this model also boasts impressive stereo sound. This is where the Optoma UHD60 really makes an impression compared with other models on the market.

Arguably, this is the kind of stereo you buy for your cinema room (it’s hard to justify the outlay otherwise), but when you want to benefit from the full 4K quality of your Blu-ray DVDs outside, this is the kind of money you’re going to have to spend.  

Browse more outdoor projectors from Audio Visual Online

The best outdoor projector: Epson EB-S41 SVGA 3300 lumens Projector

2. Epson EB-S41 SVGA 3300 lumens projector

Best budget outdoor projector

Specifications
Lumens: 3,300
Resolution: 800x600
Contrast ratio: 15,000:1
Reasons to buy
+Impressive image quality for price+Very affordable 
Reasons to avoid
-Does not offer HD

If you're on a slightly tighter budget you can't look past the capabilities of this projector.
Buy the Epson EB-S41 SVGA 3300 lumens Projector

Incredible image quality for the price

When it comes to watching films outside, the brighter the lumens the better. It means there’s a greater contrast against any background light, which should mean a higher quality image.

While it may not boast HD resolution, this projector has a pretty impressive contrast ratio, too, so there should be no compromise made to your favourite movie scenes. 

Affordable price point

If you’re looking for an affordable, portable projector for the occasional film in the garden, then this Epson pretty much ticks all the boxes.  

Shop more outdoor projectors on Amazon

The best outdoor projector: ViewSonic LightStream Full HD

3. ViewSonic LightStream PJD7720HD Full HD

Best outdoor projector for colour contrast

Specifications
Lumens: 3,200
Resolution: 1920x1080
Contrast ratio: 22,000:1
Reasons to buy
+ Best in class colour contrasting + Wireless streaming (dongle) or HDMI connection 
Reasons to avoid
-Does not offer 4K

So long as you’re prepared to exchange 4K resolution for HD, this projector is a great buy, so gets our vote for the best outdoor projector for colour contrast.
Buy the ViewSonic LightStream PJD7720HD Full HD Projector 

 Enjoy great colour contrast

In addition to a high contrast ratio, the projector boasts SuperColour technology, HDMI ports for Blu-ray hook up and a USB port for a wireless dongle.

Immersive sound

Featuring SonicExpert sound technology, the projector features an enlarged speaker chamber and a powerful amplifier for immersive sound, which means no additional cost on speakers.  

Find more outdoor projectors available from John Lewis & Partners

The best outdoor projector: Optoma H183X Full 3D HD

4. Optoma H183X Full 3D HD Ready DLP 3200 Ansi Lumens Home Cinema Projector

Best outdoor projector for gamers

Specifications
Lumens: 3200
Resolution: 1,280 x 800
Contrast ratio: 25000:1
Reasons to buy
+ Super bright picture +Wireless streaming ability+ Quick response time good for gamers, too 
Reasons to avoid
-Not the best speakers around

Movie lovers, football fans and game players will love this projector, and it gets our vote for the best outdoor projector for gamers.
Buy the Optoma H183X Full 3D HD Projector

Fast response time 

With a fast response time, this model is great for action films and action-heavy games.

Impressive image quality

Thanks to a massive 3,200 lumens and an excellent contrast ratio, you can expect to experience a great picture whether you’re inside or out. And 3D fans are catered for, too.

Not the best speakers around

This projector isn’t without its compromises, though. Although HD, the picture won’t be the full 1,920 x 1,080 resolution, and the speakers only emit 2W worth of sound, so portable speakers are necessary. 

Shop more outdoor projectors available from AO

The best outdoor projector: BenQ W2000 3D Home Cinema DLP Projector

5. BenQ W2000 3D Home Cinema DLP Projector

Best outdoor projector for 3D viewing

Specifications
Lumens: 2,000
Resolution: 1,920 x 1,080
Contrast ratio: 15,000:1
Reasons to buy
+Full HD 3D playback +Dramatic on-screen visuals+Powerful 20W speaker 
Reasons to avoid
-Does not come with wireless kit - available separately or with model no. W2000w

Next in our list is this projector from BenQ, which is perfect for those wishing to make the most of 3D films.
Buy the BenQ W2000 3D Home Cinema DLP Projector

Enjoy your favourite films in 3D

Calibrated for cinematic colour, this projector is perfect for watching films, and with 3D compatibility you can even watch your favourite characters pop out in your garden, too.

Impressive sound system

The projector comes with powerful 20W speakers installed, with the BenQ Audio Enhancer ensuring a good bass and stereo sound. With both HDMI and USB imports, this projector is great for Blu-rays and smart sticks.

Find more outdoor projectors at Currys PC World

How to choose the best outdoor projector 

When it comes to choosing the best outdoor projector to suit your needs, there are a few factors worth careful consideration.

Image quality

For a projector to provide a quality image outside, 2,000 lumens is the lowest you can go in terms of brightness. Outdoor projectors should also playback in at least HD resolution to ensure the picture is of reasonable quality. The Optoma UHD60 earns our top spot thanks to its incredible 3,000 lumens output, super high quality 4K resolution and massive contrast ratio. 

Screen

Aside from those fairly important tech specs, consider whether you’ll need to purchase a screen or whether the side of the house or your garage door will do. 

Film source and sound

Consider the source of your film – will you need to bring a laptop or games console outside? Or is the projector compatible with a smart dongle? Some good outdoor speakers will also always help. Browse our pick of the best outdoor speakers to connect with your projector.

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