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Turn Your Backyard Into a Movie Theater With a Video Projector


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Editor's Note: Products featured on Wide Open Country are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission. 

Have you ever seen a photoshoot that shows the inside of your favorite artist's multi-million dollar mansion? Oftentimes, you'll see the most luxurious rooms and features: giant infinity pools, bowling alleys, gourmet kitchens, and home theaters are all common. Luckily, one of these things is actually attainable: you can create a home theater at home with an outdoor projector and some comfy patio chairs without breaking your budget. An outdoor projector can give you that viewing experience that you can only find in movie theaters, because watching films on the big screen is the best -- after all, you can't watch Die Hard on a tablet! You need a large screen to soak up all the action.

We made sure to round up projectors for various uses - these options are compatible with lots of devices, including smartphones (both Apple and Android) streaming sticks, and more. WiFi or internet access will be required, but you can always pull out your DVDs for movie night. Yep --  we included a projector with a built-in DVD player, too. For your next movie night, consider an outdoor projector. You won't regret it, and it'll make you feel like you're living in the lap of luxury.

1. Our Top Pick

NEBULA Anker Capsule - Amazon, $229.00

Out of all the outdoor projectors we looked at, we picked the NEBULA capsule as the ultimate must-have. It's more affordable than some of the higher-end models we saw, but felt that this one was more than worth the money. We love how small it is -- it's approximately the size and shape of a soda can -- but that doesn't mean it's not powerful. This small but mighty projector has a 360-degree projector for the ultimate in sound, and it has WiFi capabilities so you can stream movies or shows inside or out. You'll download an app on your phone that function as a remote: the capsule comes preloaded with Amazon Prime, Netflix, and Youtube, but you'll also be able to download other apps like HBO Max and Hulu to stream. It'll last around four hours on one charge, too. This will truly give you a cinematic experience right from the comfort of your backyard or home.

2. Best Outdoor Projector Under $100

When it comes to video projectors, finding a top-quality option under $100 is a challenge. Picture and sound quality are everything, and you'll find that prices reflect that. However, we found this fantastic Auking projector for under $100. Use it for streaming via laptops, phones, tablets, USB drives, and Xboxes. Again, you'll need an HDMI adapter for use with phones. Projection size varies from 32'' to 170 inches, so you can have a small screen for bedrooms or a huge screen for movie night in the living room or backyard. With a 2000:1 contrast ratio and 1080p resolution, you'll feel like you're at the movies. The LED bulbs last up to 55,000 hours, so you can use this up to five times a day for 15 years before needing a new one.

3. The Best Portable Option

KODAK  LumaPocket Pico Projector - Amazon, $219.99

For those who travel or camp often, consider a pocket-sized projector to take in your RV or Airbnb. These are usually a hit or miss, but Kodak got it right. The mini projector offers top-quality picture quality (4K resolution) for a successful movie night. Take it to Grandma's, the Airbnb, or use it for comfy movie nights in bed. You can use it anywhere! It comes with HDMI & Micro USB Cables for cameras, storage drives, PCs, and other compatible devices. (Thank you, Kodak!) You'll need a Firestick or Roku with this device, so make sure you have one on hand.

4. The Best Projector With a Built-in DVD Player

Full HD Bluetooth Projector and DVD Player - Amazon, $159.98 

Need to give your old DVD collection new life? Well, if you're a DVD or CD hoarder like me, then you're in luck: we found a top-notch outdoor projector with a built-in DVD player, so movie night isn't just limited to what's on Netflix or Hulu. Dust off your DVD collection and watch your favorite 90s blockbuster. The projector's bulb has a life of 60,000 hours, has a surround speaker, and is HD 1080p supported for a top-quality picture. It's compatible with CDs, and DVDs (not Blu-ray), but is also compatible with laptops, Firesticks, Chromebooks, and more. Just be sure to have an HDMI cord ready to go!

Don't Forget These Outdoor Projector Accessories:

Vamvo 120-inch Foldable Outdoor Screen - Amazon, $119.99

Amada Projector Tripod Stand - Amazon, $42.99

This post was originally published on March 26, 2020.

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