When you look out for a good outdoor projector screen, what are the features that you want the products to have? Well, the movie projector that you place in the backyard of your house has to produce high-quality resolutions. Apart from these criteria, people like them should be compact, so they can be transported easily. With so many products on the market, you might land up in a dilemma about when you decide to purchase one. Here are the reviews of the top ten best outdoor projectors screens 2018, based on consumer reports.
- 1 Top-Rated Outdoor Movie Screens
- 2 JaeilPLM Flicker-free Portable Outdoor Projection Screen
- 3 Camp Chef OS-144: Large Outside Movie Screen
- 4 Gemmy 39127-32 Deluxe Inflatable Screen
- 5 Visual Apex Projecto Screen120 HD Portable Movie Theater
- 6 Elite Screens Yard Master 2: Big Screen for Outdoors
- 7 Airblown 39121-32: Great for Backyard
- 8 Safeplus Tripod Projection Screen with Stand
- 9 Airblown Mickey Inflatable Video Screen
- 10 Open Air Cinema 16-feet Outdoor Home Projector Screen
- 11 Backyard Theater System
- 12 What to Look for When Buying an Outdoor Movie Screen?
Top-Rated Outdoor Movie Screens
JaeilPLM Flicker-free Portable Outdoor Projection Screen
You will definitely like this product; in fact, this is one of the best outdoor movie screens available in the market. It has a screen ratio of 16:9, and brings you some of the best experiences when you watch movies. There is no movement on the screen at all, and it remains firm. The outdoor projection screen does not fall down even if there is a considerable impact on it. The product comes with a warranty of two years. You can use a wet cloth to clean the screen and when you use the product, you will get the right value for your money.
- A product is very taught.
- The stand is sturdy; can even use when there’s wind, thanks to triangular prism design.
- Easy to clean—simply use a wet cloth.
- Versatile because you can either hang it or use the stand.
- Carry bag included making it very portable.
- Clear images thanks to back being black coated.
- Triangle takes up a lot of room, limiting where you can use it.
- Velcro straps aren’t ideal to stretch fabric to become wrinkle free.
- Edges curl which ruins focus in those areas.
- Q: Can you use the front square (without the rest of the pyramid) as a screen frame?
- A: Yes you can, but it won’t be very effective. The frame is too flimsy—without the rest of the structure—to pull the fabric taught. You’ll have more success using it as a hanging movie screen if you use the holes in the fabric, hook them over wall hangers (the kind you use for hanging kitchen utensils) that are positioned according to the square’s size.
- Q: How much space do you need behind the screen if you want to use the prism?
- A: Because of the dimensions (86.6” x 78.7” x 75.2”) you’ll need a space of 78.7” behind the screen.
Camp Chef OS-144: Large Outside Movie Screen
This outdoor movie projector has a twelve feet diagonal screen and comes along with the bag used to carry the frame and the screen. The outdoor projector screen can be used for both indoor and outdoor purposes. It requires a stand and produces high-quality pictures. It is a heavy duty product and can entertain you for long hours. Apart from that, you will find it easy to assemble the product.
- The huge model of 12 foot long.
- Easy to assemble.
- Versatile—use it indoors or outdoors when watching movies.
- High resolution images thanks to a reflective fabric.
- Tie down lines included for windy days.
- Can use for front or rear projection.
- Use without stand as well.
- 144 HD viewing is impressive.
- Quite heavy at 38lb.
- Metal easily shows wear and tear.
- Not always practical for daily use due to limited reflectiveness.
- Q: How far from the screen should the projector be positioned?
- A: Whether you’re projecting from the rear or the front you need 15ft – 20ft of clearance. Keep in mind that the projector’s lens also determines how far it must be positioned so it may be different for each user.
- Q: Can you use this in different light circumstances?
- A: Yes the screen can work in a variety of situations and because it’s got a black backing it should work in the daytime too. However, always remember that this is partly determined by your projector. If you have a strong enough projector giving enough lumens (such as 3 000 lumens) you can use it in dark or light areas. If you use it indoors, closing curtains will always enhance the effect.
Gemmy 39127-32 Deluxe Inflatable Screen
This is a self- inflatable movie screen, which is inflated by it when you plug in. You will find it easy to carry this particular product. The yard skates, tethers and fans are included in the package, along with the bag which makes it easy to carry. You can get the product at the best price and it produces great quality pictures. It is easy to assemble the outdoor movie projector and it remains stable even if it receives reasonable disturbances. You can watch the TV-shows videos, movies and everything that gives you sheer amount of entertainment when you have this product.
- Stays stable in general wind conditions thanks to tethers.
- Portable and light enough to carry wherever you need it.
- Blower needed at all times which can be disruptive because of the noise.
- Large sized screen (12-foot screen).
- Set up in minutes.
- Requires power so you can’t use it anywhere such as during camping.
- No rear projection.
- Won’t stay in place in rough winds.
- Q: Does the blower bother you during viewing?
- A: This is a top-rated blower so it’s not extremely loud. But remember it must run the entire time you want the screen up and people with sharp hearing may pick up on the sounds. So you simply need exceptional sound so it will be heard above the din of the blower. Ensure high-quality audio by plugging your speakers directly into projectors. You should also place speakers near the screen so they muffle the sound of the fan behind them.
- Q: On what surface can you setup the screen?
- A: Remember you need to tie it down for stability so putting it on grass is best as the anchors should penetrate into the ground. However, if you want to protect the screen from moisture you can place it on the sand, but not gravel or on larger stone. These won’t provide grip and they could damage the screen through friction.
Visual Apex Projecto Screen120 HD Portable Movie Theater
This is one of the top-rated projectors for backyard and outdoor movie theaters and offers and aspect ratio of 16:9. With the single piece frame that you can fold up in a jiffy, there is no need to assemble the frame after all. The detachable legs allow it to be hung from a place and the material fits into the frame quite easily. There are no wrinkles that can ruin the view. The hanging applications and guide wired are there to provide an extra dose of flexibility to the product.
- Versatile as you can hang it or stand it up.
- Quick assembly thanks to one piece design.
- Aluminum frame is hard wearing.
- The design ensures no wrinkles are seen.
- Carry bag provided, making it portable.
- Large 120-inch screen.
- Quite a heavy load at 28lb.
- No rear projection is possible.
- Q: What is the most practical way to fold this so it’s easy to get into the bag?
- A: It’s best to keep folding it as it was folded when you received it. You’ll see the faint wrinkles and take note when you unpack it the first time. You basically fold it in half twice and then repeatedly fold it in 9” sections. Keep one of the cardboard inserts as a reference and to help you fold straight.
- Q: Can you shorten the legs so it will fit in rooms with ceilings 8ft or lower?
- A: Note that the legs aren’t adjustable. However, you can always hang the 144” screen against a wall so you can customize the height. This requires a DIY job with wire and hooks but works well. Because the screen itself is light it’s easy to maneuver.
- Q: Does this screen work with 3D imagery?
- A: 3D viewing doesn’t require a special type of screen. These days you can use almost any background to project on. You simply need the right projector and recorded visuals that are 3D optimized.
Elite Screens Yard Master 2: Big Screen for Outdoors
You will find this projector for outdoor movies customized to perfection. With the 120-inch screen, it is one of the best choices to buy. The product comes with a warranty of two years and the frame is fully tensioned. The snap-button ensures flat projection. There is an aluminum frame that along with four detachable legs. The screen material is resistant to bad weather to some extent. However, you must not expose it to the elements of nature for a long time. it is a light-weight product and easy to carry.
- Excellent tension (no wrinkles) thanks to snap button feature.
- Lightweight so easy to carry to where you need it for outdoor entertainment.
- Up to 3-year warranty available.
- Brand gives excellent customer services, even online web chats.
- Quick assembly; ready in minutes.
- Can leave outside for limited periods without it getting damaged.
- 180° viewing angle caters to a large audience.
- Falls into an expensive price range.
- Sub-par rear projection.
- Fold lines are often still visible even after use.
- Corner buttons tend to come loose easily.
- Q: Can you get rid of the creases made by folding?
- A: Yes you can and in most instances, heat works best. Leaving it in the sun to warm up and ensuring it’s drawn taught should take out the creases. As a last resort simply blow hot air onto the screen with a hair dryer and then pull the screen more taught.
Airblown 39121-32: Great for Backyard
This inflatable movie screen has a good review and comes with all the accessories needed for a hassle-free setup. With the tethers and skates, it inflates itself automatically when you plug it in. The screen, 123 inches by 77 inches, produces high-grade videos and you will like the overall performance of the product. You need not deal with the heavy parts any longer; this projector for outdoor movies is portable and light. This is a good choice to buy, after all.
- Inflates automatically.
- Very light, so extremely portable.
- No rear projection options.
- Q: Is this a widescreen unit?
- A: Yes it’s 16:9 so you can view anything in high quality with no parts of the image going off the screen.
- Q: How long does it take to setup?
- A: You’ll have it ready in under 20minutes, depending on wind conditions.
Safeplus Tripod Projection Screen with Stand
The diagonal measurement of this screen is 100 inches, and you will enjoy the own backyard movie night when you avail this product. The tripod is stable and can stand on three legs quite firmly. It has a manual system for arrangement and you can use it for indoor purposes and office presentations as well. There are black markings on the four borders ad you can customise the contrast and quality of the picture as and when needed. These can be used for classrooms as well, and the surface is washable.
- Black frame enhances viewing through contrast, so can be as clear as watching TV.
- The screen is washable.
- Stand’s height is adjustable.
- 16:9 viewing.
- The stand can easily topple when bumped or if the wind picks up.
- No rear projection.
- Q: Is it always necessary to roll down this screen with stand completely?
- A: To benefit from the black border and 16:9 image ratio it’s vital you use the whole screen for projection.
Airblown Mickey Inflatable Video Screen
This is another good model that has a freestanding capability. It has black borders on all sides and if you have children at home, the Mickey-mouse theme will be ideal for them. You can enjoy the evenings watching movies on the screen. However, it does not come with a projector, and you will get only the screen. It has an aspect ratio of 16:9 and is ideal for occasional parties. It comes from a good brand and you will like the product.
- Ideal for kids themed occasions when you want to show a video.
- Black border creates contrast and increases viewing pleasure.
- Can’t project from the rear on this inflatable movie screen.
- Fan needs to run the entire time it’s in use, which means high power costs.
- Tie downs don’t keep it 100% still if there’s wind.
- Q: Will the sound of the blower bother the viewers?
- A: No, this top-rated device is quiet. Just use decent speaker systems so you know the audio track can clearly be heard.
Open Air Cinema 16-feet Outdoor Home Projector Screen
This has a wide screen that enables you to experience some of the outdoor movies. The product inflates itself in a short time and takes less than 20 seconds to be ready. The diagonal surface measures 220 inches and weighs just 17 pounds. You will find it easy to carry and this option will provide the best returns on your money in terms of quality entertainment. The projection surface is already attached and you need not spend time over that.
- Super fast setup.
- Light in comparison to other units on this review.
- Can cater for up to 1000 people (standing).
- Short blower intake means the fan is close to screen.
- The fan is louder than some other models.
- No rear projection because black at the rear is a permanent fixture.
- Q: How do you clean this screen?
- A: Use water and detergent to wipe it down. It’s essential to let it dry before you pack it away to prevent mould or wrinkles.
- Q: Do the wrinkles disappear if you stored it for a while?
- A: Yes, thanks to the type of fabric used the wrinkles eventually disappear after you set it up and the screen is stretched. Small wrinkles don’t affect the image quality.
Backyard Theater System
When you want to spend the evenings watching movies in the backyard of your house, this portable movie theater is ideal for you. The flat screens are powered by electric and include everything from projectors to speakers. You can even connect it to various devices like I-Phone, I-Pad and so on. You will not need any loud blower for the screen and the product brings you HD-quality movies. It is a high-quality product and takes a few minutes to be assembled.
- Entire entertainment system in one package.
- Setup and break down done in minutes.
- Gear bag included for easy transportation.
- Not practical financially if you already own some of the components.
- Daytime viewing isn’t optimal.
- Q: How far must the projector be from the screen?
- A: You need at least 10ft clearance between the two.
- Q: Is the screen waterproof?
- A: No the screen can get damaged by too much moisture. However humidity and fog shouldn’t be too much of a problem. Note that the projector’s lens may fog up though.
What to Look for When Buying an Outdoor Movie Screen?
Of course, it makes sense to get the biggest screen possible. But think of the repercussions before you commit to it. A large screen will provide clear viewing for everyone, but with small crowds, even a medium-sized screen—such as a 3m—is adequate for optimal enjoyment.
You also need to plan for storage, transport of larger screens and their setup difficulty. The moment you work with large units it can take longer and you may need others’ assistance. It won’t really help if your new entertainment feature takes so long to prepare that it’s too late to start the movie.
Type (Inflatable/Not Inflatable)
When you’re outdoors there are a few more factors to keep in mind before settling on the ideal screen. A portable fixed screen makes sense, but what if the wind picks up? The stands of these portable units aren’t always very sturdy or wind resistant. However, they’ll give you excellent image quality and can be light to carry for quick set up. They’re also compact, making them easy to store.
An inflatable screen is a smart idea because it can’t break. Plan properly because you’ll pick between:
- Constant flow screens where air must be pumped the whole time.
- Sealed screens which make for a silent environment since air is only pumped in once (just prevent your screen from getting a puncture).
This outdoor entertainment gear can be made of various types of screen material. What’s important is whether it allows your preferred projection method (front or back projection).
You also want a dense material, because the picture will be brighter. If you use a flimsy see-through fabric the picture could seem out of focus.
What will be the setup of your movie screening? You must determine whether rear or front projection will be the best.
Rear projection is often practical because there’s no chance of the projector being bumped by the audience or someone creating shadows by walking past the projected light. But the challenge is finding a large enough area where your projector can be far enough from the screen to project a large image.
Also, remember the type of material used in the screen determines which type of projections (front or back) is possible.
Think about what you’ll use your backyard big screen for. A simple accessory such as a carry bag turns it into a portable unit. If it’s a unit that needs to be tied down when there’s wind, research what accessories are provided for this. Then pick the one that requires the least DIY planning on your side. You also want accessories provided for setup so you don’t have to purchase tools additionally.
Screen Color & Gain
White is not the only color you should consider. These days grey and black screens are also available. They provide better images because they absorb more light.
The color also relates to the gain rating. This is an expression of how much light is reflected in comparison to a white (magnesium oxide) screen. Grey screens can have lower gain ratings (such as 0.8) because they reflect less light. Some white screens reflect up to 50% more than a magnesium oxide screen.
It’s not bad to have a high gain rating, but then the brightness will only be seen by those sitting directly in front of the screen. Your ideal viewing area becomes smaller as the gain rating increases. These screens are still ideal for classrooms, but not for entertaining large crowds with a movie in your backyard.