Originally Posted by osiris13
I am trying to set up an outdoor theater with a ~150" wide image. Assuming that the movie watching will be happening after sunset, what kind of lumens should I be looking for in the projector? There is still going to be some ambient light, this is for neighborhood events in an outdoor space. Do I need to be looking at high gain screens? Our budget is around $5k, but if that won't get me a decent picture than I may be able to expand it.
You will probably be limited on possible screens for use in your outdoor setup so I would assume a screen gain of near 1.0. A projector with 1500 lumens (actual lumens and not an manufacturer's claimed lumens) would give you about 15 ft. lamberts of image brightness off of a 150" wide, gain=1.0 screen. This would be adequate as long as the ambient lights are kept low. Of the current popular projectors that can reach this level, the Epson 5100 and BenQ W7000 come to mind (both under $3,000). Also if you do find a higher gain screen that would also be useful. Both of these projectors can provide a reasonably accurate picture (in terms of color temperature, grey scale, etc) with those kind of lumens of output and they have a lens shift and zoom that offers placement flexibility for the projector location. While the high lumens output mode on these projectors may not be their most accurate picture mode, it should be just fine for a neighborhood movie night. You may want to check out the reviews of these projectors at: projectorreviews.com