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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am building my first outdoor theater and I need some help choosing my projector. I do not have a large budget and I do not mind buying used or a reburb. I have budgeted 400 for the projector.
 

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Do you know what size screen you'll be throwing the picture onto? That will be a big factor in how bright the projector needs to be.

I picked up a refurbished BenQ W1080ST for $840 on Amazon. It does a great job with a 12' diagonal picture.

The Epson Vs330 is plenty bright enough. The only downside is it's not HD, so the image won't be as sharp. You'll notice the low resolution picture at any size, but it will look much worse the larger it gets.
 

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I have the same question. I was thinking about getting the Gemmy Airblown 39121X 12 ft screen and the ViewSonic PJD5155. It would be used for a few movies a year so doesn't have to be great.

What do you think? Will this fit the bill?
 

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I have the ViewSonic PJD5134 and it is a great projector for the price. Here is a picture of it in action over my 70 inch TV in the family room on an off white wall.

 

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Thanks for the fast reply. Do you think the projector would work outside?
Others have used them outside according to the Amazon reviews for the PJD projectors. I use mine for Halloween to project ghosts on a screen but haven't put it outside because ot the monsters....I mean kids.
 

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It's like saying "Do you think this toaster will work outside?"

Kind of a ridiculous question.

Projectors work outside exactly like they work inside.

They work well up to a size which is determined by the amount of ambient light you are dealing with and the size of the image. Some projectors are brighter, some are dimmer, some get that brightness at the expense of contrast and color and motion handling. Since color and contrast are considered the most important things, having a green image that is really bright with weak colors probably isn't your favorite option.

So, things required:

What screen size are you hoping to achieve?
Do you want high definition?
What is the seating distance going to be?
How many will be watching?
When do you plan to use it (after dark only, or from sunset on)?
Any desire for 3D or do you not care at all?
How do you plan to deal with audio?

At $400, that's not much budget, so don't plan on HD. You will get a decent list of 2x color wheel DLP projector with a complete lie for actual brightness and serious RBE issues. You may find a fair list of low contrast LCD projectors as well. They will all be fun, but have some real issues.

At about $600 is where entry level home theater quality front projection begins at the entry level price point. That's where I would be looking if you can swing it.
 

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Just remember some of these guys do installs for a living.


I took your question to mean will it be bright enough and look good. The answer is yes. Is the pj perfect? No, someone watching might see rainbows. Is the pj 1080p? No, far from it but you still get a great image. I looked at the screen you picked and to be honest it wouldn't be my choice but it let me know what you were going for. A simple projector for summer nights outside with kids/family. This pj will fit the bill. Should you pay more starting out, maybe, but just look at the reviews on Amazon for the PJD5134 and the new version 5155 you are looking at. Many people love the pj.


A car might be great for city driving but asking how it will do on highways or long trips is not a ridiculous question.


Have fun with it. I do.
 

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Ouch, just remember some of these guys do installs for a living. Some have good "bedside" manners and others, not so much.


I took your question to mean will it be bright enough and look good. The answer is yes. Is the pj perfect? No, someone watching might see rainbows. Is the pj 1080p? No, far from it but you still get a great image. I looked at the screen you picked and to be honest it wouldn't be my choice but it let me know what you were going for. A simple projector for summer nights outside with kids/family. This pj will fit the bill. Should you pay more starting out, maybe, but just look at the reviews on Amazon for the PJD5134 and the new version 5155 you are looking at. Many people love the pj.


A car might be great for city driving but asking how it will do on highways or long trips is not a ridiculous question.


Have fun with it. I do.
After reading some more review I decide to wait a month so I could get a Optoma HD141x and a 120 Elite Screen Yard master. I extremely happy that I waited and got the HD141x the picture on it is awesome. The Yard Master is super easy to setup.
 
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