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Hey guys, need a recommendation. Were looking to spend more time outside this fall as we built a new patio and firepit. I think I have figured out where we will be projecting the image. The distance will be about 12 feet. The area where the screen will be is always in the shade, but we will be watching during late daylight hours in some instances. My budget for the projector is around $400-$800.

Eventually we might watch movies out there but sports will be the primary concern. Dont need a million inputs as one hdmi should cover it. A 3.5mm jack out will cover my audio needs. Input will be from a comcast dogital converter box and a 75 ft hdmi cable.

Quite frankly I am overwhelmed looking at all of the different models out there and searching the forums everything about football related projectors is years old. What do you guys think?

Thanks in advance!
 

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Do you have any prior experience with front projection? Have you ever seen front projection outdoors in daytime? Even in the shade it's very bright outdoors in daylight compared to the typical home theater. If you were watching exclusively after sunset there are some sub-$800 projectors that would work for outdoor viewing with a fairly large screen. But front projection and sunlight are mortal enemies, and sunlight usually wins. With a budget of $400-$800 you are limited to not much more than 3,000 lumens, which would adequately illuminate a very small screen in daylight. The larger the front projection screen the dimmer the image gets. In your price range you could buy a cheap 60" LCD TV that would produce a more watchable image outdoors in daylight than any sub-$800 projector.
 

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So..

Are there projectors a little bit more than my budget that would suffice in late afternoon light? It is my backyard and the sun is on the front of the house and then it sets behind my deck, other houses, and trees, so the area is always pretty shaded. How many lumens are needed in that kind of situation?
 

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I've considered outdoor projection on a covered porch but I think it's important to be realistic. It would only be for Sunday / Monday night NFL games or college games starting after 7pm and image quality would not be my primary goal.
 

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Are there projectors a little bit more than my budget that would suffice in late afternoon light? It is my backyard and the sun is on the front of the house and then it sets behind my deck, other houses, and trees, so the area is always pretty shaded. How many lumens are needed in that kind of situation?
Projector cost goes up exponentially with brightness above about 3,000 lumens. You can get a 3,000 lumen projector for about $600, but a 4,000 lumen projector that's only 33% brighter is more than twice as expensive. Exactly how much larger a screen than a 60" LCD TV are you imagining you can properly illumninate in your lighting conditions?

You really need to see front projection with your own eyes. Do you know anyone who owns a projector? Can you get them to take it outside in the shade in the daytime to see what image it will throw? If you have zero front projection experience you are living in hypothetical world. Where did you even get the idea that outdoor front projection in daytime shade is doable? We really need to establish a baseline here to have an intelligent conversation. :)
 

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As long as you don't expect much while the sun is out, I would go with a projector if you really plan on it being used right at nightfall. Bud16415 will tell you to get a VeiwSonic PJD5555W which is rated up to 3300 lumens. https://www.amazon.com/ViewSonic-PJD5555W-WXGA-Projector-Lumens/dp/B00RPJON8E/ref=sr_1_6?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1471836688&sr=1-6&keywords=viewsonic+projector It is around a 720p projector. For best results, probably an hour or so before it is completely dark.

For after dusk/dark and stepping up to 1080p go with either the BenQ HT2050 ($799) or Epson HC2040 ($649).

Light is your enemy.

Thumb: Basement with 7 hundred watt lamps, 1 hundred watt lamp and no lights on. (image size 151.5 and output around 600 to 800 lumens)
 

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If we're going to get into specific projector recommendations without knowing all the conditions and expectations, I'd recommend the Epson 1040. It's a 1080p (better than 720p) model designed specifically as a bright room projector and will produce an honest 3,000 white lumens and color lumens. None of the projectors mentioned in the post above will do all of that. It can be found on sale new for as little as $600, and for less than $500 as a factory refurb direct from Epson. Replacement lamps are just $79 direct from Epson compared with more than $200 for most other projectors. It will work for your conditions better than any other projector I can think of in that price range. The only issue will be exactly how large a screen it can illuminate in your particular conditions to your satisfaction. You are the only person on planet earth who can determine that. Any advice you get from anyone here, including me, is irrelevant to your expectations and what your eyes will see under your lighting conditions. There's no way any of us can know all of that.
 

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I was only offering a cheap solution with the ViewSonic PJD5555w which is currently $429 but occasionally drops to $350ish. The ViewSonic comes with a three year warranty and replacement lamps run around $250.

http://www.projectorcentral.com/viewsonic-pjd5555w-projector-review.htm?page=Performance
"Our test sample measured 3038 lumens in its brightest pre-programmed color mode, conveniently called "Brightest." So it is pretty much on target with its rating of 3200 lumens. Other color modes include Dynamic (2850 lumens), Standard (about 2500 lumens), and Viewmatch and Movie (about 2400 lumens each)."

And as I stated in my post the BenQ HT2050 and Epson HC2040 are for dusk/dark use.

I am a Epson fan all the way for cheap lamps, but for night time viewing the HC2040 and "smooth motion/CFI" will offer a better overall picture for sports. http://www.projectorreviews.com/compared-three-affordable-epson-living-room-home-projectors-home-cinema-740-1040-2040-summary/
 

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I think I have figured out where we will be projecting the image. The distance will be about 12 feet. The area where the screen will be is always in the shade, but we will be watching during late daylight hours in some instances. My budget for the projector is around $400-$800.

Eventually we might watch movies out there but sports will be the primary concern. Dont need a million inputs as one hdmi should cover it. A 3.5mm jack out will cover my audio needs. Input will be from a comcast dogital converter box and a 75 ft hdmi cable.
OK, there are a couple of issues. Being outdoors before dark is one. A 75ft HDMI connection is another. The distance of 12 feet is also unclear -- is that the distance from projector to screen, or the distance of seats from screen ? What screen size were you hoping for ?

1) Outdoors: you may want to consider an "ambient light rejecting screen". You have not mentioned a budget for the screen, so we don't know if you already have one or are planing to buy or make one. If you are handy with tools, an ambient light rejecting screen can be built for under $200 in sizes up to 150" diagonal. Less if you intend to simply paint an existing wall. Check out these videos to see what ambient light rejection is all about:
compare from the 1:30 mark what a dark room looks like compared to later images with curtains drawn and sunlight pouring in.

2) HDMI cable length. Long HDMI cables can drop the connection or simply never sync in the first place. You would be much better off with a long coax cable to the cable box and a short HDMI cable to the projector.

3) If people are sitting 12' from the screen and you want them to be wowed, you'll need an image at least 135" and a projector with a minimum 3000 lumens. The Viewsonic PJD7820HD is full 1080P and has actually been measured at 3700 lumens http://www.projectorreviews.com/viewsonic/viewsonic-pjd7820-projector-performance/ and there is someone on ebay selling 30 of them used for $395. http://www.ebay.com/itm/ViewSonic-DLP-Projector-3000-Lumens-1080p/322231580350?_trksid=p2141725.c100338.m3726&_trkparms=aid=222007&algo=SIC.MBE&ao=1&asc=20150313114020&meid=9dba90cff76f429b885337357745dc44&pid=100338&rk=1&rkt=6&sd=231992282594
 

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I won’t comment on projectors as know one knows what the OP is trying to do in terms of daylight.

What I will comment on is the human eye and how it works and why eyes make a horrible light meter.

Most newcomers judge light level by how bright an area look to their eyes. Your eyes have an iris and the range of brightness the eye can adjust to by closing the iris is measured in terms of f-stops. The human eye adjusts about 22 f-stops full open iris would be outside on a moonless night and our eyes iris would be wide open. Each f-stop is a doubling of the previous one. Example start at 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128 …. 22 times as bright. Noon day sun is the end point on a bright day when we feel the need to squint. It is not just a lot brighter it is massively brighter. As an example if I take a light meter and stand in my bright kitchen and take a reading that I can comfortably read the paper by and then step out on my deck that is partly shaded and it seems to be just a little brighter and I can also read the paper my light meter will read perhaps 10 times the brightness. The reason they both looked close in brightness is my eyes closed 4 or 5 f-stops. Most people cant even tell one f-stop change in brightness has happened and it is a doubling of the intensity of the light.

Projectors have to overpower whatever light is in the room and cheap projectors don’t adjust the brightness as the light level in the location goes up. And some have brightness modes as Steve pointed out but maybe a range of a couple f-stops in terms of doubling nothing like what you will be trying to fight going outside.

The only way to tell for yourself is find someone with a business projector and plug it in and project to a bed sheet where you might like to do your football showing around the time you want to do it. Or buy a bright $500 projector and try it out.
 
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