How to choose a Projector for your Inflatable Screen in 2023

When you buy an outdoor movie system it can serve you for years to come because all of the components are upgradable.

The science behind the projection surface has not moved forward since the early 20th century. But the projectors are developing each year.

Ten years ago, a 720p projector was considered to be a high-resolution one. 3,000 lumens was recognized as a bright projector. And a laser light source was at an early stage of development.

Nowadays 1080p at 4,000 laser lumens is a gold standard. In another ten years, you won't have to upgrade your entire outdoor movie system. You will have a possibility to just upgrade the projector with an 8K ultra bright projector model that will be current at that point.

So what do we expect from a projector for an outdoor movie theater in 2023?

Most content you will use is still 16:9 aspect ratio. So this is what you will want your native projector aspect ratio to be.

In the past couple of years, 4K resolution projectors became more affordable. But for now it is still considered to be a special feature, meaning you can stick with 1080p and get more lumens, at the same price. Conclusion: in 2023, it's still 1080p resolution for your outdoor movie projector.

Optoma 4K Presentation
These days, it's easy to recommend a laser light source over a regular bulb. Laser lumens look brighter, power consumption is a lot lower and you will have to replace your laser light source 5 times less frequently (5,000 hours bulb/25,000 hours laser).

Extra projector features became more affordable in 2023.

Lens shift, wide angle, long-throw, more interfaces -- all of this now cost less than, say, five years ago.
Optoma Projector Features
Typically, outdoor movie screens are larger than an interior projection ones. When choosing a projector pay attention to the maximum projected image size. Especially if you are looking for an ultra-short throw or short throw solutions. For example, there is no ultra-short throw projector on the market that can handle more than 150'' screen (diagonal). Major projector manufacturers such as Panasonic, Epson, Optoma, Canon don't advertise that their products work outside. Thanks to our 20+ years of outdoor movie experience, we know that some projector brands are less fragile compared to others. For Open Air Cinema complete movie systems, our choice is Optoma. We have seen several outdoor movie setups working with Panasonic projectors.

To sum up all of the above, in 2023 you will want a Full HD (1080p) projector, about 4,000 lumens bright, with a laser light source and several software bells and whistles, such as four-corner image correction and/or built-in Chromecast. We like discussing the best projector choices for your outdoor movie system so don't hesitate to get in touch for a professional consultation.

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