Recently an opportunity arose to review an outdoor home theater projector. At first, I was reluctant to do a review thinking the cost of the projector alone would be a budget buster for many households. Last time I looked those puppies were expensive if you wanted a good picture.
I was promptly educated to the fact that that was no longer the case and hadn’t been for some time. That outdoor mini-projectors served a different purpose than indoor projectors that had to work in varied light conditions.
I did a little research and found out that was true. Projectors with good reviews were selling in the $65 to $70 (US) range. Amazon was packed with them. Some even seem to be almost clones of others.
One brand kept coming up during my search. A brand I’d never heard of which that didn’t exactly fill me with confidence but in today’s electronics industry that is nothing new as there are so many players in that market.
The mini-projector I chose was the Poyank 2000 Lumens Mini Slide Projector*. Yes, a slide projector. But don’t let that fool you. You can find them over at Amazon for around $69.99 with free Prime shipping as of this writing.
I came to this projector in an unusual fashion. Generally, I rely on the reviews and questions at Amazon for more information but this one had zero reviews and yet it was the No. 1 Best Seller in projects.
Normally I would move on to one with reviews, but this intrigued me. Was everyone that purchased one so busy watching they had no time to post a review?
An Amazon Firestick was used for a streaming device. The size of the picture depends on the distance between projector and screen.
There were 64 answered questions. I devoured those like water to a thirsty man and found out enough to know I wanted to try this one for the review.
After pulling this rather plain looking device from its box, I just set the source to HDMI and let an Amazon Firestick take care of the business end. Apparently, this thing can do pictures too, but I never delved into that. It has several sources including HDMI and USB.
A word of warning to the spec hunters… native resolution is only 480p BUT… it can go up to 1080p depending on the device driving it. With the Firestick I would have never known about the 480p resolution and to-date I have not used anything that went less than 1080. Always got a good picture but more on that later.
The speaker is weak, and I had the no-Wi-Fi version, so I attached a Bluetooth transmitter to the outgoing headphone port which I then paired to an external speaker.
This is a must.
I used a TaoTronics 65ft Bluetooth transmitter. Worked great for my purpose as I was able to place a remote speaker in our sitting area. For that, I used an HP Mini 300 that I already had which is a great little speaker.
Now… let’s talk picture and picture quality. I suppose if you are one of those that requires 4K and the utmost in resolution you will be bit disappointed. For my purposes, it was a great picture with pleasing quality for a projector on a cloth.
It was almost like being at a drive-in theater for those of us that can remember that little bit of nostalgia. Only… it was better. It was the backyard. Instant access to bathroom and snacks. As you age this becomes more important (especially the bathroom part).
The projected picture was clear enough to watch through mosquito netting!
We also need to establish the fact it does have to be dark outside for the projected image to be visible. I tested it early one morning in a highly shaded area and couldn’t see anything. In that regard, it’s a limited use projector depending on darkness.
As to the screen, inflatables seemed to be too much hassle so I chose the cloth hanging screen made by Owlenz. This white screen is 120 inches wide in 16:9 and is anti-crease. More importantly, it’s super easy to handle and fold. That was a concern of mine as the thing is huge but being a weighted material, it is a snap to fold up and put back in its original bag.
That is a big plus right there.
Basically, a $150 order from Amazon transformed my backyard into an almost magical place of entertainment. I’m sure the new will wear off but watching movies on a big screen never really gets old to me. It takes less than 5 minutes to hang the screen and set up the projector.
As long as the bugs are at bay and the wind is not howling, you’ll find me out on the back deck watching Batman and Superman beat the living crap out of somebody or something and loving every minute of it.
So far, the Poyank has a big thumbs up from me for price and ease of use. In fact, I’ve already recommended it to a family member which I rarely do. Another big plus is I’ve had no buyer’s remorse with this sensibly priced product.
I should have got one a lot sooner.
*PLEASE NOTE: The links provided to the products at Amazon are not affiliate links nor are we associated with the sale of this product in any manner. These links are provided as a matter of convenience and are not endorsed by Renderosity, Renderosity Magazine or the author.
M.D. McCallum, aka WarLord is an international award-winning commercial graphics artist, 3D animator, published author, project director, and webmaster with a freelance career that spans over 20 years. Now retired, M.D. is currently working part-time on writing and select character development projects. You can learn more about MD on his website.