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Topic: Help Me Choose an Outdoor Projector
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Joined: Jul 5, 2020
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We just finished remodeling our back yard, and would like to get an outdoor projector. We are hoping to place it on the deck and project it onto the detached garage, where we would hang a screen. Based on that, the selection criteria we have are:
- Projection placed ~30 feet from screen, with a maximum screen size at this location of 169 inches (diagonal)
- Hoping for rather versatile connection options: HDMI, DVI, WiFi, USB
- Probably need at least 3500 lumens to project at dusk or dark (screen will be facing East)

We're not looking for 4k image quality or the fanciest new features, and are hoping to stick to the entry level end of the budget spectrum. The main requirements here are the throw distance and the screen size.

Thank you for your help - looking forward to making this purchase!
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Your throw distance is far too long for typical projectors to be able to handle properly. As well, your lumen requirements are very high for an 'entry level' budget with any real world expectations of that light output with placement flexiblity.

ALSO: Ethernet is not a 'connection standard', nor is 'USB'. Those are data transport standards, but you need a decoder to convert from USB or connect to a network share, then decode the video and audio for playback. This is achieved, with much higher reliability from a product like a Roku, AppleTV, or even a laptop. So, don't expect much out of a projector for that functionality.

Kind of like good audio. Projectors have weak audio, at best.

One of the most highly recommended models is the Epson 1060 for this type of use. It's 3100 real world lumens is plenty for a 169" diagonal at around dusk. But, the throw distance is locked in at 12.5' to 15' lens to screen.
https://www.projectorcentral.com/Epson-Home_Cinema_1060-projection-calculator-pro.htm

At $400 refurb, it's a great deal...
https://epson.com/Clearance-Center/Home-Entertainment/Home-Cinema-1060-1080p-3LCD-Projector---Refurbished/p/V11H849020-N

For far more placement flexibility, the Epson 3700 is a great option...
https://epson.com/Clearance-Center/Home-Entertainment/Home-Cinema-3700-Full-HD-1080p-3LCD-Projector---Refurbished/p/V11H799020-N

It can actually be placed as far away as 26'8" from a 169" diagonal screen...
https://www.projectorcentral.com/Epson-PowerLite_Home_Cinema_3700-projection-calculator-pro.htm

To actually get 30' away, you need to go to a projector which has interchangeable lenses, which gets really pricey.

OR - The Epson 5040, refurbished, which is a great deal for the money and has the lens to get you to 169" from 30' away. It can actually do a 169" diagonal from 16'7" to 34'11".
https://www.projectorcentral.com/Epson-Home_Cinema_5040UB-projection-calculator-pro.htm

It comes and goes from Epson's refurb website and ends up at about $1,100-$1,200 depending on the variant they have.
https://epson.com/Clearance-Center/Home-Entertainment/c/cc301
AV Integrated - Theater, whole house audio, and technology consultation during the build and installation process in the Washington, DC metropolitan area.
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Thank you for the quick education. I had a feeling it was going to be more expensive than I wanted to meet those requirements, so we're going to make things work at a shorter projection distance. Based on the usage we're expecting, it just doesn't make sense to spring for the lenses that will work at greater distances. The Epson 1080 seems like a great machine for the money, so we've ordered that.

Thank you for your help. It's much appreciated!