Part 3 of our 4 Part series on our at-home drive-in theatre is coming at you. If you want to see Part 1 on the Blu-ray Player Click Here or Part 2 on the Speaker System Click Here . Today, the projector is what I will be talking to you about, because lets admit it, without the projector, you don’t really have an outdoor theater do you?
ViewSonic PJD5134 SVGA DLP Projector, 3000 Lumens,3D Blu-Ray w/HDMI, 120Hz
We went with the ViewSonic because after doing a little research (as I know nothing about projectors) I found that to get a decent picture you want over 2800 Lumens. Lumens are basically how bright the picture is going to be. So in other words the lower the lumens the, darker the room (or outdoors) needs to be to be able to see a decent picture. Also, to go with the 3D Sony Blu-ray player from Part 1 we wanted it to be able to project 3D images if we ever decide to go that route. It also has a plethora of different ways to plug into the back so you can plug in everything from your HDMI blu-ray player to a PC. It really is the workhorse of the setup.
The ViewSonic Projector is the workhorse of our setup and it really is a great little unit. It is big, but lightweight and easy to move around which is key for us as we pack it up and put it in the closet after every use. The ViewSonic projector is very bright with 3000 Lumens and a 15,000:1 contrast ratio (according to Amazon). You want Lumens over 2800 so that you can watch when it isn’t completely dark. This means we don’t have to wait until 10:00pm to watch a movie during the summer. We usually start just when it is getting to be dusk and you can see the movie pretty good as long as it isn’t too dark of a movie. It doesn’t have a filter like most higher-end projectors so it doesn’t need any real maintenance. The light bulb should last about 10,000 hours, which is good because those things are pricey at about $120 a piece. It has a built in speaker, but to be honest with you, it sucks. You are going to need an external speaker to get the sound you need.
It does have a couple of cool features that come in handy for us. It has automatic source detection so you don’t have to flip through sources to figure out which source your equipment is plugged into. It does it all for you automatically. It also has something they call Vertical Keynote Correction. It is a fancy way to say that you can adjust the image so that it is skinnier at the top or bottom. This is good for us as our lawn is anything but flat and the projector is not always level with the screen. Normally it would make a trapezoid on the screen. But you push the button on the projector or the remote and it makes small adjustments so you can make it a rectangle again.
Although it isn’t important to us, it may be to you and many projectors just allow you to projector your image one way. This one however, you can do it on a table (like us) or hang it from a ceiling and project straight on. However, if you have a way (and a screen that allows) you can also project from behind the screen with either a table or ceiling setup that way too. Pretty cool if you ask me.
One thing I really don’t like, is that the remote is pretty much useless when you are watching a movie. You have to be in front of the projector to use it, and with our set up, we are not in front of the projector so it is pretty much useless as I have to get up and in front of it to do any adjustments.
Also, like I said, it is 3D blu-ray player ready, so when we are ready to get the glasses and a 3D movie we will be able to watch it on this setup. I can’t wait for that and will update you on the experience once I do.
+ Easy set-up
+ Decent Price at $350 for a 3000 Lumens Projector
+ Good Picture at 120 Inches.
– Horrible Sound. Need external Speakers
– Remote doesn’t work behind projector, Need to be in front for it to work.
Great Projector. Add it to your Utility Belt as you will want anything else. It has everything you need from being bright enough for use outdoors before dark to having HDMI and 3D capability. It is light and easy to move around so setup is a snap.