The weather is just right to put up a screen in the backyard and entertain your family and friends with a good flick. The right gadgets will make it fuss-free.
Outdoor movie night has gone high tech and the devices that make the magic happen will also keep the stress at bay. So pop the popcorn, grab the pillows and blankets and snuggle up with the technology to make your movie night shine.
Projectors you can use for outdoor movie nights
The first and possibly most important item is a projector. There is a wide range of price points and quality when it comes to beaming the movie onto the screen.
One of the latest, top-of-the-line offerings is the Nebula Cosmos Laser 4K. It’s a little larger than a toaster and packs a punch with 2,400 lumens, making the picture bright enough to use it in the daytime as well as night. It’s a smart projector, linking easily with Wi-Fi to give you access to more than 7,000 streaming apps.
It took me a total of about five minutes to plug it in and start watching videos on YouTube. You can also connect a phone, tablet or USB drive with Bluetooth and plentiful port options.
The Nebula Cosmos Laser 4K uses a trademarked feature called Intelligent Environment Adaptation to instantly frame your image to the size of the screen or space where you are viewing content.
It also enables autofocus and Keystone Correction, which means you’ll never end up with a screen in the shape of a parallelogram because you didn’t position the projector perfectly or because someone bumped it.
It can project an image from 60 inches to 150 inches and the Dolby audio is exceptional. If you have the $2,199.99 to spend on this projector, it eliminates the need for smart TVs, since its sturdy handle makes it easy to move from room to room to backyard.
At the other end of the spectrum, for a basic, budget projector, you could try out this TMY mini projector for $79.99 with more than 9,000 ratings averaging 4.3 out of 5 stars on Amazon.
It features 1080P HD resolution and manually adjustable focus and Keystone Correction. It comes with a simple 100-inch foldable, washable screen with grommets to mount anywhere you need it, although many reviewers note the picture is only visible when surroundings are fairly dark.
This projector can also connect with your phone or tablet, although you’ll need cables for the TMY. And while this less expensive projector isn’t smart, it has ports to connect the streaming stick of your choice.
Using a Wi-Fi extender for your outdoor movies
If you are planning to position your projector far from the house and the Wi-Fi, you may want to consider using a Wi-Fi extender.
The hi-speed TP-Link RE700X range extender works with pretty much any router. Plug it into an outlet within Wi-Fi range of your router, approximately halfway to the area where you lack coverage.
It can send a strong signal right where you need it for $119.99.
How you can use a portable power bank for outdoor movies
To avoid stringing extension cords across your lawn, you may want to have a portable power station to fuel your projector.
The portable power bank you may be using to charge phones and other small gadgets likely won’t have enough power needed for a projector. These can run several thousand dollars, but a nice $1,399 option is the Anker 757 PowerHouse that comes with a five-year warranty and charges 80% in just one hour.
It has a high-speed USB-C port, six AC ports and 4 USB-A ports to power a lot of electronics at once.
Using a bug zapper to keep bugs away during outdoor movies
And finally, don’t forget to keep your guests comfortable and bite-free. Keep bugs away during your movie night with a zapper if you don’t want to deal with the smell of citronella or the potentially toxic effect of chemicals.
The Black + Decker bug zapper has the appearance of a lantern and uses a dim ultraviolet light to attract pests and a high-voltage electric grid to execute them. It covers an area of up to one acre and is built to withstand the wind and rain it might encounter outdoors.
Make outdoor movie night magic with these devices that can kick everyone’s viewing pleasure up a notch or two.