News center
Let's strategize together to create a beneficial solution.

Transform your yard into an outdoor media room with these picks

Jul 30, 2023

by: Cody Stewart, BestReviews

Posted: May 24, 2023 / 10:59 PM PDT

Updated: May 24, 2023 / 10:59 PM PDT

BestReviews is reader-supported and may earn an affiliate commission. Details

Theaters enhance the movie-watching experience with larger-than-life visuals and booming sound. Many build home theaters so they don't have to leave their houses for an immersive viewing experience. When the weather is nice, you can take your viewing experience outside to simulate a drive-in theater. There are a few special considerations when building an outdoor theater.


The projector is the centerpiece of your outdoor theater, so choosing one that fits your needs is essential. Consider how you’ll get your content. If you want a projector with built-in streaming services or plan to use a streaming stick, you must ensure you get a solid Wi-Fi signal outside. If you don't, you may need to buy a Wi-Fi signal extender.

Outdoor theaters tend to have more room than their indoor counterparts, but you don't want to go overboard on screen size unless it's in your budget. Many projectors claim to project video that measures 100 inches or more from corner to corner. However, you’ll want to pay close attention to their "recommended" screen size, which better indicates their capabilities. For example, if a 4K projector says it can project a 100-inch screen, but the recommended screen size is only 50 inches, you’ll likely only get 4K quality if the size is set to 50 inches or less.

Projector screens also play a role in image quality. High-quality projector screens are thick enough to prevent the projection from bleeding through the back of the screen. If you’re projecting in high-definition, you’ll want a screen with a smooth texture, which prevents the image from deforming. Additionally, it's a good idea to choose a durable-but-lightweight screen that's easy to move from your house to your yard.

Many indoor speakers use your room's walls and acoustics to enhance their sound. Although these speakers outperform a projector's internal speakers when used outside, you may want something designed for outdoor use.

Outdoor speakers are generally designed to project audio to a larger area. These speakers have internal subwoofers rather than the standalone woofers you’ll see with indoor speakers. Outdoor speaker design also differs; they’re usually larger and more durable.

Comfortable outdoor seating is an excellent way to enhance your viewing experience. Low-budget options include picnic blankets, bean bag chairs and air mattresses, although you’ll have to pack them up and take them inside when your movie is done.

Deck chairs and sun loungers often have comfortable cushions and are built to withstand the elements, meaning you can leave them outside.

The trickiest part is figuring out how to power your projector and speakers. Those with outdoor wall outlets can simply plug their devices in with an extension cord. The extension cord's length will play a role in its power capacity, with each foot of the cord decreasing the amount of power it can deliver. You’ll also want to consider the extension cord's amperage, which determines how many amps it can handle.

You can run a long cord into your home if you don't have an outdoor outlet. Alternatively, you can use a portable power station or buy a battery-powered projector.

Sony VW325ES 4K Projector

It features a 4K upscaling feature to enhance non-HD content. It projects vivid colors and has Motionflow technology for smooth visuals. It has a native 4K resolution and a bright projection.

Sold by Amazon

Anker Nebula Mars II Outdoor Projector

This features a compact design and high-quality internal speakers. It has a handle for enhanced portability. It refocuses automatically, giving you a crisp image without toggling its settings.

Sold by Amazon

Elite Screens Yard Master 2

This screen is optimized for 4K projectors and is easy to assemble. It has a durable frame but doesn't stand up to strong winds. It's available in nine sizes, from 58 to 135 inches.

Sold by Amazon

Sewinfla Inflatable Projector Screen

It's made from a durable, easy-to-clean fabric. It comes with a blower and only takes around five minutes to inflate. It's available in five sizes, from 16 to 24 feet.

Sold by Amazon

NetGear Orbi Outdoor Tri-Band Mesh Wi-Fi Extender

This extender can boost your Wi-Fi coverage by up to 2,500 square feet. Its weather-proof design makes it an excellent choice for outdoor theaters. It must be used with an Orbi mesh Wi-Fi system.

Sold by Amazon

NetGear Orbi Tri-band Whole Home Mesh Wi-Fi System

This system covers up to 5,000 square feet, and the tri-band technology ensures it doesn't slow down when multiple devices are connected. It's compatible with the Orbi Outdoor Wi-Fi Extender.

Sold by Amazon

Oppelo Seven-Piece Sectional Seating Group

This comfortable sectional seats up to five people. It comes with a pair of ottomans and a table. It's available in five colors, including slate, ash and navy.

Sold by Wayfair

Want to shop the best products at the best prices? Check out Daily Deals from BestReviews.

Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.

Cody Stewart writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

Copyright 2023 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

IN THIS ARTICLE: String lights: Popcorn maker: Drink cooler: Insect repellant: Trash can or recycling bin: Sold by Sold by Sold by Sold by Sold by Sold by Sold by