In this blog post about multi-room systems and the creation of individual playlists, we showed you how to get music into your home across all rooms. Today, we will show all movie lovers how to bring the cinema to their home for about 100 dollars – to all rooms and, if desired, even in the garden or on the balcony. With the small and handy mini beamers (also called pocket beamers or pico beamers), you can set up your own cinema wherever you want.
Mini Beamer vs. Business Beamer
One note right up front: Mini projectors are inferior in quality to their big brother, the business or home theater projectors, and demanding home cinema fans should keep their hands off mini projectors. While home theater beamers deliver images in Full HD and 4K, mini beamers usually don’t offer that video quality. You often have to make do with 800 x 480 pixels. However, some models deliver HD quality with resolutions of 1920 x 1080 pixels as well.
On the other hand, mini projectors are much cheaper, smaller and more compact, which makes them extremely flexible. You can simply take them with you wherever you go and do not have to install anything on the ceiling. Depending on your mood, you can enjoy home cinema in the living room or the bedroom – or even when camping! Portability is the main advantage of mini beamers.
The Criteria for Choosing a Mini Beamer
As already mentioned, the strength of mini-beamers lies in their mobility. They are quick and easy to set up, run on battery power and are also very uncomplicated to operate. You can easily transport the mini projector to the place of your choice. Below are a few criteria you should look for when buying a mini projector.
Connection Ports for Mini Projectors
Ports for USB sticks, SD or micro SD cards are essential if you really want to use your device in a fully mobile and flexible way. Just drag and drop the movie onto the thumb drive, hard drive, or card, and then watch it with the help of your projector.
HDMI and VGA are also helpful for connecting a PC or DVD player, for example, as well as an audio output. This is because the sound quality of the projector’s built-in speakers is usually more of a stopgap and external speakers are highly recommended. For example, you could run the sound via the speakers of your multi-room system.
In small apartments or narrow balconies in particular, you should make sure that the projector produces a sharp image on the screen even at a short distance. Many mini projectors create a sharp image at a distance of about 1 meter. However, you then have a diagonal of only 80 cm. To get an image diagonal of 2 to 3 meters, the distance should be about 3 meters.
Mini Projector Battery Time
Sports fans beware: Not every fully charged mini-projector battery lasts 2.5 to 4 hours for a soccer match, including pre-reporting, overtime and 11-meter penalties. However, all models are sufficient for a feature film.
Noise from Mini Beamers
Since the lamps used in a projector generate heat, they must be cooled by a fan. The resulting noise level should not exceed 40 decibels. With some beamers, however, you also have the option of running the lamp with less power in Eco mode (economy mode). This makes the image a bit weaker, but the beamer’s noise is then reduced to below 30 decibels. A good option for movie nights in darkened rooms.
Mini Beamer Brightness
In darkened rooms, the question of the projector’s brightness does not usually arise – even in Eco mode. But as soon as sunlight hits the screen, or the movie or soccer evening takes place outdoors, the unit “lumen” becomes an important core parameter.
- Up to 250 lumens per square meter: good image only if the room is darkened.
- Up to 500 lumens per square meter: good image even if the room is not “perfectly” darkened
- 500 lumens per square meter and more: good image even outdoors and in direct sunlight
Are you interested? Then here are three recommended mini beamers that have performed well in several tests and are priced around 100 dollars:
- QKK Mini Beamer
- VANKYO Leisure 430 Mini Beamer
- GooDee YG501 Mini Beamer
These models have also received numerous and consistently very good reviews on Amazon.
Helpful Software for Mini Beamers
Of course, in addition to movie nights, you can also use the mini projectors to watch slides or videos you’ve made yourself. We recommend two software programs for this purpose:
Videomizer – perfect cinema even with self-made videos
If you want to bring your own movies to the big screen via the projector, then use Videomizer. The tool stabilizes and converts your videos, and compensates for vibrations that occurred during recording. Best of all, we’ll give you Videomizer free of charge.
Photomizer 3 Premium – for optimizing your images and for the perfect slide evening
Of course, you can use mini-projectors not only to organize movie nights but also slide nights. To optimize your images and perfectly prepare your photo show, we recommend Photomizer 3 Premium.