The Ultimate Guide to Projector Rentals7 min read

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Projector rentals are handy for a wide range of reasons. In many cases, people only need a projector for a short period, making buying one impractical from a cost perspective.

Luckily, projection screen rentals make projectors accessible to everyone. They can be surprisingly low cost, and you can access the latest technology whenever the need arises. If you’re curious about projector rentals, including what’s involved, how much it can cost, and what a project can do, here’s what you need to know.

What Is the Purpose of a Projector?

hd projector rented to business

A projector is a device that allows you to display images or videos onto large screens. The projector produces light, illuminating the picture or video from behind. When that light hits a screen, the picture becomes visible on that surface.

With a projector, you can view images or videos across surfaces that are much larger than traditional television screens or monitors. It’s ideal if you want to watch a movie with a big group or are putting on a presentation in front of a large audience.

Additionally, projectors are smaller and easier to transport than big-screen televisions. You can even use projectors outdoors, something that may be difficult – if not outright impossible – with a TV.

What Are the Different Types of Projectors?

Generally speaking, there are two main types of projectors: liquid crystal display (LCD) and digital light processing (DLP). LCD provides a good contrast ratio and black levels, and better limits artifact “rainbows,” outperforming DLP in those areas. But DLP outdoes LCD for motion blur and can also outshine it when it comes to convergence if you use the single-chip version. When it comes to brightness, both do well.

However, there are a few alternatives. Liquid crystal on silicon (LCoS) projectors are hybrid devices that use a combination of LCD and DLP technologies. It offers better contrast ratios and black levels but can be a bit lacking when it comes to brightness.

You may also find laser projectors. These don’t rely on lamps like many other projector technologies, providing great brightness and reducing maintenance needs. Plus, they won’t heat up as much as a lamp projector.

How Much Does It Cost to Rent a Projector for a Day?

The price of projector rentals can vary. One of the main factors is the type of project you rent, as more expensive models come with higher rental price tags. For example, a 1080p version usually costs more than a 720p projector, and while LCD or DLP typically cost less than LCoS, all three of those options are cheaper than renting laser projectors in most cases.

Additionally, where you are renting may make a difference. For example, projector rentals in Atlanta might cost less than projector rentals in New York City.

The duration of your rental may also matter. You’ll usually get a lower cost-per-day if you rent for an extended period. However, the total cost will be more for a three-day rental than a one-day rental.

Can You Rent a Movie Projector?

Yes, you can rent a movie projector. Technically, any rental projector that can support video can qualify as a movie projector, at least, in the most basic sense.

Additionally, it is possible to rent movie theater-quality projectors. However, the cost for accessing that level of technology can be high, even if you only need the projector for one day. Still, it may be lower than taking a large group to a theater, which could make the expense worthwhile.

How Many Lumens Do I Need for an Outdoor Projector?

The number of lumens you need depends on a few factors. First, the size of the screen plays a role. Usually, the larger the screen, the further away you have to position the projector. As a result, you’ll need more lumens to ensure the picture shows up properly for bigger screens.

Second, ambient lighting plays a role. If you’re using the projector in a pitch-black space, fewer lumens are necessary as there isn’t any ambient light impacting the image. If you’re using the projector in a brighter space, more lumens are essential to get a bright, colorful picture.

As simple as the formula is, finding the square footage is a little cumbersome. If you start with the diagonal screen size you want, you have to first determine the height and width, multiply the two numbers to get the square inches, and then convert to square feet.

How Do You Show a Movie Outdoors?

outdoor projector screen with movie projecting on it

If you want to show a movie outdoors, you’ll need a projector and a screen. Exactly which one you’ll need will depend on the ambient light, the desired resolution and overall picture quality, and the screen size.

For the screen, you can either purchase an outdoor movie screen or use something else to create a flat, clean, white surface. For example, a white sheet can actually work if it is suitably thick and properly secured to a wall, fence, or stand.

Typically, you’ll also need an extension cord and an outlet. Find an extension cord that’s designed for outdoor use.

You may require a small adjustable table, as well. This allows you to position the projector at the proper height, ensuring the image hits the screen properly.

In some cases, you may also want external speakers. While many projectors have built-in speakers, the sound quality isn’t always ideal.

Finally, you’ll need a media device that’s compatible with the projector. Different projectors support different technologies, so make sure you choose a projector that works with the media device you intend to use.

Can You Use a Projector to Watch Netflix?

Yes, many rental projectors do make it possible to watch Netflix. You simply need to choose a projector that is compatible with a media device that can run Netflix. For example, a Wi-Fi or Bluetooth enabled projector can connect to certain streaming devices, allowing you to use the projector in place of a traditional screen.

Can a Projector be Used Outside During the Day?

While most projectors work best when it’s darker, some can work well during the day. You’ll need a projector with a high lumen count and higher brightness. Additionally, if you position the projector screen in a shadier spot, you’ll have more success.

What Are the Disadvantages of a Projector?

The biggest drawback of projectors is that they don’t work well in brightly light spaces. This can include a well-lit room or a sunny day if you’re using it outside.

Additionally, the built-in speakers can leave a bit to be desired in many cases. As a result, you might need to invest in external speakers for better sound quality.

It’s also important to note that, if you buy a projector, they do require maintenance. For example, lamp-based projectors may need replacement bulbs, but that may not be all you’ll need to handle over the life of a projector. Generally, any maintenance requirements will be outlined in the owner’s manual. However, if you’re renting and not buying, this usually isn’t a concern.

Finally, high-quality projectors can be costly. However, if you only want one for a short period and are looking at projector and projection screen rentals instead of purchasing your own, it can be reasonably affordable.

How Long Will a Projector Last?

small projector turned on

Projectors can have incredibly long lifespans. As long as you care for them correctly and do any maintenance that the manufacturer recommends, you can get thousands of viewing hours out of a projector.

Older technology projectors may last for 1,000, 2,000, or more viewing hours with proper maintenance. Some devices that use newer technology can have lifespans of 20,000 hours or more.

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