My spouse is enamored with the concept of out of doors film nights.
You’ve most likely seen them in commercials or TV exhibits, the place persons are sitting on blankets or garden chairs watching a film projected on a sheet within the again yard or on a tenting journey.
Appears nice, proper?
I agree, however once I see these out of doors film night time scenes, all I can consider is, “That’s loads of tools to carry out to the yard” — together with a projector, a laptop computer, a solution to energy the projector and audio system for first rate sound.
I assume I’m not as romantic as my spouse.
This week, I’m reviewing a projector that will make out of doors film nights quite a bit simpler.
One small package deal
The EZCast Beam J4a transportable projector ($242.99, amazon.com) is sufficiently small to slot in your hand, however don’t let that idiot you. It will probably throw a 100-inch diagonal picture on a sheet, transportable display and even the aspect of the storage.
The J4a can run from an AC twine, but it surely additionally has a built-in rechargeable battery that may run for as much as 4 hours.
It has a built-in speaker, however as you may guess, the speaker isn’t all that huge and also you’ll most likely wish to search for higher choices. Fortunately, EZCast provides you a couple of choices for bettering the audio.
The projector has a 3.5-millimeter headphone jack on the again, so you’ll be able to join a set of pc audio system, and it additionally has Bluetooth, so you’ll be able to join it wirelessly to a Bluetooth speaker.
The projector makes use of DLP know-how from Texas Devices, and the image is vibrant and clear, but it surely seems to be higher in a darkened room or outside at night time. The lamp has a brightness of 300 lumens.
It doesn’t output HD video. The output decision is 854 by 480 pixels, which is normal definition (suppose common DVD, not Blu-ray). It seems to be simply tremendous for yard film night time, however I don’t suppose you’d need a projector of this measurement or decision to switch the TV or projector in your front room.
Getting it arrange
When you unbox the J4a, the primary order of enterprise is to put in the wi-fi dongle, which comes packed individually. There’s a recessed USB port on the again of the projector that’s designed to obtain the wi-fi dongle, which resembles a small flash drive. As soon as the dongle is in place, it sits flush with the again, and there isn’t a straightforward solution to take away it (not that you just’d wish to take away it).
I’m undecided why the dongle isn’t put in on the manufacturing facility or why Wi-Fi isn’t simply built-in, however the set up took about three seconds.
When you energy on the projector, you’ll be able to enter the settings and arrange the Wi-Fi connection.
There are buttons on the highest of the projector that help you navigate across the display and enter textual content for logins and passwords.
There may be additionally a really slick distant management that wants two AAA batteries (not included) that enables for simpler display navigation.
The distant makes use of Bluetooth and should be paired to the projector earlier than use. As soon as paired, if you find yourself utilizing the distant, a pointer exhibits up on the projector display and you’ll transfer the pointer by waving the distant within the air. It’s fairly slick.
The projector has auto vertical keystone correction, which mechanically adjusts the perimeters of the picture when the projector is angled upward. The adjustment occurs solely when wanted.
The J4a provides you many methods to undertaking your video content material.
It has built-in Wi-Fi and it has a processor operating the Android 10 working system.
This implies the projector can hook up with a Wi-Fi community or hotspot mode in your cellphone to stream video from the web.
It’s wonderful to suppose this small projector can sit in the midst of your yard and stream Netflix or Disney+ with no wires in any respect.
It additionally has an HDMI port so you’ll be able to join a laptop computer, telephone or pill with an HDMI output.
The J4a has a USB port so you’ll be able to play video information saved on a flash drive.
Lastly, the final solution to join is wirelessly.
The corporate is known as EZCast, in any case, so one may surmise that it will help you “solid” wirelessly to the projector.
You possibly can wirelessly solid video from an iOS or Android telephone or pill or from a Home windows or Macintosh pc.
To solid, the projector and telephone, pill or pc have to be on the identical Wi-Fi community.
I’ve to say, getting the wi-fi casting arrange took me about 20 minutes, which isn’t an enormous period of time, however I’d not name it a easy setup.
Getting the projector to speak to my Wi-Fi community took 4 or 5 tries, and once I thought the whole lot was arrange proper, the projector was supposed to indicate up within the record for display mirroring on my iPhone or Mac.
I’m undecided why issues took so lengthy, however after messing with the settings and restarting issues for about quarter-hour, the projector lastly confirmed up within the settings of my telephone and laptop computer and I used to be capable of solid with out problem.
I did discover there was a little bit of lag between the video and the audio, so the voices had been out of sync to the lips of the individuals talking. This wasn’t a difficulty with HDMI or flash drive movies or with streaming.
How did it work?
The J4a is a really good possibility for out of doors film night time.
I added a Bluetooth speaker into the combination to enhance the sound, and getting a conveyable display or perhaps a good white sheet will make the image look nice.
The projector ships with a tiny tripod and a carry bag.
Personally, I’m going to attend till October for out of doors film nights at my home.
Execs: Straightforward to hold, first rate battery life, some ways to attach.
Cons: Setup may very well be simpler, no HD output, tiny speaker.
Backside line: My spouse is already planning our out of doors film schedule.