Indiegogo staffers are putting crowdfunded products to the test in our new series of honest reviews. In this edition, our very own senior product manager John Stokvis tried out Mudix, which is live now on Indiegogo. Does it live up to the hype? Read on as we put it to the test!
The Mudix Projector is easy and fast to set up and the video quality is good enough for outdoor viewing. The Mudix Outdoor Combo is an all-in-one package that comes with everything you need for an outdoor movie night. Well worth it!
- Great internal speakers, battery pack, quality projector, built-in apps means you don’t need anything else for a great watching experience
- 2 USB and 1 HDMI port make it easy to use a streaming stick or streaming box
- Power dock with large battery capacity allows you to charge your phone while watching a movie as well as supply power to streaming sticks
- Included remote lets you control the projector without leaving your blanket
- Carrying case makes storage of all accessories easy (Mudix Outdoor Combo only)
- Native apps are limited. Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, & YouTube are included but other popular streaming services such as Apple TV+, Hulu, Disney+, and many sports streaming services are not (Note: This was only a limitation of the software on the unit that I tested. The manufacturer has stated that projectors that are shipping will have access to more native streaming apps.)
- Video content cannot be downloaded for offline viewing
From Dream to Reality: A DIY Outdoor Movie Night
Before I even owned a house or had kids, I had dreamed of hosting a movie night for neighborhood kids on our front lawn. Families hanging out, sitting on the grass or blankets, munching on popcorn, watching some classic like Star Wars or Toy Story. The year we moved into our new home, the perfect opportunity came about when our neighbors organized a block party, and we volunteered to set up a movie showing for all the kids in our front yard.
My excitement quickly waned as I started setting things up.
It took about an hour and a half and four people to set up the makeshift outdoor movie theater. Two neighbors carried over a heavy wooden scaffold with a bed sheet stretched across it to serve as the screen. A neighbor kindly lent us a projector from their workplace, but it was quite heavy and took some fiddling to get the angle and focus right. Then I brought out some speakers for sound and finally my laptop to stream the movie (which required running out to buy an adapter to connect to the projector). Of course, all of these things wouldn’t run without power, which meant running extension cords and power strips from the house to our set up.
In the end despite all the fiddly set up and tangled mess of wires, it all worked! As the sun began to set, children from all around the neighborhood gathered on our lawn, excited for the movie night. Parents brought blankets and drinks and popcorn, and everyone settled in for a fun evening under the stars. The laughter and joy of the children filled the air as they enjoyed the movie (and our janky setup held together), making all the effort to set up the outdoor theater well worth it. We watched Coco, by the way.
Unfortunately, all that setup means even after having kids of our own, we haven’t hosted an outdoor movie night again since.
When I learned about the Mudix Portable Projector, I was intrigued by the possibility of watching movies outside on the lawn without the massive time and effort. I won’t bury the lede, dear reader. I think our neighborhood outdoor movie theater is going to be having regular showings in the near future.
What the Mudix needs to do, it does well.
Every few months since getting a taste of hosting an outdoor movie night, I’ve checked up on various outdoor projectors on the market. It’s easy to get lost in specs: “nits” and “lumens” and “1080p vs HD” and “LEDs vs lasers.” But these are all really beside the point. There are two things that matter:
- Is the quality good enough to enjoy a movie/tv show/video game/sporting event outside?
- Is it easy to set up and take down?
For the Mudix, the answers are a resounding yes and yes.
The Mudix Projector is high quality
No one will mistake the projector for a 4k OLED television, but then no one is going to bring their 4k TV outside to watch movies during warm summer nights. I took the Mudix projector onto my back porch to watch a little Planet Earth and had a great time. Picture quality is clear and bright enough that even dark scenes are enjoyable to watch. As with any projector, it’s best to have the area as dark as possible, but even with my yard lights providing some ambient glow, the projector emits enough light for an enjoyable watching experience. I wouldn’t use it during the daytime, but it should perform well even at dusk or with street lights around.
One of the most surprising qualities of the Mudix projector is the sound. I went in full expecting to have to connect a bluetooth speaker (another great feature of the Mudix) to hear the movie.
The next night I tried a different set up with the projector behind the screen so I could play a little Tears of the Kingdom on the Nintendo Switch. Configuring the Mudix to reverse the screen, focus on connect to the HDMI port was incredibly simple. I could even hear the internal speakers loud and clear at half volume even from 10 feet away and behind the screen.
The Mudix Projector is easy to set up
I received the Mudix Outdoor Combo which includes:
- Mudix Outdoor Projector
- Remote control
- Mudix Power Dock
- Portable Screen
- Portable Screen Stands
- Projector Stand
- Travel Bag
Unfortunately, instructions were accidentally left out of the package. But the whole setup was intuitive and easy to put together. Without any guides, I was able to assemble the screen and projector stand, connect to wifi, and start watching Netflix in under an hour.
I initially had a little trouble getting the focus to work. It turned out that a piece of the projector had shifted during shipping, but Mudix’s responsive customer service had me sorted very quickly.
Later on, when I found instructions and confirmed that I was setting everything up correctly, I timed out how long it took for one person to get everything ready (starting from being packed away in the bag).
Screen set up
Total time: 5 minutes 56 seconds
The most involved part to put together, the screen includes two collapsible bases, two vertical poles, and a horizontal pole which need to be assembled. The screen is threaded through the top and secured to the side poles with velcro. There are also sandbags and stakes for stability.
Projector stand set up
Total time 1 minute 27 seconds
The projector can be placed on a table or on the included stand which is made up of a collapsible base, a horizontal pole, and a cradle that the projector sits in. It can be adjusted to the right height and angle for the screen depending on the condition of the ground. This time includes adjustments to get the projector lined up on the screen
Projector set up
Total time: 50 seconds
Getting the projector set up couldn’t be simpler. Place the Power Dock in the projector stand, then lay the projector on top. Magnets in the Power Dock snap things into place with a satisfying <CHONK> and you’re ready to go. This time includes 35 seconds to adjust the focus with the included remote.
Grand total setup time is just over 8 minutes (8:13 to be exact). Much easier than the hour and half it took last time. And as my kids get older, the assembly is simple enough that it’s the kind of thing that they’ll be able to help with.
In the end, the Mudix is a winner.
The Mudix Outdoor combo is a great buy. The projector, projector stand, battery pack, and screen all fit together in a convenient carrying bag (which is included).
While it might not have the same resolution and brightness as a top of the line TV or the offline viewing ability of a tablet, those aren’t really what the Mudix is for anyway. If you want to watch movies, TV, sports, or play video games outside, it’s got everything you need.
To learn more, check out the campaign for Mudix – The Ultimate Portable Outdoor Projector, now live on Indiegogo.