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This article was published on August 13, 2019

[Best of 2019] I turned my bedroom into a cinema for shitty reality TV with this easy-to-use projector

Bigger is better, and don't let anyone tell you differently

[Best of 2019] I turned my bedroom into a cinema for shitty reality TV with this easy-to-use projector
Leisure 510
Georgina Ustik
Story by

Georgina Ustik

Former TNW editor and creative

Georgina created Big Spam, and wants to see more inclusion in tech. Georgina created Big Spam, and wants to see more inclusion in tech.

I have several passions that I would say define the core of my personality: Hawaiian pizza, scatological talk, and reality TV.

When I was given the chance to review the Leisure 510 projector from Vankyo, I knew immediately what I would use it for: building the reality TV cinema of my dreams. And by god, it worked.

Here’s how I did it.

First, let’s start with this speaker

Vankyo’s Leisure 510 projector is, for all intents and purposes, a no-frills, excellent projector. 

It has very few buttons… which is GREAT. Few buttons = simple.

A quick rundown of the numbers: 

  • 4000 Lux LED light
  • 1280×768 pixels resolution
  • 3000:1 contrast
  • 300” max screen size
  • Projection distance: 1.5m to 5.6m

If you’re like me and have no clue how to interpret projector specs, let me save you the trouble: it’s more than good enough for home movie use.

There’s no built-in battery, so the projector needs to be plugged in — this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but a limitation if you’re using it for outdoor screenings. It’s almost six pounds (2.5 kg), so not especially heavy, but by no means meant to be portable. However, it does come with a very cute carrying case, so it’s easily moved about — or used as a trendy purse.

It has two built-in 3W speakers, so in terms of sound quality, it’s decent. If you did want to use it in a bigger space, you’d need to hook it up to external speakers.

The input accepts VGA, USB, AV, and Micro SD, and has not one, but TWO, HDMI ports. 

TWO HDMI PORTS. I’ve never seen such luxury.

It comes with everything you need, including a remote, large fabric screen, and wall hooks to hang it with, but if you want to connect a MacBook Air or the like you’ll need to get a mini DisplayPort Adapter.

Look at that cute purse!

Tell us about your movie theater

Sure — back to the reality TV thing. Not to be hyperbolic, but I’ve found the worst (best) reality TV program I’ve ever seen in my life. Considering how much terrible reality TV I watch — challenge me to list all Real Housewives characters from all locations, I dare you — this is really saying something.

This show is called My Hotter Half. It’s a Netflix original British reality TV show solely about deciding which person in a couple is the hotter one. 

The couple must first take individual selfies, which are then judged by people accosted on the street. The person with the higher percentages of date offers is then deemed the “hotter half,” and the loser is gifted a makeover by an apathetic glam squad, and a deep feeling of insecurity. After the makeover, the couple go head to head again. Sometimes the made over person wins, sometimes they still lose. 

Incredible stuff, right? I’ll answer that for you: it’s so incredible I wanted it blown up and projected all over my goddamn bedroom.

Setting up the Vankyo projector was incredibly easy — I merely had to plug it into both the outlet and my laptop, remove the lens cap, press the power button, and select the correct source input. I chose to skip the screen they sent, and use the wall.

I opted to use my own beloved Bose SoundLink Mini speakers instead of the internal projector ones because, just like when it comes to my TV binging, I preferred the quality

I adjusted the focus and keystone and… bada bing:

Perfection. Bigger is better, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

The ONLY slightly annoying thing I ran into with this projector is that when I played a TV show from Netflix, it had to be playing already on my laptop before plugging into the projector. If I wanted to change shows or if my laptop was already plugged in before hitting play, it wouldn’t work. This is a minor gripe.

So… is it worth the money?

At only $189.99… DUH.

While I’m sure there are other projectors with more bells and whistles that do even fancier things, I’m a simple reality TV junky with simple needs, so the Vankyo Leisure 510 is well worth the cost.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have more of The Hotter Half to watch.

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