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TikTok 'Fake Window Challenge': 5 affordable projectors

Tired of staring out at the same window view? Try a different one.
Illustration of a Window looking at a scenic beach view and the Apeman HD Portable Movie Projector
TODAY Illustration / Amazon / Manuela Massimino / EyeEm / Getty Images

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First, TikTok showed us how to bring a golden-hour glow into our rooms with the viral sunset projection lamps. Now, users on the app are at it again, delivering a new way to transform your space into a dreamy escape — with a fake window.

The "Fake Window Challenge," as it's known on TikTok, is not so much a challenge as it is a viral movement of people projecting window-like videos onto their walls. It started in March when user @nam__p posted a video demonstrating, "How to use your projector the correct way." In it, he used his to project videos of an aquarium, a clock and a tropical window scene onto his bedroom wall. In the video, which has since gotten more than 9 million views, people couldn't help but notice just how realistic the window looked, inspiring plenty of users to try it for themselves.

Considering that we've been looking out at the same window views for over a year now, the trend can be a nice way to mix things up. And for anyone who has been yearning for an escape, but isn't ready to travel just yet, you can create a "window" that looks out on practically any destination, switching between a city or beach view to satisfy your wanderlust.

To try it, set up a projector facing a blank wall, and hook it up to your phone or laptop to stream YouTube videos. What your "window" looks like is up to you. If you search "window view" on YouTube, you'll find a wide variety of videos. This tropical storm scene was featured in the original video and seems to be one of the most popular choices on the app, but you could also look out on the beach and listen to waves crash or watch the aurora borealis, all from the comfort of your bedroom.

In case you don't have a projector readily available, we found some bestselling and TikTok-approved options to shop, so you can get in on the viral trend.

Vankyo Leisure 3 Mini Projector

Currently the No. 1 bestselling projector on Amazon, this small projector delivers high-quality video and sounds, so your window will feel as close to the real thing as possible. It also has an innovative cooling system and noise reduction technology, to keep bothersome fan noises to a minimum.

PVO Portable Projector

Whether you're planning on using your projector for the Fake Window Challenge or for movie nights, this affordable option is a great choice. It's equipped with multiple ports, including HDMI, USB and Micro SD, so it's compatible with most devices. The adjustable projection size, color and brightness ensure that you'll get the best picture quality for your space.

Yaber V6 Wifi Bluetooth Projector

Thanks to its Bluetooth capabilities, you can wirelessly connect your phone to this projector to stream YouTube videos, movies or games. The best part? It's on sale for more than 40% off right now.

DR. J Professional HI-04 Mini Projector

User @honeybobabear used this projector to try out the trend. "I won’t be opening my real window ever again," she captioned her video, which now has more than 9 million views. It's 30 percent brighter than your average projector, so it will work with the lights on or off (though, you'll get a clearer picture in a dark room). Plus, it comes with a screen, in case you don't have any completely blank walls.

Apeman HD Portable Movie Projector

This projector may be small, but it's pretty powerful. The portable option can project a 120-inch screen and supports 1080p HD video. The handle makes it easy to move around your house, so you can set up your "window" in the dining room to add a fun element to meals or in your living room to complete a cozy night in.

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