Outdoor Theater

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by Podunk, Jun 3, 2009.

  1. Podunk

    Podunk Auditioning

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    I am looking for some advice on setting up an outdoor theater. This will not be an everyday thing and mostly for nice summer nights/weekends to watch ball games, movies, and possibly play some video games(Think Wii). I really think it would be a neat idea to invite people over for a BBQ and have a movie/TV/Video Game playing in the back yard.

    To give you a mental picture of what my backyard looks like:
    From the back of the house to the fence: 100ft
    Side fence to side fence 80ft
    Ambient light: One security light about 100 ft from the fence on the back and of course the house itself.
    There are no houses behind mine, just a church building.
    I have a 7ft privacy fence that encloses the entire backyard and trees behind the fence that block most of the security light. (I have a clear view of stars at night)

    My plan:
    To set up a screen to watch video on and play the sound either though a boom box type setup or some wireless speakers I currently have. I'm not looking for HD or surround sound, but just something where you can see what is going on at a distance of about 15-30 ft from the screen. I plan on having the speakers close to the house and the screen about 50ft into the yard and centered.

    My Question:
    What kind of projector do I need?
    I was thinking a Lumen rating of at least 800
    Aspect ratio of 4:3
    Contrast ratio of 800-1200
    LCD instead of DLP
    XGA Resolution (Although SVGA is more attractive for a price)
    Connections should be RCA, Component, S-Video, and preferably HDMI

    I'm trying to make this as cheap as possible since it will not be an everyday set up type thing. More like 10-20 times a year.

    What kind of material should I look at for making the screen? I originally thought about plywood covered with a cloth, but after reading the thread "Outdoor Home Theater Screen" I think that something similar would be a much better option. Aesthetically I do not care how the stand to hold the screen looks, as long as it is level and sturdy and fairly easy to move.


    I'm really hoping to be able to do the entire project for around $800, but I do not know how realistic this number actually is.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
     
  2. Rhatphlegm

    Rhatphlegm Stunt Coordinator

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    Hmm, I'd suggest watching EBay and getting the brightest projector you can (800 isn't very bright and would get washed out easy). I just picked up a military surplus JVC for $329 shipped (low hours too). It can do 720p and is 1000 lumens. Just do research on what you find to see if it fits the ticket. I don't know on the screen...a sheet? a tarp? The problem with those kinds of things is they will not reflect nearly as well as a real screen would - so a dim projector will seem even dimmer...

    Good luck!
     
  3. sestamuch

    sestamuch Stunt Coordinator

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    Looks like that could work out for you.
     
  4. Scooter

    Scooter Screenwriter

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  5. Podunk

    Podunk Auditioning

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    Thank you guys for your reply.

    I really enjoyed the Scooterpaloza page. That's essentially what I'm looking for. Although maybe not quite on that grand of a scale.

    I have one question about that projector that you guys listed, please excuse my lack of intelligence on it. Would I be able to hook a cable into this type of projector or would I need to get a cheap VCR/Cable Box/Etc and run the cable through the box then to the projector? I've already wired the back of my house with a cable output, just waiting on getting the good stuff to have some fun.

    I'll take a picture of my backyard tonight and post it on here so you can see exactly what I'm working with and make sure that this projector would be a good fit. The last thing I'd want to do is try to skimp on quality and end up with a poor result. That seems to be the common theme in the "What I would have done differently" thread.

    Thank you guys so much!
     
  6. Podunk

    Podunk Auditioning

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    Forgot to ask, would something like the PHILIPS BSURE SV2 LC3132 work?

    Link deleted by moderator; eBay links are not allowed.
     
  7. Oswald Pascual

    Oswald Pascual Second Unit

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    You need as bright as you can get, 800 is a bit small. You want a real High Gain on your screen and why bother with 4:3, most PJ's now do 16:9.

    Did you take your backyard pic yet?
     

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