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How to do simple outdoor theater--projecting onto garage door

Discussion in 'Displays' started by -, Apr 10, 2010.

  1. Guest

    We want to show outdoor movies occasionally and want to find a projector for under $500, if possible. We are thinking of projecting the movies onto our light-colored garage door (it is smooth). What kind of projector would you recommend for only occasional use? I'm also wondering if projector bulbs need to be replaced often.

    Thanks!
     
  2. GeorgeAB

    GeorgeAB Well-Known Member

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    G. Alan Brown
    Welcome to the forum.

    Please define "big $$."

    Any projector will work for occasional use.

    Just so you know, the "best resolution in the world" is, practically speaking, 4,000 x 2,000 pixels and will cost you over $100,000.00.

    Please be more specific as to what is "good enough" to you, and what you require in performance capabilities in order for you to "enjoy it."

    I don't know anyone who selects a projector in order to "impress" anyone other than themselves. More likely, people buy projectors in order to make their movie viewing more like a professional cinema.

    Projector lamps typically last between 2,000 to 4,000 hours, depending on the model of projector and how it's used.

    Please define "expensive." Most of the popular video projectors use lamps that sell for $300 to $500.

    It sounds like you could settle for a cheap business class (data) unit. Your garage door is not going to perform nearly on par with a genuine projection screen. It will require a projector with extra light output. The color is not likely to be truly neutral, so the projector will not need to have excellent color fidelity. Most neighborhoods don't get absolutely dark, especially if your door faces neighbors with porch lights or you are near a street lamp. Just a moon in the sky can light up a garage door pretty well. Therefore, you also likely don't need very good contrast or black level performance from the unit.

    My suggestion would be to look for a used or new XGA or WXGA business class projector that includes an HDMI or DVI-D jack and is rated for at least 2,000 lumens. It would help you, and anyone else attempting to help you, if you would decide how much you are willing to spend on such entertainment. Only you know what your sense of "worth" is in such an expense.
     
  3. Martino

    Martino Well-Known Member

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    I understand what you want to do.....but there are other things to consider when putting together a "simple" system.



    I put together a "simple" system for use at work, and used an existing conference room screen and a portable work projector to show movies. I had to setup the room for sound...with a receiver, speakers and a sub...



    While this worked OK (you could watch the movie...) - the video presentations wasn't the greatest - but the surround sound was kind of cool and made the less than high def picture tolerable..



    If you want to buy a cheep projector to show on your garage door - how are you going to hear the sound?



    So you will end up with a washed out picture on a garage door and sound coming from a projector speaker or no sound at all...not really the family movie night you are looking for.
     
  4. Jim Mcc

    Jim Mcc Well-Known Member

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    I agree with Martino. Even if you buy a projector with a built-in speaker, it won't put out much volume, and will sound terrible. So you'd also need a stereo and at least 2 speakers out there.
     
  5. BlameTom

    BlameTom Member

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    This may sound obvious but I'm amazed how many people don't realize this: It will only really work well in the dark! You may get a bit of a picture if it's very overcast but certainly not in the sunlight. So if you were planning on showing a movie whilst having a barbeque in the sunshine or something then it's just not going to work all that well.


    It doesn't matter how powerful your projector is either. We use some projectors in my line of work that are 15000 to 20000 lumins but it still applies. You can make the bright bits brighter but you can't make the dark bits darker!!


    I am always astonished the number of times a customer books a hotel room for a conference or seminar with a great bit window or skylight because they think it looks nice and bright and then complains because the curtains have to be drawn in order to see the projector!
     
  6. Jim Mcc

    Jim Mcc Well-Known Member

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    Tom, the OP never said anything about watching in the daylight or sunlight.
     
  7. BlameTom

    BlameTom Member

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    True, I was just wondering for what reason they might want to do this and just couldn't visualise a bunch of people standing around a garage door at night.


    Though perhaps the weather's a bit more clement in Ohio than it generally is in sunny old England!
     
  8. Guest

    Thanks for the advice, everyone. We ended up getting this unit, which was on sale (under $500) at Amazon when we bought it a few months ago: Epson MovieMate 60 Portable Projector, DVD and music player combo.


    At first I was worried we would have to supplement the sound, but it is performing great as a stand-alone unit. We've had several neighborhood movie nights this summer (like a drive-in movie w/o cars--some people do this projecting onto the side of a house, etc.), and the picture and sound are great. It is so easy--just plug it in. (And yes, we do show the movies after dark.) The kids also enjoy watching movies on a blank wall in the house when someone else is using the TV.
     

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