Outdoor HT

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by Ramon O. Valera, May 30, 2005.

  1. Ramon O. Valera

    Ramon O. Valera Stunt Coordinator

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    Hey everyone,

    I haven't posted in a while, but I knew where to come when I needed some good advice. Here it goes. I havea detached garage that has a white concrete wall on one side that faces in my yard. I was thinking of buying a projector, namely the X2, and projecting it onto my garage for an outdoor movie experience. Will the x2 be good enough for this? I'm doing this on the extremely cheap side, and I want to spend the least amount of money possbile. As for audio/video, I would most likely go with a HT in a Box for about 300 bucks. it[s doesn't have to blow the fence over, but I do want it to be loud enough to truly enjoy it. Any advice/tips? Thanks in advance!

    Ramon
     
  2. Jonathan T.

    Jonathan T. Stunt Coordinator

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    AS long as its dakr outside, there is not reason that that wouldnt work, imo.

    however the home theater in a box might be tricky. i know you need it cheap and portable, but I think a cheap home theater in a box is gonna have difficulty filling an outdoor space without any walls to reflect the sound....
     
  3. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Ramon, are you asking for HTiB recommendations? If so, this thread needs to be moved. Please advise.
     
  4. Ramon O. Valera

    Ramon O. Valera Stunt Coordinator

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    Jack,

    I'm asking for advice on all aspects of the project. Whether or not the HTiB would work outside, whether a concrete wall would be good enough to project on, etc. All advice is greatly appreciated!

    -Ramon
     
  5. Dave Poehlman

    Dave Poehlman Producer

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    I'd have to agree with Johnathon regarding the loss of sound in the outdoors. The speakers will be operating in essentially open space meaning a lot of the sound energy will be lost. Unless you can position them against a wall or wood fence.. you may see an improvement.

    I know I've seen a few posts from users who've done an outdoor show.. hopefully they'll pop in and share their experiences with you.

    [EDIT:] HERE is the thread I was thinking about. This should answer some of your questions.
     
  6. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    A few potential problems come to mind.

    First, you’ll only be able to use the set-up at night, as most any projector will not be able to “outshine” the sun, as it were. This will be true even if the white concrete wall is in the shade.

    Second, as others have noted, HTIB’s work best in smallish rooms, so don’t expect much from one outdoors. Particularly, don’t expect much bass response, since any home sub relies on reinforcement from room boundaries for optimal performance

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  7. Ramon O. Valera

    Ramon O. Valera Stunt Coordinator

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    Wayne,

    So what kind of speakers would do well in these circumstances? Thanks!

    Ramon
     
  8. Ramon O. Valera

    Ramon O. Valera Stunt Coordinator

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    Update:

    So I found a refurbished x1 and bought a HTiB. I decided that I would make the HT in my garage and sometimes when I would like to see a outside "on" my garage, I could just bring the stuff out. Now my question is this. Do I put up the projector first and then see how big the image projected is on my wall, then build a DIy screen that way? or should I build the screen first and then position the PJ according to the size of the screen. The projector will most likely be 15 feet away.

    Thanks!
     
  9. Randy Fisk

    Randy Fisk Auditioning

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    Ramon,

    I'm not familiar with HTIB but I started small, with little 2-way outdoor speakers and a retired Sony A/V receiver and we had a riot.

    Since then, the system has grown to a Denon receiver, Mirage 1090i fronts, a Mirage MC-si center, 2 Buttkicker LFE's mounted under the deck, a JBL sub, and the Buttkicker amp. I still use the cheapo outdoor speakers for my rears and mostly due to their location, they work fine.

    Your expectations dictate what you'll end up with, imho. Most of your guests will be thrilled with the experience regardless. But the most important thing is to get it off the ground with whatever you can and discover the fun. You'll likely be doing it for years and tweaking/adding/upgrading gear is half the fun.

    However, I do think the center channel is the most important. Everyone needs to hear the dialog clearly or it's just not much fun watching a movie. I have fried a couple centers trying to get it right. The MC-si works nice.

    And as someone mentioned, it is way different outdoors. Crickets, wind/leaf noise, ambient sounds of your environment (traffic?), no walls -- all enhance and detract from the experience but you've got to get that dialog above the ambient noise.

    Great sound outdoors is a real kick, though. I love it when a cellphone rings and you see everyone shuffling around, or a dog barks (and our Lab barks back) then we all discover it was in the soundtrack.

    But don't hesitate to start on a showstring.

    Your concrete wall will also be fine for a start but you may want better. If it's block (not smooth) it will probably look better with flat white paint, if possible. The mortor joints will washout a lot but 'you' will see them. The farther you back off from it, the better it'll look. If you can use that wall but stretch a fabric screen you'll like it much better.

    There are quite a few pics of our setup on my site (below) that might be helpful.

    Have fun!
     
  10. Randy Fisk

    Randy Fisk Auditioning

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    Ramon,

    I shoulda read your most recent post...

    I've known of folks doing 'garage theater' to go with either front or rear projection options. Rear is nice. You build a screen that fills the door opening, all the electronics are inside, etc. Not sure about the distance/zoom requirements with the X1, though. Check the manual or just "take it outside" for a test run.

    Personally, I'd probably build the screen large enough to work inside AND outside -- even if you don't fill it all when inside. Build it sturdy but without center braces, and you can do the rear projection thing. I use a stretch material called Trapeze. Great stuff.
     

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