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Backyard Theater - Outdoor Movies

Backyard Theater - Outdoor Movies  




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Author Topic: Finally...our own movie night!  (Read 10669 times)
rtsmith99
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« on: September 24, 2006, 07:52:31 am »

Well, we've had beautiful weather...decided to celebrate my husband's birthday a week early, with just our immediate family, in case we had any hiccups with the production...everything went according to plan in our backyard..except, the screen could be a bit bigger...I had to keep moving the projector closer...I've enclosed a few pics...we started right at twilight and the picture was sharp and bright (you can't tell because I used a flash in the pics).  I had an ACER 2000 lumens projector, RCA home theatre in a box with 5 changer DVD player included and a Gemmy screen.

My review of the ACER projector (it's the one from Sam's Club around $700).  It works great, user friendly and comes with accessories and a nice carrying case.  The only thing I haven't figured out yet is how to take the subtitles off the screen!  I know it's not coming from the DVD menu...and I haven't checked the manual out on the ACER...it's on DVD.

On the Gemmy screen...it's okay...hassle setting it up with the guy ropes, and although no one else was bothered by the constant fan blowing, I heard it in the quiet parts of the movie...not too bad though, but I think I would've done better with a homemade screen.  Now, the actual movie screen part of the Gemmy (which clips into the blow up frame) is first rate and a nice thick fabric with a backing...we ended up hanging that in the house by itself to see how that works indoors...I would not use the Gemmy indoors...frame is too big and the fan noise inside would be too loud.

On the RCA Home Theater.  The 5 disc changer works just fine...I did not like the flimsy little speakers and the sound gets distored at a decent sound level..had to keep turning it up and down to get the right spot where you could still hear the dialogue and get surround sound on the effects and music...I would not have bought it again...better to set up your own used set of speakers and use your laptop or whatever for playing the movies.

I must say though too...we just got back from a Princess cruise two weeks ago and you should've seen their Movies Under the Stars!  Their sound system blows you away with the ship at full steam...AND their screen is so bright, you can see it in the middle of the day...I'll post a pic in another thread on that!



* tn_DSC02526.jpg (36.21 KB, 640x480 - viewed 634 times.)
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rtsmith99
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« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2006, 07:55:18 am »

another one...I bought a rolling metal cart from Sam's and put everything on there..


* tn_DSC02522.jpg (16.96 KB, 640x480 - viewed 620 times.)
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hiredpower
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« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2006, 08:28:37 am »

Congrats on pulling all together!

  Did your husband appreciate all of your hard work?

  Did the kids enjoy it?

 
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rfisk
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« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2006, 10:03:04 am »

Great job pulling that all together! 

I expect one of us will come up with a fan noise muffler project fairly soon.  I've always been a little concerned about fan noise in a backyard setting, but it seems to me that a large box with one side missing, lined with insulation or something would help a lot.  It would obviously need to be large enough to allow unrestricted air intake.

And, you might address your dialog problem by adding a really good center channel speaker, if the others sound OK, and you have some power to work with.  I think the center is the most important because a movie is a lot less fun if you're straining to hear the dialog.  I noticed a nice MTX center at Parts Express the other night for around a hundred dollars.  Click the Parts Express button scrolling on the left and search for MTX CENTER if you're interested.  There are also some remanufactured JBL centers on eBay for cheap right now.  You can browse “Center Channel Speakers” from the eBay box in the left of the forums also.

Looks to me like you might have an option for hanging your screen on your screened-in structure too, with a little rigging.  Just a thought.

Nice plug-and-play setup!  I hope everyone enjoyed it.  Thanks for posting and please let us know how things evolve!

Randy
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"Instead of cursing the darkness, light a candle for where we're going.  There's something ahead worth looking for." -- Neil Young


rtsmith99
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« Reply #4 on: September 24, 2006, 04:18:02 pm »

My husband is already thinking...Superbowl....is there even such a cable that I could run from our DVR in the house to outdoors?  He was pretty excited about it...so excited that we never got to the second feature if you know what I mean. Wink  Great idea on the poolcage!  I was thinking I would love to hang a screen inside there..would eliminate the bug problem too...has anyone here done that?  I have zero talent working with things such as that...can anyone point me to a project that details how to attach a movie screen to the inside of a poolscreen?  Is there a way to do it without drilling holes in the supports (I'm afraid to do that because of rust, parts losing their strength, etc...unless those fears are unfounded...I told you I don't have a clue...).
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rfisk
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« Reply #5 on: September 24, 2006, 06:12:56 pm »

After a few years of this and so many tips and ideas from our forum users, I guess it becomes second nature to think about using any structure as a screen or support for one.  You could even build a very lightweight frame that only attaches in a couple places for horizontal support.

RE: Superbowl, a quick option would be a long single run of coax out of the DVR.  HD is a different animal. 

Glad to hear you got ONE complete movie in!  I’ll take that as a good sign.  Just don’t forget to bring your projector in.  You might not get as lucky as I did.  Then again you might.

<rimshot>

<tongue firmly in cheek>

 Shocked
Randy
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"Instead of cursing the darkness, light a candle for where we're going.  There's something ahead worth looking for." -- Neil Young


kelemvor
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« Reply #6 on: September 24, 2006, 08:29:51 pm »

My husband is already thinking...Superbowl....is there even such a cable that I could run from our DVR in the house to outdoors?  He was pretty excited about it...so excited that we never got to the second feature if you know what I mean. Wink  Great idea on the poolcage!  I was thinking I would love to hang a screen inside there..would eliminate the bug problem too...has anyone here done that?  I have zero talent working with things such as that...can anyone point me to a project that details how to attach a movie screen to the inside of a poolscreen?  Is there a way to do it without drilling holes in the supports (I'm afraid to do that because of rust, parts losing their strength, etc...unless those fears are unfounded...I told you I don't have a clue...).

I'm thinking about that too but here in WI it's going to be damn cold.  Anyway, most digital cable box type thing shave at least S-Video output which most projectors also have.  Anyway you can just use whatever cables that are compatible and jsut get ones that are really long.

I'm doing a test run next week for the Monday Night Packer game.  I'm planning on just running a Coax cable out the window and taking the cable box outside.  THen just using my S-Video cable I normally use to get to the projector.

I always get my really long cables from www.trianglecables.com and have never had a problem or a complaint with the items.  Plus they have unbeatable prices.

Good Luck.
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Danoplex II
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« Reply #7 on: September 24, 2006, 10:28:06 pm »

You can buy just about any cable in long lengths.  I have a 50 foot Component video cable I use.  Put all the gear on the deck and run the vido out to the PJ.  I also have a 50" S-Video cable in my bedroom going to my PJ there (and a component).  I got them all off of eBay.  Just do a search for the length and kind then choose wisely grasshopper.

Dano
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tlogan6797
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« Reply #8 on: September 25, 2006, 08:13:54 am »

rt -

GREAT START! Congratualtions.

On the RCA sound system... have you read the manual? It only took me a year before it bothered me enough to read it. I've had the same problem. First, make sure that you are set for DTS 5.1. Then, you should be able to tweak the individual speaker settings. I found that if I turned up the center almost to max and then mixed in the sides and the surrounds, it improved a lot. Mine has presets for things like "large." I started there and then tweaked some more. The thing that was throwing me off is that I was using a setup disk and it sounded fine, with all speakers sounding at the same volume. Then once the movie started, you could hardly hear the dialog. So I read the manual, had a chance to set up really early for the last showing and tweaked the individual settings. It sounded MUCH better.

Good luck!
Tom
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rtsmith99
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« Reply #9 on: September 25, 2006, 10:33:56 am »

Unfortunately, there is only ONE sound volume knob directly on the DVD player...I posted on another thread...been thinking of getting a really good center speaker used and see if that makes any difference?  Or am I wasting my time?  I also have two wireless speakers but for the life of me, I can't figure out how to attach the transmitter to my DVD player..this DVD player has sound input holes in the back and then the speaker output "pinchers"...my transmitter came with a headphone jack...no headphone jack to be found on this DVD player....
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tlogan6797
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« Reply #10 on: September 25, 2006, 12:37:40 pm »

[quotethere is only ONE sound volume knob directly on the DVD player][/quote]

...which is why I asked about reading the manual. There is only one volume control knob on MY RCA system as well, but you can change the individual speaker settings using the remote. There should be a section in the manual on how to do it.

If you're comfortable searching/shopping online, you should be able to find a cable with the exact connections you need. Or, as much as as I hate to say it, try a Radio Shack. If there is only ONE "headphone jack" on the transmitter, that would make it a stereo jack. It should be pretty easy to find a stereo plug with stripped leads (no connections on the other end). The stripped leads should be paired together so it looks like two separete wires with two bare ends on each "wire" Then just connect the bare ends of one wire to one set of your "output pinchers), the other two to the other "pinchers"  and plug in the jack.

The bare ends of the wires should be marked in some way. Either a white stripe or a raised edge one of the sides of the wire or even a gold and a silver end. Just make sure to connect them the same way. The "pinchers" should be paired and marked left/right or colored red and white. If you put the marked one on the + side (or right, or left) of the pair, just do it the same on the other (it probably really won't matter) as long as they are the same. At worst, you'll have left and right backwards, but that's easy enough to fix by just going back and swapping the wires.

Good luck,
Tom
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FireLT
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« Reply #11 on: September 25, 2006, 08:24:08 pm »

Usually pool screen enclosures are made of aluminum so the is no problem with rust. As far as losing strength in the enclosure it shouldn't be a problem either, unless you are drilling big holes or a whole bunch of them. Another idea could be to use some clamps with rubber on the contacting pads so you aren't scratching up the surface of the enclosure.
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gdmanry
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« Reply #12 on: September 26, 2006, 01:01:46 pm »

Depending on the size it should be pretty simple to hang a screen on the pool fence.  My sister lives in Tampa where everyone who has to have a pool has one of those pool enclosures, and we're working on one now.

It's basically just some 2 X2 for the frame, and the screen fabric wrapped around the 2 X2, stretched, and stapled to the back of the screen.  Then you can either set it on some supports at the top that are affixed to the screen, or even hang it from the ceiling if you want.

gdm

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rtsmith99
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« Reply #13 on: September 27, 2006, 08:34:35 am »

Great ideas!!!  I'm going to see if I can start out with a large tarp and rubber clamps....let's see how that works out...I think my husband would have a fit if he sees me with a drill drilling onto anything around here!  I'm already going to put up the pull down screen on the ceiling (when it comes in ), when he's not home...and hope he doesn't notice it until it's movie-watching time....
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