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Backyard Theater - Outdoor Movies

Backyard Theater - Outdoor Movies  




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Author Topic: Newbie - questions  (Read 6692 times)
2stanleyde
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« on: March 07, 2007, 02:11:29 pm »

Okay, it took me a while to figure out how to post here, but now I've got it.  I've been lurking for a while -- then decided that I liked the idea of a BYT!   It didn't take me as long to convince my husband as I thought it would. 

Let me tell you where I'm at now with my system-- bought a used Dell 2300MP on ebay; currently have a receiver that is not being used, have a couple or four extra speakers to use as well, no center speaker right now.  My husband has two speaker stands that he uses with his Karaoke that we will be using for our screen.  I've ordered some tee clamps online and waiting for them to be delivered.  This may sound stupid, but I'm planning on using two extending poles (the kind you use to change light bulbs that extend like to 12 feet) in the speaker stands.  Had aluminum poles from an old canopy that is not being used anymore and planning to use those with the tee clips to attach to the extended poles (and should have enough to put a center support in as well).  Of course, I should have ordered a white tarp when I ordered the tee clips, but thought it would be easy enough to pick one up.  Well, not so easy to find.  I did find a white poly type drop cloth (from Lowe's) (9' x 12') (has a rubbery side that I thought might be good for the screen).   I have a portable DVD player that I'm planning to use for now.   We'll be setting this up on our patio which is about 25' x 50'. 

My question to you guys is this -- I don't know how well the mismatched equipment is going to work -- so I've been pricing and looking at HT in a box and found a Philips 1000 watts at Walmart for like $199.  It seems to be pretty compact, light weight and the sound at the store sounded pretty good.  Should I be looking at something else to upgrade DVD and speakers to?  My husband has great Karaoke system (Mackie mixer, big JBL speakers - but the stuff is upstairs in our gameroom and is very heavy to move - so wouldn't be a candidate for outdoor use).   Also hubby is wanting to keep things as cheap as possible -- me, I like to buy quality at the best price I can find it (figure it last longer).  I think he thinks this is a fad and we won't be using often enough -- but my plan is to use it very often -- we have two grown kids and two grandkids and I can see this as an inexpensive Saturday night (well inexpensive for them I should say) at our house (with hot dogs, popcorn etc.)  I used to love going to the drive-in theater!

Any and all thoughts would be appreciated.  Thanks.

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kelemvor
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« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2007, 02:17:14 pm »

That's the great thing about electronic equipment...  They all work together.

You can have any brand or age Projector hooked up to any DVD player hooked up to any Tuner hooked up to any speakers...  As long as they all have the right inputs and outputs to match.  I would definitely set up what you have now to start and if you find that a certain piece needs to be upgraded, then go ahead and do it.  But no need to spend extra money right away if what you have will work perfectly fine.  At least that's how I look at it.
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Gadget
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« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2007, 02:51:43 pm »

I'm with kelemvor.  Start out with what you have, use it a few times, and see where you might want to spend a little on improvements.  I started a couple of years ago with a projector, pull-up screen, dvd player and boombox with a cassette adapter.  When you're in the backyard, in the pool like we were, just the novelty was enough to ignore less than perfect sights and sounds.
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Danoplex II
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« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2007, 03:47:30 pm »

Hi,

When I first started my outdoor HT, I found the receiver that I used to be underpowered and at over half way up on the volume the outdoors seemed to gobble up my sound.  I am not saying this is what you should do but.......  I ended up using a Yamaha 12 channel mixer, JBL EON speakers and some Crown amps for my sound.  No more gobbled up sound.  Now I just get a visit from the police from time to time...lol  I went overboard with the sound and actually do 5.1 in the yard.  Sounds awesome.  Most people are just in awe with the actual idea they don' notice the sound.  Some do.

I made a screen kind of similar to the one you are talking about making.  Used 2 tripod speaker stands and some 1.5" aluminum tubing.  For my corners I used lighting "O" clamps.  It works very good.  My frame snaps together with smaller tubing and the spring loaded push thingys like on a vacuum cleaner wand.

So, I would use what you have, see where the weakest links are and imrpove from there.

Dano
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tlogan6797
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« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2007, 04:35:04 pm »

2stanleyde

Welcome aboard! This is acrazy hobby, passion, call it what you will, but it is fun.

Sounds like you have great start. I agree with the others...start out with what you have and go from there. Put your money where you need it most, one piece at a time. I have 1000w 5.1 RCA HTiB that I got off the "sale as-is" table at Circuit City for $149 and it works perfectly fine for my outdoor movies. I set up my gear to be portable. I picked up a plastic storage box at Wally Word and  the amp the small speakers, the DVD player AND the projector fit it in. Makes for pretty easy transport. It's the pieces for the screen, the chairs, the ladder to set all the equipment on that is a pain. Of course, if you are only setting up on your patio, you may even find some outdoor conatiners to store some of your equipment in so you don't need to lug it in and out everytime.

Good luck!
Tom
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aleuni
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« Reply #5 on: March 07, 2007, 07:48:15 pm »

Tell your husband to lug down his set up and that the preshow will be kareokee.  If it is dark enough then get your home video camera on a cheap tripod and project your singers on the screen.  Then watch your movie with his EONs and mixer.  you will love it even if it stereo. 

We know you can get him to do whatever you ask...YOUR THE WIFE?  At least I know in MY house I always have the last word....Yes dear.
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Alex
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KMac
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« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2007, 02:27:51 am »

2stanleyde,

Welcome to the madness! I, too, started out simple with a projector (Optoma DV10) and a tripod screen(84x84), and some amplified computer speakers(2.1), and  some wireless speakers for extreme portability and speedy setup.  Heck, I didn't even have a backyard!  My son and I just set up the screen on the tennis court in our apartment complex, and watched a couple of flicks.  My family has been hooked ever sinse.  Have fun with it, and upgrade when you are ready. I now have two inflatable screens, a better sound system( but I am looking to upgrade it), and a portable laser light show for the kids. My wife insists we also need a popcorn machine, so that's coming in the future.  I love this hobby!  Enjoy!!! Cool
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kelemvor
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« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2007, 08:12:31 am »

My wife insists we also need a popcorn machine, so that's coming in the future.

I wish we could get one of those.  But the $300 price tag is just too much for us to get at the moment.  But I get the same results using the prepackaged things in a Whirley pop.  Tastes just like real movie theater popcorn.  But man, those things suck a lot of power.  I rented one last summer and had one plugged into an outlet that happened to be the same circuit my projector and such were on and it blew.  Had to run an extension cord through the house to somewhere else.
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2stanleyde
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« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2007, 10:27:52 am »

Thanks to everyone for the great responses.  We'll see if hubby will bring down the karaoke set or not.  It's a pretty heavy setup (how do I know this, I'm the one that has to help him)!  By the way, I did talk him into a popcorn machine  -- we were at his brother's for Superbowl and they had one -- he said wouldn't that be great in the gameroom -- well I picked one up last weekend at Sam's ($199) -- before he decided naw, we really don't need one.  I'm hoping to have our first movie night on the 17th, so I'll let you know how everything goes.  I'm still getting cables for everything right now.
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aleuni
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« Reply #9 on: March 08, 2007, 05:20:23 pm »

Is it funny how everyone gets matched up.  If you were my wife we would be living under a bridge with worlds best theater.


I am sure half the guys on this forum have said to themselves as they have read your post ..."man i wish my wife would be this excited about new equipment." 


Life is funny
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Alex
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JoeMcGin
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« Reply #10 on: March 08, 2007, 07:38:48 pm »

You absolutely read my mind! Grin
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cafemom
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« Reply #11 on: March 09, 2007, 10:41:41 am »

 As one of the few ladies in this madcap group of backyard movie moguls, let me just say: yeah for the girls!!!   Wink  You do realize, you will be the most popular gramma on the block now!!!
As with most of us, I think, we all started out with what we had lying around the house. As the seasons have progressed, items are added and deleted.  Our setup is quite simple: large 9x12 tarp, bose sound system, projector.  We've added a  snow cone maker for this summer, so that should be the big hit! 
In the end, the best part is just getting together with friends and family, bbqing and hangin' out under the stars and watchin' a movie.
Good Luck and Have fun!!!!
Cafemom
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Grab a blanket, a chair & a friend and join us outside!



2stanleyde
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« Reply #12 on: March 09, 2007, 12:31:17 pm »

You know cafemom, I'm thrilled to be one of the girls!   

By the way, I got everything wired up last night and tested it out.  I think it is going to work fine.  I don't have a sub-woofer yet and hope that doesn't create a problem.  Seen one in Fry's salespaper for $149.  Do you guys think I need to get one?  I actually have four 100 watt speakers to use, and if needed, I can take the center speaker from the living room and use (just have to move back and forth).  I haven't quite figured it all out yet though.  When we had the speaker connected, it seemed like the volume was on max on the receiver (Yamaha).  Of course, we only hooked one speaker up to test it.  Should be a little better when we have all four hooked up.  I'm trying to decide if I should get a rolling cart to put everything on (but then I have to figure out where to store that).   Two of the speakers are pretty large (really old Pioneer speakers from like the first unit we bought, something like 25 years ago -- but they still sound great -- just big).  My dream setup would be to have very small speakers that I could just load up on the bottom of a cart and then just pull out when needed.   I'm just waiting on the T clamps to come in now -- should be here Monday -- hope it doesn't rain on the 17th -- really looking forward to using the system then. 

I will say that my husband is getting into it more -- asked me what movie we planned to watch then -- and said well, it needs to be a new movie that we haven't watched before!

In reply to the others, yeah generally it's my idea when we get new equipment (or the hubby lets me think that it's my idea).  He's always like, naw, that's too expensive -- then lets me talk him into it.  Now, he throws back at me -- one of my favorite sayings -- well, in the scheme of things, it would be best to do this or that now -- or get what you want now, instead of wishing you had gotten it later. 

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Danoplex II
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« Reply #13 on: March 09, 2007, 09:25:40 pm »

Hi,

For outdoor speakers you may want to consider some JBL Control 28's.  The have an 8" driver, handle a lot of wattage and are weatherproof.  You can usuallt find them on eBay for a pretty good price.  Stay away from Control 28T as they have/need matching transformers in them and are more suited for a multiple speaker install like you would find in a bar or store.
These would be sweet because you could actually configure them for a permananet install or if it rained they would not be hurt if you just left them out unitl the rain stops.

Dano
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tlogan6797
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« Reply #14 on: March 20, 2007, 01:01:17 pm »

Does this sound like the descriptioin for an old movie trailer, or am I crazy?

Quote
madcap group of backyard movie moguls

As in "hilarity ensues as a  "madcap group of backyard movie moguls" try to out-outdoor-theater each other in crazy game of upgrade-itis! Starring a cast full of Hollywood's zaniest...."

Tom
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