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Backyard Theater - Outdoor Movies

Backyard Theater - Outdoor Movies  

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Author Topic: My "Deck Theatre"  (Read 138659 times)
bubsdaddy
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« on: August 26, 2005, 09:17:03 pm »

After the "woods Theater" experience I found that many people had designed similar projects. I started reading posts over at the Avsforum.com DIY screen board. People over there were posting very favorable results using sheets of Parkland Plastic. I checked around and my local Menards had a 4 x 8 sheet for about $13. I bought one sheet, 8 firring strips (.99c each) and a box of black screws for $3.00. I also bought one can of black spray paint for another $3.

I painted the (Cool 8 foot firring strips black and left them to dry overnite. I assembled a frame by laying one of the 8' firring strips underneath the 4' left edge of the Parkland and then I layed another over the top of the left edge sandwiching the Parkland in between. I used the edge of the Parkland to line everything up. I put a few wood screws in to hold the now left side of the frame together. This made the screen at the top of the firring strip frame and left 4' below the screen for legs. I then cut 4 of the firring strips to 85". I started at the top and repeated the lining up and sandwiching process I described for the left edge. I repeated this for the bottom. Last I took the two remaining firring strips and layed them on what would become the right side of the screen. I traced them with a pencil, removed them, and cut the Parkland using scissors. I then finished by joining the last two firring strips together with the Parkland in between. I went around the frame and drilled a black screw in every foot or so. This now left a black frame with two legs. I took the screen out to my deck and used bungee cords to secure it to my deck spindles.

I use an Epson S1= projector, a portable DVD player, and a Yamaha sub/sat computer speaker set for sound. I have two nive outdoor Yamaha speakers on my deck but they are not in the correct position. You can see them in one of the pictures behind a plant by the door to our kitchen.

This setup looks nice and functions wonderfully. Pictures begin in the next post.
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bubsdaddy
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« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2005, 09:18:29 pm »

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

If you look closely between the two brown chairs you will see the glass top table I use for the projector.
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bubsdaddy
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« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2005, 09:22:46 pm »

A closer look:

Image hosted by Photobucket.com
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bubsdaddy
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« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2005, 09:24:38 pm »

Here is a view from another section of the deck, behind the screen, showing the whole deck theater section.

Image hosted by Photobucket.com
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tlogan6797
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« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2005, 08:48:25 am »

That looks AMAZING! How heavy is it? I don't think I could do something like that on my deck. The way my deck is oriented, the prevailing winds would probably topple it. I'd have to be able to put it up and take it down easily.

Good job!
Tom
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bubsdaddy
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« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2005, 12:17:49 pm »

It isn't heavy at all. The screen material is very lightweight plastic and the frame/legs are just lightweight firring strips. I bet the whole things doesn't weigh 15 pounds. I can easily take this down and put it back up by just removing the bungees. I haven't had any extremely windy days yet but it has held up well though some rain storms.
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tlogan6797
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« Reply #6 on: August 29, 2005, 01:14:04 pm »

OK, I re-read your first post.  I missed the part about cutting it with scissors. So the Parkland  must be thin and light. Hmmm..... might have to check this stuff out. Using your basic method, I can envision a way to slide the Parkland into the frame from the bottom and lock it in place. Then if a storm is approaching (or for any reason really) you could slide the Parkland out and just leave the frame.

My only concern is storing the sheet of Parkland.  I currently have a larger screen using BO cloth which easier to store. I can't really leave the cloth up all the time. It would get too dirty and would be hard to clean (the BO cloth I have says dryclean only!).  I can see where the Parkland could generally be left up all the time and can probably be cleaned up when dirty.

OK, let me ask you this (or did I miss this too?)...How is the picture quality? And does light show through from the back or is it completelty opaque? Does/Will it sun fade when left out for long periods? (or is that three questions?) But then again, for $13, who cares? (OK, FOUR questions....)

Hmmm...lots to think about.

Thanks for sharing!
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bubsdaddy
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« Reply #7 on: August 29, 2005, 02:31:49 pm »

I think the picture is great. It is opaque so rear projection is not an option. It can be cleaned with just about anything as it is intended for use in a shower or bath environment. I doubt the sun will fade it but as you can see I am in a pretty shaded area. The parkland can be rolled when not in a frame. If you don't roll it too tight it won't kink or wrinkle. Spend some time at the DIY Screen forum at avsforum.com and you will read many posts extolling the results when using Parkland Plastic products. Parkland sells a sheet for home theater screen use. It is 5' x 8' for over $60. It is the same material as the $13 sheet.
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tlogan6797
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« Reply #8 on: August 29, 2005, 02:47:52 pm »

I've spent MANY hours on avs (that's how I learned about the BO cloth) and am about to start putting down a dricore floor in my basement to build a theater there. Well, finish my basement for a party room, wet bar, poker table and a front-projector anyway. There seems to be quite a debate going on over there about what constitutes a home theater, so I'll leave it at that.

All of the references to parkland there are for indoor use (at least the ones that I saw). I wasn't so concerned about rear-projection as I was about light coming through the back and washing out the front-projectd picture.

I  might think about putting one  of these up on my deck for my own use and just use the big one for the neghborhood parties.

Again, great job!
Tom
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bubsdaddy
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« Reply #9 on: August 29, 2005, 03:15:32 pm »

I am somewhat of a newbie to all of this. I don't even remember how I found avsforum. I got the idea of doing an outdoor movie setup from attending a neighbor's 75th birthday. They used a projector and a sheet to show a powerpoint presentation with photo's from her life. I thought it was really nice and the idea hit me that showing a movie like that would be fun.

Yesterday I made my Woods Theatre a little more permanent. I bought a cheap DVD player and a plastic storage cabinet. I put the equipment in the cabinet and have everything but the projector ready to go. I need a long s-video cable now and I won't need to drag much out there to show movies. Fall is coming and the campfire will be needed.

The thing about the avsforum is that it seems like they argue endlessly over nit picking little things, like what kind of paint or mixtures of paint are better. Jeez, can't you just enjoy a movie? Since my setup is the only one I have ever seen I have nothing to compare it against. Maybe that is a good thing.

Maybe you will be able to give me some advice when I start finishing my basement.
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rfisk
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« Reply #10 on: August 29, 2005, 06:15:06 pm »

Hey bubsdaddy, welcome aboard.  Glad you made the trip!

Looking good.  I do like your deck setup.  The woods theater sounds cool too.

Nutty weekend around my house with the softball party and such -- but we had a blast.  I need a nap.

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


tlogan6797
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« Reply #11 on: August 30, 2005, 08:59:55 am »

That is true about AVS, but once you learn to ignore the nit-picky stuff, there is GREAT info.

One thing I did learn there (after getting through all the nit-picky arguments of course) is that probably 99% of time, a cable is a cable. Don't be fooled into paying way too much for a cable. It either carries a signal or it doesn't. In most, cases, over the distances we are talking about for home use (even longer outdoor runs) a cheap cable will work just as well as an expensive one.

If you need a long cable, do some internet searching and find a company that you're comfortable with and order one.  I needed a 15-pin d-sub to component breakout cable for my setup and found prices ranging around $20 to $120 for the same 6 foot cable. Guess which I ordered? I couldn't even FIND one in the stores. Not even Radio Shack. By the way, I started with a cheap s-video cable and then went to the component. If your projector has a component input, I would highly suggest using it. But that's just me.  As I said, people don't go to outdoor movies for the picture quality. But at least I know it's the best I can do with the equipment I have.

Tom
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bubsdaddy
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« Reply #12 on: August 30, 2005, 11:21:48 am »

Is a 15 pin d-sub to component the cable that has what looks to be a computer monitor connection on one end and the 3 component video (rca type) connections on the other end? I think this is what I need for component video. Are the results from component clearly better than s-video for an outdoor setup?
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victor-eyd
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« Reply #13 on: August 30, 2005, 11:34:04 am »

Are you using Epson S1? Then all you need is a vga to component cable. Any select the progressive frrom the menu.

http://archive.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?s=&threadid=400081

Victor
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tlogan6797
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« Reply #14 on: August 31, 2005, 03:04:23 pm »

bubs -

Yes, a 15-pin d-sub LOOKS like a monitor connection on one end, but they are NOT interchangeable. The wiring from the pins to the other ends are different. I need the component ends OUT from my DVD to the d-sub IN to the projector. The cable manufacturer warns that you cannot use this cable to go the other way...d-sub OUT from a source (laptop/DVD,etc) IN to a source (TV/projector/etc). Fortunately, SHARP includes the cable to go direct from my laptop to the projector.

I use a SHARP XR-1S and in order to use component from my DVD, that is the cable I need. Your projector may be different, as victor-eyd notes. Just check your manual to be sure you get the correct cable. If you don't have the manual, you can proably find it online somewhere.

Yes, I saw the difference. But that was my setup. Yours may be different. I found my cable for $10 (NOT $20.00 as I said earlier) + SH. I thought that for ten bucks it was worth finding out.

Good luck,
Tom
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