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Author Topic: Cherry Hills Driveway Theater  (Read 143123 times)
Cherry Hills
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« on: May 27, 2006, 03:53:34 pm »

My theater setup is is based on one principle: efficiency. Or, put another way, as good as possible for as cheap as possible.

My screen is a piece of gesso-coated artist's canvas, 6x8 feet. Gesso's pigment is titanium white, which has a reflective gain of 1. It's mounted to a frame made of 1-inch aluminum angle, held in place with binder clips.

The projector is an Epson S1+, bought on eBay. It puts out 1400 lumens, which is plenty bright at the size and distance on the canvas screen. It's mounted on a aluminum stepladder with a purpose-made mounting platform so it will hang upside down, allowing it to project in "ceiling" mode and giving us more seating space in front of the projection stand. The stand is located about 16 feet back from the screen to give a full-screen 4:3 image. Here's the stand, without its black shroud, as seen in a previous thread:


The films and music are played on a Coby 7-inch portable DVD player, connected to the pj with a S-video cable. Sound is taken from the external 1/8" jack and run forward to a Pioneer stereo amp. This was hanging around in the garage, now "obsolete" because it doesn't do surround. Speakers are RS Minimus-7 and RS subwoofer (speakers from the garage, sub bought at a pawn shop). I actually bought the speaker stands new (!) from PartsExpress.com.



We also set up a refreshment stand in the walled courtyard off camera to the left. We serve soft drinks and popcorn. I print up flyers the week of each show and take them around to our neighbors, or e-mail them to friends who don't live on our street.



It's simple but very effective. I always get comments about the quality of the image and the great sound. Of course, I see and hear the system's flaws, but they don't seem to bother our guests. It's not top-of-the-line studio-quality equipment, but it give us a heck of a good time, all for under $1000.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2007, 12:33:17 am by CherryHills » Logged

Cherry Hills Drive-way Theater
hiredpower
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« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2006, 04:00:56 pm »

Very nicely done!

It's simple and looks good. I believe you have accomplished what you set out to do.

Bravo!
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Pass_The_Off
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« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2006, 07:54:27 pm »

Very clean job.  I like the equipment stand.
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BrainGrenade
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« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2006, 04:33:30 am »

I'm new to this site.... Infact I'm new to the whole projector thing. I'm shopping for one as we speak. Roommate had one and I'm hooked! anyway...Would this have worked as a rear projection from inside the garage? that way you can have a little more ambiant light and still have a nice viewable picture. Plus you wouldn't have to worry about seating infront of the projector or anything.
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tlogan6797
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« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2006, 09:27:09 am »

Welcome BrainGrenade!

There is another thread about trying to come up with a DIY rear projection screen using clear poly. So far, it is an elusive goal. I find that placing the projector on a six foot stepladder works fine. I don't even use an additional mount the way CherryHills does in his picture.  I just use a board on the paint the tray and level it out. Mostly, it's only kids that want to run in front of the projector and they're too short to cause a problem!

Tom
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Cherry Hills
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« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2006, 10:25:23 am »

The problem with rear projection, the way I understand it, is that you either lose a lot of brightness, or you get "hot spots" (where you can see the glare of the bulb through the screen).

Most screens (especially DIY screens) are coated with titanium oxide, which is almost perfectly reflective (gain = 1). This is what's usually used in latex primer paint, in gesso, etc. So, you get back exactly what you put on the screen, with no loss. You'll have to buy a more powerful projector to make rear projection work.

The commercial rear projection surfaces are kind of a neutral gray plastic, so if you're looking to make your own, I would suggest trying to find something like that.

Rear projection may help with ambient light - I'm not sure about it, though. Personally, I suspect that washout will still be a problem if a lot of light falls on the screen, unless the surface somehow absorbs light from one direction but not from the other. I've never heard of anything like that, though I dreamed about it as a kid.
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Cherry Hills Drive-way Theater
rrg
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« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2006, 02:38:17 pm »

I used the tent tarp 18'x20' in white, last year. Front projectoion is awful but rear projection worked very well for the price. It had no projection bulb hot spot. (I was using a 900 lumens at the time). The only draw back was the screen had a 3in seam horizontal and because the material was doubled there it looked darker than the rest of the screen. This bugged me.

If you can find a tarp with no seams than a rear projection works fine for such a cheap price $32.00. Cheaper if you need a smaller screen. And if you upgrade later like I did I now use the tarp for picking up my leaves in the fall, dual purpose. Cheesy

I viewed my Trapeze (regular stuff) from the rear and there's a bright hot bulb spot. So my setup is being tweaked for only front view off a 8' ladder, to avoid people walking in front of it.


« Last Edit: June 05, 2006, 02:47:41 pm by rrg » Logged

MY SETUP| Screen: Regular Trapeze  - Frame: 10'x20' EMT stand - Projector: BenQ mp720p - DVD: LG 511 - Sound: 5.1 Yamaha Reciever
Cinema BBQ
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« Reply #7 on: June 26, 2006, 04:26:17 pm »

Nice set up. Thanks for the added inspiration.
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Cherry Hills
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« Reply #8 on: September 23, 2006, 12:49:03 am »

Well, things are changing slowly in the CHDT hardware department.

I acquired a pair of Anchor 1000 powered PA speakers on eBay to replace the stereo amp and Minimus-7 speakers. They sound great and are much more portable than the home stereo equipment, but of course it came at a price (the stereo was stored in the garage, unused).
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Cherry Hills Drive-way Theater
hiredpower
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« Reply #9 on: September 23, 2006, 01:19:37 am »

Congrats on the new gear purchase and taking it to the next level.

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Danoplex II
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« Reply #10 on: September 23, 2006, 08:22:10 am »

CherryHills,

Snap a photo of thos speakers.  Dano wants to see.  I am thinking they are similar to my JBL EONs but they are powered.  My EONs are not.  I still love them.

It does make a difference to have stuff that is designed for portability doesn't it?  Hey, if I cant continue movies in my yard, there is going to be one heck of a audio/video yard sale in Plainfield!

Dano
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Cherry Hills
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« Reply #11 on: September 23, 2006, 08:00:20 pm »

Actually, they're much smaller than Eons. They're not much bigger than the Minimus-7s I replaced: 8"w x 5"h x 10"d. I use the same speaker stands as before (the ones in my profile photo).



The speaker is only a 4". The amps put out 45 watts and will move just about enough air for a typical CHDT movie crowd (up to 50 or so people) at half volume. Their low end is weak, as you would expect, so a sub is definitely needed for the extra kick, but the sound is clear and well-balanced.

Although this is an upgrade for me, they were still cheap. I got both for about $150 on eBay, whereas the cheapest Eon I've seen was $275 (for a battered Eon10, early model). And, of course, they're much smaller than the Eons, so they're easier to schlep around and store (but the required sub negates some of that space advantage).
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Cherry Hills Drive-way Theater
Biotron2000
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« Reply #12 on: March 13, 2007, 10:33:05 pm »

CherryHills,
It looks like your pictures are gone. Would you mind posting a picture of your projector stand/ladder setup? I think I have an idea of how it works from the description, but I'd love to see the picture. I'd really like to get my projector up high.

Thanks,
Patrick
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Patrick McNeal
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Cherry Hills
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« Reply #13 on: May 13, 2007, 09:16:37 pm »

Saturday night, we held a test run for the season and everything went splendidly. It's still a little cool here at night, but with sweaters and blankets, we were cozy and really enjoyed "Cars".

Next Saturday (May 19) we officially open the season with "Happy Feet", plus either Chilly Willy or "Frigid Hare" with Bugs Bunny.

Here's the flyer for the 2007 season:


I love making these things. I have a collection of about 25 old flyers and they have given me a feel for the style and look of the day. It's just another way having an outdoor home theater gives me pleasure!
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Cherry Hills Drive-way Theater
Cherry Hills
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« Reply #14 on: May 20, 2007, 12:56:18 am »

Our first show of the season went splendidly tonight. We had almost 40 people and everyone loved "Happy Feet". The pre-show slides and trailers were a big hit. I snuck the "Stunt City" ad in there, too, which was well received.

It's great to be throwing photons at a big white thing again!
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Cherry Hills Drive-way Theater



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