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Backyard Theater - Outdoor Movies

Backyard Theater - Outdoor Movies  

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Author Topic: Official Logan Deck Theater Thread  (Read 33602 times)
tlogan6797
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« on: May 21, 2007, 01:19:15 pm »

Ok, I know, I know...no catchy name.

This will be the official thread of my deck theater. As my other thread "Falls Ridge Movie Nights!" is geared toward the neighborhood showings using my portable screen, this thread will focus on my deck theater amd soemwhat more permanent sreen.

As we're providing a somewhat abreviated Falls Ridge schedule, I wanted to create a deck theater so that I could watch outdoors much more often.

The plan:

Reuse the projector, amp and DVD player I already use for the neighborhood theater. Purchase and install permanent outdoor speakers. Build a new screen that is easy to setup and take down. Leave as much as possible outside to minimize setup and breakdown.

So far:

Bought and installed outdoor speakers for 5.1 (using the sub that came with the amp). Bought a small storage cabinet, drilled a couple of holes and made a nice outdoor cabinet. Erected four 3/4" EMT poles to support the screen. Made a wooden 4X8 frame to hold a BO cloth screen. Built the frame to fold in half for easy storage.

First Problem:

Attaching the screen to frame. My first thought was to use some tarp holders and bungee cords to just wrap the screen around the frame and pull it tight. The probelm is that the tarp holders create a pucker in the material that cannot be straightened out. So I undid everything and just used some spring clamps to test evcerything out.

"Soft" opening:

So this past Saturday night wife and I watched Firewall. Looked great, sounded OK. Everything will work out great, once I come up with a way to attach the screen. Wife suggests velcro, which very well may be the best solution. I just hope she knows that the suggestion volunteers her to do the sewing!

Noticing a few things:

There was a tendency to not understand all of the dialogue. Could very weel be quality of outdoor speakers. I've kind of mentioned this before in another thread about a problem with "the Music Man" and a center channel issue. Then I read in yesterday's Washington Post one of the movie critics mentioning the same thing in cineplex theaters. I thought Harrison Ford just about whispered most of his lines. Then on Sunday I watched "the Music Man" inside on one of the HBO channels and except for being in 4:3, I noticed the same problem I had with the remastered DVD. The musical numbers sounded great, and then after the dialogue was noticibly softer. Even the wife noticed it.

Also noticed that I used the projector as a spotlight to take the screen down (while it was cooling down so no bulb life wasted) and as soon as I got the screen down, I could CLEARLY see the image projected onto a section of my neighbor's house. TWO houses away. Now THAT would be an awesome screen size!

As soon as I get around to unloading the camera, I'll get pics posted.

Tom
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matt314159
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« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2007, 04:05:05 pm »

did you get your pictures yet?  I love seeing people's DIY setups. 

What kind of outdoor speakers are you using?
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tlogan6797
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« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2007, 09:10:21 am »

I DO have some pictures, just need t oget them off the camera and uploaded! I have a combination of Yamaha and Insignia Outdoor speakers. I'l get the exact models when I post pics.

Re-made the screen. Bought a LOT of wide velcro (MAN is that stuff pricey!), I pinned it and the wife swewd it to the BOC screen. I then stapled the other half to the wooden frame. Works out great. I can get the screen nice and tight and it's so light that I can pick up the whole thing and hang it up and take it down easy.

Managed to get one movie in over the Holiday weekend. Spent Friday night remaking the screen. Sunday it rained jsut enough to make it too wet. Had a couple of guys over Saturday night after a round of golf. After a couple beers (OK, more than a couple), we grilled and then I set up the 3-D to check out how it worked outside. Bottom line, I need to figure the correct line of sight for the transmitetr to reach all the glasses.  Then ran Blazing Saddles! A good time was had by all!

Need to figure out how to wire everything up for the 3-D AND the regular movie and what order to change all the settings on the DVD player and the projector, so I'm not running around looking like an idiot (and cussing alot! Of course, the generous amount of alcohol didn't help either). I THINK I have it figured, but some of the remotes tend to interfer with each other and while I'm trying to set something on the 3-D converter, the DVD player picks up the signal and tries to do something else. Anyway, think I have it figured out.

So, now I need to get some pictures up and try again next weekend!

Tom
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tscoff
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« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2007, 06:17:11 pm »

Try adjusting the relative volume levels of the different channels.  I was having the exact same problem that you had and I bumped up the volume of the center speaker relative to the other speakers and that fixed the problem perfectly.
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tlogan6797
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« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2007, 11:24:26 am »

OK, a couple of pics. MAN! I thought I was taking loads of pics, but for right now these are the only good ones. I'll try to get some more. Can't believe I took a picture of the "cabinet" boc but not the actuall cabinet. Also haven't aken any pictures of the speakers yet!


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tlogan6797
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« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2007, 11:30:05 am »

And  a couple more....

Need to get some of the cabinet and the wiring. I just mounted outdoor speakers, ran low voltage wiring under the deck, made some crimp connectors and cut a hole in the back of tha cab to run the speaker cable through. I still want to cut a hole or slot in the front of the cabinet to easily pull the video cables out from the front and connect everything up without getting behind the cab and then be able to close the door.


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tlogan6797
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« Reply #6 on: May 30, 2007, 11:38:49 am »

last ones for now...screen from back.

The screen frame is 1X4 pine. Basically, two 4'X4' squares hinged in the center (for easy storage). Wife sewed velcro to the screen and I stapled the other half to the back of the frame. Makes a nice tight ADJUSTABLE fit and keeps the whole thing extremely lightweight.
 
I used 3/4" round EMT for support poles and EMT connectors. The connectors have two screws in them. For the bottom, I removed both screws, ran a deck screw through the bottom whole into a mounting block and then used that to hold the pole. For the top, I removed the top screw, used  the bottom one to attach to the pole AND as a hanger for the screen. I just used heavy duty picture frame hangers mounted to the top of the screen frame.

So far, so good! 



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tlogan6797
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« Reply #7 on: June 11, 2007, 12:07:42 pm »

Set up everything Saturday night, 6/9. Took less than 15 minutes. That includes attaching screen to frame and hanging.

Ran The DaVinci Code for wife and I and a neighbor couple. Worked out great, weather was perfect.

Only weird thing...I oculdn't get the DVD player to stop or eject the disk after the movie. Had to unplug, plug it back in and then eject it. Neither the remote NOR the buttons on the machine worked.

Anyway a great time wsa had by all. Bug zapper seemed to do the job as I was not bothered all night. ANd now I'm seeing this brand EVERYWHERE and cheaper than I paid at Costco.

Still need to dowload/upload the rest of the pics!

Tom
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Mao
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« Reply #8 on: June 11, 2007, 12:59:08 pm »

A nice clean set-up...good work!

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« Reply #9 on: June 12, 2007, 05:46:29 am »

Thats going to work out nice.... Looks good.
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tlogan6797
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« Reply #10 on: July 05, 2007, 08:21:34 am »

Tuesday, July 3

Just the wife and I. I set up the 3D. We watched "ALien Encounter " and "Encounters in the 3rd Dimension." Both original IMAX presentations. Not as "in your face" effects as "SOS Planet" but still good effects. And both have AWESOME DTS soundtracks. And "Encounter" PROMINATELY shows Elvira on the cover and she has about 60 seconds of actual screen time.

I still need to find the optimum placement of the 3D box to get a good line of site to the shutter glasses. I made up a quick little stand for it to clamp onto the deck next to the screen, but the signal doesn't reach the sitting area. Found a temp position, but I need to find the RIGHT position. Guess I'll jsut have to watch more 3D!

REALLY thinking about Casino Royale for this comming Saturday...07/07/07!

Tom
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tlogan6797
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« Reply #11 on: September 04, 2007, 09:28:02 am »

Update....

FINALLY got around to showing Casino Royale this past Saturday and Flyboys Sunday. Just the wife and I. Seemed like all the neighbors were away or busy for the holiday weekend.  PERFEECT weather. And Saturday night we were NOT in the flight path to Dulles Airport so it was pretty quiet. Sunday night the flight paths must have chagned about halfway through Flyboys, so it was a little noisier.

Tom
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tlogan6797
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« Reply #12 on: September 10, 2007, 08:21:51 am »

Bad week at work...needed mindless comedies....

Friday night Delta Farce with Larry the Cable Guy. Saturday night Daddy Daycare. Had same two neighbors both nights. I drank heavily. A good time was had by all (if I remember correctly..or anything at all for that matter)!

Tom   
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tlogan6797
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« Reply #13 on: May 27, 2008, 08:56:13 am »

                                    2008 SEASON

Kicked off the 2008 season Sunday 5/25 with Caddy Shack. Had about 15 people. I don't think the deck can handle many more. We provided the deck, the movie and popcorn. Everyone brought their own drinks and any other snacks they might prefer. A great time was had by all!

Now that I've spent last seaon getting everything set up the way I want it, I'm planning to have many more deck showings this year. We just aren't getting the turnouts at the neighborhood showings I'd like, so we cut down to the third Saturday of June, July  and August and we'll show something at the neighborhood picnic in September.

I'm hoping for most Saturday nights when the weather co-operates. As I said, we started with the 20th aniversary edition of Caddy Shack. Haven't seen it complete, uncut and UNINTERUPTED in a long time. And I think that "uninterupted" part is important. The director created a pace and you should stick to it.

Anyway, it's a funny movie. One disappointing thing....not only no 5.1, not even stereo! As soon as the movie started, the amp went from showing all 6 speakers firing, to the center only. And I always run a setup disk that includes a 5.1 audio setup, so I KNOW it was working.

Don't know what I'll be showing when, but there'll be something. Looks like Netflix or BB Online is in my VERY near future.
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tlogan6797
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« Reply #14 on: June 03, 2008, 12:19:03 pm »

This past Saturday night (5/31/08), Simpon's Movie. Only my wife and I. Invited all the neighbors as before, but no one came. SO,

If you show a movie and no one comes, is there still a movie?

Of course. The 5.1 was great and the aspect ratio filled the entire screen. Weather was PERFECT.

Showed about all the movies I have on hand. I don't usually buy movies, unless I find them in the "2 or 3 for" used bin at BB. Joined Netflix. First movie set to arrive today, probably will show this Saturday...The Long Ships. Early 60's with the late Richard Widmark. Great adventure story (the GOLDEN BELL!) with the most menancing torture device EVER put on film. And no blood and guts, but you will surely get the willies just looking at it.

I HIGHLY recommend it. Let's see if any of the neighbors show up THIS weekend.
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