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Backyard Theater - Outdoor Movies

Backyard Theater - Outdoor Movies  

The Most Watched Projectors on eBay



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Author Topic: Our Ghetto-Terriffic backyard theater.  (Read 27693 times)
matt314159
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« on: May 26, 2007, 03:49:11 pm »

I'm a little embarrassed to post pics of our humble home on here, there are so many people with beautifully landscaped yards, and gorgeous houses, that our 1970's ranch-style house and dirt backyard pale in comparison. 

With that out of the way, i want to say that I'm living proof that it does NOT have to cost a lot to get a backyard theater going.  My total, including projector, screen, mounting hardware, speakers, and audio receiver, came in just over $400.00.   And the results are astonishing (when the yard is dark and all you can see is the screen Smiley  ) 

Here's an overview:



The main seating area is to the left and back, it's not in the picture.  I just wanted to show the screen, speakers, and projector cart in one shot. 



Here's another shot that includes our above-ground pool


Now on to my projector:


The projector is a 2600 lumen, Acer DP525 DLP projector with a 4 segment, 2x speed color wheel, and 2000:1 contrast ratio.  The lamp has 430 hours used out of 2000.  Bought it on ebay.  I'll layout the price for everything at the bottom.

Here's our speakers.  Well, one of them.  The other one looks just like this one. 

Mitsubishi 150 watt pair with 12" main driver, bought at our local Salvation Army.   

The most ghetto part of our set up right now is our JVC 50 watt per channel stereo audio receiver, purchased at a thrift store last time I was in Las Vegas.  If you're ever in town, and want to blow money on something other than gambeling, I suggest checking out the thrift stores in vegas, there are some REALLY good finds.   This receiver isn't necessarily one of them, but it was cheap. 




Cost Breakdown: 

Projector: 
Acer PD525 $305 + $16 S&H on ebay
---------------------------
Total for Projector:  $321.00 delivered


Screen:  
Home Depot 4'x8' white-front particleboard --  $14.00
Two 4ft  1"x2" boards (One 8ft length cut in half) -- $6.97
Two  lag bolts:  $0.17 ea  -- $0.34
--------------------------
Total for Screen:  $21.31

Sound System
Two Mitsubishi 150W Floorstanding speakers w/ 12" woofers-- $40.00
JVC Stereo Receiver (50w per channel) --  $6.00
---------------------
Total for Sound System:  $46.00

Equipment Cart:
Big Lots 3 shelf wood utility cart:  $22.00

GRAND TOTAL:  $410.51

I already had speaker wire, and a spare DVD player.   The picture on the PD525 projector looks GREAT using my component to VGA adapter (already had that, too).   

And, surprisingly, the Speakers sound great with the JVC 50 watt receiver.  They push enough sound to keep everyone more than happy.   I decided NOT to go the surround sound route, becaues of 1) cost and 2) extra wires to keep under control.   I've got a nice yamaha 100wx5 receiver and infinity Reference Standard speakers that stay indoors and sound fabulous.  If we ever want to get fancy and really impress somebody, we can always haul that outside, though I prefer not to do it on a regular basis.

Anyway, there you have it, proof that $400 will get you started in this hobby.



« Last Edit: February 17, 2008, 07:43:39 pm by matt314159 » Logged
matt314159
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« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2007, 04:09:19 pm »

Oh I also wanted to add that we're aleady looking at options for a  bigger screen.  Ours is just barely big enough for my wants.  I'd like to get a 16x9 foot screen going, but I also need to keep the budget under control.   I just graduated with my MBA, but hvaen't quite landed that "real" job yet.   This summer I plan to work on my thesis in between backyard movie nights.  =)
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Ronaz
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« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2007, 04:46:55 pm »

You think you live in a Ghetto, Come and take a look at my back yard. Just over the fence are two dumpsters and and a 12' Storage unit and every ground pounding car stereo sold. And I don't have a pool Smiley Smiley

Great set up. I have some of the mondo speakers you have that I might use for front channel speakers if the HTIB is'nt loud enough. Look at some of my other posts for new screens and past showings. Good viewing.
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« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2007, 04:51:59 pm »

Great setup and even better price, Matt. I have similar concerns about surround sound and running wires. Between the kids, my own clumsy self and two large dopey dogs, it just seems like a bad idea.

Congrats on the degree... and best of luck with your thesis and that "real job".

Beth
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hiredpower
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« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2007, 05:51:15 pm »

Matt,

  You have nothing to be ashamed of...a very nice house by my standards.

You did a great job with the screen and the rest of your system at a modest price.

I attend a national DJ convention every year in Vegas, so now I know where to go for a movie.  Grin
Actually, we had our last one at the South Point and they had a movie theater there. I never did find time to go. We did drive out to the Red Rock Canyon this time.

Thanks for sharing the pics!
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matt314159
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« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2007, 06:05:03 pm »

Thanks for the kind words, eveyone. 

I actually live in the desert of southern california, right over the cajon pass. Vegas is about a 3 hour drive away.  I'm such a cheapskate, that when my cousin and I do our annual trip to Vegas, I make sure we hit 4 or 5 of the thrift stores there during the day.  Lots of great items and the prices are great. I don't know what it is about vegas, but they seem to have a finer selection of merchandise than anywhere else.  I picked up that JVC receiver for $6.00 just to have an extra one laying around, for the garage or whatever, and that's what i"m using here.  It works pretty good even though it looks like trash.
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Danoplex II
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« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2007, 06:44:42 pm »

First, the house is fine.  Climate sometimes dictates your home and for sure your yard.  I am lucky that I have a beautiful yard, but I end up cutting the dang thang about 2 times a week.  My house is modest by my standards as well.  Again, it is what your used to and if you are comfortable.

Now, that theater rocks!  The price ROCKS! and again of you are happy with the sound and picture that is what this is all about.  You have $$50.00 in yours, I looslye figured mine up today and I have about $4500.00 in mine...lol yeah, my name is dano and I have a problem.

I was looking at the pool and thinking how nice that must be in the heat of summer out there.  I also was thinking if it ever decided to buckel during a movie you all would be washed away!  I know those pools are pretty solid though.

Great job! 

Have you ever thought about going to your thrift store and loading up on $6.00 receivers and turning around and selling them on eBay?  I bet you could finance more toys?HuhHuh

Dano
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matt314159
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« Reply #7 on: May 26, 2007, 07:03:23 pm »

Heh heh, that thrift-store-ebay idea is a good one.  I've done pretty well on some of my finds. 

I got a SAMSUNG SIRT351 HDTV Tuner at one thift store, for $7.99...it had a DirecTV remote taped with it, apparently they mistook it for a satellite receiver.   

Another thrift store, I found an old minolta magicolor laser printer that had all the toners almost all the way full.  The printer was DOA, so I talked them into letting me have it for $4.99   I sold the toners on craigslist for $75.00 and threw away the rest.

I'm not sure if I got a good deal on the mitsubishi speakers for this theater setup or not.  They originally had them tagged for $120 for the pair, but the guy right away offered them to me for $60.   I said I wasn't willing to pay any more than $40 for them, and walked.  He later found me in another part of the store and told me his manager said $40 would take them.   They're perfect for my setup as old beater speakers...something that it doesnt matter if it gets tipped over, or if anything happens to them.  They stay outside, covered in trash bags until we use them. 


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« Reply #8 on: May 26, 2007, 07:24:06 pm »

That's a great setup, and I'm really impressed with the price.  For that price you can't go wrong.
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KMac
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« Reply #9 on: May 26, 2007, 08:56:13 pm »

Good job, Matt.  Nice setup. Cool
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Cleveland Wasp
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« Reply #10 on: May 27, 2007, 12:07:11 am »

Matt-

Everything looks great, but...your screen is way too small for that 2600-lumen cannon!  I think you need to go about four times as big.  I will await your update. Smiley
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rfisk
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« Reply #11 on: May 27, 2007, 12:25:17 am »

Great looking setup, Matt -- and another pool to boot!  (Pool-envy is really setting in...)

I’m so glad you posted these shots and your breakdown.  I said in an interview recently that a smart shopper can build a backyard theater for a few hundred dollars.  I think some people have a hard time believing that, but you ARE living proof!  You’re utilizing an existing structure to support your screen and you’ve done some smart shopping to keep your other costs low. 

(btw, a common problem with older speakers is deterioration or ripping of the foam surrounds.  If that happens, it’s actually an easy (and fun) project to replace the foam surrounds and bring some nice old speakers back to life for just a few bucks.)

I think your house and yard look great!  The view across the pool has a “one big patio’ vibe for me.  It looks like a great place to spend time and you’re definitely making the most of your space!

Great job -- and congratulations!

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


matt314159
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« Reply #12 on: May 27, 2007, 12:48:33 am »

Matt-

Everything looks great, but...your screen is way too small for that 2600-lumen cannon!  I think you need to go about four times as big.  I will await your update. Smiley

4x bigger is about what im thinking, too.  Problem is, 4x bigger = 10x what I paid for my screen. 

Actually, if I do anything to improve the screen, I might get a Dalite fastfold.  I used to set up and tear down those 9x12's like a banshee during college.  I got so good at setting them up that I could pretty easily do it myself in around 10 minutes.  I know the costs are high, but I love the portability of it.   I'm not that handy, so making a PVC one is probably out of my league. 

Hey, if there are any forum members that are entrepreneurial enough and good with stuff like that, i can see you making some decent money by making prefab PVC/Blackout cloth  kits and selling them on here.  Everything precut and prefitted, with detailed instructions for assembly.  Price them right and you would have lots of people buying them!

On a sad note, we are returning our outdoor heater.  We ran it tonight and smelled propane.  Examined the fittings and they are so poor quality, that it doesnt even look like something we want to try to fix.  So bye-bye outdoor heater. 
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rfisk
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« Reply #13 on: May 27, 2007, 01:19:56 am »

Hey, if there are any forum members that are entrepreneurial enough and good with stuff like that, i can see you making some decent money by making prefab PVC/Blackout cloth  kits and selling them on here.  Everything precut and prefitted, with detailed instructions for assembly.  Price them right and you would have lots of people buying them!

We should have some DIY fitted-screen kits available through the Backyard Theater Store this summer.  However, due to shipping costs we're not planning to offer pre-cut lengths of PVC or EMT.  But will include plans for quick assembly after a trip to the home center and only a few cuts.

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


matt314159
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« Reply #14 on: May 27, 2007, 01:53:02 am »

As long as it has pictures, I can probably handle it.   Grin
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