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Backyard Theater - Outdoor Movies

Backyard Theater - Outdoor Movies  

The Most Watched Projectors on eBay



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Author Topic: Island Outdoor Theater  (Read 32019 times)
scarbrtj
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« on: June 03, 2007, 11:05:00 pm »

Hey guys. I am in the process of building an outdoor backyard theater. It's been quite a process. One interesting thing that's happened along the way is that in designing my hanging posts for the screen, I fell off a ladder and broke my ankle and completely dislocated my foot! Now I have a plate and twelve screws in my left ankle. But hey, I'm walking again, life's back to normal--and attention turns again to the outdoor theater. I got the idea to do the project from this website.

I begain the project in mid January for an outdoor superbowl party. I had the idea to show the game outside. One thing morphed into another and soon I had the desire to do an outdoor movie theater. Superbowl was Feb 4 and everyone had a great time. I just came up with a rolling cart to put the projector and cable box and video processor on. I have outdoor ceiling speakers in my lanai but I also hooked up a pair of KEF iQ3's outside to boost the sound. The amps for the speakers are Sonos ZP100s which are cool 'cause you can transmit the sound digitally and wirelessly. I custom ordered the screen from Stewart Filmscreen Corp. It's 180" diagonal 16:9. It's nylon-tethered tight on a light aluminum frame; I went with Greyhawk vinyl. It's got a ~0.92 gain. The vinyl it turns out is really durable and is weather-resistant--although I won't test that. The whole apparatus, screen and frame, weighs only about 55 lbs and two people can lift it.

The choice of projector was difficult. I really wanted to go with 1080p, but I needed a ~35' throw distance. For the brightness I wanted, I knew I needed a minimum of 5000 lumens. Well to get 1080p at 5000 lumens can take A LOT of $$$$ so I decided to drop back a touch to 1360x768 for my resolution and went with the Panasonic PT-DW7000UK. I am new to projectors but 1) I think it's the best hi-def TV picture I have ever seen, and 2) everyone at the party, to a person, was impressed with the picture. Overall projector fan noise is important to me too and this one is pretty quiet.

Well I broke my ankle in early March and have been recovering since then. Now I'm back on the project. I had my back patio recently re-paved, and in the process I ran 4 CAT5 cables and power to a central location to hook up the equipment. I am working on a sealed waterproof cabinet which will hold projector and all electronics. I got two slim 5-8 racks from Middle Atlantic and 3 of their QFANs to went the case when operational. Inside the cabinet will be:

1) Belkin AVU1500 to power everything and provide consistent voltage to the projector which is picky about that it seems 
2) MediaPC with NVIDIA 8600GTS card and HD-DVD/Blu-ray drives (and a connection to the 8TB movie server)
3) Crystalio II VPS 3800 to drive the projector
4) Scientific Atlanta 8300HD
5) Sonos ZP80 to "broadcast" surround to the celing speakers and a ZP100 to drive speakers on the columns
6) Speakercraft OE8 Three models (x2) for front speakers, on the columns...
7) I have made custom aircraft aluminum brackets at emachineshop.com for the screen to hang on the "posts" (I'll describe below)--they were great. Now I am having them make custom 52-55" circumference brackets out of teak for my patio columns on which to mount the Speakercraft speakers. I'll be plastering Decorp Flatwire to the speakers to make everything look pretty.
Cool My "posts" are finished and look like custom trellises. I'm growing jasmine on them Wink  I will show pictures of all this stuff later.

The nucleus of the project--projector, Crystalio, and source--was in place on Superbowl night and I took pictures (my daughter is in the pics for frame of reference). They are here below. My tasks now are to finish the outdoor cabinet, make a custom aluminum box for the screen to put on the side of the house (I keep the screen inside now, cumbersome), get everything hooked up...then post more pics on here for ya. Good luck to everybody and thanks for the inspiration. Hopefully I can proivde a little myself Grin



* peyton1.jpg (444.15 KB, 1200x759 - viewed 3640 times.)

* peyton2.jpg (383.7 KB, 1200x762 - viewed 3850 times.)
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rfisk
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« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2007, 11:59:03 pm »

Beautiful setup!

Welcome aboard, scarbrtj.  What an incredible selection of gear!  I'm guessing this isn't your first rodeo in home theater.  Grin

Sorry to hear about the injury, but it looks like your pain (and research) has really paid off.  I'm anxious to see more photos as this progresses.   Be careful with that foot!

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


zoomoondoggie
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« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2007, 12:22:34 am »

wow.. it's just beautiful. Sorry to hear about your foot.. but sounds like you are healing and making forward progress. Take care of the foot.. kick back and enjoy the recovery in the under the light of the moon and that awesome screen image.
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tscoff
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« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2007, 04:52:47 am »

I am in awe.  That is a fantastic setup.

Good luck on a complete recovery.
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Danoplex II
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« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2007, 06:37:43 am »

Excellent system.  Makes me look like a hillbilly in Indiana showing movies outside....lol

Dano
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movieman
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« Reply #5 on: June 04, 2007, 07:05:25 am »

Love the set up.  The vinyl screen is the way to go. I leave mine up year round. This is the 3rd season for this screen.   rg    www.skyvueoutdoortheatre.com
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tlogan6797
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« Reply #6 on: June 04, 2007, 09:57:30 am »

Welcome!

Very impressive. Great work! The lanai sounds WONDERFUL!

Good luck,
Tom
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scarbrtj
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« Reply #7 on: June 04, 2007, 01:40:17 pm »

Thanks for encouragement, foot-wise and theater-wise.

Yeah it's not my first time at the home theater rodeo. Home theater is definitely an obsession/hobby of mine. It really didn't start in earnest until ~2004 when hi-def cable appeared in my area. That prompted me to buy a hi-def TV. Soon after I hooked up a mediaPC to that and "I glimpsed the future."

There are just so many cool toys that do so many cool things these days. Case in point: Sonos. What a great hardware and software platform that is. It is touted as a great music server system, which it is. But every Sonos player has RCA audio inputs on the back. These can be called up from any other player, and the latency is extremely low. So, in an outdoor system, you could have a ZP100 hooked up to a 5 or 7 speaker system, with a ZP100 driving pairs or singlets of speakers within that topology, with no connecting wires between the speakers (you would of course need power to each ZP100). Then just use 3 or 4 ZP80's at the source...say 5.1 out from the back of a DVD player...and voila you've got your sound distribution conquered because the Sonos creates its own wireless network and broadcasts the sound digitally and seamlessly from wherever, to wherever, you want it. And it's painless to setup. The drawback is price. Each ZP100 is about $450 and ZP80 is about $350. But, again, it works flawlessly. I am just going to go with a mirrored 4 speaker R+L sound output, or perhaps FR+FL+SR+SL "quadraphonic" setup. 2 channel has been working great, but I do have the capability of going with surrounds. We'll see. I haven't felt compelled to go with a subwoofer outside 'cause I've went with full-range speakers with good low ends. I have subs on all my in-the-house setups, yet outside I don't want to be too boomy. Neighbors are close on either side, but just water at the back of the house.

The Crystalio from PixelMagic Systems is a good find, for any home thater setup regardless of outside/inside. Cons: a little buggy & expensive. It's the video switcher between cable and the PC (which does the DVDs, HDDVDs, Blurays, games, family videos and pics). It's the deinterlacer and color corrector also. Also, I route the audio (analog) through it and can correct for lipsync delay, either in "positive milliseconds" or "negative milliseconds" which is good. Also it allows for fine adjustment of over/underscan, video cropping, etc.

I wanted a setup which would have 1) awesome picture quality, 2) good usability, and 3) be easy to setup/takedown. The way I am designing it, it's just going to be a hang-the-screen maneuver which will take a minute or two. Then turn on the system, and go. No fuss no muss. Well that's the plan. Hopefully I can pull it off.
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scarbrtj
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« Reply #8 on: June 04, 2007, 07:55:09 pm »

more pics



* DSC03240.jpg (395.63 KB, 1200x803 - viewed 1503 times.)

* DSC03242.jpg (426.48 KB, 1200x803 - viewed 1198 times.)

* DSC03243.jpg (404.42 KB, 1200x803 - viewed 1414 times.)

* DSC03244.jpg (296.06 KB, 1200x803 - viewed 1385 times.)

* DSC03249.jpg (228.61 KB, 1200x803 - viewed 1519 times.)

* DSC03247.jpg (204.91 KB, 1200x803 - viewed 1453 times.)
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scarbrtj
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« Reply #9 on: June 04, 2007, 07:59:13 pm »

more pics


* bracket1.jpg (27.23 KB, 712x622 - viewed 853 times.)

* bracket2.jpg (60.64 KB, 1162x995 - viewed 858 times.)
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Backyard Paradise
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« Reply #10 on: June 04, 2007, 08:45:08 pm »

Great setup! Cheesy Lots of ideas here. That spa looks awesome with the glass block waterfall and back light.  Cool The posts look like they’ll stand up to any hurricane too. I bet winter nights are perfect. I’m so jealous Cheesy
Kevin.
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Kevin & Dee’s Backyard Theater
scarbrtj
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« Reply #11 on: June 04, 2007, 10:13:26 pm »

Kevin, those posts are what did my ankle in! They're 4x4s, pressure-treated. I put them 2 feet in the ground with concrete. They are bolted to the side of the spa, into the stone, with lead anchors/L brackets. No way those guys are going to move. I was staining the one on the left and was on a top rung of the ladder, fell off, and twisted my foot around 120 degrees and broke the tib and fib. Looks a whole lot better now  Roll Eyes  The whole time I was laid up from my injury, I plotted my course of action heh heh. I had a whole lot of crazy ideas. They do make screens that "rise up" out of the floor but not yet in an outdoor application where wind can be a factor. It's always breezy at our place. A big tropical storm cam through last weekend and the posts stayed strong, steady, and upright the whole storm long.
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Backyard Paradise
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« Reply #12 on: June 04, 2007, 10:35:54 pm »

They do make screens that "rise up" out of the floor but not yet in an outdoor application where wind can be a factor.
I built a retractable screen that I am documenting here.
http://backyardtheater.com/forums/index.php?topic=788.0
 I ‘m still recovering from the cartwheel I did when it went up flawlessly for the first time. lol   Grin I checked out that screen site and they some very impressive products there. Do they sell material only? I would need a 16’ x 9’ piece for front projection. It would need to be weather resistant, I can see that my current screen will need replacing in the future, maybe next year. I figure I could start looking now and take a little time deciding.  Roll Eyes
Kevin
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scarbrtj
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« Reply #13 on: June 04, 2007, 11:15:45 pm »

Yes I saw this. I would definitely have an urge to go this route. But what I really wanted was something totally hidden, no posts, no nothing. To go automated, and come up with that sort of setup, I thought I'd need like a Dalite Ascender Electrol:

http://www.dalite.com/products/product.php?cID=34&pID=226

But once I checked it out, that would've wiggled around in the wind too much. I really needed something braced and held at pretty much every inch of every edge of the screen. So I had to throw my arms up and admit defeat, in terms of wanting a 100% hidden solution. The Ascender comes up by like scissor arms in the back. But if you could make it come up by posts & pulleys, like your setup, well then that should be sturdy. But how would I keep the posts out of sight if I wanted to go that route...and I insisted on post hiddenness... But I could live with posts now, obviously!

Stewart Filmscreen, best as I can tell, makes some of the best projector screens. The material I have is vinyl. It's pretty thick in fact. Reminds me of rubber, but they call it vinyl. It has slight stretch-ability. It has a special back coating to make it completely opaque from the backside; no light shines through at all and the projector's about 6000 lumens. I feel like this material is very sturdy, but I haven't stressed it out with moisture or mechanical excesses. I did get a little smudge on it one day and it wiped right off. When you get up in the higher screen sizes, to buy it, I think you pretty much have to go through a dealer. Stewart will make pretty much whatever size screen you want, with any sort of mounting you want. They're very versatile. One thing I haven't shown in the pics yet is the front of the screen. It's got a 8" black felt solid border all the way around, standing out and away from the screen. Provides a non-reflective screen edge to bleed/overscan the picture out a bit for a perfect image fit on the screen (did that make sense?).
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rfisk
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« Reply #14 on: June 05, 2007, 12:02:49 am »

Aside from the purple lights (and the glass) in the Jacuzzi against the blue in the pool, one my favorite aspects of this project is that you’ve been so hands-on, with a high-end system like this.  From the broken bones to the custom machined brackets, selecting and making all these components work together.  I can really appreciate all of that.

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





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