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1  Backyard Theater discussions / Projector specific / Re: BenQ W1070 1080P 3D on: March 14, 2017, 03:07:19 pm
Amazon has the BenQ W1070 1080P projector for under $500 and new, which is a pretty good price.  If you are looking to upgrade or getting started on a Backyard Theater I think this is a good choice.  That being said, I haven't used this projector...anyone got one?

http://www.backyardmovies.net/benq-w1070-1080p-3d-home-theater-projector-on-sale/


I don't think this would be a bad starter projector at all or especially for someone with a smaller screen or very little ambient light.  I just ran the numbers on PJ central's calculator using a 9 X 16 screen because I know that's a common size for BYT folks, I assumed a screen gain of 1.0, which gave me an estimated 6 Foot Lamberts of light in video mode.  Which is a bit on the dim side, for the example screen, but it's a well priced unit made by a quality manufacture.  I agree it would be a great starter PJ, or backup, ect. 
2  Backyard Theater discussions / Receiver specific / Re: Fm Tramsmitter on: March 05, 2017, 11:54:26 pm
Yea, I'm pretty much going to echo what Movieman had to say.  Most phones are a no go due to no FM receiver.  However I have  broadcast my sound at my BYT for 10 years.  Folks bring radios and / or walkmans with headset, it's not a big deal.  If you tell people ahead of time that they will need to bring a radio and if your trying to contain your sound you can require they bring headphones.  It shouldn't be an issue.  I have two loaner units rarely do they get used, but then again I've been doing it for a long time and it's mostly regulars so folks know. 

Most FM transmitters have RCA or 1/8 jack to plug your audio into.  If you have some sort of processing for your audio you can have your transmitter hooked up after that.  Don't forget to have an antenna hooked up to your transmitter when you turn it on.  On some units it's quite have on the final stage to turn them on with out a transmitter. 

Let me know if you want to talk more about broadcasting it's one of those things that I'm really into.
3  Backyard Theater discussions / Backyard and Outdoor Theater Showcase / Re: Backyard Theater Showcase on: March 01, 2017, 11:58:09 pm
Ok my First one is done!

THEATER INFO - Some of these may be N/A so just answer the ones you can.
 
Name of Theater:  Sit & Vue Outdoor Theatre, or Sit & Vue "3" Outdoor Theatres

Location:  Pacific Northwest

Length of Season:  Mid-April though September, our season is very much weather driven here as we get a lot of rain, so some years it's a bit shorter.

How did you get started?:  I loved the drive in.  When I started doing BYT it was because I wanted to create a drive in sort of feel of my own.  If I had the money, time and ability I would own a drive in theatre.

How many years have you been doing it?: 12

Traditions (i.e. do you add advertisements, does everyone start by saying the pledge of allegiance, etc.):  We don't really have nightly traditions per-say although we almost always show double features.  Start the show with a old drive in advertisements and then between features usually cartoons or sometimes vise versa.   The yard is a tee shape with a 10 X 30 building that is a foot off the ground and has two sides.  I call it a free standing deck.  We have the equipment, projectors and sound equipment mounted in deck.  We set it up in the spring and leave it until we close for the season in the fall.  Because of the tee shape of the yard we have three screens.  Also because turn out for the movies is smaller when we first open up and drops off after  labor day we only use all three screens during the summer months.   We also typically play the same set of movies on both Friday and Saturday night. 

Our main tradition is the summer camp over.  One Saturday night each summer usually in August we do an all night movie night and we invite folks to stay over in the yard in their tent.  If they stay awake for all the movies their usually crawling in their tent at day break.  Then we all get up and I cook a pancake breakfast typically around 11AM.  Rocky Horror picture show is always the third movie, the others vary.

4th of July we show a local fireworks display that is broadcast on TV.

Audience (i.e. neighbors, family member, whoever shows up, and average size of audience):  Depending on the time of year and the popularity of the movies picked it can be any where from just a few folks to maybe 40 or more.  I've never really taken count. 

Favorite Events (i.e. movies, 3D movies, live events, etc.)   Other than the 4th of July it is pretty much just movies, though I have shown mini-marathons of old TV shows before.  Three to four hours worth during a mini-marathon.
EQUIPMENT - Please include why you went with this equipment and pros and cons.  It doesnít have to be extensive. 
Screen: #1 wood frame, plywood facing 8 X 12.  Screens #2 & #3 are 9 X 16 BOC

Projector: #1 Epson Powerlite 81P rated 2,000 lumens, Projectors #2 & #3 are both Canon Realis 700X these projectors are Lcos Pjs rated at 4,000 lumens.

Sound System:  I don't use speakers at all.  For the first 9 years we broadcasted our sound on 650AM with an old AM stereo transmitter.  We still use that system but added an FM transmitter 2 years ago.  Folks that come to see the movies are expected to bring a radio or walkman, though I do maintain a couple of loaner radios.

Media Source (DVD, etc.) : DVD player or Laptop for programming NO blue-ray or HDMI equipment.
Any projected upgrades:  Not at this time.  With 3 screens, 3 projectors and 2 broadcast systems maintenance costs can be fairly substantual, so most theater money goes to keeping what we have in good shape.

Miscellaneous:
Seating (chairs, blankets, benches, who provides?):  Bring your own, chairs and blankets, pretty much whatever you want so long as it doesn't block the view for others.
Pest Control (Any secrets you have discovered?):  Not really, bug spray as needed.
Food (Do you provide it?, Sell Snacks?, Have a popcorn machine?, etc.)  We have a limited amount of snacks available for a suggested donation, with the knowledge that anything made from the donations goes to maintenance of the theater.  Our menu is simple.  Popcorn, pizza, soda.  Folks that come to the theater are welcome to bring in any food they like, we don't try to limit outside food at all.  It has been very well received and helps off set costs.  We pop popcorn on a propane grill / BBQ as well as cook the pizza on it too.   
Lighting (Flashlights, floodlights, Christmas Lights, etc.):  Flood lights are mounted on the deck.
Have you ever done any cool party ideas?  Other than the overnight camping thing mentioned above not really. 
What do you love most about Backyard Movies/Outdoor Theaters?  The act of building, maintaining, and running the theater.  Also the social aspect before and after the movies.  Honestly the movies are not all that important to me.  It's everything else that surrounds them.

What advice would you give someone who is just getting started?  You don't have to spend a fortune, and it doesn't have to constantly cost you money.  Good used equipment for projection and sound can be had on craigslist and E-bay for a song.  For a first screen you can build something with recycled wood, or simple sheet or tarp can be enough to get you started.  BYT can cost a fortune but it doesn't have to.
4  Backyard Theater discussions / Backyard and Outdoor Theater Showcase / Re: Backyard Theater Showcase on: February 20, 2017, 06:15:09 pm
Cody, as promised I will do one for the Sit & Vue and for the Night-SKy.  I've been working on getting the form done for the Sit & Vue but I have been rather wordy and busy so I will get them to you I have not forgotten I'm just slow.
5  Backyard Theater discussions / General discussion / Re: Interest Survey on: February 12, 2017, 02:04:22 pm
I would like to know what people are interested in learning more about as it pertains to Backyard Theaters.  I know there are a lot of lurkers who cannot register for the site, so I am using survey monkey vs the embed survey so that more people can participate.  I will post results when I get a significant number of responses. https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/ZC2GZHG

265 views, but only 10 responses. I appreciate everyone who took the time to take the survey.

Red,
if it were me I would let the survey run for a while.  I think this time of year less folks are thinking about BYT in general.  So I'd say just let it run for a while, I'd really like to see you get a significant number of responses, so we can do some sharing. 


Again a big thanks to everyone who responded to the survey.  I think I am going to follow your advice and let it run for a awhile.  I think when folks start getting spring fever I will see an uptick in responses.  In the meantime I am trying to move out on what the data is showing.  For example, there is an interest in seeing other people's setups, which is no surprise since that is one of the things that brought me to this site to begin with.  I was wanting to start a showcase on my own website anyway, so I will post any submissions I get both on my site and here (so if one site goes down, the info will be saved).  I have a sample questionnaire attached, that I think is pretty thorough.  If anyone would like to participate, just email me at Cody @ Backyardmovies.net. 

I think you questionnaire is great.  I would definitely like to participate.  I will fill one out for the Sit & Vue and one for the Night-Sky and then E-mail them to you.  I'm on my way out the door right now so look for it either tonight or Tomorrow.  Thanks, for getting this going it's been fun!
6  Backyard Theater discussions / General discussion / Re: Super Bowl LI on: February 10, 2017, 11:57:05 pm
NFL went after a church for having a family supper and the game. This they went after a non-profit group.

rg

Ok I'm going to come out and say it.  This is the one thing that scares me about BYT.  Not that I've had an issue.... yet.  It is also the reason I will never show anything from Lucas films.  They have a reputation for going after non-profits at least in my area.  There are two that I'm aware of that have been in hot water with that studio.  It is also the reason I don't list movie titles on the website and I don't mention movie titles that I'm going to show on the forum, because if the wrong studio Nazi happens to see it post on the forum it could possibly be construed as advertisement.  Maybe I worry about it to much, maybe not.   But I'm not worried at the moment, because we are closed for the season!
7  Backyard Theater discussions / Screen specific / Re: Building and maintaining a plywood / wood movie screen on: February 10, 2017, 09:02:19 pm
Thank you all for the positive comments.  I know a wood screen isn't for everyone, and heck we have one wood and two BOC screens, so I'm not wood exclusive myself.  Hopefully though if there is anyone out there member or not that is thinking of building a wood screen they will get some good ideas from the write up, and have a better idea what they are getting into. Smiley
8  Backyard Theater discussions / Screen specific / Re: Building and maintaining a plywood / wood movie screen on: February 08, 2017, 11:21:36 pm
Nice job SR!!!!!! I just use the Gemmy Screen when I started I was told the Gemmy would just blow away all other screens LOL Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked

Thanks! G!!!!!
9  Backyard Theater discussions / General discussion / Re: Super Bowl LI on: February 08, 2017, 11:18:44 pm
I bought a screen to the beer garden at my roommate's bar. It ended up looking great once things got dark. The picture is a little overshot because the projector is about 60' back so I couldn't get it tight enough to fit the screen correctly.

All I can say is Cool

X2 Very cool.  As I know you already know it is amazing how forgiving things can be even with minor issues!  I'm sure your the only one that even noticed the picture being over shot. 
10  Backyard Theater discussions / General discussion / Re: Interest Survey on: February 08, 2017, 05:40:37 pm
Wow, that was a lot more work than I thought it would be.  It's also a lot longer than I expected, but it's posted now in the screen section, thread titled building and maintaining a wood movie screen.   Hopefully some folks will find it interesting and / or helpful.
11  Backyard Theater discussions / Screen specific / Building and maintaining a plywood / wood movie screen on: February 08, 2017, 05:36:15 pm
This write up is about the building and maintaining of a wood outdoor movie screen.  Warning itís long. 

There are many, many variables on the building of a screen, from the size to the terrain of the yard and the weather it will be exposed to, so Iím not going to give specific measurements on anything, instead Iím going with the general concept.  Depending on the size of the screen you are looking to build you will most likely be using 2X4s or 4X4s or a combination of the two for your frame.  Please remember that once your screen is finished it is going to catch the wind in a storm.  It is possible for a screen to break loose and become a flying hazard damaging your property, hurting someone or possibly even leaving your property and doing damage at the neighbors.  Obviously that is extreme but no one wants to be in the position, so please remember to sink your supports several feet into the ground.  I would highly recommend (depending on the height of your screen) that you run supports from top back angling down to the ground, these supports should also be sunk into the ground.  If your building a large screen it may even be necessary to build forward angle supports starting just below the viewing surface of the screen and again sunk several feet into the ground.  The number of supports you have that run into the ground will be dictated by screen height and width.  Iíd recommend that you take the time to put your frame together with carriage bolts.  Not only are they stronger than nails but if you ever need to replace a support it is usually easier to remove bolts that trying to pry apart nails.  To get some idea how this should go it would be well worth your time to look it wood framed drive in screens.  And remember that safety should be your top priority.

What you are building is essentially a scaled down version of a drive in screen.  If youíre building a smaller wood screen say 8X12 or smaller it maybe easiest to build it flat on the ground and then raise it with the help of some friends.  For larger screens it might be best to build the frame on the ground, raise and secure the frame in position and then sheath the screen with the plywood facing. 

For the surface of the screen I would recommend that you use 5/8Ē outdoor plywood.  You could use 3/4Ē plywood, but there would be no benefit from it and it would add weight that your frame has to support.  Most plywood that is thinner than 5/8Ē is not outdoor rated and isnít recommended because it will quickly fall apart outside.  When picking your plywood out at the store try to pick wood that has one side that is reasonably smooth.  It doesnít have to be perfect, but any large missing knots or deep gouges should be avoided if possible.  I have heard of folks using outdoor rated chip board, but I cannot attest to the quality of the image or the long term durability.  Because of this Iím going to recommend that you stick with 5/8Ē outdoor plywood.  Itís not really necessary use marine grade plywood but it could be an option for ultimate durability. 

Seams: 
So my screen is 8X12 with 3 plywood panels with the length of the plywood running up and down so there are only two vertical seams.  I have experimented with a few different things on these seems, such as wood filler, bondo and a few other things.  None of them really worked.  Some materials cause a phenomenon known as hot spotting.  I discovered though trial and error the best thing for the seams is nothing at all.  Simply butt the pieces of plywood up as close as you possibly can.  After properly priming and painting the screen surface you wonít be able to see the seams at all when the movie is playing, and itís one less thing to have to worry about.   

Painting:
So you have your screen built now you need to paint it.  For the frame and back side of the screen you can paint that with your favorite flavor of outdoor paint.  A sprayer will make this go a little faster and easier.  For the front of the screen where the viewing image will be is a little trickier, we need to be careful to build a proper viewing surface. 

Priming:
The first thing we need to do is lay a proper coating of primer on the plywood surface.  Iím going to recommend that you use a paint roller and an extension pole for this.  Iíve tried spraying my screen surface but I canít ever seem to get thick enough coats, so Iíve had better luck with a roller.  Obviously you need to do the painting when there is a good long stretch of dry warm weather, because it will take you several days to get it done.  You need to pick a primer that will match your top coat.  Iíd recommend that you stick with outdoor latex products.  They are easy to use and clean up with soap and water.  There is really no need to use oil based products anymore.  Iíve had good luck with Kilz primers.  Every time I have painted a fresh screen I have rolled on about three coats of primer letting it dry well between coats.  You need to make sure that the wood sealed both for the longevity of the screen and to ensure that any adhesives used in the making of the plywood and the screws you used to fasten the plywood to the frame donít cause hot spotting.  Bottom line, apply primer until you are sure the surface is well covered.

Top coating the screen:
In the old days there use to be paint that designed for drive in movie screen but no paint company still produces it.  These days most drive ins like to use Sherman Williams A100 flat.  This is a flat white exterior acrylic latex paint.  You donít want anything on your screen that is at all glossy because it can produce a phenomenon known as hot spotting, which pretty much destroys the image during brighter scenes and if bad enough itís unpleasant to look at.  Personally Iím always looking to save a buck so most of the time I paint my screen with whatever flat white outdoor latex paint I can find on craigslist for free.   You will probably want to apply two coats of your final flat white paint.  Allow the paint to dry and your screen is done!

Maintenance: 
One of the joys of owning a wood screen is that you only have to put it up one time and it is there to use whenever you like.  I generally find that I need to do maintenance on my screen once a year, which is nice because once itís done itís good to go, but the one day a year maintenance can be a bit of a pain.   The first thing I do is check over all the supports and braces, tighten up any loose carriage bolts and replace any wood that needs it.  After that nearly every spring I pressure wash the viewing surface of the plywood, and every other year I repaint the viewing surface.  I donít bother with the primer I just make sure itís clean and top coat with the flat white.  Iíve never had to scrape the screen, the pressure washing usually takes care of any paint that is loose.  If you donít have access to a pressure washer I imagine that a long handled scrub brush would do. 

Last thing: 
Old age.  As your screen gets older issues will crop up.  Wood likes to rot, especially if you live somewhere that is wet.  The first thing that usually starts to go is the plywood.  If you used good quality outdoor plywood and paint usually the spots that start to go first are around the edges and at the seams.  Just remove any loose bits, pressure wash and paint.  Youíd be surprised how much a good coat of paint will hide.  If itís to the point where paint wonít hide it or there is hole clear though the surface which could be from wood deterioration or flying debris in a storm youíre going to have some work to do.  You can either replace a panel or cut a section out and put a new section in.  Just remember if you opt to cut and paste a new section in that you will be adding a seam to your screen, which if done correctly shouldnít show but still it creates another potential issue in the long run.  Thatís not to say that I havenít done it for one reason or another.  I donít recommend trying to fill in any imperfections or damage with any kind of filler, as I mentioned earlier my experience hasnít been good with using them on the screen. 

You may eventually find that your supports start to deteriorate where they go into the ground.  Itís pain but if your careful itís likely you can replace a support or two without taking the screen down.  One option is adding a support right next to the one that is being replaced and then cutting the only one out after the new one is in place.  Thatís my favorite way of dealing with that problem.   

Honestly after all these years I still have mixed emotions about wood screens.  When I built my first wood screen I did it because I wasnít aware that other materials are used.  I knew that some drive ins had wood screens so it just made sense to me to go that route.  Durability wise the wood screen is second to none.  I donít know anyone that has an inflatable or fabric screen that has been around for 10 or more years and outside the entire time.  My wood screen is currently 12 years old.  I have moved it once, replaced the plywood face once, and various boards as needed.  And of course painted it many times.   

In the end I still have mix feelings about a wood screen.  The big plus is also itís biggest down fall.  Once you have built it itís always there ready to use.  One less thing that needs to be put up and taken down, but itís not an easy thing to more or resize either.  If you think youíre going to use it for years to come and in the same location and your handy with tools and wood, Iíd suggest that you at least consider building yourself a screen.  As an added bonus it will give your yard a bit of a drive in feel to it. 

Those are my thoughts and opinions on the subject.  If other folks have different ideas or questions I would encourage you to post them.
12  Backyard Theater discussions / General discussion / Re: Interest Survey on: February 08, 2017, 11:56:23 am
Red,
You and the survey you created has inspired me.  I'm going to do a couple of things.  Right now I am writing a tutorial on wood frame / plywood screens.  Some ideas on building them, materials, anchoring and maintaining the wood surface.  Since I have built wood screens, moved one, repainted, repaired ect it's something that I know about that doesn't get brought up a lot here so I thought it would be fun to do a little write up on it, I'm sure there will be a few folks that will be interested in it.  I started it at work today, so I'm hoping to have it finished and posted tomorrow. 

After that I'm going to do a write up on lumens and estimating lumens.  Then I may do an updated 3.0 version of the broadcasting your sound write up, though I'm not sure there are really any changes needed so we'll see how I feel after doing the two new ones I guess.  To me it's fun to share so it'll be fun for me to do this even better if a few folks get something from it.  So thanks Redsparow1 you've inspired me!

Man, I hope I pass your screen test Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Wink Wink

LOL, it'll be a toughie  Smiley Smiley
13  Backyard Theater discussions / General discussion / Re: Interest Survey on: February 07, 2017, 11:26:49 pm
Red,
You and the survey you created has inspired me.  I'm going to do a couple of things.  Right now I am writing a tutorial on wood frame / plywood screens.  Some ideas on building them, materials, anchoring and maintaining the wood surface.  Since I have built wood screens, moved one, repainted, repaired ect it's something that I know about that doesn't get brought up a lot here so I thought it would be fun to do a little write up on it, I'm sure there will be a few folks that will be interested in it.  I started it at work today, so I'm hoping to have it finished and posted tomorrow. 

After that I'm going to do a write up on lumens and estimating foot lamberts.  Then I may do an updated 3.0 version of the broadcasting your sound write up, though I'm not sure there are really any changes needed so we'll see how I feel after doing the two new ones I guess.  To me it's fun to share so it'll be fun for me to do this even better if a few folks get something from it.  So thanks Redsparow1 you've inspired me!
14  Backyard Theater discussions / General discussion / Re: Super Bowl LI on: February 06, 2017, 06:26:33 pm
To be honest the super bowl isn't really my thing, but even if it was I wouldn't be showing it in the BYT.  This is the off season for us as it is either rainy or cold and snowy.  In the more distant past when I have tried to do off seasons showings I have either had to cancel because of weather or it was very poorly attended.  So I just don't do off season showings at all anymore.  The one exception is for testing, if I have made any changes to the set up I like to run one full movie so I can make adjustments and/or make sure everything is working right, but I don't invite anyone over for that so I'm not sure if that really counts.
15  Backyard Theater discussions / General discussion / Re: Interest Survey on: February 05, 2017, 06:44:52 pm
I would like to know what people are interested in learning more about as it pertains to Backyard Theaters.  I know there are a lot of lurkers who cannot register for the site, so I am using survey monkey vs the embed survey so that more people can participate.  I will post results when I get a significant number of responses. https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/ZC2GZHG

265 views, but only 10 responses. I appreciate everyone who took the time to take the survey.

Red,
if it were me I would let the survey run for a while.  I think this time of year less folks are thinking about BYT in general.  So I'd say just let it run for a while, I'd really like to see you get a significant number of responses, so we can do some sharing. 
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