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1  Backyard Theater discussions / Screen specific / Re: Trapeze rear projection on: April 09, 2010, 07:36:57 am
I use this material and it is amazing.

2  Backyard Theater discussions / Projector specific / Re: rear projection on: March 17, 2010, 11:50:52 am
I have to disagree with the loss of contrast with rear projection.

Your loss is probably due to your choice of screen material.  In my case, I purchased material specifically designed for rear projection, and the image quality is amazing.

Of course, since the material is grey that might be helping the contrast issue.

The material itself is an opaque grey plastic (Dazian I believe).  The closest thing to it that I have seen is a grey plastic ground cloth that goes under a tent, available at some sporting goods stores.  I haven't tried the ground cloth, but it looked identical and was pretty cheap.  You might give it a try.

My first thought when I received mine was "How is the image going to go through this material?  I can't even see through it.".  Don't worry, it does.  It almost seems like it makes the material "glow" for a very bright image.  Conventional wisdom would seem to indicate that you would need a nearly clear material for rear projection, but it is not true.

Good luck with your project.
3  Backyard Theater discussions / General discussion / Re: The Quintessential Italian Themed Outdoor Summer Movie? on: March 11, 2010, 01:23:52 pm
Under the Tuscan Sun Cheesy

4  Backyard Theater discussions / General discussion / Re: Help in controlling sound in backyard- one neighbor not happy on: September 19, 2009, 11:39:14 am
Bobtom and Larrys,

Thanks for the input.  It certainly gives us all something to think about.

5  Backyard Theater discussions / General discussion / Re: Help in controlling sound in backyard- one neighbor not happy on: September 16, 2009, 10:39:06 am
Here are a couple of suggestions that I've used.

Don't do it every weekend.  I have neighbors that like to party and they can get loud.  But they only do it once or twice a summer near us.  I figure everyone should get a chance to let loose once in a while.  If they did it every weekend I'd be complaining.

I hate fences (too confining).  We planted a row of arborvitaes on each side of our seating area.  And around other areas of our property we've planted tall grasses.  It gives us privacy and helps to block the sound of our movies.

Your choice of movie makes a huge difference.  For outdoor viewing we prefer something light.  It gives us a chance to talk during the movie.   Movies that require too much attention are fine when it is just the two of us, but with a larger audience it is difficult to keep everyone riveted to the screen.  Plus, the noise that our neighbors hear most is gentle laughter.  Summer blockbuster action flicks with explosions every few minutes are more suited to our indoor theater where the audio is much better.

We have a number of choices when it comes to sound.  If it is just a few people and it is a loud movie we can use wireless headphones.  Pretty impressive sound.  You should try it.  Of course, it does cut down on conversation.  

For a larger crowd we have used an FM transmitter and gave out small FM radios to our guests.  This works very well for children (less well for adults).  We pick up the small radios at the dollar store for a dollar and we let the kids keep them when they leave.  You should test both the transmitter and the radios before you use this method for an event.  The signal can drift requiring constant re-tuning.  Better transmitters eliminate this problem.

We also have wireless speakers that we can place in the audience.  We've used both inexpensive ones and more expensive ones.  I'd stay away from the cheap ones due to poor sound quality (though you do get a sense of how the old drive-in movies used to sound). The more expensive ones are pretty good.

It's not always just the soundtrack that is the problem.  Neighbors might be complaining about the crowd noise.  If you have really loud and rowdy guests try to turn their volume down a bit.

Will any of this help if you have a neighbor who is unwilling to budge?  Probably not.  But if push comes to shove at least you can demonstrate that you are trying to resolve the issue.

And remember, when dealing with any authorities on the issue -- We are not showing movies in our backyard, we are watching movies in our backyard.

6  Backyard Theater discussions / General discussion / Re: Beatles RockBand on: September 09, 2009, 12:18:15 pm
I never understood why players don't just learn to play a real guitar.

As someone said, "No one ever got a date playing Rock Band".

I play guitar, and trust me, the results are MUCH better...  Grin

But that's just me.  The game is an obvious hit.
7  Backyard Theater discussions / General discussion / Re: NonProfit-Organ Donors Rock!-Seek IN72 InFocus Lamp+Tip on Improving Vid Quality on: September 08, 2009, 10:26:45 am
It's the same thing we used to do in the darkroom to smooth out skin tones in a portrait.

I never thought of doing it with my projector.  I'll have to give it a try.  Thanks!
8  Backyard Theater discussions / General discussion / Re: chick flick ideas? on: July 13, 2009, 06:05:45 pm
"Under the Tuscan Sun"
9  Backyard Theater discussions / Pre-show reels, stills, clips, tools and discussion / Re: My first preshow! on: July 19, 2008, 09:04:52 am
Nice work!
10  Backyard Theater discussions / General discussion / Re: DVD Conversion on: July 15, 2008, 12:22:06 pm
Either I'm reading this wrong (could be), or you're making this much too hard.

How do you currently play DVDs on your PC?  If you are using PowerDVD, just SELECT SOURCE, choose "OPEN DVD FILE ON HARD DISK DRIVE", navigate to the VIDEO_TS folder, and click "OPEN".  It will play the movie.  I would guess that other computer DVD players have a similar option.

Now, if you've got multiple clips in the VIDEO_TS folder, then go with what Victor said.
11  Backyard Theater discussions / General discussion / Re: I finally got the go ahead to build my theater on: July 10, 2008, 12:49:55 pm
That's funny!  I've wanted to build a scaled version of Stonehenge myself!
12  Backyard Theater discussions / General discussion / Re: 75 years of outdoor theater on: July 06, 2008, 05:05:33 pm
Fun article.  Thanks for the link.
13  Backyard Theater discussions / General discussion / Re: Screen Material Poll on: June 13, 2008, 09:55:18 pm
For small groups I use rear-projection screen material.  For large groups I use a screen I got from a movie theater that was renovating.
14  Backyard Theater discussions / General discussion / Re: Blue Ray on: May 25, 2008, 10:26:08 am
....Sadly I have to disagree that hd material looks the same on a big screen, it simply doesnt...

You're right, and that's not what I meant to imply (my fault).  HD on the big screen does look better.  What I meant to say was that customers who are used to seeing HD on a 42" or 50" LCD or plasma are not going to see the same quality on a large outdoor screen.  As image size grows pixel size grows.

15  Backyard Theater discussions / General discussion / Re: Blue Ray on: May 23, 2008, 02:29:53 pm
If you are renting out blu-ray players other than the PS3 you are likely to have some unhappy customers.  The players are just not ready for primetime.  Most customers will expect to just drop in the DVD and watch the movie.  Blu-ray players (and HD-DVD players) can be finicky.  The PS3 seems to be the exception.

And while the image will better than standard DVD, once you project the image onto a very large screen it won't look much like HD anymore.  How big a screen will be used? 
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