Costco Outdoor Screen - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 27 Old 10-18-2009, 08:21 AM - Thread Starter
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FYI, I ordered the portable outdoor screen from Costco's last week and will provide a report when I'm able to set it up and inspect it (see link below). Hopefully, I'll get it delivered before the weather turns too cold. Otherwise, the report may wait for spring.

I've gone back and forth about DIY designs but couldn't settle on one that's cheap, easy to set up and store and that fits in my rather hilly backyard. This one is a bit smaller than I was looking at building but should fit nicely in a niche just off my patio. While I can probably kiss goodbye the huge 50-75 person block party using a 20 foot screen, realistically, that probably wasn't going to happen anyway.

Also, this is a pretty cheap investment. Once I get started, maybe I'll get better ideas on how to go bigger.

Has anyone tried this screen before?

http://www.costco.com/Browse/Product...=1&topnav=&s=1
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post #2 of 27 Old 10-18-2009, 06:04 PM
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Based on the photograph, it appears to work well in sunlight.
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post #3 of 27 Old 10-20-2009, 12:29 PM
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That's funny.

Kinda small to.

Get one of Carl's finished BOC, some 1" EMT to build a frame and for about $250 you can have a very nice 16x9. http://www.carlofet.com/finished-projector-screens.html

Black out cloth is one of the top choices for outdoor projection. It's what I use and it has a fantastic image.
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post #4 of 27 Old 10-21-2009, 05:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neuner View Post

That's funny.

Kinda small to.

Get one of Carl's finished BOC, some 1" EMT to build a frame and for about $250 you can have a very nice 16x9. http://www.carlofet.com/finished-projector-screens.html

Black out cloth is one of the top choices for outdoor projection. It's what I use and it has a fantastic image.

What's EMT?
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post #5 of 27 Old 10-21-2009, 05:46 AM
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1" Electrical Metal Conduit. Other's have then purchased online extended couplers used to make canopies to join them together for the frame for a quick assembly / break-down. Or do I like did and make a 2x4 frame.

I'll try and find one of the online vendors.
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post #6 of 27 Old 10-23-2009, 09:57 AM
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Creative Shelters has the EMT connections and a section for building a movie screen frame. Lots of good info on there for DIYers.

http://www.creativeshelters.com/

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post #7 of 27 Old 10-23-2009, 10:49 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the recommendations. I'm very familiar with Creative Shelters and Carl's (at least his old web site). Frankly, I suffer analysis paralysis and therefore let the entire summer go by as I continually modified my design criteria. When I saw the Costco screen, I figured that this will at least get me up and running pretty cheaply and I'll get operational experience that will help me design my next screen when I decide to upgrade.
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post #8 of 27 Old 11-10-2009, 04:49 PM
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I have been considering that screen too... is there a gain published in the documentaton? How bright is it at night? I am planning on using it with a 2000 ansi lumen projector- I currently have an 80" Epson Duet screen rated at a gain of 1 and its wonderfully bright in the backyard at night... I worry going up to a 120" screen and a gray material may make things a bit too muted or dark.
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post #9 of 27 Old 11-13-2009, 05:42 AM
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hey guys

I am looking to try this screen too, it will be my first leap into portable HT.

I plan to use the screen indoors in the winter, and outside in the summer.

My guess would be that as long it stays good and taught with no droops its probably a pretty good screeen, right?

I'm thinking about using the Optoma HD20 with it.

Would love to see some real world pics too!

brad
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post #10 of 27 Old 11-13-2009, 07:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bwhitmore View Post


Would love to see some real world pics too!

brad

There are a whole bunch on the Backyard Theater forum...

http://backyardtheater.com/forums/in...?topic=4584.15
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post #11 of 27 Old 11-15-2009, 06:17 PM
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Have purchased this screen, used once and returned with unsatisfactory results. my opinion, not a good buy!
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post #12 of 27 Old 11-15-2009, 06:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cadillacgrilles View Post

Have purchased this screen, used once and returned with unsatisfactory results. my opinion, not a good buy!

Oooh, really?

Could you elaborate a bit more on why you didn't like it?
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post #13 of 27 Old 11-15-2009, 07:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cadillacgrilles View Post

Have purchased this screen, used once and returned with unsatisfactory results. my opinion, not a good buy!

Do tell! I just ordered one as I have heard positive things... and it's low risk- I can return it to the local Costco...
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post #14 of 27 Old 01-24-2010, 07:16 AM
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Has anyone set up this screen and add your comments. Thanks
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post #15 of 27 Old 01-24-2010, 09:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by renel View Post

Has anyone set up this screen and add your comments. Thanks

Sorry for the delayed post.

I Got the screen just prior to Thanksgiving. A friend's daughter had a b-day party the Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend... it was in the 30's with 20mph gusts. This screen is not to be used in 20mph winds, according to the literature....

We lashed the screen against the house so it would be a wind-break and worked very well. The screen has no rated gain in the literature, but I'd eyeball it at .75-.85. This makes it work better than my Epson Duet in terms of ambient light tolerance... but not as bright or sizzling "pop" as the epson in low-light. Either way, the screen's 120" size over the Epson's 80" more than makes up for it and it is now my preferred screen.

The assembly is easy and solid- if you pay attention. It takes two people to put up and take down (I am 6' 2"- if you are vertically chanllenged, it may be more difficult) because you have to pull the screen over the assembled frame which required tilting it forward. Same for disassembly. Eithery way I'd say 15 min to assemble and just as much to tear down and pack it away.

The gray of the screen had a few small black splotches- either stained through or where the graye dye didn't permeate- I can't decide. I am not sure how much it bothers me- not enough to send it back to Costco but I may try to touch it up with a feather-dusting of gray spray paint/dye in the summer.

We also used it in December for a fund-raiser screening at my daughter's school. 50-60 or so kids watch Polar Express in 3d... it worked well there and as a pre-screening we had Planet Earth running (looked great).

I took pictures of the box with my iPhone but have not had a chance to upload them. I figured I will do it as a post with pictures of the assembly, etc... next time. The only two times we used the screen we were time-pressed so I couldn't do it.

The sides of the screen material are stretchie... so this helps reduce the crease-lines.

I consider it a good value, but it isn't perfect. The included lash-down ropes (4) and stakes are sturdy and easy to work with. The frame is solid. Overall I'd say it is more stable than my Epson Duet in winds because the tie-downs (the Epson is tripod-mounted). The dark splotches are my biggest complaint so I will probably try to mask them... a feather-dusting of gray-satin spray paint (color-matched) may make it less noticeable- I will report my results if and when I try this.
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post #16 of 27 Old 01-24-2010, 02:20 PM
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hey guys

I bought this screen from Costco to use as a secondary system when away from home. I can't speak of how it works outside, I've only used it inside.

The black metal pipe frame is a breeze to assemble. After the first time, and you get the hang of it, it can be put together in 5 minutes. Having an extra set of hands helps.

You just put the screen over the frame like a big sock. Again, after the first time it seemed that the screen stretched a bit and it went on easier during future uses. The screen seems to be pretty durable, I hope it stands up over time.

You can see from the pics, I just set my projector (the new Optoma HD20) on a lamp table and eye balled it. Getting the picture set up right took much longer than assembling the screen! A little tweak here and there and we're watching 1080p Blurays! Really a cool experience, and a great picture.

As far as sound, I ran a HTIB Polk Audio system but only used the front three channels. It sounded great. During other uses, I've only plugged in two speakers and that still sounds great. Now, it's not like my home system, but great for settling in for a movie in a vacation home with the kids. Sure beats a 36" tv...

I'm really impressed with this screen, for the money I don't think it can be beat. Costco's return policy is so great, which is nice insurance too. I will use it as a quick and easy portable system to take just about anywhere for a big screen experience!

For anyone who is looking for a nice portable setup, this screen sure works for me!

HTH,

brad
LL
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post #17 of 27 Old 01-26-2010, 08:09 PM
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Thinking of buying this for the upcoming better weather
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post #18 of 27 Old 01-28-2010, 04:56 PM
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whate better weather? i had a foot of snow on the top of my driveway in ohio

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post #19 of 27 Old 03-03-2010, 01:44 PM
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Anyone have the actual frame dimensions and screen dimensions? Thinking about getting one to keep in my 5th wheel. For now I hang a bed sheet from the side but would like something a little nicer and tighter. Was thinking of using this without the legs and hanging it on the side of the 5th wheel somehow.
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post #20 of 27 Old 03-03-2010, 03:25 PM
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the screen is 120" diagnol and 94" high.
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post #21 of 27 Old 03-03-2010, 04:02 PM
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Width is my main need and the height of the actual screen portion not including the legs
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post #22 of 27 Old 03-07-2010, 10:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dhall2276 View Post

Width is my main need and the height of the actual screen portion not including the legs

The legs can be left off... but the systems is a bit unique...

There is a thread on BackYardTheater.com- http://backyardtheater.com/forums/in...;topicseen#new

In essence, once this frame is built, the screen, which is gray, is pulled over the frame like a sock. The screen is somewhat elastic and has two holes at the top corners to allow the tie-down loops welded into the frame to poke out.

The bottom of the screen then pulls up via velcro loops providing tension across the bottom.

Some folks on that BYT-Dot-Com thread have been toying with the use of a Carl's 5x9 pre-made screen and that frame as many don't love the included gray screen. I find the colors are off, but have not calibrated to the gray yet (which may address the problem). Some feel that the gain is too low, but gray screens with lower gain do better at dusk.
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post #23 of 27 Old 04-13-2010, 09:21 AM
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Hiya I'm new to this part of the forum as well but just thought i would let you all see my set up if your interested. I have a gemmy for small events and I built the 10 x 20 viewable (16 x 21 frame included 1) from the canopy part kit. My web page has pics of both check it out www.rloevents.com tell me what you think.
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post #24 of 27 Old 04-13-2010, 10:09 AM
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Wow, this outdoor screen looks good. Just might buy one just to have another thing to do around the house with the family! Haha
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post #25 of 27 Old 05-26-2010, 08:40 PM
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That Costco screen is not big enough for outdoors. 120" is indoor size and it will look like a dwarf outside. The Carlo screen looks like a heck of a lot of EMT for a quick setup - that thing's gotta take at least an hour to setup?!
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post #26 of 27 Old 05-28-2010, 06:52 AM
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The Costco screen being too small or big enough depends on you needs. If you only do small gatherings or you have a small seating area, it may be the ideal size.

Carl's design (and similar one's on Creative Shelter's and BackyardTheater.com's websites) don't take too long to set up after some practice. I have a 12'x6' EMT screen I can set up in 30 mins. Mine has more connections (more pieces) than Carl's to allow it to fit in a ski bag for storage.

If time is of the essence, you may look at inflatable screens. Take minutes to inflate but the blower runs all the time. Tradeoffs.

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post #27 of 27 Old 05-28-2010, 07:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsloyer View Post

That Costco screen is not big enough for outdoors. 120" is indoor size and it will look like a dwarf outside. The Carlo screen looks like a heck of a lot of EMT for a quick setup - that thing's gotta take at least an hour to setup?!

I am not sure I agree...

I live on Long Island... Houses and yards (on the average) are relatively small due to the development density of this suburban location. The 120" screen is a very sweet size for our 1/4 acre (or less) properties.... And most of the houses in my neighborhood lack ceilings tall enough to comfortably support 120" class screens at a suitable height.

My back yard is mostly pool... I have some covered deck area too small to handle the 120" screen- we use an 80" Epson Duet here... and I have a small concrete Patio on the side that allows us to use the 120" costco screen- just barely. Neighbors with similar properties are able to accommodate the 120" screen- just barely. In every case, the 120" is an outdoor screen for us.

Are there larger houses and properties on Long Island- yes... but to dismiss 120" as too small for outdoor use (and in the realm of indoor use) doesn't take into account that some houses and properties can't support larger screens.

If you have the room and the size of an event that needs a larger screen- all the more power too you... but 120" is a great size for my neighborhood yards...
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