How to watch Movies outside without all the gear - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 08-05-2013, 10:51 AM - Thread Starter
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I have an older Benq Projector (No HDMI or USB port) and would like to show movies outside, but it's a bother to drag all the equipment out.

Is there some type of box ( I have a WDTV - USB connector only) or system so I don't need to have a laptop connected to the Projector?

In the house, I have an external Hard drive with all my movies, which I hook to my Laptop, which is connected to the Projector Via Monitor cable. Would like a some type of SD reader, or better yet, a way to direct connect my HD to the Projector.

Thanks for any help.

Juanita
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post #2 of 8 Old 08-06-2013, 06:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmh2008 View Post

I have an older Benq Projector (No HDMI or USB port) and would like to show movies outside, but it's a bother to drag all the equipment out.

Is there some type of box ( I have a WDTV - USB connector only) or system so I don't need to have a laptop connected to the Projector?

In the house, I have an external Hard drive with all my movies, which I hook to my Laptop, which is connected to the Projector Via Monitor cable. Would like a some type of SD reader, or better yet, a way to direct connect my HD to the Projector.

Thanks for any help.

Juanita

Well the answer to this depends on what you are trying to play. If you are trying to play a blu ray, then you are pretty much stuck with a blu ray player, or a computer which can play one. If you are streaming off of netflix, something like a Roku is super small and has WiFi, so all you really need is power with HDMI. If you need to playback an MKV, then any device which plays a Hi-Def MKV works, but all of them are about the same size as a laptop anyway.

I personally ran wires outside of my house to my indoor stereo so I can route my video to an HDMI port in a weatherproof box on my deck, and can play movies directly from my HTPC. But that requires all of your speakers and video cables to be hooked up to the indoors and that is quite a bit of work. The vast majority of outdoor setups that I've seen involve lugging around an amp, 2 big speakers on tripods, a screen, a projector, and a blu ray/DVD player.
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post #3 of 8 Old 08-06-2013, 08:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for your reply. I thought as much, but so much out there, thought maybe someone came up with a great solution. The site http://backyardtheater.com/ is neat to explore different options.
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post #4 of 8 Old 08-07-2013, 04:49 PM
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If you want to leave your stuff inside have you thought about a VGA over cat5 adapter? They cost about $5 and you can run the cat5 50-100 feet. It's cheap and not something that you could feasibly do with VGA cable. I have 2 lines that go outside to my deck.
Maybe look at a hdmi to VGA adapter/converter ($30-50). Seems like an Apple TV, Roku or a Western Digital box would be up your alley. Your stuck on VGA because of the projector but converters solve that.

If your buying a new projector, buy more lumens than you will use. Running it in "Eco Mode" makes your bulb last 20-40% longer and reduces noise and heat.
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post #5 of 8 Old 08-29-2013, 10:41 AM
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Honestly, there are plenty of affordable 50-70' hdmi cables available that work great. Is this not an option for 99% of outdoor applications?

Projector. Screen. HDMI cable. Done.

James

Actual phone call (see pic to left):

 

Tech (responding to laughter): "I'm sorry sir, did I miss something?"

Me: "Yeah, a case of Diet Mountain Dew walking across my living room."

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post #6 of 8 Old 08-29-2013, 11:12 AM
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Any hdmi cable run over 20-30 feet gets to be a roll of the dice. It depends on the cable quality, the signal put out by the source, and how the projector can handle a weak signal. Then it gets into 1080 or 720 or 480 and any interference. I'm not saying it wouldn't work, but just because they sell a cable doesn't mean it works with your setup. I'm sure someone sells a 100 foot cord but I couldn't / wouldn't use it. Long hdmi runs (past 50?) should be done with dual cat6 hdmi adapters. That's what they are for.

If your buying a new projector, buy more lumens than you will use. Running it in "Eco Mode" makes your bulb last 20-40% longer and reduces noise and heat.
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post #7 of 8 Old 02-22-2014, 12:13 PM
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The most 'portable' video setup I ever managed with my Benq projectors was to use my iPod video (with the optional RCA a/v connector output) I could use a program called Handbrake (Mac) to convert movies to the proper format for my iPod and then hook it up directly to the projector. You still need power for the projector as well as sound. I used what amounted to a small battery powered jam box (had auxiliary line input) for sound, limiting my power needs to one a/c plug for the projector. I had considered getting an inverter/battery setup, as well as a FM transmitter for doing portable movies on the sides of abandoned big box buildings and using the parking lot as a place for friends to park, watch, and listen through their car radios. You can get even more portable than that nowadays if you use a rechargeable LED powered DLP. Good luck.

Enjoy.
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post #8 of 8 Old 04-05-2014, 12:21 PM
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I picked up a large $20 lawnmower battery and a converter with multiple plug-ins. Not only is it fun to run cordless outdoors, but it has served as both a lightsource and entertainment when a storm takes out the power. I also grabbed a couple used players that don't mind getting set on a bucket on the ground, and my PJs play well from USBflash/hard-drives so I've never bothered with long runs of HDMI yet.

I've had the PJ playing through the night till it's wet with dew and braved a couple days in the cold before finally finishing a decent indoor screen. These LED PJs are sturdy little buggers.

Simple <$250 dedicated black-fabric theater room, build in a day, takedown in an hour.
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