RCA, XLR or ??? Backyard Movie Screen/Theater Setup ... NEED HELP - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 10-16-2013, 02:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Ok.

 

I am trying to setup a backyard movie theater.  I have 2 x 12 inch monitors ( http://www.harbingerproaudio.com/products/aps-series.cfm ) that will sit left and right of the 140 inch screen (http://www.campchef.com/portable-screens/outdoor-big-screen-144.html )

 

My Projector will need about 17 feet to throw the video up on the screen.  I am using a DVD/BluRay (Red/White RCA output) as my audio source.  The projector and DVD/BluRay player will be on a stand/table together.

 

I have heard and read that using Red/White RCA (even shielded) cables may be an issue over 30+ feet?

 

What cables should I use?  Both speakers are powered, but if I use a RCA-to-XLR cable, even though one end is XLR it is still using the quality robbing RCA signal.  I need to go 30+ feet.

 

After the screen, projector, speakers and misc. cables I am out of budget - but do I need to look at some sort of amp/mixer to do this right?  Or, will the 30 feet (for audio only) be fine?  And if so RCA-to-RCA or RCA-to-XLR cables?

 

Any help would be most appreciated.  My middle Son's birthday is this Saturday, and was hoping to roll this out in time for our first movie in the Backyard for his Birthday party.

 

Thanks for any help and advice.

 

 

-Aaron

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post #2 of 5 Old 10-16-2013, 08:35 PM
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There are RCA to XLR adapters that use a transformer to create a balance signal on the XLR side. Using one of these instead of a cable only adapter is the only way you'll get the balanced advantage. Transformers can get a bit expensive though. Personally I'd try a couple 30 foot pieces of RG-59 first. If that didn't work I'd buy a couple of 99¢ op-amps, a handful of resistors and a couple 9 volt batteries and build an active line driver. Or get some transformers.


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post #3 of 5 Old 10-16-2013, 08:45 PM
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Hi Aaron,

 

I am new to this forum, but I hope this will help you out.

 

I have run unbalanced audio with RCA connectors 50-75 feet successfully using RG-6U cable (75 ohm cable TV wire terminated with RCA connectors instead of f-connectors).  You can also get F to RCA adapters if you don't have a compression tool. You should be able to get the parts locally. This will give you much better shielding than standard RCA cables and at a more reasonable price.

 

If you do need to go longer distances, then I would recomend converting the RCA unbalanced line from the disc player to balance with an audio transformer and using two XLR cables to your speakers.  Here is a link to two transformer manufactures options.  A two channel from Rane http://www.rane.com/bb22.html or a single channel from Radio Design Labs (you would need two for stereo) http://www.rdlnet.com/product.php?page=166

 

For a more cost effective option, you can run stereo audio over Cat5e by using stereo Hi-Fi baluns. Transformitive Engineering has a pair that is rated for over 300 feet that I have used and works great http://www.transformativeengineering.com/product-SB-1.html  If you can't find that one, MuxLab also makes one http://muxlab.com/product?category=audio-video&product=stereo-hi-fi-balun-2-pack&pid=1247  They claim 3,250 feet but I have never tried these on anything over about 350 feet.

 

Cat5 is cheap, so this may be your best option if your running over 100 feet.  keep in mind that the only volume control you will have will be on the back of your speakers.  You would need to add a mixer or line level volume control if you need local control by the disc player.

 

Well, I hope this helps.

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post #4 of 5 Old 10-17-2013, 02:02 PM - Thread Starter
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Great suggestions.  Thank you!

 

I ordered the 35 feet premium cables from Monoprice http://www.monoprice.com/Product?c_id=102&cp_id=10218&cs_id=1021814&p_id=2867&seq=1&format=2  and it arrives today.  It is 75 ohm, with .22 pF capacitance (I hear there are better cables out there, but for the price it seemed decent enough for me).

 

I hope this "just works", otherwise the single or dual channel transformer might be the way to go.  I was also looking at this mixer at Guitar Center this morning http://www.guitarcenter.com/Behringer-Xenyx-502-Mixer-103846200-i1153498.gc and for $44 bucks, it may be what I end up doing, as it looks like right/left stereo out would be a cinch with this mixer, and I would just run 1/4 inch to each speaker from the mixer (30 feet each) and plug directly from my Disc player into the mixer via RCA cables (3 feet or less)>

 

Thanks for the help and ideas, very much appreciated.

 

 

-Aaron

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post #5 of 5 Old 10-17-2013, 07:22 PM
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You should be fine with the RCA cables.  It looks like they are using a standard RG-59u cable, although I don't see a spec on the type of shield used ( foil, braid, dual shield, etc.).  Just keep them spaced from any power cables or extension cords to avoid inducing any 60 hz emf into the audio lines.  As far as the mixer, it actually will not improve your audio any, as this units 1/4 inch main out is unbalanced (same as the disc player, just a 1/4 inch jack).  But for the price it might be nice to have for a volume control or eq.

 

Good luck with the birthday party.

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