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post #1 of 56 Old 09-18-2006, 11:04 AM - Thread Starter
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Hey folks, I love the outdoor theater! So much fun to get together with friends and neighbors and watch a movie outside and under the stars. I'll post some pics here later.

I'm happy to have this new section here on the forum, and look forward to seeing all your outdoor theaters!


I know that plenty of discussion is had about sound and picture quality. For me, I want as good as I can, so my setup has full 5.1 (yep even the LFE is hooked up) and I'm using my AE-900U for video. The screen is a full 16x9 foot screen.



(ETA: I added a link to the full story of this build in the next post. There are way too many pics to fit here in the thread, so if you want to see all of them, head on over there.)

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post #2 of 56 Old 09-19-2006, 11:39 PM - Thread Starter
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All righty, I finally built a webpage (actually two) that walk through the build of my outdoor theater. I'll put some pics here, but there are too many for this thread, so if you want to read the whole story, you can go here:

WarrenP's Outdoor Theater Story (with lots of pics)

Here is the starting point, a nice sloping yard, nice and open with plenty of room:




Here is the basic frame of the screen:




Here is my deck project that got put on hold to do the outdoor theater. (Priorities!)

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post #3 of 56 Old 09-19-2006, 11:42 PM - Thread Starter
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I needed a fancy custom equipment rack, so here it is:




I also needed fancy surround sound speaker stands, and this was a bit of a challenge since our yard is sloping, and I had to be able to adjust the height. So, I used some contractor's tripods that I had from an earlier project:




Here is the screen installed in place in the yard:


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post #4 of 56 Old 09-19-2006, 11:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Here is a shot of the back of the screen:




Here are my two daughters in front of the screen:




Here is an overview of the whole setup, from above at the top of the hillside:


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post #5 of 56 Old 09-19-2006, 11:49 PM - Thread Starter
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I took a few pics of the screen with the projector running, and you can see the brightness level pretty well, but I was shaking a bit so the pic isn't super crisp. I'll use a tripod in the future.

Here is a shot of the intro disc that I made. This was dusk about 15 minutes before anyone arrived:




Here is a shot of a DVD menu, again I moved a bit. This picture is taken with a flash:




Here is the screen as it is stored in the garage:


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post #6 of 56 Old 09-19-2006, 11:53 PM - Thread Starter
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All righty, those are some of the pictures. We had about 45 people for the first movie night, and it was a complete success. Beautiful weather, great families, just a wonderful time. We showed The Iron Giant, on the recommendation of others here, and that was a great idea, it went over very well.

I'm looking to get one more show in this year before it gets too cold. I'll get some new pics when that happens.

If you have any questions fire away!

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post #7 of 56 Old 09-20-2006, 05:01 AM
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How well does the sub work outdoors?

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post #8 of 56 Old 09-20-2006, 07:48 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WiFi-Spy View Post

How well does the sub work outdoors?

They work ok, but, of course no where near as well as inside. In that speaker line there is a 12" sub in each front speaker, so I have both hooked up. It does make a big difference, and since the only extra work was to run an RCA line for the input, and an extension cord for power, how could I not hook them up?

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post #9 of 56 Old 09-20-2006, 12:22 PM
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Great setup. This makes me want to build my own. Did you have any problems with the neighbors?
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post #10 of 56 Old 09-20-2006, 02:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HT-Deepak View Post

Great setup. This makes me want to build my own. Did you have any problems with the neighbors?

Thanks. We live on a Culdesac and two of the neighbor lots yet to have homes built on them. The other neighbors were sitting there having fun, so no problems. In fact, they were the ones who stayed the longest.

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post #11 of 56 Old 09-22-2006, 11:00 AM - Thread Starter
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Arrrrgh. We had another showing planned for tomorrow, sat, but it looks like mother nature is not going to cooperate.


I wonder if a retractable dome is allowed in the home owners association bylaws?

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post #12 of 56 Old 09-28-2006, 01:41 PM
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Couple of solutions for the sub problem:

- attach shakers to seats

- build a modular/collapsible plywood platform to sit on, with a sub/shakers installed.
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post #13 of 56 Old 09-28-2006, 01:57 PM
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Another method to attack the general audio/speaker/surround sound issue:

Use a receiver or notebook PC with Dolby Headphone encoding (PowerDVD), and use an FM transmitter for everyone. Dolby Headphone does a great job creating a 5.1 soundfield from DD 5.1 tracks.

With this method, neighbors not participating won't hear the movie.

You could use a good FM transmitter, then your neighbors don't have to buy anything- just bring their MP3 players with FM radios built in, and their own favorite headphones. Plenty of good FM transmitters at Ramsey:

http://www.ramseyelectronics.com/cgi...tion&key=FM10C


http://www.ramseyelectronics.com/cgi...tion&key=FM25B

http://www.ramseyelectronics.com/hk/....asp?page=amfm
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post #14 of 56 Old 10-09-2006, 11:09 AM - Thread Starter
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Well, we have a show coming up this Sat. The daytime high around here is going to be 55 degrees! That should put it around 50 at showtime, going down to mid 40s. I hope we make it, this is the last show of the year.

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post #15 of 56 Old 12-03-2006, 04:19 PM
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Great setup, Warren.
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post #16 of 56 Old 12-12-2006, 10:16 PM
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I like the easy set up and easy put up. Very well done!

For my latest Reviews and Stuff google -> Joe Rod Home Theater .Com
Check out my Dolby Atmos/Surround first take:
http://hstrial-jrodriguez996.homeste...=1409517748063
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post #17 of 56 Old 12-14-2006, 10:10 AM
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That is a blast. We have groups that get together to do that with smores and all. Ya know, the whole package.
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post #18 of 56 Old 02-20-2007, 11:26 PM - Thread Starter
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it's getting warmer......

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post #19 of 56 Old 02-21-2007, 12:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by warrenP View Post

it's getting warmer......


Yeah, but this is just to lull us into thinking that winter is actually over. And if you are near Chicago, you should know by now that winter doesn't officially end until about May15th.

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post #20 of 56 Old 02-21-2007, 04:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Scherrer View Post

Yeah, but this is just to lull us into thinking that winter is actually over. And if you are near Chicago, you should know by now that winter doesn't officially end until about May15th.

Sure, kill my buzz....

I know, you're right. I won't be surprised if we get a blizzard next week!

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post #21 of 56 Old 02-22-2007, 10:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rgb View Post

Another method to attack the general audio/speaker/surround sound issue:

Use a receiver or notebook PC with Dolby Headphone encoding (PowerDVD), and use an FM transmitter for everyone. Dolby Headphone does a great job creating a 5.1 soundfield from DD 5.1 tracks.

With this method, neighbors not participating won't hear the movie.

You could use a good FM transmitter, then your neighbors don't have to buy anything- just bring their MP3 players with FM radios built in, and their own favorite headphones. Plenty of good FM transmitters at Ramsey:

http://www.ramseyelectronics.com/cgi...tion&key=FM10C


http://www.ramseyelectronics.com/cgi...tion&key=FM25B

http://www.ramseyelectronics.com/hk/....asp?page=amfm


Anybody know how big of an antenna I'd need to cover say 4 acres? I want to do a drive in movie this year with everyone watching it through their car radio...
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post #22 of 56 Old 03-03-2007, 11:10 AM
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Warren, cool set up. That's only an 1100 lumen projector, correct? And it's viewable (though maybe not perfect) at dusk? I'm trying to do a similar setup and was wondering if I'd need to go with one of the high output business projectors.
thanks
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post #23 of 56 Old 03-05-2007, 06:37 AM - Thread Starter
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Hey Jake,

Yes it is listed at 1100 lumens. It works fine at dusk, I've got that one photo earlier in the thread which shows it running at dusk, you can see the sky is pretty bright still. For my setup, the projector sits about 25 feet from the screen, I probably could go a bit closer, but it works out well for seating, and so on.

By the time it starts to get dark and folks arrive, it is plenty bright, and the picture is great. I don't think there is any need to go to a light cannon to do this, unless you need a bright image during dusk, versus after the sun sets.



Quote:
Originally Posted by jakedog13 View Post

Warren, cool set up. That's only an 1100 lumen projector, correct? And it's viewable (though maybe not perfect) at dusk? I'm trying to do a similar setup and was wondering if I'd need to go with one of the high output business projectors.
thanks


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post #24 of 56 Old 03-14-2007, 08:09 AM
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My projector is rated at about half of that. Still works fine but just have to wait a bit longer for it to get dark. See my screen project at the link in my sig.
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post #25 of 56 Old 03-14-2007, 03:31 PM
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so anything about 1000 lumens should be good?
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post #26 of 56 Old 03-14-2007, 09:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
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so anything about 1000 lumens should be good?

Oh yeah. The motto of most folks is just to get it setup and start having fun. It's a bit different than the inside HT where quality reigns supreme. Outside, the primary goal is fun. Once you get it running, you can always change things out.

I found my projector at 1100 is plenty bright, even on full-moon-no-cloud nights, so yep, anything around there should be just fine.

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post #27 of 56 Old 04-28-2007, 09:39 PM - Thread Starter
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Hey! We're getting into the season soon here near Chi-town. I thought I'd share what is going on this summer at the old outdoor theater.

I had been looking for a buried sub solution, and didn't find anything that I liked. So, I'm going to build a pair of DIY subs (mostly for use inside), and haul those big boys outside at night. That is job number one, I hope to wrap that in a month or six weeks.

Number two is to bury the wires, so I don't have to drag them out and lay them on the ground each time we want to have a show outside. I'm not sure yet if I will run just the speaker wire, or run a conduit outside and bring a power circuit there as well. If I run power, so I know that power isn't out there when we don't want it. We'll see how that goes.

Lastly, if I get to all that (and my schedule this year is packed, so I may not) my next project is a bigger screen. Right now we have a 16:9 foot screen, but I think I'd like to try a 23.5:10 foot screen. Yeah, baby CIH with an anamorphic lens outside on a screen almost 24 feet wide! I hope I can get to that... it might end up a 2008 project, but it is on the list.

I'll take new pics and post them here and put all the details on the outdoor theater site in my sig as well.

-Warren

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post #28 of 56 Old 05-19-2007, 09:31 AM
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Hi WarrenP,

What area of Chicagoland are you in? Cool documentation of what you did. I've worked on some pretty insane outdoor theater efforts, but nothing locally... Yet.

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post #29 of 56 Old 05-24-2007, 02:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Seaton View Post

Hi WarrenP,

What area of Chicagoland are you in? Cool documentation of what you did. I've worked on some pretty insane outdoor theater efforts, but nothing locally... Yet.


Hey there,

I'm out in the western burbs. I think that since there are so many of us (at least here on the forum) with outdoor theaters in Chicagoland, we need to have an outdoor meet!

Any links or pics to an insane outdoor theater you've worked on?

-Warren

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post #30 of 56 Old 05-25-2007, 09:20 PM
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I'm in the Downers area...where are you guys?
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