Outdoor screen options? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 11-26-2012, 12:52 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi,

I am in the planning phase of putting in an outdoor theater and wanted to get some ideas on screen options. I would prefer something more permanent and retractable. It would be great if something could fit on top the porch and retract down the two left pillars. My main concern is size and having it withstand the elements and have some tension to deal with slight wind.

If anyone has some ideas on brands and costs as I would like to invest most of the money in a decent projector (Epson 5020) ...

- Porch Ceiling from top to bottom = 10.4'
- Distance between pillars from outside edges = 140"

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post #2 of 8 Old 11-26-2012, 06:02 PM
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Are you projecting from the patio (rear projection) or the yard (front projection)? Rear projection retractable screens are fairly expensive. If you are doing front projection, you can get a 150", 16:9 retractable by Elite from Amazon for about $210+ shipping. http://www.amazon.com/Elite-Screens-M150UWH-Manual-Projection/dp/B000BFW6RO

I toyed with buying this for my outdoor screen, but my wife wanted the screen in another area. I hate to say it, but she was right. I went with Spandex in a 120" screen and it works pretty well. The beauty of Spandex is that it does both front & rear projection. (Mine is solely front projection) If you want to go rear projection, you could just build a frame, install a couple of "j" hooks under the patio roof and hang the screen from them. Whatever you decide to do, you will need some sort of downward tension to keep the screen from blowing in the wind. If you're interested in the Spandex, PM me and I'll give the info on where I bought mine. I attached a couple of pics of my screen for an FYI kind of thing. Good luck.
PS - I use an Epson MovieMate 60 for outdoor movies. It's only 540p, but it's 2000 lumens, 3000:1, HDMI w/a built in dvd player. The 5020 will look much better.
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post #3 of 8 Old 11-26-2012, 07:24 PM - Thread Starter
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I was going to go with front projection though the idea of rear projection seems rather cool too. I like your Spandex setup and if I plan to build my own that seems to be a fairly cost effective solution I will definitely ping you. However, If I go with that Elite model, what would you suggest for downward tension? Can this be kept safely outside year round. Also, how much black area is typically at the top as the Ceiling is 10+ feet, I'd like the top of the view to maybe start about a foot or so from the top.

Finally, are there any good motorized options without breaking the bank or do you think a manual solution to be better suited. I am new to the outdoor theater hobby but have been wanting to do this now for over a year now. We live in a great neighborhood and are all pretty friendly, so I can see this being a lot of fun.

Thank you for the info and link.
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post #4 of 8 Old 11-26-2012, 09:36 PM
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Not sure about motorized screens. They were out of my budget range for this project. When I saw your patio, my first thought for tension was a small eye hook attached to each pillar at the base. Bungee cord from the rail at the bottom of the screen to the eye hooks. When the show is over, unhook the bungees and all you have visible is the hook on each side. If you set them in a mortar joint, you can just fill the hole with mortar repair caulk if you ever remove them. The black "drop" at the top of the screen looks to be about 10 inches. The screen should be fine outside as long as it is under the roof and out of the elements.
Check out backyardtheater.com. It is a site dedicated to outdoor theater and you will find a ton of useful information there, including a few pull down screens.
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post #5 of 8 Old 11-27-2012, 08:49 PM - Thread Starter
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That's exactly the info I wanted. Thank you again and I will be sure to post some pics once things are setup. I will use the eye hooks as you described as that sounds like an easy fix for the tension and an easy repair if I ever need to removed them. Next will be getting the projector and calculating the distance needed from projector to screen. I have about 17 feet of space before the pool starts and about 35 feet after. Would either spot be enough for the throw distance.

I did register at backyardtheater.com but it seems to be taking a long time to get validated on the site.

Thanks again!
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post #6 of 8 Old 11-27-2012, 09:39 PM
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I checked the throw distance for the 5020 @ projector central. Throw for a 150" screen is 15 - 20 ft. If you tried to throw 35 ft, you need a 300" screen. Not that 300" is a bad thing! It usually takes a couple of days for BYT.com to get you registered. You will enjoy the whole process from putting your theater together to the movie nights themselves. Watching movies from the pool is way too much fun!
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post #7 of 8 Old 11-30-2012, 01:59 PM - Thread Starter
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I oredered the projector but decided to go with the Panasonic PT-AE8000U so hopefull it has similar throw distance and from the reviews it should work nicely. Since the pool is not getitng put in until April/march, this gives me some time to set things up and test to make sure the yard is setup the way I want. I got the wife on board so now its easy sailing! I'm still waiting on BYT.com so hoepfully I will get approved soon.

I really appreciate the info as I can't wait to get things started. I agree, the design and build process, is one of the most enjoyable parts.
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post #8 of 8 Old 12-03-2012, 06:44 AM
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The Nocturne from Draper is designed for use outdoors. It comes with cable guides, weather resistant housing, etc.
http://www.draperinc.com/ProjectionScreens/ScreensProducts.asp?detail=779&screen=Nocturne_Series_C
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