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Ciné-Tronn, An Outdoor Theater Project

post #1 of 136
Thread Starter 
years of lurking. 5 years of posting. i finally jumped into the "real projector" pool. admittedly into the shallow end and with a life-preserver on, but in the pool nonetheless.

goal: watch movies outside in the warm southern california nights.

first nights' test run: achievement unlocked!


bought an Acer HC5360. native 720p. price was "right"

built a homemade screen from blackout material from Joann's (fabrics or linens, one of them). screen material was $20 for 54"W x 100"L. this will give me a rough 105" projected image.

built the frame for the screen from 1/2" PVC pipe. its a little flimsy (ok ALOT) but mounted to a brick wall, you cant tell! :P 5 pipes cost about $1.50 each for 8' long pieces. plus the small cost of 4 90° PVC pieces and 4 "T" end pieces.

this pic is from the assembly stage:

added grommets to the material. effectively i reduced available screen space, but i didnt give a gosh-darn. tightened it all up with bungie cords.

first movie/test run: Rango. funny as heck!

equipment list: toshiba blu-ray player, acer h5360 projector, leftover receiver, leftover speakers, homemade screen.

more details plus vids later. PEACE!
post #2 of 136
Thread Starter 
yes. screen is sitting on chairs. yes its crooked. yes its a crappy cellphone camera. no there are no wrinkles after final install. not accepting invites over yet, so mods stop harrassing me :P
post #3 of 136
post #4 of 136
Looks like you're on your way. Keep posting as you add on. For lots of info check out backyardtheater.com.
post #5 of 136
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by tlogan6797 View Post
the great logan. cant tell you how many times ive started other house projects (non AV related), got stuck, gave up, read your HT thread, got up and finished those projects. thanks!

i now have basically rebuilt 75% of my house with motivation from your thread!


i started here in AVS, then found backyardtheater. lurking on there right now. to be outside, especially in great weather locations, AND enjoy a great movie experience has long been a goal of mine. this outside theater project will be looking top notch by the end of this year. a full-on dedicated theater project will begin work when i finish up the other 25% of my house and fix up the backyard. within 4 years is my estimate to begin that project!


was able to install 2 "eyelet" lag bolts into the brick wall surrounding the property where the screen will be mounted onto yesterday. unfortunatly thats all i was able to do. had to cut ma grass! no pics but its basically 2 bolts in the wall. the screen will mount onto them via small sturdy bungie cords. i need a quick on and off system.

not sure if i did good but i showed the wife one of those inflatable screens (up to 150" viewable) avail from walmart. we're going to try out this homemade screen for a while. if we see we've outgrown it, we'll consider upgrading. OR i've seen a couple screens made from some kind of stretchy material on backyardtheater. i could consider building a semi-permanent structure as well.
post #6 of 136
The stretchy material is Trapeze from Dazian. I use it and love it. Just clip it to the frame and wrinkles are gone. Pull it off after the show and stuff it in a box. Machine washable too. Have a few small holes after 3 years but they don't run. Biggest benefit, IMO, is it allows you to do rear projection. My AV components are in a cart beside the screen and the PJ is behind. No seating issues or worries about someone bumping the PJ. At 12'x6' it's great for gaming too. Problem is you need enough room behind the screen for the PJ's throw.
post #7 of 136
Cool -

I contract for the government and I'm here to help!

I appreciate the thought. Now if you would just convince my wife......
post #8 of 136
Thread Starter 
i've had a taste of the outdoor theater experience... now i want a BIGGER screen! SHMO's outdoor theater pics got me the screen size envy....

must do 1" steel tube frame! plus that trapeze material!


already setup an Outdoor Movie Night for approx 15 adults and 20 chill'ens for this saturday. weather may be a tad on the cold side. 67 is frigid here in so cal. lol.

hot dogs, soda, water, coffee, and "snacks" are the menu. there will be popcorn. just bought a costco sized box of that! prepped yard last night, gonna have another dry run tonight. gonna try acid-fest "Speed Racer" on blu! if i can, i'll attempt a quick MW2 (fo lyfe!) session.
post #9 of 136
Thread Starter 
"ohh my gawd becky, look at his screen... it is SO big!"

post #10 of 136
Thread Starter 
ran new tests last night. the full movie ratatouille, then small segments from various other movies.

first test last night was to see what time it gets dark enough to enjoy a movie. we thought 7pm would be good. but didnt work out like that. we started ratatouille at 7:30pm instead. dark scenes were "turrible", any scene with bright whites was somewhat enjoyable.

took this pic roughly at 8pm.

from a side angle, movie still looked great

closer view of the entirety of the setup. speakers are on green lawn chairs against wall. receiver, blu-ray player, and projector on small table.
post #11 of 136
Thread Starter 
ratatouille at approx 9pm

tron legacy, approx 10pm

bad avatar pic,


MJs' this is it
post #12 of 136
Thread Starter 
post #13 of 136
Thread Starter 
ok is there a thread all about aspect ratios? enjoyed ratatouille cause it fit right inside the screen. everything else was playing above and below screen. also i noticed the blu-ray case states that (lets say) avatar comes in both 2.35:1 & 1.(sumthing):1 ratios. i looked throught the movies menus and cannot select which ratio (i assume) will fit inside the screen. is it a player option?
post #14 of 136
Thread Starter 
this friday will be the final "test run" before we invite our first guests over this saturday. tests so far have shown great results. this fridays' tests will consist of a combination of blu-ray live action movies and CGs'. also a good range of hd dvd's. not so much to view any one movie but rather view and calibrate somewhat. by 9pm i should be hitting up some rock band 3 and, if i fancy, the michael jackson experience via kinect!

found spare subwoofer, spare center channel, and 2 spare rear channels. im happy with 5.1 so need to stop by ratshack to pick up some speaker-wire.

projector and av components have found a niche in the center of the viewing area. as long as we can keep the kids from running around it they should be fine (ie: no tripping over wires and such). right now running 2 extension cables to power up the equipment, will buy a 3-prong multi-outlet so i can reduce the extension cables to 1. actively seeking a more "proper" AV rack so as to have one single wheeled cabinet with everything in it. do have the idea to seperate the projector from the av components, however that would require some serious math skills.
post #15 of 136
Thread Starter 
thinking about a pre-show reel. also planning a 15 minute in-between break with different cartoons/commercials/trailers/music videos/youtube clips.

i will attempt a quickie "reel" using microsoft movie maker. i've made several youtube vids and personnal vids with it. the wife and i have a wide range of tastes. i'd imagine one of these "Shorts of Tronn" (lol) would start like this: an Elvis music video (maybe a musical segment from a movie or so), 2 classic commercials (examples: some old mcdonalds ad followed by a toy ad and the "classic" 1975 Chrysler Cordoba ad:

and ending with a tom and jerry (50's-early 60's era ONLY) cartoon.

the format then:
[music vid]-[retro commercials (2 or 3)]-[youtube clip(nyan cat FTW!)]-[short cartoon (4-5 min in length)]

in simpler terms: [A]-[b]-[C]-[A]

A= can be music video, movie trailer, short cartoon
B= should be kept to retro commercials
C= youtube/online clips. dont all have to be funny, but adjusted to fit the expected audience

and everything timed to be no longer than 15 minutes. allows guests to refill on snacks, beverages, visit the "facilities", or chat up someone
post #16 of 136
First car I ever bought and financed was a '75 Cordoba. Wider track. And Corinthian leather! Maroon with white Landau Roof and maroon interior. The first curve I took on the way home (first car I had with radials) I fell in love.

If you plan to continue with the pres-shows, you should check out this series of DVDs:
It's Intermission Time

I got the first 6 a couple of years ago. Looks like they have a lot more now. Guess I'll have to catch up.

Doesn't get dark here until 8:30.
post #17 of 136
Thread Starter 
saturdays OMN #0 was a success. guest list was short. food was good. everyone enjoyed themselves.

already planning OMN #1.... for this friday :P

no kinks were noticed during #0. movies played were Cars (for the chillin's). then it was supposed to be Speed Racer, but everyone wanted Rango. began Cars at 8:30pm. finished Rango about 12:30am. there was a 15 break in between both movies to make more yummy hot chocolate.

there were none of those ads and videos and stuff i mentioned i wanted to do due to time constraints, but i now have amassed a great and varied selection of material. i was hoping i could copy all to my iphone and use imovies to wrangle something up but turns out imovie doesnt even see all these videos! tried out windows live movie maker and i want to rip my eyes out! i need some video production program recommendations. and i dont use any macs. help a brotha out!

here was the general layout of OMN #0. not to scale. it was much roomier.

post #18 of 136
Thread Starter 
this friday, the food has a mexican theme to it. all future OMN's will now be potluck style. we will still provide popcorn, coffee, hot chocolate, and water. since the food will be mexican, im trying to come up with awesome mexi-movies :P

i can think up Nacho Libre on hd dvd for the second movie. the first movie has to be aimed directly for the "ninos". that way if their parents want to leave they can after the first movie.
post #19 of 136
Originally Posted by Cool Face View Post

... im trying to come up with awesome mexi-movies :P

i can think up Nacho Libre on hd dvd for the second movie. the first movie has to be aimed directly for the "ninos". that way if their parents want to leave they can after the first movie.

Beverly hills Chihuahua 1
Beverly hills Chihuahua 2
Three Amigos

Great job!!!
post #20 of 136
Thread Starter 
^thanks! we had to cancel last fridays' OMN#1. we couldnt do it that saturday either! >

we had to move it to this saturday, august 6th.

food will still be mexican themed (potluck styled). decided its very restrictive to limit movie choices to "mexican" themed. setting up movie choice #1 to a viewer vote:

Movie choices for Movie #1 are:
A Bug's Life
Toy Story 1
Kung Fu Panda

Movie choices for Movie #2 are:
Speed Racer
Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl
Tron Legacy
Zoolander (my choice :P)
Rush Hour 1

experimenting with a new screen placement. we think it'll enable more people to view comfortably.

looking for a big popcorn maker. microwaving popcorn is quick, but just doesnt have that nostalgia im looking for. seen a few $300-$400 units, but really eyeballing one that looks more like SHMOs'. ebay and craigslist time!
post #21 of 136
Thread Starter 
also have to dismantle some older speakers i wish to use that are bigger than the ones we are using now. the entire speaker cone is disintegrated. need to replace.... where to go? compton indoor swap meet! :P
post #22 of 136
Originally Posted by Cool Face View Post

also have to dismantle some older speakers i wish to use that are bigger than the ones we are using now. the entire speaker cone is disintegrated. need to replace.... where to go? compton indoor swap meet! :P

Have you tried Parts - express? They usually have good replacements cones for speakers.
post #23 of 136
Thread Starter 
^never heard of them. im checking them out right now.

had our first successfull movie night (official) this past saturday. weather and other junk postponed the previous fridays' scheduled movies. planned this party for 20 people.... 40 people showed up FML. to top it off, one of the people that was going to bring food decided to cancel... 2 hours before the movie! i know someone who aint gettin invited to the rest of this seasons' showings!

played Tangled first. Tron Legacy second. as predicted, most people with kids left after the first movie. that just meant more tron for meh! this round of movies was voted upon by the facebook enabled invited guests.

didnt take that many pictures but layout was similiar to the layout i put up a bit ago.

next movie nite is tentatively scheduled for the 20th. this time around we're setting the movies and reducing the people who are going to be responsible for the food. i'm thinking 12 costco pizzas (more if less people show up!), 50 hooters chicken wings, xtra large green salad. we'll always provide popcorn, coffee, and hot chocolate. i may splurge and get 3 dozen fresh made churros (cause thats how we roll in So. Cal.!)

tonight i will do an experiment and project a test movie image upon the big side of our house. just to see how big an image i can get. if possible i may just order a vinyl screen from SHMO's supplier. gotta def. fix them big speakers. they'll free up the smaller speakers for rear surround duty. bonus: i found the center speaker for this setup! 5.1 is all this can do but its enough.
post #24 of 136
Thread Starter 
this was a test of Ciné-Tron BA (Big Azz) Alternative Screen Setup (A.S.S.)
the wall was recently painted a light green/blue (more green than blue). not optimal but projector had settings for different colored walls (which i didnt mess with). sorry for the small S word during the vid.

after this vid, the wife and i moved the projected image from the full width of the wall (which i didnt measure) to begin from the rightmost end of the wall to the start of the window bars. its a smaller projected image but approximately twice the size of our currently built screen size.

this was a game test

the greenish hue on the whites is obviously due to the walls color.

this was a wireless streaming test from my network via PS3 Media Server. 480p source material and 720p source material played back without stutter, however 1080p material would have small (very small) pauses. pausing the 1080p stream for about 10 seconds would let the material buffer for about 30 seconds. im thinking i want to hardwire outside :P

this test video was 480p source. some pixelation is definitive.
post #25 of 136
Thread Starter 
this is wireless streaming test of network sourced music streaming via PS3 Media Server through my PS3


this was the basic setup. the projector has a tiny speaker and thats where i was getting the audio for all these tests. that way i didnt have to setup all the speakers and receiver and all that jazz. projector and ps3. and home pc (inside house) serving media

this was the screen/back wall. the recent painting was 100% complete (will be soon). this is the projectors in-built test screen. i went bigger with the projected image after this :P

some tom and jerry cartoon. specifically "Texas Tom", i had this episode (ripped from a self-owned DVD collection) on my PS3 almost since when i bought the PS3!

the waterboy (dvd) title screen.

netflix (via wifi). surprisingly no stuttering. the usual first seconds are blocky but the system buffers up by 5 seconds at most and image definetly improves after that... and YEAH that is Spongebob... wanna fight about it?!?! :P

post #26 of 136
Thread Starter 
this screen shows the Playstation 1 load up screen. its for FF7 (downloaded title). more importantly it shows the small area i mentioned i was projecting to. from the right most end of the back-wall to the start of the window bars (plus a messy back wall and paint job :P)

have to post this as well:

post #27 of 136
Thread Starter 
i have to ask as well.... how the heck do you guys with outdoor theaters physically align the projector? i usually have to prop it up with a dvd case plus 3 thinnish magazines folded in half! i know a flat bench would suffice but the ground im on isnt all that flat to begin with!
post #28 of 136
Thread Starter 
K. Next Omn2 is set for the 20th. Movie 1 is set as Kung Fu Panda 1. Movie 2 is set as Rush Hour 1.

Trying to find movies for Halloween (sat the 29th) triple feature showing. Earnest Scared Stupid is coming out this month! I think we'll start with a funny Halloween movie. Then a slightly more scary one. Then a truly sh!t yo pants one!

Need some suggestions. Some of my ideas are:

Movie 1: earnest scared stupid, monster house, monsters inc, it's the great pumpkin Charlie brown

Movie 2: Halloween ( original), poltergeist (1), Friday the 13th (original)

Movie 3: Blair witch project (it has that mental fright), the exorcist (1),

What y'all think?
post #29 of 136
Thread Starter 
Had brothers over today. Told them to helpmeet paint the house and they could play FIFA on the outdoor screen.

post #30 of 136
Thread Starter 
In the meantime, got busy settin up x-mas lights on the patio.

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