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Sound Setup - Need a push in the right direction

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
I am investigating options for an outdoor theater setup for my house. I need some assistance on narrowing down options on the sound setup. I am technical and like to research fiddle with things. The breadth of information on sound is somewhat daunting finding a starting point.

I'll most likely be going with a 12 x 6.75 screen and leaning toward an Epson 710HD for the projector. Video/audio source will be a laptop/pc most of the time. The equipment will be put up and taken door with each showing. The showings will typically be small(ish) crowds (<30 people)

For the sound I am thinking of starting with a 3 speaker setup (L / R / Center) and eventually get a sub and move to 3.1.

While cost is a big factor I want to make sure I get the *right* solution. Or at least started in the right direction and have easy growth to the *right* solution. I am not an audiophile by any stretch, but want to make sure I get something sufficient for an enjoyable evening.

I currently do not have anything "laying around" that can be re-purposed for this.

Starting at the high level. It looks like a decision needs to be made to go with either: Receiver/Passive Speakers or Mixer/Powered Speakers. I do not necessarily know the pros/cons of either solution for this application. Can anybody provided some thoughts on when to use one vs. the other?

post #2 of 3
I've used both powered and passive setups for my backyard theater. I'm currently using a passive setup for the sole purpose of easier to setup/teardown. My sound system is a pair of EV ZX1 8" speakers connected to a QSC amp via speakon cable. Instead of having to run power cords out to each speaker, I can just run one cable to each since the power and signal are combined. Speakers + amp ran about $1000 total. The speaker stands are fixed and made of wood so all I have to do is set the speakers on top and plug in everything. I also have the Epson projector you mentioned and it's great. Not a home theater projector by any stretch, but it's bright and cheap and perfect for outdoor theater setups.
post #3 of 3
I use a cheap 5.1 Home Theater in a box (HTiB). Comes with everythnig you need and unless you're tryingt ofikll a HUGE space, it should work out for you. I leave mine in a small plastic garden shed converted to an outdoor equipment cabinet. I just put out the screen, projector and sub when ready to show. Takes 5 minutes to setup and take down. Everything else stays conneted in the cabinet.
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