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post #1 of 6 Old 02-10-2020, 10:37 AM - Thread Starter
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Back Yard Projector & Design Help!

Greetings to you fine A/V folks! Thank you in advance for your help. If this isn't allowed, please delete! Just looking for some feedback on my backyard theater design...See picture below:

I am installing this composite decking and a 92"x92" hot tub in my back yard. Further, I would like to install a projection screen on the rear side of my 2-car detached garage, so that we can watch movies or sports while hanging out in the hot tub. Problem is--I just don't know what projector I should be getting.

I will be building a custom wood casing of some kind to house the projector...it will likely be located somewhere about 5 feet or so from the garage...similar to where the beat-up garden area currently sits. My quick questions:

1. Where should I start? Screen size? Location? Projector type?
2. Making a few assumptions...what would you recommend?
3. At the end of the day, I want the screen to be viewable to the entire yard, and would like to steam YoutubeTV to watch sports in the back yard. What would you do?

Thank you in advance!
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post #2 of 6 Old 02-11-2020, 05:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Clay Manship View Post
Greetings to you fine A/V folks! Thank you in advance for your help. If this isn't allowed, please delete! Just looking for some feedback on my backyard theater design...See picture below:

I am installing this composite decking and a 92"x92" hot tub in my back yard. Further, I would like to install a projection screen on the rear side of my 2-car detached garage, so that we can watch movies or sports while hanging out in the hot tub. Problem is--I just don't know what projector I should be getting.

I will be building a custom wood casing of some kind to house the projector...it will likely be located somewhere about 5 feet or so from the garage...similar to where the beat-up garden area currently sits. My quick questions:

1. Where should I start? Screen size? Location? Projector type?
2. Making a few assumptions...what would you recommend?
3. At the end of the day, I want the screen to be viewable to the entire yard, and would like to steam YoutubeTV to watch sports in the back yard. What would you do?

Thank you in advance!

I would normally suggest that you start with a screen size. Assuming your garage is at least 18' wide, I'd go with a 9'x16' - 214" diagonal 16:9 aspect screen.

But your idea or need to place the projector at ~5' from the garage is major limiting factor. A 5' throw distance is putting you into an Ultra Short Throw (UST) or Short Throw projector. That type of unit will limit projected image size to something around 100"-120" screen size.

There is the BenQ HT2150ST or Optoma EH200ST, or something like it, that could get you something around 150" with a throw distance of 6'-7'.

So your desired throw distance and a larger screen size are at odds with each other. If you can increase your throw distance to around 15'-20', it opens up a lot more possibilities.

Last edited by b curry; 02-13-2020 at 09:51 AM.
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post #3 of 6 Old 02-13-2020, 08:05 AM - Thread Starter
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I would normally suggest that you start with a screen size. Assuming your garage is at least 18' wide, I'd go with a 9'x19' - 214" diagonal 16:9 aspect screen.

But your idea or need to place the projector at ~5' from the garage is major limiting factor. A 5' throw distance is putting you into an Ultra Short Throw (UST) or Short Throw projector. That type of unit will limit projected image size to something around 100"-120" screen size.

There is the BenQ HT2150ST or Optoma EH200ST, or something like it, that could get you something around 150" with a throw distance of 6'-7'.

So your desired throw distance and a larger screen size are at odds with each other. If you can increase your throw distance to around 15'-20', it opens up a lot more possibilities.

The screen size will be 144"...and I kind of have 3 different options for where I can place my projector:

-5 feet
-30 feet
-55 feet

In a perfect world, the 55 foot throw distance would be perfect, as it would then be mounted to my house. But from what I have seen, I can't find a decent projector that can throw 55 feet, but also display well on a 144" screen. Do you have any recommendations here?
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post #4 of 6 Old 02-13-2020, 10:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Clay Manship View Post
The screen size will be 144"...and I kind of have 3 different options for where I can place my projector:

-5 feet
-30 feet
-55 feet

In a perfect world, the 55 foot throw distance would be perfect, as it would then be mounted to my house. But from what I have seen, I can't find a decent projector that can throw 55 feet, but also display well on a 144" screen. Do you have any recommendations here?
Well, 55 feet is not impossible, but you're not going to like the price or the electric bill.

A 144" screen is a nice size. I've used 200" and 165" for my backyard in the past and recently down sized to 144" to reduce the setup/take down time.

There is a very nice projector that can work from Epson and it's your lucky day as they have them on closeout at a substantially reduced price. It will do a 144" screen at 23 feet. At 144" the image is going to look like a big LCD TV.

But again, I'd up the screen size to the 9'x16' - 214" diagonal. The image is going to cover most of your garage wall. It will be nice and bright and the projector can be mounted anywhere between 22'-35' from the screen using a 214" screen.

The projector is the Epson G7500U. The bonus is it's a 4K enhanced image. The cost is ~$2000.
https://epson.com/Clearance-Center/P...p/V11H750020-N


Here's the same projector used on a 21' wide - 272" diagonal screen. It's setup in a backyard using a Carl's Place FlexiWhite screen:



Last edited by b curry; 02-13-2020 at 10:30 AM.
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post #5 of 6 Old 02-15-2020, 07:11 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by b curry View Post
Well, 55 feet is not impossible, but you're not going to like the price or the electric bill.

A 144" screen is a nice size. I've used 200" and 165" for my backyard in the past and recently down sized to 144" to reduce the setup/take down time.

There is a very nice projector that can work from Epson and it's your lucky day as they have them on closeout at a substantially reduced price. It will do a 144" screen at 23 feet. At 144" the image is going to look like a big LCD TV.

But again, I'd up the screen size to the 9'x16' - 214" diagonal. The image is going to cover most of your garage wall. It will be nice and bright and the projector can be mounted anywhere between 22'-35' from the screen using a 214" screen.

The projector is the Epson G7500U. The bonus is it's a 4K enhanced image. The cost is ~$2000.
https://epson.com/Clearance-Center/P...p/V11H750020-N


Here's the same projector used on a 21' wide - 272" diagonal screen. It's setup in a backyard using a Carl's Place FlexiWhite screen:


Really appreciate your thorough reply!

I think I am aiming for a "permanent" outdoor setup. That is...I want to have a motorized 144" screen on my garage, that can move up and down with the flip of a switch. With this in mind, I would feel most comfortable having my projector affixed to the house for security purposes. This would mean that my projector would be throwing approximately 55 feet...

1. Assuming I purchased the Epson projector above...what would this do to my picture? Is this feasible?
2. Can a projector cast through glass? This would allow me to leave the projector indoors (a lot more attractive to me!)

I think I am going to be stuck on a projector casting from 55-60 feet, regardless of cost/utilities...it's the only way that I can come up with to accomplish goals. With that in mind...what would you recommend to me?

THANK YOU!
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post #6 of 6 Old 02-15-2020, 10:28 AM
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Really appreciate your thorough reply!

I think I am aiming for a "permanent" outdoor setup. That is...I want to have a motorized 144" screen on my garage, that can move up and down with the flip of a switch. With this in mind, I would feel most comfortable having my projector affixed to the house for security purposes. This would mean that my projector would be throwing approximately 55 feet...

1. Assuming I purchased the Epson projector above...what would this do to my picture? Is this feasible?
2. Can a projector cast through glass? This would allow me to leave the projector indoors (a lot more attractive to me!)

I think I am going to be stuck on a projector casting from 55-60 feet, regardless of cost/utilities...it's the only way that I can come up with to accomplish goals. With that in mind...what would you recommend to me?

THANK YOU!


As an FYI, motorized screens come with their own set of problems. They have a propensity to not lay flat, that is, they can get some "waves" in them that are difficult and sometimes impossible to get out. Most screens are made from some kind of vinyl. As such they are going to be subject to temperature extremes. Rolled up in the sun may cause some warping and extreme cold could cause it to crack. Then you're also going to have to put up with bugs or birds that decide to nest inside the roll housing. The bigger problem is any moisture on the screen surface can and will propagate mold/mildew growth while the screen is rolled up sitting in the sunshine.

You're still somewhat at odds with the screen size and throw distance.

After digging a little, it looks like you can buy that projector with or purchase a special lens to retrofit that would allow for a 144" image at a 55' throw distance. The specific lens for that exact projector is the Epson Epson ELP LM11. It should produce a 144" image with the projector placed any where between 49.5' and 75.3'. The lens by itself has an MSRP price of ~$2500.00. You should be able to buy it at street price with a 20-50% discount.

Are you planing on keeping the projector indoors and projecting through a window? Or are you wanting a box outside attached to the house? I guess the point is that there are outdoor projector enclosures/housings that are purposed built that have temperature control for this type of application.

Yes, you can project through glass. What's in a typical hose window is usually not the best stuff though. You want an optical quality glass that minimizes spherical aberration, color aberration, etc. Edmunds Optics carries what you want or google projector port glass.



If you're only using a 144" screen, you may want to revisit the ultra short throw units. Something like the Viewsonic LS830 will do 144". It could be mounted on your garage, over the screen in a housing that look like this:



Anyhow, a couple of things to think about.
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