Anyone have suggestions for my outdoor projector setup? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 5 Old 04-05-2020, 11:05 AM - Thread Starter
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Anyone have suggestions for my outdoor projector setup?

Already have a 3d projector, and I'm building it already. I have two pillars 32x32" in size and 6' tall. They are roughly 12' apart and will have gargoyles on top and some lighting. I'm going to parge it and the visible wall with dark grey masonry mix.

What would be the best cheap screen? I also need some speakers and a portable projector room/box

I'm thinking the rock looking speakers for the back and some decent ones for the front since I can build a little roof to keep them out of the weather.
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post #2 of 5 Old 04-07-2020, 06:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RealFloopyGuy View Post
Already have a 3d projector, and I'm building it already. I have two pillars 32x32" in size and 6' tall. They are roughly 12' apart and will have gargoyles on top and some lighting. I'm going to parge it and the visible wall with dark grey masonry mix.

What would be the best cheap screen? I also need some speakers and a portable projector room/box

I'm thinking the rock looking speakers for the back and some decent ones for the front since I can build a little roof to keep them out of the weather.

Kind of depends on what you call cheap...

The cheapest screen might be an old bed sheet. The definition of cheap begs the question as to what quality you want. Size will impact the price too. Will this be a permanent installation as it kind of sounds like it might be from your post?

With regards to cheap, many use recycled billboard vinyl. It's easy to get and a used 7' x 14' sized billboard tarp that will sell for less than $20. Just Google billboard tarp.

If you're not interested in the billboard tarp, you can step up to a new white vinyl tarp. Do a search for "movie tarp". The internet is full of dealers that sell them. Depending on size price will be maybe $30 - $150.

There are also cheap screens on ebay and Amazon. Keep in mind that you kind of get what you pay for on ebay and Amazon and quality will vary.

Perhaps the best screen value comes from Carl's Place. Carl's makes a beautiful, excellent quality screen for outdoor use at a very reasonable price. He'll make most any size you want. I would recommend the FlexiWhite material with finished edges.

Carl's also sells metal fittings that will allow you to build an excellent screen frame using 1" EMT conduit. You can also find similar fittings from companies selling vinyl tarps.

https://www.carlofet.com/shop/projec...t_ratio=16%3A9

There are other options available depending on size, price, and how you're planning to use it.

Keep in mind that these type of screens are susceptible to damage from high winds and especially so if you plan to keep it up year round or through the season. It's best to put up and take down the screen material as needed to increase its useful life.

If you're looking at something to leave in place year round you might want to consider treated plywood or plywood with a plastic laminate surface. You can paint the surface each year or as need to maintain a pristine viewing surface.
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post #3 of 5 Old 04-08-2020, 03:11 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by b curry View Post
Kind of depends on what you call cheap...

The cheapest screen might be an old bed sheet. The definition of cheap begs the question as to what quality you want. Size will impact the price too. Will this be a permanent installation as it kind of sounds like it might be from your post?

With regards to cheap, many use recycled billboard vinyl. It's easy to get and a used 7' x 14' sized billboard tarp that will sell for less than $20. Just Google billboard tarp.

If you're not interested in the billboard tarp, you can step up to a new white vinyl tarp. Do a search for "movie tarp". The internet is full of dealers that sell them. Depending on size price will be maybe $30 - $150.

There are also cheap screens on ebay and Amazon. Keep in mind that you kind of get what you pay for on ebay and Amazon and quality will vary.

Perhaps the best screen value comes from Carl's Place. Carl's makes a beautiful, excellent quality screen for outdoor use at a very reasonable price. He'll make most any size you want. I would recommend the FlexiWhite material with finished edges.

Carl's also sells metal fittings that will allow you to build an excellent screen frame using 1" EMT conduit. You can also find similar fittings from companies selling vinyl tarps.

https://www.carlofet.com/shop/projec...t_ratio=16%3A9

There are other options available depending on size, price, and how you're planning to use it.

Keep in mind that these type of screens are susceptible to damage from high winds and especially so if you plan to keep it up year round or through the season. It's best to put up and take down the screen material as needed to increase its useful life.

If you're looking at something to leave in place year round you might want to consider treated plywood or plywood with a plastic laminate surface. You can paint the surface each year or as need to maintain a pristine viewing surface.

I added a picture of the area I'm doing. I've been perfectly happy with black out cloth and tacks on a smooth wall and then framing around it over the last 15 years or so. A white textured wall doesn't bother me tremendously when I set it up impromptu for gatherings.

I know that taking it down would be the best when not in use but realistically I'm not going to. I am going to make a weatherproof box for the projector so that when I drink too much or zone out I don't leave it sitting outside in the dew. I don't intend to leave it outside but I didn't intend to leave my grill outside after I cooked ribs all day yesterday either.

I'm wondering if blackout cloth would hold up outside. The billboard tarps are amazing. I used one to patch a trailer roof for someone and it lasted for years before they moved. I'll have to look up the method to paint them.

My local drive in before I moved had what looked like flat white paint on warped plywood but I never noticed the screen looking bad when I went to watch a movie. Lowes has plastic 4x8 white plastic sheets for pretty cheap. I'm not opposed to spending a little money on a good option. My biggest issue on the plywood would be controlling the warping.

I could possibly paint a 4x8 sheet of hardy board with flat side out and use that. They don't warp as far as I know from moisture/sun.


On the wall itself if anyone is interested: The pillars are built now(69" or so) and I'm building a cap to 72" as soon as I run speaker wire and electrical up the back of the pillars. The jacks were to straighten the wall initially until I built an earth anchor system on the back if you want to know exactly what you are looking at. The pillars also have an anchor bar installed through the wall but I didn't set it up. They aren't actually going to have any pressure on them though they weigh about 10klbs. You never know know though so I went ahead and ran 1" all thread through them and set up the system in case they ever moved at all I'd only have to get a coupler and some wire cable. The entire thing is getting stuccoed and dyed black when I get done next week.
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post #4 of 5 Old 06-12-2020, 05:53 AM - Thread Starter
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I ended up painting a piece of plywood but it didn't do it for me. Then I bought a piece of screen 12x8' from Carls. I got the flexigrey. I tacked it up temporary before I finished framing behind it and then added poly foam behind it. I am starting to trim it in now. I'm hoping it will last a year or so.

I can watch it in the daytime with the grey screen since my house shades the screen but it isn't perfect until it gets darker.

Honestly, I don't see that much benefit to the grey over the white. I got it in the hopes that I could start watching half an hour or hour earlier. It works OK for that but I have to change the settings at dark because it is too bright. I think once I can paint the wood trim black around it, it will be OK. The grey concrete doesn't reflect any light to speak of, so I am going to leave it unpainted or put one more coat of mortar over it with black dye mixed in. The flexigrey material is basically a light grey pool liner. I'm hoping pressure treated wood doesn't mess it up. I'll pop back in to update how well the screen material is holding up outside and how well it holds up to a pressure washer.

I am going to be building a little roof to keep water from running directly on it. I'll be adding sound soon. Not entirely sure what I'm doing there but I have some outdoor rock looking speakers for the rears. I need to figure out the center. I'm not sure if I'm going to hard wire it or use a roll out cart for the sound.

For seating, I'm thinking of putting plastic fence posts sank into the ground and then mounting individual theater chairs or rows of 2-3 onto posts that I can put in on the side of the hill where I'd be watching so I can pick them up and take them into the garage when I'm done. I have been using the $30 metal and fabric lawn chairs.



The original plywood screen was just flat exterior house paint. I tacked it up in my basement and it worked amazing in my opinion. I should be able to cut a little of extra material from the flexigrey on the side and do comparisons.
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post #5 of 5 Old 06-12-2020, 06:01 AM - Thread Starter
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The material at Carls was in their clearance section and cost less than plywood by far. This isn't exactly a permanent setup at this point and I gave 3-4 other spots I can use as a drive in in the yard, so I didn't want to spend hundreds on plywood, the framing, and then getting the plywood to look like one piece. I could probably make a nearly completely smooth concrete screen area in the middle and then use flat exterior paint on it in the future but I really don't have the oomph to do that currently. I just finished pouring a big slab in the backyard and I am feeling a little old. lol

All the work is done myself including the pillars and the parging(two different lots of mortar is why the wall have blotches, I am going to buy half a dozen bags for the final coat on the pillars and the wall not covered by screen and put black dye in them. I still gotta figure out what I'm putting on the pillars. I'm really leaning towards giant commercial speakers in boxes.
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