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Hey all


What I want to do is set up a fairly low-budget HT in my backyard for the summer, and then be able to move the projector indoors in the winter.


Been reading reviews and comments and now looking for some advice before purchasing...



1) Budget


Sub $2k total, maybe $2.5 including audio.



2) Initial thoughts


Like the look of the Optoma H31 for the price (now


3) Environmental constraints:


a) Throw distance

The space I would set the HT up in is the patio immediately outside my back door, about 25' x 25'. I have walls on both sides and would ideally mount a screen on one wall and the projector on the other, high-mounted.


**QUESTION:

If I wall mounted the projector like that, lens would be ~22' away from the screen. That would mean minimum screen width would be 106", or 132" diagonal.


I am guessing that this would be

(1) too far away to get good picture quality and

(2) a non-standard HT screen size so much more expensive


So I would probably have to set up the projector on a table in the middle of the viewing area, which sucks. I could build a shelf out from the wall by a foot or two, but not by the 6' which would be required to get a throw distance of 16' for a 106" diag screen...


Any comments?? Are there 132" screens available? Would picture quality be OK from an H31 on a screen of that size? Or do I have to do the table thing?



b) Viewing area


Generally I would expect people viewing to be within about 25 degrees. The viewing distance will range from 14-20' from the screen, and be not much wider than the screen. However, I will have a hot tub which is about 30' away and at a 45 degree angle. Doesn't need to be amazing viewing from within the hot tub, but would certainly want to feel like I was able to continue watching a movie while I was in there.


**QUESTION:

What does that imply about screen selection? I am guessing the hot tub puts the Graywolf out of the question?? Or no?



c) Screen mounting


I can wall mount or celing mount the screen - there is an overhang over the wall where the screen will be, under which I could bolt a celing-mounted screen. Wall mount seems best as (1) "ceiling" overhang is not vertical, it slopes at about 10 degrees, (2) easier to take screen inside in inclement weather, (3) reduces distance to projector by a few inches. However in windy conditions concerned that wall mount will be less stable.



d) Ambient light


This is a backyard in Brooklyn, NY so ambient light is low but certainly not black.



4) Weather proofing


Would clearly take the projector inside when not watching movies. Would like to build a permanent weatherproof case with the DVD player and receiver in, and to have permanent outdoor speakers and cabling. Any comments on weatherproofing cabling, or on outdoor speakers? I was looking at the Bose 251 Environmental Speakers



5) Other thoughts


I would be willing to make some compromises in order to wall-mount the projector, it would certainly be preferable to having a free-standing setup to arrange seating around, trip over in the dark, etc. I would also be willing to get a separate screen for indoors if necessary.




THANKS TO ANYONE WHO HAS READ THIS FAR!!!


I would like any advice you can give on:


1) Does the Optoma H31 seem a decent choice given these constraints?

2) What screens you would recommend?

3) Any clever workaround for the excessive throw distance?

4) Any other tips, hints or comments.




All thoughts gratefully appreciated



Alex
 

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i've tossed this idea around lately and for your situation there are many viable options. the da-lite insta-theater screen would work well because it has a wider viewing cone, but it requires table mounting the projector to get the gain. of course you could shelf mount the projector on the far wall and just setup the screen when you wanted to.

http://www.da-lite.com/products/prod...p?cID=9&pID=92


at av-outlet.com you could buy just the screen material, ceiling mount the projector and get something like the m2500 (high gain angular reflective material) and get whatever size screen you wanted. i haven't heard of anybody stretching this material across a frame so you should probably contact somebody like jason here at avs to find out more.


the mitsubishi hc3 is the brightest of the 16:9 projectors out right now selling under the $1000 mark and would help give you enough lumens for a large high gain screen to have enough brightness in and outside of the cone. of course there are plenty of options going that size and one with less SDE would probably be best (just depending on how you think screendoor will effect you, personally i think that if you are outside for movie night a lil SDE won't be such a big deal as the big screen). If you look around at the people going outdoor theater they are happy with many of the lower lumen projectors on a white sheet. so it can be done and you won't be disappointed with any of your options. the other problem besides SDE is the short throw of the hc3, but you could always find a telescopic lens (do a crawler search here in the forums for "wide angle lens" and you will hear lots of input on increasing the throw of a projector.) for the best image you will find that the h31 and the 4805 are the best choices due to their high contrast ratios.


if you want 4:3 check out the optoma ezpro 745. bright projector, but does best when fed through its vga or dvi inputs. even though it doesn't meet its specs exactly its still plenty bright to fill a large screen. the pb6200 is a low priced option now, but both of these are 2x dlp's so rainbows could be an issue (although highly unlikely).



i believe that if there is limited ambient light and none actually hitting the screen then a basic matte white screen is your best option. i think these projectors are bright enough if kept in a dark area to fill the screen size your talking about. just remember that the bulb will dim and if you will start to lose that punch at about half the bulb life.
 

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Alex-


I'm in the process of getting some equipment together for my backyard theater.

The Optoma is a good choice because of the throw distance. If you're worried about brightness, then you could go with a InFocus X2, which is rated at 1600 Lumens. But, you will be restricted to a 200 inch screen.


For a screen, I will be using a white canvas tarp, measuring 16 x 10 ft. I haven't tried this yet, so I can't comment on picture quality. But, at $68 plus shipping it is worth trying.


I suggest that you build some kinda stand for the PJ so that you can move it close enough to the screen. I would look for some weatherproof enclosure you could mount it in.


For speakers, I will be buying some JBL indoor/outdoor from Costco at $75 per pair. Haven' t decided on the amp yet, but there are sveral 5.1 receivers out there for less than $300.


Best-


Don
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by agbrander
If I wall mounted the projector like that, lens would be ~22' away from the screen. That would mean minimum screen width would be 106", or 132" diagonal.


I am guessing that this would be

(1) too far away to get good picture quality and

(2) a non-standard HT screen size so much more expensive
Unless I'm misunderstanding, I don't think you'll see a problem with image quality with a 22' throw. I throw 35' outdoors with an old 400 lumen NEC.


RE: ambient light -- The darker the better.


RE: Screens -- lots of options from DIY to high-end and no single screen size is going to be the perfect size for everything you'll show (in my experience). Get the width you want for 16:9 and consider setup/teardown time and effort (and storage).


Have a blast!
 

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1st, don't bother with the graywolf- too small for outdoor use, consider 12x15 white painter's tarp and 1x1 to frame, or use pvc. As to size, 100" is not going to cut it, try 180-200" 16:9 for wider coverage and more people can see


2nd, the H31 will be just fine and will double duty for your indoor ht


3rd, if you don't want to use the H31 for outdoor for fear of damage or similar, invest in a used business svga pj- should run you $250.00 or under.


4th read these two threads. They'll tell you everything you need to know:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...hlight=outdoor

and
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=448969


PS btw: You can build an outdoor theater for under $100.00

$10.00 NEC MT820

$20.00 12x15 tarp

$20.00 wood and pvc pipes

$20.00 thrift store receiver

$0.00 4 old speakers lying around

$0.00 existing dvd player

$20.00 bulk 20gauge wiring


Victor
 

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