Family movie nights are a tradition in many homes. Instead of sitting in front of the TV, how about installing a movie theater in your backyard and watching your favorite movie with your loved ones under the stars.
However, installing a movie theater in your backyard requires capital and plenty of planning. This is because you’ll have to buy a projector, projector screen, media player, and audio output system for a complete theater experience.
Before installing your movie theater, you must consider the following:
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You have to choose the best location in your backyard. You might be considering setting up a permanent or temporary movie theater. For a permanent set-up, you must protect your electronics from weather changes such as rain, extreme heat, and wind. You also need a seating space; ensure it’s comfortable.
A temporary set-up is easy as you can just use your patio and patio furniture. Ensure the space can accommodate your equipment and leave enough sitting area. Then hang your projector screen, and voila! You have a movie theater.
When choosing the location, you must ensure that it’s near the source of power, as you do not want to have countless wires running in your backyard. This is because they are a tripping hazard. Furthermore, if any of the wires is dented and exposed to water, it might short circuit your electronics, cutting short your movie night.
So, if you are installing a permanent set-up, you must ensure that all the wires are encased in a pipe and hidden from the public. You must also ensure that your setup is near the house, making it easy to set up and take down.
Alternatively, you can install an outdoor electrical outlet to minimize the wires and provide safe connectivity. The best is to hire an electrician as they know what they know their way around, and the chances of them being electrocuted are close to zero.
What are you using as your media player? Is it the traditional DVD player, streaming via WiFi using applications such as Netflix, or do you have the movie on your laptop? You must determine the source of the movie before setting up to ensure you have all the critical apparatus.
If there is something you want to watch on live TV as a family, such as a football, you can use the DTV converter box as video projectors are not auto-fitted with a TV tuner. Connect your DTV converter audio to the audio system, then take the yellow composite video output of the DTV box and plug it into the composite video input of your projector.
Audio Sound System
This is important because you can’t watch a movie without volume. That said, you must ensure that it’s not too loud as not every one of your neighbors will be okay having to listen to the noise.
You can make it easy without a projector and a sound system packaged for an outdoor theater setup. You might be tempted to activate the surround sound to enhance your theater experience, but as we said, your neighbors might complain.
What is the weather like in your area? Yes, an outdoor theater is an excellent idea, but the worst is if your region is always cold, because who wants to freeze outside all in the name of watching a movie when you can do it in the comfort of your couch or bed under the warmth of your blankets.
Summer is when most people set up their outdoor theaters and leave them on till the end of the season.
Projector screen (portable TV or sheet)
Choosing the type of movie screen to use is crucial as it determines the quality of the pictures. If you want to save money, you can create your screen using a white bed sheet. However, you can choose to break the bank for a high-quality projector screen.
There is a vast collection of projector screens, so you don’t have to stick to the expensive ones. For instance, you can choose between retractable and inflatable screens for outdoor use.
Alternatively, you can consider using an outdoor TV as there are several types and sizes. You can get an LED or LCD outdoor TV ranging from 32 to 62 inches.
Your choice will depend on preference and budget. Outdoor TVs are fantastic as they are made of heavy-duty, weather- and temperature-resistant material. You’ll find that some are autoffited with cooling fans and heaters, making it possible for them to be in use throughout the year.
Some outdoor TV has an anti-glare screen that makes viewing during the day possible. For best pictures, you best place it against sunlight. And most of them have an inbuilt audio system, but it is usually insufficient, hence the need for an external audio system for better sound.
This will make you the envy of your relatives and neighbors, and they will always want to join your movie nights.
Power surge protectors
Power surge protectors would be best to protect your electronics from electricity overload. So before starting your outdoor theater install, ensure you have these in hand as they will save you loads of money.
You must ensure that your seating area can accommodate your family and guests because some nights, you may invite relatives or neighbors for a fun night.
While on this, you must ensure that the space is free from bugs, but to be on the safe side, you can apply bug repellants onto your body. Or spray the areas with bugs or mosquito spray a few hours before the movie.
You might think installing an outdoor movie theater in your backyard is challenging, but it’s pretty easy. As long as you have all the required equipment, you don’t need to be techy, as everything is straightforward. However, before starting your backyard home movie theater project, consider the factors above for a successful installation.