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Old 07-06-2020, 13:12   #1
AdamBrunt
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Outdoor projector and screen recommendations and advice

Hi all,

I am looking into the possibility of setting up a projector and screen for our garden - ideally the setup would be permanently in place (retractable screen is fine). Has anyone done such a thing and could offer any recommendations on kit and/or advice ?

Roughly, I am thinking of a screen that is about 6' wide and a projector that would be approximately 20' away. It would be mainly used in the evenings though occasionally during the day so something that works in daylight would also be great.

As I say I am also looking, ideally, for a setup which is waterproof so that it didn't have to be dismantled and assembled all the time.

TIA for any help.

Regards,

Adam
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Old 07-06-2020, 15:11   #2
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I've no experience of outdoor, but a few thoughts -
  • A purpose-built outdoor projector would likely be a very expensive professional model. Better to buy/build some sort of waterproof housing?
  • Setup only takes a minute for a normal domestic projector.
  • Project through a house window?
  • What about the audio - outdoor garden speakers? Bluetooth?
  • And your media source ? > Chromecast, android player, blu, sky box?
  • 6 foot is not very wide at all - I have 8 ft in a modest-sized living room but for more than 4-5 people then 10-12 ft would be preferable!
  • 20 ft distance would likely give a MUCH larger image than 6 feet. Check the projector specs.
  • Daylight - you mean a sunny day ? That's tough conditions. OLED screen ?
  • If budget is no option, get a man in.
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Old 07-06-2020, 16:17   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by driver8 View Post
I've no experience of outdoor, but a few thoughts -


  • A purpose-built outdoor projector would likely be a very expensive professional model. Better to buy/build some sort of waterproof housing?
  • Setup only takes a minute for a normal domestic projector.
  • Project through a house window?
  • What about the audio - outdoor garden speakers? Bluetooth?
  • And your media source ? > Chromecast, android player, blu, sky box?
  • 6 foot is not very wide at all - I have 8 ft in a modest-sized living room but for more than 4-5 people then 10-12 ft would be preferable!
  • 20 ft distance would likely give a MUCH larger image than 6 feet. Check the projector specs.
  • Daylight - you mean a sunny day ? That's tough conditions. OLED screen ?
  • If budget is no option, get a man in.
Thanks driver8. In response to your points ...

The outdoor bit was more pertinent to the screen than the projector. A watertight box with a glass front would presumably be adequate for the projector.

Regarding projecting through a window ... in our situation we would actually be watching facing back towards the house ( so effectively projecting against the house wall )

Audio would be via Bluetooth from the media source which in this case will most likely be a 4k Firestick.

Yeah, I am beginning to think a 20' throw distance is going to be a problem. I might have to rethink the plan. Possibly going ultra short throw but they might not be in budget.

And daylight - as in any kind of day

EDIT: So I have now started salivating over retractable ALR screens and UST laser projectors.

Last edited by AdamBrunt; 07-06-2020 at 18:55.
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Old 08-06-2020, 08:02   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AdamBrunt View Post
And daylight - as in any kind of day

EDIT: So I have now started salivating over retractable ALR screens and UST laser projectors.
I think even a laser projector is going to struggle in daylight outdoors (at least on a sunny day, and presumably you're going to want to be using it when the weather is nice), I've got a laser projector (Optoma UHZ-65) and indoors during the day it's viewable without the blinds down, if the sun isn't directly hitting the screen, but I wouldn't generally choose to watch like that.
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Old 08-06-2020, 09:54   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AdamBrunt View Post
Yeah, I am beginning to think a 20' throw distance is going to be a problem. I might have to rethink the plan. Possibly going ultra short throw but they might not be in budget.


I've got a Benq W1090 which was very affordable - looks like my ~12ft distance gives an image size adjustable between ~6-8ft. The bigger the better, especially for 2.35:1 ratio.

It works surprisingly well in a bright room if you're watching a bright source (PIXAR cartoon) but you'd need virtual darkness for something like The Walking Dead.
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Old 09-06-2020, 14:14   #6
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So, according to she who must be obeyed ... working in daylight is not a massive requirement as it is more than likely only going to be used in the evening / night time
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Old 09-06-2020, 15:32   #7
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A simple and cheap approach is to get a fabric screen if you have something like a shed you can hang it off. We'd previously made a very simple frame from thick PVC tubing that just got attached to a fence.

An HD projector with HDMI input gives you loads of options. We used an iPad or Apple TV for the source and cabled it to a portable PA "boombox" we had, but I think this year we'll use a HomePod or two for the audio.

Projectors in boxes don't work very well and tend to overheat quickly, so maybe a small gazebo for the projector and audience to sit under would be the best bet if you want something you can use all year round.

It works surprisingly well being such a basic setup. We did look at those big inflatable screens you can buy, but we really wanted to do it on a budget as we originally bought it to use for a promotional thing at an outdoor event.

The only downside is that it needs to be dark! Which sounds obvious, but summer is a great time to use it when it doesn't get dark until later. We have watched a few movies later in the year with the kids, all on bean bags with duvets and its nice and toasty.

Last edited by ascender; 09-06-2020 at 15:34.
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Old 09-06-2020, 20:06   #8
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Oh my ... why does the back of my head tell me this is a scam ?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qFBb-14vjRU

Last edited by AdamBrunt; 09-06-2020 at 20:10.
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Old 10-06-2020, 09:02   #9
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I've seen discussed for screen fabric - to use blackout curtain or blackout blind. Obviously any light passing thru the screen makes the image less bright.
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Old 10-06-2020, 09:57   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by driver8 View Post
I've seen discussed for screen fabric - to use blackout curtain or blackout blind. Obviously any light passing thru the screen makes the image less bright.
I can't seem to find where we bought our screen from - its obviously very thick and came with a reinforced edge with riveted holes all the way round for hooks, cable ties etc.
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Old 10-06-2020, 12:03   #11
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I am beginning to wonder whether rear projection may be the way to go ?

It has the advantage of possibly being able to keep the projector indoors ( and projecting through a window ) and I then only need to worry about the screen ( which could be on a fixed frame which is then attached to brackets on the wall but when not in use can be stored indoors ).

Alternatively, UST from the front would also work in my situation

Last edited by AdamBrunt; 11-06-2020 at 13:23.
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Old 29-06-2020, 09:14   #12
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Well further reading seems to suggest rear projection and UST doesn't work though I am not sure why.

An ALR screen with a ceiling mounted projector also doesn't work - as the projector light will be coming from above which is the sort of light the ALR screen is meant to reject.

I assume ambient light refers to the light between the projector and the screen ? In which case, rear projection seems sensible as the screen would be blocking off 90% of the ambient light around the projector ?
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Old 03-07-2020, 13:11   #13
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Just get a massive LED TV and buy something to weatherproof it
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Old 04-07-2020, 10:32   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by w_n_s View Post
Just get a massive LED TV and buy something to weatherproof it
That would normally be a possibility but TVs in the preferreded size ( at least 80" ) either don't exist or cost about 3/4 times the cost of a projector & screen
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Old 28-07-2020, 14:52   #15
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Good CNET article here for all current & future projector owners:

Home theater projectors: Eight tips for set up, placement and picture settings
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Old 28-07-2020, 15:18   #16
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That would normally be a possibility but TVs in the preferreded size ( at least 80" ) either don't exist or cost about 3/4 times the cost of a projector & screen
Replying to my own post but ... did a see recent deal where Costco are selling an 86" LG for £1999
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Old 28-07-2020, 17:00   #17
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Quote:
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Replying to my own post but ... did a see recent deal where Costco are selling an 86" LG for £1999
Blimey. That'd do you, but you'd want some form of proper protection from the elements (or a stray kicked garden football).
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