How to establish an outdoor and home theater
With fluctuating gasoline prices, more expensive air-fares, and high theme park ticket prices, getting away for the summer is certainly more difficult these days, especially if you have a family. If you are facing discontent on the home front because of your inability to take your clan on summer vacation, why not add a little adventure and excitement at home on those warm summer nights with an outdoor home theater?
With a little resourcefulness, free set-up and take down labor, and probably less cash than you would have spent taking your family for a week's stay at Disneyworld, you can combine your home-bound summer activities of backyard BBQs and Pool Parties with your own outdoor home theater.
Although there are very extravagant ways to set up an outdoor home theater (you can even have one custom installed), you can actually put together a makeshift outdoor home theater that will make you the hero of the summer!
The following is an outline of the components you need to put together a basic outdoor home theater system. A pre-made screen will provide a better projected image, due to its more reflective surface, will also add additional cost to your setup, if you are on a budget. However, if you do plan to go with a pre-made screen, my advice would be to get one slightly larger than you think you need as this will give you more flexibility in setting up both projector distance and desirable size of the projected image. Of course, as a last resort, you can also project your images on a wall - but the wall needs not only to be white, but reflective enough to contribute to a bright image - you may have to experiment, which may include some painting.
Although the projector/screen combination is the best (and most cost effective) option for a large movie theater outdoor viewing experience, for more intimate outdoor movie or TV viewing, you can also opt for a self-contained outdoor TV. There are several types and sizes of LED/LCD outdoor TVs available, typically ranging in size from 32-to-65-inches (but there are some larger sizes available). TVs made for outdoor use feature heavy duty construction that make them weather and temperature resistant, and some are also rain-resistant. Also, to compensate for temperature variations, they also incorporate both cooling fans and/or heaters, which means they can be used all-year round in many locations. In addition, outdoor-designed TVs also have anti-glare coatings so that, unlike video projectors, they can be viewed during daylight hours (most practical with a covered patio, slightly overcast day, or away from direct sunlight).
However, keep in mind that these TVs are more expensive than an equivalent size or LCD or LED/LCD TV, and do not usually have extra features, such as built-in Smart TV or 3D capabilities. On the other hand, most do have a modest built-in audio system that may be sufficient for a small viewing area, but an external audio system is always suggested for a more home theater-like viewing experience.
If you are using an outdoor TV (which as a built-in tuner), rather than a projector, another option is to connect an antenna directly to the TV to receive local TV channels, or you can string a long RF cable out from a cable or satellite box from inside the house - but keep in mind that, depending on the length of the cable - quality will suffer. If both your TV and Cable/Satellite Box have HDMI connections, SunbriteTV offers up a Wireless Alternative for getting TV signals from an indoor cable/satellite box, to an outdoor TV.
If you have a media streamer media streaming functions included in a Blu-ray Disc Player), you can connect the media streamer to the video projector using the composite, component, or HDMI options, if they are available.
However, the tricky part is getting the connection of the media streamer to work with the rest of your home network. One way is to string a long Ethernet Cable. On the other hand, if you have a wireless network and your player has built-in or add-on wireless network connection capability (Wi-Fi), this would be more convenient, provided your wireless network has enough range to go outside a short distance.
The signals are received via an outdoor parabolic antenna usually referred to as a satellite dish and a low-noise block down converter (LNB). A digital dual twin satellite receiver then decodes the desired television programmers for viewing on a television set. Receivers can be external set-top boxes, or a built-in television tuner. Satellite television provides a wide range of channels and services." Connecting this set-top box, this digital satellite receiver becomes your backyard home theater.