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Backyard Theater on a Budget?

Old 08-06-15, 12:24 AM
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Backyard Theater on a Budget?

So my girlfriend recently bought a new house and we've been discussing setting up an outdoor theater in the backyard. She has a Sonos sound system and the screen seems like an easy enough and affordable purchase, but we're stumped on the projectors. She sent me some links to $200 VGA-only projectors that look more suited to Power Point presentations than hosting a movie viewing party in the backyard. From some very, very brief research I suppose I should be looking for something with 2000 lumen, 1080p, and an HDMI connector (although we'll most likely be streaming movies from our laptop, not connecting to a blu-ray player).

I can probably convince her to spend $300, but anything more than that and I think she'll end up jettisoning the plan.

An impossibility given the budget, or are there projectors suited to a family who isn't too concerned with image quality?
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Old 08-06-15, 10:30 AM
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Re: Backyard Theater on a Budget?

For outside, you might want to look at lumens first, quality second. Which probably means a business PJ, not a home theater version. You probably can't be tied to the HT resolution of 1080, either. Maybe you can find a 1280x800 in your price range, so it's at least widescreen. Make sure when shopping resolution you don't get fooled by "1080p compatible", which does not mean actual 1080 physical res.

Example:
http://www.projectorpeople.com/Optom...rojector/33881
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Old 08-06-15, 02:42 PM
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Re: Backyard Theater on a Budget?

Originally Posted by Spiky View Post
For outside, you might want to look at lumens first, quality second. Which probably means a business PJ, not a home theater version. You probably can't be tied to the HT resolution of 1080, either. Maybe you can find a 1280x800 in your price range, so it's at least widescreen. Make sure when shopping resolution you don't get fooled by "1080p compatible", which does not mean actual 1080 physical res.

Example:
http://www.projectorpeople.com/Optom...rojector/33881
Thanks so much for the response. The projector you linked to has solid reviews and seems to be what we're looking for.

If you had to choose between that one and this similarly priced model, which would you go with?

http://www.amazon.com/Optoma-S316-Lumen-Projector-Superior/dp/B00J4E97U2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1438886457&sr=8-1&keywords=Optoma+s316+Projector
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Old 08-06-15, 03:20 PM
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Re: Backyard Theater on a Budget?

It would be nice to see them in operation, first. But the one you posted lists a 10k lamp life, that will save you more down the road.

Optoma makes decent units and these are in the same product line, so prob use the exact same DLP chip, so I'm sure they are similar pic quality. Prob won't see much difference between them, really. The lamp, 3D, price is prob the differentiators if you look at just Optoma. For another $40, you could get higher res from the same product line.

Infocus has been very popular, BenQ might have something in his range, etc. Of course, all DLP comes from the same place, so often there is little to distinguish the pic quality even from different companies.
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Old 08-06-15, 04:06 PM
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Re: Backyard Theater on a Budget?

Great tips. Thank you! I'll share both models with the gf and see what she says.

Thanks again for all of your help.
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Old 08-06-15, 04:32 PM
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Re: Backyard Theater on a Budget?

No problem. I've owned three, myself. They bring different issues than flat panels, but to me it's worth it for a large screen.
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Old 08-09-15, 01:38 PM
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Re: Backyard Theater on a Budget?

I just put together this setup and the kids absolutely love it.

screen
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...ilpage_o00_s00

speaker
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...ilpage_o01_s00

projector
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...ilpage_o01_s02

cable to push my phone to the projector
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...ilpage_o01_s02


while it doesn't have anywhere near the thump or lumens of my in home in wall 7.1 surround sound, 100" motorized screen, and high def benq projector, this little setup is uber portable, super cheap, and looks and sounds great for outdoor nighttime summer movies.
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Old 08-13-15, 02:51 PM
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Re: Backyard Theater on a Budget?

Originally Posted by TGM View Post
I just put together this setup and the kids absolutely love it.

screen
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...ilpage_o00_s00

speaker
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...ilpage_o01_s00

projector
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...ilpage_o01_s02

cable to push my phone to the projector
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...ilpage_o01_s02


while it doesn't have anywhere near the thump or lumens of my in home in wall 7.1 surround sound, 100" motorized screen, and high def benq projector, this little setup is uber portable, super cheap, and looks and sounds great for outdoor nighttime summer movies.
OUTSTANDING. Thank you!
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Old 08-15-15, 10:00 PM
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Re: Backyard Theater on a Budget?

I'm new to projectors and screens.Someone posted on another forum that
this screen was A good deal.So I plan to also build A budget theater.
Bought the one from Walmart.

Best Choice Electric Auto Projector Projection Screen 100" (80" x 60") 4:3 Display Hd
$75 Amazon or $65 Walmart

http://www.amazon.com/Best-Choice-Products%C2%AE-Motorized-Projection/dp/B005G5053G/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1439689189&sr=8-3&keywords=best+choice+projector+screen

http://www.walmart.com/ip/29678661


Amazon has A Taotaole Mini LED Projector LCD with 1000 Lumens now for around $100 that just came out in July that I might buy.

Last edited by JoeySeven; 08-15-15 at 10:15 PM.
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Old 08-30-15, 12:16 PM
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Re: Backyard Theater on a Budget?

That projector isn't that great when you get it home. I used to have one. I mean it's pretty bright and for outdoors it should work good but the colors are washed out. Check this review out

(it seems i can't post url's yet)
pico-projector-fans.com/2015/08/30/taotaole-uc40-led-projector-reviewed-against--st200-led-projector/

For the price it's hard to argue with what it provides but I would suggest spending a little more cash and getting something better. The ST200 in that review looks good and is under the $300 budget, you can find it on Amazon.
JoeySeven I think you should look around a bit more and see what you can find because there's a lot. Epson and LG has some better ones for around that price range like the Epson-VS230.

Good luck on your search
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