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How to Set Up an Outdoor Home Theater

How to Set Up an Outdoor Home Theater for a Backyard Movie Night

Summer nights are just around the corner, and that means more outdoor entertaining. A backyard home theater will amp up your summer barbeques and be the envy of the neighborhood. Putting together an outdoor movie theater might seem difficult or expensive, but it doesn't have to be. With just a few simple pieces of equipment you can be the neighborhood hotspot with your own backyard movies, and the bonus is that equipment can pull double-duty for your indoor home theater next winter. But let's not talk about winter right now.
outdoor home theater - backyard movie night

Here's what you'll need for your backyard home theater:

  1. Home theater projector.
  2. Although the projector will be your biggest investment, they are now more affordable than ever. You can find a high-performance home theater projector for as low as $549! Your biggest considerations should be regarding brightness, contrast ratio and resolution (see our recommendations below). A lightweight projector will make set up even more convenient and mobile. Some projectors have built in speakers that might be good enough for your outdoor movies, but if you want true surround sound and theater-style presence, you'll want to add an external speaker system. Some projectors have a built in DVD player and docking station for your iPhone or iPad, but most will require an external DVD player via an HDMI port. These types of models will keep up better with changing technologies. See our current projector specials for the best values.

    Key projector specs for your outdoor home theater:

    • Brightness: A minimum of 2,000 lumens
    • High Contrast Ratio: 2,000:1 or greater
    • Resolution: High definition 720p or 1080p
        Top Outdoor Movie Projectors
    Compare Model Brightness Resolution Contrast Ratio Our Price
    Epson Home Cinema 2030-R Compare Epson Video Gaming Projectors Epson Home Cinema 2030-R outdoor home theater projector
    Epson Home Cinema 2030-R
    2000 lumens 1080p 15,000:1 $479

    >> Get the best deal on your home theater projector: Check out our current projector specials and fully warrantied factory refurbished projectors. <<

  3. Portable projection screen.
  4. outdoor projector screen Sure, you can project against a white sheet, but a projection screen will give you the best image quality, and is actually easier to set up. The ProjectoScreen outdoor projection screens are top-rated and specifically designed for indoor and outdoor movies, with set up in a matter of minutes. ProjectoScreens come with a carry case for easy portability and storage, and provide that sharp HD image quality that will help you get the most out of your projector. ProjectoScreens come in 5 sizes and are very affordable, starting at $189.

    ProjectoScreen reviews:
          ProjectoScreen Sizes
    Screen Model Fabric Aspect Ratio Diagonal Our Price Buy
      ProjectoScreen100HD Matte White 16:9 100" $199.00 Purchase the ProjectoScreen100HD projection screen now
      ProjectoScreen110HD Matte White 16:9 110" $209.00 Purchase the ProjectoScreen110HD projection screen now
      ProjectoScreen120HD Matte White 16:9 120" $219.00 Purchase the ProjectoScreen120HD projection screen now
      ProjectoScreen132HD Matte White 16:9 132" $235.00 Purchase the ProjectoScreen132HD projection screen now
      ProjectoScreen144HD Matte White 16:9 144" $255.00 Purchase the ProjectoScreen144HD projection screen now

  5. Video source.
  6. Use your current Blu-ray DVD player, or connect your computer or device to stream movies from Netflix or Amazon.

  7. Sound system.
  8. Your projector may already have built in speakers, if not, or you want more, there are a number of audio solutions that will give you that full-movie surround sound. Just make sure that you're a good neighbor with the volume - or invite the neighbors so everyone's happy.

  9. Projector and A/V stand.
  10. Projector stand for outdoor backyard moviesA projector stand will keep your equipment up and off the ground and out of people's path, ensuring the protection of your equipment and safety of your guests. That's exatly why we designed our Projector Stand. Our stand's telescoping, locking legs provide quick and easy set up for outdoor movies. It folds down into a convenient carry case for maximum portability and storage when not in use. Add in the optional accessory shelf to hold small media players and/speakers up to 5 pounds for enhanced versatility and convenience.

    Find out more about the Visual Apex Projector Stand

  11. Power Strip with Surge Suppressor
  12. A power strip with surge protector will protect your equipment and keep your power cords wrangled.

An example of one outdoor home theater solution:

Epson Home Cinema 2030 home theater projector, 120" ProjectoScreen, portable projector stand with shelf, external Blu-ray (which has Netflix, Amazon and can play DVDs), a boom box with detachable speakers for positioning.

Here are some pictures of outdoor home theaters submitted by our customers:

outdoor home theater outdoor home theater

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