A movie in the backyard
A long time ago — beginning in 1932 one of the most popular forms of entertainment was the outdoor drive-in movie, where people would watch a film on a screen in a specially designated place from their own cars. (Incidentally, Babar the elephant and his family saw one in Babar Comes to America (1965)!) The drive-in has declined in more recent decades, but now you can set up your own form of outdoor movie viewing in the form of backyard movie theater audio systems, of which several brands — along with their pros and cons — will be discussed in this article. All are available from Amazon; their ratings and a few customer reviews, both positive and negative, will be given under each one.
Silverscreen BT-100 12-Foot Outdoor Entertainment System
This product, which has not been reviewed yet, costs about $2,400 and is well worth the cost, for in the package you will find everything that you need to host a big-screen presentation from the comfort of your own backyard. The audio system includes a pair of eight-inch SAVI speakers, a “passive” one that is fed by connection to the other, “active” speaker that includes an amplifier. There is also:
- a 25′ audio speaker cable (¼” cable with two pairs of RCA connectors)
- 25′ ¼’ X Speakon speaker cable for connecting the active and passive speakers
- all the video media that you would want to share with your family and friends
One of its biggest pros for this product is free tech support for the first thirty days after its arrival. Another is the variety of media for which the package can be used.
Backyard Theater Systems
This is “your complete outdoor home entertainment system;” it is the number-one place to go for backyard movie theater audio systems, and those that you get here can be used both indoors and outdoors. Products here come in three series; from most to least expensive, they are:
(3) Indoor/ Outdoor
The Showcase is for when you want to make your presentation to an audience that is larger than your backyard can accommodate, as for a school, university, religious organization, hotel, park & recreation department or community center. Included in the package are:
- an HD Epson 720p projector — the number-one digital projector to be found anywhere, from a company that has been producing electronic equipment for more than a century
- a complete sixteen- or twenty-inch diagonal QuikScreen and frame, specially designed to block out any exterior sources of light, simultaneously reflecting more of the light that emanates from the projector, thus making the viewing experience brighter and more vivid for everyone
- a pair of SAVI speakers, each with an easy-setup stand — As with the SilverScreen (above), one speaker is active while the other is passive. The amplification is perfectly balanced, making it an ideal complement to the Epson projector. The sounds produced by the two speakers work in tandem, stabilizing the sound flawlessly to expand the impact for everybody in the audience.
- a wifi-enabled Blu-ray player — This has Internet screening for YouTube, Pandora, Netflix and many other venues!
- a number of accessories, including a Behringer 502 mixer, four tie-out stakes, a digital-to-analog convertor, a multiple outlet strip, a 50′ audio speaker cable, a 20′ microphone cable, a Nady SP5 microphone, an outdoor extension chord and a bag to hold it all.
This is the SilverScreen system discussed in the previous section. Here are some other items included in the package:
- an Epson Silver Edition 500 projector (you can also upgrade to the 720p Epson or the 1080 Optima) — can be set up on a table or installed on the wall or ceiling
- a complete ten-, twelve- or sixteen-foot diagonal QuikScreen and frame
- a wifi-enabled Blu-ray player (Sony or Samsung)
- many of the same accessories given above for the Showcase. The Backyard series includes a three-way electrical splitter.
The cheapest of the three series is the one comprehensive multimedia projection apparatus that contains everything you need for the purpose. It includes the same items as the other two series — the Epson projector, screen, speakers, Blu-ray player and accessories (ground twist stakes, a multiple outlet strip, 24′ bungee cords, 1′ cam buckle straps &c.). The screen is a nine-inch projector type with a remote control.
The biggest pro for these backyard movie theater audio systems is that shipping is completely free! If you have a business that uses this equipment, you can also get financing from the Backyard Theater Systems company and have to pay only $46 a month.
CineBox Home 12′ x 7′ backyard theater projection system
The CineBox Home consists of:
- a 12′ × 7′ inflatable screen (it takes just one minute to inflate) that are at the same time both lightweight and durable, as well as resistant to wrinkling. Its black-backed projection surface not only blocks of light from behind but also makes for an improved contrast ratio; yard stakes and clip-on easy-cinch straps are also included to secure the screen. Other sizes can be made to suit your own needs.
- an air blower
- a video projector (the definition can be chosen by the buyer)
- powerful eight-inch outdoor speakers
- an open-air 3D convertor box with an OAC 3D system
- two pairs of open-air 3D glasses
- a disk player — The buyer has a choice of Blu-Ray or DVD.
- a user-friendly audio mixer that is compatible with mp3, DVD or microphone
- a complete set of audiovisual adapters and cables
- a flashlight (so that you can operate the equipment more easily in the dark)
- a user’s manual
- a repair kit
As with the SilverScreen, when you order this product from Amazon you have free thirty-day tech support.
The product has a five-star rating from only one customer review (so far). That person has summed up his experience with the CineBox Home system in just two words: GREAT ITEM… (The capitalization is his.)
We hope that this description of backyard movie theater audio systems has been helpful to you. It is a great thing, being able to watch movies in your backyard, and if you happen to live in a warm climate, you can enjoy this experience the whole year round.