Drive-In in the Back Yard, Your Next DIY Project
Summer’s here, but the time isn’t yet right for dancing in the street. Instead, while lockdowns are being eased, it’s still not wise to gather in large groups with strangers. Nevertheless, the nice weather means that it’s nice to relax and enjoy the garden. So why not set up a temporary home cinema in the garden and enjoy the big screen experience without the hassle of having to leave the house? The first thing you’re going to need will be something to watch the movie on. You could haul a TV into the garden, but if that kind of hassle isn’t for you, then a projector is going to be the answer. Depending on the size of your garden, and where you’re going to sit will affect the kind of projector you want.
Projectors today are quite different from anything you might remember if you’ve only been keeping an eye on televisions. Today they are small, adaptable, and so bright you can watch them in daylight while ‘short throw’ projectors can sit a few inches away from the screen and still provide a huge, high definition picture. If you need to hang the projector above head height you can invert the image, or reverse it if you want to project the picture from the back of the screen.
Getting your movies from your computer to your projector and speakers is a synch. A Chromecast or Fire TV Stick can be plugged direct into the HDMI port, making it simple and trip hazard free (the projector does need to have a powered USB port though, as casting devices don’t have batteries).
Connect Your Projector to Your Media Wirelessly
Another alternative, provided your computer is located near the projector, is Bluetooth. Bluetooth is an often overlooked technology which people often don’t think they use any more, but if you’re using a wireless keyboard, wireless mouse, airdropping files, using a wireless speaker, Alexa or other smart speaker, it’s more than likely that you’re using Bluetooth during at least one stage of that operation.
Don’t forget that whatever projector you invest in, it can be used the rest of the year for TV, gaming and movies. All you need is a projection screen or flat white wall, although for the best outcome projector paint on a wall will give incredible results.
Next you need a light coloured wall or other flat surface to project upon. If your wall is coloured, textured, uneven, has a window or other architectural detail in it your eye will adapt to it very quickly, but it still impedes the total viewing experience. Another alternative is the biggest sheet you can find, although you’ll need to ensure it’s wrinkle free and properly secured to avoid it flapping around in even the slightest breeze.
Again, if this is your first foray, but you’re thinking you might like to have the Big Screen indoors the rest of the time you may want to consider buying a portable projection screen too. Yes, you can make do with a white/off white wall, but a projection screen provides an absolutely flat clean surface which is slightly textured with a finish which is specifically designed to ensure the picture it’s reflecting is of the best possible quality.
Sounds About Right
One of the things about the Big Screen Experience is the sound as well as the picture, so it’s important that you get the right speakers. If you live in a built up residential area then IMAX Dolby surround sound probably isn’t going to keep your neighbours nearly as entertained as it will you, so what about options?
If your projector has a speaker it will be both tiny and tinny. The first solution is simply to plug auxiliary speakers directly into the projector. You will get better sound, but to get decent sound you’re still going to need to relay to a HiFi system. So why not go wireless? You can find adapters which will Bluetooth the sound over to a separate Bluetooth speaker you can set up right in front of you so you can have bass-boosted stereo music and dialogue. Alternatively, you can Bluetooth to wireless earphones so you can enjoy the movie as loud as you like without running the risk of waking the neighbours. Another bonus of wireless headphones is that you can go fetch drinks and snacks while still listening to dialogue.
Some other durables which could come in handy are good outdoor extension cables, because movie night is NOT the night you want all your batteries to need recharging!
Briant Communications specialise in installing home theatres, wired and wireless home entertainment systems. Established over 30 years ago we are skilled, experienced and insured to help with any of your needs, from hanging a TV on the wall through to supplying and installing complete home theatres. Call on 01273 465377 or send your requirements to firstname.lastname@example.org