Although most cinemas across the country are currently planned open in JulyThat doesn't mean that all moviegoers are ready for it defy the risk. If you're not ready to sit in a closed room with strangers who often take off their masks to eat popcorn and drink from two gallons of soda jugs, there's an alternative: the cinema in the back yard.
This spring my son and I decided to use our quarantine time to put together an outdoor theater in our home in New Jersey. As COO of Vox, I have a technical background and he attends the audio technology college. So we had a pretty good idea of what we were looking for. We just had to find the right equipment. After a few days of research, we had everything we needed, including the projector, screen, soundbar and cable. At the weekend we were ready for our first screening.
Since the days in summer are longer and you still want to get the kids to bed on time, you need to prioritize a projector with sufficient brightness so that your film is visible in the early evening light. My eldest son and I avoided smaller, portable, less bright projectors and decided to put some really long extension cables in our car instead. We chose this model because it is highly rated but has a medium price. (Perhaps the top of the middle class, but it's worth it.) The only downside is that there is no nice bag or take-away bag. Our solution was a reused conference backpack with padding for a laptop. The additional pockets are helpful to hold the remote control, the cables and even the additional extension cables.
We decided that a 120-inch diagonal was the right size to serve a socially distant back yard of friends and family. Even if we were watching alone, we thought it would be cool to have a great movie experience. We stayed away from the inflatables because they were either classified as noisy or not stable, and we knew we wanted something that would work for both the front and rear views if we wanted to set things up so that small children without running around can interrupt the show. (An important note: it doesn't matter that your screen can be used in the rear view if you don't have a projector with the "rear projection mode" setting.) The Vamvo seemed perfect. It has a high quality terylene sieve, is easy to set up and collapse (which is important when parents try to either get everything done quickly or tear it down when we put the kids to bed), and the price is right. It weighs just seven pounds and comes in a cool tote bag.
Even though the projector has speakers, you want a dedicated speaker to deliver a fuller sound (especially if you have a large, socially distant group).
Depending on the size of your back yard and how far you want to place the projector from the house, you will probably need a long extension cord. This one has great reviews and comes in lengths up to 100 feet.
How to connect the laptop (or streaming device) to the projector.
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