Why not build an amazing backyard theater?

Getting away for the summer is certainly more exhausting these days, most especially if you have a family. As the head, if you are facing discontent because of your inability to take your wife and children on summer vacation, why not add a little adventure and excitement at home on those warm summer nights by setting up an outdoor home theater?

To start with, always note that it needs to be dark or slightly dark to watch anything outdoors. There is no outdoor projector made that is brighter than the sun, so movie watching, outdoor gaming, and everything else would be best once it’s dark outside. Projected images have better black levels and contrast when the projector is the sole source of light. A full moon is going to completely ruin your party, but if your backyard or driveway is bathing in the street light of your neighborhood’s street lamp, it’s going mar the experience.

Equipment Needed

A projector

Selecting an appropriate outdoor projector seems like a simple task, especially if you already own an LCD or DLP projector with a fairly high-lumen output rating. However, for outdoor home theater use, experts recommend a minimum of 2,000 lumens and brighter as well as an HDMI connection. You can check alphastech.com for more outdoor projectors. Below are some of the things to be considered when choosing an outdoor projector for the backyard.


The lumen rating of a projector is indicative of how much light is an output. The more light a projector can emit, the sooner you can start your movie, and the better it can cut through ambient light. At a minimum, you want at least 2,000 lumens. An increase in this is a huge boost and as you move closer to 3,000+ lumens you really increase the power of the projector and it becomes possible to start the movie shortly after sunset instead of waiting hours for it to get much darker.


The reality is that resolution isn’t as vital as you think. In these cases, you’re using your projector or HDTV under optimum conditions, where the quality of the image is going to attract close scrutiny. If you have a 1080p projector with good light output, then make use of it. But don’t write off a projector that only has VGA or XVGA resolution just because it isn’t capable of “HD” output. Even a business projector is still capable of outputting at a higher rate than old broadcast TV and DVDs and it still looks nice.

Aspect Ratio

Just like resolution, an aspect ratio is something to consider but not mission critical. Ideally, your outdoor movie projector will output at a ratio of 16:9, which is the widescreen format favored by the vast majority of movie releases. This way, your output matches up perfectly with a 16:9 screen and there is no light bleed or masking required.

A screen

As we know, every projector needs a suiting screen for an amazing view, you’ll need something to project your movies onto for your outdoor movie projector. There are different screen options you could opt for ranging from a cheap one which might be a white sheet over the clothesline or alternatively, it could be a stretchable fabric screen that can be stretched to different sizes. You can buy a portable projector screen online. You can check more ELEPHAS portable projector screen from alphastech.com. Another option is that you can make an outdoor projector screen, which would be an inflatable screen that’s super easy to set up. An already made portable screen will provide an image better than other forms of a screen, due to its reflective surface and this will be an added cost to your plan if you are working with a budget. However, if you do plan to go with an already made projector screen, it would be better to get a larger size than you think you might need as this will provide more flexibility in setting up the projector distance and desired size of the image.

Sound System

Ordinarily, in a home theater, surround sound is the desired goal. However, if you have an indoor home theater setup it can also serve the purpose.  For the purposes of keeping this project easy, even a simple two-channel stereo setup will work. You might just want to start off with some basic floor standing speakers. In fact, you may have some decent old speakers in your garage or home that you retired when you installed your new home theater system. In either case, this is a good starting point.

The Extra fun


There is nothing better to accompany your backyard home theater with some great food, especially BBQ. Also, if you aren't planning a BBQ or a full outdoor meal, then have plenty of snacks available.

Invite Neighbors

Make sure you invite your neighbors over or inform them about what you are doing, so they don't get surprised by the noise. Also, offering food to your close neighbors might be a good idea to get them to go along with your outdoor home theater.

In the end, maybe any summer's night is meant to be forgotten. And maybe any movie is merely incidental when set against the larger world. However, with a backyard movie, you can sit back and take a look at the stars. You are in your home and fully at the movies, too.