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Old 10-04-2007, 12:18 PM   #1
Kaido
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 31,862
Default 149" Outdoor Projector Screen only $184

This may have been posted before, but I didn't see anything in Search so here it is:

Gemmy 12' Outdoor Movie Screen

Sold from Walmart. Shipping was about $20 to me; you can optionally do free site-to-store delivery if you don't have a Walmart that has these in-stock in your area (only a few do). If you absolutely require shipping to your home, you can possibly save a few bucks by doing a pricematch at Buy Inflatables; theirs sells for $189.95 and they advertise that they can try to "match or beat" lower-priced competitors. Shipping is about $1 cheaper from them as well ($19 for me).

Manufacturer site | Flash demo

In the box:
-Airblown inflatable frame with small fan (air pump)
-Movie screen
-8 tether stakes, 8 base stakes, 4 long tethers, 4 short tethers
-Spare fuse
-Storage bag

Review at Projector Reviews

AVS Forums thread | AVS Forum thread 2

Pics at Outback Theater (click links on left for more setup pics) | Redefining home theater in a box!

Backyard Theater thread

Pros:
Cheap
Huge (12' screen)
Fast setup (2 minutes to inflate the screen, 15 minutes overall setup)
Compact (fits in an included duffel bag)

Cons:
Wrinkles/waves in screen
Moderate fan noise

There doesn't seem to be a way around the wrinkles, but it looks like people have had some success minimizing them by inflating the screen during the day and leaving it out in the sun before their movie night. As far as the noise goes, just turn your speakers up! As far as the rest of the equipment goes:

Projector:
You can get some great HD projectors for under $1,000 nowadays. I have the amazing Mitsubishi HD1000u 720p projector and I absolutely love it. Check out AVS Forum for other recommendations and be sure to get a widescreen model! If you're on a tight budget, you may be interested in the $499 LumenLab eVo 1.2 projector; it's not HD but the resolution is perfect for DVD movies and Wii and replacement lamps only cost $30 as opposed to $300+ like most projectors.

Speakers:
You can do a receiver and speakers or go the easier route and just use a set of computer speakers. For 2.1 speakers I'd recommend either the Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 speakers or the Logitech Z-2300 speakers. Radio Shack sells RCA extension cables so that you can space the speakers out a bit. For 5.1 speakers I'd recommend the Logitech Z-5500 speakers; you can use regular speaker wire with this surround-sound set so that you can put the speakers wherever you'd like. If you want to skip the subwoofer and just get an inexpensive 2-piece stereo system, I'd recommend snagging the $29 Sonic T-Amp and a pair of cheap speakers. You can usually find a good deal on Polk speakers here in Hot Deals at Fry's/Outpost or find some recommendations in this thread.

Video Player:
The most basic player is the DVD player. If you want a high-quality upconverting DVD player, you can't get much better than the $200-ish Oppo DVD player. I personally prefer digital playback devices. For an inexpensive but high-quality solution, go with a modded Xbox. The only limitation is that you can't play heavily-encoded HD files. However, the upconversion can't be beat - DVD movies over Component on my projector are awesome! If you are interested in playing HD material as well (such as ripped Bluray x264 MKVs or recorded HDTV streams), I would recommend checking out the $379 Tvix M-4100SH digital jukebox. You can stick up to a 1TB hard drive inside and play a ton of formats in resolutions up to 1080p. It also features HDMI out for the best possible connection. An AppleTV might also be up your alley if you really like iTunes and Mac stuff; it features HDMI output as well (be sure to check out the NitoTV plugin!)

Miscellaneous:
In addition to the other equipment, you'll probably want a tote/storage bin to put everything in, some towels to prevent the equipment from knocking into each other, an extension cord and surge protector for power, and some small tables or tripods for mounting the projector, speakers, and video player on. Don't forget cables! You'll need appropriate lengths for your audio & video connections as well as speaker wires.

Some other resources:

Backyard Theater website & forum (TONS of user setup photos!)

Outdoor Theaters at AVS Forum

Lumen Labs (Build your own projector & home of the $499 projector)

My Xbox Modding tutorial (with AppleTV-style skin) | Lots of info at AVS Forum

Harmony 890 universal remote ($250 remote with RF Infrared blaster for controlling your projector, DVD player, receiver, etc.)
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Old 10-04-2007, 02:58 PM   #2
KAMAZON
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Default 149" Outdoor Projector Screen only $184

Couple of Q's I couldn't find answers 2:

1.) What's the power consumption of this unit?

2.) How viable is it to use for home use for a 1080P projector viewing blu ray movies and ps3/360 games?

3.) Can I just stick the 'screen' part to my wall and just use that w/o using the inflatable scaffold?

Thanks.
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Old 10-04-2007, 03:32 PM   #3
Kaido
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Default 149" Outdoor Projector Screen only $184

Quote:
Originally posted by: KAMAZON
Couple of Q's I couldn't find answers 2:

1.) What's the power consumption of this unit?

2.) How viable is it to use for home use for a 1080P projector viewing blu ray movies and ps3/360 games?

3.) Can I just stick the 'screen' part to my wall and just use that w/o using the inflatable scaffold?

Thanks.
Good questions! I just ordered mine today so I don't know the answers to your questions yet, but I'll post back when I do. If you are only looking for the "screen" part, you can get some material off ebay for pretty cheap (at least less expensive than this model). Screen material under 140" goes for $50 or less on ebay, just hop on down to Home Depot and pick up some wood to mount the frame on and you're all set!
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Old 10-04-2007, 04:52 PM   #4
KAMAZON
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Default 149" Outdoor Projector Screen only $184

Thanks Kaido!
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Old 10-04-2007, 10:27 PM   #5
CosmosRewind
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Default 149" Outdoor Projector Screen only $184

Kamazon,

If you just want to stick it on a wall, you may want to consider mounting simple blackout cloth on the surface.

There is much talk of success using this on avsforum:
http://www.google.com/search?n...h%22+site:avsforum.com

Hope this helps.
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Old 10-05-2007, 11:28 AM   #6
KAMAZON
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Default 149" Outdoor Projector Screen only $184

Quote:
Originally posted by: CosmosRewind
Kamazon,

If you just want to stick it on a wall, you may want to consider mounting simple blackout cloth on the surface.

There is much talk of success using this on avsforum:
http://www.google.com/search?n...h%22+site:avsforum.com

Hope this helps.
Thank you Cosmos, I'm checking it out right now. Based on your experience, how do these compare to the quality of some of the more expensive screens? I don't care so much for a motor but I do want a really nice screen for a 1080P projector I might buy in the near future.
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Old 10-05-2007, 11:40 AM   #7
Mitch101
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Default 149" Outdoor Projector Screen only $184

I love the idea of this for my home built HD projector but the more I think about it my projector is not that portable so I am on the fence with this or just connecting my home made screen to some poles.

I wish it had built in speakers then I think that would make it a definate must have for me.

Still I am torn.
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Old 10-07-2007, 05:10 PM   #8
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Default 149" Outdoor Projector Screen only $184

Quote:
Originally posted by: KAMAZON
Thank you Cosmos, I'm checking it out right now. Based on your experience, how do these compare to the quality of some of the more expensive screens? I don't care so much for a motor but I do want a really nice screen for a 1080P projector I might buy in the near future.
I just thought it was an cool idea when I saw it and there were good comments. My experience with screens is limited to a couple white walls (-: The only fully working projector I have is somewhat dated (though good when it was new).

avsforum is a good source of information, but all the comments can drive you insane after awhile :-)
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Old 10-13-2007, 11:57 PM   #9
Kaido
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Default 149" Outdoor Projector Screen only $184

Well I just finished up my first movie party with my new screen and it was a resounding success! We watched "National Treasure" and clips from various movies like Finding Nemo. It was a blast! The screen is GINORMOUS!!! It goes up very quickly and is just very very very big :laugh: The two biggest cons are (1) the wrinkles in the screen and (2) the fan noise. A lot of the wrinkles went away (we set it up a few hours early) but the big ones where the fold creases were did not. However, you could only see them during very bright shots in the movie, like in white snow scenes. They didn't bother anyone. I was tempted to iron the material but I thought better of it; I'm sure there's some kind of good way to get the wrinkles out. But they're not a big deal. The fan is a bit noisier than a hairdryer and I think there are two of them. You could only hear them during quiet parts of the movie; otherwise they just kind of blended into the background noise. It's noisier than I thought it would be but like the wrinkles no one really cared. You do have to keep the fans running the whole time or else it deflates (very quickly I might add!). The manual said that the cost is equivalent to running a few strings of Christmas lights, so cost isn't much of an issue there. So there are the cons for ya. The pros are that you don't really notice the cons and that you just have a big, huge, awesome movie screen! More and more people kept filtering in...we had about 15 people at one point and I think it would have serviced 30 pretty easily. It was an absolute blast! If you have a projector and want an outdoor screen, there's no reason why you should hold off any longer...it's like $800 less than the competition and is just a ton of fun.
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Old 10-14-2007, 12:53 AM   #10
Kaido
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Default 149" Outdoor Projector Screen only $184

Okay a more objective, easily-readable review:

The inflatable screen came to about $200 with taxes (I used the free site-to-store shipping option). It comes in a big box, with a smaller box inside. Inside the small box is a duffel bag with all the stuff in it.

There are only a few parts:

1. Inflatable square ring with two fans and hooks
2. Screen with hooks
3. Short and long tethers
4. Ground screws

Setup is very simple and fast:

1. Lay out the square ring flat on the ground. Pop open the feet. Plug in the motor, it inflates very quickly (only a minute or two).
2. Hook up the screen after inflation. It has simple push-hooks like on backpack flaps - very, very easy to hook up. I think the guy who made my screen must have been having an off day because the cinch straps are backwards on my square ring. Not a big deal, but kinda funny.
4. Lift the screen. It's super light, but it's good to have two people so one can steady the screen and the other can hook up the tethers. Each side has 4 tethers - 2 long and 2 short. It's kind of like putting up a tent, but easier. The ground screws are incredibly easy to put in, just screw them down into place, takes about 10 seconds per giant screw. The tether the screen up. Don't cinch it too tight or it will be the screen; remember that air is constantly flowing through it so it's not like a balloon.

Takedown is even easier:
1. Bend the screen down and pop off all the hooks, then fold up the white screen and put it away.
2. Untether everything and lay the square ring on its back. Unplug the power and get all of the ground screws out of the ground. The screws come in a nice zip-loc bag, so just put them back in there and toss them in the duffel bag with the white screen.
3. You have to push all of the air out of the square ring. Basically fold it up a few times and lay on it to squish the air out, then just stuff it in the duffel bag. Be sure to fold up the feet before you put it away.

The two biggest problems are the wrinkles and the fan noise. You'll only notice the wrinkles on light-colored bright backgrounds like snow or light blue sky, but they are definitely there. The fan noise is surprisingly loud, but it blends into the background. It's a cheap inflatable screen and if you're not expecting perfection out of it then you're really going to enjoy it. It's just fun to have a giant screen in your backyard! Out of the 15 or so people who stopped by, no one complained about anything. All I got were compliments - "the screen is huge!", "I gotta get me one of these!", "the picture looks awesome!". I was using it with my Mitsubishi HD1000u 720p projector, available for $900 or so from Amazon and other places. Frankly it looked awesome. I mean, really really great. It was kind of hard to get the screen perfectly aligned since we were on a slope, but with a screen this big it didn't really matter. We had a blast overall. Here are the pros and cons and some tips:

Pros:
1. Huge
2. Easy setup
3. Very portable
4. Great price
5. Did I mention huge?

Cons:
1. Wrinkles (oh well)
2. Fan noise (turn your speakers up louder?)

Tips:
1. If you lose power to the motors, it will deflate VERY quickly. You probably don't want the white screen to touch the ground so take measures to ensure that no one trips over the cord.
2. If it's too windy outside, you probably won't want to set it up.
3. Set it up early, if you have it up for a few hours it will lose some wrinkles. Don't worry about a high cost of running it, it's about the same as a light bulb
4. Practice setting it up before you have guests over, it takes some practice but after you do it once or twice it's very quick to put up.
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Old 10-15-2007, 03:20 PM   #11
TecJunkie
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Default 149" Outdoor Projector Screen only $184

Wow they finally improved upon bringing a bed sheet with fishing weights in the bottom! Wait, no they didn't.
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Old 10-15-2007, 06:58 PM   #12
Kaido
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Default 149" Outdoor Projector Screen only $184

Quote:
Originally posted by: TecJunkie
Wow they finally improved upon bringing a bed sheet with fishing weights in the bottom! Wait, no they didn't.
Nah, not really :laugh: Actually a bed sheet would probably have less wrinkles! haha
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