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I am in the proccess of building a pool and pool house. In the pool house I will have a Panasonic 200U and (most likely) a Wilsonart Platinum screen. My wife and I agreed that we wanted to be able to move the Panasonic outside and have a huge outdoor screen for those warm Georgia summer nights. Of course one possibility would be to build the indoor screen so that it is mobile, but it is going to be a 50"x120" 2.4 aspect screen and that would make it quite a task to move it in and out. So my thought was to build a really big outdoor screen that could either be deflated, folded up, or hidden in some way when not in use. I am not sure how big yet but I want it to be big enough to give that "drive in" feel.

As for material I have thought about several options:

1. Paint - seems it could be used to make a really big screen but I would be concerned about durability

2. Laminates - durable, but cost and size are limiting factors, might be able to seam

3. BOC - don't know enough about it

4. Canvas - don't know much about it either

5. Wallpaper - this was an odd thought but my wife can make a seam disappear (would it show once light hit it?), not sure about durability. Also not sure about neutrality. Have any been tested?

Which of these materials have folks used and how did they work out. Any other ideas?

As for frames has anyone built one that unfolds or inflates? How do folks deal with them when they are not in use?

I am open to all ideas here:yes:,

ag
 

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The farther you are away from the screen, the more imperfections it can have that won't be visible; kind of like those huge TV screens on the side of buildings.

Forget about anything that folds, crease marks stick out like a sore thumb. Even something that rolls up can be tricky in this regard.

I've never heard of exterior grade wallpaper... do they make such a thing?

I meant to mix and test an exterior version of Black Widow, but forgot. I can't do so at the moment because it's too cold in my shop to paint :(, but I see no reason why most screen mixes couldn't be made with exterior paints. The worst case scenario would be that the screen might have to be repainted if it begins to deteriorate.
 

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My thought with the wallpaper was that I could probably get it real cheap and replace it as needed or maybe top coat? maybe not a great idea:coocoo:

I'll check on exterior wallpaper though, who knows :dontknow:

Maybe this could be an area where I can really get involved here. Testing solutions for outdoor screens.

When thinking about my outdoor screen I figure I need something that is grey (still have some ambient light even on a new moon). I would still like it to be neutral. It should also be able to stand up to the elements. What about gain?

hmmm lots to consider....:ponder:

ag
 

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Discussion Starter #4
no exterior wallpaper from a small search.. will check further.

But I did find another idea where folks have used billboard vinyl as a large screen. Makes me wonder about color accuracy and hot spots. Anyone tried this? Cost? Performance?
 

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I know this probably isn't the best of screens, as far as picture quality goes, but I think it would work pretty good for a white outdoor screen. I know they make white drop cloths that are 8' x 12' for about 7.50 at Home depot. Next, fold over all for sides by about 4 inches or so and then run a stitch all the way along the fold except leave the last foot or so at the top and bottom unstitched. Next you could get some large PVC (pretty stiff pipe to prevent bending) that will slide into the created opening by the stitch. Use a few Elbow joints to combine all four PVC pipes and make the PVC pipes the right length so the Drop Cloth is pulled tight. You could use four elbow joints and hang the screen by the top, or use a T-joint on the bottom two and continue the side PVC pipes further down and you could stick them into the ground or create some legs out of PVC pipe with another T-joint. Like I said, this probably won't compare to the Wilsonart, but it would probably roll well and should be a pretty cheap set-up. I haven't built this yet, but am definitely planning on it in the future.
 

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I am really intrigued by the billboard vinyl idea. It seems you can sometimes get them for free from billboard companies or there are sites selling them for around $45 for a sheet 14' by 48' -feet not inches-(they come larger too:scared:).

The positives are:
they are 20 mil thick
waterproof, anti-mildew, and flame-retardant (for those big light cannons:rofl2:)
most likely UV treated
most have no seam or a heat welded seam that probably would not show up with front projection
supposed to have a matte finish (so they don't glare back at the cars:rubeyes:)

The negatives are:
no idea the quality varience from one to the next
one side has an ad on it; the other side is white or black (seems you can request white)
so far I can't find any color information on the white
kinda heavy at 16oz/ sq yard

So here's my thinking-
See if I can get one (preferably with little writing or mostly all one color)
Check to see how bad the ad shows through
Cover up the ad with either paint or some cheap coverup to block rear light if need be (that would be white paint right?)
check the white side for neutrality, gain what not. I will need help with this since I have never done it.
If the white side is usable "as is" then us it.
If not, then figure out a way to paint it with the all weather BW:bigsmile:

I will probably build a frame such as the one keekokid mentioned with some guy wire to secure it.

Thoughts? Other Ideas?
 

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All that size for only $45. That sounds very reasonable? If you don't mind sharing, what site did you find that sells the billboards?
 

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Thanks. This deal looks pretty good.
It does look interesting, but there are a few "got'cha's" in the deal. They quote shipping charges on their ebay page and it's $48 to ship a $45 tarp. My big concern however; is that the tarp is folded. It could be a royal pain to get those creases out.

It would help to know things like how far this big screen is going to be away from the projector, how many people are going to be watching at one time, what are the seating arrangements, and what video material is going to be viewed (movies, sports, TV)? Also, how far away are the people going to be when viewing the screen?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
It does look interesting, but there are a few "got'cha's" in the deal. They quote shipping charges on their ebay page and it's $48 to ship a $45 tarp. My big concern however; is that the tarp is folded. It could be a royal pain to get those creases out.
Good points Harpmaker. I guess, if I can get hold of a free one it would be worth checking. Don't have $100 to throw :spend: at a "what if".

It would help to know things like how far this big screen is going to be away from the projector, how many people are going to be watching at one time, what are the seating arrangements, and what video material is going to be viewed (movies, sports, TV)? Also, how far away are the people going to be when viewing the screen?
I am not sure about distance yet. My original idea was to have the projector at one end of the pool, under the overhang of the pool house, and the screen at the other end, which is the deep end. The issue with this that this is a distance of 50 feet or more once I clear diving board and steps. I have not done the math but that may result in too large an image. It is an L shaped pool so I could position the screen just past the hot tub in the bend of the L. This would result in about a min 25 foot throw but I could go back farther if needed.

As for crowds, it would mostly be used for the church youth group and adult get togethers of about 20-30 people. I doubt I would bring it out just for the family as that is what the indoor screen is for.

The seating arrangements are one of the big issues. I want it so that people can see the screen from the front of the pool house but it would also be nice if they could see it from the pool and hot tub as well. My wife has also mentioned some smaller seating areas arranged around the pool but I am not as concerned about those areas. Most of the seating will be the same distance as the projector.

Material will be mostly movies with a certain big game thrown in if it ain't too cold (if it is, I will move the party inside;)
 

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Some photos of the area would be nice, ag. Use a free photo hosting service like photobucket or imageshack to upload your photos and then post the links they create for the photos here.

A nice calculator for your PJ can be found at http://www.projectorcentral.com/Panasonic_Home-PT-AX200U-projection-calculator-pro.htm

You can play around with various settings to see what screen illumination you can get. I would say that projecting 50 feet with this PJ is pretty much out of the question unless you used a very retro-reflective (like road signs at night) screen, but that would have a very narrow viewing cone (the viewing 'sweet spot' is small).

If you can envision where the screen would be, try to calculate how far to the right and left of the center of the screen people would be viewing from.

This would be a great project to bring to completion!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I'll get some photos up as soon as it stops snowing (a rare thing down here).

Don't have the pj just yet but hope to soon.

Will update as soon as I can.

ag
 

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This is the view looking toward the pool house (where the nice pt-ax200u and Wilsonart Platinum screen will reside). Those high tension power lines are not as close as it seems and will be blocked by a row of trees (eventually).


Looking out of the pool house door. I had hoped to put the screen on the far side of the pool. Not sure that will work after doing the math.


Looking left. The hottub in the picture will be in the visable opposite corner where the deep and shallow parts meet. It will be turned so that the spill-over section is falling into the deep end. Just past the hot tub would be the next possible spot.


View to the right.


Looking toward the road. There will be a fence coming from the porch around the deep end and back to the left side of the pool house. It may be possible to put the screen against this fence just out from the overhang of the pool house. I could then set the projector under the overhang and shoot it to the left toward the fence. That would give a good view but would mess up my audio plan. I wanted to have a set of stereo speakers wired left and right under the overhang.


View from backyard.


View toward backyard.

Does this give anybody ideas?

(by the way) Let me know if the images don't show. Running these from my home server. :innocent:
 

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The photos are showing just fine ag. :T

Can you give some distances, like from the side of the house to the pool and from the shallow end of the pool (I assume the end of the pool closest to the pool house is the shallow end) to the overhang of the pool house (for now, approximates are fine)?

Nice setup you have there!
 

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Thanks Harpmaker. Just got the bill for the pool house :thud:

The pool itself is approx 20'x40'x30'. The pool house measures 16'x24' and the overhang is 6'. The pool steps are about 4' from the overhang and the pool edge is another 4' to 5' away. The house is about 20' from the pool. The fence will run about 10 feet back from the deep end (the end farthest from the pool house). It will turn 90 deg and will run straight along the side so that when it reaches the pool house it will be 10' away from it. The pool will have about 8' concrete around the sides with more past the hot tub and between the pool house and pool. This measurment will not be exact as we have asked for some slight curves in the decking. Note that the pool is raised from the surrounding area by about 1'.

ag
 
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