Have an outdoor home theater
right on your porch!
Have you ever thought of having an outdoor home theater right on your porch? One of the best ideas weve found is to convert your porch, 3-season, or four season porch by using outdoor theater systems. Bring back the drive-in theater experience right at home.
Custom Screen Porch by The Porch Company
with Flat Screen TV - Ideal for Screen Porch Entertainment
Outdoor home theater systems range from small portable units to giant 13 foot by 16 foot inflatable screens! (Youd have to have a fairly good size porch for that one).
Great speakers are a must-have for outdoor entertainment
We've had outdoor speakers and they are great! We love to listen to old time radio shows like the Green Hornet and The Shadow! If you are building a home, consider installing a speaker system on your porch during the construction phase. Its relatively low cost to install and will enhance your porch experience. It was well worth the cost to us.
Another way to go is wireless. Since sound penetrates walls you can leave your stereo inside. Here's some other great wireless speaker tips:
- Convenient - do not have to carry components outside; less damage
- Tune IPod or MP3 to transmit to the speakers
- Speakers can be placed anywhere and can be integrated into your porch landscaping
- Easy to install; don't have to worry about connections
- Wireless speakers are small in size yet have great sound surround sound possible; just need to ensure you have enough speakers located strategically
- We recommend spending extra for water-proof, not weatherproof, so you don't have to worry about inclement weather affecting the speakers
- Look for wireless speakers with the longest transmission range and consider either rechargeable batteries or solar panels
- Are sometimes susceptible to other wireless devices nearby diminishing sound so recommend you find speakers that allow for different frequencies
- Speakers cannot exceed specific distances from tuner
- Battery life can be an issue; again, consider rechargeable or solar panel powered
- As a minimum purchase at least two speakers (they tend to sold individually) Note: We've read where frequency ranges may be an issue in some countries so be sure you check this out further if considering purchasing wireless speakers (not an issue in the U.S.)
Projectors make all the difference
We love outdoor living. Our mornings usually start with a great cup of coffee on our porch-no need to rush the day! And we love grilling and spending our evenings around the fire pit.
Today's outdoor home theater systems are fantastic. Almost any type projector can be used outdoors under the right circumstances but we've found that most prefer one that is specifically meant for indoor home theaters due to better images.
When considering a projector for your porch outdoor home theater system consider the following:
- Wide screen images are also available.
- Projectors meant for both home and office may be less expensive but will probably not have high definition.
- Resolution/Contrast/Brightness: most projectors are rated based on these three factors. Use a resolution of 16.9, contrast of 800:1 or better, and brightness of at least 1200 lumens.
- Use an HD compatible. Sony, Optima, NEC, and Clear One, Panasonic, Proxima, and Infocus all make great projectors.
- You can buy a screen but you can also make one yourself out of a sheet or tarp. If you have a 3-season or four season room, you may want to opt for a more permanent arrangement.
- For portable screens consider ones made by Draper, Da-Lite, or Elite which all have HD compatible screens
- Manual screens are more affordable than electric and can be hung either on the wall or ceiling. Consider ones from Accu Screens, Da-Lite, or Elite
- Electric screens are very convenient and can be wall, ceiling, recessed, or come up from the floor! Again, Draper, Elite, and Accu Screens have excellent screens.
- Fixed frame screens are the most popular for home theaters. These are attached to the wall and are permanent. Not ideal for porches, you may want to consider them for 3-season or four season rooms.
NOTE: You may also want to have a DVD player nearby if you use your outdoor theater often. Or, a laptop with DVD player will work well also and you can download movies online!
Other factors to consider for outdoor home theater ideas:
- Electrical: ensure your electrical access is convenient to minimize having to run extension cords and also use a surge protector
- Watch the weather to ensure rain/water does not get near your components
- Just as a reminder, you should not charge admission - it's against the law in most areas
Outdoor Home Theater
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