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Today’s Show:

5 Affordable Outdoor Theater Screens for Summer Movie Fun

Until recently, it felt like the weather was changing here in Southern California. We clicked over to daylight savings time; we had a few days of nice, sunny BBQ weather and it felt like the season of backyard movies was upon us. Since then it’s gotten a bit gloomy again, but we always like to be prepared, so we’ve put together a list of screen options for you if you finally want to make the jump into outdoor cinema.

Camp Chef 120-Inch Portable Outdoor Movie Theater Screen
Price: $153, Amazon Prime eligible
This screen has a 4.5 star rating from Amazon users and looks like a sure bet. It isn’t an inflatable screen, so there’s no need to worry about fan noise, and it collapses down to quite a reasonable size for storage in the winter.  It even includes storage bags to make sure everything is protected and intact when you pull it out again the next summer.

  • 120-inch screen for projecting movies outdoors or indoors
  • 600D by 600D Oxford nylon screen; 16:9 aspect ratio
  • Kit includes four guy ropes with stakes for stability; easy setup
  • Includes separate heavy duty storage bags for both screen and frame
  • Steel tube frame measures 1-1/2-inches in diameter; unit weighs 44 pounds

Outdoor Entertainment Gear OS92 Indoor/Outdoor Movie Theater Screen

Price: 92″ $153, 115″ $199, Amazon Prime eligible
This screen has a 5 star rating, granted only from 3 reviewers, but all 3 love it.  The metal frame appears to be quite sturdy and it appears to pack up a little smaller than the Camp Chef screen. However, it doesn’t come with legs. So if you have a patio cover or deck you can hook it to, you’ll be all set.  If not, you might need to add the Outdoor Entertainment Gear OSKIT Indoor/Outdoor Big Screen Leg Kit for an additional $62.

  • Light weight aluminum frame big screen
  • Oxford nylon sivler screen for great viewing quality
  • Easy to assemble and set up
  • Designed for front and rear projection
  • Hanging straps and hardware included

Sima XL-72 72″ Inflatable Home Theater Kit
Price: $153, Amazon Prime eligible
It is the smallest screen on the list, but it isn’t the least expensive. As an inflatable screen, it will be very easy to collapse and store, but you’ll also have to find a way to get it inflated each time you want to use it. This model doesn’t have a dedicated blower, so at least you won’t have to contend with fan noise during the movie. Amazon users rate this one at 3.5 stars. It does include 2 screen options, both White and Gray, so you can choose the one that works best for your situation. We recommend a small compressor/pump to save your lungs.

  • 16:9 Hdtv Format
  • Includes 2 Screens: Bright White For Vivid Picture Even In Partially Lit Rooms & Dove Gray For High Contrast Picture In Darker Rooms
  • Cinema-Quality Fabric
  • Fixed Screen Tension For Perfectly Flat Surface
  • High Effective Scattered Screen Angle

Epson Duet 80-Inch Dual Aspect Ratio Projection Screen
Price: $118, Amazon Prime eligible
This portable screen can be adjusted to show either 4:3 or 16:9 aspect ratios. It is a portable screen and includes a tripod, so it should set up fairly quickly in your yard. But it isn’t necessarily intended for outdoor use, so it doesn’t include any form of anchors to hold it in place. Depending on what kind of weather you’re used to in the summer time, specifically how strong a summer breeze might be, this screen could be problematic.  But it is very affordable and received 4.5 stars from over 100 customer reviews.

  • Use with any home theater or business projector
  • Enjoy fast, easy setup with the innovative, patent-pending design
  • Expand Screen to the size that best meets your needs – Standard 4:3 or widescreen 16:9
  • Mount on the included floor stand or on a wall with the included wall bracket
  • When closed, Duet forms its own carrying case (just 43″ long)

Open Air Outdoor Home Projector Screen 16×9
Price: $1226
Perhaps our list should have said “4 affordable screens and 1 gigantic screen that costs quite a bit” but this screen is a giant. It is a 220″ screen that will make your backyard feel like a drive in theater. The only way to easily set-up, tear-down and store a screen that big is to make it inflatable, which this one is. It also includes a blower to keep it perfectly inflated for your entire movie, but that could impact your audio experience as well.

  • Wide screen, 16:9 aspect ratio.
  • Easier to set up than a pup tent
  • 220-inch diagonal projection surface (about 18′)
  • Weighs only 17 pounds and fits inside a stuff sack.
  • Inflates in less than 20 seconds! No need to attach projection surface because it is permanently attached for hassle free setup.


Also on today’s show:


Download Episode #529

Posted by The HT Guys, May 3, 2012 10:06 PM

About The HT Guys

The HT Guys, Ara Derderian and Braden Russell, are Engineers who formerly worked for the Advanced Digital Systems Group (ADSG) of Sony Pictures Entertainment. ADSG was the R&D unit of the sound department producing products for movie theaters and movie studios.

Two of the products they worked on include the DCP-1000 and DADR-5000. The DCP is a digital cinema processor used in movie theaters around the world. The DADR-5000 is a disk-based audio dubber used on Hollywood sound stages.

ADSG was awarded a Technical Academy Award by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 2000 for the development of the DADR-5000. Ara holds three patents for his development work in Digital Cinema and Digital Audio Recording.

Every week they put together a podcast about High Definition TV and Home Theater. Each episode brings news from the A/V world, helpful product reviews and insights and help in demystifying and simplifying HDTV and home theater.