Last year, I purchased different pieces of equipment to build myself an outdoor movie projection system. This setup has been great to host backyard movie night or a Monday night football game. My system will not work during the day, but once the sun does down the picture looks great.

The basic building blocks my my outdoor system include the screen, projector, speakers, and video source.

  1. Projector: BenQ HT-Series HT1075

    I chose this particular projector based on the recommendations from the WireCutter web site. When I went back to the site to read the recommendations, WireCutter is now pushing the BenQ HT2050 model. Regardless, I would recommend reading their excellent reviews and pick the model that has the features you need and that fits your budget.

  2. Screen: Carl’s Place, 5’ x 9’ stand up kit, 16:9 aspect ratio, FlexiWhite

    A friend recommended Carl’s Place web site to pick up a screen. I ordered the 5’ x 9’ stand kit, which comes with the FlexiWhite screen, bungee cords, and the frame joints. The poles, which are not included, can be purchased at your local hardware store in 10’ sections. The setup instructions tell you how many 1” EMT tubes to purchase and where to make your cuts. I also picked up a pipe cutter at HomeDepot to make the job easier.

  3. Speaker: Harbinger V2115, Powered outdoor speaker.

    I had the most trouble tyring to figure out how the audio would work. I wanted to keep my setup simple and did not want to purchase a typically stereo receiver to control audio, like I’ve seen used in a higher end setup. My neighbor, who plays in a band, recommended that I visit a local guitar store to look at powered speakers. After talking with the sales folks, I decided to go with a single Harbinger model that cost about $250. I went with a 25’ standard RCA cable pair to connect the speaker to the DVD player’s audio out channels, which are the RCA red/white connectors. This option kept my costs down, and allows me to add a second speaker in the future for another $250.

  4. Source: Blu-Ray/DVD Player or AT&T UVerse Wireless TV Receiver (ISB7005).

    So far, I’ve used two (2) video sources to drive the outdoor projector. I have an older model Sony Blu-ray DVD player and an AT&T UVerse wireless TV receiver. Both devices have HDMI outputs and left/right RCA audio out plugs. By using a video source that supplies the audio ports, I can skip purchasing equipment that would split the audio off of the HDMI cable.

    I typically run an HDMI cable from the source to the projector, and then run a pair of RCA cables from the source to the powered speaker.

– Chris