Turn your patio into the ultimate cinema
As amazing as cinemas are, they do come with some disadvantages: the price of a ticket and the food is always increasing, you have to drive or pay for transport to get there, and chances are there will always be someone who talks or eats loudly, or even worse, that person who leaves their phone on. If you love the seventh art, or simply like spending a nice moment watching a movie in the comfort of your own home, you will be thrilled to know that you can turn your patio into the ultimate cinema in a few steps, and at a reduced cost.
Take a look how it’s done:
If you want a permanent setup, then investing into a retractable projector screen is the ideal solution. If you don’t have a wall to attach a pull down projector screen to, then the portable or inflatable ones are a great idea. Otherwise, if you prefer doing it on a tight budget, there are still plenty of solutions for you, although some of them do involve some DIY - A thick white sheet (preferably clean and ironed!) could do the trick. You might want to be careful if your patio is not sheltered from the wind as a sheet may move during the screening. You can make a wooden frame for it (tutorials online). Additionally, you can get ambient outdoor blinds installed. They’ll block out the elements so you can watch your movie without those interruptions.
- The image
Choosing the perfect projector is the most important step - and it might also be the most expensive. Depending on your needs and how sensitive you are to image quality, a quality projector would be an investment.
Next, jotting down some measurements of your patio is important, as the distance from the projector to the screen WILL matter. Where do you want to put your projector, will you use a stand, a table or some blocks to prop it up?
When looking at projectors, if you are not particularly tech-savvy, don’t spend too much time studying the technical characteristics of the products. Simply focus on the most important factors: resolution (high definition will have the image looking sharp, even on a big screen!), luminosity level (in lumens), which is important when projecting a film in the dark, and contrast (a higher contrast means a clearer image, brighter colours and deeper blacks).
- The wiring
Using WiFi would be the ultimate way to go! Your installation will gain in fluidity, although you do need a strong internet signal to stream directly with the projector. An amplifier is perfect if your router is far away from your patio. A WiFi enabled projector will allow you to sign in onto apps such as Netflix, access your film library through Amazon Instant Video or Google Play. Other projectors will allow you to diffuse straight from your phone if they are iOS/Android compatible. Otherwise, use an HDMI cable to plug in your laptop, or audio/video jacks to plug into your DVD player.
- The sound
Thinking about the sound - look at whether the projector is Bluetooth compatible, as this will reduce the numbers of wires running around. Using the projector’s built-in speakers - if applicable - is not recommended for an outdoor cinema as it might not have the best sound quality. Instead, you can use a Bluetooth sound bar or speaker. If you already have speakers (from your computer for example), your projector should have an Audio out port plug so you can use those. However, if you want to have the ultimate home cinema experience, you can invest in a surround sound system.
Even though technology is the basis for an outdoor cinema, do not forget about the ambiance! Once you have made the final technical arrangements and checked that everything is working smoothly, you need to set up the rest of your “cinema”.
In terms of seating, make your outdoor movie theatre extra comfy by using outdoor bean bags and seats, topped with cushions and thick blankets. Fairy lights and candles can add a lovely touch to your zone. On a less romantic note, bug spray and citronella candles can also come in handy. Last but not least, make sure you’ve got plenty of popcorn and lollies ready to roll when the movie does!
Now you know how to turn your patio into the ultimate cinema, what are you waiting for? If however, if you still need to get a patio built, call the Gold Coast patio professionals at In Style Patios and Decks on 0436 007 776. We want to help you live better outdoors!