3 Most Frequently Asked Questions About Outdoor Movie Systems

By January 7, 2016Uncategorized

Open Air

1. What Screen is the Best Size for Me? Which One is the Most Popular?

This is the most common inquiry that people have, and for good reason. It’s also somewhat of a complex question, as there are two main factors that dictate this: the projector, which we’ll talk more about in the next question, and how big your yard is. Generally speaking, you need about 2 feet from the projector for every foot of the width of the screen. So say, for instance, that you have a 17-foot screen – you’d need to position the projector about 34 feet away from it. This isn’t necessarily the case with all projectors, but a good general rule of thumb to follow. Which screen is the most popular? That would be our 17 foot screen, as it fits comfortably in most yards and looks great too. The average movie theater screen is about 22 by 52 feet, and while a 17-foot screen doesn’t touch those dimensions, it does permit a very unique outdoor viewing experience.

2. How Far Does the Projector Sit From the Screen?

As we mentioned above, generally speaking, you’ll need to double the width of the screen as it pertains to how many feet away your projector should rest. But as we also alluded to above, there are exceptions. One of these exceptions is when it comes to a high-definition projector, as these types of projectors only need about 1.5 feet for every foot of screen width. In this case, a projector would need to sit about 25.5 feet away from a 17-foot screen for the best viewing experience. All projectors have what is called “throw numbers” on them, which help determine how far away from the screen they need to be placed. Throw numbers may range anywhere from 0.3 to 4.0. As is the case in the above scenarios, to learn how far away to place a projector from the screen, you just multiply this throw number by the width of the screen.

3. How Bright Does the Projector Need to Be?

Projectors are rated with either lumens or ansi lumens, both of which essentially mean the same thing. Lumens are similar to watts in a light bulb – the higher the lumen, the brighter the projector. Generally speaking, as the screen size gets larger, so should the lumens in your projector. So just what type of projector do you need? It’s a complicated answer, which is why we advise that you contact us here at Open Air Movies so we can determine the best projector for your situation. We have more than 20 years of experience in this business and can point you in the right direction as far as projectors are concerned. But generally speaking, a good starting point is to have at least a 3,500-lumen projector when using a 17-foot screen in conditions with low ambient light.

For more information on outdoor movie screen systems and projectors, contact us today.


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