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Movie Night

Discussion in 'Incorporating video or projection in your display' started by MarcD, Dec 8, 2014.

  1. MarcD

    MarcD Full Time Elf

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    I really should learn to keep my grand ideas in my head. After replacing our faulty DVD player on the weekend so we could get virtual Santa back up and running, I mentioned to the family and neighbours that if I ran speakers outside, we could play movies instead of just virtual Santa.

    As always, things escalated quickly. The problem with the window is that half of it is covered by a security screen which can't be removed. Instead, we dragged out a huge piece of white material (the side from an Ikea gazebo) and tested projecting through ti. It worked perfectly. So, I then spent half of Sunday working on a proof of concept.

    We hung the screen across the open garage door using hooks at the top and rope on the sides to hold it taut. I then set up the projector and DVD player in the garage and hooked up an old 5.1 sound system I had lying around. Connected up five speakers and fired it all up. It worked like a charm (after a bit of fiddling). It was bright sunlight outside, so I couldn't see anything on the screen to line things up, so we took down the screen, closed the garage door and hung it on the inside. The picture is huge and the sound is great.

    So, this Saturday night (weather permitting), we'll be playing 'Frozen' as our first ever driveway movie. One of the neighbours is even supplying popcorn. To add to the effect, I've set up the snow machine in the garden beside the driveway. As soon as the freezing starts in the movie, I'll hit the remote and cover the viewers in snow.

    Fingers crossed all goes to plan. I'll try to get some pics and video.
     
  2. logandc99

    logandc99 Dedicated Elf

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    Sounds like it'll be a lot of fun. By having the snow it'll be like a 4D movie.
     
  3. David_AVD

    David_AVD Bite my shiny metal ass!

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    A display not far from us played Christmas cartoons onto their roller door (with a sheet over it I think) last year.

    The projector was in a cabinet on the driveway (with the owner sitting next to it) so only ran on clear nights.
     
  4. OP
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    MarcD

    MarcD Full Time Elf

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    I considered that, but rear projection means everything can be safely tucked away in the garage. No messy wires all over the place. And there's a lot of wires. Video from DVD to projector, six cables from DVD to sound system and five sets of speaker wires, not to mention three lots of power.


     
  5. gerry

    gerry Senior Elf

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    Are your lights sequenced to the movie or when the movie is playing will the sound and other animations be off ?

    Also , is there any difference technically between projecting the movie facing the garage door (ie from the outside) and projecting it from inside ie the "rear projection" mentioned (sorry for what may be a stupid question ) . I guess what I mean is that to swap from one mode to another , could you simply move the DVD + projector from inside to outside and face it around or is it more complex ?
     
  6. OP
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    MarcD

    MarcD Full Time Elf

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    Trying to sequence an entire movie would take forever. The lights will be on and doing their usual thing, but I won't turn on the stereo for the music. The garage door curtain will remain pulled back. I may even try to hide those lights so they don't distract from the movie. It's going to be a learning experience.

    Technically, it's just a matter of changing a setting on the projector to show a mirror image. The hardest part is finding material that you can project through (as opposed to onto). We were lucky to have the white fabric gazebo sides which we tested and work really well. That Ikea gazebo was a great buy. We've never used it as a gazebo. We used the sides as shelter for our spa, the frame to support Xmas lights on the roof and the other sides for various other things.

     
  7. David_AVD

    David_AVD Bite my shiny metal ass!

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    I think Steve (Superman) used white plastic tablecloths over his garage door opening?
     
  8. Bird

    Bird Proud LOR user

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    That sounds like a great idea.
    Wife and child had a similar idea about 4 months ago.
    I set up a projector to show on the 20 foot wide barn door.
    Sound was going to be there for bon-fire music anyways.
    We had fun with it.
    Your snow machine should add a very fun factor to your movie.
     
  9. OP
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    MarcD

    MarcD Full Time Elf

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    Totally organised for Saturday night. I went to Jaycar yesterday and picked up a VGA to HDMI converter so I can use one of my Bluray players for the movie instead of the crappy $30 K Mart DVD player. Just mulling over my options for sound now. My previous AVR is sitting on a shelf in the garage, so I could go full surround sound, but that's probably overkill.

    I'll probably just use the sound system I use for the lights with two big speakers at the front and possibly bi-wire them into some old speakers in the garden. I'll try to post some pics of the setup.

    Now all I have to do is hope the weather holds.
     
  10. Habbosrus

    Habbosrus New house (again) 2017

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    My fingers are crossed for a great event (and weather). Can I ask what you're using for a projector? Or have I missed that information somewhere?
     
  11. OP
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    MarcD

    MarcD Full Time Elf

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    I have an old Benq PB6200 I used to use at work before I upgraded. Now it just gets used for Virtual Santa.

     
  12. OP
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    MarcD

    MarcD Full Time Elf

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    Movie Night: The good, the bad and the ugly.

    Setup was frustrating because the HDMI - VGA adaptor I bought did not want to play the game. It recognised it was getting a signal, but couldn't decode it. After several trips back inside plugging the BD player back into the TV and changing settings, I gave up and just went with the crappy DVD option.

    Despite the Facebook post reaching almost 200 people only three families turned up. One family brought booze and just sat at the back drinking while their kids ran amok unsupervised. We had to remove their 18 month old from our gardens several times. Their eldest was just annoying. At one point, he threw a metal water bottle on the ground. It bounced up and hit one girl in the head, then bounced off her and hit another girl. Remarkable shot, but we ended up with two screaming girls who needed to be placated.

    Shortly after the movie started, I realised I had left the remote for the sound system in the garage. I tried to sneak in between the ropes, but got my thong tangled. I ripped the ties off the screen and half of it collapsed. I had to hold it up by hand until we came up with a solution involving safety pins and G clamps.

    Despite all of these issues, the movie looked pretty good and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. I've attached two photos, the second one shows the snow machine running (if you look closely). If you look even closer, you'll notice that the kids are huddled under an umbrella (a Frozen one at that).
     

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  13. gerry

    gerry Senior Elf

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    You description makes what probably was a frustrating time sound humorous. :)

    I used to wonder about how everyone else seemingly had smooth , flawless shows , but in my first year it took ages of testing to finally get it to hang together and even then I go out a few times each night just to make sure that all is still working as expected.
     
  14. OP
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    MarcD

    MarcD Full Time Elf

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    We weren't even going to do lights this year, but gave in after requests from neighbours. Every night, I have to go outside and make sure the inflatables have inflated correctly. One of the LED strips around the edge of my sleigh needs to be tapped several times to come on. Kids climbing in and out of the sleigh have worn a lot of paint off. Since movie night, the sound system keeps needing a reboot to play the audio. I mowed the front lawn yesterday and after relaying the rope light around the edge, most of it stopped working. When I dragged out another section and laid it over the top, the original started working again. The bottom half of the five metre long Santa and sleigh on the roof stopped working (we tested and rebuilt the whole thing before putting it up). The list of failures and frustrations is endless.

    To top it off, many of the people who asked us to do lights, haven't even been around. So, no. Things don't go smoothly.

     
  15. logandc99

    logandc99 Dedicated Elf

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    But the kids will still have great memories of your house as the most awesome Christmas house ever.
     

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