Your Own Personal Backyard Theater Is Closer Than You Think

How to Netflix and chill (in your pool)

By Reuben Brody

Transform Your Backyard Into a Thunderous Theater
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16 June 2016

From the gladiator days to drive-in movie theaters to music festivals, humans likes to be entertained in the out of doors. It’s in our DNA. Hence the longevity of carnivals, despite, y’know, all of the ill repute associated with carnivals.

Which is all to preface the fact that you should consider extending your home entertainment to the backyard this summer.

Poolside Netflix? Check. Baseball from a hammock? Check. Not having to entertain in your living room? Check.

Here’s what to consider to get this operation up and running.

Year-round systems will cost you a pretty penny, but in terms of aesthetics and quality, they’re your best option
If you live in the Southwest or Southeast, you can squeeze 3-4 seasons of outdoor watching out of an all-weather setup. You may want to consider SunBriteTV, which can withstand the elements and even comes with interactive touchscreens. The next step up is a glass rear-projection screen, like this one by Stewart Filmscreens. Rear projection ensures a crisper resolution and avoids the inevitable intrusion of someone’s head walking through the picture.

High-quality sound is key
You’re competing with space, nature and probably neighbors, but you don’t necessarily have to invest in a massive outdoor sound system. Kube, a new speaker company available for preorder, makes a portable speaker that’s 125 decibels, crystal clear for up to 100 people. And it has a 35-quart cooler space for beers. You’ll get a lot of mileage out of this puppy.

Portable screens and projectors have come a long way
Collapsible screens — whether frame or inflatable — are inexpensive and designed to block out white light, which’ll make your resolution sharper. Plus, they’re waterproof, so you can take it camping or for a large gathering at a park. SilverScreen and Open Air sell theirs as packages that include the projector and sound equipment.

Not even the Romans had to endure folding chairs
Comfort is key. But consider furniture that’s low to the ground so you don’t get shadow puppets poking into view. James Perse makes luxurious daybeds and couches that look natural, are low to the ground and can withstand the elements. If you want something less permanent that you can float on, Pigro Felice has stylish, modular inflatable furniture.

Make sure you have a good connection outside
Unless you’re using a television that connects to your cable, the WiFi could lose signal once it makes the backyard. To get around this, use a powerline adapter, which you connect from your modem inside to the closest power outlet. This will give you a secure, strong connection accessible from any power outlet on your property — including those outside. Also, they’re only $35.

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