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We’re proud of the fact that our QuikScreens and backyard theater systems are so easy to use, but you still need to consider safety and proper usage during your screening. Here are some basic best practices to make absolutely sure your guests — and components — don’t come to any accidental grief:

Manage your cables. Even a simple system like ours involves a few cables — cables connecting the audio and video components to each other, and cables connecting the system to a power source. If you’re receiving your signal from a cable box, you may end up needing to connect an additional cable that snakes all the way from your home out to the projector. Keep these cables away from your guests’ feet, unless you want to cause a painful fall. If there’s no way to avoid placing a cable where someone will walk over it, tape it down or lay a rug over it.

Watch the eyes. It’s absolutely critical that you warn your guests never to look directly into the light from the projector. Even the low-powered lamp used for indoor projectors is sufficient to cause blindness, and our projectors are bright enough to fill a large outdoor screen. If they’re dumb enough to look anyway, well, at least you told them not to.

Let the projector cool. This affects the projector’s well-being more than that of your guests, but it’s important if you want your event to go well and your projector lamp to last. These lamps get very hot over the course of a screening, and they need help from the projector’s internal fan to cool down properly afterward — otherwise they may explode or suffer a drastically shortened lifespan. So let the projector complete its cool-down phase (it will stop on its own) before unplugging projector power.

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What are the rules for choosing an outdoor theater system? Do you always want the biggest, most powerful setup you can afford, or it more practical to go for the mobility of a smaller system? Which situation calls for which product?

The main factor to consider in choosing the right outdoor theater system for your needs is the size of the venue (and audience). If you’re screening programs for your family and friends, or even the occasional block party, our Indoor Outdoor Series will do the job beautifully. The two 8-inch SAVI speakers will deliver plenty of audio for casual screenings, and you can choose between 8-foot or 10-foot screens. You might automatically assume you want the 10-footer for maximum flexibility, but if you plan to do a certain amount of viewing indoors, you’ll probably find the smaller screen easier to work with. Also, not everyone wants to feel totally enveloped by the visuals, so to some extent screen size is a matter of personal taste — and of how far away from the screen your audience will sit.

If you’ll be giving public showings — at schools, hotels, community centers, corporate events, et cetera — then it’s time to go for the big guns, namely our SilverScreen Showcase Series. This system gives you the option of a 12-foot or 16-foot screen, which means the folks in the back of the auditorium, conference hall or recreation center will see just as well as the folks up front. You also get a boost to your audio in the form of two 10-foot speakers so everyone gets a taste of that extra “oomph” factor. Finally, you get a second media/storage cabinet to help you transport this larger system more quickly and easily.

Still have questions? We have answers, so contact us!

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Have you been enjoying Major League Baseball so far this season? If so, imagine how much more you could enjoy it on a 12-foot screen, with high-definition video and powerful audio that puts right there in the stadium? If this sounds good to you, then you need to consider turning your game day into Backyard Theater Systems day!

There’s certainly no shortage of baseball on television to choose from. You’ll find high-definition MLB coverage on ESPN, ESPN2, FOX, TBS, and of course the MLB Network. These telecasts will look gorgeous on your HD projector and SilverScreen movie screen, though you’ll have to record the day games and replay them after the sun goes down. (Night game? Knock yourself out!) So your regular viewing party will want to avoid reading the scores or watching the TV news on those days — unless you just really want to experience that glorious victory for yourself or watch it a second time, bigger than ever. And we think you’ll like watching the game outdoors in the fresh air; after all, isn’t that how baseball should be experienced? We think so.

Do you want to watch a day game on the big screen even when the sun is shining? Or is your back yard rained out on game day, even though the game itself isn’t? Well, this isn’t necessarily a problem, so give up on your viewing party just yet. There’s no rule that says your outdoor theater can’t become an indoor theater, as long as you have room in your garage or some other part of the home. Just line up some chairs, park the cooler nearby and watch that brilliant sunshine on the big screen. Have a great time watching America’s national pastime!