people watching football on their outdoor projection screen
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Isn’t it exciting to set up your fantastic new outdoor theater from Backyard Theater Systems for the very first time? You’ve reviewed the package, you know exactly where everything plugs in and fits together, so all that’s left the actual setup. But you may still be puzzling over one question – where exactly should you put your screen?

“In front of the projector” isn’t a sufficient answer. If you park your screen too close to the projector lamp, the image may look ridiculously small, taking up only a portion of the screen even after you’ve zoomed it out. Place the screen too far away, and the image will appear dimmer than it should because of the diffusion of light, and the image may bleed past the screen’s edges. And at either extreme, you may find it difficult or impossible to achieve a razor-sharp focus. Fortunately, the zoom, focus and other options on modern projectors give you some margin for error, so all you really need to do is find the right approximate range. But where is that?

Online distance calculators can be tremendously helpful in taking a lot of the trial and error out of your screen placement. You may know that Backyard Theater Systems proudly includes Optoma projectors with its outdoor theater packages. As it turns out, Optoma has an online screen distance calculator tailored to its specific projector models. For example, if you’re using an Optoma X316 with one of our 12′-diagonal QuikScreens (144 inches), simply enter this information and you’ll get a recommended distance range of 18.72 feet to 20.64 feet. As for your preferred viewing distance, everybody’s different, and one person’s relaxing evening is another person’s headache or eye strain. So be sure to set up several rows of chairs – then break out the popcorn and enjoy the show!