people watching football on their outdoor projection screen
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It’s beginning to feel like Thanksgiving, but throw a jacket on and you’ll be comfortable watching this feast of traditional favorites on your Backdoor Theater Systems outdoor theater:

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving – If it’s a U.S. holiday, there’s probably a Charlie Brown special for it somewhere out there. This 1973 classic has our favorite blockhead trying to throw a Thanksgiving feast together for his friends at the last minute. If you can’t find it on TV, don’t worry — it’s available on DVD.

Planes, Trains and Automobiles – You’ll be thankful you rented the DVD of this comedy classic starring Steve Martin tangling with John Candy in his efforts to get home for Thanksgiving.

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade – This old favorite has been telecast on NBC and/or CBS every year since 1948.  Who cares if it takes place during daylight hours? Just program your media system to record it as it occurs, then play it at night on the big screen to get the full impact of this mega-event.

National Dog Show – If you love dogs, you’ll love the National Dog Show. You’ll find it on NBC right after the Macy’s Parade, so you can record it for nighttime presentation as well. Or rent a DVD of the movie Best in Show if you’d rather just laugh at the whole concept.

Football – Thanksgiving means football, so don’t forget to tune in for this year’s Turkey Day NFL lineup as you digest your turkey. This year it’s Texans vs. Lions, followed by Cowboys vs. Redskins and Jets vs. Patriots. Watch out for college action too, such as UT vs. TCU on ESPN.

Hanna and Her Sisters – Woody Allen tells the story of three sisters making their way through not one but two Thanksgivings in this timeless comedy-drama.


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Thanksgiving is a time to be thankful for the many things we have. And what better way to show your gratitude for those things than to make full use of them — especially, your big-screen outdoor theater from Backyard Theater Systems!

Thanksgiving Day always offers spectacular once-a-year television events, from the Macy’s Day Parade to the national dog show to a hefty selection of football games. All this fabulous entertainment is crying out for display on the big screen, just as any holiday cries out for quality family time in the fresh air. Fortunately, your outdoor theater system allows you to enjoy both. Start early in the day (your family will probably be up cooking anyway, if you’re hosting a Thanksgiving feast) by setting up your QuikScreen, audio system and projector. Run an extra-long video cable from your home’s media device (satellite, cable box, etc.) out to your backyard system, test everything to make sure you have sound and picture, then shut it down again until you’re ready to put on a show for your guests.

And why limit your outdoor Thanksgiving festivities to what’s playing on the screen — why not take the whole shebang outside, weather permitting? You can set up a long folding table or two near the viewing area, lay out your various Thanksgiving dishes and  have yourselves an outdoor buffet. It’s the perfect excuse to have the game going during your dinner; you’re not being rude, you’re creating a huge holiday mega-event! The point is to think outside the box now that your video presentation capabilities have moved outside the house.

Next time we’ll suggest some favorite titles for your Thanksgiving viewing pleasure. But no matter how you choose to celebrate — have a safe and happy Thanksgiving from Backyard Theater Systems!


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Anyone who’s ever owned a widescreen TV has experienced this issue at some time or other. You pop a Hollywood blockbuster into the player, only to find that all the characters look like they’re 12 feet tall and weigh about 30 pounds. Or you tune into an old TV show or SDTV news station and everybody looks short and fat. Welcome to the wonderful (?) world of aspect ratios — and yes, you’ll be dealing with them on your outdoor theater system as well, so it helps to understand them.

The aspect ration defines the height vs. width of your screen and/or the images displayed on the screen. an old-style CRT television has a 4:3 aspect ratio, with a rectangular image just slightly longer than it is wide. An HDTV screen typically has an aspect ratio of 16:9, a rectangle also twice as long as it is wide. See how that works?

Different TV shows and films are shot to be presented at different aspect ratios. Old movies and pre-HD television programs were designed for 4:3 screens. If you’re screening one of these on your backyard theater system, they’ll look correct if you set the projector for a 4:3 aspect ratio; if you try viewing them in 16:9, the projector will try to fill the entire screen from right to left, stretching the image until everybody looks fun-house fat. Many modern HD televisions programs are 16:9, which is why people and objects look so elongated when you try to view them in 4:3. Many modern films are meant to be screened at 16:9, but “super widescreen” movies can go even broader, in which case you’ll see black bars the top and bottom of the screen.

Still have questions? Contact Backyard Theater Systems!