Blog - Chris Lewis Group

How to Build the Perfect Outdoor Home Cinema

Written by Chris Lewis Group | Jun 22, 2021 3:44:56 PM

Forget living rooms! Summer is here. With lockdown restrictions easing, many of us are prepping our gardens for friends and family to enjoy. 

One way to keep your guests entertained during these sunny months is to invest in an outdoor home cinema. Whether watching sporting events, revisiting your favourite film classics, or glued to the latest blockbusters. You can now do so from the comfort of your own garden.

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Many cinemas remain closed for business, making it hard to access that authentic movie-going experience. According to Cineworld it looks as though the cinema industry isn’t expected to recover until at least 2023. With cinema fans having to travel further, more of us than ever are watching from home. There's also the rapid growth of video streaming services to consider. As a result, the demand for home cinemas has ballooned. Sony’s Adam Dover expects us to invest even more in home cinema setups this year. This is mainly thanks to the return of major sports events, including the Olympic Games and UEFA Euro 2020. 

Building an entertaining home cinema isn't as complex or expensive as you might think. Today, the range of options available is bigger and more accessible than ever. These present the chance to turn your garden into the perfect amusement hub. This blog will explain how to build the perfect garden cinema. It will cover all the major parts needed and how they work to bring the best viewing experience possible.

What Do I Need to Build an Outdoor Home Cinema?

Creating the ideal garden cinema isn't complex. First, you'll need to display whatever you're watching on a large screen or projector. You'll also need speakers to listen from, and a media device to stream or play what you want to watch. Of course, there are many options to choose from, so we’ll be recommending some of the best available.

There will be those who have already boosted their properties and gardens with the latest smart home tech. It’s worth considering the number of integration options available when creating a home garden cinema.

Which Screen Should I Choose?

When it comes to choosing a display there are two main options available. You can select from a growing range of full HD and 4K outdoor televisions. Or, you can opt for a projector which will require a screen to project onto. There are pros and cons to both setups you will need to consider. When designing a system with our smart garden experts, we can advise you on a solution to suit your exact requirements.

Outdoor TVs

If you have ever tried to watch a regular TV outside, you will know just how poor the image quality can be. These screens just aren't built to display an image in bright, outdoor settings. This means that the picture is almost impossible to see, especially when exposed to direct sunlight. Not only that, standard TV sets can easily overheat in hot weather. They aren't usually suitable for colder climates either.

As the name suggests, outdoor TVs have been designed precisely for use in gardens and by the poolside. You’ll often see them in resorts and luxury hotels, as well as bars that boast state-of-the-art outdoor terraces. Some of the best brands we work with and recommend include Samsung (Terrace range) and Videotree. Here is a summary of benefits when choosing an outdoor TV for your garden cinema:

  • Available in a range of sizes that typically scale between 55 and 100 inches.
  • Screens are designed to output a much higher brightness than normal televisions. They boast crystal clear picture quality, even in the brightest daylight conditions.
  • They are designed to integrate with entertainment systems with multiple ways to connect
  • They can withstand hot and cold temperatures. Some use heat sinks and pads to ensure the best performance.
  • Outdoor TVs have fully sealed weatherproof casings designed to protect against moisture, dirt, and dust.
  • Slick screen and frame aesthetics are available to suit any outdoor environment.

If you’re hunting for the ultimate solution then look no further than the C SEED 201, the world's largest outdoor TV. This is one for the lottery winners out there: a staggering 201-inch LED screen standing at 15 feet tall. The C SEED is built in partnership with none other than Porsche’s own design studio. This is truly a dream screen, though you may need a bigger garden...

Projectors & Screens

A more accessible alternative many will be familiar with is the use of a projector and screen. The main advantage is that, when not in use, the system can be tucked away to make the space more multi-purpose. The other major benefit is that bigger screen sizes become available, allowing you to upgrade at a more affordable price compared to large format displays. 

There are four styles of projectors. While they all perform the same function, they each have different methods of projecting an image. Some of them more advanced and versatile than others with laser projectors are at the forefront of this tech. They do not require a lamp, power up faster, and can achieve a higher brightness output. They last much longer than ordinary projectors with a lifespan of ten plus years.

For the best results, we’d recommend outdoor projectors from reliable brands. Top brand include names such as LG, Optoma, and Anker’s Nebula range. What you need to for is how many lumens your projector can output. We recommend you install a projector that is capable of at least 3,000 lumens. This will help retain the brightness and clarity of an image or video when watching during the day.

The position of your projector and screen is another vital detail. Think about the orientation and the arc of the sun in the area you want to set up your cinema. This will help avoid any direct sunlight on the projected screen surface. Again, this is something our smart garden installers can advise you on.

Modern projectors can connect with a variety of devices. From DVD players and Apple TV, to laptops and smartphones, there's a growing number of convenient options. When consulting with Chris Lewis, we can help you to get the best results from your setup.

How to Enhance your Home Cinema Experience

A home cinema in your garden is nothing without great audio. There are a number of outdoor speaker systems available to suit your exact needs. These include sound bars and subwoofers. When expertly designed and installed, these can help to create that cinematic surround sound quality.

They can also be discreet, blending into the current style of your garden. Built in speakers designed for outdoor use can mount on walls or subtly hide amongst greenery. Not only are they weather resistant, they can also pair with indoor smart home systems.

There's also a wide range of smart outdoor lighting systems that can help boost your home cinema. They can help create the perfect atmosphere and are both weatherproof and energy efficient. Advanced systems can be setup to quickly change brightness and colour. Imagine how this can transform an outdoor space for the every day as well as your cinema!

Having something to actually watch is just as crucial to having the perfect setup. If it wasn’t obvious, online streaming is fast becoming the popular way to watch films and television. As of 2021, Netflix has 203.66 million subscribers who, on average, watch 3.2 hours of video a day. There are more options available than ever with a growing range of quality streaming services including Apple Movies, Amazon Prime, Now TV and Disney+. As well as on-demand TV via the BBC iPlayer, All 4, and others. Whether catching up on soaps or watching sports, you can do it all from the comfort of your garden. To reduce the risk of streaming quality issues, you may want to invest in smart Wi-Fi for your home to improve connection speeds, even when outdoors.

To give your outdoor cinema a true wow factor, you might even consider smart controlled outdoor heaters and luxury seating.

Treat yourself to an Outdoor Home Cinema

With garden home cinemas being more affordable and accessible than ever before, it's time to treat yourself. Add value to your home and provide an exciting new amusement space for you and your family. It will become the envy of neighbours and an exciting summer fixture for many years to come.

As we’ve discussed, you should be mindful of your proposed setting. Think of how much space you have to install any screens, projectors, speakers etc. If you are serious about creating that iconic movie night, a professional setup is always advised. This will make sure every part is set-up to achieve the best quality results. Chris Lewis can install systems as well as upgrade and maintain them through our support and care cinema packages.

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