How to create your own outdoor home cinema

The combination of good weather and accessible technology means that more people are turning to outdoor home cinemas as a means of wiling away the long summer evenings. So what do you need to create your own back yard big screen?

If, like most people, you don't have an unbroken white wall to project on to, screens are quite easy to create. A hung-up, double-folded white sheet can be passable, although gusts of wind can disrupt the picture. Inflatable screens, however, are easily available on the internet, kept up much in the same way as a bouncy castle and can fit images of 12 feet or more.

Outdoor projectors differ significantly from indoor ones, so an initial investment may be necessary. Accommodating the ambient light, the bigger screens and the greater distances are all factors in the choice of projector, but perfectly viable models can be found for £650 to £700.

A viewable image in daylight can't be obtained without spending upwards of £10,000, but as the sun goes down and darkness descends, the affordable projectors are perfectly capable of producing an excellent picture.

A simple workmate bench is ideal for supporting the projector. Its adjustable levels can work with the electronic adjustments on the computer to produce the best-placed image.

A suitable stereo system and amplifier, as well as a DVD player, freeview box or extra-long aerial cable will complete the hardware set-up and create your own delightful summer diversion.

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