Pool side movies

Midwestdude

Member
Jun 19, 2020
9
Indiana
This is an idea I've tossed around for a while. I've been thinking about hosting dive in movie nights. My pool is 32' x 18' so I'd use the width to project the movies. One side of the pool butts up to the side of the garage making it a good spot to set up the screen. The opposite side has more space where we have our chairs, tables, loungers, firepit, etc. and behind that is a decent sized area where we have flower beds that would make a good spot to set up the projector. I'm thinking I could construct a screen with a PVC frame and some kind of white material/fabric. The projector and sound system/setup is something I'm looking at buying rather than renting as I'd like to do this from time to time and it'd be nice to have my own setup that I can put up and take down as needed.

I'm wondering if anyone has done this or knows someone who has and has any tips/advice on what to look for in a projector, sound system, screen construction etc. I told my wife it may not be something we do this season, but is something we could do for next season.
 

Rattus Suffocatus

Silver Supporter
Jun 5, 2019
1,300
Corona de Tucson, AZ
So, if you look at my voluminous build thread from last year, you can see that we did that last year with our pool, mainly to watch our son's away football games on YouTube. You can buy a fancy projector, but I just bought an $80 720p projector and I bring out an old Roku to run it... it's more than good enough...

My wife bought a fancy screen this year and it's been so windy this year that I haven't put it up yet. When I do, I'll add a picture somewhere.. it's pretty nice to do this, actually.
 

Midwestdude

Member
Jun 19, 2020
9
Indiana
Yup.. the picture from last year (October 4, 2019): https://www.troublefreepool.com/attachments/img_20191004_184839635-jpg.120089/ You really don't need anything more fancy that that.....

That's cool, and thanks for the info, definitly looking to not overspend but find the right balance of cost and performance. I looked for the build thread but it wouldn't let me scroll back to 2019. Is your set up a rear projection or are you projecting from the other side of the pool? This year with all we have going on I may use this year to do my research. This is our first season owning a pool, and next early spring we are having some major work done since the previous neglected things like letting the waterline tile just fall off, and a handful of coping stones need replaced.
 

PoolGate

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 7, 2017
5,413
Damascus, MD
Pool Size
29000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Jandy Aquapure 1400
15 feet or so is about at the limit of most home projectors. Do you know how far you will need to project? I'd suggest a powered pa speaker like jbl eons for sound.
 

Midwestdude

Member
Jun 19, 2020
9
Indiana
As far as distance I'm probably looking to be able to project roughly 25 feet. The width of the pool is 18' adding about a foot or two towards the garage wall for the screen and maybe 4 or 5 or so on the other side. I've been looking at projectors that can throw around 25' or so. I do know I have to also consider screen size in combination with the projector.
 

Rattus Suffocatus

Silver Supporter
Jun 5, 2019
1,300
Corona de Tucson, AZ
That's cool, and thanks for the info, definitly looking to not overspend but find the right balance of cost and performance. I looked for the build thread but it wouldn't let me scroll back to 2019. Is your set up a rear projection or are you projecting from the other side of the pool? This year with all we have going on I may use this year to do my research. This is our first season owning a pool, and next early spring we are having some major work done since the previous neglected things like letting the waterline tile just fall off, and a handful of coping stones need replaced.
Hmm.. it wasn't that hard to find. :) Continuation of an odyssey

It doesn't matter if it's front or rear projection-- depending on the screen type. if you get a "good reflective screen" then, yes it matters. The screens you get off of Amazon/eBay work from either direction.

A 25' throw projector is going to be in a different class than our little one is. And that is fine if you know that is what you want, but you are probably looking in the $300-500 range for that. This projector was literally a $88 (okay, listed at $130) LED projector -- like I said it's only 720p but for outside use near the pool I didn't want to risk breaking more than that. We need to do that again this weekend, especially if it's not windy.

Edit: I think PoolGate is probably correct. You are really probably talking $1000+ dollars. The 8'x6' image that was projected on the block fence was still plenty big. My projector can go maybe 12'x10' with the proper screen. I still think it's plenty big for a pool only 2x the size of mine, though.
 
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Midwestdude

Member
Jun 19, 2020
9
Indiana
Definitely more research will have to go into it. I was concerned about the throw distance and it's effect on screen size. I'd rather not build a full theater screen next to the pool. While it seemed logical in my mind to set the projector on one side of the pool and project to a screen on the other side that may not be feasible and I may need to look at other options. I know I could do rear projection on the side of the pool that has more room, and we'd just need to re-arrange the chairs/tables/loungers so everyone has a decent view. That would keep both the screen and projector in close proximity. Another thought is on the end opposite the diving board we have a 4 season room lined with windows facing the pool. It might be possible to set up a projector inside that room and project through the screen window onto the rear of the screen.
 

Rattus Suffocatus

Silver Supporter
Jun 5, 2019
1,300
Corona de Tucson, AZ
We just bring the stuff outside, and set it up on a chair. the screen goes up when we use it, down when we don't. The screen in the picture from last year was a back of a quilt, held up by two bricks.

I do use a good pair of amplified computer speakers for the sound, but you really don't need something fancy to do this. And I probably wouldn't worry or even consider doing a permanent setup. Just set it all up when conditions are right and enjoy.
 

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