So here we are with the final installment of our Outdoor Theatre. This is probably the most important part of the setup because without the screen you would have to project your movie onto your house or a sheet or your Uncle Ned’s backside.
If you would like to know about the other parts of the setup please check out Episode One for my review on the Sony 3D Blu-ray Player, Episode Two for my review of the Arion Legacy speaker System and Episode Three for the ViewSonic Projector.
When we were looking for a screen there were a ton of options to choose from. We thought about going with a blow-up screen for easy set-up but we ultimately decided against it because we didn’t want our sound system to compete with the blower for us to hear it for the whole movie. Like all the other components of our set-up the driving factor is portability and ease of setting it up and taking it down as we would not be leaving it up after a movie. This brings us to the one that we ended up buying.
Visual Apex ProjectoScreen120HD Projector Accessory
I went with the Visual Apex because the reviews were good and it looked like it would be easy to set it up and take it down. It was big without being huge at 120″ diagonally. The screen and all the components come in a nice heavy duty carrying case which everything folds up nicely to fit back in the case. It comes with the frame, legs, screen, rope, stakes, and eye hooks. Everything can be set up by one person, but I recommend two people do it to make it go quicker and a little bit easier for some portions.
The frame for the screen unfolds easily and locks into place with minimal effort. I attached the eye hooks to the top and left them there to take one step out of set up each time. They do not get in the way when packing it back in the carry case. The eye hooks have two uses. You can use them for hanging the screen if you want to go that route or for running the rope through for stability when you use the legs.
Now they recommend that you put the screen on while it is laying flat on the ground but I do it differently as the screen can be hard to attach on the ground. So now I attach the legs fold them open and stand up the frame. It is light so you can do this by yourself. The frame now stands at over 9 feet so you will need a step stool to attach the screen to the top portion of the frame.
The screen is a heavy duty .32mm PVC elastic bright white material surrounded by a boarder of black with a black backing which they say helps prevent light loss. The screen is washable so if you get it dirty you can clean it with mild soap and water. On the frame there are snaps and on the screen there are the other side of the snaps so it is supposed to go on easily. This, however, is why I stand up the screen and have a second person (my wife) help with set-up. I do not think they recommend my main method for attaching the screen but have found it useful. If you have time leave the screen in its protective case and lay it in the sun for a while so that it can heat up and expand. The screen is supposed to stretch so that it is a tight fit so there will be no lines and wrinkles from when it is folded for storage. However, if you just try to attach it to the frame it is really hard to stretch to fit by yourself. This is why you leave it out in the sun so that it can warm up and be easier to stretch so that you can snap the buttons into place. We usually don’t do that though as one we never have enough light in our yard and we usually set it up just before movie time. So we have come up with another way. I will start at one of the top corners and attach the screen. My wife will go along the back with a hair dryer and heat up the material slightly so that it stretches easier. We are careful not to stay in one place too long so that it doesn’t melt as this is plastic after all. It really makes attaching the screen a lot easier and we have mastered this pretty quickly. After the screen is attached we attach the guide ropes and the stakes so it doesn’t fall over, because a small gust of wind will catch it and send it over very easily. Overall, when we first set it up it would take us about 25 minutes. Now we do it in about 10-15 minutes.
Take down, is even easier. Just pull the screen off, take the stakes out and fold everything up and put it in the bag. It takes about 10 minutes to take down. Now do be careful though. As you are folding up the screen, make sure you are not in range of the frame as your wife is pulling the stakes out, because the screen will topple over and it will hit you in the head and you will bleed and curse.
+ Easy set-up in about 15 minutes
+ Easy take down in about 10 minutes
+ Light weight
+ Good price at $220.00
+ Can stand it up on legs or hang it for multiple set ups and applications.
– It does take some ingenuity to get the screen attached to the frame.
– It really does hurt to get hit in the head with it.
Add it to your utility belt. Set-up is quick and easy. Take-down is even easier. The screen is bright white and this makes for a great picture from your projector. We love this screen and its ease of use. Would love to have the 144″ screen when we upgrade our system.