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How to buy an Outdoor Movie System

Supplier: Smart Digital Australia
01 April, 2016

Outdoor cinema is a great add-on to hospitality industry. A movie in a beer garden, or after the function, a movie with good food - combinations are endless. We discuss the components of outdoor cinema system which won't cost you an arm and a leg.

Movie screen

The simplest way is to project the image on the white wall or use any white fabric as a screen. However, in this case be prepared that the image will be blurred as the screen surface will not be even. 

Our experience shows that the best option is inflatable movie screens.  

Their characteristics:

  • quick to inflate
  • sealed screen - no blower running during movies
  • screen surface can be detached and washed in the washing machine
  • can be used both for front and rear projection
  • easy to store and to move around
  • look great - always creates a "wow" in the audience


The sellers of video equipment tend to promote full HD projectors. However, for the backyard cinema, 720p is the best value for money - you'll get great quality image without premium price tag of a full HD projector. 

More important is such parameter as brightness of the projector. To show movies at night, choose the projector over 3000 Lumen. 

The rule of thumb - the bigger the screen, the brighter the projector is required. For 3-5 metre screen, projector brightness of 3200 - 3400 Lumen is more than adequate. 

Decide whether you are going to place the projector behind the screen (rear projection) or in front of the screen. Rear projection allows hiding the cables and ensuring no one will accidentally stand between the screen and the projector.

If the space is limited, you may need a short throw projector. They cost more but can be placed closer to the screen and will also create a brighter picture, which is important if there’s ambient light around.


The time of silent movies is so far back in history – you may think of Dolby Digital 7.1, but let us assure you – with no walls to reflect the sound when outdoors, all you need is a pair of powered speakers. A subwoofer would be a good ad-on.

As a starting point for the decent sound, look for 200 Watt speakers and a sub. Always go for powered over passive speakers if you want to create a real cinematic effect. Just don’t forget to coordinate your event with your neighbours. 

Playback device

To complete your system, you need a playback device, such as Blu-Ray / DVD player, laptop, tablet, games console – any equipment to connect to the projector.

Advantages of buying complete outdoor movie system 

Professional suppliers of outdoor cinema systems offer complete outdoor home theatre systems. They have already selected the winning combination of the screen, projector and sound, and have taken into account all the required accessories, such as cables, speaker stands, carry cases.

Sourcing your outdoor home theatre system from one supplier, you are guaranteed peace of mind – you’ll have a complete system with all you need to play movies and have lots of fun and backyard entertainment - all covered with warranty (unless you plunge the equipment in the swimming pool!).

Check our 2.5 and 3 metre systems and select the one to suit your needs.