Florida and Southern California are hotbeds for outdoor entertaining. New York? Not so much. But the fussy weather of the Northeast didn’t stop the owners of this outdoor space from integrating a reference-grade home theater system into their backyard. They made sure, with the help of their custom electronics professionals, that their expensive equipment would be well-protected from Mother Nature.
This was done through special programming of an RTI XP-8 control system and ingenious installation of the screen, projector and other components. The 14-foot-wide screen is motorized to roll up into a soffit underneath a balcony when no one is watching it. The owners can move the screen up and down by pressing buttons on a waterproof RTI remote or an iPad. However, if the owners’ weather station detects a wind velocity of over 8 miles per hour, the RTI system will automatically put the screen away and shut down the entire home theater system. When the wind dies down and the sun has set, the owners use the home theater again. This may sound a little restrictive but it’s for the best. These homeowners demanded only the best viewing experience from their outdoor theater. This can’t happen if the sunlight is blasting onto the screen. Therefore, the outdoor theater system can only be used after a certain time of day, as controlled by the astronomical clock inside the RTI XP-8 system.
In the dark, the outdoor theater screen can really shine. Its 14-foot-wide size guarantees that no matter where everyone is hanging out, they can clearly see all the action. An ultrabright (6,000-ANSI lumen), ISF (Imaging Science Foundation)-calibrated projector from Digital Projection International (DPI) was put behind the outdoor theater screen in an attic space. That way it’s protected from the elements and hidden from view.
The family can hear the movie from the swimming pool as well as the patio because of the surround sound system that was installed. The speakers perform as the front channels of the surround-sound system, and are able to be played loudly and without distortion. In order to contain the sound to the yard they’re angled downward from the eave of the house. Planter speakers are positioned throughout the outdoor theater area to preclude audio “dead spots” and to serve as the surrounds. No movie is worth listening to if you can’t feel and hear the bass, so three subwoofers were strategically planted in the yard. The speakers and subs are driven by an amplifier that pushs out 2,500 watts of calibrated power.
The home theater may take center stage in this backyard, but the RTI system controls a lot more than the A/V equipment. The motorized patio umbrellas, as well as all of the lights, can be operated from an RTI remote or iPad. The umbrellas are designed to catch and channel rainwater to an underground water drainage system. This is just one more step that was taken to protect the outdoor home theater equipment from the weather.