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av pros: how do I design an audio system for an *outdoor* theater? Answered

I'm trying to come up with some specs for a mobile outdoor theater system and I could use some help with the audio work.

If I have sound coming out of a DVD player, what components do I need? I was guessing a receiver, several speakers, and a subwoofer. What criteria are important for creating a system that sounds good outside? Can subwoofers even produce an effect when they're not inside? (I'm not concerned about weather-proofing as the system will be stored inside.)

I also don't know whether it's worth going for surround sound or simple stereo, any advice?

This thing would show movies to about 100 people. I have about $1500 for the audio system, so go nuts.. And thanks for any help!


I use a 40W radioshack PA, ( it runs on 12V DC or 120AC) perfect for out door or remote locations. can even hook up more than one together. it runs an 18" sub PA speaker very well and has plenty of volume. if you need more volume add another 18"sub and 40W PA. PA has 2 mic inputs, AUX rca inputs, selectable ohms for speakers

I'd just go with a simple stereo. Older ones tend to be just as powerful and usually have outputs for 2 sets of speakers as well as RCA inputs (the same as the output on the dvd player). They are also usually relatively cheap. I got a nice technics stereo for $3 at a garage sale.

Hm, well, if I get this "grant" then price won't be a huge issue, actually. But if I end up paying myself, I'll hit up the garage sales.

power is the key. i had the walls of my school shake (and see reflection in windows deform) from pokemon theme song played in 500 W rms on the badboard outside. from my mp3 player by the way :P go for surround if it makes sense (movies with surround audio and supporting player) video : go for powerfull projector. one that can throw bright and focused image atleast 4 X 3 M in size. color quality is less critical i think

haha, ok, I'll focus on finding a powerful system.

You may want to ask the pros here http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/.

Outdoor requirements would depend on your environment, hard surfaces, soft surfaces, are people seated or standing up, ambient noise like near a busy street and do you want to isolate the sound from your neighbors, layout, size, power source capability, can you run wires, do you want sound quality or just to pump out sound for a party. You may just want to rent out a P.A. system or see if a D.J. has the equipment to loan or try out. Good luck.

Poking around AVS forums gave me some ideas; some people had asked the exact same question. Thanks!