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Movies Outside with the Mac

by Outside with the Mac / April 14, 2008 6:46 AM PDT

My husband really wants to be able to watch movies outside this summer. We have MacBook and a G5 (both 2007 models).

I think I need to buy a projector to be able to project DVDs on to the wall outside, but have no clue what type of projector or what cables would be necessary. (Distances is about 15-20 feet) Also, if software is necessary? Any tips? Want to take care of this for Father's Day... but can't ask questions without giving away my motives. Thanks.

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by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / April 14, 2008 6:51 AM PDT

Your main problem here is the number of projectors to choose from.

They all have a VGA (Video) connection and cable and all you would need for the MacBook is the mini DVI to VGA adapter which is available from the Apple store.

No special software is required to make the projector show the picture, it basically just shows what is on the screen on the laptop.

The MacBook would probably be the better choice as it is a lot more portable.

Now that you have a method of projecting the movie, how about sound?


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by boya84 / April 14, 2008 10:19 AM PDT
In reply to: Projectors

Pretty much all the projectors allow connectivity to a computer - It does not matter if it is a Apple Macintosh or traditional Windows based machine.

My former life as an IT manager exposed me to these projectors over 10 years ago - when they were big and bulky and the fans made lots of noise... BUT the prospect of watching BIG movies at home on a wall (and later, a queen-sized sheet) seemed like lots of fun.

The computer speakers are tiny - and if the projector has built-in speakers, they won't be too much better. This presumes you are not connecting to your home's (larger speaker) stereo system. This will work indoors - but not so well outside.

I know this was overkill, but I had also been in a couple of bands and no one ever had a PA system, so I ended up finally getting one... like I said, probably overkill, but it is the ONLY way that I know of to get good solid sound. You will find that the low end is just gone on the small computer and projector speakers and if you turn them up to full to attempt to compensate, they will start to sound really muddy.

I have provided audio and video to parties at the end of the street, in the backyard... but it is a lot of gear to set up and tear down...

Another option - if it is only the two of you - is to use headphones. They can be wired or wireless.

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Sound options?
by Outside with the Mac / April 14, 2008 1:20 PM PDT
In reply to: Agree

Oh man, I knew this was too good to be true... I do know that we have a sound system in the back yard that has lots of rock speakers and is triggered off of a small stereo with ipod connectivity. But, it is set up on the opposite side of the yard from where the projector would go. Any suggestions on how to tap into it? Otherwise, any suggestions on sound systems to go with the projector/MacBook combo?

Thanks for the will be super nice to get this working.

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A very long audio cable
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / April 14, 2008 9:59 PM PDT
In reply to: Sound options?

that would plug into the stereo.

It'll work


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