Home of the Year Awards
Ultrabright Outdoor Theater Weathers the Elements
No worries about harsh weather ruining this outdoor theater. Innovative techniques protect Digital Projection, Vutec, Bay Audio and other systems from the elements.
April 23, 2013 by EH Staff

Editor’s Note: This profile of one of our Home of the Year winners originally ran in May of 2012. We’re highlighting past winners in anticipation of the May 2013 release of the new Home of the Year winners. You’ll want to check back in May, because the new winners are awesome.

Florida and Southern California are hotbeds for outdoor entertaining. New Jersey? Not so much. But the finicky weather of the Northeast didn’t stop the owners of this gold-winning outdoor space from incorporating a reference-grade home theater system into their backyard. They made sure, though, with the help of the custom electronics professionals at High-Def Zone in Lehigh Valley, Pa., that their expensive gear would be well-protected from Mother Nature.

This was accomplished through special programming of an RTI XP-8 control system and clever installation of the projector, screen and other components. The 14-foot-wide screen from Vutec, for example, is motorized to roll up into a soffit underneath a balcony when it’s not being used. Most times, the owners move the screen up and down by pressing buttons on a waterproof RTI remote or an iPad. However, should the owners’ weather station detect a wind velocity of over 8 miles per hour, the RTI system puts away the screen automatically and shuts down the entire home theater system. Only when the wind dies down—and the sun has set- can the owners use the home theater again. Although this may sound a little restrictive, it’s for the best, says High-Def Zone’s Balji Minhas. These homeowners demanded only the best viewing experience from their outdoor A/V system, and that can’t happen when sunlight is blasting onto the screen. Therefore, the system can only be used—and therefore, fully appreciated—after a certain time of day, as dictated by the astronomical clock inside the XP-8 system.

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Systems & Equipment

Video Projector: DPI
Screen: Vutec
Speakers: Bay Audio, Madison Fielding
Control: RTI
Lighting Control: Lutron
Amplifiers: ADA, Marantz


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