Home owners spend a lot on their gardens, but when it comes to outdoor theatres they haven’t exactly been spoilt for choice. Joe Young writes that this is about to change.
Over the past decade, integrators will have noticed two trends: TV has brought high-quality cinematic viewing to the home and many home luxuries have made their way into the garden.
So it would be natural to think outdoor theatres are on the rise.
However, hardly any are available in Australia. This is even the case in the United States where so many segments of the electronics market are saturated.
Brian Azzano is sales manager of Stealth Acoustics. He says company staff were surprised a few years ago to note the gap in the outdoor theatre market.
“Several manufacturers make outdoor-rated ‘weatherised’ TVs that can range up to 80”, and one sells a retractable LED screen that is 250”,” Brian says.
“So we saw this huge gap with only projection systems to service it.”
This inspired Stealth Acoustics to develop the Stealth Patio Theatre (SPT) – a self-contained, retractable, ultra-bright, large-scale, outdoor theatre system, which gained the Best of Show Award at CEDIA 2015.
And it could be the product the Australian market is crying out for.
As you would probably guess with a Stealth Acoustics product, the theatre comes with substantial audio credentials. The standard is 5.1 surround sound but it’s customisable from ‘no speaker’ to 9.1 surround sound.
“The speakers are enclosed in a flat diaphragm that can’t be penetrated by moisture, animals or insects – it has no grill or exposed drivers,” Brian says.
The customisation extends to the screens as well. The three standard screen sizes are 103”, 130” and 155”, but specific sizes can be made to order.
The manufacturer can add heating to a cabinet if it’s going to a cold environment or a dehumidifier for the tropics.
Many readers will be familiar with Stealth Acoustics but not all will know of the parent company.
Dimensional Communications Inc is a large-scale manufacturing and integration entity responsible for installing sports ground scoreboards, outdoor billboards and the like. It has influenced the development of the SPT in two crucial ways.
First, the SPT uses similar technology to that employed in billboards and sports screens, making each pixel an individual LED. This allows the SPT to be viewed in broad daylight, a great advantage over projector systems and most other weatherised TV options.
Second, the SPT is built to be integrator friendly. Integrators working in the home theatre space are used to sourcing cinema components individually. However, the SPT offers a turnkey solution, so integrators just need to provide power to the system and connect it to a video source.
Clients will be watching the latest Game of Thrones episode in no time.
“With a parent company well experienced in integration, we wanted to reduce the integrator’s work as much as possible,” Brian says.
So how far are we from getting out the popcorn and Aerogard and watching a Stealth Patio Theatre in Australia?
Brian says after many successful installations of SPT systems in the US, the company is ready to release the product on an international scale.
“We plan to work with our long-term distribution partner QualiFi to bring this product to the Australian market later this year or in 2017.”