Thinking about bringing your audio/video experience to your backyard or patio? More and more families are taking their entertaining outdoors. Here are some things to consider before you get underway.
- Its always best to keep your source equipment inside and simply run wiring outside. But if that isn’t the case, consider a weatherproof enclosure you can buy or build and where you will locate it.
Stick with weatherproof speakers, TVs and other equipment. Especially in humid climates and coastal (think salt) locations, this protected equipment is well worth the extra dollars you’ll spend.
- For speakers, focus on coverage rather than volume. Several speakers interspersed throughout the area playing low is more enjoyable than only a few playing loudly just to cover the territory.
- When it comes to speaker placement, extend them to the perimeter of your yard and direct them inward and away from the neighbors.
- Install your wiring first, especially if they need to go underground. Make sure you first identify where underground waterlines and other utilities are! Run the wire to a weatherproof panel or exterior closet. That’s where you’ll tie in all of your electronics. This will give you the flexibility for future upgrades.
- Run wiring in conduit and use separate conduit for low-voltage and high-voltage purposes.
- Thoughtful use of swinging TV mounts could potentially allow you to view from inside a cabana, for example, or swing out to an exterior angle to chairs arranged theater-style in the yard.
Like any updating to your home, planning ahead pays big dividends in the end.
by Bryan Naquin. Follow Bryan on Twitter @ACIexperts. And you can always contact him at 225.906.2589 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Bryan Naquin is president of Acadian Home Theater and Automation based in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. CEPro Magazine ranked Acadian in the top 100 consumer electronic companies in the U.S. coming in at Number 87 for 2011.