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Woodsy Owl 12-06-2012 12:31 PM

Small Theater Setup
 
Budget: $1500


With my job I manage several areas and one of which is a small nature related visitor center with a small theater room. Right now the staff of that place have to physically go into the room, put in the VHS tape(haha), and hit play. This pulls them away from the counter and is just a hassle. I am thinking of MacMini streaming to an Apple TV to resolve this issue. I could have a small monitor where the staff can just select the digital copy of the video at the desk.


Thoughts, opinions, or a better way?

I am hoping I can spend $500 on a new TV but if the setup is nice enough then I can purchase the tv another day.

RavingMac 12-06-2012 12:47 PM

$1500 is a tight budget for what you describe, especially if you add the TV. A decent HDTV adequately sized for your purpose will easily cost $1000, unless you are looking at a Theater for one to three people.

Having said that, your idea is workable. Another option would be to use an iPad as your remote control and monitor. A refurb iPad or new iPad Mini will set you back about $300.

Woodsy Owl 12-06-2012 05:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Razormac (Post 1476005)
$1500 is a tight budget for what you describe, especially if you add the TV. A decent HDTV adequately sized for your purpose will easily cost $1000, unless you are looking at a Theater for one to three people.

Having said that, your idea is workable. Another option would be to use an iPad as your remote control and monitor. A refurb iPad or new iPad Mini will set you back about $300.

My original budget was $2500-$3000 but it was cut.


Just to put it in perspective right now they have a 27 inch tv that is cut into the wall. The tail end sticks out in the utility room behind. The videos currently shown are not shot in HD basically any TV over 40in will be a major improvement. The room can seat around 20-25 however rarely do they ever have more than 5-10 in the room. I had thought about the iPad because if I worked that center then that's what I would prefer but that's not the case. Most of the employees/volunteers that staff the place are "older" and the ipad method may be over their head. With the mac mini I had imaged I would just incorporate the directions into the wallpaper so when they first booted the computer they would know what to do.


unless............ (evil thoughts brewing)


I could build a mount into the wall for an iPad and leave the buttons blocked off with the unit set on the videos screen. So actually the visitors could pick the movie themselves....... just touch the movie and it plays......

Deckyon 12-06-2012 05:22 PM

Have you thought of using an overhead projector? You can get them for about $300 then a screen from a local photo store or 2nd hand - as long as it isnt ripped - and then connect the device to it.

RavingMac 12-06-2012 05:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Deckyon (Post 1476098)
Have you thought of using an overhead projector? You can get them for about $300 then a screen from a local photo store or 2nd hand - as long as it isnt ripped - and then connect the device to it.

Good idea.

And, could actually just matte white paint a rectangle on the wall. We do this at our church and it works reasonably well in a dark room.

Woodsy Owl 12-06-2012 06:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Deckyon (Post 1476098)
Have you thought of using an overhead projector? You can get them for about $300 then a screen from a local photo store or 2nd hand - as long as it isnt ripped - and then connect the device to it.


I have thought about this option but I kicked it due to the price of bulbs. Some of the staff will just let the system loop all day(especially the busy weekends) so the projector would be on all day or would require someone to go in and turn it back on(pull it out of hibernation mode) in order to show a movie. My goal is to reduce or eliminate the need for them to go into the room at all. I figured if the mac mini or ipad was not in use it could have a screen saver on cycling through pictures of the area.

bobtomay 12-06-2012 07:49 PM

I like the idea of the iPad. Put it in a niche from the back side so only the screen can be seen. Have the movies that you want to be able to show pre-loaded and shown in a single screen, so the customer just has to tap the movie they want to watch. Set it up to Airplay to an Apple TV connected to the TV.


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