As we get into the mid-summer months, you may find your focus shifting from indoor projects to outdoor projects; the same is likely true for your clients. In the cooler months, they may have been concerned with their media room or HVAC systems, but now they may be considering how they can get their favorite tunes outside or even what an outdoor theater may look like. A variety of products are available in the market and they go beyond speakers that can withstand the elements.

Check out how some CEDIA members have taken outdoor installations to the next level and overcome challenges in the process. 


Entertainment Al Fresco

A client wanted to find a way to enjoy the warm weather months without giving up the comforts of home. CEDIA member, Electronics Design Group Inc., based in Piscataway, N.J., helped these clients achieve their goals in an upscale loggia complete with a well-apportioned kitchen, fireplace and full 5.1-channel home theater system.

The elements had to be accounted for in this installation, which is not normally as much of a concern. With the installation being both outdoors and above a fireplace, Electronics Design Group had to account for cold, humidity and extreme heat. The company also had to make sure the TV was protected from rain and wind. This was accomplished by installing the TV in the ceiling using a two-position motorized lift, ensuring that the lowest point on the TV when the lift came down was far enough away from the fireplace.

When the owners hit “TV” on their handheld touchpanel, the TV opens out of the ceiling like a book and then slides down to a locked position. The video sources, along with the audio/video receiver, are stacked in the mudroom between the loggia and the house. Wires run between the equipment through the “attic,” where they remain hidden and protected from weather and extreme temperatures.

Electronics Design Group took a unique approach to the surround-sound challenge presented by a shifting audience. Left and right speakers and surround speakers are mounted in the ceiling of the room, but the TV’s speakers were put into service to handle center-channel duty. That keeps dialog anchored to the screen and easy to hear from various locations. An in-ceiling subwoofer is tucked into a closet space above the room and outputs low-frequency sound to the space through a specially designed tube. All speakers have painted metal grilles designed to withstand the elements.


The Poolside Theater

This client wanted to create a place for his family and friends to play and enjoy both indoor and outdoor sports. HomeTronics Inc., Dallas, was up for the challenge this project presented including an extensive poolside theater.

Across the pool, a projector shines onto a 25-foot wide HDTV outdoor film screen. The surround-sound system has over 1,600 watts of power and consists of three front loud speakers, outdoor rear speakers, and two subwoofers. The speakers are custom made of waterproof materials including the two subwoofer enclosures that are made out of Avonite.

The client has the ability to view and listen to all 10 sources on 13 displays and eight audio zones at any time and has full control of the surround sound and all other speakers in the facility with a wireless touch panel.

In addition, HomeTronics outfitted the cabana with three 65-inch LCD TVs and a 42-inch waterproof LCD TV. The “Fish Shack” stores all of the electronic components and has its own heating and air conditioning system for safe and consistent temperature.

 You can find other project inspiration ideas on the CEDIA Blog at Several manufacturers will be offering training on outdoor systems at CEDIA EXPO. Check out for more information on training, products, special events, and more.