A Home Theater in Your Backyard
QUINCY, Mass. Stephen Puliafico didn't want to miss any Red Sox games while he was swimming in his backyard pool. So he brought the Red Sox poolside by installing a 42-inch flat panel television set behind a covered bar on his deck last year. He also has a stereo behind the bar, and around his deck dotted throughout the landscaping are speakers that are disguised to look like rocks with wires that run underground to the stereo. We're big sports fans and we're also huge outdoors people, said Puliafico, who lives in Sharon. It's like having an entertainment room in the house, except the beauty of it is that it's outside. Baseball is meant to be enjoyed outdoors. An increasing number of people are bringing the technological comforts of their home outdoors by installing TVs and stereo systems in their backyards and on their decks. David Berman, director of training and public relations for the Home Theater Specialists of America, said 10 years ago there were few products on the market that were built to withstand wind, rain and even snow, but these days consumers have many more options. Today homeowners can find televisions with anti-glare screens that can be viewed in bright sunlight, and waterproof sets that can handle a storm. They claim you can take a garden hose and wash it off; it's weatherproofed to that level, Berman said. Many outdoor TVs receive video and audio wirelessly, so homeowners don't have to run wires from their indoor systems to their backyards. The TVs even come with waterproof remotes. People think of the outdoors as a good space for entertainment, Philo Pappas, head of merchandising for Tweeter in Canton, said. When you entertain, you want to have music. And if homeowners don't want to invest in permanent equipment, Backyard Movie Nite in Middleboro rents inflatable movie screens with projectors, sound systems and DVD players, so viewers can get that big picture feel in their own backyards. It's wildly popular, a great excuse to bring people together, owner Cathy Grinham said. We deliver by 6 p.m. and pick up the next day, so people can watch as many movies as they want. It's so much fun.