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A Scary Good Decorating Idea

If the idea of simply hanging a plastic skeleton on the wall or dangling fake spider webs across the bushes have lost their edge for you, AtmosFX’s digital decorating kit offers a fun upgrade for next year’s Halloween decorations -- or this coming Christmas.

In short, AtmostFX’s projector and digital images, intended for projection against an exterior window or interior wall, offer an entertaining way to animate your holiday decorating.

To test its performance, we offered it to a local middle school booster club for use in its haunted house. It ended up being a popular addition the kids loved.

The AtmosFX kit consists of a digital projector ($199). Users hang the window cover ($24.99), akin to a sheer sheet. They then purchase and download animated digital files consisting of spooky, floating ghosts, attacking zombies and singing jack-o-lanterns, and project them onto the inside of the window ($6-40). From the outside (on the opposite side of the sheer sheet) the images appear to be moving about inside the home. The animated decorations range from rated-G kid pleasers like dancing skeletons to horrifying zombie slashers one might find in a rated-R movie trailer.

The images come with sound, but you’ll need to provide and hook up your own speaker system, tapping into the projector’s AV port or its 3.5 mm audio jack. You’ll also need a way to play the speakers outside while the projector and screen remain indoors.

To play the sizable animated files, the projector offers a series of ports, from USB ports, into which you can slide in your thumb drive or a USB cable for your laptop. There’s also a slot for an SD card (which are often used to store a camera’s photos).

Most popular with the kids in the haunted house? The images of hands and faces pressing against the insides of walls, pushing outward in an attempt to invade the home.

The AtmosFX images are crisp and convincing. Some, like the singing pumpkins, have a modern cartoon or video game appearance. Others appear like genuine, three-dimensional beings. The images stopped young haunted house visitors and their adult parents in awe.

The projector’s HDMI port also allows the import of movies and shows from your TV. Thus, the system can double as a movie projector inside or outside provided it’s dark enough.

This reviewer, however, offers some caveats. Those unfamiliar with the system will need to dedicate a few hours to downloading the very large digital files, unzipping and copying them, and figuring out how to import and display them properly through the projector’s user interface. If all this sounds intimidating, you may need to ask a spooky teenager for help. The projector’s interface, along with its remote, aren’t necessarily intuitive. Most users will need to read the directions and play with it to master its use. Further, the projector and screen aren’t set up quickly. You’ll need to set it up the night prior to its debut and tinker with it as the images projected against windows cannot be seen during daylight. (To work, the system also requires the room with the window to be kept dark.) Last, while most folks weren’t bothered by it, the projector’s circle of light does shine through the screen if viewers stand immediately in front of the screen. This isn’t an issue if you’re projecting the images onto a second floor window that is viewed from below, but it may rob some of the magic for those who look directly into a first-floor window and spot the projector glowing in the background.

AtmosFX offers animated digital files for Halloween, Christmas and Easter. They even have ones available for birthdays and football season.

For more information, visit There. you can view all digital files before purchase.

By Monica Barrett

WOW received the AtmostFX system with a request that the magazine would review the projector and decorations.


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