1. Join Now

    AVForums.com uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Anyone use blackout material for screen?

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by jtorry, Dec 28, 2002.

  1. jtorry

    jtorry
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2001
    Messages:
    520
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Ratings:
    +1
    I have been browsing the AVSForum and some people on there have used blackout cloth (the stuff for curtains) for their screens. Has anyone on here used it and had good results? On the other forum lots of people are saying that it needs painting in order to get good results, but without a paint sprayer I can only see myself messing it up. So, would blackout material work well enough on its own? I am going to be using a Sanyo PLV-Z1 btw. Thanks.
     
  2. Gary Lightfoot

    Gary Lightfoot
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2001
    Messages:
    12,419
    Products Owned:
    1
    Products Wanted:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    Surrey. UK.
    Ratings:
    +2,083
    Yes, it'll work fine as it is, and is good value.

    I built mine for £28 - I got the cloth from Allders (£5/linear meter) , and the wood (70mm x 18mm x 2.7m £6.99 IIRC) from B&Q. I had to buy screws and staples too.

    The cloth is white one side, and an off-white on the other ( there are more than one type, so make sure you get the right one). I use the cloth side.

    After cutting two 84" pieces, and 3 shorter lengths (to make a frame height of 47.25") I drilled the wood then glued and screwed the frame together.

    You'll need someone to help you stretch the cloth over it while you staple it together, and there's a bit of a knack to it, but you can get a tight, wrinkle free finish in under two hours. :)

    I've some pics of the frame and finished screen on my website.

    Although I couldn't make a direct comparison, from memory it doesn't look any different from the proper screen I demo'd some projectors on before I bought one.

    It was meant to be temporary until I got a proper screen, but it works well, so I've kept it - I've had it for about 2 years now. :)

    Gary.
     
  3. jtorry

    jtorry
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2001
    Messages:
    520
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Ratings:
    +1
    It looks like you did a great job with your set up there. I was going to make a frame using just four sides and no centre piece. Will this be ok, as i am going to mount it on my wall? I see you have a balck wall behind the screen. Does this help?
     
  4. Gary Lightfoot

    Gary Lightfoot
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2001
    Messages:
    12,419
    Products Owned:
    1
    Products Wanted:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    Surrey. UK.
    Ratings:
    +2,083
    I used a center brace otherwise the stretched material will cause it to bow in the middle. I set the center brace slightly further back so that I didn't get a noticable lump down the center of the screen. I screwed two pices of wood to the wall so they would be central inside each half of the screen frame, and hung it on them.

    The black rear wall absorbs any light spill my 4:3 pj produces when projecting a 16:9 image. You may see a dark grey 4:3 box above and below the screen if the wall is a light colour.

    You could try it without changing the wall just to see what it's like, then maybe paint it later.

    Is this going into your lounge or a seperate/dedicated ht room?

    Gary.
     
  5. jtorry

    jtorry
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2001
    Messages:
    520
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Ratings:
    +1
    The screen is going in my bed room. I think the Sanyo PLV-Z1 has a 16:9 lens or something like that ( I have been told that is good) so would i still get the light spill? I am also making the screen frame quite thick and painted black.
     
  6. Gary Lightfoot

    Gary Lightfoot
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2001
    Messages:
    12,419
    Products Owned:
    1
    Products Wanted:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    Surrey. UK.
    Ratings:
    +2,083
    I don't think you'll get much light spill worth worrying about, but it's probably worth asking existing Z1 owners if they do.

    The fabric is stretched completely over the frame, so you won't see it - it's a good idea to make a seperate black frame around the screen though, as this'll give a sharper finish the image.

    Gary.
     
  7. Donnacha

    Donnacha
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2002
    Messages:
    7,293
    Products Owned:
    1
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    York
    Ratings:
    +3,579
    Hi,

    I bought a blackout roller blind from B&Q a while back and use that as my screen. It cost about £60 and is 6ft across. I just hung it up and lower it manully when ready to watch a film. The PJ is set up to fill the screen exactly - Its ideal for me as I'm set up in the loft and its difficult to get anything though my loft door!

    The screen is a beige / very light grey colour. It looks fine to me.

    Maybe I'll upgrade in a year or two, who knows!!?

    Cheers

    Donnacha
     
  8. Gary Lightfoot

    Gary Lightfoot
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2001
    Messages:
    12,419
    Products Owned:
    1
    Products Wanted:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    Surrey. UK.
    Ratings:
    +2,083
    My screen is in my loft too!

    Due to restricted access, I made mine up there. It'll have to be dismantled to come out, and I think it'll probably get damaged in the process, but as it was quite cheap, it's not a major loss.

    Gary
     
  9. Donnacha

    Donnacha
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2002
    Messages:
    7,293
    Products Owned:
    1
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    York
    Ratings:
    +3,579
    I had to build my futon in the loft too!! I'll never get it out without smashing it! Don't plan on leaving just yet anyway, besides the frame was only £30 from Ikea!!
     
  10. MartinCo

    MartinCo
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2001
    Messages:
    853
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Liverpool
    Ratings:
    +1
    happily using blackout blind material and a frame here.. cost about £20 to make... screen is about 7.5-8ft 16:9 equivalent.

    I just made a 3-pane window frame and stretched the material over it using the method Gary mentioned (artist frame).

    the screen when not in use just goes behind a tapestry.
     
  11. theritz

    theritz
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2002
    Messages:
    2,451
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    51
    Location:
    Ireland
    Ratings:
    +27
    Hi Jtorry,

    Between throw distance calculations, AE100/Z1 decisions and screen construction, it looks like you're doing your research thoroughly !!;)


    I see you've mentioned "16x9 lens or something like that" - I think you mean that the LCD panels in the Z1 (and AE100 and others) is 16:9.

    I've also seen mention of a 50" screen size - at that size screendoor becomes a non issue, imo, and you should make sure that you demo some projectors at that size to be sure that you'll be happy with the effect - I know that space and room size are important factors for all of us, and it is ultimately a personal choice, but I wouldn't be happy with a screen image that size - purely personal opinion. I'm limited to a screen 86" wide, and would be happy to go to 96" if I had a bigger room. Numbers mean nothing until you've seen these projectiors in action.

    The following link might help you regarding a homemade screen

    http://members.shaw.ca/danhanson/Theater/screen/screenproject.htm

    I would recommend a centre brace (mine has two) as it eliminates the likelihood of the frame warping under the tension of the screen material. If you put some thin packing pieces (small squares of 4 - 6mm plywood) between the braces and the rear surface of the screen, it prevents the braces from resting on the rear surface of the screen material. using the braces also steps the screen out from the surface of the wall its hangiing on, giving a "floating" effect.

    Good luck,


    Sean G.
     
  12. jtorry

    jtorry
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2001
    Messages:
    520
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Ratings:
    +1
    thanks for the reply. Are you saying that i should get a demo as i am having a small screen? If so why? I would have thought that a smaller screen would make a better image? I would love a bigger screen, but a 60" diagonal is as big as i can mange in my room.
     
  13. sgb

    sgb
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    I am also using blackout material - 2.5m off a 1.3m wide roll at John Lewis cost me £12. I then put in some eyelets, bought some S-shaped hooks and it hangs off the curtain pole to cover up the entire width of the curtains.

    I'm only using a 3 metre component cable into the projector and at the moment can only get a 60" diagonal image, which I must say looks fantastic. When I get around to buying a longer cable (and moving the sofa!) I'll try to use the rest of the "screen" to get an 8' image instead. Until then the projector just sits on the coffee table when being used and the picture is still miles bigger than my telly. :)

    Simon
    p.s. forgot to mention that I'm using the "back" side of the blackout material - i.e. the non-cotton side that doesn't have any weave
     
  14. theritz

    theritz
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2002
    Messages:
    2,451
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    51
    Location:
    Ireland
    Ratings:
    +27
    Jtorry,

    Lest there be any misunderstanding, I am not trying to give you a hard time over your choice of screen size !!!!:D

    When choosing a projector originally, I saw a Sony HS1 and an AE100 both demoed on a 60" diagonal screen and was not very impressed - the scale of the image did not give a very "cinematic" image. When I saw the AE100 demoed at a different location at a larger scale, its attraction for me became far more obvious - the bigger image was more "involving" interms of movie watching/whatever.

    This is only an expression of personal preference - have a look at a recent poll on screen size/seating distance to see the variety amongst members here. My suggestion to demo your choice of projector at your chosen screen size is based on my own experience. As you don't have a projector already, I think you should see one in action at the size you have chosen to ensure that you'll be happy with it.


    Good luck,


    Sean G.
     
  15. RichardH

    RichardH
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2002
    Messages:
    753
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Hertfordshire, UK
    Ratings:
    +1
    Just to add my 2p - I made a blackout cloth screen, with chunky side timers, and didn't need to put crossbraces in place. Pics here
     
  16. theritz

    theritz
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2002
    Messages:
    2,451
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    51
    Location:
    Ireland
    Ratings:
    +27
    Richard H,

    Compliments on a cracking description of how to build a screen and a very nice arrangement.


    Good Luck,


    Sean G.
     
  17. RichardH

    RichardH
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2002
    Messages:
    753
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Hertfordshire, UK
    Ratings:
    +1
    :blush:

    Just re-read it, and have spotted a load of typos - silly me.
     
  18. wtktrichards

    wtktrichards
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    Had a go at building a screen (badly) from blackout material. In the end i bought a 6ft off-white blind from Tesco's for £25. Works great and no storage problems.
     
  19. Rainfall

    Rainfall
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2002
    Messages:
    259
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Stoke-on-Trent
    Ratings:
    +14
    I too built mine from blackout material & 2" skirting board [painted matt black] it looks excellent @ 65" x 36" I did think about painting it the material Dulux Ice Storm 4 or 5 but I haven't got around to it yet, maybe this year,

    cheers Steve
     
  20. jtorry

    jtorry
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2001
    Messages:
    520
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Ratings:
    +1
    theritz - Thanks for the advice again. The problem i have is that i only have a end of a room for my screen and that end is quite narrow. A 60" diagonal is the maximum I can fit in. As this is the case is it not worth getting a projector? Is it not going to offer a more cinematic experience than a CRT 32" tele? I would love to see a demo, but where i live there is only one electrical store of any worth and if I wanted to have a viewing I would have to travel a fair way and i have no car. I am only going to be 7 or so feet from the screen so will 60" not be big enough?
     
  21. MartinCo

    MartinCo
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2001
    Messages:
    853
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Liverpool
    Ratings:
    +1
    jtorry,
    a minor point but projector screens tend to be measured width-wise, conversely TV screens by the diagonal... so a 60" diagonal pj screen would really be a 4.5 ft screen (approx).

    obviously a 60" diagonal image will be "more cinematic" than a 32" TV - if possible.

    with your choice of projector and room size, can it actually be displayed from the distance you can accomodate it in?

    how big is your room?

    you've mentioned your room width at the screen end (approx 4.5-5ft?), and you mentioned your viewing distance of 7ft, but how far back does the room actually go?

    projectorcentral has a page for working out the throw distance and produced diagonals for most projectors... have a look here http://www.projectorcentral.com/projection_calc.cfm

    think you mentioned the new Sanyo PLV-Z1.. looks like the projector would be 6-7ft away from the screen to do a 60inch diagonal 16:9 image, unless there are optional lens to change this.
     
  22. jtorry

    jtorry
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2001
    Messages:
    520
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Ratings:
    +1
    The maximum projector distance is 9'8". I could fit in a 5' wide screen with 1" black border each side.
     
  23. MartinCo

    MartinCo
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2001
    Messages:
    853
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Liverpool
    Ratings:
    +1
    I did a minor edit above if it helps any..

    so the room is 9ft 8" by 5ft or bigger?

    perhaps you have a door at the end you intend putting the projector screen... so maybe more like 9ft 8" x 7.5ft?

    worth making sure so you dont end up 7ft away from the screen with the projector very close.

    I'm sure something will be possible though.
     

Share This Page

Loading...