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DIY Screen, 4:3 and 16:9 masking

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by AMc, Jul 14, 2004.

  1. AMc

    AMc
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    Hi Guys,

    Finally got my first PJ - Philips Bogart (1024x769, 800 Lumens 1800:1 contrast DLP) :clap:

    I've got an IKEA blind and mounted on a temporary arrangement of a batten and a counter weight. It sits on top of the centre on the TV and rolls down in front. The TV and stand look like this (blind not pictured)
    [​IMG]

    I thought that my roller arrangement would work for a while and would have the advantage that I could make a 4:3 screen or a 16:9 screen depending on what I was watching. Unfortunately it's hard to get the fabric to roll and unroll evenly so I'm thinking on canabalising the blind to build a fixed screen to go in front of the TV when I need it.

    I've checked various threads about DIY screens and I'm fairly happy with how to build it from a timber frame.

    1 - Would you recommend making the screen oversize to allow for a black border or simply make the screen the exact size?

    2 - I'm thinking of using an open frame (180cm x 135cm) and having a 4:3 ratio on one side and masking the other down to 16:9 (180cm x 101cm) with black cloth. One side of the cloth is less suitable than the other for projecting which I'm prepared to live with for now - any other obvious flaws?

    3 - I think in the end I'll buy a 4:3 portable screen - am I wasting my time here and I should bite (another) bullet and spend £150+ on something now?

    Any constructive comments would be appreciated. Thanks!
     
  2. AMc

    AMc
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    More Q's
    - What dimensions of timber will I need to have enough rigidity to stretch the fabric?
    - Any recommendations for what to buy that won't warp?
     
  3. Iaind

    Iaind
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    Andy,

    My screen is a canablised (sp?) ikea blackout blind. I wanted to buy the 2 metre wide screen but they wouldn't have them in stock for another 7 weeks, so I bought a 1.5m wide one. Initially I was going to mount it horizontally and by a somewhat Heath Robinsonish gadget stretch it tight across the wall.

    Didn't work! So I bought some timber from Bees and Ques and created a frame approximately 6ft wide by 4ft high. I used triangle corner braces for additional strength and (hopefully) making the screen square. Also put in a central strut for added strength/stop middle sagging. This sits on the wall by means of 2 offcuts of wood screwed to the wall and the screen then just sits on top of them - obviously these are hidden by the screen itself.

    Trimmed the screen all round with black velvet (1½ metres x 1m wide - £24'ish). This was cut into 25cm x 1m strips which were then attatched to the screen. I used extra strong (allegedly) double sided carpet tape, but this is not that strong so I might reattatch using copydex. The lower border is 30cm deep as a 'contrast'.

    I used 270mm x 150mm (approx) wood and it was fine - the only thing to watch is that the wood isn't warped or twisted. It came in packs of either 4 or 6 (can't remember which) for about £5.00 (sorry these are so vague but I can't remember my name some times so what I did last week is virtually impossible). The blind was cut off the roller and stretched over the frame, attatched using both staples and small panel nails that I had left over from building some units.

    Screen looks okay (but not stunning) and although there are a few creases in it, they don't really show up when watching a film.

    If I did it again I would try and make the fabric a bit tighter and get a longer piece of velvet and hem it properly (well, okay, not me but my mum!). Overall though, I am very pleased with my DIY screen as (velvet excluded as I still have loads left) it only cost me about £20!

    I don't have a digital camera to take some photos, but I will see if I can borrow one and get some shots up onto this site.

    Regards
    Iain
     
  4. AMc

    AMc
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    Hi Iain,

    Thanks very much for the information - Are you sure you really mean 270mm x 150mm - that's 10" x 6"? Maybe 27mm x 15mm or 1" x 0.6"?

    One of the things that really annoyed me when chosing my projector was everyone quoting throw in metres and screen sizes in inches. I mentally work in metric so I have real problems visualising a 6' screen or a 100" diagonal.

    I had to buy the 160cm blind because they had no 200cm ones in Thurrock either:( I would have waited but my partner would have killed me if I suggested we come back again after trudging all the way out there specially :( Looks like it doesn't matter in the end anyway.

    (If I'm right about the decimal place) I think I have some spare timber in the basement I can use. If push comes to shove I can always dismantle it and rebuild with stronger wood.

    I'll check out the local fabric shops for velvet and get a length as long as the screen if I can.

    Which side of the blind did you use, the brigher white or the slightly duller one?

    Cheers!

    AMc

    P.S. It's spelt "cannibalised" according to http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=canabalise.
     
  5. AMc

    AMc
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    FWIW I built my screen on Saturday...

    I decided to risk using some 33mm x 15mm wood that I had kicking around - I figured I can always build a sturdier frame and reuse the fabric if this warps.
    I used mitres and L brackets in the corners to hold in place. I didn't have a large enough flat area to do the woodwork in, that lead to a fair bit of swearing trying to get the thing square - if you can do all the work on the floor!

    I constructed a 4:3 frame that was 180cm x 135cm + 3.3cm all round (the width of the timber) intending to use that as a slim black border. After the baby was in bed and my partner had gone out :) I dismantled the blind and laid it out in the lounge.
    Then I brought the frame up from the basement and discovered if it was a few centimetres bigger it wouldn't have gone up the stairs :)
    At this point I discovered that the blind fabric wasn't actually 200cm long, more like 185cm :(. I unpicked the wooden bar at the bottom of the blind but the holes that left behind looked like they'd make great perforations when I tried to tension the fabric :( so time to rethink.
    Back to the basement and I cut down the frame to 175cm x 131.25cm :) - well somewhere near that. Then I relayed the frame over the fabric. Following these instructions as best I could http://www.rexart.com/stretching.html. I gently tensioned the fabric holding it in place with brass drawing pins in the back of the frame.
    After about 15 minutes of work I had the fabric fairly taut and I trimmed off the excess fabric from the back - it cuts really easily with a craft knife. I had intended to staple the fabric in place after getting it taut with drawing pins, but they were holding and I figured I might want to restretch it later.
    I put the screen up and noticed that there are some minor wrinkles in the middle of the long sides at the top and bottom. I missed the part about temporarily tacking the corners once you have the first pins in the centre of the long and short sides -this may well have been the problem.

    I added another battern in the centre cut a couple of millimetres longer than the gap so it tensions the frame. It also adds a handy place to hold the frame and somewhere for the frame to rest on the front of the TV.

    I powered up the PJ and the wrinkles aren't noticeable. If I could I would redo the stretching with two people. I'll probably buy a proper collapsable screen at some point in the future but for £20 it's very hard to beat!

    I got the PJ mounted on the wall yesterday, inverted and a couple of metres up the wall on a speaker bracket. I need to align it a little more carefully as the 4:3 image is about 2 inches too low, but the image fills the frame completely with virtually no overspill.

    We watched DareDevil last night and I was very pleased indeed - I thought the film was a bit poor (impluse buy) but the big screen at home takes some beating!
     
  6. Iaind

    Iaind
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    andy,

    You had exactly the same issues as me with wrinkles (the screen, not mine). Like you, if I could I would restretch the canvas with two people. And getting the thing square ---- all comments deleted ----- !

    It is impressive though, all the mates I have had round for a viewing are well impressed.

    Iain
     
  7. AMc

    AMc
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    So far only me and my partner have been treated to the full 'Odeon in the lounge' experience. I'm looking forward to showing off to some friends and family soon!
    I also need to do some work on light control in the lounge so I can start a film before 8.30pm.
     

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