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DIY screen materials in the US?

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by Camelot_One, Aug 19, 2004.

  1. Camelot_One

    Camelot_One
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    First off, let me say I've now spent the past 3 days digging through the forums here, and the amount of information I've picked up is just staggering. Amazing forum you have here.

    I just purchased the InFocus X1, which should be in my hands tomorrow. I've owned projectors in the past, though nothing high end. (think the first was a SharpVision UX10 or something like that) Pretty much I used them for kicks until the bulbs burned out, then sold them to friends dirt cheap. ALways just shot on a white wall, blown up to a floor to ceiling size...you know, everything you shouldn't do with a projector. Anyway, the one complaint I had with them was that the picture only looked decent, and I stress just DECENT, in a pitch black room. I am almost positive the Sharp was only rated for somewhere around 600 Ansi Lumens though, along with being a 640x480 early generation LCD. So I'm thinking the X1 will be more impressive.

    First question would be, I've read several threads on DIY screens, and I think that is the route I want to go. But as you guys seem to all be in the UK, any links to dealers to get supplies are useless to me. I've been searching around for US dealers, but I've come up empty. I'm hoping the reason is just that they are calling the items something slightly different here. Black out material could be....curtain something. I just don't know. FOr that matter, I can't quite figure out what this black out material everyone is talking about should look like....is it almost a vinyl type stuff, or a really thick cotton?

    And while on that topic, I'm still trying to decide if I want to go for just a 1x screen, or purchase something with more gain. The goal would be to be able to watch TV and movies with SOME ambient light, without trashing the picture quality. 90% of the time, the only two viewers watching would be directly in front of the screen, so the angle limitations shouldn't be an issue. Hot Spotting is though. But like the black out fabric, I've struck out finding ANY screen material sold on it's own here in the states.

    The closest I've come to something decent, is that Crutchfield is selling a 16:9 92" InFocus branded screen, made by Draper. Details on it are limited, but I am pretty sure its the low end Luma line, 1X gain. They want $200 for it. That might work, but paying $200 for something that will look no better than a white painted wall seems silly to me.

    Anyone have suggestions? US Dealers? Anything I've missed?

    Thanks in advance for any replies.
     
  2. Zone

    Zone
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    Welcome to the AV Forums :thumbsup: However you are quite right we are a UK based site, albeit with plenty of oversea's visitors helping make this one of the best AV/DVD/MUSIC/GAME (have I missed anything :rolleyes: ) related site's around IMO :D

    As to your particular question " Dealers state side that supply BO material" sorry I can't answer, however you do have probably the no1 AV related site there is based in the states as it is, so why not ask your question over at the AVSforums :smashin:

    If it's any help at all!
    BO material is a light proof lining for curtains, I'm sure if you asked at a curtain/bedding store they would know what you were looking for, it has (usually) a fabric "weaved" in appearance on one side and a softer more uniform appearence on the other, some materials have an almost plastic vinyl backing, thing is get the whitest possible! By the way I use the fabric side to project on to :)

    With regards your other question "material gain and ambient light" suffice to say with any/all front projection ambient light is a bad thing especially if the light is cast upon the screen, you'll simply end up with a washed out lifeless picture, simply put; darker the better ;)

    Good luck
     
  3. Camelot_One

    Camelot_One
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    Thanks for the reply, I forgot all about AVS.

    But I also got inpatient, and and built the screen using red oak 1x2s painted black for the front boarder, with standard 1x2s on the back for framing, using a 1/4" sheet of sanded ply (luan) as the screen itself. I figured this way should I want to upgrade to some actual screen material in the future, it would be a simple thing to do.

    But I am an idiot. I thought I'd planned out this projector mounting / screen building. I used the screen size calculator on the manufacturers web site to get the dimensions right on the screen, based on how much throw distance I had to work with. 12.5 feet, wall to wall, so I lopped off 2" on the screen side, and 3" for cable clearance behind the projector, calling it a 12ft. throw. I then used the middle setting (it has a zoom lense) so that I could enlarge/reduce the projected image size a little either way, just in case
    Bought all the materials, had Home Depot make all my cuts for me. Came home yesterday afternoon and started working on it

    I figured to save time, I'd paint up the screen parts, then mount the projector while the paint dried. Got the first two coats of paint on everything (bright flat white for the ply, flat black for the boarder) and set to work mounting the projector.

    For the projector mount, I picked up this wall mount TV bracket. To me, it looks almost identical to the $200 universal mount InFocus offers, but Home Depot had it for $40. I grabbed the right size machine screws to go through the mounting plate into the bottom of the projector, so it could hang upside down from it. A few minutes with the drill and I had the perfect mount. Another hour or so to get it all mounted to the wall, and the cables run to the receiver.

    The problem you ask? The calculator on the InFocus site is based on the throw distance from the lense of the projector, while my calculations were based on the back of the unit. Since the unit is backed up against a wall, I am 2ft. short on my throw distance, making the screen I built 3" too big all the way around. And naturally, it was close enough I didn't notice until I'd screwed it all together and hung it on the wall. :(
     
  4. avanzato

    avanzato
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    Look on the bright side. At least you made it too big not too small ;)

    If in the end you decide you're not happy with plain white and want to go to extra expense there are products by Goo Systems, DIY theatre etc. for painting screens with different gains.
     
  5. BIGDAZ

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    Hi, i'm new to this projector lark myself. I've just aquired an Infocas LP420 DLP. Old now I know but in very good order :) £80 bought me the pj, 40" sq screen, carry case and new spare lamp :clap: . As I want to make a larger screen I also have been scanning the net for help and advice. lumenlab.com is very useful. Mostly about DIY projectors but also a lot about screens. As this is a US site the shops, brands and lingo would be more familiar. Hope this of some help. :smashin:
     

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