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Electric curtains (wrt screen masking)

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by buns, Aug 17, 2003.

  1. buns

    buns
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    Im not actually doing this little project now, but i was thinking about it so thought i might get some views.

    I have been having a look for masking systems to mask from 1.85 to 2.35:1. Really the only things I have found are electric screens from stewart and dalite..... but both are expensive beyond my budget for a long time..... and anyhow, i like a fixed screen.

    I havent found any diy solutions on the net as yet and im assuming there will be few which would be automated as i would like. So I have been thinking up my own ideas. Easiest would be a roller blind which could be painted black..... but this would involve having to be able to bottom align both ratios, something which i havent found possible with my pc, so this would involve my having to shift the picture every time i shifted ratio, not really automated in the end!

    Alternatively, instead of this vertical masking, how about horizontal? Most of my films seem to be 2.35:1 ratio anyway, so why not start with this ratio of screen and use horizontal masking to mask to 1.85:1 (and even 1.33:1)? You could use a motorised curtain track system whereby you could set preset times for the motor being on in order to position the curtain at the correct position. Admittely there could be hassle with the cutain not hanging vertically, but if you sewed a metal rod into the end it should then hang properly..... does anyone think im wrong or have a better idea?

    thanks!

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  2. ReTrO

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  3. owenw

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  4. theritz

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    Have a look at this thread - I've installed variable masking in an all black screen wall and it's the best upgrade - very simple to implement too.

    I wouldn't be inclined to have horizontal masking - without doing the math, I reckon the 1.85:1 screen that would result would be too small for my liking, also you'd need to seriously re-zoom the image and probably adjust the PJ height etc. to maintain the picture in the screen placement.


    Sean G.
     
  5. buns

    buns
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    Thanks Sean.

    I find that the majority of my watching is of 2.35:1 material, hence it makes sense that this is my biggest ratio. As far as having to rezoom, yes it is a consideration but im hoping that crt will be flavour of the day and i thought that it was possible to have preset memories which I would be able to switch between.

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  6. ReTrO

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    Even with a nice CRT correctly configured for the various aspect ratios, it still looks better with nice proper black blanking.

    Should be a fun project.
     
  7. buns

    buns
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    Oh the idea would be still to blank the crt..... why i mention the crt is because it would allow me to do the native 21:9 screen and mask to 16:9

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  8. ReTrO

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    I was thinking about you not having any native 21:9 sources, but I guess you will be rescaling your sources to a 21:9 output on your PC, or some way like that to get around it.

    Anyhoos it sounds pretty fun. :)
     
  9. buns

    buns
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    ok yeah...... the I would simply accept that there would be overspill above and below, that would be caught by the masking though. As you say, there is th possibility that i could run a 21:9 resolution, then all i would have to do is overscan the image to the point where i lose the bars which would be produced with 16:9...... but it needs me to see on a crt if it would work, i know on my sanyo i cant get it to accept a 21:9..... certainly not work terribly well when i can get it.

    I think i remember someone else on here was a advocate of 21:9...... just cant find who it is yet! :D

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  10. ReTrO

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    Sounds like you're gonna need a nice HD source like a D-Theater deck also, to get a nice high res picture at 21:9.:D
     
  11. buns

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    so you think i should start this up as a business idea and get hold of a 1209 and hd source so i can test it.... i like that thinking :D

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  12. buns

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    Im back to this little project! With a z2 on the way I needed to change the room around to accomodate a much shorter throw than previously and that has mean moving the screen to a new location. So instead of the idea i previously suggested, im going to do it using (possibly) the usual side masking and then have 2 extra broad masks top and bottom which will be nounted on runners above and below the screen surface. Connect with a pulley system and I can just pull the masks into the appropriate position. I havent yet managed to work out how I will create stops at the right spots, but i figure this wont be too difficult.

    The step im tentatively looking into is automating...... I dont know too much about this sort of thing but im looking into linear stepper motors or pneumatic pistons...... the problem with both is the control mechanism...... and whether it is worth it, i think not unless i can actually remotely control it.

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  13. theritz

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    You could look into using X10 - afaik they have motors which can be controlled using X10, so you could program the commands into a learning remote................. I came across something about these some time ago - can't find the link (Oh the joys of format/reinstall when you don't save all your Favourites.....)

    IIRC, the X10 motors can be set to stop a number of times - this would facilitate 1.85:1 -> 2.35:1, and some of the more obscure ratios, if you were so inclined.

    I'm happy (for now :D ....) with my manual system - if you're down this end of the country you'd be welcome to come have a look and a natter.......


    Sean.
     
  14. buns

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    Thanks Sean,I didnt know there was actually an x10 mortor, all i had seen previously was a motor controller thing, finding an appropriate motor at an appropriate cost isnt so simple! I will have a look and see if i can find what you are referring to.

    As you say, manual is pretty good, so what if you have to stand up and roll into place every so often, the masking is there, thats the important thing! Mind you, seeing the fancy install pics around and abouts, it is hard to deny the appeal of just being able to press a button and the aspect changing all on its own! Like you, i probably wont do it for now, but if i found a good inexpensive way of doing it, im sure my mind could be changed!

    Oh and thanks for the offer! If Im down i'll sure take you up on it, and likewise you would be welcome if you are up my way! Well once I get it all working again! :D

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  15. theritz

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    No probs - having it automated is pretty far down my order of priorities - just having it in the first place really is the dogs danglies.

    I'll look forward to seeing you if you get the chance to visit, make sure to PM me.


    Sean.
     
  16. buns

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    Dont worry, id never just show up! :D We should arrange a mini event Ireland style! :D

    People really dont seem to appreciate how big an upgrade masking is...... i cant think of any upgrade at any money that will give such huge increase in apparent contrast!

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  17. Kramer

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    Bias lighting :p
     
  18. buns

    buns
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    low level reds?

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  19. buns

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    Having got the stuff I needed together in Belfast..... well only kind of..... i went net searching. Believe it or not, finding plain material is really hard, black is even harder and velvet is totall impossible! So I ended up with something a bit shiny which im not so pleased about, so if it bugs me in use...... im going to get some black velvet from here .

    Anyhow, more to the point of my thread, the x10 motor looks good, will easily handle the weight, can be contolled tostart and stop in various locations which is what i want. The only thing that would make me stop is that I cant find what happens when it turns off..... does the motor lock or at least stay rigid? If it doesnt and just goes slack, then it is pretty useless to me. Im assuming it will probably do something in between, but it would be important to find out exactly where in between it would be. It isnt that expensive though (much less were you in the US), £90 or so for the motor and power supply, but then you need to figure in remote controlling it so its more likely to be up towards £150 to get it working.

    Another thing I came across, electric curtains..... x10 controlled again....... about £300 odds for a 3m rail..... i have images of getting both going..... get the masking going as suggested and a pair of curtains to cover it over when out of use. Press power on, 20 seconds later, curtains open revealing the screen, then press aspect control when film starts to mask down to scope if necessary...... sounds pretty good for less than £500 outlay.

    Found the things in the UK here .

    All the best

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  20. Boris Blank

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    How did the black velvet turn out Buns? Was it the right stuff?
    Thanks,
    paul
     
  21. buns

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    Paul,

    First off..... I am still with the slightly shiny stuff..... I havent had a projector to play with and currently im in germany so wouldnt have a chance anyhow. Without the projector, the screen itself look really very good, there isnt that much reflection from the black.

    Honestly, Im not entirelz satisfied..... a few minor issues came up that make the finish not quite professional (namely how to attach material to wood) and also the pulley isnt quite as smooth as I would like, though is still very nice!

    The plan is to get it all working and I will have christmas to assess whether it is worth another couple of days work to repeat the procedure with runners and black velvet, not to mention a lot of little things you learn along the way!

    I´ll try to get a few pics if i can borrow the department camera and show you what it looks like.

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  22. Boris Blank

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    I know exactly what you mean, scrap the lot and start again or perservere onwards? To be honest, it sounds like minor niggles rather than major problems so might be well worth just trying to sort it out once and for all!

    Hope it goes well.

    Interested in seeing your masking though, as I may go to a constant height variable width screen at some point.

    I'm looking at getting the velvet to reduce the size of my screen from 8ft wide down to 7ft just to see how it looks.
    Paul
     
  23. buns

    buns
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    Exactly..... In my mind I have images of how to do it really well and then get it automated into the bargain...... but having now been projectorless for almost 3 weeks now, Im more worried about watching than upgrading!

    I had considered the constant height thing when looking at crt (before i realised i couldnt make it fit). Having done a vertical mask, I think that it might be easier..... if you mask horizontally with a curtain like design, you will likely have guide rails only at the top and rely on gravity to keep a straight drop. Or if you have runners top and bottom you will have to figure some way of making them work in tandem. Compare this to a vertical system and the ends of the masking bar will automaticall run in tandem because gravity forces them to! Assuming it doesnt get sticky like I have learned! :D

    I´d still love to know if those x19 motors lock when turned off....... cant seem to find that info anywhere! :(

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  24. ReTrO

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    Moved on request to here.
     
  25. buns

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    Ta Ric

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