Question Fixed or Electric Projector screen in living room setup

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by Spee2k, Oct 3, 2017.


    1. Spee2k

      Spee2k
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      Hi Guys,

      Got a bit of a dilemma and would appreciate some advise.

      Now I am aware this is rather subjective, but I'm currently torn between going for a fixed or electric drop down projector screen for my living room setup.

      I have just projected unto a white wall for a couple years now, but I'm thinking of upgrading my trusty Benq W1110 to an Epson Eh-TW6700, and want to get the best experience for my money.

      I know a fixed screen is not the most aesthetic of choices, but I live alone and I'm thinking if this would be a better shout than an electric drop down screen.

      I intend to use the projector for all my viewing needs ( although I did toy with an idea of a Tv + Projector set up but I have a tv in the bedroom and cant justify having 2 x TV's and a projector in a one bed apartment ).

      I have attached a photo of my set up. Please feel free to chime in with your experiences and or advise.

      cheers
       

      Attached Files:

    2. Russ 66

      Russ 66
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      Fixed is always better and generally cheaper.
       
    3. Spee2k

      Spee2k
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      But would you have one hanging in your living room?
       
    4. KelvinS1965

      KelvinS1965
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      I went fixed, with an acoustically transparent screen and the speakers behind. I bought the material brand new still in the box off the classifieds, so it was under £300 with a DIY frame compared to about £3k for the same material on an electric drop down screen.

      I still use a TV for most day to day viewing, so I put mine on an electric life so it moves out of the way of the screen rather than the other way round. I've got stuff still to finish as I've been busy outside of AV this year, but once the last bits are done it should be less obvious when the TV in use.

      Front of room TV mode.jpg

      Set for projector use:
      Front of room PJ mode pelmet on.jpg

      Viewing mode (I turn the red exiting lighting off during the film of course):
      Front of room PJ mode exit lights only.jpg
       
    5. Russ 66

      Russ 66
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      Yes I would, would my wife no :rotfl:

      Personally a I think a black velvet framed screen would look awesome.

      Unfortunately I can't as I need a TV as well in the room so an electric screen is my only option until I start on my dedicated room in the next couple of years.
       
    6. panman40

      panman40
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      Sounds serious :eek::D
       
    7. Spee2k

      Spee2k
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      That's a lovely setup you've got there sir :thumbsup:.
       
    8. Spee2k

      Spee2k
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      You see in my case I'm considering one of those edge free or frameless type fixed screens - specifically the Cinema 3D grey screen from the Elite Screen Aeon range. Just looking for something to blend into the wall if that makes sense
       
    9. jfinnie

      jfinnie
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      I have a slightly unorthodox setup. Fixed frame behind a roller blind to hide it in daytime. I did this initially because I was looking for an electric ReAct screen and happened across a fixed frame variant for little money. But now I've done it I'm planning a more substantial setup with a larger 2.35:1 ReAct behind a decorative blind with a TV coming out of the cabinet in front of the screen. I really like the fixed screen option.

      There is a lot to like about fixed screens:
      You get more screen width for a given size.
      if you get velvet borders they are super black and really enhance the image.
      No issues with motor noise for neighbours.
      No issues with screen tension, it should be perfectly flat.
      Cheaper.
      Easy to install.

      Couple of piccies of the current setup:
       

      Attached Files:

    10. unreel

      unreel
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      @jfinnie is 10 seconds of motor noise really a concern for neighbours, I would have thought that some speakers and a great big sub for a few hours at a time would pose more of a concern for the neighbours :D. I do however agree a fixed screen is my preference and much less chance of ripples.:smashin:
       
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    11. Dans1210

      Dans1210
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      Im in the same boat, dedicated room but i need to accommodate a 65" oled for gaming with a large screen for movies, i was considering a tab tension but kelvins solution looks great!
       
    12. Spee2k

      Spee2k
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      Liking the setup !. What size is your screen ? And where did you purchase the roller blind please? If only there was a way to get a canvas or painting on the blinds to conceal the screen when not in use ..
       
    13. jfinnie

      jfinnie
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      The screen is what turned up at the time, which is a 16:10 160cm x 100cm visible ReAct ambient light screen. The aspect is a bit odd for home theatre but it was very cheap. I use the Lumagen processor to crop a little of the image at the edges to fit better. In the fullness of time I'll re-configure the cupboards to fit a 1.9m wide 2.35:1 screen in.

      The blind was from Blinds4UK. It arrived in a few days and was custom made to size. If I recall it cost a whole £40 or so (it was the cheapest white blackout fabric just to try the concept). It has a slight wave to it (they sent it out twice and it was the same both times) - I think a bit better fabric would be better. I got several smaller, nicer blinds at the same time (which all cost a little more than this one) and they are better.

      There are companies that can custom print a blind for you. Might be an interesting idea. When I get round to revamping my setup I'll probably go for some kind of slight pattern.

      One interesting thing about having a blind that drops down in front of the screen. You can actually use it as a "mask" for 2.35:1 content if you have the ability to shift the image down the screen. The shadow cast by the blind being offset from the screen gives a really quite dark top masking area (at least with the grey ReAct surface). Unless you tried it you wouldn't believe it.
       
    14. 494930

      494930
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      Your situation sounds the same as mine. Living on my own and use projector for all my viewing.
      IMG_20170417_180236.jpg

      I don't think I'd be happy without a black frame around the screen though. Sounds like a minor thing, but really enhances the image. Also try to get a sample of the screen material before committing as ALR screens can cause image problems.
       
    15. Spee2k

      Spee2k
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      I will check out the blinds you mentioned- thanks for the recommendation. Also liking the idea of the masking for 2.35:1 content .
       
    16. Spee2k

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      Lovely set up there sir !.. How big is your screen ? I take it the lighting behind the screen are normal led strips? I have an ambilight TV and always thought of having a similar setup on a projector screen, but wasn't sure if it would add an immersive experience on a large screen as compared with a TV. What has been your experience with this?
      Finally, what kind of comments do you get from visitors when they walk in and see the screen up and centre in your lounge?
       
    17. jfinnie

      jfinnie
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      I can see the OP has his screen quite close to the projector due to room layout. This is known to cause hot-spots on material like ReAct3. Draper / Euroscreen recommend a throw of 1.8x (so PJ lens front should be 1.8x the screen width from the screen surface). If you know the distance between projector and screen you can work out the "safe" screen width by dividing the distance by 1.8.
       
      Last edited: Oct 4, 2017
    18. 494930

      494930
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      Thank you. The screen is 2.15m wide 2.05:1 ratio (CIA), equivalent to 97" 16:9 just not as tall.

      Yes the lighting is just a 5m RGB LED strip. Looks quite cool when lit up but you need to switch it off for serious viewing as it hurts contrast. Nice effect for watching TV shows though.

      Everyone always comments when they see it for the first time, mainly because it's a bit unusual. Most of my friends are jealous, and wish they could do something similar. At least that's what they tell me, maybe they're just being nice, but my house is first port of call for sports events, so there must be some truth in it.
       
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    19. Navvie

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      I've gone for an in-ceiling electric screen and wall mounted TV. In hindsight, I should have gone for a fixed screen and put the TV on a lift, like @KelvinS1965. Best of both worlds IMO.
       
    20. Cherrywood

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      IMO if not having a TV in living room is ok then embrace fixed screen and be proud, it's your home at end of day.
      It would just be a faff constantly retracting screen all time if there is no real requirement - also you won't have to worry about tension etc.

      If you really don't want it being an eye sore, maybe hang it so easy to take down and store in bedroom etc. When guests are over, however i believe embracing the space is better option.
       
    21. Ben Goff

      Ben Goff
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      Do it, it's your house. If you are going to use the PJ instead of a TV why add the extra expense of a motorised screen. Living on your own, the chances are you'll leave it down all the time anyway unless you put it on a trigger.


      Neat solution. Most people want the option of the TV or screen so motorised is the best option.

      Moving the TV is a nice idea because it removes any possibility of reflections coming back from the TV, which needs to be planned for if you are going to drop an AT screen down in front of a TV.
       
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    22. Spee2k

      Spee2k
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      Thanks for the tip. I notice you have an Epson 7300. I was eyeing one myself but my room is only 3.2m long. When you consider the projector is about 40cm deep, I would only have a throw range of about 2.7m which wont give me a 92"+ screen I'm after.

      What is the distance of your projector to your 97" screen please ?

      I am considering one of these :
      Aeon Edge Free 16:9 frameless fixed frame projector screen
       
    23. 494930

      494930
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      My room is 3.3m long X 4.1m wide, so only slightly bigger than yours. The projector gives a slightly bigger image than the online calculator says.

      Also as others have noted, no point getting an electric screen if your not going to use it. I had a motorised screen with wall mounted TV at the start. One day I realised the screen hadn't moved for about 4 months, so I moved the TV to the kitchen and built the fixed frame. Fixed frame looks much better.
       
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    24. Spee2k

      Spee2k
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      I think I'm going to go down the fixed route. Just need to workout if I can get a 92" diagonal image on the Epson 7300 from roughly 2.75m odd.. Failing that , might opt for the Epson 6700 .
       
    25. 494930

      494930
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      Get the projector first, then project onto the wall and measure the image size. Buy/build a screen size to match.
       
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    26. Dans1210

      Dans1210
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      @KelvinS1965 what size is your tv? Im thinking a 65" oled might be too tall for your solution..
       
    27. KelvinS1965

      KelvinS1965
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      @Dans1210 my TV is 50" though I could squeeze in a 55" OLED if I widen the slot in the Oak top. TV is just for background viewing for me so I can live with the 50" LCD.
       
    28. geogan

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      I prefer fixed screen, or even painted screen myself. I currently use painted (with surrounding dark brown wall paint) as then I could customize it to exactly as big as I could fit on wall given projector throw in 16:9 and 2.40:1 aspect zooms. As someone above said, get your PJ set up and see exactly where and how big you can project both aspects onto wall first and then construct a viewing screen around what the PJ tells you. I'm lucky enough in current living room as I have 5m of throw from Sony PJ onto projection wall so can get it nice and big.

      Never liked the look of any white surround pull down screen - always just reminds me of looking at cheap business projector in school/work. Never looks cinema like to me.
       
    29. MikeTheBike2010

      MikeTheBike2010
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      We had the advantage of gutting the lounge when moving in so we installed a Grandview 7 foot electric tab tensioned screen which is electric and retracts into the ceiling.
      Its great fun and adds a real wow feeling to watching a film with friends.
      Weirdly my Optoma PJ 12v trigger does create some interesting "peek a boo" moments with retraction and opening but that just adds to the fun.

      Advantages
      Hides away completely
      Tab tensioning seems to work
      10 year old nephew was tricked into thinking one of us had to go upstairs and wind it down by hand!
      Frees up our old manual screen to be used in the garden for outdoor cinema party in summer (sometimes its warm enough honest)

      Disadvantages
      Cost
      No variable masking so you will see black bars top and bottom if wider than 16:9 - Im ok with this.
      Installation a tricky faff, we also had some problems with the wrong model being delivered but all was worked out.
      Its all a bit Heath Robertson for an expensive bit of kit (last flat closure is done by a bit of velcro on the roll pulling it in?)
      My friend has a painted wall (TV on a motorised lift) and to be honest I think his picture looks great too?
      In my last house I had a £100 manual pull down screen bolted to the ceiling and honestly no one even noticed it up there until it was pointed out to them (even with a string and toggle dangling down).

      Enjoy whatever you decide to do.
       
    30. Spee2k

      Spee2k
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      Thanks for all the advise guys- I very much appreciate your input.

      I now have my heart set on the Epson Eh-TW7300 especially for the lens memory feature and should be picking one up in a couple months.

      I will hold fire on the screen until I have had a chance to access what image size I can get for both 2.35: 1 movies and 16:9 sports / tv shows as this makes up about 99% of my viewing .

      Again, many thanks
       

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