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Screen Questions for Compaq MP2800 or Proxima 9210

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by Dominatus, Oct 27, 2005.

  1. Dominatus

    Dominatus
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    Hello all,

    I have just purchased a couple of used projectors, a Proxima 9210 and a Compaq MP2800. I have been experimenting with screen sizes on a white sheet (my room is roughly 16 feet by 18 feet) Any suggestions on screen size? (I am assuming 4:3) I can place the projector up to 18 feet from the screen.

    I would like to build a fixed screen (my ceilings are 9 feet) but I am confused as to whether I should paint hardboard, use blackout material and build a frame, or use some type of thin plastic sheeting that can be purchased at home improvement centers I have read about.

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance for your time!
     
  2. Gary Lightfoot

    Gary Lightfoot
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    I have used the frame and blackout cloth method for a few years now, and I've always been happy with the results. You can also stretch/staple genuine screen material across the frame (over the BO cloth as well), and save a lot of money as the frame is often the most expensive part of a fixed screen.

    I've some pics on my web-site if you're interested.

    Gary.
     
  3. Dominatus

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    Thanks Gary! This is my first jump into projected video so I wanted to get some info from the guys with the knowledge to hopefully avoid some common pitfalls. I'll check some local cloth merchants for BO material and build a frame. Are either of these projectors better than the other? I see very little difference when projected against a white sheet. (althought the proxima has alot more inputs)
     
  4. Gary Lightfoot

    Gary Lightfoot
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    Hi Dom,

    I found some blackout cloth in Allders for £5 per yard (by 54ins IIRC), so 3 yards should be enough for a 7ft wide 16:9 screen. With the wood and cloth it should cost under £30 depending on how much the screws/staples etc cost.

    If you want to see what size is fine, you could project onto a wall or sheet (if its big enough) and see how big you can go before it gets too dim or you are too close and can see the pixel grid (screendoor) for example.

    Neither of those projectors are ideal for video, having a low contrast ratio for one thing, but they will do to get you started and used to a big picture. You may find that you start to see where improvements can be made and when you're ready to upgrade (and perhaps have read up some more on the forum), you'll have a better idea of what to look for.

    You may find you get an even better image from a PC if it has a good graphics card like a Radeon or Nvidia, rather than using a normal DVD player.

    It can be a very interesting and fun hobby as well as entertaining of course, so welcome to the club and I hope you enjoy it as much as we do. :)

    Gary
     
  5. Dominatus

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    Thanks again Gary! Im very excited to get started on this. Im gonna go shopping this weekend. :)

    One more thing, my sources will be a DVD player, an Xbox, and a PC. Im guessing my projectors don't do 16:9 native, so this means I will have the black bars top and bottom when I show a 16:9 movie on a 4:3 screen?

    I am currently using a white sheet on the wall for a screen, and it appears the optimal width in my room (without losing too much picture quality) is about 80" or so wide, so if my understanding of these aspect ratios and my math are correct, my screen would be 80"w by 60"h? (or 100" diagonal) Leaving me with a 7 or 8 inch bar at top and bottom in 16:9 mode. (16:9 movie would be 80"w by 45"h)

    thanks again for all your help!
     
  6. Gary Lightfoot

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    Yes, if you go for a 4:3 screen all other aspect ratios will have black bars at the top and bottom. You may find that the blackout cloth will limit your 4:3 size if it is just 54" wide, so you could probably get a 66" x 49.5" with it, allowing for a couple of inches for stretching over the frame. You may be able to get BO cloth in wider formats but I haven't seen any myself. A different material may be better if it comes in a more suitable size, so try to get something that doesn't allow too much light through, as that is wasted light. 80 x 60 is correct for 4:3. It is possible to use a 4:3 pj with a 16:9 screen if you want, but to make sure the top and bottom of the image doesn't get used will take the use of a PC or an external scaler unless the pj iteslf can force everything into 16:9. As a start 4:3 will get you going though and you will soon find what suits your requirements etc as you get used to it all.

    Is it going into a dedicated room or a lounge or something? Having darker walls will help with image quality.

    Gary.
     
  7. Dominatus

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    It will be going into my family room. I will have some control over the wall color, but the room will not be dedicated to just home theater so I will be somewhat limited.

    I am sort of mentally planning the frame, is there any reason not to make my frame adjustable in order to stretch the cloth? I am considering using threaded rods (2 horizontal and 2 vertical) and use them to spread the frame (or square it up if needed) I assume that having stretched cloth could over time warp the frame, I am hoping the threaded rods would allow me to compensate for any changes in the wood shape.I guess some experimentation is in order. :)
     
  8. Gary Lightfoot

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    Wood can warp and change shape, but I've never had a problem with it to be honest. The threaded rod idea might work OK, but after stretching and stapling I've not had any problems with wrinkles appearing or other problems. If your idea works then please post pics etc so we can all see how you made it etc. :)

    If you look at the screens I've made on my web-site, you'll see I used a center brace to stop any bowing, and as the wood is 69mm x 18mm that reduces the chances of that happening compared to smaller dimensioned wood.

    Gary.
     
  9. Dominatus

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    After reading your response and re-thinking it again last night, I have decided to *not* go with threaded rod, I do plan to use a fairly heavy lumber for the frame, with center supports and use additional wood as a "clamp" to hold the screen material instead of stapeling, this should make it easier to re-stretch if I need to. I will probably just attach additional boards and clamp the screen material down between the frame and the extra boards using bolts and a T-nut (I'll post some pics if it works like I hope it will :)

    Also, is there any reason not to go ahead and make a 16:9 screen? I was assuming I could make it 16:9, then hang some curtains on both sides to narrow it to 4:3, then when I upgrade my PJ, I can just open the curtains further and have 16:9. Does this make sense to do?

    I managed to get some screen material last night after work for $5.00/yard. So I bought 3 yards just in case. I plan to also make some velvet or some other heavy material curtains to open and close over the screen. (mostly for drama, and to shrink my screen size until I upgrade PJs)
     
  10. Gary Lightfoot

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    I had a 4:3 pj before the one I have now, and used it exclusively in 16:9 mode. I rarely watched 4:3 material but when I did I could view it as 16:9 with the top and bottom cropped of, or in non-linear stretch mode, just like you can on a normal widescreen tv. 2.35:1 movies will have black bars top and bottom. There's no reason why you can't have 4:3 'pillarboxed' in the center of the 16:9 either, and that's possibly preferable depending on the content (i.e soaps etc should be kept smaller than movies to increase the visual impact of movies etc).

    Gary.
     
  11. Dominatus

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    I'm gonna start working on it this weekend, I'll post some pics and link them here when I'm all done. Thanks a million for sharing your knowledge Gary, it is much appreciated!
     

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