DIY Screen

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  • 07-22-2008, 12:25 PM
    johnny p
    DIY Screen
    Anyone have a more detailed summary of the things to buy to make your own Projection Screen?

    I purchased enough blackout Cloth to make a 100" diagonal, 16:9 screen (probably enough to make a 120" really... but I want a 100" )

    I plan on getting decent sized wood, metal support brackets to secure the corners after cutting the end at angles, then using wood slats to frame it corner-to-corner for added support..... and I plan on drilling into a slanted ceiling, and connecting "hooks" to the studs in the ceiling, then connecting hooks to the top of the frame on the screen..... then hang the screen from the hooks with chains, painted flat-black, so I have full control of how far from the floor-to-ceiling I can adjust the screen.....

    Anyone have a better method for mounting a DIY screen from a slanted Ceiling? It's an Attic room that has been converted into a bedroom, with separate room, and bathroom.... I'm going to have a 12' throw distance to get my 100" image from a Mitsubishi HC1500 projector.....

    I was thinking about putting a black border around the screen too.... but I think I'll wait until I get the screen up, and start "tweaking" before I do that.


    Anyone build a screen, and have any useful suggestions? I need room under the screen for my Center Channel, since it won't be an accoustical screen material, and I'd like to keep the center channel 36" off the ground or so...

    The screen material is at my house, I need the hardware/wood etc.... so I need to make sure I cover my bases before I go shopping. I also need to order the projector mount still.
  • 07-23-2008, 04:17 AM
    kexodusc
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by johnny p

    I was thinking about putting a black border around the screen too.... but I think I'll wait until I get the screen up, and start "tweaking" before I do that.


    Anyone build a screen, and have any useful suggestions? I need room under the screen for my Center Channel, since it won't be an accoustical screen material, and I'd like to keep the center channel 36" off the ground or so...

    The screen material is at my house, I need the hardware/wood etc.... so I need to make sure I cover my bases before I go shopping. I also need to order the projector mount still.

    I'm going to build one myself here shortly - we move in to our home early August so I suspect by the end of August I'll finish it.

    I don't have any advice for hanging it from the ceiling, but you definitely want a dark frame, I plan on using velvet/velour or some soft fabric (velveteen or whatever its called). I'll just staple it. The masking border helps increase the perceived contrast and catches any light/image spillover.

    I've seen a blackout cloth screen and it actually looked better than a DaLite screen the owner also had that was several hundred bucks, so you should be quite pleased. I was going to go that route for my first screen, but I've decided I'm going with white laminate.
    Basically following the info on the avsforums, I've ordered a 5 X 12 sheet of WilsonArt Designer White laminate - I'll frame it, apply the fabric to the frame, mount it on the wall and presto. I have a dog and cleaning pet hair should be easier for me this way.

    How high is your ceiling? You typically want your screen at least 3 feet off the floor, but too high and you'll have too aggressive an angle to look up at - depends how far back you are. You also want it to be 1 feet from the ceiling, and the projector should be in line with the top of the visible blackout cloth. There's flexibility of course but that's a good guideline.

    Your center channel can be mounted a bit lower to the floor and angled up toward your head, or if the dispersion patter is sufficient (and if it's a typical woofer-tweeter-woofer style speaker it probably is) you should be fine with the center channel angled at all, up to even 30 degrees off axis not (below your ear).

    You might want to check into the laminate - it has to be Wilsonart Designer White, but should be easily available, it's relatively cheap (but probably more than blackout cloth) but the real benefits are:
    1) very durable - easy to clean/dust
    2) about the best color/screen gain performance available for a simple DIY solution.

    Here's a link to where I found it...if you follow the thread links you'll see the color tests etc...
    http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=708240

    Good luck.
  • 07-23-2008, 05:13 AM
    GMichael
    I second Kex's idea's. I've heard nothing but good reviews for the Wilsonart laminate. It seems to make the whole process so much easier as well.

    Good choice on going with a projector. There's something special about having a 100+ screen in your home. Makes it a true "Home Theater."
    Have fun with your project.
  • 07-23-2008, 05:44 AM
    bfalls
    I thought projection screens needed some reflectivity, hence the glass beads used on the surface of some. I'm familiar with blackout curtain material, won't it take away brightness and color saturation?
  • 07-23-2008, 06:15 AM
    kexodusc
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by bfalls
    I thought projection screens needed some reflectivity, hence the glass beads used on the surface of some. I'm familiar with blackout curtain material, won't it take away brightness and color saturation?

    Blackout cloth is used in curtains to block light and is not transparent.

    Blackout material has a gain about 0.8 -1.0 (meaning equal refelectivity to standard, non-transparent white board) which is equal to any standard screen from the likes of Da-Lite, EliteScreens, etc. A lot of screen companies aim to fall between 1.0 and 1.3, but offer low gain and high gain screen options to accommodate special room lighting situations.

    Blackout cloth works best in rooms with good light control that can block high ambient light, but if there's a big window with no blinds, you might want something brighter. The nice thing about the 0.8 -1.0 gain level is the low chance of hotspotting on the screen. There's a very minor color accuracy deviation with blackout cloth but its easily fixable by adjusting the tint/color settings and falls within the tolerance ranges of most projectors anyway.

    Wilsonart Designer White laminate has a screen gain of 1.24 and measures better than a lot of sub $1000 screens, particularly in color accuracy. The higher gain is nice if ambient light is a bit of a problem.

    You can buy a $1500-$4000 screen that will of course be better than the laminate or Blackout Cloth solutions, but for under $200 to build, there's no comparison. The DIY screens are popular because they offer high performance at low cost. People have been using Blackout cloth and comparing them to sub $1000 screens for years. The last few years laminates, paints, and other construction materials have become more popular.
  • 07-23-2008, 08:54 AM
    johnny p
    I already purchased the Blackout Cloth actually..... so that's what I'm going with.... The ceiling is angled, and it's 8 feet at the highest point.... but I can attach it to the studs in the wall/ceiling at any point.

    When I make the screen, I know the dimensions of the screen, so should I just make it bigger, then make the black border as wide as I need it to be after I get the image at the best fixed position?
  • 07-23-2008, 09:08 AM
    kexodusc
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by johnny p
    I already purchased the Blackout Cloth actually..... so that's what I'm going with.... The ceiling is angled, and it's 8 feet at the highest point.... but I can attach it to the studs in the wall/ceiling at any point.

    When I make the screen, I know the dimensions of the screen, so should I just make it bigger, then make the black border as wide as I need it to be after I get the image at the best fixed position?

    I would plan your screen/frame to be the size you want, at the aspect ratio you want, so if it's 16:9 you just do a bit of math to get the actual white screen dimensions - then adjust your frame design to surround that area.
    Here's one of the best described BOC screens I've seen that incorporates a frame:
    http://members.shaw.ca/danhanson/The...eenproject.htm
    You can apply the black fabric several ways but that should get you started.
  • 07-23-2008, 09:29 AM
    GMichael
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by kexodusc
    Blackout cloth is used in curtains to block light and is not transparent.

    Blackout material has a gain about 0.8 -1.0 (meaning equal refelectivity to standard, non-transparent white board) which is equal to any standard screen from the likes of Da-Lite, EliteScreens, etc. A lot of screen companies aim to fall between 1.0 and 1.3, but offer low gain and high gain screen options to accommodate special room lighting situations.

    Blackout cloth works best in rooms with good light control that can block high ambient light, but if there's a big window with no blinds, you might want something brighter. The nice thing about the 0.8 -1.0 gain level is the low chance of hotspotting on the screen. There's a very minor color accuracy deviation with blackout cloth but its easily fixable by adjusting the tint/color settings and falls within the tolerance ranges of most projectors anyway.

    Wilsonart Designer White laminate has a screen gain of 1.24 and measures better than a lot of sub $1000 screens, particularly in color accuracy. The higher gain is nice if ambient light is a bit of a problem.

    You can buy a $1500-$4000 screen that will of course be better than the laminate or Blackout Cloth solutions, but for under $200 to build, there's no comparison. The DIY screens are popular because they offer high performance at low cost. People have been using Blackout cloth and comparing them to sub $1000 screens for years. The last few years laminates, paints, and other construction materials have become more popular.

    Somebody's been doing a bit of research I see.
  • 07-23-2008, 10:19 AM
    kexodusc
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by GMichael
    Somebody's been doing a bit of research I see.

    Actually...a lot of research supplemented by a bit of real world field experiments.
    You have taught me well, Jedi Master I am ready for the Trials ...:thumbsup:

    I even explored doing my own DIY design that I haven't seen or heard anywhere else (though I'm sure has been done by now) - some acoustically transparent screen material on top of rigid fiberglass for acoustic treatment purposes - unfortunately the transparent screen material is too costly and/or underperforms visually, so I'll have to live with a large, flat, reflective surface after all. Laminate it is...
  • 07-23-2008, 11:03 AM
    GMichael
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by kexodusc
    Actually...a lot of research supplemented by a bit of real world field experiments.
    You have taught me well, Jedi Master I am ready for the Trials ...:thumbsup:

    I even explored doing my own DIY design that I haven't seen or heard anywhere else (though I'm sure has been done by now) - some acoustically transparent screen material on top of rigid fiberglass for acoustic treatment purposes - unfortunately the transparent screen material is too costly and/or underperforms visually, so I'll have to live with a large, flat, reflective surface after all. Laminate it is...

    Is this the part where the student surpasses the teacher?
    If I had it to do over, I'd go with the laminate too.

    OP,

    BO cloth is a good option as well. Start in the middle and work your way around to the edges. It's the same way pool felt is stretched onto a billiards table. Make sure you get it good and tight.
    There are many ways to hang them. As long as it doesn't fall, you got it right.
    It will be heavy, so make sure you catch the studs.
  • 07-23-2008, 11:22 AM
    kexodusc
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by GMichael
    Is this the part where the student surpasses the teacher?
    If I had it to do over, I'd go with the laminate too.

    Doubtful...it's just fresh in my mind because I'm still in pre-purchase mode...when it comes to setting up a projector, figuring out screen sizes, etc, you've got me covered - at least until I get a few more hours in on one.

    Johnny P - what size ya going with?
  • 07-23-2008, 11:28 AM
    GMichael
    1 Attachment(s)
    Soon you'll be looking at:
  • 07-23-2008, 12:51 PM
    johnny p
    I'm planning on keeping it down to a 100" 16:9 screen..... although 130" or so is tempting!!!! I think I'll be a little cramped, so I'm going to set up a 12' throw distance.
  • 07-24-2008, 04:05 AM
    kexodusc
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by johnny p
    I'm planning on keeping it down to a 100" 16:9 screen..... although 130" or so is tempting!!!! I think I'll be a little cramped, so I'm going to set up a 12' throw distance.

    I hear ya...I still haven't decided on what size I'm going with. Everything I've read suggests 92" is the way to go for me but I find myself resisting the urge to go bigger.

    I'll be sitting about 10 - 11 feet away but I could back it up a little I suppose? But to what end if the perspective stays the same as I sit further back while increasing size?

    Damn this Y chromosome....
  • 07-24-2008, 04:09 AM
    kexodusc
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by GMichael
    Soon you'll be looking at:

    :arf:

    Don't think I'll be able to talk the wife into letting me put a 2nd one in the bedroom though.

    GM's got an 83" screen mounted in his bathroom too!
  • 07-24-2008, 05:25 AM
    GMichael
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by kexodusc
    :arf:

    Don't think I'll be able to talk the wife into letting me put a 2nd one in the bedroom though.

    GM's got an 83" screen mounted in his bathroom too!

    That IS my bathroom. LOL.

    The 92"er in the bedroom was because of her insisting on a huge mirror in the only good spot for a TV. I had no choice but to go with the remote controlled screen there. Now we both get what we want in that room.
    Women. You just got to know how to play them. Make them think that it's their idea and you can have anything you want.
  • 07-25-2008, 09:28 AM
    johnny p
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by GMichael
    I had no choice but to go with the remote controlled screen there. Now we both get what we want in that room.
    Women. You just got to know how to play them. Make them think that it's their idea and you can have anything you want.

    That's not what she told me.... :ihih:

    Just kidding of course.... my wife would never go for a projector in the bedroom!!!!!!! lucky you!!!!

    So.... I've got more questions..... Regarding that DIY screen you posted.... the guy seems to have stapled the screen to the back of the frame, and wrapped the frame in velvet..... but wouldn't I get a better screen if I pulled the screen material over the front of the frame, and staple it to the back???? It'd probably keep it's "taughtness" better that way right???? then I was thinking about using this to frame it once it was done...

    http://www.buildyourownprojectionscr...atalog/i5.html

    thoughts????
  • 07-25-2008, 10:43 AM
    kexodusc
    I suppose you could do that too and get a nice 3" border all around. Over time the cloth is likely to sag or loosen up a bit and may need tightening with new staples or whatever. The only risk I can think of to what you propose is the black borders being pulled off border as the screen is adjusted. Not a big deal, and it may never come to that?
  • 08-12-2008, 12:02 PM
    johnny p
    UPDATE:::::::::

    I went with a 110" 16:9 screen..... it looks great (as a screen... the projector is in the box still :) ) I will add a border, making it 106" viewing size, and I increased the throw distance to 14' or so.
  • 08-12-2008, 12:06 PM
    GMichael
    It should work good. Don't forget to post pictures.

    How far back do you sit again?
  • 08-13-2008, 07:58 AM
    johnny p
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by GMichael
    It should work good. Don't forget to post pictures.

    How far back do you sit again?


    Not far enough :( about 12 feet I'd say.... maybe as close as 11


    I picked out the colors the other day..... ceiling, trim, doors, and some accent areas will all be "Black Magic" and the main walls will be "Brevity Brown" courtesy of Sherwin Williams.
  • 08-13-2008, 08:22 AM
    GMichael
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by johnny p
    Not far enough :( about 12 feet I'd say.... maybe as close as 11


    I picked out the colors the other day..... ceiling, trim, doors, and some accent areas will all be "Black Magic" and the main walls will be "Brevity Brown" courtesy of Sherwin Williams.

    Sounds like it's coming along nicely.

    At 12 feet, you shouldn't go much more than the 106 you have planned. That may even give you the tennis match effect. (Where you have trouble viewing the whole screen without moving your head back & forth)

    We have a 92" screen in the bedroom about 12 feet away. It's about as big as I'd want to go for that distance. It views much larger than the 106" we have in the living room at 19 feet away. But you should have a lot of fun with it. You could always modify it later depending on how you like it
  • 08-13-2008, 11:25 AM
    johnny p
    Here it is against the wall.... (again... I'm going with a Black/Brown paint scheme)

    http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47b8...D480/ry%3D320/

    Sorry for my terrible photo-skills.... the screen looks great in person..... I'll be hanging it from the angled wall.
  • 08-13-2008, 11:31 AM
    GMichael
    Looking good.

    I love it when a plan comes together.