I Made DIY 2.40:1 Masking for My 1.85:1 Screen - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 164 Old 03-16-2008, 08:21 PM - Thread Starter
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This is my second home theater. In my first I made my screen in a 4:3 aspect ratio but quickly discovered that I was waching a lot of DVD's and converted it to 1.85:1. This was great if movies were in that ratio but the black space above and below the image (actually gray space) was always something that I could do without.

In my current HT I made a 1.85:1 screen to maximize the image size when watching HDTV, something I did not have to consider on my first HT 5 years ago. Now that I have a 1.85:1 screen I love it with HDTV and Blu-rays and DVD's that are in that ratio. But as you all know most movies these days are 2.35:1 or it seems even more common 2.40:1.

So for the last year I have been thinking of ways I could maintain my 1.85:1 screen for HDTV and movies in that ratio but also rid myself of the gray space above and below the image when viewing 2.35 or 2.40:1 movies.

Today I finally solved my problem. I got the bug to conquer this late last night and by the morning I could not get to Home Depot quick enough. My plan was to buy some foam that I could cut a couple of masks out of and then cover the foam in velvet. It turns out I had exactly enough velvet left over from when I built my DIY screen that these masks are for.

So I went to Home Depot and took a lok at the foam, it was immediately obvious that the foam was too flimsy and I would barely even be able to put the velvet over it, let alone pull it tightly. So after a quick browse around HD for alternatives I hit the road to Lowes hoping for better.

At Lowes I found the same flimsy foam, my hopes were dashed. But alas! There was another type of foam at Lowes, it was blue rather than the white that all of the other foam was. This foam was MUCH sturdier yet it almost seemed to weigh less, it certainly did not weigh more. It comes in a 2ft x 8 ft sheet for $7.50 give or take a few cents. I picked out a clean one with sharp edges and headed to get some more supplies. Standing in Lowes I started to formulate the plan in my mind. I would cut each of the 2 masks from each of the 2 long ends of the foam, that way the factory cut edge would be my edge that the movie will end at hopefully keeping the image lines sharp on screen.

But how would I keep these masks in place? My first thought was that it would be great if they fit inside my screen frame tightly by friction alone. I grabbed some Velcro just in case and then got a roll of masking tape to secure the velvet onto the foam, and a utility knife to cut the foam.

I got home and projected a 2.40:1 Blu-ray on to my screen and measured the bars, they were approximately 5 inches tall each. So I cut the 2 masks to 5 1/4 inches tall each and exactly 77 3/4 wide which is the inside dimensions of my frame. I figured the velvet on top of the foam would ensure a tight fit even if I made the mask the exact same width as the inside dimension of the frame. Next I covered the mask with the velvet left over from covering the frame when I made this screen, of course this added the additional benefit of the masks matching the frame exactly. I used masking tape to pull the velvet tightly around the foam and secured it to the back of the mask. Once the mask was covered in velvet I test fit it, about a quarter of an inch too wide. I could force it in but then it bowed in the center. So I opened the velvet up and cut off a tiny amount of foam and recovered it. THis time, BINGO! It fit like a champ, no Velcro needed the friction was more than enough to hold it in place. I tried it on the top and the bottom and both stayed in place beautifully.

Finally I repeated the process to make the second mask. So how did it turn out? A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!!!!! I was flabbergasted and giddy when I projected my first 2.40:1 movie on it, it was beyond belief the improvement that the masks made. Besides that the masks completely blended into the surrounding frame due to the matching velvet and it was as if I had a 2.40:1 screen hanging on my wall! Colors pop a lot more now and I am totally unaware of bars or any other distractions, just the movie the way it was intended to be viewed.

Would I change anything or do anything different? Well the velvet does not fit as tight around the masks as I would ideally like. This is due to the fact that I had to use masking tape to secure it, I could not think of a better way to attach velvet to foam. Still it looks 95% great with a few areas along the edges of the mask that are less than perfectly sharp.

Overall I am thrilled with this mod/upgrade and highly recommend it to all DIY screen builders. Total cost for this upgrade was $7.50 for the foam, $2.50 for the masking tape, $1.96 for the utility knife and the original cost of the velvet that I bought a year ago. So I guess I spent about $20 total including the velvet but I think I am overestimating.

Photos:

This is the screen as it was in 1.85:1 ratio with no masks. You can really see those gray bars above and below I was targeting.



This is the screen with the masks in place now in 2.40: 1 ratio. The masks can't even be detected, the screen just looks like it is a 2.40:1 ratio screen.



This is a shot with the lights out of the screen without the masks. On my laptop the gray bars are very obvious, on my desktop computer they are hard to see. If your computer makes them difficult to see, Trust me the bars are very visible in person and annoying.



This one is a shot in the dark with the masks installed.



If interested here are links to the 2 images above of the screen in the dark with the masks installed:

http://members.cox.net/docprego/ScreenHR-masks.JPG

And without the masks installed:

http://members.cox.net/docprego/ScreenHR-no masks.JPG

Warning those files are huge and it is still difficult to see the gray area on my desktop but easy on my laptop. If you look hard enough you can see the gray bars in the no masks shot. The giveaway though is the pause icon on the lower left corner of the screen. On the masks image you can't see it, the velvet completely absorbs the light but on the no masks image it is clearly visible.

Here is a shot with the lights on of the masks uninstalled and standing up against the screen.


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post #2 of 164 Old 03-16-2008, 10:42 PM
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Excellent work! I need to this myself. Good job.
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post #3 of 164 Old 03-16-2008, 10:51 PM
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Those look great and sound like a bargain (perfect fit for the ridiculously inexpensive... Theater.)

If you want to make the velvet tighter, there is a type of 3m adhesive spray made to stick things to foam, I think the Super 77 may melt foam, or not stick too well, but the other one is made for foam and would work great, it would probably be about $7 for a can and would let you get the fabric nice and tight/flat.

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post #4 of 164 Old 03-16-2008, 11:15 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BFauska View Post

Those look great and sound like a bargain (perfect fit for the ridiculously inexpensive... Theater.)

If you want to make the velvet tighter, there is a type of 3m adhesive spray made to stick things to foam, I think the Super 77 may melt foam, or not stick too well, but the other one is made for foam and would work great, it would probably be about $7 for a can and would let you get the fabric nice and tight/flat.

Outstanding! This will be my next move once I can't stand the imperfection any longer, knowing me that should be about sometime tomorrow. :-)

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post #5 of 164 Old 03-17-2008, 08:29 AM
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Great job. Do you happen to have the product number for the material at Lowes?
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post #6 of 164 Old 03-17-2008, 08:35 AM
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I'm trying to see if there's a way I can implement this.
What if the movie is 2.35:1 ?

My problem is I don't have a screen border, I built my screen forward off the wall 4", so the bleed off falls back onto black velvet.

I can easily fang the top mask form the top edge of the screen, but supportting the bottom mask is the challenge.

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post #7 of 164 Old 03-17-2008, 08:48 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cdcstl View Post

Great job. Do you happen to have the product number for the material at Lowes?

My receipt says:

14539 1"X2X8 SHEATH.T&G STYROF 7.56

I was wrong on the size of this product it is not 4X8 but rather 2X8 and the 7.56 is the price. It looks like the product number is 14539.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Plasma George View Post

I'm trying to see if there's a way I can implement this.
What if the movie is 2.35:1 ?

My problem is I don't have a screen border, I built my screen forward off the wall 4", so the bleed off falls back onto black velvet.

I can easily fang the top mask form the top edge of the screen, but supportting the bottom mask is the challenge.

If the movie is 2.35:1 that means it will be taller than a 2.40:1 movie and a bit more light will simply fall on the masks and be absorbed. I'll be giving up a tiny amount of image but it seemed more than acceptable in order to be able to mask any movie wider than 1.85:1 with a single set of masks.

The top mask was always my challenge, the opposite of your problem. In the end the friction fit s working beyond my wildest expectations. Maybe you could use velcro on the bottom mask, these masks are very lightweight. I actually spent about 10 minutes looking at the Velcro assortment yesterday thinking I might need it for the top mask. It comes in standard strength which seemed strong enough o me to support the mask, industrial and extreme. I think these different levels represent the sticking power of the Velcro to itself but also the adhesive that is on the back of each piece. While the standard seemed like it was up to the task, I don't know if the adhesive on the back would be. Then again the Velcro pieces could also be secured to the wall at least with staples. How to more securely attach it to the foam or velvet over the foam I hadn't yet figured out.

Best of luck and any more questions please ask!

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post #8 of 164 Old 03-17-2008, 08:50 AM
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Nice work! Masking makes a HUGE difference!

In terms of LFE, size does matter!
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post #9 of 164 Old 03-17-2008, 10:06 AM
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Very interesting.

My screen is a bit different than yours (Mine) but I wonder if I could adapt your idea to work on it as well.

I could get the top mask to stay in place adding a lip and some extensions to the edges to make it clip on, but the bottom piece would be trickier to make stable.

Hmmm.
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post #10 of 164 Old 03-17-2008, 10:43 AM
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I'm the same way....mine's a 1x4 width off the back wall....that is black cloth to absorb sound and absorb light from the image bleed off. Works great and looks very cool.

I can also clip the masks to the top edge....shouldn't weigh anything, but the bottom mask would need some supports that extend back to the wall.
My screen is exactly 8' wide, so this stuff could work, and I have the felt since I just felted my ceiling.



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post #11 of 164 Old 03-17-2008, 10:44 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luclin999 View Post

Very interesting.

My screen is a bit different than yours (Mine) but I wonder if I could adapt your idea to work on it as well.

I could get the top mask to stay in place adding a lip and some extensions to the edges to make it clip on, but the bottom piece would be trickier to make stable.

Hmmm.

Very unique screen design. Could you somehow use Velcro to keep the masks in place? Or possibly extend them out wider than the screen resting on some sort of support? Just thinking out loud...

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post #12 of 164 Old 03-17-2008, 11:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by docprego View Post

Very unique screen design. Could you somehow use Velcro to keep the masks in place? Or possibly extend them out wider than the screen resting on some sort of support? Just thinking out loud...

This is what I'm thinking.
About 12" on each side is a bump out wall that I could mount some type of "rest" for a rod or extension attached to the foam mask.

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post #13 of 164 Old 03-17-2008, 12:07 PM
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Cool! I'd like to do this myself. What brand/model velvet did you use?

My next concern would be where to store the masks when they're not in use. Some kind of hook or shelf below the screen is a possibility. Do it right and they might just blend in with the lower part of the screen frame.

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post #14 of 164 Old 03-17-2008, 12:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chad T View Post

Cool! I'd like to do this myself. What brand/model velvet did you use?

My next concern would be where to store the masks when they're not in use. Some kind of hook or shelf below the screen is a possibility. Do it right and they might just blend in with the lower part of the screen frame.

Now I'm thinking out loud.
Both masks could store under the screen on hooks mounted to the sides, then when it's "Movietime", hang from hooks also mounted to the side of the screen.

The masks would need to be the correct height, and have a clean bottom edge somehow. The bottom isn't as critical, but you might as well build them identical.

Both masks would need some type of light-weight rod, at the top and bottom of the mask that felt/velvet could adhere to (or wrap around) that wouldn't deflect over 10'....that's the challenge. You couldn't use the styrofoam that's only 8'....and you don't need something solid, it could almost be like a scroll using 10' rods.

Maybe a 10' truss system made from little 1/2" sticks available from HD ? 2 long rods for the bottom and top, and cross members positioned evenly at 45degree angles....all wrapped in velvet.

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post #15 of 164 Old 03-17-2008, 02:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by docprego View Post

Very unique screen design. Could you somehow use Velcro to keep the masks in place? Or possibly extend them out wider than the screen resting on some sort of support? Just thinking out loud...

I suppose I could leave an extra few inches of cloth free on the sides of the bottom piece. Then attach velcro to the edges and wrap them around to matching velcro pieces on the back of the screen.

Might have to add a little reinforcement to keep the middle from sagging though and the more weight added the more trouble it will have staying up.

Gotta love a catch-22. Still, I think I'll have to try this just to see what it will turn out like.
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post #16 of 164 Old 03-17-2008, 04:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chad T View Post

Cool! I'd like to do this myself. What brand/model velvet did you use?

My next concern would be where to store the masks when they're not in use. Some kind of hook or shelf below the screen is a possibility. Do it right and they might just blend in with the lower part of the screen frame.

I got my velvet at Hancock fabrics on sale. It was the real velvet, not the cheaper velveteen. I have used velveteen before and it works but the real velvet is so much blacker and absorbs a lot more light. On sale the real velvet wasn't that much more expensive than the velveteen anyway.

As for storage I will keep them out of the way in the closet I converted into a space for my computer desk. On the right of the desk is an area between the wall and desk that is unused and very much out of the way, they will be safe there.

BTW I am already thinking about V2 of these masks. I may get some very thin wood like paneling cut into the exact size strips I need for masks and then hang them over the frame using some sort of hook or nail system. I am thinking about this in order to get a very sharp edge to my masks. I may never do this but if the bug to improve the current masks ever bites I'll be ready.

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I agree that the masking helps a lot. It makes my projector experience so much better. I think everyone should do something like this or the motorized method I used.

If you or someone else wanted a way to store them, you could always velcro them to the wall above and below the screen when not in use. When you need them, just undo the top one from the velcro above the screen and put it in place, and raise the bottom one from under the screen.

My previous screen would have benefited from this. I used the wood strips, but it likes to bend and probably weighs more than the foam. But it may be more durable.

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post #18 of 164 Old 03-18-2008, 12:02 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caps18 View Post

I agree that the masking helps a lot. It makes my projector experience so much better. I think everyone should do something like this or the motorized method I used.

If you or someone else wanted a way to store them, you could always velcro them to the wall above and below the screen when not in use. When you need them, just undo the top one from the velcro above the screen and put it in place, and raise the bottom one from under the screen.

My previous screen would have benefited from this. I used the wood strips, but it likes to bend and probably weighs more than the foam. But it may be more durable.

I would actually store them in the screen in position but I am worried that this will prematurely cause them to lose that perfect friction fit I currently have. Your idea of using Velcro to attach them above and below the screen is interesting.

We watched Gone Baby Gone tonight, it was 1.85:1 so no masks needed. WOuldn't you know it, the first movie I watch after making the masks doesn't require them. Still I couldn't resist seeing them in action so I popped Across The Universe in which is shot in 2.35:1 and WOW are these masks absolutely amazing. I cannot convery to you guys the improvement that it offers. For one thing I just love how my screen is completely transformed into a 2.40:1 screen, it is not like I am looking at my old screen with these velvet covered pieces of foam inserted. Instead it is truly that I am looking at a new screen experience.

I made a tiny enhancement to the masks tonight. I carefully test fit them to decide which should be the upper and which should be the lower. I wanted the upper mask to be the more snug fitting of the two since it is battling gravity, the lower mask rests inside the lower frame so it does not need to be nearly as tight fitting. On each mask one edge is the factory cut straight edge and the other is my less than straight manually cut edge. On the back of each mask on one piece of the masking tape that is holding the velvet in place I wrote straight edge with an arrow pointing to that edge. I also wrote "top" on the top mask and "bottom" on the bottom mask. Now I do not have to fiddle around figuring out which is which, the entire process takes about 30 second to place them in the screen. PRior to this I was always examining them trying to figure out which was the straight edge and which mask I should place above and below. This minor change has been a HUGE time saver.

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post #19 of 164 Old 03-18-2008, 05:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luclin999 View Post

I suppose I could leave an extra few inches of cloth free on the sides of the bottom piece. Then attach velcro to the edges and wrap them around to matching velcro pieces on the back of the screen.

Might have to add a little reinforcement to keep the middle from sagging though and the more weight added the more trouble it will have staying up.

Gotta love a catch-22. Still, I think I'll have to try this just to see what it will turn out like.

Yeah, it has to be perfectly level over the 8' span. (or 9' or 10' depending on how far past the screen to accomodate the hanging mechanism)

I like my lightweight truss setup wrapped in velvet, I think that would be a lot lighter than a 6"x8' section of panelling in velvet. (air is lighter than wood!). Unless Home Depot sells an even lighter type of material. It would be a lot simpler...HD could make perfect cuts, and you walk out with your masks.

I'm now wondering if there's an automatic way to move them up and down into position. You'd only need 6" of movement for each. They would store just beyond the top and bottom of the screen, and shift into position.

Doesn't HD sell motors for blinds ????

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post #20 of 164 Old 03-18-2008, 10:06 PM
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I don't remember if I found this drawing on the web site of the "British Film Collectors Convention" or someone emailed the drawing to me from their organization.

The drawing shows a top roller connected by cables (or whatever) to both the top mask & the bottom masks. Those cables wind around that roller in opposite directions. As the motor turns the top roller; the top mask's cable unwinds & lowers it. Because the lower mask's cable is wound the opposite direction on that same roller, it pulls up the bottom mask at the same time.

I suppose one would have to experiment with cable lengths a bit to get them to move together & apart the correct amounts to open & close the masks to frame in your aspect ratio. I have read this method mentioned on this forum in other threads, maybe some else will post in with that info. One might need curtains on top & sides to hide the motor, roller & edges of the mask where the cables attach.

Take a look & see if this might work or spark some ideas.

http://www.bfcc.biz/masking.jpg
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post #21 of 164 Old 03-18-2008, 11:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HDGTX View Post

I don't remember if I found this drawing on the web site of the "British Film Collectors Convention" or someone emailed the drawing to me from their organization.

The drawing shows a top roller connected by cables (or whatever) to both the top mask & the bottom masks. Those cables wind around that roller in opposite directions. As the motor turns the top roller; the top mask's cable unwinds & lowers it. Because the lower mask's cable is wound the opposite direction on that same roller, it pulls up the bottom mask at the same time.

I suppose one would have to experiment with cable lengths a bit to get them to move together & apart the correct amounts to open & close the masks to frame in your aspect ratio. I have read this method mentioned on this forum in other threads, maybe some else will post in with that info. One might need curtains on top & sides to hide the motor, roller & edges of the mask where the cables attach.

Take a look & see if this might work or spark some ideas.

http://www.bfcc.biz/masking.jpg

While I appreciate the idea of motorized masking, the 30 seconds it takes to put them in position manually seems to negate the benefit (and hassle) of implementing a motorized system.

Even so I have to admit it is tempting and a very cool idea.

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post #22 of 164 Old 03-19-2008, 06:53 AM
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The purpose for using a motorized blind setup was to have the IR capabilities that I've seen some of them have.

Having automatic masks operating on my MX-850 would be very state of the art.

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post #23 of 164 Old 03-19-2008, 09:12 AM
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It took me three weekends to make my motorized black velvet shutters, and while it was worth it and I am very happy with them, it was work. But I can use my remote control to raise and lower my horizontal masking.

I have posted a thread last week about it, but I haven't had time to put a step-by-step how-to yet.

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post #24 of 164 Old 03-19-2008, 09:38 AM
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I really like what I am seeing here and looking forward to building the mask similar to this one once I actually build the screen out of either do-able or blackout cloth. I am moving up to the HC4900 so starting from scratch again and ditching my pulldown.

Instead of velcro, why not figure out someway to glue some magnet along the edge of the foam before applying the velvet. With the foam being so light, I am guessing a few magnet would give the extra support it needs. Of course, the same has to be done on the existing mask. The magnet might work better in the long run than velcro, or at least in my case, I have always had problem with them pulling on the material.
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post #25 of 164 Old 03-19-2008, 09:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caps18 View Post

It took me three weekends to make my motorized black velvet shutters, and while it was worth it and I am very happy with them, it was work. But I can use my remote control to raise and lower my horizontal masking.

I have posted a thread last week about it, but I haven't had time to put a step-by-step how-to yet.

Get the thread up ! I think you'd have tons of interest around here.

I'm about to goto HD to buy the material I need.
I have a 9.5' span...maybe a 10' section of a 1"x2" piece of Moulding....and I'll buy more length to postition a few cross members (truss) to prevent any deflection. Use my finish nailer. Then I'll need to find rests for (Curtains/ Walmart) it to sit on the returns of my sidewalls that are about 13" from the sides of the screen. Then other rests for the same area, but under the screen for storing.

Then wrap it in black felt I got at Joanns.

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post #26 of 164 Old 03-19-2008, 10:19 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plasma George View Post

The purpose for using a motorized blind setup was to have the IR capabilities that I've seen some of them have.

Having automatic masks operating on my MX-850 would be very state of the art.

Most definitely, I could easily be tempted to start on that project.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Caps18 View Post

It took me three weekends to make my motorized black velvet shutters, and while it was worth it and I am very happy with them, it was work. But I can use my remote control to raise and lower my horizontal masking.

I have posted a thread last week about it, but I haven't had time to put a step-by-step how-to yet.

Sounds awesome, could you link us to the thread from this one?

Quote:
Originally Posted by xmenxmenxmen View Post

I really like what I am seeing here and looking forward to building the mask similar to this one once I actually build the screen out of either do-able or blackout cloth. I am moving up to the HC4900 so starting from scratch again and ditching my pulldown.

Instead of velcro, why not figure out someway to glue some magnet along the edge of the foam before applying the velvet. With the foam being so light, I am guessing a few magnet would give the extra support it needs. Of course, the same has to be done on the existing mask. The magnet might work better in the long run than velcro, or at least in my case, I have always had problem with them pulling on the material.

Magnets is absolutely brilliant! Before covering in velvet a pocket could be cleared out for the magnet so that it sits flush with the mask edge. Once the velvet is on you would never know the magnets were there. These masks are so light that a basic magnet would do the trick. I think they would be easier to put in place and remove too, sometimes Velcro can be stubborn.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Plasma George View Post

Get the thread up ! I think you'd have tons of interest around here.

I'm about to goto HD to buy the material I need.
I have a 9.5' span...maybe a 10' section of a 1"x2" piece of Moulding....and I'll buy more length to postition a few cross members (truss) to prevent any deflection. Use my finish nailer. Then I'll need to find rests for (Curtains/ Walmart) it to sit on the returns of my sidewalls that are about 13" from the sides of the screen. Then other rests for the same area, but under the screen for storing.

Then wrap it in black felt I got at Joanns.

Please post pics when it is done.

Now that I have my screen exactly how I want it I am thinking about installing a wall full of curtains to the left, right, and above it. For one they will increase the theater atmosphere, but also they will provide a dark backdrop for the screen wall. I don't really feel like painting the wall black which is ideally what I would do. Curtains would solve this problem and allow me to mask 4:3 content too. Then I would have one screen that could be set up for 1.85:1, 2.35:1, 2.40:1, and 4:3.

I am thinking about using these:

http://www.walmart.com/catalog/produ...uct_id=5555769

They even call them home theater curtains!

What would I put over the screen though? These curtains would be great for the left and right and to mask 4:3 but what about above the screen between the left and right curtains? Any ideas?

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post #27 of 164 Old 03-20-2008, 01:17 AM
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I've been mulling over a manually operated masking system for a bit, and here's my current thinking:

I'm going to use fixed black velvet curtains on the side of the screen. For the top and the bottom, I'm thinking of a manually operated rope system inspired by my memory of scenery backdrops from theaters. I don't have a way to transfer my sketches to the computer, so I've just whipped up a little image file that conveys the essence of the idea.

The notion is that you have a circular rope on pullys. You grab the rope by hand and move it up or down. The top masking is attached to the circular rope at one side of the pullys, and the bottom masking is attached at the other side of the pullys. In my image, the attachment is at the red dots.

So when you pull the rope, the bottom masking moves one way, the top the other, and both by the same amount.

Not shown in my quick sketch is the rope extension that would support the far side of the masking panels.

What do y'all think?
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post #28 of 164 Old 03-21-2008, 05:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wolf View Post

I've been mulling over a manually operated masking system for a bit, and here's my current thinking:
What do y'all think?

That's the idea I was thinking of, if I attempted that with Home Depot products from various aisles, it would have a Homer Simpson look/feel, and the wife would hate it.

I tried something new on my screen last night while watching Transformers that worked. I used my lense shift (easy access dial for me just behind the zoom ring) to move the image up to eliminate the top bar and double the bottom bar. Then, I temporarily stapled a 12' section of Felt (16" wide/high) to the walls to the sides of the screen, nice and tight. So I had the effect of masking. It was nice but it wasn't a drastic improvement, here's why--
I have the Black Widow screen, that's a dark gray. The only time I want masks is during "Lights out movie time". When I'm in "Lights out movie time" mode, my screen (hence bars) are very dark. This is a great feature of a gray screen. A white screen's bars will illuminate much more even just with the PJ as the only light source, therefore masking having a greater effect.

So either I'll do nothing, and let the BW screen keep my bars dark, or I'll use the Lens Shift and create a of double wide mask for the bottom with a long piece of 3/4" x 1/2" trim moulding from HD, resting on curtain rod supports on the sides and a hinged "T" support in the middle to keep it nice an level.

This is a terrible picture, but you can see the HD-DVD timeline bar on the Felt mask at the bottom being very dim-


This image is lights out with no masking, and you can barely see the bars, that's why I'm probably stepping off any serious Masking project-

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post #29 of 164 Old 03-21-2008, 05:38 AM
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Coincidentally, I did this exact same project 2 weeks ago, but rather than using foam, I used wood that I spray painted black, just like how I made my screen border. The bottom strip sits on the bottom border and the top strip is hanging on two small nails that I had to put into the top border piece. I am pleased with the result. And in another twist of coincidence, the first movie I watched after I made the masking was Spidey 3!

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post #30 of 164 Old 03-21-2008, 09:26 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plasma George View Post

That's the idea I was thinking of, if I attempted that with Home Depot products from various aisles, it would have a Homer Simpson look/feel, and the wife would hate it.

I tried something new on my screen last night while watching Transformers that worked. I used my lense shift (easy access dial for me just behind the zoom ring) to move the image up to eliminate the top bar and double the bottom bar. Then, I temporarily stapled a 12' section of Felt (16" wide/high) to the walls to the sides of the screen, nice and tight. So I had the effect of masking. It was nice but it wasn't a drastic improvement, here's why--
I have the Black Widow screen, that's a dark gray. The only time I want masks is during "Lights out movie time". When I'm in "Lights out movie time" mode, my screen (hence bars) are very dark. This is a great feature of a gray screen. A white screen's bars will illuminate much more even just with the PJ as the only light source, therefore masking having a greater effect.

So either I'll do nothing, and let the BW screen keep my bars dark, or I'll use the Lens Shift and create a of double wide mask for the bottom with a long piece of 3/4" x 1/2" trim moulding from HD, resting on curtain rod supports on the sides and a hinged "T" support in the middle to keep it nice an level.

This is a terrible picture, but you can see the HD-DVD timeline bar on the Felt mask at the bottom being very dim-


This image is lights out with no masking, and you can barely see the bars, that's why I'm probably stepping off any serious Masking project-

I guess it is a personal choice, any black bars drive me crazy. I also thought about the lens shift method, even bought a couple of new projectors with it for that purpose. In the end neither model felt like an upgrade from my HD70 so I just decided to devise the masking that I did.

If you are satisfied with the image and particularly the bars don't bother you then why bother masking them?

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Coincidentally, I did this exact same project 2 weeks ago, but rather than using foam, I used wood that I spray painted black, just like how I made my screen border. The bottom strip sits on the bottom border and the top strip is hanging on two small nails that I had to put into the top border piece. I am pleased with the result. And in another twist of coincidence, the first movie I watched after I made the masking was Spidey 3!

How does the black painted wood do for light absorption? I thought about using your method but feared that the paint would show a lot of the projected light. Since you said your screen frame is also painted this way I am assuming it works well. Do you have any personal experience with a velvet covered frame for comparison?

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