For my DIY system, I had initially planned on borrowing a lot of the design details from a 4-way masking system Scott posted here:http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=941076
Scott's system was a great inspiration and I know mine wouldn't have turned out as well as it did without some of his great ideas.
Since I wasn't planning on running a fixed-height screen, I wouldn't need to use the movable side masking Scott used. My theater room is a spare bedroom that's only 11'6" wide and 12'10" deep which wouldn't have left me with adequate space for an AT screen setup. After a lot of thought, and realizing I didn't have the space to hide a lot of stuff along the front wall, I modified the design for a flush-mounted screen. I'm using an unfinished Do-able board mounted to the wall with mirror clips as the screen.
I kept the side alignment aluminum U-channel used by Scott, along with the vinyl rope, springs, and turnbuckles used to keep tension on the system. I built a small rectangular frame out of aluminum bar and rivets to slide up and down in the channel. One each for the top and the bottom. The vinyl rope pulls the top frame up while the bottom slides down, and vice versa.
The bottom frame is attached to a linear actuator operated by IR remote. Here it is in the wide open setting.
And here it is fully closed. The actuator has an 8" throw, which is more than enough for the width of screen I'm using.
Here's a closer look at the aluminum frame, vinyl rope, springs, turnbuckles, and patio rollers used for alignment and tension. I wrapped the ends in electrical tape to suppress noise while it's sliding.
And here's the actuator, temporarily mounted to test the system.
Here my fiancee has finished sewing the velvet covers for the movable masking panels and the side portions. The velvet we used is so dark it feels like looking into a black hole! Great stuff. The aluminum frames were basically wrapped in velvet with a piece of elastic between the ends so it was pulled over the frame like a tight sock. The bottom piece has a draping section to cover the area of the front wall below the screen. The side masks are just strips of velvet stapled above and below the screen. Here's a picture with the masking in 2.35 mode.
I was able to fit 17x17x24 mineral wool bass traps in the corners. I managed to snap a picture after I covered them. The frame is a simple 1" wide, very thin piece of molding with a little bracing. Covered in speaker grill cloth from Joann. Here's the grill in place. It isn't very pretty, but as you'll see in a moment it is covered by a velvet curtain.
And now with the curtain in place, you can see that it's covered. The grill mostly serves just to keep the insulation from falling away from the wall, and to keep the stray bits and pieces in place
And now the with both side curtains plus a center valence in place. In the previous pictures you can see the curved piece of wood I cut to staple the curtain to. It's difficult to see in the pictures but the curtain has an even curve on both sides, from 2" from the front wall at the edge of the screen, to about 18" away from the front wall by the time it reaches the side wall. Man, is it hard to get good pictures of a room this dark!
The system rides about a half-inch in front of the screen which allows it to move up and down without dragging or catching.
I bought the actuator from Firgelli Automations
. Mine is an 8" throw actuator, but they come in a variety of sizes and throws for just about any sized screen.
The IR remote kit I used can be found here:http://www.electronickits.com/kit/co...lec/ck1615.htm
It's a solder-it-yourself kit, but the price was right. I was able to program my Harmony 550 remote to perform the masking movements.
Right now all the system does is move up with one button and down with another. You need to hold the button down for as long as you want to move the mask. It only takes a few seconds to move it from one position to another, but I do have plans to figure out a programmable preset system for each of the regular aspect ratios.
I dug the guts out of my old Sony DVD player and put all the masking electronics inside. Unfortunately, since I am adding two subwoofers flanking the center channel, I will be changing the mounting arrangement of the electronics. I'll take more pictures of the electronics once I finish building my subwoofers.
Thanks for looking!