My latest masking trial - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 84 Old 08-09-2009, 09:24 AM - Thread Starter
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I've started a DIY masking project that appears to have some real potential for me, after about three other setups that just haven't panned out.

This one uses a tension rod on both sides, that came from an upright storage bin kit from Bed, Bath, and Beyond. Chucked the bins and used the rods only.

The rest is U bolts, 1/2" rigid insulation, j metal, metal grommets (in the back for the U bolt to go through), and a 3/4" grounding rod clamp for the adjustable support under the panel.

Top panel only at this point, as it's limited by the ceiling. Pictures shown are with the top raised all the way up, and down to 2.76:1 .

Got my hopes up on this one.

http://i141.photobucket.com/albums/r...d/IMG_0140.jpg
http://i141.photobucket.com/albums/r...d/IMG_0141.jpg
http://i141.photobucket.com/albums/r...d/IMG_0142.jpg
http://i141.photobucket.com/albums/r...d/IMG_0137.jpg
http://i141.photobucket.com/albums/r...d/IMG_0135.jpg
http://i141.photobucket.com/albums/r...d/IMG_0139.jpg
http://i141.photobucket.com/albums/r...d/IMG_0133.jpg

Lower bar installed:

http://i141.photobucket.com/albums/r...d/IMG_0143.jpg

See post #16. Masking bars completely rebuilt with better U-bolt/grommet hardware, squarer ends, and Protostar fabric

See ya. Dave

"High Fidelity audio has been like a dog chasing his tail. High Fidelity in my marriage has been much more rewarding cause she knows where I sleep."
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post #2 of 84 Old 08-15-2009, 05:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Other than some tweaking along the line, I wrapped up my masking project today. I'm quite pleased with the results; it adjusts so easily to anywhere you want, knocks those "digital black (gray)" bars down, and gives that perceived pop to the picture you'd expect.

I used Triple Black Velvet from syfabrics.com. Four yards cost only forty bucks, and worked very well. While Fidelio Black is better, nothing I've seen can touch Carada's Black Hole fabric. But to kill the gray bars, the Triple Black can do the job very well.

The first Bluray I've watched in it's entirity since putting the masks up was "Pirates of Caribbean; Curse of the Black Pearl" this afternoon, and it was like seeing it for the first time, visually.

Lights out, no flash, masking in place:
http://i141.photobucket.com/albums/r...d/IMG_0183.jpg

Lights out, with flash, masking down:
http://i141.photobucket.com/albums/r...d/IMG_0182.jpg

Lights out, with flash, masking in place:
http://i141.photobucket.com/albums/r...d/IMG_0181.jpg

Lights out, with flash, masking down:
http://i141.photobucket.com/albums/r...d/IMG_0185.jpg

Lights out, with flash, masking in place:
http://i141.photobucket.com/albums/r...d/IMG_0186.jpg

See ya. Dave

"High Fidelity audio has been like a dog chasing his tail. High Fidelity in my marriage has been much more rewarding cause she knows where I sleep."
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post #3 of 84 Old 08-26-2009, 05:10 PM - Thread Starter
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The Triple Black Velvet has worked well enough that I decided to have some pieces hemmed up to drape over the sides of my six foot tall Dunlavy SC-IVA's and the top of my HRCC center channel. They absolutely kill off all reflected light from the screen and finalize the masking and darkening of the front wall of my system.

Pretty happy about things at the moment. I may rebuild the masks at some point, as I've learned a few things I can improve next time, but for now it's time to just put on the movies.


See ya. Dave

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post #4 of 84 Old 09-07-2009, 09:08 AM
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Looks good. Couple questions - first, what are you using for panels? Are they some sort of foam board? Also, it looks like the U-Bolts are visible - any plan to cover them with the velvet and if so, how would you do it?
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post #5 of 84 Old 09-07-2009, 07:51 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maestro J View Post

Looks good. Couple questions - first, what are you using for panels? Are they some sort of foam board? Also, it looks like the U-Bolts are visible - any plan to cover them with the velvet and if so, how would you do it?

Thanks. That and the velvet draped on the speakers really have made a big difference.

The boards are 1/2" rigid insulation (white on one side, reflective foil on the other). Styrofoam type products aren't stiff enough, nor are they thick enough to hold the J-metal top and bottom strips securely.

I don't plan on covering the U-bolts and they can't be seen with the lights out and the movie on. I suppose I could adhear a patch of velvet over them, but I don't think it'd look well in the light. Also, removing the masks from the tension bars when needed, if needed, would be hampered.

I have ordered a sample of the Protostar material ( http://www.fpi-protostar.com/flock.htm ), and may be rebuilidng the masks if it works out well. Contact adhesive with the Triple Black velvet works fine, but can create some splotches if not used sparingly.

See ya. Dave

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post #6 of 84 Old 09-10-2009, 05:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Got the Protostar material in today, and it looks very much like the material on the Carada frames. Self adhesive backing is nice, and the material isn't real floppy like velvet, so it should be easier to work with.

If I decide to rebuild the masks, I may talk to a couple of folks in the sign business that I know. They are quite adept at laying out stock like this I'd bet, and really sharp edges and a flat front are important.

See ya. Dave

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post #7 of 84 Old 09-10-2009, 06:23 PM
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That's interesting. I would probably go with something like that because of the self-adhesive material and it's really black. That solves problem #1 from my DIY masking experiment in that I used too much adhesive and it became very splotchy looking up close. Problem #2 that I have is actually applying the masking to the screen. I used velcro but after just a few times putting them up and taking them down, the velcro was starting to come off and the velvet was starting to come off the masks. So I still have problem #2. Your solution with the tension bars looks interesting but I don't think I can make that work.
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post #8 of 84 Old 09-13-2009, 08:34 AM - Thread Starter
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I worked with a small scale mask and the protostar sample yesterday. It's a real good performer, just like the Carada frame material.

It will adhere instantly, and you get one shot at getting it right. I found the biggest issue for me was to lay it straight on the mask as you go down it's length, so that the overlap on the back is consistent. Also, it will obviously mimic every contour of the mask, and it showed that the j-metal edge may not be the last word in perfection as shadowed on the screen.

I do think this is the better material over velvet, but it may require more thinking on the actual mask base. What could be used in lieu of rigid insulation and j-metal edging that would still not be too heavy to move easily up and down and not be too much weight on the ground rod clamps on the tension rods? And it must come in a 10', one piece length.

See ya. Dave

"High Fidelity audio has been like a dog chasing his tail. High Fidelity in my marriage has been much more rewarding cause she knows where I sleep."
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post #9 of 84 Old 09-14-2009, 07:46 AM
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I can't think of a product that is that long and still rigid enough not to bend and warp. I wonder if there is something you can apply to the j-metal to smooth that out so it doesn't show? Almost like spackling a wall or preparing drywall to be painted?
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post #10 of 84 Old 09-14-2009, 10:57 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maestro J View Post

I can't think of a product that is that long and still rigid enough not to bend and warp. I wonder if there is something you can apply to the j-metal to smooth that out so it doesn't show? Almost like spackling a wall or preparing drywall to be painted?

I think adding any kind of compound onto the Jmetal and trying to sand it out, etc. would not work. First, it'd probably just crack right off and second, I suspect it'd be difficult to get the top edge (or bottom edge of the upper panel), to be any truer than the metal already is.

My thoughts are starting to sway back to using the Triple Black Velvet, as it is a bit more forgiving in showing the flaws of the Jmetal than the Protostar material. The lines that the Jmetal show on the front face of the mask, when covered with Protostar, don't bother me as much.

The goals I had wished to accomplish with the Protostar was to have a very crisp top (or bottom) edge, and have the adhesive nature of it be easier to work with. The first is dependent completely on the material it covers, and the Jmetal is just not perfectly smooth/straight down it's length.

See ya. Dave

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post #11 of 84 Old 09-14-2009, 11:56 AM
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I will say this:

The material being used is most likely the absolute best example of a "Stick On" Black Masking I've seen. Many thanks, both current and future should be directed the OP's way for this Gem. At 30" wide and 200" for a Roll ($75.00) it's a very easy "Absolutely BLACK Ceiling Blackout" material, as well as a simple "Stick'em Up" Blackout Boarder for "Painted Wall" Screens.

What's so very great about it is it's being so perfectly designed to absorb Light...(99% of it)...and the "Sticky Back" ain't a bad thing either. Let's all hope the "sticky" will adhere to a variety of surfaces. I'm thinking this material has to be pretty thin stuff though....so I'm certain whatever material it's applied to has to be pretty darn smooth as well to avoid looking lumpy or bumpy. One thing that helps is it not showing any reflectance so very small deformations should be invisible from anything more than 1' away.

Keep us informed, oh funky fowl one.

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post #12 of 84 Old 09-15-2009, 06:21 PM - Thread Starter
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After deliberation and experimentation I did order a roll of 30"x200" Protostar material ($75 plus $16.20 shipping). The lack of reflectivity on the Protostar vs. the Triple Black Velvet is hard to deny. The edge of the jmetal turns out to not be that much of a major issue when comparing one fabric to the other. Just got to turn the finished panel to put the best edge to the image.

It actually lays out pretty easily once you get the hang of it, though I may still see what my friends at the sign shop want to charge to do it.

Will build the new panels (10-1/2" x 10') soon, though I do have a busy weekend, and report back.

See ya. Dave

"High Fidelity audio has been like a dog chasing his tail. High Fidelity in my marriage has been much more rewarding cause she knows where I sleep."
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post #13 of 84 Old 09-18-2009, 03:57 AM
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I have my 30" x 200" Roll on the way as well...

By my calculations, I'll be able to do 2 - 85" diagonal Screens and one 110" diagonal that have 2" and 3" wide Trim, and barely use up half of it.

My only real concern will be cutting it to size/shape using something other than scissors. Most likely will use a 'new bladed' utility knife and a gude.

After all the time I've spent expounding on the virtues of Sy's TPV, this is quite a departure. But that 99% Light absorptive figure simply looks too tempting to resist.

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post #14 of 84 Old 09-18-2009, 12:53 PM
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This has my curiosity.

I'm wondering if instead of sticking it directly to the wall, if it can (permanently) be adhered to some wood trim AND last for many years stuck to said wood trim?

This way, a person can still have that "framed out" look as well as not have to worry about cutting perfectly straight lines on a 30" wide roll. All you'd have to do is cut slightly larger and wrap it around back. No staples, no 3M adhesive.......

Rob

EDIT: Will they do smaller than 30" wide? Custom maybe?

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post #15 of 84 Old 09-18-2009, 02:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Highside View Post

This has my curiosity.

I'm wondering if instead of sticking it directly to the wall, if it can (permanently) be adhered to some wood trim AND last for many years stuck to said wood trim?

This way, a person can still have that "framed out" look as well as not have to worry about cutting perfectly straight lines on a 30" wide roll. All you'd have to do is cut slightly larger and wrap it around back. No staples, no 3M adhesive.......

Rob

EDIT: Will they do smaller than 30" wide? Custom maybe?

The adhesive is pretty aggressive and is going to stick to a number of surfaces quite readily, based on the 28"x24" sample I had. I will be rolling it over the top and bottom of the masks I'm building, and will wrap it on the back. Straight cut wouldn't be neccessary in that instance.

It works well in a "peel the backing off as you lay it" fashion. Will be deciding soon as I hear back from the Sign shop whether or not I'll be doing the masks myself. I'm sure I could do it; but I'm also sure they can do it better.

I don't remember who it was who originally came across this product on the Forum here, but it was a good catch.

See ya. Dave

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post #16 of 84 Old 09-22-2009, 05:34 PM - Thread Starter
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My Protostar masking panels are complete and up. Initial impressions are VERY good! I paid a sign shop for an hours labor to have the fabric put on the masks, and they did a much better job than I would have, surely. Nice crisp edges, tightly pulled. The issue of the panel/metal edging contours showing through the Protostar fabric is a good bit less than I anticipated. The fabric does very much resemble the Carada frame covering when the masking panel is in place with the screen. I'd say the only thing I want to watch at this point is to see how the adhesive holds up to warm and hot temperature. I'm not expecting any problem.

I also came up with a better grommet/Ubolt setup than my first set of panels I built using the Triple Black Velvet.

All photos were taken with the digital camera set on "auto" with or without flash.

http://i141.photobucket.com/albums/r...d/IMG_0263.jpg
http://i141.photobucket.com/albums/r...d/IMG_0265.jpg
http://i141.photobucket.com/albums/r...d/IMG_0266.jpg

protostar mask up, with flash
http://i141.photobucket.com/albums/r...d/IMG_0276.jpg

The following were taken with bluray on pause...therefore image is not real sharp.

protostar mask down, lights out, no flash
(greyish bars are hard to see...I need to figure out how to change exposure with this camera)
http://i141.photobucket.com/albums/r...d/IMG_0271.jpg

protostar mask up, lights out, no flash
(again...exposure issue. You can see the movie time bar across the bottom and the pause bars at the top, faintly in real life, but a lot less than with triple black velvet)
http://i141.photobucket.com/albums/r...d/IMG_0274.jpg

I pretty much suck with a camera at this point.

See ya. Dave

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post #17 of 84 Old 09-24-2009, 04:17 AM
 
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To move the panels, do you just slide the U-bolt up and down? If so does it take two people to move a panel?
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post #18 of 84 Old 09-24-2009, 05:41 AM
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I just finished doing two separate 85" screens using some of the last of my Black Velvet ( SY's Triple Plush variety ) and one thing is for certain....under full room illumination the BV easily looks worlds better than the Protostar. Feels so much better to the touch as well.

I'm going to reserve a final judgment until I actually do a Screen's Trim with the Protostar.....but in a side-by-side comparison under intense light, it seems the only thing the Black Velvet falls short on is not having a total lack of "sheen".

However in a great many previous uses, I've never be able to see the "projected" illumination of any light spill onto the Black Velvet , be it from a image or the PJ's start-up screen.

All that being said, as a "Sticky" the Protostar is still a quantum leap beyond any previously mentioned adhesive backed Black Felt or suedo-Black Velvet as far as having a lack of reflectivity. But is it a viable alternative to actual Black Velvet in the making of actual Screen Trim? Can't say that...yet, because to me, a classy appearance both in the dark and full room lighting is crucial, and as of now....the difference under bright light still shows the Protostar to resemble a Black Felt more than a luxurious "Black" that Black Velvet presents, and the Black Velvet does it all (light absorbing and great looks ) exceptionally well.

Add to that the fact the Black Velvet cost just $6.99 yd for a 52" x 36" section and that for the $75.00 (less shipping) the Protostar costs for 30" x 200", for the same amount (length) of Black Velvet it would cost just $45.00 w/shipping and you'd get over an extra 1-1/2 feet of width as well.

I will however say at this conjecture that no matter what...if stapling or gluing Black Velvet Cloth is not desirable, then the Protostar is the best choice of all the "Stickys"...price not withstanding.

Here is a image of a Screen just done in Black Velvet Trim. Later today while present, I'll do a close up comparison between the ProtoStar and this particular Screen's trim, shoot a few images, and post 'em up.


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post #19 of 84 Old 09-24-2009, 05:43 AM
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Hey Jive - could you test out subtitles on your Pro Star masks? Wondering if you can still see them for movies that incorporate subs in the black bars.
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post #20 of 84 Old 09-24-2009, 06:47 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maestro J View Post

Hey Jive - could you test out subtitles on your Pro Star masks? Wondering if you can still see them for movies that incorporate subs in the black bars.

Yes, you can read them. And they are much crisper than when using the Triple Black Velvet.

Pleased as punch with the Protostar material so far.

See ya. Dave

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post #21 of 84 Old 09-24-2009, 06:49 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjg100 View Post

To move the panels, do you just slide the U-bolt up and down? If so does it take two people to move a panel?

Yes, the Ubolts are attached through the panel and around the tension rod. The panels are very lightweight and do not require any assistance to move. You have to jockey one side of each panel at a time so that you can secure the position (with ground clamp) on one side and then go move the other one, but I can change the top and bottom to a different aspect ratio in less than five minutes (including disc loading time).

See ya. Dave

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post #22 of 84 Old 09-24-2009, 06:53 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jive Turkey View Post

Yes, you can read them. And they are much crisper than when using the Triple Black Velvet.

Pleased as punch with the Protostar material so far.

Not sure that you saw my post above since I did not quote one of your posts. To move your panels do you just slide the U-bolts up and down? If so can you do it by yourself or does it require two people? How big is the gap between the back of your masks and your screen fabric? If I used your system I would have ay least a one inch gap and I am concerned with shadowing.
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post #23 of 84 Old 09-24-2009, 08:12 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjg100 View Post

Not sure that you saw my post above since I did not quote one of your posts. To move your panels do you just slide the U-bolts up and down? If so can you do it by yourself or does it require two people? How big is the gap between the back of your masks and your screen fabric? If I used your system I would have ay least a one inch gap and I am concerned with shadowing.

See my response above.

The gap can be as small as the gap between the front face of your screen frame and the screen, if you don't mind the mask rubbing on the screen frame. In my case, I left about an 1/4" gap, so I'd say the back of the mask is about 3/4" from the screen surface.

I have a little shadowing on the upper mask because my projector is about a foot low of screen center, but it's no problem at all. I just set the shadow line to the top of the image and from a foot away you can't tell what's shadow and what's mask. I'd say the shadow line is only a 1/4" tall.

See ya. Dave

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post #24 of 84 Old 09-24-2009, 08:23 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MississippiMan View Post

I just finished doing two separate 85" screens using some of the last of my Black Velvet ( SY's Triple Plush variety ) and one thing is for certain....under full room illumination the BV easily looks worlds better than the Protostar. Feels so much better to the touch as well.

I can agree with that. In my setup, I lean much more to performance than to appearance. I'd love to have a beautiful REAL Home theater environment, and would go with a Carada Masquerade system if I could afford the look that it and the rest of the stuff would provide. But, it's simply a matter of cost in my circumstance.

The Protostar pretty much is a match to the Carada frame material, so it actually makes for a better daylight look for my screen, than the velvet. Now, that's not to say that an overall Velvet setup wouldn't be sexier looking. The occasional splotchy area I was getting with contact cement and velvet wasn't aiding to the best daytime appearance, but that was just a matter of my skill level.

And of course, if money wasn't the difference, I damned sure wouldn't be looking at tension rods and overlength masks! The good news is once the lights are out it all completely disappears. On the plus side, my wife is pleased with both the appearance and the performance in our non-public area media room. The former is a real accomplishment because she knows my obsessions sometimes come at the cost of style.

See ya. Dave

"High Fidelity audio has been like a dog chasing his tail. High Fidelity in my marriage has been much more rewarding cause she knows where I sleep."
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post #25 of 84 Old 09-24-2009, 03:49 PM
 
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I have my screen spaced out from the wall a few inches. I use an AT screen and have my center speaker located behind the screen. Since my DLP projector has vertical & horizontal lens shift, I think I will make a mask for the top only and use lens shift to use the bottom of the projector screen. I am thinking of installing a 2" roller behind my screen at the top and lowering the mask down in front of my screen. Should make for a fairly simple install and the roller should be hidden from view. Only thing I need to work out is how not to wear off the spray on velvet on my screen frame where the masking velvet would rub on the top of the screen. I could use a roller that would swing over or I might be able to do something simple like installing a black plastic "L" at the top of the screen.

Added:
Not sure that I am going to do this this way or not. My projector has H & V lens shift and I adjusted a 2.40 image so that it matches up with the bottom of my screen. It had been awhile since I have had to adjust my projector. It is not just a matter of using vertical lens shift. When you adjust the image down using the vertical lens shift the image shifts slightly to one side so that you have to also use the horizontal lens shift. A little bit of a pain to do and I am not sure that I want to fool with this every time I want to change aspect ratio. I will either have to do do top and bottom masking or just forget about it.
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post #26 of 84 Old 09-25-2009, 06:40 AM - Thread Starter
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A little bit of a pain to do and I am not sure that I want to fool with this every time I want to change aspect ratio. I will either have to do do top and bottom masking or just forget about it.

My only suggestion would be to not just forget about it. Masking has completely changed the viewing experience of widescreen aspect ratios. I messed around for many months trying to figure out what arrangement of DIY would work out for me. I'm glad that I finally learned a little patience and just waited out the many trials and errors.

See ya. Dave

"High Fidelity audio has been like a dog chasing his tail. High Fidelity in my marriage has been much more rewarding cause she knows where I sleep."
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post #27 of 84 Old 09-25-2009, 07:22 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Jive Turkey View Post

My only suggestion would be to not just forget about it. Masking has completely changed the viewing experience of widescreen aspect ratios. I messed around for many months trying to figure out what arrangement of DIY would work out for me. I'm glad that I finally learned a little patience and just waited out the many trials and errors.

Last week I pulled down my screen and installed Center Stage XD (AT material) in my frame. To do this I had to remove and cut down my sound panels that are installed on my screen wall behind my screen, install center behind the screen, space screen out from front wall and paint blocking behind screen black. On top of reworking the screen.

My right and left front are against the sides of my screen frame and the front baffle is about an inch in front of the screen frame. To do a top and bottom masking system, I would need to space my mains wider apart and that is no simple job in my case. My mains are mounted to brackets that are mounted to the sides of my panels. This means that I would have to pull everything off of my front wall and make new speaker brackets. It would almost be like starting over. Not ready to do that at this time since I would be reworking much of what I just did last week. Not ready to do it again so soon. I will think about a solution for a while longer.

What really sucks is I have a Marantz VP12S4 that I use downstairs. The 12S4 has blanking. You can blank out (mask) top, bottom and sides of the screen for any aspect ratio that you want. In other words you can get rid of the gray bars with out using any masking. Problem is the Marantz throw is too long for my small dedicated room. The Marantz was made with a short throw lens, but I bet it would cost a fortune to change out.
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post #28 of 84 Old 09-30-2009, 04:20 PM - Thread Starter
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bump for protostar fabric masking panel pictures added to post #16

See ya. Dave

"High Fidelity audio has been like a dog chasing his tail. High Fidelity in my marriage has been much more rewarding cause she knows where I sleep."
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post #29 of 84 Old 10-01-2009, 10:44 PM
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I have my 30" x 200" Roll on the way as well...

By my calculations, I'll be able to do 2 - 85" diagonal Screens and one 110" diagonal that have 2" and 3" wide Trim, and barely use up half of it.

My only real concern will be cutting it to size/shape using something other than scissors. Most likely will use a 'new bladed' utility knife and a gude.

After all the time I've spent expounding on the virtues of Sy's TPV, this is quite a departure. But that 99% Light absorptive figure simply looks too tempting to resist.

MM,
I've found the best and easiest way to cut fabric is to use a rotary cutter. It rolls over the fabric and you can get clean cuts. I just started using it, after cutting many lengths of velvet, and its great! The cutting mat is really supposed to help (I dont have it yet).

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post #30 of 84 Old 10-01-2009, 11:15 PM
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MM,
I've found the best and easiest way to cut fabric is to use a rotary cutter. It rolls over the fabric and you can get clean cuts. I just started using it, after cutting many lengths of velvet, and its great! The cutting mat is really supposed to help (I dont have it yet).

Yeah....I could have used both yesterday. But I got'ter dun anywho.

Results were IMO identical to Triple Plush Black Velvet except in the most extreme intensely directed light tests where you could then see intermittent fibers on the BV reflecting light. But here's something....as far as Projected light over spill, the BV did better because of the depth of it's "Pile". The much flatter Protostar showed the over spill more noticeably.

So my take is...for application to large flat surfaces for the purpose of eliminating and indirect light Reflection, the Protostar is an excellent...if not indeed more expensive proposition.

Black Velvet takes the honors as far as wrapping Screen trim. It works too well, and cuts / applies too easily...and for far less expense than the Protostar. Having said that...I'll find plenty of opportunistic uses for the remaining Protostar material, and when needed again for similar applications I won't hesitate one moment to buy / use it again. I have never come across the level of performance it offers in a Self-Adhesive backed Tape.





......the little white specks you see are Nail heads not as of yet tapped below the Velvet.



.......................Sy's Triple Plush Black Velvet...................Protostar..............

You might also note that the only place where you can see any difference is right along the outside edge of the TPBV....because on such a "wrapped" edge the fibers stick out at right angles and can collect / reflect more light. On the "Flat" they exhibit none of that behavior.

In fact....stare at the last image for a while and you can perceive that the TPBV is the "Blacker' of the two...but for the wrong reasons......more light reflection.

To quote James T. Kirk;
"I'm laughing at the superior intellect"
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