Anyone ever try using Ultraboard as a screen? - Page 3 - AVS Forum
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post #61 of 71 Old 11-02-2012, 08:23 AM
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Ultraboard still has a tendency to warp. You will also get dents fairly easily. Gator is much more stable.
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post #62 of 71 Old 11-02-2012, 11:35 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Jim Meade View Post

Ultraboard still has a tendency to warp. You will also get dents fairly easily. Gator is much more stable.

I have to disagree with at least one part of your statement. I work in an graphics company that uses these products for signs and wall hangings. There are three main products we use:

Foam Core : white clay coated or brown Kraft paper exterior (feels like cardboard), polystyrene foam interior. Most likely to be damaged and warp

Ultra Board; polystyrene rigid surface, polystyrene foam core. - can be dented, but due to materials (same inside and out and makeup), very unlikely to warp (which is why its so expensive and stores use it for large signage)

Ultra Plus: polystyrene foam core and polystyrene rigid PVC - don't know much about this, but I assume it would be less likely to dent, and just as warp proof as Ultra Board

Gator Board: multi layered, resin-impregnated, Kraft paper surface (feels like plaster), polystyrene foam interior - very unlikely to warp, requires more pressure to damage, but when damage will show as a crack in the surface. Also more difficult to cut.

This is from tech bulletins that I have read and from the experience of the guys who use the stuff at my workplace.

So my conclusion is that you don't have to worry about Ultra board warping, but gator board might be a better choice for durability. They also told me that they gatorboard surface is a little more matte in appearance, so that might be a plus as well.

Someone needs to get 4 samples of ultra board, ultra plus, and gator board and do a test. I don't have a projector at home, and no time to do it at work....for now. smile.gif
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post #63 of 71 Old 11-03-2012, 01:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Viche View Post


Someone needs to get 4 samples of ultra board, ultra plus, and gator board and do a test. I don't have a projector at home, and no time to do it at work....for now. smile.gif

No they don't.

Let me correct the misconceptions here.

"ALL" the Foam Core boards listed above have reduced durability. Any such sheet with a compressible Core will dent too easily, and those with a Paper Coating can "dent and scratch" with very little effort.
(You can "dent" Gatorboard" with a firm press of a Finger)
Gatorboard will warp via the contraction of paint as it dries if the entire surface is coated (DIY Screen making isn't "Lettering".) so it needs a Frame.

All that said, of one is careful, and adequately supports any of the Foam Core sheets, they can serve as a substrate for a screen. But it's a gamble akin to owning a Mfg Fixed Screen. Let an accident occur that dents or creases the surface and short of applying a skim coat of Drywall Mud and sanding the entire surface (...I've had to do exactly that...) you've got a ruined Screen

Sintra (Komatex) Board is the only really durable material, being a solid Extruded Foam PVC Sheet. It can be used without a Frame (...in 6mm) Cut with a utility Knife, and will "never" warp.....no mater what. I've left sizable Trimmed pieces fully exposed to the elements for over a year and they are just as flat as they were when cut.

Anyone who needs a source of Sintra / Komatex, simply post up your location and the odds are there will be a Wholesale Distributor I can point you toward.

To quote James T. Kirk;
"I'm laughing at the superior intellect"
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post #64 of 71 Old 11-05-2012, 09:51 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MississippiMan View Post

No they don't.
Let me correct the misconceptions here.
"ALL" the Foam Core boards listed above have reduced durability. Any such sheet with a compressible Core will dent too easily, and those with a Paper Coating can "dent and scratch" with very little effort.
(You can "dent" Gatorboard" with a firm press of a Finger)
Gatorboard will warp via the contraction of paint as it dries if the entire surface is coated (DIY Screen making isn't "Lettering".) so it needs a Frame.
All that said, of one is careful, and adequately supports any of the Foam Core sheets, they can serve as a substrate for a screen. But it's a gamble akin to owning a Mfg Fixed Screen. Let an accident occur that dents or creases the surface and short of applying a skim coat of Drywall Mud and sanding the entire surface (...I've had to do exactly that...) you've got a ruined Screen
Sintra (Komatex) Board is the only really durable material, being a solid Extruded Foam PVC Sheet. It can be used without a Frame (...in 6mm) Cut with a utility Knife, and will "never" warp.....no mater what. I've left sizable Trimmed pieces fully exposed to the elements for over a year and they are just as flat as they were when cut.
Anyone who needs a source of Sintra / Komatex, simply post up your location and the odds are there will be a Wholesale Distributor I can point you toward.

Woah, wait a second there guy. I have a piece of gator board and ultraboard in my hand:

Ultraboard, yes you can dent it with a FIRM push of the finger.
Gatorboard, cracked before it would dent. Took a decent amount of pressure
Ultraboard plus has a 1mm rigid expanded PVC foam sheet exterior, again probably would take a decent hit to dent

But once the screen is installed, unless you have a kid throw something at it or fall into it, you won't have a problem. I have a 52" screen sitting in my family room with kids, and I don't think anyone has so much as even breathed on it. The unbroken dust layer proves it. Not sure that a small dent off center would even be that huge of a deal for most. At worst you pay around $100 for a new one.

Regarding framing, Ultraboard comes up to 3" thick (more expensive though). No need for a frame other than to mask the exterior in black.

Warping, I never suggested painting these boards. They are bright, matte white. From previous testing in this thread, the default surface seemed to make a good screen with little hotspotting. I think a rep was on here saying the finish was 1.0 gain (have to check that).

So instead of throwing out gator and ultra board, lets add sintra/komatex to the list and compare/test them all! smile.gif
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post #65 of 71 Old 11-06-2012, 05:31 AM
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Having accidents happen is why consideration should be given.....not that someone's screen collects dust, and is lucky enough to avoided such misfortunes. Nor is having the replacement cost be low.....it's still an extra expenditure. Especially to a DIY'er

Painted or not, a dent or a crack is still something to be avoided. I stand by my comments because they represent many, many instances where the stated materials were use...abused...and either stood up to the rest or failed.

52" screen? If that's not a typo, I can understand why the screen isn't in jeopardy much. It simply does not present enough of a footprint to be so.

To quote James T. Kirk;
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post #66 of 71 Old 11-07-2012, 04:54 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MississippiMan View Post

Having accidents happen is why consideration should be given.....not that someone's screen collects dust, and is lucky enough to avoided such misfortunes. Nor is having the replacement cost be low.....it's still an extra expenditure. Especially to a DIY'er
Painted or not, a dent or a crack is still something to be avoided. I stand by my comments because they represent many, many instances where the stated materials were use...abused...and either stood up to the rest or failed.
52" screen? If that's not a typo, I can understand why the screen isn't in jeopardy much. It simply does not present enough of a footprint to be so.

Of course cost should be a factor considered when deciding whether or not the fragility of a screen is important. Ease of set up should be as well. I would much, much, much rather buy a $100 board and pop it on the wall without much work than have to stretch material over a frame or re-paint something while trying to achieve the perfect color and consistency. I'd gladly take my chances with the boards. It will be on the wall, well beyond where people are hanging out. The 52" (yes 52") TV I have has been temporarily sitting on my fireplace hearth, which is raised and juts out a foot or 2 into the room, for over a year. Because it's a family room and it is MUCH closer to the seating and playing area than a large screen would be, my kids are very often within a foot or so of the screen. Guess it all depends on what kind of kids you have, or what kind of parenting you enforce. After having pushed on the screen material, I wouldn't have any concerns about using it for a screen, especially the harder surfaced materials like gatorboard or ultra plus. If you don't have kids, then this isn't even an issue. I don't expect to be randomly throwing things in the room or stumbling around and crashing into walls. smile.gif

Just curious, can you send me links to instances where ultra board or gator board has been used, let alone abused? Since fragility is an non issue to me, I'm very curious about how well the unpainted surface performed as a screen.

(Yes I have infinitely less experience than you at DIY screens, but I just don't see fragility as being a big issue, unless you are talking about the initial delivery and hanging.)
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post #67 of 71 Old 11-08-2012, 02:17 AM
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It's just not all that common an instance that anyone can...or will settle for using any White board material for a screen these days.

Fragility is a relative thing. I'm pretty darn sure you do not go out of your way to test your screen's ability to dent. That would be pretty self defeating. And in fact, your situation is far outside the norm.

I can count on the fingers of one hand, with at least 2 fingers missing...how many members have ever used a screen under 60". Both those fellows were using LED PJs. All the rest, by virtue of size alone, always have to deal with potential damage. With a DIY screen made from durable substrate, and painted, the worse that can have to be dealt with is a touch up using a Prevail bottle sprayer. You would not know this, being rooted in using the Board "as is".

You ask for links to examples that really, no one has had need of compiling. There has been a myriad of varied examples posted...most from quite a few years back, that have eliminated many less-than durable materials from "Normal" consideration.

Gatorboard has a pretty good record at delivering a decent...if not outstanding image...but the less costly nature of such has been it's strong suit...certainly not durability or Image quality potential. Your earlier posts as Thread Started verified that.

Ultraboard is a basic unknown...no many have ever described it as being their Substrate of choice....so anyone trying hard to advocate it's use needs only to present their own experiences. If people want to try it based on that...they will.

Western State dwellers swear by what is called "Do-able" as being the best "Hang-n-Shoot" material...bar none.

WilsonArt Designer White Laminate developed quite a following, but all the complaints it's garnered over the years regarding fragility, hot spotting with some PJ / placement locations, and a total lack of ambient light resistance has delegated it to a lower status. Yest still, some persist in advocating it's use...and indeed, if a single sheet of 12' x 5' material is needed at a reasonable cost, be it used "as is" or painted, it's got a place in the scheme of things.

In any case, DIY depends upon people searching out and trying new things. Some such as yourself who seem to have an aversion toward painting revel in the Hang-n-shoot idealism, and can live with such because quire frankly, they haven't as of yet experience what something else might deliver. And that all good. What they don't experience, they cannot lament the lack thereof, nor covet thy neighbor's Screen wink.gif

But I'll tell you this...if you did ever make yourself a larger, outstanding DIY Screen that was a true over-acheiver, I'm bettin' you would understand completely both why others have done so, and why surface durability and repair-ability are both such essential items to take under consideration.

Much of all this is a rehash of what has been expressed before....and this Thread lay dormant for over 2 years so that speaks volumes about how many people have and have not considered using it. My own comments posted 3 years ago are still valid and relevant....but sometimes it's good to review, if only to clear up as to what might or not be best to use.

To quote James T. Kirk;
"I'm laughing at the superior intellect"
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post #68 of 71 Old 11-12-2012, 12:08 PM - Thread Starter
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I think we are having some miscommunication here. Let's clear things up.
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Originally Posted by MississippiMan View Post

It's just not all that common an instance that anyone can...or will settle for using any White board material for a screen these days.

Because of fragility or image quality? Must be fragility, because you said that gatorboard can deliver a good image. I'd still really like to see posts relating to this though . I did a search for ultraboard and avsforums in google and found only one thread (this one). I then searched gatorboard, and found the thread where you installed a gatorboard painted screen. I'm kinda confused. In your thread, the words "dent," "fragile," "damage," or "fragility" don't come up at all in searches (possibility of damaging a 1/4" gatorboard was mentioned by someone, but the same person said "my 1/2" GF board has no flex whatsoever, zero!"), in fact you mentioned how easy it was to carry to your theater room, up a set of stairs, around a 90 degree corner, without damaging it. From a quick scan of the thread, you seemed to have been pretty happy with your results. In fact you were very excited by all of these possible materials earlier in the thread. Why they change in heart?
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Fragility is a relative thing. I'm pretty darn sure you do not go out of your way to test your screen's ability to dent. That would be pretty self defeating. And in fact, your situation is far outside the norm.

I have samples of gatorboard and ultraboard in my office. I've tested both for durability a few times. I don't get your statement. As someone in this thread said, they dented an ultraboard board in two spots, but were unable to see it from 10 feet away. Also, ultraboard is the least durable of the material mentioned. Ultra plus should be even more durable than gatorboard. We just need to have someone test it as am unpainted screen surface.
Quote:
I can count on the fingers of one hand, with at least 2 fingers missing...how many members have ever used a screen under 60". Both those fellows were using LED PJs. All the rest, by virtue of size alone, always have to deal with potential damage.

Sorry for the confusion. i have a 52" TV in my family room, not a projector screen. Still, my point stands. There is always a solid undisturbed layer of dust on it, with NO fingerprints, despite my kids playing within feet of it almost every day. Maybe it's a miracle, but I'd expect even less contact to a wall installed board screen, especially in a dedicated home theater.. Again, in your own thread you mentioned that you were able to move a large gatorboard up a 90 degree turn in stairs without damaging it.
Quote:
With a DIY screen made from durable substrate, and painted, the worse that can have to be dealt with is a touch up using a Prevail bottle sprayer. You would not know this, being rooted in using the Board "as is".

I wouldn't want to even get involved in that whole painting mess to begin with. Sounds like a huge pain in the ass. Putting a board on the wall is approximately 90% easier in my mind. wink.gif
Quote:
You ask for links to examples that really, no one has had need of compiling. There has been a myriad of varied examples posted...most from quite a few years back, that have eliminated many less-than durable materials from "Normal" consideration.
Gatorboard has a pretty good record at delivering a decent...if not outstanding image...but the less costly nature of such has been it's strong suit...certainly not durability or Image quality potential.

Makes no sense. "decent...if not outstanding image" vs "Image quality potential" "has been it's strong suit" confused.gif
Quote:
Your earlier posts as Thread Started verified that.
Ultraboard is a basic unknown...no many have ever described it as being their Substrate of choice....so anyone trying hard to advocate it's use needs only to present their own experiences. If people want to try it based on that...they will.

The very fact that not many people have tested it is THE reason I wish more people would. As you saw in this thread, one tester said of the unpainted ultraboard; "the board performs very well. I don't have a WA DW laminate to compare with, but the picture really pop. As with any white surface, black is weak."
Quote:
Western State dwellers swear by what is called "Do-able" as being the best "Hang-n-Shoot" material...bar none.
WilsonArt Designer White Laminate developed quite a following, but all the complaints it's garnered over the years regarding fragility, hot spotting with some PJ / placement locations, and a total lack of ambient light resistance has delegated it to a lower status. Yest still, some persist in advocating it's use...and indeed, if a single sheet of 12' x 5' material is needed at a reasonable cost, be it used "as is" or painted, it's got a place in the scheme of things.
In any case, DIY depends upon people searching out and trying new things. Some such as yourself who seem to have an aversion toward painting revel in the Hang-n-shoot idealism, and can live with such because quire frankly, they haven't as of yet experience what something else might deliver. And that all good. What they don't experience, they cannot lament the lack thereof, nor covet thy neighbor's Screen wink.gif

If the unpainted surface does not hotspot, and is close to perfect white, then why not use it? Isn't that the holy grail. Aren't far more professional screen pure white than grey? I never considered BUYING a grey screen, so why would I PAINT a perfectly good white surface? What we need is more testing of each of these materials for optical performance.
Quote:
But I'll tell you this...if you did ever make yourself a larger, outstanding DIY Screen that was a true over-acheiver, I'm bettin' you would understand completely both why others have done so, and why surface durability and repair-ability are both such essential items to take under consideration.
Much of all this is a rehash of what has been expressed before....and this Thread lay dormant for over 2 years so that speaks volumes about how many people have and have not considered using it. My own comments posted 3 years ago are still valid and relevant....but sometimes it's good to review, if only to clear up as to what might or not be best to use.

Wasn't the parkland material SO popular because of its cost and ease of installation? I'm looking for a better alternative. No one will covet your OCD painting techniques if they can simply hang a perfectly good board on the wall. The amount of difficulty involved does not necessarily merit increased viewing enjoyment. I want truth, not finesse. The fact that this thread lay dormant may very well be that the idea of using ultraboard/plus, etc, never really caught on. Maybe it wasn't easy to obtain. Maybe we haven't had that one champion who has done a large comparison test with pics. How can we put it to rest without a good shoot out? All we have so far are a couple of opinions. Let me ask you this - if fragility weren't an issue (and it's not to me), wouldn't you be at least a little curious to see all of these materials in a thorough shoot out. Don't make me be the one to do it....cause I WILL...haha tongue.gif
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post #69 of 71 Old 11-12-2012, 04:02 PM
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You will have to send me a link to any thread where I stated I carried Gator board around a 90 degree corner. I've only used Gatorboard 2x in the last 10 years. Both those instances were because I had to, because Sintra was not available. If anything, I might have made mention that it's being so lightweight that it could be stood on end easily, making it fit around a stairwell. But bending? That's an invitation to crease or snap it.

What I might have written really doesn't matter in this case. What matters most is what you have written and how it reflects the way your thinking.

Obviously your experience in all of this is very limited or you would know how limited a white surface is Also, your casual use of the term "OCS" shows a marked lack of courtesy.... if indeed also a total lack of understanding of what must go into creating a high performance front projection screen. If anything, your own posts seem to indicate that you have a bit of it yourself to deal with. biggrin.gif

By virtue of the lack of the type of posts on the subject you seem so interested in.... and your own seemingly unbridled interest in the subject yourself, that should suggest to you that yes, in fact you are the one who should go to the trouble to do the testing and comparisons you speak of. All who have done so basically reached the same conclusions. It's white...it works for a Screen surface...and it does nothing to improve an image.....in fact Blacks usually suffer.

What really seems so odd is how your placing so much emphasis, and are being so argumentative on your points, when in fact you have yet to even own a front projection screen made out of any material let alone the materials listed in this discussion. You seem more interested in trying to prove a point against all other opinions. Well that's nothing really new on Forums....but it's not very productive on one like this.

There is nothing special at all about any white surface.... only that they present an easy opportunity for someone to have them selves a screen with as little as effort as possible. And if those surfaces can be damaged, but not easily repaired, then they become far less useful than one would first consider them to be. Sadly, that is something some must learn for themselves through "real life" usage.

To quote James T. Kirk;
"I'm laughing at the superior intellect"
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post #70 of 71 Old 11-12-2012, 04:19 PM
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Just an added note;

If your really determined to get / use a sheet of White material, be certain to both address your room's ceiling color,(...most important of all...) as well as the reflectivity quotient of your side walls, especially if they are in any way located withing 3' of the edges of the screen. And don't overlook the Floor if it is Wood or Laminate, or if the Carpet is a very light color.

But most of all, get a PJ that has as outstanding a Contrast specification as you can afford. Blacks that start out being really "Black" have all the more leeway built in toward suffering degradation from reflected light returning to strike the screen and cause wash-out. Simply turning out all the lights isn't the answer if the room's surfaces work contrary to the production and retention of Blacks and vibrant colors.

That Sir....is why many do trouble themselves to get / make Gray Screens. Even those who purchase PJs with 200K:1 Contrast or more can benefit from having a surface that prevents the loss of those precious Blacks they covet.

To quote James T. Kirk;
"I'm laughing at the superior intellect"
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post #71 of 71 Old 11-13-2012, 12:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MississippiMan View Post

You will have to send me a link to any thread where I stated I carried Gator board around a 90 degree corner. I've only used Gatorboard 2x in the last 10 years. Both those instances were because I had to, because Sintra was not available. If anything, I might have made mention that it's being so lightweight that it could be stood on end easily, making it fit around a stairwell. But bending? That's an invitation to crease or snap it.
What I might have written really doesn't matter in this case. What matters most is what you have written and how it reflects the way your thinking.
Obviously your experience in all of this is very limited or you would know how limited a white surface is Also, your casual use of the term "OCS" shows a marked lack of courtesy.... if indeed also a total lack of understanding of what must go into creating a high performance front projection screen. If anything, your own posts seem to indicate that you have a bit of it yourself to deal with. biggrin.gif
By virtue of the lack of the type of posts on the subject you seem so interested in.... and your own seemingly unbridled interest in the subject yourself, that should suggest to you that yes, in fact you are the one who should go to the trouble to do the testing and comparisons you speak of. All who have done so basically reached the same conclusions. It's white...it works for a Screen surface...and it does nothing to improve an image.....in fact Blacks usually suffer.
What really seems so odd is how your placing so much emphasis, and are being so argumentative on your points, when in fact you have yet to even own a front projection screen made out of any material let alone the materials listed in this discussion. You seem more interested in trying to prove a point against all other opinions. Well that's nothing really new on Forums....but it's not very productive on one like this.
There is nothing special at all about any white surface.... only that they present an easy opportunity for someone to have them selves a screen with as little as effort as possible. And if those surfaces can be damaged, but not easily repaired, then they become far less useful than one would first consider them to be. Sadly, that is something some must learn for themselves through "real life" usage.

You:
Quote:
Originally Posted by MississippiMan View Post

That thickness Gatorboard will have plenty of Flexibility.

BTW, I and one other person carried the 96" x 54" sheet you see in this thread around a upward 90 degree corner in a stair well. Yes, it was sent up at a steep angle, but it easily bent around the corner, and it was no real effort to keep the inside surface from out of contact with the inside edges of the corner as well..

You'll have to bugger it up pretty badly (...as in gouge or peel....) to not make any coating cover up a 'rub-like' blemish.

I never said anything about bending.

Already admitted that you know more about DIY screens. Educate me then. Why is a perfectly white surface a poor choice, assuming that it does not produce hot-spotting. I'm not looking to improve the image. I don't want to enhance blacks with a grey screen. I don't want to boost whites. Assuming you are in a light controlled cave, with every surface black, what is the disadvantage of a perfectly flat, matte, white surface. My mind is open obi wan.

Also, not sure how me wanting to slap a board on the wall is OCD, vs you with carefully detailed threads, pics, mask, spray gun, and close ups of your nice painting skills, but hey, that's cool. biggrin.gif

Hey, I showed you a quote of yourself. Please show me examples of posts where people tested ultraboard or ultraboard plus. I couldn't find any.

I'm doing this to prepare for a future home theater. Yeah it's been years in the hoping, but a man can dream. Cost and effort are huge in the hurdle department to me. I'm in no way doing this to be argumentative. Read the thread from the beginning. I'm just enthusiastic about a possible solution to the cost and ease hurdle. The one or two people who did test the board in this thread were happy with it, then you come rainin down on our parade with a lot of huff and authority, but not a lot of explanation. If it's worth your time to win your arguments, then I hope it's just as much worth your time to calmly and amicably explain you position. Sorry if I ruffled your feathers. That was never my intention.
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Originally Posted by MississippiMan View Post

Just an added note;
If your really determined to get / use a sheet of White material, be certain to both address your room's ceiling color,(...most important of all...) as well as the reflectivity quotient of your side walls, especially if they are in any way located withing 3' of the edges of the screen. And don't overlook the Floor if it is Wood or Laminate, or if the Carpet is a very light color.
But most of all, get a PJ that has as outstanding a Contrast specification as you can afford. Blacks that start out being really "Black" have all the more leeway built in toward suffering degradation from reflected light returning to strike the screen and cause wash-out. Simply turning out all the lights isn't the answer if the room's surfaces work contrary to the production and retention of Blacks and vibrant colors.
That Sir....is why many do trouble themselves to get / make Gray Screens. Even those who purchase PJs with 200K:1 Contrast or more can benefit from having a surface that prevents the loss of those precious Blacks they covet.

That's more like it. wink.gif Yes, I will take all of that into consideration. Thanks for the helpful comments. Assuming that all of that is taken care of though, why is white bad? I see tons of white commercial screens for sale at very reputable screen manufacturer websites and within these boards.
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