Projector Screen decision. Please help! - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 01-24-2013, 11:01 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi Guys, new to projector screens and I'm on the wall about either building my own screen or buying one. My original budget for a screen is $1500, but if i could build one just as good for $300 I think i would do it and spend the money I saved on a better projector.

My thought was to make one out of Melamine from home depot then painting it, since I'm only looking around 100" screen size. What do you guys think should I do Melamine or Sintra? The only reason i was thinking Melamine since its easy to find. Any recommendations on Paint? I was thinking maybe Silver Fire v2.5 2.0 or 3.0, not sure if people are doing that with Melamine. Since the built in's will be white, i figured I'm going to have to do a gray screen.

Whats your guys thought? Should I go out and buy a screen for $1500 or do a DIY and spend the extra on a better projector? My original budget for a projector was around $3000 so this would up it but I really do not know if I will even need to spend that sort of money for a descent projector. I guess that's a topic for another forum but I would always love to hear your guys opinion on that. I'm really leaning towards building the screen myself but this is my first go around with a projector setup so I'm a little nervous about going this route.


Thanks for the help!

Sean
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post #2 of 14 Old 01-24-2013, 12:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seanmic View Post

Hi Guys, new to projector screens and I'm on the wall about either building my own screen or buying one. My original budget for a screen is $1500, but if i could build one just as good for $300 I think i would do it and spend the money I saved on a better projector.

My thought was to make one out of Melamine from home depot then painting it, since I'm only looking around 100" screen size. What do you guys think should I do Melamine or Sintra? The only reason i was thinking Melamine since its easy to find. Any recommendations on Paint? I was thinking maybe Silver Fire v2.5 2.0 or 3.0, not sure if people are doing that with Melamine. Since the built in's will be white, i figured I'm going to have to do a gray screen.

Whats your guys thought? Should I go out and buy a screen for $1500 or do a DIY and spend the extra on a better projector?

Is that a trick question? tongue.gif

Thrifty White Hardboard is a good choice for a budget-oriented -100" screen (the most you can get out of 4' x 8' sheet in 16:9 is 98" )
Quote:
My original budget for a projector was around $3000 so this would up it but I really do not know if I will even need to spend that sort of money for a descent projector. I guess that's a topic for another forum but I would always love to hear your guys opinion on that. I'm really leaning towards building the screen myself but this is my first go around with a projector setup so I'm a little nervous about going this route.


Thanks for the help!

Sean

Helping people cut through the Fog and get a perfectly matched PJ / Screen combo is really what any great DIY project centers around.

Dispel all doubts and nervous tendencies. There are several of us who will have your back throughout your process.

So...where to begin?

Well, tell us every little thing you can about your room, seating, lights, color scheme, and viewing habits and off we'll go! cool.gif

To quote James T. Kirk;
"I'm laughing at the superior intellect"
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post #3 of 14 Old 01-24-2013, 12:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks MississippiMan! I'm pretty handy so I think i can do this smile.gif, I hope.....

Well the room has not been started yet, its an addition above our garage and here is the basic mock-up that I made. Room will start being built in the next few weeks so I'm pretty excited. I also designed the room in Sketchup which I can post some pictures of later tonight that gives a better feel of the room.



The room will have 2 windows and possibly a port hole window above the built in entertainment center. I'm going to get blackout blinds for the 2 large windows on the side but not sure what to do about the port hole window (Thats my wifes thing, she thinks it will look good which I'm sure it will smile.gif).. Its a vaulted ceiling going from 6' to 12' peak and will be dry walled all the way up with a few beams going East to west. The built in entertainment center will be 16' long by 8' tall and painted white (another thing the wife wanted, but to get my projector i had to let her have some say). I'm going to have the whole room light controlled and a majority of our watching in this room will be at night. Seating distance will be 11-12'. Color scheme for the rest of the room is not set yet, but I'm going to try and persuade the wife into a little darker paint and maybe a dark rug near the projector screen

Viewing habits are 90% movies 10% sports. It's pretty much just a movie room and when football is on that's where I disappear too.

Thanks for the help guys, I really appreciate it!

Sean
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post #4 of 14 Old 01-24-2013, 01:27 PM - Thread Starter
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Actually I'm finding a lot of places near me that have Sintra sheets, so Maybe i will move in that direction instead of Melamine! Go for a real 100" to 110" screen wink.gif
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post #5 of 14 Old 01-24-2013, 02:13 PM
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Since you say you are going to be watching movies most of the time you might want to consider a 2.35:1 aspect ratio instead of 16:9. this will allow the maximum size image for "widescreen" movies and make it possible to use black curtains to "mask" the sides of the screen when watching sports in high def (16:9).
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post #6 of 14 Old 01-24-2013, 02:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ahajr143 View Post

Since you say you are going to be watching movies most of the time you might want to consider a 2.35:1 aspect ratio instead of 16:9. this will allow the maximum size image for "widescreen" movies and make it possible to use black curtains to "mask" the sides of the screen when watching sports in high def (16:9).

That would be pretty awesome!!! I would actually be down for that idea since we wont be doing much more in that room and it would still be a pretty big image for sports. I think once we get this project going I will start another thread with some pics.
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post #7 of 14 Old 01-24-2013, 07:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi Guys wanted to give you a little more info about the room. This is my mock up from google sketchup. As you can see the screen will be about 17' from the wall the projector will be mounted in. As of right now the opening for the projector screen in the media center is designed for 8' W x 4'6" H. but i could easily widen that another foot or two

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post #8 of 14 Old 01-25-2013, 02:27 AM
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OK....this is how I see it.

  • Your screen size and throw distance restricts your choice of Projector to just a few considerations (JVC, Panasonic & Epson) 1st Choice: Panny 8000.*** (lens memory) Second Choice....I suggest the Epson 6020UB.
  • At 2.35:1 your maximum screen size is 123" diagonal (48" x 113"). Shift to 16:9 and you'd get 98" diagonal (48" x 85")
  • If you can widen the Screen Box opening to 10', then you can fit in some Electric Black Velvet Curtains, triggered to automatically close into the 16:9 formatted sides.

    Example of a Panny 8000 installation with Electric Curtains:





  • You will need to Black "Out" the bottom of the Screen Box with Black Velvet, because your Screen will be crowding the bottom. One thing you could do is create a "Stepped Look" and raise the top of the center "10' wide Box" an additional 12" higher. There is also another good reason to do that. With a Lens Memory PJ ***, the Lens should be at a level equal to or slightly lower than the top edge of the Screen, and centered as exactly as possible.
  • You don't mention / show what lies on the other side of the wall the PJ would mount on / through. But be advised that you will want to invert the PJ so some accommodation for that must be made in the design of any "Thru the Wall" portal. Not really an issue, but definitely required.
  • Choose your sound option carefully. The Vaulted Ceiling and almost "square" dimensions will make getting really effective acoustics (especially in 7 Channel) somewhat more difficult.

All in all, the entire project is a excellent one, with loads of potential. Not so thrilled about the Entertainment Cabinet being "White" though....that will make it become a predominant fixture being so big, and grossly over balance the visual effect of the room. Also, it will stand out and distract attention from the Screen during a movie, greatly reducing the immersed and isolated effect one usually pursues.

I deal with Wives a lot.....and I find that given a chance to get really creative yet stick to certain parameters, they can get pretty involved and happy making color choices than make great visual sense and still correspond with necessary considerations. Your room is / will be a Dedicated viewing room, so it only makes sense that anything that can detract from achieving your desired results be avoided.

Suggestion for Colors? Flat Enamel "Mid-Hue" Teal for Cabinet....3x Darker Teal for Walls, very light Flat Teal for Ceiling. All wood Trim (Doors / Base / Windows) should match the Cabinet shade but be done in Satin Enamel.

You could use other Earth Tones like Brown (-ugh-) or Green / Blue-Green (Mo Bedder) Perhaps best would be a medium Flat Gray Enamel on Walls and Satin Enamel on the Cabinet (...blending that big sucker into the environment...)with a slightly lighter shade of the same for all trim.

Those are the "ideas" I would put forth to the Boss, and let her in on as to why. With those suggestions she can substitute other similar color schemes.

....................and here you had to get us started. tongue.gif

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post #9 of 14 Old 01-25-2013, 07:38 AM - Thread Starter
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Man i really can't thank you enough! I really appreciate all this knowledge. I'm a big fan of Panasonic since I have a 65vt30 in our current bonus room, so I think that's a done deal smile.gif. Any recommendations on where to buy or is Amazon good for that?

I'm going to go back to the drawing board and fix up that sketch a little. The back wall where it bumps out is actually the stairs heading down to our garage, but It only needs to be about 5' tall since the stairs are about 4' lower then the floor in the media room.

I'm going to buy the boss a bottle of wine tonight and show her some pictures of a DARK media center such as the link below. What do you think the size of that screen is in the link? That things perfect! Also if we did the carpet/walls like the link would that be a problem? Maybe put a dark rug in front of the media center.


http://www.houzz.com/photos/1270610/Media-Room-contemporary-media-room-toronto

Regarding the Sound I already have a GoldenEar setup with the Triton 2 Towers with supersat series as the center and surrounds. I was thinking of getting 2 more supersat speakers to make it a 7.0 but if you think just keeping it as a 5.0 thats alright with me. Also a room that big do you think i need a sub, those Triton 2's put out a lot of bass its pretty amazing I really cannot say enough about those speakers.

Again thanks for the advice, I will keep you guys updated throughout the project.
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post #10 of 14 Old 01-26-2013, 06:15 PM - Thread Starter
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Hey Guys,

Got a question regarding the panny 8000. I was in a local home theater store and one of the guys mentioned something about these projectors will lose quality when you zoom to 2.35:1 ratio. He mentioned the best way is a lens but that's over my budget. From the images above from MM, that looks perfect so I'm not sure if he knew what he was talking about.

Please let me know what you guys think. I would really like to do a 2.35:1 screen!
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post #11 of 14 Old 01-27-2013, 04:32 AM
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Dude wants to sell you an expensive Lens, that's all. Go figure. biggrin.gif

While it is true that a Panamorphic Lens does have advantages (Light & Resolution perseverance -16:9 conversion) those features also come with caveats such as the need for a curved screen (to offset pincushion effect) and a Motorized Sled (..or manual "Slide")

Lens such as those were an absolute necessity back in the days of 1280 x 700p PJs, ones that did not have the features of the Pannys. PJs that have introduced "Stretch Modes" to accommodate such Lenses attempted to cater to the needs of CIH advocates, but the introductory Price Tag was...and still is so high that more often than not, the cost of a A-Lens exceeds the cost of the PJ.

Panansonic's introduction of Lens memory, combined with adequate Lumen output and 1080p resolution, started a trend toward an more cost effective solution.

Simply put, unless you just really have been lusting for such a Lens / PJ set up, the Panny offers you a better deal all around.

As for the Salesman, let his Children ride someone else's coat tails into College.tongue.gif

At the size screen you'd do, clarity and light will be no problem. At all.cool.gif

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post #12 of 14 Old 01-27-2013, 09:12 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks MM! I had this feeling especially after looking at the pictures you posted previously of the panny projecting on that big 2.35 screen. I think I'm going to go with and 8' wide 2.35 screen with the penny 8000. I also was able to talk the wife out of the white media center going darker like the one I linked earlier..

Now just waiting on the permits for our addition and then the fun begins.

What version of SF you think I should go with everything you know so far?
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post #13 of 14 Old 01-27-2013, 12:35 PM
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What a Gal! Do whatever you have to so as to keep on her good side! We don't encounter many Wives on this Forum so receptive to what most of us consider "common sense" decisions. <<< Must of been one "Kick Ass" bottle/s of Wine! >>>

SFv2.5 2.0 or RS-MaxxMudd LL w/2 oz Liquitex Basics Neutral Gray added.

Where are you located?

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post #14 of 14 Old 01-27-2013, 01:00 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm located in the Seattle area. Thanks for the recommendations on paint! Considering I'm a newbie to DIY screens would you consider one paint easier to do correctly then the other? I want to go the route where i cannot mess up smile.gif
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