A Screen Dilemma (DIY vs. MFR, LAMBERTIAN vs. REFLECTIVE) - AVS Forum
View Poll Results: Which variant would you choose?
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1b + 2c 1 100.00%
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post #1 of 10 Old 01-31-2013, 01:22 AM - Thread Starter
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It feels like I've spent hundreds of hours picking up a screen for my room. There's too much pros and cons for each variant. I haven't picked a projector yet because I think that screen choice should come first. I need your thoughts. I'll try to make my post as structured as possible. Here's my mini-theater-to-be/living room.







I have a place for a 84-86" diagonal screen. The main problem is that behind the curtains is a balcony and I'll be needing an easy access to it (1). The second problem is my ceiling and walls (2). Let's call (1) a form-factor problem and (2) a screen material problem. smile.gif

So, to counter (1) I have several options:
Var.1a MFR (manufacturer) motorized tab-tensioned ceiling screen
"+" - very ergonomic, trigger-controlled by a projector
"-" - damn expensive, lack of sizes for my room, need to spoil my nice ceiling, possible wrinkles and waves smile.gif

Var.1b MFR motorized floor-stander
"+" - cheap, very ergonomic, needn't to spoil the ceiling, trigger-controlled by a projector
"-" - higher possibility of wrinkles and waves, reliability

Var.1c MFR/DIY fixed frame screen
"+" - cheapest variant?, reliability, no wrinkles and waves
"=" - (if implemented) ergonomic, trigger-controlled by a projector
"-" - need to invent a mechanism to provide access to the balcony, need to implement it, cannot truly disappear, perhaps not-so-cheap?

I think that covers (1). Now as to (2) I have been researching the market and studying some basics regarding screens. I have a basic understanding of lambertian, angular-reflective and retro-reflective screens. So, now I have several options here:

Var.2a MFR high-gain angular-reflective screen (Supernova, ISIS, Skyline, Reflection)
"+" - best contrast possible, needn't to do anything about the ceiling (great ambient lighting resistance), high gain for bright 3D
"-" - stupidly expensive, narrows the choice of projectors (throw ratio of 1.5:1 or more is needed), difficult projector placement (needs to be mounted perpendicular within the boundaries of the screen), possible artifacts (brightness non-uniformity, hot spotting, sparkling)

Var.2b MFR 1.0 matt white screen
"+" - cheap, no artifacts (great brightness uniformity, no hot spotting, no sparkles), no restrictions in projector choice, great placement flexibility
"=" - possible brightness problems for 3D
"-" - contrast is totally dependent on room treatment, need to invent masking mechanism for ceiling, additional cloth may further deaden the acoustics of the room

Var.2c MFR+DIY matt white screen (buy a screen and improve it with SF 2.5 5.0 paint or similar)
"+" - same as Var.2b + high gain for bright 3D, better contrast?
"-" - same as Var.2b + I have little experience in DIY

Var.3 Complete DIY screen
"+" - ?
"=" - ?
"-" - I have little experience in DIY and have little confidence ATM in the possible outcome

Using pure logic, I would choose right now Var. 1b + 2c. But I'll be needing your help and advice anyways.

So, there you have it. Props to those who read and thanks to those who will help!
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post #2 of 10 Old 01-31-2013, 02:42 AM
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Seems obvious to me.

Purchase a inexpensive Mfg Tab Tensioned Screen (Matte White} and spray coat it with an appropriate Paint.

Like this: http://www.avsforum.com/t/1432177/painting-onto-a-106-tab-tensioned-screen-with-silver-fire-v2-5-4-0

http://www.htdepot.com/TensionFlat_Tab_Tensioned_Electric_Screens_s/59.htm



Next.
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post #3 of 10 Old 01-31-2013, 04:58 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MississippiMan View Post

Seems obvious to me.

Purchase a inexpensive Mfg Tab Tensioned Screen (Matte White} and spray coat it with an appropriate Paint.

Like this: http://www.avsforum.com/t/1432177/painting-onto-a-106-tab-tensioned-screen-with-silver-fire-v2-5-4-0

http://www.htdepot.com/TensionFlat_Tab_Tensioned_Electric_Screens_s/59.htm



Next.
Nice. smile.gif I was hoping you'd answer. Especially I liked the price on the screen. smile.gif At this price point for motorized tab-tensioned you wouldn't even ask for reliability.
But there leaves the problems: possible wrinkles and waves, contrast is totally dependent on room treatment, need to invent masking mechanism for ceiling.

What can you say about waves and wrinkles on this screen? Especially when spray painted.
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post #4 of 10 Old 01-31-2013, 06:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elix View Post

Nice. smile.gif I was hoping you'd answer. Especially I liked the price on the screen. smile.gif At this price point for motorized tab-tensioned you wouldn't even ask for reliability.
But there leaves the problems: possible wrinkles and waves, contrast is totally dependent on room treatment, need to invent masking mechanism for ceiling.

What can you say about waves and wrinkles on this screen? Especially when spray painted.

Waves & Wrinkles:

Ain't any. The Tab Tensioning prevents that, and such tensioning also has adjust-ability as time progresses. Such potential issues are the primary reason a Tab tension Screen was chosen. At this point, 3 months after the Show the Screen was used in, it has been retracted at least 100 times, and is still flat as a sheet of Sintra.

Contrast dependent upon Room's treatment / lighting condition:


Such is the case with all screens, and screen design / surface can only work to offset or take advantage of such. Did you look at the many pictured examples of the SF painted Tabbed screen under various lighting? The Coating was Silver Fire v2.5 4.0 so that is why the screen could perform as well as it did. Mfg Screens to judge it by include the Black Diamond, DNP Supernova, and of course that upstart you mentioned elsewhere, the Skyline. All of those Screens cost a crazy amount of money, and the ones that do come in Retractable format all would posses the potential for the nasty issues you previously were concerned about.

The need to invent masking mechanism for ceiling:

Hmmmmm.....I'm supposing your referring to doing something to offset reflections coming back from off the White Ceiling.
That should be simple enough by using a Double Layer of Black Velvet / Black Out Cloth, with one of the "long ends" wrapped around an Aluminum Pole, and the other end onto a Spring Loaded Retractable Curtain Rod. Two Pulleys set at 40" out from the Window Curtains at each side edge of the adjoining walls with simple tie-Cleats and your there.

But consider that if you use the Screen I suggested, what with it's 12" drop, and the height of the casing (5") combined, the top edge of the Screen will be 17" from the ceiling. Because Silver Fire is resistant to reflected ambient light, such reflections will not be nearly the issue against Contrast as would be the case otherwise.

Also, by increasing the Gain of the Silver Fire Mix by the addition of more Pearlecsent (...this will also lighten a darker SF formula by 25%) you will get a Screen with more retro-reflectiveness. Not a severe difference, but enough to lessen top / bottom / side to side light dispersion. Mostly I would not call such an over-riding concern, but with your Closet-sized space (...reminds me of a Walk-up I once stayed at in Public Housing in the Ukraine... ) I can see the side walls being more of an issue by far than the Ceiling.

All in all your project is quite do-able. Overall, it will cost approx 1/4 the cost of the least expensive Mfg Screen you have been considering, which is about 2x the normal amount of most DIY projects. But the results will be worth it, and the value of having accomplished it yourself......priceless. cool.gif
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post #5 of 10 Old 01-31-2013, 07:54 AM - Thread Starter
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Thank you so much for this! Especially for this idea:
Quote:
Originally Posted by MississippiMan View Post

That should be simple enough by using a Double Layer of Black Velvet / Black Out Cloth, with one of the "long ends" wrapped around an Aluminum Pole, and the other end onto a Spring Loaded Retractable Curtain Rod. Two Pulleys set at 40" out from the Window Curtains at each side edge of the adjoining walls with simple tie-Cleats and your there.
And for this
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Originally Posted by MississippiMan View Post

But consider that if you use the Screen I suggested, what with it's 12" drop, and the height of the casing (5") combined, the top edge of the Screen will be 17" from the ceiling.
Now that I came home and measured the supposed screen position I can say, unfortunately, this is a dealbreaker. frown.gif I will be sitting quite close to the screen most of the time and 17" for the top of the screen is unacceptable in my conditions. If only they had 30" drop...
You think this screen's tensioning system won't do for a spray paint?
Quote:
Originally Posted by MississippiMan View Post

Mostly I would not call such an over-riding concern, but with your Closet-sized space (...reminds me of a Walk-up I once stayed at in Public Housing in the Ukraine... ) I can see the side walls being more of an issue by far than the Ceiling.
Actually I already have a plan for walls. I will use this speaker grill cloth with IKEA's Kvartal rail track system or similar.
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post #6 of 10 Old 02-02-2013, 06:20 AM - Thread Starter
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I went and saw this screen with my own eyes. The screen seems to be made of very cheap PVC material, black borders are also PVC. The grain was pretty large and there were some vertical waves... I wonder if VApex makes their motorized tab-tensioned screens less that 92". I wrote them but got no answer.
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post #7 of 10 Old 02-02-2013, 07:40 AM
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There is no substitution for using material already tried and tested. everything else can only be construed as being an "experiment". Which can get very frustrating and potentially expensive.

There are Retractable Screens with larger adjustable Drops (24")...but none are "Tab Tensioned". You could hang the suggested Screen from Chains though.

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post #8 of 10 Old 02-02-2013, 09:16 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MississippiMan View Post

You could hang the suggested Screen from Chains though.
Would mounting spots of L-brackets correspond to screen's center of mass? Otherwise I think it won't work.
I wonder if I should give up on tensioned screens... There goes a "-" I wrote about initially: "lack of sizes for my room".
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post #9 of 10 Old 02-06-2013, 08:07 PM - Thread Starter
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post #10 of 10 Old 02-07-2013, 04:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elix View Post

Would mounting spots of L-brackets correspond to screen's center of mass? Otherwise I think it won't work.
I wonder if I should give up on tensioned screens... There goes a "-" I wrote about initially: "lack of sizes for my room".

Actually, the mounting Brackets on the Focupix Tab Tensioned Screen are designed to be for wall or ceiling Mounting. I'm certain they could accommodate chains.

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