Impact of screen materials for a less discerning consumer? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 21 Old 11-30-2013, 01:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Howdy all, I've been lurking on these forums for quite some time, just posted my first question a few days ago, and now am up for my second one. I'm going to be putting a projector in a non-dedicated basement - I'll have complete control over the lights, with a seating area about 12' from the screen, but it will still be used for kiddo playroom in addition to projector room. I've settled (I think) on the Benq w1070 projector, and am just waiting to see if any Black Friday/Cyber Monday/pre-Christmas deals pop up. Due to the nature of my room, and upon the advice of many helpful people here, I'm looking at building an AT screen, using spandex as described in several threads. As I've gone through those threads, I've seen a TON of analysis of both the audio and visual qualities of several types/colors of spandex, not to mention 'competing' materials. I've probably spent as much time on Google looking up what the various analyses mean as I have actually reading them here.

All that said, here's my question: how much does it really matter to someone like me? I've never had any type of home theater before, so while I want something that's going to look "nice", I don't have nearly the taste for this that many of you do. Ultimately, I want to be able to crash at the end of the day with a movie or a football game, and have it on the big screen. I'll be using a set of Harmon Kardon speakers/receiver that came with us from an old house, and one of the reasons that I like the DIY option is that if I screw it up somehow I can redo it relatively cheaply. Is there any reason why I wouldn't just go with white over silver from spandexworld, do the math on my screen size/throw distance, and 'press the 'go' button? I'm sure there are lots of reasons to do much more analysis than that, but based on my needs, am I missing anything big for the setup?

Thanks so much for your help!
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post #2 of 21 Old 11-30-2013, 01:37 PM
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I'll give you my experience if it helps in any way. Eight years ago I purchased a Panasonic ae900u projector for less than $2K. I had already built a dedicated room but I did not want to spend a years wages (in my case retirement and Social Security). I spent many hours on AVS until I was really boggled by all the technical stuff. I ended up with a Parkland polywall screen that cost $11.83. We have averaged 1000 hours a year and have thoroughly enjoyed this set up especially sports. My philosophy is to get perhaps 90% of the ultimate for about 50% of the price. The very last 10% seems to take an enormous amount of effort and/or money. I'll be honest and say that I am stepping up a bit this year as the Panasonic has become a little dim and frequently cuts out for a couple of minutes. I have preordered A JVC mid range projector and am currently trying to sort out the best approach for me regarding a DIY screen, a new receiver and room sound treatments. If this is your first foray into home theater my advice is to get something that works but doesn't break the bank or your back. You will learn a lot as you use it and then if you can afford it, take the next step and upgrade.
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post #3 of 21 Old 11-30-2013, 08:00 PM
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Thank you for asking this. I've often wondered the same thing. I want something that looks good, but I'm not sure I'd appreciate (or could afford) great.

Our 13 year old 60" Sony rear projection TV, although still watchable, is just starting to lose convergence and experience other minor annoyances. I'm not interested in getting it fixed. For now I'll keep lurking and learning.
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post #4 of 21 Old 12-01-2013, 05:32 AM
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The use of the terminology "90/10" has been bantered about for years, and although used for the most part by those who honestly believe they have obtained the 90% level, in fact most have not.

Only real, personal experience actually seeing what can be construed as being virtual perfection can be used as a benchmark for making such a statement. And even that experience can only be based upon what is considered as being the "State of the Art" level available at a given moment in time with what is available. Who of the few among us can be so fortunate to have had that experience?

One thing that has always been paramount in the quest of achieving the best possible amount of "perfection" using DIY methods is convincing DIy'ers that compromising won't get one to close to that level at all, and certainly not anywhere close to 90%. In any case, without concerted and intimate knowledge of the vaunted 100% level, any and all such claims of having reached 90% are pure speculation and conjecture.

But...it is just that sort of speculation that motivates us to try harder, and justifies our feelings of accomplishment....or convince us that further effort is futile.

The door swings both ways, and it is up to the individual to decide whether to stay behind the door of potential opportunity, linger on the threshold after having opened the door and peeked inside, or step through and embrace what might be a revelation............

................or abject disappointment if they were expecting too much.

All of that is why many of us place so much importance on trying to embrace the "big Picture", all the things that combined effect how one perceives something as being ideal. Sheer brightness doesn't get one there. Deep Blacks mean little if whites look dingy and color dynamics are lost. Viewing pleasure can be limited if one must only view images in a Tomb-like darkness. And who among us is fortunate enough to dictate to a partner how every aspect of Room design and color has to be as "we want it to be"? Some.....but not enough to matter. tongue.gif

In one manner or another we all must depend upon other sources to show us a better way. Mfg of PJs, Screens, DIY Gurus, Friends....all come into play and all can deserve the credit...or blame. This Forum is based upon an exchange of ideas, experiences, and assistance for those who need hand holding, encouragement, or the proverbial kick in the keister.

But some seem to want to try to convince others that making such attempts to achieve perfection...or something akin to such is in itself a futile gesture, too expensive or time consuming to be worthwhile. But once again, such a determination must be left up to the individual, and presenting such an individual with enough information so that they can make informed decisions is the goal on here...not trying to convince them to haul up short of their goal.

Now we all have seen people post how they were either not expecting absolute stunning results...didn't need exemplary performance, or simply cannot afford the time or expense required to "open the door and step inside." For those people there still exist what is the "...best possible choice..." and they too deserve to be guided toward such.

Asking for such a determination after providing enough input almost invariably achieves that objective on this DIY Forum. What can get in the way of that is when people answer such quires with only opinions based on singular experience and personal preferences. While such can help, it takes a lot of that sort of input from many people's experience to be able to weigh in on it's relevance,,,so that is why we try hard to encourage DIY'ers to post up about what they've achieved...be it good, bad, or downright ugly.

So...no one should base their decisions on a single post (...that seems obvious but happens all too often to discount...) if they want to get any real advice. Everyone...no exceptions....should keep a open mind at least up to a point where they can comfortably make that mind up.

I wish every DIY'er could see just how far advanced DIY techniques have come, and the end results thereof. But that is an impossibility. Goodness knows I try hard enough... biggrin.gif

But in the end it's the satisfaction of having helped people realize how good the end results can be for their given circumstances, based upon what they can achieve within their means that matters most. Trying to convince people that the effort required to aspire to more than they think is possible to achieve runs contrary to the ideals of DIY'ism.

Most people are going to try to have their DIY cake and eat it too....that is the nature of DIY. So why not provide then with the variety of recipes out there, cater to their particular skills and budgets, and whenever possible, help them "Frost the Cake".

Let's fatten them up, I say! cool.gif

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post #5 of 21 Old 12-03-2013, 04:34 PM
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MississippiMan,

I'm not sure where I went astray. I truly respect your knowledge and willingness to help. I actually am hoping to garner some of that advice. All that said, I think that there are several points that are relevant. You seem to disparage the idea that some of us have and like a light controlled room. I doubt that is the case as I have read many posts where people have light controlled rooms. You talk about the 90% 10% deal. As you say, that has been around for a while. Is it absolutely 90% etc., of course not! It is a generalization. It really means something like " I can get most of what I want for a dollar and if i want the last bit I need to spend a lot more in dollars or effort". If you carefully look at the question that is asked, you might see that I indeed answered with a response that fit the writers inquiry. Look at what the writer's situation probably is. Young, little children, works hard and wants to chill at the end of the day. Most of us have been there. Also when you are in that situation is neither a ton of money or time. So how do we maintain the interest of this person. Do we make it complex or do we at this juncture in his life, make it complex. It's sort of the win the battle lose the war situation.

Now my trump card. You indicate being a grandfather which is admirable and enviable. I have two greatgrandchildren! Respectively, Sailor Bill
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post #6 of 21 Old 12-04-2013, 01:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Sailor Bill View Post

MississippiMan,

I'm not sure where I went astray. I truly respect your knowledge and willingness to help. I actually am hoping to garner some of that advice. All that said, I think that there are several points that are relevant. You seem to disparage the idea that some of us have and like a light controlled room.

I can't recall ever having taken such a stance nor have made any such comment. I do know from years of experience that the "Majority" of people on this "DIY Screen" Forum do not have such....(..This ain't Dedicated Home Theater Builder...) so the fact that "some" do have such rooms is only something that I know full well, and address as needed.
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I doubt that is the case as I have read many posts where people have light controlled rooms. You talk about the 90% 10% deal. As you say, that has been around for a while. Is it absolutely 90% etc., of course not! It is a generalization. It really means something like " I can get most of what I want for a dollar and if i want the last bit I need to spend a lot more in dollars or effort".

Actually, it is seldom been used by anyone except to point out the lack of necessity to aspire to reach for perfection...and also, it is almost always used in both error and misrepresented at least....say, 90% of the time. A personal opinion only.....nothing based on anything but a singular personal experience. Yet when such is posted, it can indeed unduly sway the uninformed and pliable Noob.

Now agreed, for some who wish to use that reference to describe how they see their own results, and the remaining distance / effort needed to obtain that last 10%, well....they are going to do so, and have the right to do so no matter what. But still that does not mean posts that allude to that being the case in general should be left unanswered.
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If you carefully look at the question that is asked, you might see that I indeed answered with a response that fit the writers inquiry. Look at what the writer's situation probably is. Young, little children, works hard and wants to chill at the end of the day. Most of us have been there. Also when you are in that situation is neither a ton of money or time. So how do we maintain the interest of this person. Do we make it complex or do we at this juncture in his life, make it complex. It's sort of the win the battle lose the war situation.

Not at all, and obviously you feel that suggesting that someone should be spending anything more than what you yourself adjudge as being "reasonable' is unconscionable and wrong, simply on the weight of a initial post. That's not how I roll. I read deeper into people's posts that most, and search out true expectations and desires if they exist. I let those individuals set the guidelines, and the OP's post was nothing if not a plea for justification....not a attempt to dismiss the need to aspire for greatness. My advice to such people is based on what I know, and how well I can convey such in my points determines how many do in fact chose a more exciting path to trod. . And for a greater percentage than you seem willing to accept are out there, even those with Light Controlled rooms can both see that advantages of going with something other than a simple white paint or Hang & Shoot" material, and thereby also see that the end result is appreciably better than they could have imagined otherwise by simple conjecture that it simply could not get much better.

A lot of that comes from members' own testimonials....I myself do not harp on how nuts it may or not be to not consider something more advanced, under any particular given situation.
(...but yeah, given some details that suggest such advice be given, I do dispense it readily enough...) That is why I can't help but be puzzled as to why you opened with your statement about how I seem to disparage the idea that some people have light controlled rooms.

No...in this instance, I was answering based on the idea that somehow you felt you had achieved 90% of the goal toward Image quality using a Panny Ae-900u and a unpainted sheet of Parkland. In reality you got about 75% there at most. Which is not to say your experience wasn't satisfying. No Sir. More rather that you were espousing a given standard of measure based on a very low end experience when compared to what even the most basic 1080p PJs with 100x the Contrast of that 'ol Panny could ever hope to muster. I myself am intimately familiar with the 900u...I know what it can do under the best of conditions on a White surface in controlled lighting, and guess again.....using a simple, inexpensive light neutral Gray paint w/20% Polyurethane added, rolled onto that Parkland...and you'd be agreeing that there is always a next step...and it need not be difficult nor all that expensive.

In this day and age, with the potential offered by even a inexpensive PJ like the OP's desired BenQ W1070, I can state without hesitation that such a PJ can benefit immensely by the selection of several varied DIY solutions that go beyond Simple White or Gray paints, or stock White ot Gray sheet material. That goes for Mfg Screens as well.

And by doing so, absolutely they can reach the vaunted 90% level, when Blacks are maintained optimally, White levels are preserved, and Colors are deeper and more saturated

So I see it as being absolutely necessary to make everyone aware of the possibilities out there. I spend a lot of time doing exactly that, but I always overview the situations pretty carefully before I settle on a particular direction. I didn't suggest anything particular to the OP in my response, nor even berate or reute the use of anything other than that darn 'ol misleading 90-10 thingee.

Lastly, nothing I posted was specifically directed at you....only the idealism behind the comments.
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Now my trump card. You indicate being a grandfather which is admirable and enviable. I have two great grandchildren! Respectively, Sailor Bill

I see that card and raise you 3 Great, Great nieces and 1 Great Great nephew. biggrin.gif I come from a family of 10 children, 8 of 'em Sisters...2 of which are in their late 70s. A couple of their Children's children (Daughters) have already got families. Myself...I held my Sons in better check a little longer. tongue.gif

Let's not be Grumpy Old Men......., unless I see Ann Margret or Sophia Loren stroll by then all bets are off, Pops!

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post #7 of 21 Old 12-04-2013, 02:30 PM
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MississippiMan,

Okay! Anyone who has your taste in women deserves all the respect in the world! Hopefully within all this dialogue, dheaney has enough info to make an informed decision for his first endeavor.
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post #8 of 21 Old 12-04-2013, 06:49 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks Sailor Bill - based on my current situation, I went ahead and ordered a sheet of white and a sheet of silver from spandexworld.com. From the sound of it, this is going to turn into something very similar to my photography hobby - starting with "good enough", and turning obsessive and expensive as I learn more and want more performance. I'll definitely post back here once I have something set up, and will post pictures of the performance as well. Thank you all for your input!
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post #9 of 21 Old 12-05-2013, 04:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dheaney View Post

From the sound of it, this is going to turn into something very similar to my photography hobby - starting with "good enough", and turning obsessive and expensive as I learn more and want more performance.

Without question!

My 2 cents. I'm new to the projector world and I've tried a couple different screens. One good, one not so good. If I had seen only the not so good one and never anything else I'd probably be pretty happy with it. But, since I did see the better one I know there is a difference and now the not so good one isn't good enough. I actually had the not so good in use last night and the wife sat down and said "is that the picture?? It looks terrible why can't we use the other screen?" I'm working on a third one that I expect to be even better. This forum is costing me a fortune. biggrin.gif

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post #10 of 21 Old 12-05-2013, 04:47 AM
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The above is why I counsel trying to go for the best possible solution someone can muster from the start. I've seen far too many postings come by about "What might have been..." and "I guess I should have..." and usually they are accompanied by some degree of retrospective remorse.

dheaney,

One thing you did not do is provide any information as to your desired screen size, as that makes all the difference as to if a spandex screen is applicable, what Throw distance is optimal (...or allowable...)

As such, it's really not possible to determine what would would be 'Acceptable"..."Better" or "Best". If your going with the BenQ w1070 (...for budgetary reasons...) then that too is a determining factor.

Essentially, you can dumb down the equation and still get a image that is passable. But frankly, we do out damnedest to help people realize better results than the mundane and less-than-extraordinary. It need not be that much more expensive....it just needs to be done right the first time.

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post #11 of 21 Old 12-05-2013, 06:15 AM - Thread Starter
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electricmanscott, can you share what you started with, went to, and are now moving to?

MM, I'm looking at building a 120" screen. If there is a better projector option in the same price range I'm not hooked into the w1070, but my research so far has led me to that.

Thanks!
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post #12 of 21 Old 12-05-2013, 06:19 AM
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Throw distance....is it variable, or do you have specific limitations?

At 120" diagonal the W1070 is going to do pretty well. Going with Spandex though, I'd haul up short to the 110" range...unless you can absolutely optimize your Throw.

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post #13 of 21 Old 12-05-2013, 06:23 AM - Thread Starter
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Variable - it will be hanging from a suspended ceiling
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post #14 of 21 Old 12-05-2013, 09:01 AM
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Originally Posted by dheaney View Post

Variable - it will be hanging from a suspended ceiling

That is good, although you will want to choose the type mount you use wisely.

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post #15 of 21 Old 12-05-2013, 09:16 AM - Thread Starter
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That is good, although you will want to choose the type mount you use wisely.

My plan was to determine the location for the projector, then back the ceiling tile with a piece of 1/2" plywood that I have braced against a joist. From there I would just mount the projector "normally". Is there a particular mount that should be used? Is this a terrible idea? smile.gif
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post #16 of 21 Old 12-05-2013, 05:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dheaney View Post

electricmanscott, can you share what you started with, went to, and are now moving to?

MM, I'm looking at building a 120" screen. If there is a better projector option in the same price range I'm not hooked into the w1070, but my research so far has led me to that.

Thanks!

Right now I have a Carada 2.35.1 screen that's 100"wide. That's the nice screen. That only gives me an 87" or so diagonal 16:9 image. Way too small. So I bought an Elite electric drop down screen for 16:9 stuff . Let's just say you get what you pay for. I'm building a 115" diag 16:9 acoustically transparent screen. That keeps my 100" wide scope image and a nice big 16:9. I'll make some sort of manual masking panels for it.

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post #17 of 21 Old 12-06-2013, 07:29 AM
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Originally Posted by dheaney View Post

My plan was to determine the location for the projector, then back the ceiling tile with a piece of 1/2" plywood that I have braced against a joist. From there I would just mount the projector "normally". Is there a particular mount that should be used? Is this a terrible idea? smile.gif

A Plywood Plate of 3/4" x 18" x "whatever width of your Ceiling Tile + 12" " should be fine, but you should use a Chief RPA-U w/ Peerless ACC570 Ceiling Plate, the latter being mounted on top the Plywood and a PVC Pipe passing through the Tile.

I can send you a Drawing of the needed assembly if you like.

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post #18 of 21 Old 12-06-2013, 08:18 AM - Thread Starter
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I can send you a Drawing of the needed assembly if you like.

That would be wonderful - I really appreciate your help!
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post #19 of 21 Old 12-07-2013, 09:37 AM
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Here is your diagram.

photo DropCeilingPass-ThroughDiagram_zps7c1abd0f.jpg

The 2" diameter Hole, along with the additional 3/4" Plywood Block spacers will allow you to screw in the 1.5" Threaded Coupling into the underside of the ACC 570

You then only have to have a 1.5" hole through the Ceiling Tile, and your Power Cord and HDMI both pass through the Pipe and come out between the Projector and the RPA-U

Knock it out..... cool.gif

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post #20 of 21 Old 12-09-2013, 07:51 AM - Thread Starter
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Thank MM! I just ordered the equipment. I had assumed that I'd' have to install a plug in that ceiling plate - can the plug actually be above the suspended ceiling? Also, doesher s that sheet of plywood just sit on top of the supports for the drop ceiling, or is there another support in use?
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post #21 of 21 Old 12-09-2013, 08:23 AM
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Why do you need a Plug? Are you not going to run your cords down through the center Pipe?

Look at the drawing carefully.

You'll see that the Plate is on top of 1 piece of 3/4" Ply, and that piece lies on top of the 4 strips of 3/4" Ply, which in turn are on top of the larger 3/4" Ply Panel, so including the recess up into the bell of the Mounting Plate, it's all giving you a full 2.5" Height off the Drop Ceiling Tile. That's plenty to allow for the depth of the Coupling when it is threaded up under the Plate, and between the Plate and the ceiling Tile.

You wait until you have that assembly complete:

1. Make your 2" Hole into the Top-most Ply
2. Glue the Ply Strips to the Top piece of Ply
3. Glue the assembled Top-most Ply and Ply Strips to the Large Plywood Panel.
4. Run your Drill Bit centered down through the top 2" Hole into the Large Plywood Panel
5. Pre-drill small holes through the Ply assembly and Screw the Peerless Plate (..centered over the 2" hole of course...) onto the top of the Top-most Ply block
6. Allowing for the needed length of PVC Pipe for the drop outside the Ceiling + 2 -3/4", Glue on your first 1 -1/2" Threaded Male Coupling to one end
7. Screw the Coupling up into the bottom of the Peerless Plate
8. Drill a 1.5" hole through the Drop Ceiling Panel and you ready to drop the Plywood Plate assembly into place, passing the pipe down through the 1.5" Hole.
9. Glue on your other 1.5" Coupling and your ready to mount the RPA-U and Projector.

If your Drop ceiling Grid is anything as sturdy as it should be, it can easily support the weight of a 22lb PJ and the Plywood since all the weight is distributed over a large supportive area. But if you want redundancy, you can screw some 2.5" Coarse Threaded Drywall Screws with Washers partially into the Ceiling above, with 1.5" Screws & Washers attached to the Large Plywood Plate, and using thin cord or Guy wire, lightly attach the points together.

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

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