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post #1 of 14 Old 08-07-2014, 07:34 AM - Thread Starter
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Curved Projection Screen build

Hi AVS!!!

Long time lurker, first time poster. I'm building a projector screen for my existing projector setup. I'm running an Optoma HD20, soon to be upgraded to an Optoma HD25e. My current projector is a boring old drop down one.

Anyways, onto the plans! Ordinarily, I would wait until I'm nearly complete, or complete before posting like this, but I did a lot of research on the topic and thought someone might want to chime in with advice, and I would be remiss if I didn't listen to it!!

I don't plan on actually building for another few weeks still, and these plans are subject to change.

This is the top view:



The vertical height will be 55.429" total, and the horizontal screen measurement will be 95.873"

The horizontal dimension in the image there (94.9102) is the exact flat width it would take to make the curved face exactly 95.9102" wide. 95.9102:55.429 is a 16:9 screen that would measure at 110" diagonally.

and a gif of the initial design assembly:



I can say that right off the bat in the shower this morning I had a stroke of inspiration. I didn't know how I was going to mount it, but this morning I saw my bathroom above-the-toilet cabinet flush mounted to the wall, and remembered I used a french cleat! It'll ensure a level screen, very strong, and very easy to put up and remove if I need to change anything!!

This is my second design, my first design was actually using a masonite screen, and glueing the canvas on top to create a completely "edgeless" projection. I think I'm going to go back to that design.

Does anyone have any thoughts on painted screen vs. canvas screen? There's a lot of ambient light, so I need a white screen, preferably a 1.0 gain though.

It didn't occur to me until a friend mentioned it but painting the masonite might be even easier, slightly less weight than masonite+canvas, and it's guaranteed to never wrinkle or ripple. Not to mention it might turn out cheaper. My only fear is I won't get the same quality of finish and even image.

With the advent of the french cleat, the design has to change a little bit already, but not a big deal. I haven't figured out how I'm going to do diagonal reinforcement without interfering with the cleat, I might do the cleat with a gap in the middle and use that. I'll play with it some and see. If I put masonite on the front though, I'm not sure I need diagonals at all, they were there to ensure no flexing or bending, but with masonite....there won't be a worry of that.
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post #2 of 14 Old 08-07-2014, 08:11 AM - Thread Starter
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Okay...I thought I did research, but it would seem I did not. In the last 30 minutes of reviewing other threads in this subforum my project has evolved 20 times.

Looking forward to posting build pictures soon(TM)!

I think I'm going to give the MaxxMudd 2.1 mix a try, but if I'm feeling really lazy I might just get the behr silver screen.
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post #3 of 14 Old 08-07-2014, 11:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bleedscarlet View Post
Okay...I thought I did research, but it would seem I did not. In the last 30 minutes of reviewing other threads in this subforum my project has evolved 20 times.

Looking forward to posting build pictures soon(TM)!

I think I'm going to give the MaxxMudd 2.1 mix a try, but if I'm feeling really lazy I might just get the behr silver screen.
First of all welcome to the forum! I appreciate your enthusiasm but I think you should learn a little more before jumping in with both feet. You say you have a lot of ambient light so you need a white screen with 1.0 gain. If you watch with ambient light you will definitely need a gray rather than white screen and since the projector is not a "light cannon" by any stretch of the imagination, you will need a gain >1.0. You could also use increased contrast with this projector so you will need to look into a high performance paint mix such as the MaxxMudd or Silver Fire. You can forget about the canvas. The smoother the surface the sharper the picture will be so you should look into either Car's Flexi White or Sintra, Komatex, etc. expanded pvc foam as a substrate. The masonite would work as well but would be heavier. A French cleat is a good way to hang the screen. Are you planning to do a curved screen for the aesthetics? A curved screen is more difficult to make and will introduce picture artifacts unless you can correct with an anamorphic lens, which is very expensive.
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post #4 of 14 Old 08-07-2014, 12:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ahajr143 View Post
since the projector is not a "light cannon" by any stretch of the imagination, you will need a gain >1.0. You could also use increased contrast with this projector so you will need to look into a high performance paint mix such as the MaxxMudd or Silver Fire.
The HD20 isnt a light cannon at 1700 (stated) lumens and 4k:1 Contrast but the OP mentioned changing PJ's down the road to a HD25e which has 2800 (stated) lumens and 20k:1 Contrast.

Dont get me wrong, I agree with your suggestions, I just wanted to make sure the mention of the other PJ doesnt get lost in the mix.

Regards,

Douce

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post #5 of 14 Old 08-07-2014, 01:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Douce33 View Post
The HD20 isnt a light cannon at 1700 (stated) lumens and 4k:1 Contrast but the OP mentioned changing PJ's down the road to a HD25e which has 2800 (stated) lumens and 20k:1 Contrast.

Dont get me wrong, I agree with your suggestions, I just wanted to make sure the mention of the other PJ doesnt get lost in the mix.
You are correct. I was looking at the HD25e but Projector Central rated it at 1100 lumens after calibration.
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post #6 of 14 Old 08-07-2014, 01:19 PM
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Originally Posted by ahajr143 View Post
You are correct. I was looking at the HD25e but Projector Central rated it at 1100 lumens after calibration.
Oh wow, I didnt realise its stated #'s were inflated by that much.

I humbly stand corrected

Regards,

Douce

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post #7 of 14 Old 08-08-2014, 04:53 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ahajr143 View Post
First of all welcome to the forum! I appreciate your enthusiasm but I think you should learn a little more before jumping in with both feet. You say you have a lot of ambient light so you need a white screen with 1.0 gain. If you watch with ambient light you will definitely need a gray rather than white screen and since the projector is not a "light cannon" by any stretch of the imagination, you will need a gain >1.0. You could also use increased contrast with this projector so you will need to look into a high performance paint mix such as the MaxxMudd or Silver Fire. You can forget about the canvas. The smoother the surface the sharper the picture will be so you should look into either Car's Flexi White or Sintra, Komatex, etc. expanded pvc foam as a substrate. The masonite would work as well but would be heavier. A French cleat is a good way to hang the screen. Are you planning to do a curved screen for the aesthetics? A curved screen is more difficult to make and will introduce picture artifacts unless you can correct with an anamorphic lens, which is very expensive.
Thank you! Yes, you're right. I mixed up white/grey. I have a white 1.0 gain right now with the HD20e, and it's nigh unwatchable during the day. We have rollers on every window now, and even THEN it's still tough. I want to go to a grey screen with a muuuuch brighter projector. I misspoke!

As for curved screen, yeah it's mostly for aesthetics. I have always wanted one, but after seeing a curved TV in person a few months back, I have become mildly obsessed with making it mine.

Is an anamorphic lens really necessary for a curved screen? Even if the radius of the curve is exactly the distance from the projector's lens to the screen itself? I thought by dialing the pincushion adjustment down it would fit the screen almost perfectly if it was curved the exact same radius as it should theoretically be....no?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Douce33 View Post
The HD20 isnt a light cannon at 1700 (stated) lumens and 4k:1 Contrast but the OP mentioned changing PJ's down the road to a HD25e which has 2800 (stated) lumens and 20k:1 Contrast.

Dont get me wrong, I agree with your suggestions, I just wanted to make sure the mention of the other PJ doesnt get lost in the mix.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ahajr143 View Post
You are correct. I was looking at the HD25e but Projector Central rated it at 1100 lumens after calibration.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Douce33 View Post
Oh wow, I didnt realise its stated #'s were inflated by that much.

I humbly stand corrected
Holy cow. Is that real? How dim is the HD20?

I looked around but didn't see where you found the calibrated ratings,

Optoma HD20: http://www.projectorcentral.com/Optoma-HD20.htm
HD25e: http://www.projectorcentral.com/Optoma-HD25e.htm

We desperately need something brighter than what we have now. I hate having to pull down all the rollers just to SEE something. I mean, I'd be dropping them anyway if we really wanted to watch something, but if I'm turning on my PC just to play music when guests are over or something, it gets annoying.
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post #8 of 14 Old 08-08-2014, 05:08 AM - Thread Starter
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Oh, I found the link. I couldn't find it because the 25e doesn't have a review out yet. I realized this when I read the 25-LV review, and they compared to the 1100 Lumen output of the 25. Man, Optoma needs to figure out a better way to number/label their projectors, that was confusing!!

so, the HD20 was rated at 633 Lumens.

HD20: 633 Lumens (reported 1100) 57% what they claim
HD25: 1100 Lumens (reported 2800) 39% what they claim
HD25e: ??? (reported 2800)
HD25-LV: 2420 Lumens (reported 3200) 76% what they claim

So....my best guess is the HD25e is between 1600-2000 Lumens, which is still hugely better than the HD20 that I'm rocking right now.

I think maybe I'll still end up getting it, or I might wait a little bit and bite the bullet on the HD25-LV. My bulb has about 50 hours left on it and the cost of a replacement is significant enough that since I've been loathing the lack of brightness so much, I might as well just buy a new projector and throw this one on eBay for whatever it's worth.

But the BenQ W1070 was always a close competitor in my eyes, I might give them a go instead. I'll think about it...
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post #9 of 14 Old 08-10-2014, 03:26 PM
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I'm very interested in the responses you get! Seems doable, I'm certainly no expert though. But... Today I picked up a sheet of 4x8 Thrifty Whiteboard at homedepot for only 6$!! (half off sale). Your nifty little GIF got me thinking... I temporarily rigged it up so that it was curved (TWH is super flexible) and I was actually somewhat impressed. I used a 70" diagonal piece for the screen. The image gets warped a small bit, but after keystone correcting it really didn't look too bad. I'm sure some professionals and serious AV aficionados would turn their nose at the image, but honestly -to me- it seemed alright.

If you're still deciding on a substrate, definitely check out thrifty white board. I was very pleased with it's light weight, smooth surface, and flexibility. And a sheet can be had for 12$ at most at any homedepot! I tried both wood and styrofoam sheets, and this TWH is definitely the cheapest and easiest material to work with. I wish I listened to MississippiMan and started with it from the beginning like he originally suggested. (Hope for him to chime in here)

I think you should go ahead and get a specialty mix ready, whether its SF or Maxxmudd. You could spray a sheet of TWH and then decide what to do from there. I'm assuming that you could mount it on the curved frame to start, and if the image just doesn't end up looking right, you could always detach the sheet from your frame and then just mount it to a flat frame and you're good to go! That's why TWH would be perfect for this application. I believe I read on another thread that your painted thrifty white screen can flex up to 30-40 %, so I don't see why it would be an issue to start by mounting it with a gradual curve, and then pull it off and lay it flat if that doesn't look right. Ask an expert first though!

I say try it and let us know how it goes! If you have a curved frame, the sheet of TWH is only 6-12$! To see how your concept performs, just go ahead and mount that cheap sheet to your frame and see how the image looks. For that price you don't have a reason not to try it! And TWH itself shows a pretty clear image (minus the hotspots), so it'll be an easy way to see how your image distorts.

Last edited by stanson72; 08-10-2014 at 10:39 PM.
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post #10 of 14 Old 08-11-2014, 07:42 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by stanson72 View Post
I'm very interested in the responses you get! Seems doable, I'm certainly no expert though. But... Today I picked up a sheet of 4x8 Thrifty Whiteboard at homedepot for only 6$!! (half off sale). Your nifty little GIF got me thinking... I temporarily rigged it up so that it was curved (TWH is super flexible) and I was actually somewhat impressed. I used a 70" diagonal piece for the screen. The image gets warped a small bit, but after keystone correcting it really didn't look too bad. I'm sure some professionals and serious AV aficionados would turn their nose at the image, but honestly -to me- it seemed alright.

If you're still deciding on a substrate, definitely check out thrifty white board. I was very pleased with it's light weight, smooth surface, and flexibility. And a sheet can be had for 12$ at most at any homedepot! I tried both wood and styrofoam sheets, and this TWH is definitely the cheapest and easiest material to work with. I wish I listened to MississippiMan and started with it from the beginning like he originally suggested. (Hope for him to chime in here)

I think you should go ahead and get a specialty mix ready, whether its SF or Maxxmudd. You could spray a sheet of TWH and then decide what to do from there. I'm assuming that you could mount it on the curved frame to start, and if the image just doesn't end up looking right, you could always detach the sheet from your frame and then just mount it to a flat frame and you're good to go! That's why TWH would be perfect for this application. I believe I read on another thread that your painted thrifty white screen can flex up to 30-40 %, so I don't see why it would be an issue to start by mounting it with a gradual curve, and then pull it off and lay it flat if that doesn't look right. Ask an expert first though!

I say try it and let us know how it goes! If you have a curved frame, the sheet of TWH is only 6-12$! To see how your concept performs, just go ahead and mount that cheap sheet to your frame and see how the image looks. For that price you don't have a reason not to try it! And TWH itself shows a pretty clear image (minus the hotspots), so it'll be an easy way to see how your image distorts.
I wanted the thrifty white board, but it's a) too white, and b) too small. That price had me SERIOUSLY considering switching my system from a 110" to a 98" so I could fit it on the 4x8'

But I eventually succumbed, knowing I would eventually regret it.

I am going to go with the flat laminate from WilsonArt, gray, at 60"x96". It's the exact width I need, and I'm going psuedo frameless, so that's okay, and after I mount it, I'll use a router (or perhaps something else) to trim the top off, or the bottom off. Either way, it'll cost around $75 for that substrate, but has the added benefit of being SUPER easy to clean.

I have started to design the frame border with my girlfriend's help. We're going to do a sound diffuser block style around the screen itself. Not for any sound isolation purposes, 100% just for aesthetics. Pictures and stuff will follow, but for now here's some crappy Excel renders. Not the greatest, but it did well in a pinch. If/when I have time I'll do a more rigorous 3-d render.

The coloring is going to be this: Faces of every block is going to be painted the wall color. Currently, we're thinking of a sage/hunter green. The blocks will be painted varying lighter shades of the wall color, the longer the extrusion, the lighter it will be.

The goal is to give the image of very large pixels "pushing" the projector out of the wall.

Anyway, renders!



The numbers in the above image are the height, or distance from the wall, in inches. The projector screen itself is outlined in black with the grey numbers. The actual projector screen's height is a quick approximation, but the left/right edges and center of the screen are precise and correct.


Here's what the blocks might look like:


And this is a tesselated triangle version, that's not so good but the screen looks more accurate:

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post #11 of 14 Old 10-07-2014, 06:04 AM - Thread Starter
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So, we're dropping the border for now. I'm getting ready to buy/build the screen. We've added a pocket for my center channel to hang just underneath the projector screen. Here's the latest build 3-d model:







And as proof that i'm actually getting ready to make this thing, I have a cut sheet layout to cut the entire thing out of one single 4x8 of plywood:



So, one sheet of plywood, one 2x4, and the fashion gray laminate countertop from lowes (60x96) should bring this curved projector screen in at under $200 total.

Tools required: Tablesaw, jig saw (or extra large table band saw), drill, screws, glue, and a heaping pile of clamps.

The projector screen will just be glued onto the face. The 2x4 will be flush with the screen's back and the frame's front, to make the screen assembly easier, but also to provide support from sagging.

There should be just a bit of extra plywood after this cut sheet, I will probably use the excess to put a perpendicular bracing on the bottom, like the french cleat on top except just for structural integrity.

And the outside of the frame will be painted to match the wall (Behr's Distant Thunder, it's a deep grey/blue)

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post #12 of 14 Old 10-07-2014, 06:19 AM - Thread Starter
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Oh, and don't mind that all the pieces look like MDF. They will all be plywood.

The height of this screen build is exactly 54", which is unfortunately the EXACT distance I have from the top of my FL and FR speakers to the ceiling. I'm probably going to actually cut the carpet around the FL and FR speakers to lower them the half inch I need for clearance (the french cleat will need at least half inch clearance to actually install). I can also drop the bottom wooden plate from the speakers, but I don't know if I want to do that. I'll save that as a if-need-be scenario.

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post #13 of 14 Old 10-07-2014, 10:56 AM
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Use Sintra in the 5' x 10' x 6 mm configuration.

Bends equally across it's length and accepts the type of DIY Paint you'll

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

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post #14 of 14 Old 10-18-2014, 06:54 PM - Thread Starter
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I was planning on giving the WilsonArt Fashion Grey laminate a try instead of painting. Honestly, I'm a bit afraid of painting my screen. I think for the next one I might try that, but for this one I am still concerned with building it right that painting on top is just too much for me to worry about.

Is this a really bad idea?

http://www.lowes.com/pd_239103-466-D...ductId=3492099

The price is pretty fantastic too, with this + a 4x8, I should be able to do it for a little under $200, and that to me sounds absolutely amazing.

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