As a request from several members here, I edited my first post here to give newcomers a brief update of what progress has developed with my quest to find the Ultimate DIY Acoustically Transparent (AT) Screen.
So anyway, let's sum up this whole thread (saves you from reading through 60 pages)
I went the DIY way (not because of money issues) but because of performance issues. I have received many audio transparent screen samples from Stewart, Screen Research, Da-Lite, Vutec, Draper, Dazian, etc. and learned that I did not like their performance aspects due to one major reason or another.
With my personal testing I have learned that these screens I got either MoirÃ©, were too dark, were too soft, picture reproduction was not clear or had audio issues. One way or another they were not good enough for me to put in my theater.
Major Screen Companies like Screen Research Clearpix2 and Vutec Sound Screen 5 use a 5% Openness Weaved screen so that gave me a good starting point on what to look for as far as an openness factor. These major screen companies seemed to have good results audio wise with that 5% openness so that is what I looked for from all these manufacturers I got samples from.
I ordered and tested many vinyl weaves from many manufacturers around the world, including USA, Europe, Africa, etc. These vinyl weaves are commonly used for Sun Shades to allow 3% 5% or 10% of light to pass through it (which is called the openness) but they keep most of the light out.
So after a month or so of researching I found quite a few manufacturers around the world that made a 5% openness weave in an all white color. So I ordered samples large enough to test. After receiving all my samples I started experimenting by weave type and brightness. Then I narrowed it down to a few samples that visually outperformed the leading screen companyâ€™s top AT screens IMO.
What good is having an Audio Transparent Screen if the Audio gets affected, right?
I really loved the visuals of what I found, so next was to audio test them. For my front sound Stage, I am using Martin Logan Odysseys, a Martin Logan Theater Center Channel and a Velodyne DD18 Sub. This is about $13k in speakers going behind the AT movie screen and I will not tolerate any alteration of sound. What's the point to use expensive transparent speakers if they are going to be ruined by an AT screen? So first I did some A-B blind tests with some friends and could not hear any coloration to the audio (which was very important to me). Then I hooked up a calibrated Mic and ETF Software to audio test the transparency of these few weave samples I liked visually. I tested and learned that the 5% openness weaves I liked performed just as well as the Vutec Sound Screen 5 which meant I was on to something really good here. So Audio passed my Ears test and the ETF calibrated software comparison test.
Alan Gouger (The administrator here at AVS) offered his help to get these samples color tested by a color lab to see if they color shifted or if this material had any other abnormalities about it. So Alan shipped the Samples to a major Color Lab in NY that tests all the major screen companies screens for them http://www.progressivelabs.net/
Two of the 3 samples I sent them color shifted a bit, but there was one sample that passed the test with flying colors and even tested better than some of the major screen companyâ€™s screens. So this was the white color that we needed to use to do our AT screen with.
The best part about this weave is it is bright compared to the other weaved AT screens I tested.
Mark P from AVS here did a side-by-side video of the Stewart Solid StudioTek 130, which is a 1.3 gain Screen, and this weave. According to his video and his reports, this weave is almost as bright as the studiotek 130. I myself also did a side-by-side comparison, but I used a Stewart Studiotek 130 microperf screen against this new weave and found they were quite similar in brightness. So I would say this new weave may be between a 1 and 1.2 gain
Here is a Side by Side with The Stewart Studiotek 130 Solid Screen with a 1.3 gain.
The Stewart is on the right. The gain is almost the same except for the perfs on the SMX causing a 5% loss of Light making it slightly darker than the Stewart.http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y280/GoBigRed/s20.jpg
---------------------------Perfecting the Weave
So next thing was to try to get a special fine weave done with this color. The current weave the manufacturer was using with the good white color was a bigger more pronounced weave pattern (still with the 5% openness). This bigger style weave would probably be too noticeable for most people sitting close to the screen. Plus this bigger weave had larger holes (about the size of Stewarts Micro Perf holes).
So I contacted the manufacturer to see if they would do a special run of the tested white color with a finer less pronounced weave with the 5% openness. They said we would need to do at least 12 30 Yard rolls to get this done. So they sent me a sample of the weave they could do with the color that was tested. Once I received the sample from them it was pretty much what I was hoping for. A nice unpronounced weave pattern with extremely small holes that were undetectable by the human eye from 6 feet or so away but still have the 5% openness to let the audio pass through unaffected.
So after I was able to strike up enough interest with my fellow friends here at AVS, we did a group buy and ordered the 12 rolls.
One of the biggest issues with AT screens is MoirÃ©.
Everyone so far has been able to eliminate MoirÃ© if they had it by rotating this material a few degrees on the frame if moire was present. This material is directional meaning, the 98" width of this material should only be used as the height of your screen. The Yardage you order should run horizontal. ie. If you order 4 yards to make a 10 foot Wide screen you run the 4 yards horizontal. If you are doing a 8 foot wide screen, don't order 2 yards thinking you can use the 98" width for the 89" wide screen. This will only give you moire.
What is MoirÃ©?
MoirÃ© is a slight rainbow effect you get in bright scenes from the hole pattern of the material lining up with the screen door of the projector (if your projector even has screen door). CRT users don't have screen door, so moirÃ© is not an issue for CRT users. You can eliminate moirÃ© by rotating this material 10 degrees or so on the frame. This is the same technique Stewart uses to rid moirÃ© on their micro perf screens. Not really a big deal, but just something you should know if you are interested in getting some of this material for your DIY AT screen.
We are calling this material SMX-720. This is the abreviation of my AVS name SandmanX = SMX and 720 is for the guys with the 720 projectors.
Here is Dazian CCC compared to this SMX 720. THese shots were tooken using an Optoma H-79 projector.http://loutrixrecords.com/images/the...ian-vs-SMX.jpg
Here is the Dazianhttp://loutrixrecords.com/images/the...s/DSC09292.jpg
Here is the SMX-720http://loutrixrecords.com/images/the...n/DSC09104.jpg
Here is the Dazianhttp://loutrixrecords.com/images/the...s/DSC09286.jpg
Here is the SMX-720http://loutrixrecords.com/images/the...n/DSC09218.jpg
Here is the Dazianhttp://loutrixrecords.com/images/the...s/DSC09275.jpg
Here is the SMX-720http://loutrixrecords.com/images/the...n/DSC09231.jpg
Here is the Dazianhttp://loutrixrecords.com/images/the...s/DSC09277.jpg
Here is the SMX-720http://loutrixrecords.com/images/the...n/DSC09234.jpg
Throughout this thread you will see audio comparison Graphs, Color Charts, Side By Side Comparisons and lots of talk. It is all pretty much in here, but just allot of pages to sift through.
If you are interested in trying out this new Audio Transparent Screen MaterialEMAIL ME
I have some available.If you want to discuss this any further, I have set up another forum to openly discuss this material at http://www.reefin.com/smx/
Here is my original post here:
Some of you may know me from the Home Theater Construction Forum. I recently decided to Build my own screen after going through a Moire problem with my DLP Projector and my Da-Lite High Contrast Cinema Perf Screen.
I've gotten Perforated screen samples From Dazian, Stewart, Da-Lite, VuTec, Screen Research and more to name a few.
I pretty much like the VuTec Vinyl open Weave Screen Material as far as picture reproduction goes. I know some of you guys here are not too big into the picture quality, but I am. I am also big time into the Sound quality too. Due to the nature of the business I am in, I studiy Video and Audio quality on a daily basis and know what I am looking for in a screen material.
First off, I tried the Dazian Coated Celtic Cloth on my Optoma H-79 DLP Projector and it looked plain terrible to me. The image clearity degraded greatly by dulling, the colors got washed out, the Blacks sucked, Contast sucked, the colors were bleeding too much on the screen as well. I also tried adding a black back to the sample and it just brought the contrast up better.
So I tried the Screen Research CP2 Material next. This was a big improvment over the Dazian but it still seemed to dull the quality of the Picture.
So today I got Screen Samples from VuTec and the woven Samples from VuTec were the best I saw so far. So I did some further research online and found the same Vinyl open Weave material VuTec uses but at around $12 a yard and comes in 62 - 72" widths by whatever Lengths.
I am ordering a bunch of different whit and grey open weaves to Sample. If i can find the right one, maybe it will cost me $75 to make the screen opposed to buying a Screen Research screen at $3k - $4k
Has anyone here done any experiments with Open Weave Vinyl fabrics here?