Everyones comments are really helpful to read. I am pretty much sold on the Sandman's SMX material, but a little concerned that it is not grey, since I will do some daytime viewing when light may leak around window shades. Is this a concern with my PTAX100U having a 6000:1 contrast ratio and 2000 lumens?
Here is what I have been thinking about for my screen and masking system.
1.\tFirst, mount the new Panasonic PTAX100U in the left to right center and a little higher than the screen as the audience is a little below center of the screen. It has the capability to shift the image with the lens, but I am guessing that best results from all viewing locations would be achieved if I dont have to rely on that feature.
2.\tPrimary viewing will be from 16 feet and I have room for a 160 inch diagonal screen. But before I start building my frame, I will watch a few movies on the eggshell colored wall to be sure it is not too big for me or other family members. I am not sure how that could happen but better be safe.
3.\tOnce I select the size, I will order the SMX material from Ruben, and start building a wood frame. I dont really think I need to worry about moiré though, because the screen door effect is greatly reduced on the PTAX100U. I think I am seeing from the other threads that the SMX should be used with the 96 inch dimension across the horizontal. But I dont really want a seam in the middle, so I will probably orient the material sideways, and turned at about a 10 degree angle as has been suggested. In this configuration, is the 160 degree viewing angle still the same?
4.\tIf necessary, I will paint the wall behind the screen a flat black color. Should I just do this anyway to be sure there is not reflections back that I dont notice, but it could be better?
5.\tThe diagram on the next page shows my thoughts about a masking system. The walls around the screen and masking will be painted a teal blue dark color to eliminate reflections of ambient light and extend the masking effect. Can this be Semi Gloss paint, or should I stick to strictly matt finishes?
Upper and Lower Masks (see attahed layout and pulley system):
1.\tI want to make wooden frames similar to the screen construction for the upper and lower masks and cover with black velvet material.
2.\tI want to hang these masks on two pairs of ropes over pulleys such that they move in unison. One set or ropes will cross between the two sides of the screen to that the panels will stay level as they go up and down. When I raise the lower panel, it will let out rope thereby automatically lowering the upper panel by the same amount. The panels will be balanced in such a way that when I manually move them, they would stay in place. Later, I could add a small motor to move the ropes.
I may not use side masks, because I dont really mind watching 4 by 3 aspect ratio materials in stretched mode. Sure, everyone looks overweight for a while, but I have gotten used to it. Another idea would be to use fixed width roll up window shades. Yet another idea would be to just use the curtains shown in Dark Blue for the side masks, drawn to the point needed.
Front Left and Right Speaker Placement.
If I end up placing these within the screen area, then the side masks will have openings with some SMX material, maybe died black. If I end up using the side curtains for masks, then these speakers will definitely be outside the screen area.
I will appreciate any suggestions or alternate ideas. Thank you all.
Screen Aspect Ratios, Speakers, Masks, Curtains.doc 38.5k . file
Upper and Lower Mask Pulley System.doc 23.5k . file