Gain measurement for Billboard Vinyl? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 03-03-2014, 03:40 PM - Thread Starter
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I am working on building my first outdoor screen using some recycled billboard vinyl. I've been using the projector calculator over at projector central but I have no idea what the gain on billboard vinyl is, has anyone out there taken the time to measure the gain, or does someone at least have an estimate of what to expect?

Currently, it's saying I'll get about 8fL of brightness if I have a gain of 1.0, but I'm doubting that vinyl will have that good of a gain.

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post #2 of 6 Old 04-23-2014, 01:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Hmm, no replies yet.

Would the mods be kind enough to link/move this thread to the DIY Screen section, maybe it'll garner more interest there. Thanks.

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post #3 of 6 Old 04-25-2014, 07:25 AM
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I don’t have the equipment to actually measure the gain, but I have compared mine to BOC (1.0 gain) and it’s close, but not quite a reflective. I would guess it’s in the .7-.8 range. I don’t know that any of the folks here that are measuring screen gain would be looking at billboard vinyl. Backyard Theater tends to be less precise than home theater due to the lack of a controlled environment.
I find the billboard vinyl hard to beat for a nice big outdoor screen (especially since mine was free). You could definitely get a better screen of PVC or other screen material, but you’d be looking at some $$ to go like 250”without seams.
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post #4 of 6 Old 04-25-2014, 07:42 AM - Thread Starter
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I imagine with it being generally whiter than BOC, that it should be fairly close to a 1.0 gain. I had stumbled across a thread either here or on BYT where someone had done a pictorial demonstration of various materials (including BB vinyl IIRC) in a dark warehouse to compare color and reflectivity, but did not have equipment for taking measurements. I haven't finished my screen assembly yet but I'm hoping for some nice enough weather in the near future to at least hang the vinyl between some trees and try it out.

Someone on the BYT facebook page was experimenting recently with painting BB vinyl with a latex silver screen paint to improve picture performance. His tests so far seem promising, and he is claiming that it can take a fair amount of rolling, folding, and other abuse without the paint cracking or peeling. I'm guessing if a reflective enough paint was used, it could result in a slight gain bump for the vinyl, but until we have accurate measurements it'll be hard to tell. wink.gif

I certainly agree that price-wise BB vinyl is a great way to go. I picked up a 14x48' used billboard sign from a local sign company for $20. It's a great material to work with, and cutting/grommeting my screen was a breeze.

EDIT: I almost forgot to add a big thank-you for your information. It'll prove useful when calculating what screen sizes and projectors will work together in the future!

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post #5 of 6 Old 04-25-2014, 08:08 AM
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There are also different BB vinyls out there. Apparently they do like 4 different size billboards and have different vinyl and weights for each size. The guy gave me 3 different kinds. 2 of the 14 x 48 white ones that are just different weights (gave the heavier one to my son-in-law for a giant slip-n-slide. 7’ x 96’) and a smaller, lighter weight one (26’ x 11’) that’s a light gray and a bit more glossy. I’ve been meaning to try it out thinking the gray might help a little with black levels. My Epson HC725HD is plenty bright on the white stuff (usually run it in eco and cinema, lowest light mode) and the gray might allow a little earlier start time and give a little more contrast. It may be too glossy though and cause hot spots. I’ll try to hang it this weekend and report back with the results.
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post #6 of 6 Old 04-25-2014, 09:11 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Hovey View Post

There are also different BB vinyls out there. Apparently they do like 4 different size billboards and have different vinyl and weights for each size. The guy gave me 3 different kinds. 2 of the 14 x 48 white ones that are just different weights (gave the heavier one to my son-in-law for a giant slip-n-slide. 7’ x 96’) and a smaller, lighter weight one (26’ x 11’) that’s a light gray and a bit more glossy. I’ve been meaning to try it out thinking the gray might help a little with black levels. My Epson HC725HD is plenty bright on the white stuff (usually run it in eco and cinema, lowest light mode) and the gray might allow a little earlier start time and give a little more contrast. It may be too glossy though and cause hot spots. I’ll try to hang it this weekend and report back with the results.

That's interesting, I guess I knew it was possible that it might be made in different weights, but I assumed the bigger tarp would be made with the heaviest weight possible. Since I have nothing to compare it to I'm not sure what weight mine would be. The guy who sold it to me also said that the white backing is getting less common as it can have bleed-through if installed on top of another tarp. I think the next time I need to purchase one I will try a different sign company just to see what I wind up with.

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