Frameless Screenwall Fabric Panels - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 02-06-2012, 08:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Hey everyone. So my wife and I sold our last home, as we are planning to move and had an option to sell it. We're without a dedicated theater, but in a temp space so I can test out some ideas.

One idea I wanted to try was a full wall as a screen - literally wall to wall and floor to ceiling. We did that, and it was fun. But I can't get perfect geometry due to ducts, and we were seated way too close for it on any long term (it was pretty cool though and made 3D really impressive). Next I wanted to try to make panels without wooden frames. Here are the pics from the frame-less project as that might be something folks can use.

(BTW, this also turned into a CIW masking project. I'll make a post about that later.)

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post #2 of 9 Old 02-06-2012, 08:23 PM - Thread Starter
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OK so first here is the "screenwall". In this case the whole wall is the screen! A few pics first of the material. I just put some 2x4s along the ceiling and wall on one side, 2x4s on the floor (the subs hold that "down" since it was temp I'm not going into the floor), and I stapled into the drywall on the last side.

Here is what it looks like from the front:



Here is what it looks like from the back:



Here is the back where the floor and 'drywall side' meet up:



Here is the front of the drywall side (and part of my fancy temporary mini-media-rack):


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post #3 of 9 Old 02-06-2012, 08:23 PM - Thread Starter
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So the idea is this: velcro black fabric panels right onto the screen material. The material I'm using is SmX acoustically transparent. I had a big roll of it leftover, so thought this was a perfect time to test things out...

I measured and cut the panels to the exact dimensions I needed, with one extra inch in each dimension. I folded over the cut edge and used fabric tape to create a nice edge. Here is the fabric tape used:



I brought down my saw straight edge to keep my tape lines straight. No, it isn't perfect, but good enough that only on close inspection can you see non-straight edges.



Next was to put the velcro on the screen. Yes I was nervous doing this, I've never applied anything to a screen surface before. But it worked out just fine.



And then, just velcro the panel into position. I was honestly surprised it went up perfectly, exactly as I had planned.



Next was to repeat on the right side. Measure and cut the fabric, fold over and use fabric tape to make clean edges, velcro up onto the screen. Here you can see the left and right panels installed.


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post #4 of 9 Old 02-06-2012, 08:24 PM - Thread Starter
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All righty, onto the top and bottom. Here is where I changed up my plans. At first this was going to be fixed masking (screen here is 16x9). but I thought while I'm testing out other weird stuff maybe I can come up with something different for top and bottom masking.

What I came up with was to use the fabric itself as the "hinge" the fabric folds up and down as needed to mask off to a scope aspect ratio. I'll write up a thread about that later, but what you see here are the fabric panels for the top and bottom.

Here is the top panel (with foam boards from Hobby Lobby "inside" the panel) as it is getting taped together. Same process, measure out the fabric, tape over the edges and velcro to the screen.



This is the velcro along the top edge. The gaps are for the magnets, they are held in place with tape and then the fabric itself is installed over the magnets.



Here is the top panel installed, and the mask up for 16x9 movies.



Here is the top panel installed, and the mask down for scope material. You can see in the shadows where the foam board pieces inside the material come together. I don't use those lights normally, but had them on for pics and to show what I could. I fixed the 'bending' problem with the panels on the bottom mask. That isn't visible normally since those lights are never on, but I did want to show that.



And then here is the bottom panel installed as well. Foam board inside the mask, and velcro right to the screen surface.



Panels installed and masking "open":



Panels installed and masking "closed":




Overall, it went really well. I think I might use some of this on my next theater. The masking is literally like a second to open and close. The top is longer, like two to three seconds instead of one , due to how I made the panels, but it is super fast and invisible.

Let me know if you have any questions. Fun to test things out!

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post #5 of 9 Old 02-08-2012, 05:22 PM
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Looks like an elegant solution that I can use on my painted Black Widow screen. I understand that the top panel will fold down to create the top border of a 2.35:1 screen but how do you keep the bottom in place when you unfold upward? I also wasn't quite sure what you used the magnets for?

What size is your final 16:9 screen?
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post #6 of 9 Old 02-08-2012, 05:32 PM
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I'll jump in here... I think, from my cursory review of his plan, that the magnets hold the masks in the closed position... one in the mask part, and one probably in the hem on the top, cloth part.

I suppose you could also put magnets at the point on the screen to hold it in the "deployed" position...
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post #7 of 9 Old 02-08-2012, 06:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bfuke View Post

Looks like an elegant solution that I can use on my painted Black Widow screen. I understand that the top panel will fold down to create the top border of a 2.35:1 screen but how do you keep the bottom in place when you unfold upward? I also wasn't quite sure what you used the magnets for?

What size is your final 16:9 screen?

The visible screen is 9'6" wide. The magnets hold the top mask "up" when in place, gravity holds the top down when closed for scope viewing. The same thing for the bottom, the magnets hold the mask up, which is the masked position. I'll write up the details in the 2.35:1 section tonight...

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post #8 of 9 Old 02-08-2012, 06:58 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ADDUpstate View Post

I'll jump in here... I think, from my cursory review of his plan, that the magnets hold the masks in the closed position... one in the mask part, and one probably in the hem on the top, cloth part.

I suppose you could also put magnets at the point on the screen to hold it in the "deployed" position...

Yes, the magnets are in the mask and then either on the screen (top) or behind the screen (bottom).

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post #9 of 9 Old 02-08-2012, 09:09 PM - Thread Starter
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OK, for anyone following along and who is curious about the masking. Here is the full thread I wrote up for it: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1392984

I think the concept is great (I know... how humble), it works really well. Not often we're in a "test" environment where we can try out new ideas, but I'm glad I did this. I will absolutely be using this idea on future builds...


The frameless panels idea, I don't know if I would do that again. They worked ok, but I'm not sure I really gained much. It was fun to try and build without real tools - they were made with tape and scissors after all.

I might do something similar in the future, but use foamboard "inside" all the panels instead of nothing. Yeah, I could see that... foamboard panels and the masking system, that I probably would do again.

I hope some of you might get an idea or two from this, it was fun.

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