Inexpensive screen with built in masking... does it exist? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 12-18-2001, 11:14 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm looking to upgrade my screen. Currently I have a Da-Lite Model B (Matte White), and a Da-Lite Perm-Wall 80x60 (16:9, Hi-Contrast material). I recently swapped my Infocus LP340 for an NEC LT150. The Perm-Wall is mounted directly behind the Model-B, centered.

The idea was that when I watch 4:3 (or use my HTPC), I can use the Model B. When I watch 16:9 material, I can pull up the screen and use the Perm-Wall. This works fine, but I have a couple of issues: The Hi-Contrast material is too dark with the LT150, and the 16:9 screen isn't masked.

This setup is in my living room, and I'm trying to make it "not ugly". I tried to make some masking panels out of foam board and black fabric, but it ended up looking rather unprofessional. I really don't want to have my wall covered in black...

What I would like is a simple manual pull-down screen, that I can hang from the ceiling about a foot from the wall (to hide the "halos" from my DLP). I would like the pulldown screen to have some retractable masks on the top and bottom, so that I can adjust the masking for 16:9, 4:3, or whatever format a particular movie is shot in.

Does such a beast exist? And is it affordable? To simply swap my Hi-Contrast material for Hi-Power material is in the $300 region... I'm willing to spend more for an elegant solution that involves only one screen.
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post #2 of 5 Old 12-19-2001, 07:12 AM
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All I can say is that I was WAY off on the cost of a "real" masking system--the quote I got on the Stewart horizontal (top/bottom only) masking Screenwall (a fixed wall system, not pulldown) nearly sent me into shock. It basically doubles the cost of the screen (with a little bit extra, just for the hell of it), and as you probably know, Stewarts aren't cheap to begin with. We're talking more than most people spend on their propjectors kind of expensive. Nevertheless, that rat ******* Santa isn't getting me one this year.

I seriously doubt that you would be able to find an affordable masking system. Try looking at this thread if you haven't already--the homebrew option may be the answer you are seeking!

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...hreadid=100086

Alex doesn't live here anymore
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post #3 of 5 Old 12-20-2001, 06:41 AM - Thread Starter
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I just got a quote for the Da-Lite Pro Imager Horzontal Masking system: $1800! That's INSANE! My screen only cost around $400! Screen+Masking system is around the price of my projector... I think I need to come up with a home built solution.
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post #4 of 5 Old 12-20-2001, 07:01 AM - Thread Starter
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Ok, so now that I know that a professional masking system is way out of my price range, I'm exploring new options. Here's the equipment I have:
1. Da-Lite Model B Matte White 100" screen (4:3, 80x60)
2. Da-Lite Perm-Wall 80x45 screen with Da-Matte HC material.

I have the Perm-Wall mounted on my wall, with the Model-B hanging from the ceiling in front of the perm-wall. When I pull down the Model-B, the Perm-Wall is centered behind it. There's no masking on the Perm-Wall.

When I watch 16:9 material, I can pull up the model B, but without masking I hate the results... I can't stand the gray light all around the image. I prefer to use the Model-B right now, and at least have the gray bars on the screen (and not the wall).

I'm trying to figure out how to improve this economically. In any case, if I continue to use my perm-wall, I need to replace the screen material. The HC Da-Matte looks pretty dark with the NEC LT-150. The cost of new material is around $300 (Hi-Contrast).

Another option I'm considering is purchasing another Model-B, with tensioning and Hi-Power material. I would like the screen to be 16:9, with enough masking material above and below the image so that when I pull down the screen it will be "centered" in a 4:3 80x60 image. If I hang this screen from the ceiling a few inches in front of the 4:3 screen, it'll also be far enough from the wall so that DLP halo doesn't spill over very much.

Does this seem like a reasonable idea?
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post #5 of 5 Old 12-21-2001, 09:31 AM
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You think a horizontal masking system is pricey, check out the Stewart Ultimate 4-way (funny how the 4 and $ are the same key...)

Let's just say it's over $5,000. (I don't remember the screen size, but want to say it was 110" diagonal 16:9)

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