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post #1 of 18 Old 01-26-2013, 05:30 AM - Thread Starter
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The last dual screen discussion I could find was about 2 years ago on this forum. As I am in the design phase of my new addition recroom/theater I have been pondering the +/-'s of going 1.78 or 2.4 in screen size. I researched some automated masking systems which seem pricey. I have no DIY skills but would love to be able to watch all my movies, play Xbox and watch HD cable content on the largest screen size possible with little to no 'black bars'.

I'm new to all of this, but why could I not spend $2-3k more money and simply purchase 2 electric drop-screens...one at 1.78 and one at 2.4 ratio? If I did this, I would probably go the less expensive route and purchase a PJ which could switch this up and forego the anamorphic lens.

Besides the additional expense, are there other considerations I'm not thinking about? Since I'm already prepared to spend $20k+ on equipment another 10-15% in cost would not break the bank, so to speak.

Any thoughts or photos/videos from anyone else who has done this?

Thanks,

Darin
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post #2 of 18 Old 01-26-2013, 08:20 AM
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only thing i can think of is the extra bulk. if i was spending that much money, i don't think i'd want it to look ghetto-rigged.

also, you may have issues with focusing since one screen will have to be a few inches in front of the other.


i'm pretty sure i've seen some electric projectors with dual screens in one housing. that might be a better option, though i'm sure it'll greatly reduce your options.

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post #3 of 18 Old 01-26-2013, 11:05 AM
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two screens wont look good for a 20K budget.

Black Diamond guys, in their video on youtube, tell that with their screen you don't need masking because the bars are really black and don't distract.
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post #4 of 18 Old 01-26-2013, 12:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by smuggymba View Post

two screens wont look good for a 20K budget.

Black Diamond guys, in their video on youtube, tell that with their screen you don't need masking because the bars are really black and don't distract.

The 20K budget is a loosly moving figure lol. I want to maximize my enjoyment and not feel the desire to go back and change things in the future. I guess my point is if I can have a two screen system which maybe costs me another $3k (a guess) for two drop-down screens instead of one, what is the downside? I understand I would also need a projector which has memory focus for at least two settings in order to deal with the potential focus issue.

At the root of this issue is my difficulty in choosing between the 1.78 and the 2.4 screen size. We watch a lot of movies but also play games and will watch HD broadcasts.

Darin
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post #5 of 18 Old 01-26-2013, 05:31 PM
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If you have 20K to spend ..lol...why don't you use anamorphic lens; that seems to be the AVS standard for going back and forth between 1.78 and 2.35. If you use the projector zoom feature to go between 1.78 and 2.35, you lose 33% of the pixels (as per what I've read).

If you have 20K + to spend - you can get: a nice 2.35 screen and an anamorphic lens (it will cost more if you buy a motorized anamorphic lens). This is what I've gathered from the 2.35 CIH (Constant Image Height) thread here in AVS.

Drop down screens tend to be wavy and get wrinkles...it wont look good in you have the money. Two screens will look awesome in a 3K home theater...LOL. I'm a newbie and I'm trying to stick to 10K and thinking of 2.35 screen and waiting for a year or 2 to buy the anamorphic lens.
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post #6 of 18 Old 01-26-2013, 05:44 PM
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Why not just get a large 1.78 screen and some manual 2.35 masking panels?
This will be cost effective, give you the largest viewing area for both formats and the least amount of phaffing around with focus setting and screen distances.
Once you start wanting fancy automated things, $20K suddenly becomes a very restricted budget (especially if you don't like DIY).
Check out SeymourAV screens as they do a range of retractable and fixed (AT or non-AT) screens at a fraction of the price of some (I just got mine on Friday) as well as cost effective auto or manual masking systems.
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post #7 of 18 Old 01-27-2013, 02:20 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by MikeyD360 View Post

Why not just get a large 1.78 screen and some manual 2.35 masking panels?
This will be cost effective, give you the largest viewing area for both formats and the least amount of phaffing around with focus setting and screen distances.
Once you start wanting fancy automated things, $20K suddenly becomes a very restricted budget (especially if you don't like DIY).
Check out SeymourAV screens as they do a range of retractable and fixed (AT or non-AT) screens at a fraction of the price of some (I just got mine on Friday) as well as cost effective auto or manual masking systems.

Yeah, the more I've been researching the cost differential is significantly more than $3k. I think this can be done with the right set up, but too much expense for what you get. I was leaning toward doing the 16:9 screen and simply masking or dealing with the lines (after all, already used to seeing them) before I got this hair-brained idea. The main reason I even thought about this was to maximize the image size on both aspect ratios as this room will get used for gaming, HDTV and movies pretty much equally. I have a solid job and make a nice income but money is not limitless lol. I'd rather spend more money on better speakers, sound dampening, chairs, etc. I can 'sacrifice' image size when we watch movies in 2.35 to improve the overall ambience of the space. Like there is really any 'sacrifice' when we build these things compared to most things in our world.

Thanks for the input and getting my head out of the clouds.

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post #8 of 18 Old 01-27-2013, 03:49 AM
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I set myself a budget of $20K which quickly became almost $40K and that's just on equipment and furniture - my head was and still is in the clouds. Once you see your financial limit approaching you start thinking of many ways to create cost efficiencies but the best ideas come from 'head in the clouds' thinking.

just as an example in regards to screens - a SeymourAV fixed 1.78 screen in 130" width (150" diagonal) will set you up for $1775 and to add on 2.40 masking panels is another $499. You will find other brands are cheaper or more expensive and may be better or worse, I just use this as an example (my screen experience is limited)

If you're set on a retractable, you can get dual rollers (1 for screen, 1 for masking) which are a fair bit more expensive.
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post #9 of 18 Old 01-27-2013, 06:13 AM
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If you want to do a two screen set up it is pretty easy to do these days. As for looks, you can always put up a valance and that will be able to hide both screens. Ceiling mount the screens and get enough top drop, so that you can get the screen down to the correct height. Nobody would be able to tell if there was one or two screens there. Focus on two screens is not a problem, as long as you get a projector like one of the JVC's, Sony VW95 or VW1000, since they have independent memory for lens shift, zoom and focus.

Other way of doing this, is to go with a fixed frame screen and then drop down an electric in front of it. I have had several customers do this. They used a fixed frame scope screen and dropped down an electric 16:9 High Power screen for 3D. Lots of options,

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post #10 of 18 Old 01-27-2013, 12:27 PM
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Any thoughts or photos/videos from anyone else who has done this?

I've been using 2 screens for close to 10 years. FYI, you don't have to refocus - if you mount them as close together as possible. 2 screens is way less expensive than most masking options.




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post #11 of 18 Old 01-27-2013, 04:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by MikeyD360 View Post

I set myself a budget of $20K which quickly became almost $40K and that's just on equipment and furniture - my head was and still is in the clouds. Once you see your financial limit approaching you start thinking of many ways to create cost efficiencies but the best ideas come from 'head in the clouds' thinking.

just as an example in regards to screens - a SeymourAV fixed 1.78 screen in 130" width (150" diagonal) will set you up for $1775 and to add on 2.40 masking panels is another $499. You will find other brands are cheaper or more expensive and may be better or worse, I just use this as an example (my screen experience is limited)

If you're set on a retractable, you can get dual rollers (1 for screen, 1 for masking) which are a fair bit more expensive.

LOL, yeah I don't really have a true "budget". I'm building an entire addition and simply don't want to spend "too much". Whatever that means. I guess what that means is that once I spend the cash I have in the bank and the $100k line of credit I have effectively reached my "budget" and will need to hold on any further purchases until cash comes in. I want the best of both worlds and try to think of cost-effective ways to get there but I simply don't have much experience (actually, none) in this area. Everything I know about HT's come basically from this website over the last couple of weeks of research. I am glad to hear of people successfully doing the dual screens. Maybe I need to keep my head in the clouds a little longer and not get discouraged by the obstacles which come up.

About the screen materials...I will have a fully light controlled room. I do plan on watching sports, regular HDTV and playing XBOX with the lights up a little. Originally I was thinking about going with either a Black Diamond screen or the Stewart Firehawk grey screen. If I do the separate screens, I wonder if it would work well if I went with a less expensive Seymour 2.4 screen (or other white screen) for dedicated movie watching (which will have the lights more dimmed usually) and a grey screen for the more general purpose 16:9 screen. On that note, what kind of budget would I be looking at to do a couple of dual dropdowns with my viewing habits? Would I save money by having one fixed 2.4 screen with a 1.78 drop screen? I could use horizontal masking panels to cover the edges of the 2.4 when the 1.78 is deployed.

Thanks for the continued input as I work through this. I do need to make a decision fairly soon so I can let me architect know what to draw up. (On that same note, should I go with acoustically transparent screens to optimize speaker placement or can I get away with the center speaker above (mounted on a valance and pointed down some perhaps) or below?

FYI...first row is about 12-13' viewing distance back and room will be about 17-18' wide, 25' deep with 9' ceilings. One more thing...if I do go with the dual screens, do I need to fork out the automated anamorphic lens or is one of the projectors that can do the lens-less 2.4 acceptable (even if not optimal)?

Thanks,

Darin

(edit: added the comment about the anamorphic lens)
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post #12 of 18 Old 01-28-2013, 04:44 AM
 
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You should definitely do an AT screen! The dual set up of different sizes and types is a very good idea and less expensive than masking systems. The A-lens is definitely preferred for brightness and using all the pixels of your projector but if budget gets tight this might be an area I sacrifice knowing it could always be added later.

You might want to consider getting a good design plan from one of the HT designers. Since this seems to be a general purpose room and probably won't need full mechanicals for sound isolation but getting a design of proper placement for everything would definitely help. They'll calculate where all your speakers/ subs and seating should go. Figure all the viewing angles. Give you suggestions for type of equipment and acoustic treatments for this type of room while working within your architects design. It is money well spent.
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post #13 of 18 Old 01-28-2013, 04:50 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Craig Peer View Post

I've been using 2 screens for close to 10 years. FYI, you don't have to refocus - if you mount them as close together as possible. 2 screens is way less expensive than most masking options.




I see that your center channel is high up and angled down. Does that work pretty well for you? I'm also considering how I'm going to mount my speakers but the type of screen(s) will influence that decision.

Darin
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post #14 of 18 Old 01-28-2013, 04:54 AM - Thread Starter
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You should definitely do an AT screen! The dual set up of different sizes and types is a very good idea and less expensive than masking systems. The A-lens is definitely preferred for brightness and using all the pixels of your projector but if budget gets tight this might be an area I sacrifice knowing it could always be added later.

You might want to consider getting a good design plan from one of the HT designers. Since this seems to be a general purpose room and probably won't need full mechanicals for sound isolation but getting a design of proper placement for everything would definitely help. They'll calculate where all your speakers/ subs and seating should go. Figure all the viewing angles. Give you suggestions for type of equipment and acoustic treatments for this type of room while working within your architects design. It is money well spent.

The theater is actually going to be a dedicated, sound-proofed space. I'm going to hang a flat panel out in the recroom area to act as a monitor so you will be able to shoot pool etc. and still watch sports/movie if you desire without interrupting the folks in the dedicated space.
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post #15 of 18 Old 01-28-2013, 06:23 AM
 
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If it is going to be sound proofed then you definitely want a godd plan. Architects are not good at sound proofing for HT. I've ran into this many times before.
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post #16 of 18 Old 01-28-2013, 08:48 AM
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I see that your center channel is high up and angled down. Does that work pretty well for you?

The center channel above works well.
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One more thing...if I do go with the dual screens, do I need to fork out the automated anamorphic lens or is one of the projectors that can do the lens-less 2.4 acceptable (even if not optimal)?

No, you don't. You will need a projector with powered zoom however.
Quote:
About the screen materials...I will have a fully light controlled room. I do plan on watching sports, regular HDTV and playing XBOX with the lights up a little. Originally I was thinking about going with either a Black Diamond screen or the Stewart Firehawk grey screen. If I do the separate screens, I wonder if it would work well if I went with a less expensive Seymour 2.4 screen (or other white screen) for dedicated movie watching (which will have the lights more dimmed usually) and a grey screen for the more general purpose 16:9 screen. On that note, what kind of budget would I be looking at to do a couple of dual dropdowns with my viewing habits? Would I save money by having one fixed 2.4 screen with a 1.78 drop screen?

If you don't use an A lens, go with a 2.35:1 screen with a higher gain than your 16:9 screen. You could use a fixed Studiotek 130 G3 screen for dedicated movie watching, and an electric Firehawk G3 for HDTV etc. with some lighting on ( just one idea ).

Give me a ring and an email for prices and / or ideas. Craig

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post #17 of 18 Old 01-30-2013, 02:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smuggymba View Post

If you have 20K to spend ..lol...why don't you use anamorphic lens; that seems to be the AVS standard for going back and forth between 1.78 and 2.35. If you use the projector zoom feature to go between 1.78 and 2.35, you lose 33% of the pixels (as per what I've read).

If you have 20K + to spend - you can get: a nice 2.35 screen and an anamorphic lens (it will cost more if you buy a motorized anamorphic lens). This is what I've gathered from the 2.35 CIH (Constant Image Height) thread here in AVS.

Drop down screens tend to be wavy and get wrinkles...it wont look good in you have the money. Two screens will look awesome in a 3K home theater...LOL. I'm a newbie and I'm trying to stick to 10K and thinking of 2.35 screen and waiting for a year or 2 to buy the anamorphic lens.
You do not have to spend anywhere near that to get a motorized A-lens with 2.35 screen, especially if you are talking a solid screen.

Until 2/01/13, there are some sales going on and you could do screen, lens and motorized sled for under 5K.

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post #18 of 18 Old 01-30-2013, 03:59 PM
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Drop down screens tend to be wavy and get wrinkles...it wont look good in you have the money.

Not true with tensioned screens. I've used nothing but electric screens from Da-Lite and Stewart for over 10 years with no problems like that.

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