To Build or Buy? DIY PQ vs. cheapo screen off Amazon PQ? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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Old 02-25-2013, 09:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi all,

On something of a whim, I bought a cheapo projector online the other day (a ViewSonic PJD5133 for $290). I currently do not own a TV and instead of buying one (and after watching a film on a buddy of mine's cheapo HT setup the other night) I decided to finally fulfill my dream of watching flicks on the big screen at home.

Obviously, you can't use a cheapo projector without a cheapo screen, and this evening I've been reading a lot about DIY screen options here on AVS. I am handy enough to build one (I was thinking of BOC).

My question is this; how would the PQ of a cheap 100" "Elite Screen" off Amazon compare to one of these DIY jobs? I haven't worked out the exact cost of a DIY, but you can get a cheap screen online for around 100 bucks and save a lot of time running around shopping for materials and then putting it together. Would a cheapo screen of Amazon have better or worse PQ then a DIY?

To be honest, I really love doing DIY stuff. It's very satisfying to enjoy the fruits of your labor and to be able to tell your friends you built the screen and the entire set-up cost you less then their 42" Hisense flat-screen, but I don't have a ton of free time ATM and would let to get this thing up and running in the near future.

Thanks for any advice in advance!

YB cool.gif
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Old 02-26-2013, 09:41 AM
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I think a DIY would be as good or better than a $100 manufactured screen if DIY is what you like.
Also please visit you local Criags list every so often as used screens are typically of higher quality than these new cheapos and the same or lower cost.
For instance in the Philadelphia area today you can have yourself a nice Dalite portable for $100. Yes this particular screen is a 1:1 ratio but you can adjust the amount the portables open to achieve a 16:9 aspect ratio. So if you want a winter project and have the room and proper tools, time and attention to detail then a DIY painted screen is the way to go. You could also opt for one of the DIY laminate options that do not require paint. Visit the DIY sub forum for more help from Mississippiman if you want the DIY option.

With cheap manufactured screen, you get what you pay for.
Good luck!

Planar PD8150 with DC4 DMD paired with a Dalite HP 2.8 110"

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Old 02-26-2013, 10:57 AM
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I tried numerous DIY solutions, from a painted on wall, to a spandex screen. I decided to go halfway and get professional screen material and make the frame myself. I will never go back. You can get DIY Centerstage XD material from Seymour AV. It's acoustically transparent so you can put your speakers behind the screen to make it look more aesthetically pleasing (if you have a wife, I'm sure she'll appreciate it) as well as having the sound come from where its supposed to be on-screen. Chris is super helpful and will help you get what you need to get started. And yes, I agree that doing something yourself is much more satisfying than buying it pre-made.

I thought I'd edit this and say that the screen material isn't exactly inexpensive per se, but your screen will most certainly outlast your projector. A favourite saying of mine, although I don't always adhere to it, is "be lazy, do things right the first time."

Video: Optoma HD3300, Panamorph UH480, Darbee Darblet, Samsung BD D6700 Blu Ray player, DIY Seymour Centerstage XD 138" Curved Screen
LCR - Tannoy DC12i, Sides - Tannoy IW63, Rears - Tannoy IW62tdc, Ceilings - Tannoy CMS 603DC (TF), Tannoy CMS 601DC (TR), Micro Marty/Full Marty DIY subs
Amplification: Emotiva XPA-3, Emotiva XPA-2, Outlaw Audio 7700, Inuke 6000DSP
Receiver: Anthem MRX 720
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