DIY Screen vs Purchased Screen - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 03-19-2013, 04:42 PM - Thread Starter
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I just got a design estimate from Magnolia to do my media room. I will be posting the details of it in another thread to figure out if its realistic or fluff, etc. The purpose of this thread is to get some expert opinions on screens. I know nothing about it, but I have read many things. The Magnolia guys tell me that a projector without a screen is blasphemy and that the quality difference is off the chart. For my room, they are recommending a Screen Innovations 100" TPF100LG "silver" screen. Its $1100 plus $300 install right now.

Anyway, my questions is more about screens in general. I thought if I painted the screen wall black, the projector would be fine. Now I am hearing that it won't be. I looked at the DIY forums here and there are thousands of things going on there, many of which I don't really understand yet.

In any event, what kind of real difference is there between a bought screen vs DIY vs painted wall? What's the quality difference in comparison? Just FYI, the projector they are recommending for me is the Epson 3020.

Thanks in advance!
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post #2 of 6 Old 03-19-2013, 10:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djtech2k View Post

I just got a design estimate from Magnolia to do my media room. I will be posting the details of it in another thread to figure out if its realistic or fluff, etc. The purpose of this thread is to get some expert opinions on screens. I know nothing about it, but I have read many things. The Magnolia guys tell me that a projector without a screen is blasphemy and that the quality difference is off the chart. For my room, they are recommending a Screen Innovations 100" TPF100LG "silver" screen. Its $1100 plus $300 install right now.

Anyway, my questions is more about screens in general. I thought if I painted the screen wall black, the projector would be fine. Now I am hearing that it won't be. I looked at the DIY forums here and there are thousands of things going on there, many of which I don't really understand yet.

In any event, what kind of real difference is there between a bought screen vs DIY vs painted wall? What's the quality difference in comparison? Just FYI, the projector they are recommending for me is the Epson 3020.

Thanks in advance!

$300 install, that is crazy, you need two people and a level meter & cordless driver wink.gif

Painting the screen is another option, but it's difficult to select based on your room condition.. it's also a 3 step process: latex flat paint, primer, and top coat.. it can range from $300 plus just for 100 inch screen.. to get an accurate coat, it should be sprayed versus rolled on with special brushes/rollers. Ask you local painter see if they can do the job for you..

What are your room conditions, dark/light walls, carpet, light controlled, windows.. all these factors play into your screen selection...

They are recommending the Epson 3020, because it's what they sell in the store.. What is your budget? There are so many reviews on this forum:

$3000 + http://www.avsforum.com/f/24/digital-hi-end-projectors-3-000-usd-msrp
$3000 - http://www.avsforum.com/f/68/digital-projectors-under-3-000-usd-msrp

Check out those area.. and see what you like and ask plenty of questions on this forum before any purchase's smile.gif

Good luck.
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post #3 of 6 Old 03-21-2013, 08:30 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks. I am posting the proposal info in the appropriate forum for opinions.
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post #4 of 6 Old 03-22-2013, 08:54 AM
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A manufactured screen will give you a professional look. However, it's really not that difficult to make your own screen and have it look good. I sprayed a screen onto my drywall, installed a flat black border around it and it did me just fine for a few years. I recently built a screen using screen material from Seymour AV. I needed the acoustical transparency and thought I would be losing picture quality. However, the picture was every bit as good and better than my painted on screen and I also had the benefit of having my speakers placed where they are supposed to be placed. It was definitely a big step up from a painted on screen. If you don't need the AT, Seymour also sells the Glacier white, which will give you a brighter image than a painted on screen. I would highly recommend this, as the price is very reasonable for a DIY option. You're paying a lot of money for the actual frame in a professional screen and really it can be done using wood and a few tools.

If you're not interested in the DIY option and you do purchase a screen, don't spend $300 for the install - that's ludicrous. Buy a case of beer and have a buddy come over and help you out.

That's a nice PJ, but if you don't need the 3D, there are a lot of less expensive options that perform just as well and have perhaps better blacks (Epson 8350 - also has lens shift, Panasonic pt ar100u, BenQ W1070 - has 3D but not better blacks).

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post #5 of 6 Old 03-22-2013, 08:50 PM
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Just to vent... Very few hometheater designers have your interests at heart. Be aware, they are selling you up to your budget. As for screens, I have a DIY SilverFire as directed from the DIY forum. They are extremely helpful! Only needed my wife to help me get the 120" inch monster piece of Extruded PVC onto the wall and centered. spent ~250 total and maybe 3 hours of work.

Good Luck!
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post #6 of 6 Old 03-25-2013, 01:02 PM
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You can DIY a screen, but don't underestimate the time commitment.

You need a perfectly flat substrate to paint on, so plan on many hours with drywall mud and a big sanding block. Then you need to paint it on without having any visible texture/coating thickness differences.


For screens, you can get plenty of screens in that size range from about $200+. I would also not trust a "home theater designer." The $300 for maybe an hour to two hour install says it all right there...
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