Well yesterday, I was ready to buy anything or do anything, because its been just too tough to paint uniformly.
Well, I have given up on paint.
Because my fabric gray screen looks so wonderful, and is so cheap that I don't really know how I would change it. (Actually if I upped the gain a tad I'd be an its bit happier, but not much.)
I posted the previous reply yesterday. Today I went to JoAnn Fabrics. (I got a lot of wierd looks but I was on a mission.)
After passing on the blackout material (THEY ONLY HAD WHITE.) (Damned caps lock) and the grey felt, I settled on a PCV coated poly/cotton material for who knows what. I wish I could give it a name, but all it had was a description and a UPC, no label or sign. The PCV was a charcoal color and the poly cotten was backing. The charcoal was (best estimate) 10% grey compared with Kodak grey card and too dark, although it gave great blacks. I was $7.99/yd so I bought 2 yards.
I came home, stapled backing too the front and stretched it over my painted canvas. The painted canvas had good color, but suffered horribly from non-uniformity and texture which limited the reolution. I really didn't realize this until I finished the new screen.
First observation, it stretches great, no wrinkles.
Second observation, the effective grey level is about 50% (best guess).
Third observation. Highly uniform with great colors and great resolution.
Fourth observation. I'll be the first to pontificate about how important the screen is. having said that, I was shocked to see how much it improved the quality of the image. The uniformity and lack of tecture really helped the resolution by removing minute edge noise on sharp objects like text.
5th observation. NTSC analog still sucks and typical broadcast movie content sucks even worse. I set up to watch the Tennessee-Buffalo game on cable and DirectTV. I have to hand it to ESPN. For NTSC they deliver a reasonable signal. Just shows what crap is normally broadcast. The DirectTV signal and/or dTV enhanced signal was limited by scaling artifacts. The artifacts were different depending on whether I used dTV or not. The DTC-100 RGA feed had basic motion artifacts. dTV gave a better picture but had a tendency to band during heavy motion.
(800 MHz PIII with Geforce MX).
Needless to say, the picture was as good as any save HBO HD. Of course HBO HD looks great also.
Cost to make $30.00 for stretcher bars and in my case, $16 for the material.
I'll post photos if I can figure how to make posting links to images work.
[This message has been edited by kelliot (edited 09-04-2000).]
Do you find that the screen made with stretcher bars is flat (planar)? Or, does it need the help of the wall on which it is mounted to remain flat? I am planning an installation in wich the screen slides on a track, and would only be supported by two points along the top edge. In your opinion, would a screen such as yours work for this application?
Although, I wouldn't have believed it until I saw it,one problem with canvas, and in fact to some extent with any fabric, is that the texture reduces the resolution of the picture reduces the quality of the picture. The texture of the vinyl coated cloth is sufficiently fine as be almost unnoticeable and is vastly superior to the primed canvas.
The gray really helps the color and percieved black level in high ambient at the expense of the white level. At low ambient blacks become much blacker appearing because they are darker relative to the background and white level is not an issue if the projector is bright enough and/or the room is dark enough.
Ideally I would find a smooth 40%-50% aluminized grey vinyl with some stretch, a matte finish, and an anisotropic gain before grey of 2.0(Gain if the color were white instead of 50% grey). I have an 18% grey card to help me keep calibrated.
I hope KBK's screen material makes the grade.
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