I've been doing some research on screens. If you don't already know, they are expensive. Here are some inexpensive alternatives.
Tim Martin (E-Tech) recommended using a special canvas (Polyflax) you can find at Art Supply stores. This material can be used as a screen by stretching it over a frame or simply hanging it onto the wall.
Indigo Art Supply in Burnsville has been helpful in the past so I gave them a try. Sure enough we found the product.
Description: Red Lion Polyflax Canvas
Item Number: 112828
It can also be found on the net. I found it at "danialsmith.net" by doing a search for "polyflax"
While this alternative seemed great I was concerned with it's durability so I came up with another idea, why not use laminate? You can buy laminate at any home improvement store and it comes in a wide variety of colors and textures. I found two products which fit the bill nicely. They are bright white, flat in color and they are very smooth.
Color: Designer White
Part Number: D354-60
Part Number: SW811-S
Laminate is thin so it won't hang on the wall by itself without warping so it must be laminated (glued) to a thicker material. I plan to use 3/4" partical board. Anything thinner will require laminating both sides to eliminate warping.
FYI: The laminate will be "glued" to the partical board using the same process and materials you would use to glue laminate onto a countertop.
Once I get the screen mounted to the wall, I'll share even more info...
I've also been playing around with the idea of a less expensive screen option and am very satisfied with this idea for a rear projection screen.
I am working with a pane glass window cut to size and a plastic film covering from home depot for less than 20 bucks. The film is applied with soapy water and is squeegied on the glass. Once applied it looks like frosted glass. The material comes in sheets 4 feet by 6 feet. I am waiting to hear if the manufacturer provides larger sizes.
To complete the project, the glass has been mounted on the side of a storage shed and my projector can be placed inside the shed to provide the picture. There is a wall AC unit (must have in texas) and weather stripping applied to the doors. The shed can be completely darkened and is perfect for night time viewing by the pool.
There is no hotspotting since the projector is floor mounted and shooting "upwards". ie, you can't see the brightspot of the lens from the pool and deck area. Because of the size of the shed, the viewable screen is only 36" x 64". I would like to go larger, but I don't have anywhere to test a larger screen.
Hope this gives some of ya'll another option...
Bad news... After 37 days over 100 and the 112 degree high yesterday in austin, my screen looks like the bubble pack thats used to ship fragile stuffs. I think this will become an indoor alternative or at least a solution for colder climates. The plastic was "up" for three weeks with no problems, but unfortunatly I don't have a digital camera.
I was able to try something else though and this one has me even more excited.
After buying a smaller size, I decided to experiment on a mirror. Sorry, it wasn't a first surface!!! First impressions, what a sweet picture in daylight viewing. Later that evening, ohhh this sucks. I don't know if the manufacturer makes a more milky version of this stuff, but if the opaqueness was only 25% thicker/darker this would be a great, perfectly flat screen.
Hmmmmm, I need to start a new company...
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