DIY screen for LT150? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 09-17-2001, 10:31 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm getting the LT150 and will be projecting about a 110" image. What is the best way to go about creating a screen? At first I'll just be projecting onto a wall but I would like to have something better than just a wall so I can do proper masking but I do not want to spend $500 on a professional screen. Any thoughts or pointers that would work best with this particular fp?
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post #2 of 11 Old 09-17-2001, 11:38 PM
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for about $40 i built a screen that seems to work unbelievably well.
additionally i built a floor to ceiling 'frame' that extends 1' on each side around the screen, which is masking area.
this masking is entirely black velvet and is a fixed mask.

if you have some basic tools, you should have a pretty easy time constructing it.
if not, you may want to consider investing in some of these, since you can easily afford them with the money you'll save over a $300-500 pro screen.

tools you should have;

hand stapler
drill

additionally i would suggest a power saw or table saw. if you don't have or don't want to buy these, you'll have to do some serious figuring and make good notes, then you can have the wood cut at home depot when you buy it.

i bought blackout fabric from Joanns fabrics. you'll be limited in the vertical size of your screen, because this material only comes in a fixed width. for a 16:9 or 2:35 (what i'm using) it should be plenty big enough for most people.
get it cut afoot or so over what you think you'll need.
also, roll it up instead of having the person fold it after its cut. Once its stretched on the frame, most wrinkles will disappear, but just to be safe carry it out rolled.

you'll need 1x2" 's for the screens frame. you'll need 1 for the top and bottom, obviously and several shorter pieces to brace it at each end and in the middle.

one of the big problems in DIY, is finding a clean area large enough to put it together.

lay the material flat out on the floor, which ever side you want for the projected surface down.
lay the 1x2's on each end and roll the material up over the 1' side and staple to the 2" side, being sure to stretch tight between staples. alternate going back and forth between the top and bottom beams, working from the inside to the ends


roll the wood over once after stapling, to give it more strength, (the edges with the stapled fabric edge should be facing each other)
then measure out the difference inside from top to bottom-
add about 1-1 1/2" to that figure and then cut the bracing pieces to this size.
when you insert them, you'll have to stretch it, almost ot the breaking point it will seem, but this will give you a nice flat, tight screen. you'll have to go in, drill pilot holes thru the top and bottom pieces into the braces and then screw those in place.

thats about it. it pretty easy ( although i'm sure i've made it seem far more complex than it is).
i have a visual diagram made, if i can find it i'll e-mail it to you,
good luck!

[This message has been edited by ckolchak (edited 09-18-2001).]
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post #3 of 11 Old 09-18-2001, 12:24 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the detailed instructions. I do have the tools and the basic construction know how. http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif

My biggest question probably is the material to use for the screen itself. You mentioned blackout fabric. Was that just for around the frame? What was the fabric for the actual screen?

Should I make the screen a fixed width and use motorized masking techniques to change the height and aspec ratio or should I make it a fixed height and just change the width?
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post #4 of 11 Old 09-18-2001, 02:02 AM
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The Blackout/blockout fabric WAS the screen.
i think it was about $8 / yd. it has a somewhat 'rubbery' consistency so it works well when stretched.

for the masking i used black velvet. its like shooting light down a black hole...nothing is reflected back.
i have a system where the screen is masked to a fixed height, and then by moving the pj back, i increase the screen width for wider movies.
as it is, i get the equivilent of a 61" 4:3 screen and about a 96" 2.35 screen.
i'm using sliding panels on a track that sits behind the fixed mask and over the actual screen. these panels are made of foam core and covered with black velvet also. when they are pushed in for 4:3 material, all you see is the live picture area in a sea of black.
since i didn't want to incur the cost of a seamstress for making actual drwn curtains, it took me quite a while to figure out how to make the panels work.
walking thru home depot last week, i finally figured it out and bought 2 ceiling tile tracks, and clips to go on them.
they're not perfect ( if i hadn't been in a hurry to get everything up i could have fixed them so they would slide much easier) but it seems to work well enough, since most of what i view is widescreen anyway.
i have to take pictures with a regular 35 mm. hopefully i can get 'em posted by the end of the week.
i'm really proud of what i've been able to achieve with a bargin basement budget and a little trial and error.
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post #5 of 11 Old 09-18-2001, 04:57 AM
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I also purchased blackout fabric from Joann's but wanted something wider than a 52"x92" screen.
The fabric is 54" high.
I decided to get a friend to build my a 58"x104" screen using sheetrock.
I also was worried about wrinkles with the curtain blackout fabric.

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post #6 of 11 Old 09-18-2001, 05:37 AM
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Try 4'X8' tile board (glossy, smooth, bright white). Depending on your mounting position this should not glare. If it does glare just buy some Behr ultra white paint and paint a few coats (2-3) with roller. You can screw a 1"X2" plank on top back of panel so you can hang from ceiling with ceiling plant hooks. The plank also prevent the board from warping. If it does warp, screw in another plank at the bottom. Masking is easy as board is stiff so you can tape black weed fabric to sides as this is fixed. Floating mask can be done via paper clips (black, clothes-pin type) to hold black weed fabric stretched on top and bottom. This can be moved and clipped into place for 16:9, 2.35:1, etc. Nice thing about tile board +/- paint is it's very easy to keep clean and does not wrinkle. Bad part is it's about 20# so you have to have muscle to hang it :-)

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post #7 of 11 Old 09-18-2001, 11:06 AM
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ckolchak,

I was wondering about your projector set-up. You mentioned you move it back when viewing wider screen widths since you've got a fixed height screen.

What projector are you using? Do you move this manually or do you have it mounted on some kind of movable track? I imagine the change wouldn't be too much between 2.35 and 1.85 movies but switching to 4:3 would be.

Cheers,

Sonny

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post #8 of 11 Old 09-18-2001, 12:10 PM
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I made a DIY screen for my Sony 10HT that turned out very nice. I used the back side of wood panneling from Home Depot ($6). I painted it with Glidden flat white interior white mixed with some Glidden flat black to get a color a little darker then 'Snowfield'. Used a smooth surface roller. The boarder is 1x2 pine wraped with black felt. The image size is 48" x 85" (16:9). The whole screen with boarder is light weight, and hangs from hooks and 'drop ceiling wire'. I am currently making some 'masks' with the left over felt that can be put to the sides when watching 4:3 material. Here is the sreen.
http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/image_up...rscreendiy.jpg

Good Luck,
Steve
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post #9 of 11 Old 09-18-2001, 02:47 PM
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I have compared a wall in my basement before sheetrock was put up.
Poured concrete vs Draper matte white screen.
I did notice colors were brighter on part of the concrete wall.
I think I'm going to mix white paint with a little black to get gray too!

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post #10 of 11 Old 09-18-2001, 03:38 PM
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I was in a hurry to get an image when my 150 came so I made a frame out of the premium 1x2's from Home Depot and stretched a sheet from Walmart over it. I bought their tightest weave which was 250 thread count.
I thought the picture was very good (I think I was just blown away by how much better the picture was than I expected, or was afraid I would get. I bought sight unseen from Dell) The blacks were great.
I then had screen samples sent to me from Da-lite and Stewart. In the Da-lite, anything that improved the color, hurt the blacks. I did upgrade to the blackout fabric from Hancock Fabrics and the picture is much better. I stretched it between the sheet and the frame because it is only 54" and my screen was 60x80. The sheet still shows on the bottom 6" during 4x3 projection. The blackout fabric gives much better fleshtones and cleaner colors in the light areas because of the greyness of the sheet.
The Stewart material (I had 1.3,1.5 and 2.0 gain) looked the best. It gave better fleshtones without sacrificing the black as much.
Part of my job is giving color approvals for high quality printed brochures and catalogs, so it would drive me nuts if it wasn't pretty good.
I am very happy with the blackout material for the cost.
By the way, I simply screwed the cut pieces of wood together with long drywall screws, spray painted the frame matte black with cans of paint from Drug Mart, and fastened the fabric with thumb tacks to the back of the frame. That's why I could just pop out the tacks and slide in the other fabric between.

Hope this help,
Steve
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post #11 of 11 Old 09-18-2001, 08:04 PM
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Sonny,
i have a bunch of rubbermaid tubs and empty cardboard boxes in the basement, where the screen is.
additionally, the pj sits on a board made of birch, that i had cut for the component rack i made.
for 2.35 movies i just put the board on the floor and the pj on that. the bottom edge of the 'live' area of 2.35 movies hits the edge of the mask perfectly
(the screen is actually a bit more 16:9 in ratio, but this is where i measured to fix the mask.)
for 1.85/1.75 movies i put the birch board on top of the empty NEC box (about 4" off the ground).
for 4:3 movies i put the board, and the box on top of a rubbermaid tub (about 16"-18" off the ground).
when i was first constructing the masking frame,
and hanging the screen, i did it by projecting a 2.35 movie onto the wall and the fixed area was determined from that.
every other aspect was trial and error finding the right height and distance (with found materials).
eventually, i'll take final measurments and construct a wooden box that has 3 different sides, to just flip over to match the height. eyeballing the distance is very easy and since the pj is so light, not a big problem.
before i even got the pj, this was foremost in my mind since i wanted widescreen movies to retain their 'impact'.
16:9 would still have been too much of a compromise for me and i already knew from constructing masks for my , now sold, RPTV. It makes a signigficant difference in the experience when you see absolutely NO dark grey/light black letterbox bars, and unless the area is perfectly masked, floating, fixed , or whatever-you will see them.

[This message has been edited by ckolchak (edited 09-18-2001).]
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