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New cheap DIY screen - Page 2

post #31 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1Time View Post

WTF Fusion...I love it.

Some how.....I just knew you would.

(oops....things got a bit jumbled there while I was re=posting with some more info.)

Quote:


Congrats! That's got to be the cheapest, best looking Fusion of them all.

I'm not going to go that far as to validate the very last part of that statement, but for certain it is a "proof of concept" and a really good job of making two distinctly different materials combine to effect a better result that either could manage to accomplish alone.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Scherrer View Post

Update:

I was able to experiment a little with that white material I picked up very cheap at Hancock Fabrics ($1.95/yd). Simply, I think it makes a huge difference, and the image projected on the screen is just great! The colors really pop (compared to without the white backing). Whites are brighter, but it did not seem to dull the blacks at all.

Steve, can you please make the effort to define the exact material you bought....both Gray & White....so as to allow others to duplicate your results exactly. Certainly your receipt should have the info from any scan.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The big picture View Post

I also custom made my screen with a unique combination of thin medium grey net fabric and I placed a back layer of StreetGlo reflective sheeting on the back side of the fabric............ Like I said it was pure luck on my part but everyone that has visited me that has a projector can't beleive the image Im getting. It looks deep and rich.

The Big Picture,

You asked on the Rear Projection thread about a suggestion as to what material to use to do a "Cloth S-I-L-V-E-R" so I'd venture the White Spandex Steve used here "under' his Gray would be a good candidate to use over the Trapeze Plus Titanium. If he can post a SKU# or the exact name of the White Spandex fabric....you'll be on your way. I'm sure there is a Trapeze white that would work as well, but going by Steve's comments, I don't think the Spandex is in any way nearly as expensive as the Trapeze material.

I'm not sure however why it's important for you to do so if you already got the results you describe above,. Perhaps the above quoted example was not as impressive as you first thought? Unfortunatly that happen in DIY. We often can never be completely satisfied. No matter....if you make another "White over Titanium" Screen you can then also make some direct comparisons, and that is always useful.
post #32 of 185
Thread Starter 
Yes, I have to admit, I was not particularly careful about getting the material descriptions/skus, etc. as I should have. I will track down and post asap.
post #33 of 185
Thread Starter 
OK - got the information on the material that I used.

The gray front material was Mirage Gray Jet Set 400012852954 (I got 6.5 yds, for $3.99/yd plus a 40% off coupon from Joann's Fabrics): Total cost: $16.77, with tax.

The white back material was 6.5 yds of White Value Fabric Knits, Main Street Fashion, Sku 2911535 ($1.95/yd from Hancock Fabrics).

Enjoy!
post #34 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Scherrer View Post


The gray front material was Mirage Gray Jet Set 400012852954 (I got 6.5 yds, for $3.99/yd plus a 40% off coupon from Joann's Fabrics): Total cost: $16.77, with tax.

I couldn't find this exact fabric on Joann's website. The closest I could find were Mirage Gray Cosmo Solid and Cosmopolitan Mirage Solid Woven Fabric.

Is it not carried on their website?
post #35 of 185
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sheeter View Post

I couldn't find this exact fabric on Joann's website. The closest I could find were Mirage Gray Cosmo Solid and Cosmopolitan Mirage Solid Woven Fabric.

Is it not carried on their website?

I don't know - I went in the store to find it.

But the funny thing is that I swung by the store yesterday to get the information on the material, and could not find it anywhere in the store. I had workers helping me, and nobody could find it. I got the information on the material from my receipt.

I can't imagine I happened to just "luck out" with the gray that I got. I would imagine any light to medium gray material would work just fine.
post #36 of 185
Thread Starter 
I should point out, if it was not obvious, that the gray material is spandex. This is important, since when the spandex is stretched, absolutely no creases, wrinkles or any blemishes are apparent anymore. Other material would be difficult to pull wrinkles and creases out if there was not stretch.

This is the really nice thing about the screen - it is so smooth, and so consistent in color across the whole entire screen.
post #37 of 185
The concern I have with the gray material is that it may not be neutral. On the other hand finding a bright white spandex material should be quite easy and repeatable by others. If a white spandex is stretched over a layer of black material, you should be able to achieve a similar effect as the gray with white under it. Not to suggest white over black would necessarily be better, just easier to repeat by others.

There is one other variable to consider. That is how much the spandex is stretched. The more the white spandex is stretched the more light will pass through. In effect the more you stretch the white spandex the darker a shade of gray you will achieve. Some technique to produce the exact amount of stretch is required.

White over black might provide more control over the effective shade of gray while maintaining an acoustically transparent screen.

I would also suggest anyone experimenting with this sort of fabric screen take the thread count into consideration. I would suggest the higher the thread count the better.
post #38 of 185
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tiddler View Post

The concern I have with the gray material is that it may not be neutral. On the other hand finding a bright white spandex material should be quite easy and repeatable by others. If a white spandex is stretched over a layer of black material, you should be able to achieve a similar effect as the gray with white under it. Not to suggest white over black would necessarily be better, just easier to repeat by others.

There is one other variable to consider. That is how much the spandex is stretched. The more the white spandex is stretched the more light will pass through. In effect the more you stretch the white spandex the darker a shade of gray you will achieve. Some technique to produce the exact amount of stretch is required.

White over black might provide more control over the effective shade of gray while maintaining an acoustically transparent screen.

I would also suggest anyone experimenting with this sort of fabric screen take the thread count into consideration. I would suggest the higher the thread count the better.

How do I tell whether the material is neutral?
post #39 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Scherrer View Post

How do I tell whether the material is neutral?

You could send a sample to Harpmaker and he will check it with his spectrometer.
post #40 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by MississippiMan View Post


The Big Picture,

You asked on the Rear Projection thread about a suggestion as to what material to use to do a "Cloth S-I-L-V-E-R" so I'd venture the White Spandex Steve used here "under' his Gray would be a good candidate to use over the Trapeze Plus Titanium. If he can post a SKU# or the exact name of the White Spandex fabric....you'll be on your way. I'm sure there is a Trapeze white that would work as well, but going by Steve's comments, I don't think the Spandex is in any way nearly as expensive as the Trapeze material.

I'm not sure however why it's important for you to do so if you already got the results you describe above,. Perhaps the above quoted example was not as impressive as you first thought? Unfortunatly that happen in DIY. We often can never be completely satisfied. No matter....if you make another "White over Titanium" Screen you can then also make some direct comparisons, and that is always useful.

Thanks MississippiMan,
For the input on the white cloth idea.

I do need to make clear that I was only giving that Link to that StreetGlo screen because I thought it would help in this thread.
I found it by chance one day while looking for Sharp XR-30X projector reviews.
That is not my screen idea and I have never built or used one like it or even partly like it. I just started looking into the two layer cloth screen idea. My current screen is just a painted piece of black-out-cloth placed over a window.

Thanks again for the help, Sorry if I made it look like I stole an idea. I just wanted to give the link.
post #41 of 185
Curiosity got the better of me and I made a small frame and picked up some white and black spandex.

The first question I had was how well would white spandex work as a rear projection material.


As you can see the projector beam is quite visible through the material. For advertisement and such it might work ok but not for home theater.



Maybe if you could arrange the room so that the projector is not inline with the screen it might be useable for rear projection.

Compared to my N8 Black Widow screen this white material acted as one would expect. The whites where brighter and the blacks looked washed out. That is in my white living room in the middle of the day with the blinds closed. This is far from an ideal front projection situation. While the Black Widow screen would be usable under these ambient light conditions I would not want to use the white spandex screen except at night.



Once the prerequisite white spandex only trials were out of the way I moved on to what I was really eager to try. White Spandex over a black material.
post #42 of 185
I was expecting the white over black would be better than just the white but I was pleasantly surprised at how well it compared to my Black Widow screen under very poor ambient light conditions.

Here are the comparison photos with the Spandex White/Black on the left side.



It is much better with the black backing. Almost as good as the BW N8. It behaves like a slightly lighter gray. For a fixed screen that is acoustically transparent I would say it performed very well. Here are a few more screen shots:






As previously stated these photos were taken mid day, with the blinds close, in a white room. Even so the dark scenes were respectable and quite watchable.



If attempting to duplicate this white over black spandex screen, ask for white spandex bathing suite material. It should have a very fine dense weave (high thread count). I found the less shinny side to work best. Depending on the material you get, and how much you stretch it, you may see slight variations in thickness. The white spandex that I used came on a roll that was 60" wide.

I will try to repeat some of these screen shots this evening with the room darkened.
post #43 of 185
I watched most of Kingdom Of Heaven with the white over black spandex sample screen panel. This is with all the lights off except the lights behind the screen, which were very dim. This a white room with a white ceiling, so not the ideal front projection room.

Here are the screen shots under these conditions:








The blacks are not quite as deep on the spandex as they are on my N8 BW screen. They are close though and if not beside the BW screen the spandex still has good contrast. It is more than a fair trade off for the acoustic transparency.

There are some very subtle variations in the thickness or weave of the white spandex. It is actually more noticeable under room lighting than when projected on. This will vary with material so you might have to try a few samples to find the most uniform material.

A light gray may not show the variations as much so I would try both the white over black and gray over white to determine what works best for your setup.
post #44 of 185
I don't know if those screen shots would go very far as to convincing anyone to consider either the OP's referenced application or BW. Perhaps if you upped your Auto-ISO into the 500-750 (High) range so you could gather more light and make the images look like what your actually seeing? If you cannot accomplish that...then there is no real reason to consider either application as being anything but too restrictive as far as maintaining decent gain characteristics. I'd be willing to bet the screens MUST look better in person...otherwise why would you be bothering to post such dim shots...right?

Since I've seen you take far better shots...so I can only assume that the Screen itself (combined with the Black backing?) is the culprit. Unless you have the PJ calibrated to the BW screen, and in that case the entire series of comparative shots in not representative of anything close to being accurate. or fair to the Cloth example. That goes for the first series as well.

Lastly, and obviously.... anyone considering Rear projection would not place the PJ in a position where the Lens was directly in line with the Screen. Other than that, those images were very exceptional as far as quality, and show some real potential.
post #45 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by MississippiMan View Post

I don't know if those screen shots would go very far as to convincing anyone to consider either the OP's referenced application or BW.

It is true the photographs don't really do either screen justice. These comparison screen shots do show the relative similarities though. Black Widow being a "known" high performing DIY Screen Paint Solution, I consider it a reasonable reference for comparison.

The bottom line is that white, black, and light gray spandex bathing suite material is commonly available and reasonably inexpensive. Being spandex it is very easy to stretch and attach to a simple wooden frame to construct an acoustically transparent screen. In comparison to my N8 Black Widow screen, the white over black spandex produce a very similar image with only slightly compromised black levels. In fact this difference was only really apparent if looking for it, therefore a complete screen of W/B Spandex, with the projector calibrated for it, would produce a very good detailed high contrast image that I would be very happy with. One must also keep in mind that my living room has white walls and ceiling, so given a room with darker surfaces the results would be even more pleasing.

The first set of screen shots taken in the middle of the day with an unreasonable amount of ambient light in the room were the most surprising:





I was not expecting the W/B Spandex to perform that well in this much ambient light. While the Black Widow had deeper blacks the W/B Spandex was no where near as washed out as I had expected. Given brighter content, such as the first three images above, this screen would be quite watchable in moderate amounts of ambient light.

If someone is looking for an acoustically transparent screen that performs well, then this thread should be enough to encourage them to visit their local fabric store and select some fabrics to try. It should also demonstrate that a combination of layers will produce better results.
post #46 of 185
I had a quick look online to see if I could find spandex materials similar to what I used. I found this at Joann's.

Stretch House, Inc.

There is quite a wide variety of materials on this website. The Nylon Spandex materials are most like the material I used.

The ideal material would have a very high thread count. That means the weave of the clothe is very fine. It must also be very uniform in color and thickness. You want a material that has some shine but not very much. The matte side of the bathing suite material is good.
post #47 of 185
I have this PJ...add the h t t p

accessories.us.dell.com/sna/products/Projectors/productdetail.aspx?c=us&l=en&cs=19&sku=224-5768

Should I get the grey/white, grey/streetglow, or white/black? My PJ has 3500 lumens with a 2000:1 contrast and the throw should be about 12'-13' in a dark beige room with a some ambient light but no direct light.

I was thinking about the W/B but the joann's closest to me is out of the white so I might make a drive to the next closest one that has it if you all think that's the way to go.
post #48 of 185
Ok - having bought a new house, I need a new screen, much progress has been made since my 17 shades of acrylic dyi mixture drawn from these forums - it appears BW has won out for painted solutions. So I was planning to paint a BW but

1) I need a 150" screen surface and that means seams - seams I'm not comfortable I can hide due to

2) the room is a light control nightmare - glass on all 4 sides, 11 foot ceilings with clerestory windows up top and a solid wall of glass at one end. Beyond the obvious problems surface imperfections in the screen will bug me even with the pj is off

3) I can't afford a commercial light cannon - and frankly since I took a bath on my old place, one of the new 1k 1080p dlps (whichever is brightest, but I do like the sound of the Mitus) is likely to replace my ae900 (not planning the room for that old warhorse.)

So - I stumble upon this thread and think this is the perfect solution to my problem - A smooth, seamless surface up to 150", almost as good as BW, and cheap. But

I can't get past the thought that a grey, under-laid by white, would be a far better solution for brightness and ambient light rejection than white with black underneath. It seems that a white surface is always the worst for ambient light, and the black underneath, while increasing black levels, would decrease the FL coming off the screen by lowering the reflection of pj light.

Gray is better for ambient light while a white reflective material/paint underneath (where seams don't matter) would seem to boost the reflection over a regular gray surface. Of course the good folks who have done the testing on this thread seem to have proven otherwise, I could use more help understand which direction to go in - MMan and folks, any help for this confused soul?
post #49 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by jsm88 View Post

Ok - having bought a new house, I need a new screen, much progress has been made since my 17 shades of acrylic dyi mixture drawn from these forums - it appears BW has won out for painted solutions. So I was planning to paint a BW but

1) I need a 150" screen surface and that means seams - seams I'm not comfortable I can hide due to

2) the room is a light control nightmare - glass on all 4 sides, 11 foot ceilings with clerestory windows up top and a solid wall of glass at one end. Beyond the obvious problems surface imperfections in the screen will bug me even with the pj is off

3) I can't afford a commercial light cannon - and frankly since I took a bath on my old place, one of the new 1k 1080p dlps (whichever is brightest, but I do like the sound of the Mitus) is likely to replace my ae900 (not planning the room for that old warhorse.)

So - I stumble upon this thread and think this is the perfect solution to my problem - A smooth, seamless surface up to 150", almost as good as BW, and cheap. But

I can't get past the thought that a grey, under-laid by white, would be a far better solution for brightness and ambient light rejection than white with black underneath. It seems that a white surface is always the worst for ambient light, and the black underneath, while increasing black levels, would decrease the FL coming off the screen by lowering the reflection of pj light.

Gray is better for ambient light while a white reflective material/paint underneath (where seams don't matter) would seem to boost the reflection over a regular gray surface. Of course the good folks who have done the testing on this thread seem to have proven otherwise, I could use more help understand which direction to go in - MMan and folks, any help for this confused soul?

The solution above isn't intended to be a ambient light killer. Your own ideas are more parallel to that.

BW win out...? Huh huh.

If you get one of the 1600/1700 lumen 1080p-s, a mid-shade Silver Fire over a bright white surface will rock, and at no expense as to attenuating your whites, colors, and overall brightness at 150" like any version of a BW screen that has any real degree of ambient light showing quality would...and does.

But all that is OT here so post a new thread. This Thread is "Cloth Country".
post #50 of 185
Thread Starter 
I have not done a white over black - but maybe I will test and compare side-by-side to the gray over white, which I have done.

But I have to say, I am EXTREMELY impressed by the gray over white.

MMan is right - the "cloth" solution (or WTF Fusion, or whatever you want to call it), is not meant to be a solution where there is a lot of ambient light, but it certainly helps over a matte white screen. I am impressed by the image - especially in the dark, but I am also impressed with 60 watt bulbs (shining directly on the screen) and daylight coming through my basement windows (but not shining directly on the screen).

What else really, really appeals to me is the absolute perfection of the screen surface - something I am having trouble with on my previous painted screen. For ease of use for a perfect screen surface, you can't beat this.
post #51 of 185
MM - thanks, and sorry about the BW comment (which I thought was one of your formulas) I expect from your comment that if I did go with paint, given my situation, you would rec a mid-range silverfire as you mentioned.

Steve hits on my main concern in his reply. While I've not had a problem with paint texture in my previous screens, I now have a problem of the overall surface (seams, settling) and drywall no longer appears to be an adequate solution. I cannot locate a single piece prodcut sufficient to do 150" (or even a compromise 144") so any material based solution that can be compared to the painted efforts I've been trying for years is interesting to me.

The gray over white seems to have promise - I'm going to try and do some experiments myself as time allows and see what comes of it.
post #52 of 185
Thread Starter 
Just a note that I am making progress incorporating the gray stretch material in a retractable screen. Basically, I used a high-temperature hot-glue gun to hot glue rope to the material, while stretched. Then, leaving a few inched of material at the bottom of the screen free, I hot glued a metal conduit to the bottom of the screen. I adhered the screen to my existing retractable screen, and the tension of the screen itself bows the ropes inwards, but overall, the screen lays perfectly flat, although a few wrinkles on the side are present that I think I can get rid of by adding a little bit of weight to each end of the metal conduit. We watched some tv on it tonight and I am still astounded by the image. The material is flawless, so I never see any artifacts from the screen (I used to, on my previous painted screen, especially in very bright scenes, see some graininess.) I will post some photos when I get a chance.
post #53 of 185
So I have posted previously about my expirements with Marine grade vinyl with some success. One of my attempts was with a medium grey vinyl from JoAnne's. Overall I liked it but I thought the texture of the vinyl was too apparent in bright scenes so I took it down and replaced with another screen made of white marine vinyl. The texture of the white is less noticeable but the image washed out more in ambient light.

After reading this thread I picked up some white spandex/bathing suit material from Joanne's this weekend and stretched it over the grey vinyl screen. On my first attempt I used the high sheen side of material and I didn't like it at all. Too reflective and saw too many sparklies. I also could see "stretch marks".

So I pulled it all off and reversed the fabric, this time being careful not to over-stretch the material. The reverse side still had a slight sheen but it was much more uniform and no sparklies. It actually turned out better than I hoped. No texture issues and it seems to handle ambient light better than the plain white vinyl. Even my wife mentioned that it looked nice. I'll try to get some pictures up today or tomorrow.

Thanks Steve for your efforts on this idea. BTW are you originally from Pittsburgh?

Walking through the fabric store a few other items caught my eye that could have potential. Maybe some future projects.
Tiga
post #54 of 185
I'm going to make a fabric screen (need the acoustic transparency) and this may fit the bill... or ponte. I'll find out when I get things in my hands and test them. If I go the spandex route I'll post here. Going for a retractable screen. To help you picture it: alot of eyelets and removable side borders. Will post results... will most likely build it in 3 weeks so this post is waaay in advance.

The white + black spandex is interesting though. I would ask if light bled through the spandex... enough to be distracting or reflect back and take away from picture quality, but tiddler has it above an existing screen and steve has a wall. I'm going to have my screen a good 7 inches or so infront of my Plasma TV (That's why the retractable venture will take place). I'll be able to tell once I sample, was just throwing it out there.
post #55 of 185
Thread Starter 
I like the idea of eyelets - maybe that will be spandex screen 2.0. As it is right now, I hot glued the screen to nylon rope, and I am really not all that pleased with how it looks on the side. However, how it looks with a projector on is pretty stunning. (I am still hankering, perhaps, for a slightly lighter gray - we watched the Amazing Race on Sunday and the image looked phenomenal, very watchable. Watched Flash Forward last night, and very dark...

BTW, I am not from Pittsburgh - I had a friend who went to school there and visited a couple of times (and attended his wedding there), but not from there.
post #56 of 185
I knew someone in grad school with your same name. He moved away once we graduated.


BTW, I am not from Pittsburgh - I had a friend who went to school there and visited a couple of times (and attended his wedding there), but not from there.[/quote]
post #57 of 185
Hi, I was considering registerring here, just to ask a question about designing the "best" DIY screen.. Then I noticed I already had an account, lol.

Anyway, I have read the thread and I think the results speak for them selves.
White over Black is better than Grey over White(?). Or did I misunderstand?

Also, my theory:
What about a light grey over white, over black?

Or, white over grey over black?

Wont white->black steal some details? The black will absorb all light, where the grey will reflect.. also white would reflect. I might be off here, but :-)

I want to make a 2.5 metre wide screen, permanently fixed to the wall.
The reason I need it, is I want to buy an optoma hd200x/optoma hd20 pj.

The throw of the PJ limits placement, based on screen size.. If I where to use the 200cm wide screen I have, I would have to have the PJ mounted 70cm from the ceiling and above the couch.. If I move to a larger screen, I get to move the pj further to the roof, also on the wall behind the couch.

This also gives the positive gain of a larger picture.. However, there is one catch.. I need a new screen.. but then I found this thread.

It has inspired me, but I dont know what is the optimum screen? Is it white over black, or grey over white? Or maybe it's Grey over white over black? or some other combo?

Would it also work better if the grey, or the layer behind the grey, was sprayed with some silver reflective spray paint (or regular silver-ish paint?).

Mostly the room light will be controlled and I want good black levels..
post #58 of 185
Thread Starter 
Hard to answer your questions - but I am on the same train of thought as you. I am in the process of creating a nice, elegant diy retractable screen with this material, so I have been puzzling about all of these issues as well.

But the next thing I was going to try was going to be the gray>white>black, as you suggested.

I am also very interested in experimenting more with the white>black, as a previous poster indicated gave him very good results. I would like to do some side-by-sides and take some notes and photos. Time is very limited for me, though, so this may take a while.

But thank you for the contribution to the thread.
post #59 of 185
First of all I hope I did not give anyone the idea that white over black was better than gray over white. There is a possible color shift issue if the gray is not reasonably close to neutral. Depending on the projector this might not be an issue if it can be calibrated out.

The way I look at it we are just creating different shades of gray and also reducing the amount of light lost due to it passing through the material. A neutral gray surface absorbs all light equally. The more light it absorbs the darker a gray it appears to be.

In the case of the gray alone, some light was absorbed and some passed through. The net effect of putting the white behind the gray was to lighten the shade of gray. So here is what I think we are really doing.

2 or 3 white layers would make for a very bright white screen.

White / Black creates a light gray.

Gray / white creates a medium gray

Gray alone is a darker gray.

If there is any sort of non-linear reflectance or light fusion effect I have no way to determine that. I did observe that the white / black tended to look more like a gray in low light but when hit with bright white light from the projector it looked quite white.

I suspect the guidelines used to select a shade of gray for a painted screen would apply here as well. If you are battling significant amounts of ambient light then go with a gray material. If that alone appears to be too dark then back it with white. You would probably find that gray / gray results in something in between. If your room is dark and the surfaces are dark then consider the white / white. If that is too white then try white over black.

In short the best choice depends on projector brightness, room colors, ambient light, and always personal preference. The only way to determine the best choice for YOU is to do a little experimenting. Just remember to calibrate the contrast and brightness for each combination before you pass judgment.
post #60 of 185
Some interesting info there in deed.
I have read even more and I think I will try to buy some blackout cloth from ebay.. I know I'll most likely pay $$, but I cant find any suppliers for spandex or anything else in Norway :S I looked at several of the clothing places on the www, googled a lot, and I could not find anything...

I guess some have it, but anyways, it would cost me $$$$.
Now considering buying white blackout cloth on ebay and using the "rubber like" side as the screen. If it doesent work out, I guess I'll have to import some light grey spandex too(?), so I can get a better contrast in the ambient light situations..

Sorry for my NorwEnglish.

My goal will be to make a screen 118" wide, 89" tall (16:9 aspect ratio).
(ths would be a 147.6" diagonal screen)
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