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New cheap DIY screen - Page 3

post #61 of 185
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by olavxxx View Post

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)

Do you have a fabric store nearby? I do not know whether these stores are common in Norway - but they are in the U.S. I have three in my town alone, and each one of them sells various shades of spandex. Perhaps it just has a different name in Norway?
post #62 of 185
$20? You're my hero.
post #63 of 185
Bringing this thread back to life.

To the guys that have built these screens. After living with them for a couple months now, are you still happy with the results? I am considering building one as a AT screen. With this material, will I see my speakers through the screen while movie watching? Also, can you take a pic of the way you framed them please? Looking for a 120"ish 16:9 screen.

EDIT: Projector is Sanyo PLV-Z5 in light controlled basement theater.

Thanks in advance,
dbl
post #64 of 185
Thread Starter 
Good timing! I arrived on the boards this morning for the sole purpose of adding to this thread.

After using the thin gray material that I found at Joann Fabrics (as illustrated in my earlier posts on this very thread), I decided to try to upgrade my retractable screen a little bit.

In my earlier attempts, I adhered the gray spandex material to the top roller and a bottom relatively heavy pipe to obtain the stretch to flatten the screen. I also used vinyl ropes on the sides and glued the screen material to the vinyl ropes to give some slight stretch in the horizontal direction as well. Because of the thinness of the material, I also backed the screen with a layer of white stretch material and behind that, a layer of black.

The whole thing looked messy - particularly the ropes on the sides. While it did impart a slight horizontal stretch, it simply did not look the way I had hoped.

So back to the drawing board. I ordered matte silver heavy spandex from spandexworld.com, which came in about a week ago, and started from scratch. This time, (after ironing the spandex) I simply adhered the material to the top roller bar and the bottom pipe without the ropes on the sides. The bottom pipe gives the nice vertical stretch of the material. The material lays very flat, with slight curl around the sides that do not impact the image at all. The material from spandexworld is also a bit wider (60" instead of 54") so I am able to take full advantage of the max width of my image. The results are, simply, remarkable. The material is thick enough that there is no need for a backing material to catch stray light (my screen falls over vertically slatted blinds, and if the slats are closed, any stray light does not shine through the material (however, if I open the slats slightly during daylight, you can see faint vertical light shining through). However, if there is no light behind the screen, NOTHING will be visible behind this material.

Here is a link to the material I used - moleskin matte (silver) heavy nylon spandex. It is thicker than the stuff I originally used, but I would imagine it would still be great for an AT screen (and it is on sale as of this posting - 10% off!). I ordered 4 yds of the stuff and cut off the sides what I didn't need - My screen is 108" wide. (I will post some photos later today) Make sure to iron it first if you use it:

http://spandexworld.com/c3/catalog/product/5627

The ONLY issue I have with the screen is that you can notice, along the sides, some very slight rippling that is primarily noticeable if you have a light shining on the screen from the side (will try to capture that with a photo as well). Any slight horizontal stretch of the material would fix this, but I do not want to add that at this point in time. This slight rippling is not at all noticeable with an image projected. This material would be absolutely ideal for a fixed frame.

I wish I had a way of measuring the precise color and how far off neutral this gray (silver) is.
post #65 of 185
Steve,

Thanks for the reply and great info! I am going to look into that material you linked. You mentioned some "slight rippling". Is that because you are going with a roll-up type screen? I don't mind building a frame (maybe with 2x2's?) for it since it will be a semi-permanent screen. I'm going to have to get behind it because that's where my storage area door is. I will be using it as an AT screen, but I'm not sure if I should be using two materials like white and black. I'm new to this AT stuff and I still have a brand new, still in original unopened box, 5' X 10' piece of Parkland that I jumped on MANY years ago that I'm considering using and just putting the speakers beside it. I would rather go with an AT look though. My projector is a few years old, Sanyo PLV-Z5 with a rated 1100 ANSI and 10,000:1 contrast (with twin iris), so I'm not sure which route to go. Any help would be great!

Thanks again,
dbl
post #66 of 185
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dbldare View Post

Steve,

Thanks for the reply and great info! I am going to look into that material you linked. You mentioned some "slight rippling". Is that because you are going with a roll-up type screen? I don't mind building a frame (maybe with 2x2's?) for it since it will be a semi-permanent screen. I'm going to have to get behind it because that's where my storage area door is. I will be using it as an AT screen, but I'm not sure if I should be using two materials like white and black. I'm new to this AT stuff and I still have a brand new, still in original unopened box, 5' X 10' piece of Parkland that I jumped on MANY years ago that I'm considering using and just putting the speakers beside it. I would rather go with an AT look though. My projector is a few years old, Sanyo PLV-Z5 with a rated 1100 ANSI and 10,000:1 contrast (with twin iris), so I'm not sure which route to go. Any help would be great!

Thanks again,
dbl

Yeah, the rippling is caused by the fact that the material is freely hanging, without anything anchoring the sides. The bottom pipe acts to anchor the material in the vertical direction, stretching the material and allowing it to fall nice and flat. The slight rippling (hardly really noticeable, really) is caused by the fact that the material is not anchored and stretched in the horizontal direction at all. If you used a fixed frame, you would not have these issues at all.

I would think this material would make a great AT material. It is relatively heavy (for a fabric material), but I can't imagine that it would impede sound through it in any significant way.

My previous material was pretty thin and the gray was a bit darker than I wanted. The white backing helped to lighten the color of the gray and reflect a little more of the light back to the viewer. I was surprised to see that this silver moleskin matte is actually a hair brighter than my previous gray spandex (even with the white backing). Although I haven't done any comparison, I don't think a white backing would make any appreciable difference to the spandex world silver moleskin matte since this material is so thick.

Hope that helps. If you do end up getting this stuff - let me know how it turns out, post some pics.

I have done a LOT of testing and experimenting with different materials and paints over the years. This material gives a fantastic image and the ease of use cannot be matched.
post #67 of 185
Thread Starter 
OK - Here are my pictures. Hopefully, you can see the ripples in the material. But as you can see, they do not affect the image at all, as far as I can tell. (I haven't done a color calibration in a while, so I know that needs to be done...)

First image: Vertical slats over window with screen retracted:


Screen extended:


Side shot to show ripples:


Projected image with all lights off (2.37:1):


Projected image with overhead lights on:


Projected image with overhead lights off, side lights on:
post #68 of 185
I don't see on SpandexWorld's website what width the spandex comes in. I understand you ordered 4 yds, but I don't see any seams so it must have come in a very wide bolt. Standard fabric comes in 36" or 48" bolts. Or did you do such a great job sewing it that you can't see the seams?
post #69 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by lektern View Post

I don't see on SpandexWorld's website what width the spandex comes in. I understand you ordered 4 yds, but I don't see any seams so it must have come in a very wide bolt. Standard fabric comes in 36" or 48" bolts. Or did you do such a great job sewing it that you can't see the seams?

just follow his link in post 64... (hint: 60").
post #70 of 185
You mean when the page says "Width: 60", that means it's 60" wide!?!
Huh, I just didn't put that together.

Seriously, I can't believe I looked right past that. Thanks though.

Joann's doesn't list spandex on their website, but I'm going to a local store Monday to see if they have any. I'm doing a 107" (diag), 16:9 format, fixed screen. Optoma HD65 PJ. There is quite a bit of ambient light, so I'll try Grey Over White first and see how it turns out. I'll be surround it with a velvet covered frame. I'll post pics once it's done.

Note: This is only for a game room, so I'm not as concerned about ambient light. I have separate (major) plans for a theater. I like that this AT screen may work in there.
post #71 of 185
Looks like a great fabric for ascreen but I am wondering how AT it really is? Usually you want air to pass through but the spandex I have laying around you can't blow air through very easily which makes me think it would really distort the sound. No?
post #72 of 185
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bbieger View Post

Looks like a great fabric for ascreen but I am wondering how AT it really is? Usually you want air to pass through but the spandex I have laying around you can't blow air through very easily which makes me think it would really distort the sound. No?

I don't know - I have never tried this as an AT screen. Perhaps you are right - this material is pretty thick. I would be interested if some enterprising individual might take this up?
post #73 of 185
Does it have a rubberized coating? It looks great and from your description works really well bur again I need an AT screen. I would drop the $200 on a Seymour screen in a second but I'm worried about the texture and would prefer a grey screen for light conditions.

Even if you put a boom box behind it and listened you could probably hear if it's killing the highs
post #74 of 185
I made speaker grills using black spandex material. It is the type of spandex you would use to make bathing suites. I stretched it over a simple wooden frame and used a spline & groove on the back to hold the cloth. I cannot hear any difference with the grills on or off the speakers.

Based on the above observations, I would suggest that a screen made up of one or two layers of the bathing suite type spandex would also work quite well as an acoustically transparent screen material.

Another thing to keep in mind is that the more you stretch the material the more porous it will be.

I still have the screen sample I used in Post #41. It has a layer of white over a layer of black. I will go try putting it in front of one of my speakers have a listen.
post #75 of 185
I tried my sample screen panel in front of my speaker and could not tell the difference. The material I used was like this Regular Spandex described on Spandex World site. You will note that it is 5oz weight compared to the 8oz. weight of the Moleskin material used by Steve. Since I used two layers it is similar to 10oz material in thickness (I would think).

I also noticed on the Spandex World website they have 120" Spandex. If you look at the usage it lists Background, projection screens.
post #76 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by tiddler View Post


Based on the above observations, I would suggest that a screen made up of one or two layers of the bathing suite type spandex would also work quite well as an acoustically transparent screen material.



Except it will not be.......

Todd, when measurements of AT Screens are made using a Mic and Audio Spectrum Analyzer program, difference as small as the reproduced Highs being just 1.5 db down is considered unacceptable....leastwise when one is spending Mega Bucks. You could never make a determination of a loss in that realm, and neither could 99% of all others...but that is just the way such things are judged.

It's how some mfg go about solving the AT issue and trying to achieve as low an attenuation level as possible that makes or breaks the "view-ability" aspect of such screens.

The AR Screens that employ looser weaves (...or more/larger holes...) do so to mitigate the tendency of the attenuation of frequencies. But along with that comes Morie issues, or just plainly visible holes or the weave pattern when viewing the screen from a normal distance.

Somewhere the Mfg/DIY'er has to once again find a balance between reflectivity (...wider weaves/more holes mean attenuation of reflectivity....) and "as much" acoustic transparency as possible.

With DIY'ers who are not overly fixated on having a material that exhibits virtually no frequency blockage, and who have not viewed the premium offerings, I'll say that the Spandex done right will most likely seem to be superior to the cheaper Mfg AT offerings.

Really though, it's the ability to have some gain as well as AT potential that separates the real deal from a wannabe.

So your mostly correct....probably almost completely correct in your determination that the Spandex is a good choice to approximate a AT application. But I would advise that the rear, light blocking spandex be stretched as absolutely tight as possible, and the reflective Spandex left as loose as possible while still achieving a taunt, wrinkle free surface.

That combination should effectively assure the best possible performance both "Audio & Video" wise.
post #77 of 185
The attenuation of the highs is obviously dependant on a few things besides level, at what frrequency the attenuation starts is just as important. If it's above 13khz or so that's fine as most of can't really discern info above that anyways. And most HF devices exemplify significant breakup in that range so if an AT material smooths it out....more power to it.

I for one think this material deserves some serious attention and the dual layer colors/types as well. I was wondering if a white spandex over a silver might even produce a better image with higher gains. There's plenty of Disco/Spandex out there that's for sure.
post #78 of 185
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tiddler View Post


I also noticed on the Spandex World website they have 120" Spandex. If you look at the usage it lists Background, projection screens.

Indeed - I use 120" white for my backyard movie theater.
post #79 of 185
I've been following this thread with great interest as I near the time to build a screen for my almost finished basement. I really like the thought of using a stretch material that can provide such a smooth, uniform screen. In browsing the internet I came upon stretchhouse.com which has all sorts of stretch material.

Particularly I'm interested in the 2 way stretch vinyl. I would provide a link but i'm still too much of a noob and it won't let me.

The address is here: stretchhouse.com/stretchvinyl

I'm interested in option #8 and will probably be looking into getting a sample soon. If need be does anyone know if it's even possible to apply paint onto an elastic material?
post #80 of 185
Steve,
Any reason you changed from the Mirage Grey Jet Set to the spandex you got online? I found the Mirage Grey Jet Set at my local Joann's. The current screen does not need to be AC, so I'm planning to use it because it is so much cheaper than the spandex material. Do you see any noticeable difference in the quality of the picture between the two materials?
Mine will be a fixed frame so I'm not worried about wrinkles and I plan to do one of the following based on testing under my specific conditions:
Grey Over White, Grey over Black, White over Grey, White over Black
post #81 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by UTCOUG View Post

I've been following this thread with great interest as I near the time to build a screen for my almost finished basement. I really like the thought of using a stretch material that can provide such a smooth, uniform screen. In browsing the internet I came upon stretchhouse.com which has all sorts of stretch material.

Particularly I'm interested in the 2 way stretch vinyl. I would provide a link but i'm still too much of a noob and it won't let me.

The address is here: stretchhouse.com/stretchvinyl

I'm interested in option #8 and will probably be looking into getting a sample soon. If need be does anyone know if it's even possible to apply paint onto an elastic material?

I was looking at this stretch vinyl and I suspect you would find it has too much sheen.



This stretch denim actually looks interesting but it would depend on how course the weave is.



Once stretched over a frame you could paint the vinyl with something like Behr ULTRA Exterior Flat #4850. This exterior paint is self-priming and intended for painting vinyl siding. I would recommend cleaning the vinyl really well before painting it though.

If painting is likely, and in this case I think it would be, why not just stretch some BOC over the frame and paint it. BOC is easy to come by, inexpensive, and painting offers the option of many different shades of neutral gray.
LL
LL
post #82 of 185
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lektern View Post

Steve,
Any reason you changed from the Mirage Grey Jet Set to the spandex you got online? I found the Mirage Grey Jet Set at my local Joann's. The current screen does not need to be AC, so I'm planning to use it because it is so much cheaper than the spandex material. Do you see any noticeable difference in the quality of the picture between the two materials?
Mine will be a fixed frame so I'm not worried about wrinkles and I plan to do one of the following based on testing under my specific conditions:
Grey Over White, Grey over Black, White over Grey, White over Black

A couple of reasons, actually.

I originally went to get the mirage grey jet set from Joann's and found they were out of it! Was considering traveling to a different store and then decided to check to see what Spandexworld had. I use a heavy spandex matte white for my outdoor screen (120" - which I use to make a screen about 8' x 17'. The weight of the material is a LOT different than the Joann material - much heavier, and I thought it may lay a bit better as a retractable screen. I still anticipated having to have a couple of layers underneath to brighten the material and block the light from the back (since it is over vertical window blinds. Turns out that the shade is a bit brighter than the mirage and is thick enough that I don't need a backing material at all to block out any light (although if the vertical slats of my blind are open just a hair, I WILL see light coming through, but if closed I don't (whereas, with the mirage, even with the blinds shut completely, I still saw light coming through)).

And finally, the Spandexworld material is slightly wider than the mirage, and that made a huge difference in my set up since it gives me just enough play on the roller bar and I can max out my image on my pj.
post #83 of 185
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tiddler View Post

I was looking at this stretch vinyl and I suspect you would find it has too much sheen.



This stretch denim actually looks interesting but it would depend on how course the weave is.



Once stretched over a frame you could paint the vinyl with something like Behr ULTRA Exterior Flat #4850. This exterior paint is self-priming and intended for painting vinyl siding. I would recommend cleaning the vinyl really well before painting it though.

If painting is likely, and in this case I think it would be, why not just stretch some BOC over the frame and paint it. BOC is easy to come by, inexpensive, and painting offers the option of many different shades of neutral gray.

I agree - If you are intending to paint the material, you could probably buy some cheaper material, as indicated above, and stretch over a frame to get what you need.

I like the spandex material for, generally, two reasons:

1. Of all materials I have experimented with, this has been the best to use as a retractable screen. The stretch with a heavy pipe on it makes it lay the flattest (with only a few issues with some wrinkles. I have always had a problem with waves, and there are no waves with this material.

2. No need to paint it, making it very easy.

Others may find some other benefits, such as AT properties of which I have not run the tests.
post #84 of 185
Steve,
Thanks for the feedback on the material choice. I won't have any light behind the screen, and it's a fixed frame, so I don't have some of the issues you ran into.
My biggest question is whether you saw any difference in picture quality.

I can pick up the Mirage Grey Jet Set for $4/yard. The heavier spandex stuff is $10/yard.
post #85 of 185
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lektern View Post

Steve,
Thanks for the feedback on the material choice. I won't have any light behind the screen, and it's a fixed frame, so I don't have some of the issues you ran into.
My biggest question is whether you saw any difference in picture quality.

I can pick up the Mirage Grey Jet Set for $4/yard. The heavier spandex stuff is $10/yard.

As long as the mirage grey had a white backing, there was hardly any difference in the image - if any. In fact, I am using the mirage jet set with white backing as a fixed frame in my basement with an old benq projector and I am still amazed that it looks so good. Very easy material to work with.
post #86 of 185
I have been reading for 2 weeks no stop. Trying to decide which way to go from my BOC screen. I thought the answer would be the silver vinyl with frosted pvc on top. I personally thought it looks blury, and to much hot spot.
I did how ever love the color contrast, black levels. So I have spent many hours hunting around fabric stores, Mostly Joannes around chicago. I was hunting for silver pvc stretch vinyl. I finaly came upon some called all sport vinyl. To much grain, and to much sheen. I have found a material that is close if someone could figure out how to get the seam from jo annes out of it. Ironing board cover material (it has metal flakes in/on it). I put mine in the dryer to get seam out and it messed up the finish. Color was awesome, but very grainy and uneven. It did not have the grainy before I put it into the dryer. I have also recently found another promising vinly from diyupholsterysupply.com. (they have free samples) It is called brushed aluminum silver vinyl. I only have a 2X2 piece so it is hard to tell. I has a good matte finish, seems to have smooth picture on it, color looks good. It is definetly gonna be directionaly though. brushed lines will have to go one way or the other. I could not tell which way from the small test piece I had. Also the back side is lot texture matte white with slight sparkle possible useable as well. That said I personally am going to have to jump onto the painted screen band wagon. I have avoided it for 4 years, but believe it is a must to get the ambient light functional scree I am looking for.
I have a larger sample of all sport silver, iron board material, silver pvc smooth shiney vinyl, and a very light grey pvc vinyl. If anyone is interested in testing I can mail them too you. It would be the least I could do for all of the help I have found on the forums.
Thanks again to all.
post #87 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by malsip72 View Post

So I have spent many hours hunting around fabric stores, Mostly Joannes around chicago. . . . That said I personally am going to have to jump onto the painted screen band wagon.

Before you give up on the non-painted screen, have you considered trying the gray spandex from Joannes? (Mirage Gray Jet Set 400012852954 ) If you already have a BOC screen you could just stretch the gray spandex over the BOC.
post #88 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by tiddler View Post

Before you give up on the non-painted screen, have you considered trying the gray spandex from Joannes? (Mirage Gray Jet Set 400012852954 ) If you already have a BOC screen you could just stretch the gray spandex over the BOC.

I have something very similar to that I bought 2 years ago that I didn't like with my SP4805. I did put it up last night and was suprised with the results. I did try some different materials behind it, but could not duplicated the brighter results from steve. I initially draped it over some light gray pvc vinyl I have stapled down now, then put BOC behind that. Maybe because I did not have the spandex strectched? I liked the color of the gray but want more gain at the same time. That is why I am leaning towards paint.
Sound correct?
post #89 of 185
So Steve, just to clarify. You think that the moleskin silver was a little brighter than the grey/white combo? I went to Joann fabrics to pick up some samples but all the Lycra was kind of pricey 10/yard and they didn't have any grey

Figure I'll pull the trigger on the moleskin and then buy a swatch of seymour at cloth and grey/white Lycra and see how they all compare. I mean really, what do I know this is my first projector (epson 8100).

Is 1600 lumen. Or around 1200 on Eco mode going to be enough to overcome the low gain grey or should I really be looking for a white screen?

Thanks again for all the advice!! Especially Steve.

Btw I noticed your a patent attorney. My father inlaw just settled on a copyright case...7 years. The law firm he hired to renew his patent (some new plazma energy technology now used in autoclaves) forgot to renew his patent and let it expire !!!! So ummm don't neglect your clients to get back to me on screen feedback
post #90 of 185
So right now what is the best fabric combination for the most vibrancy/pop? Also is this farbric better then using blackout cloth? I guess it's not possible to get anything taller then 60 inches? This seems like the best way to get a very large average quality screen for cheap.

Any sku#'s for the material?

Thanks so much !
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