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Doing the screen right this time, with a HD71!

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
Well, second time around working with a projector setup. Picked up the HD71 on clearance at BestBuy for $650!!! I helped my parents out with a projector that I paid half for a few years back (it was the HD70). Grabbed up a BOC from Joanns and hung er up. For what I had to work with, and seeing as I upgraded from a self built projector, it was spectacular!

Finding myself in the same position, but with most certainly more ideal condition, I'm looking to do some relatively budgeted work on a DIY screen. I realize that the HD71 may be overkill for my setup. Essentially I have perfect light control, other than the reflective white walls in a small room. Its a 13.5' depth, and a +16' width (its an open living room). The throw looks to be about 12.5', with middle range zoom to allow proper zooming while doing screen aligning and sizing. This works out to be roughly a 106" diagonal.

Now most people understand that people have preferences, and I'm no exception I guess I'd call this faults more than anything, but I'll just say I'm picky about some things, and don't care about other things. When it comes to PQ, most important to me are shadow detail and deep blacks. I have a very hard time telling if skin tones are off or if reds are oversaturated, simply because I'm too busy obsessing about blacks Also, I tend to have very sensitive eyes so whites cannot be too bright. I have to wear glasses alot when driving, especially with snow on the ground! So I can sacrifice a lot of whites and brightness to make room for blacks.

So what I'm looking for, I guess, is something not too expensive and nothing too intricate. I know there are overly intricate paint mixes, but I'm not too picky about the color advantages those mixes provide. I also don't have access to a lot of tools, since I'm out of town in an apartment so I'll do what I can. I was thinking a dark screen was in line for my situation.

I wouldn't have asked you guys unless I knew you could provide some truly outstanding remarks to my unique situation Thanks a lot you guys! I'll promise some pics too, hopefully I'll have my SLR by then
post #2 of 21
The easiest way to improve blacks is to paint your room a dark flat color. Black is best, but many people are not willing to paint their rooms black. I have great blacks, contrast and shadow detail in my room because the walls, floor and ceiling is black.
post #3 of 21
Since it sounds like your warding off any suggestions in regards to Metallic based mixes (...which BTW are the only paints that will greatly improve those Blacks and Gray Scale without crush....) your only real alternative is a Neutral Gray in the 7.0 - 7.5 range.

At that darkness level of Gray, you'll certainly have what it takes to seen Blacks to the basement. But upon any direct comparison to any lighter shade of Gray...let alone the BOC....you most assuredly will notice that white & colors have taken a big hit.

You speak of not being concerned....but what you have not experienced cannot raise such concerns. Image dynamics (...the oft mentioned "PoP"...) are dependent upon there being a wide distance between the lightest and darkest elements of any image. That is the basis for the drive toward better contrast.

And the achievement of such need not result in overly intense whites. By combining the use of the uber bright HD71 on Low Lamp, and a NG7.0 Mix w/Poly (...a pretty darn simple and inexpensive mix....) you can have your proverbial Dark Chocolate Cake & eat it too.

And as the bulb wears out and the image goes dimmer, you can always revert back to High Lamp until the image is just too dark and loses any vestige of real "high definition".

Or you can also try instead using a lens filter (...another very inexpensive fix...) that will also mute you PJs brightness and keep your BOC as is. Moving the Bulb down to Low lamp will further reduce brightness, which in turn will produce deeper Blacks. Somewhere in there might be the balance between deep blacks and restrained whites you seek.

The latter suggestion is by far the easiest route to initially walk down, and leave the potential for you to correct both the ongoing situation...as well as your assumptions.....should you find yourself staring at a 'too dim' image. That most likely will not be the case however if you use the latter suggestion...so that is my best recommendation.

You really REALLY feel the need to paint the BOC? Spray it. Don't hedge on THAT suggestion.

Lastly, mjg100's advice is well given, but Black is not the only/best solution. Visit my thread:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1186813


...and consider using any dark tone Flat paint. getting there most of the way and using the other suggestions as well will work together to make everything as "Mo Bedder" as it possibly can be.
post #4 of 21
Thread Starter 
Hey, thanks a lot for the quick replys!!! I've read em over 3 times already.

Well, I just went and picked up some Veil (Pebble Gray: BLN50: N7.5) paint at Home Depot, as well as Casa Platinum Satin at Joann Fabrics. I'm hoping to establish a base for what I want in my picture quality. I just wish my camera would get here so I could take pics

UPDATE: STILL no camera Anyways, I managed to try out the Casa Platinum Satin and love the black I get, even with every single light on! What I'm finding for the first time is that I notice something off about the whites. It seems like they fall off rather quick, and provide little contrast. Basically, parts of an image that should seem intense, are humbled by a flat dull white, rather than a progressively more intense white. Easiest to note with dark scenes that have a bright light or games while looking up at the sun.

I think I've got a decent baseline for what I'm looking for. I'm loving the blacks, but could definitely hope for a bit more intense white. Colors seem fine to me otherwise. I still haven't gotten to try out the Poly Satin Silver fabric yet, it was $2.99 so that would be awesome if it worked out . I also tried the Veil mix and it seemed to be a darker white wall, but not much else. I guess I only tried it on 2 less-than-ideal surfaces. What you guys recommend for test paint surfaces?

I've become a little bit more with this painting business, but I'm leery on how involved it will become. I speak mainly of the involvement of the entire screen itself. Buy frame pieces and put together (which I still haven't really researched), buy a surface and paint, paint the surface, black framing on top of that. Its not the time so much as it is the money. Here and there you start throwing $$$ around and soon you've spent that months rent! (though not quite that much, but you get the idea I hope) Cheapest frame I can get (the lighter the better), probably a velvet alternative, and a mix that won't be too spendy. Just not sure how much more time I can put into research, buying and building before I can get my setup all done

UPDATE UDPATE: Well, I just tried out the cheaper Poly Satin Silver and I am very mystified by what its doing. I'm not sure if its good or not, but essentially the blacks are very good, not quite as good as the Casa Platinum, but sometimes indistinguishable! Yet, the colors really pop out and the white are glaring at times, almost requiring me to squint. The one problem I found is the texture of the material. It has a sparkle texture to it that seems to only be noticed when comparing it to another material. Also, any wrinkles seem to show up pretty easily. One thing though is the viewing angle; anywhere is viewable and extremely vibrant. I'll need to get hold of a camera soon.

I forgot to mention, this is on the shiny side of the Poly Satin Silver. If using the flatter side, you get almost identical results to the Casa Platinum. For less than $10 for a 58"x108" screen with deep blacks, its definitely a great pick if you are at least interested in what it can do. Try both sides, its quite remarkable!
post #5 of 21
Thread Starter 
Well, I'm going out to price framing for the screen. One thing I curiously thought of, as an alternative to painting the screen wall, would be to get some fabric to mount to the wall. I've seen Joann has black felt and black cotton for a decent price in 72" and 108" widths respectively. What do you guys think of that?
post #6 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Professa Oak View Post

Well, I'm going out to price framing for the screen. One thing I curiously thought of, as an alternative to painting the screen wall, would be to get some fabric to mount to the wall. I've seen Joann has black felt and black cotton for a decent price in 72" and 108" widths respectively. What do you guys think of that?

If you are going to use fabric, I would suggest Triple Black Velvet from Sy Fabrics.
post #7 of 21
I'm with mjg100.

Any cloth / material that falls short in looking both completely Black with lights on...and splendidly good while doing so, isn't going to satisfy.

Actually though....painting will be easier and less expensive
post #8 of 21
why don't you just bite the bullet and buy a nice grandview screen for less than to buy the materials and time to build something that is sub par imo. My first screen was a diy and will never go back.
post #9 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stefan Young View Post

why don't you just bite the bullet and buy a nice grandview screen for less than to buy the materials and time to build something that is sub par imo. My first screen was a diy and will never go back.

Well ya see, Stefan.....this IS the DIY Screen forum, NOT "Screens" and as such we don't believe much in, nor take to heart such opinions as you offer.

While some DIY apps might be 'somewhat' sub-par to the best products Screen Mfgs offer, most of the ones we have created and qualified are "On Par" or excel beyond those Mfg. norms.

I'd bet your first DIY Screen was not a "best Effort" or you just might of stayed an advocate. or perhaps it was because ...as you comment suggests...you just didn't want to bother making another screen? For whatever reason you switched, "Screens" is the place for such commentary.

So just go on...let us all waste our time in glorious and blissfully mistaken DIY endeavors. We do alright.
post #10 of 21
my bad, my sincere apoligies. (spelling). I made a hardboard screen with a paint formula, boc and a acoustical screen found on fleabay. imo the acoustical material is better than boc, alittle more gain.
post #11 of 21
Thread Starter 
Sorry Stefan, but I'm a DIY guy I've done computers, projectors, cables, and a few other things. I like the learning, the process, and definitely the result (though the projector one was very involved and didn't produce the greatest results) There are so many things that I wouldn't know right now, if it weren't for DIY stuff. It's like a second education!!

As for the wall, I'm not sure if I want to be painting the apartment wall black, I heard it ain't the easiest thing to paint back white and the results may not be what I was hoping for (though I'm sure you guys have some insight in that regard )

I tested out the Poly Satin material and it looks like it has hot spot characteristics, so I will be going with the flatter side for this first frame. I'm going to see what I can do to make this screen somewhat modular, so a simply material overlap would be in line for a future upgrade. Oh, and I decided to go the foam board route, so $30 for a screen ain't bad. And I don't have to worry about it falling off the wall, cause it will just float down
post #12 of 21
Thread Starter 
YIKES!!! My projector just shut down after giving me an overheating message! That kinda scared me after never having a problem with the one at home. I guess I didn't bother to switch it from Bright to Cinema mode when I have my laptop hooked up to it. Are there any other things I can do to make sure it doesn't do that? I'm not exactly sure what to do other than turning off all the Brilliant Color, Image AI, True Vivid, and setting it to Cinema mode.

Anyways, I've got all the measurements done, and will be mounting the projector and making the frame tomorrow. If that camera hurries up, I should have some pictures to go along with it
post #13 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by MississippiMan View Post

Well ya see, Stefan.....this IS the DIY Screen forum, NOT "Screens" and as such we don't believe much in, nor take to heart such opinions as you offer.

While some DIY apps might be 'somewhat' sub-par to the best products Screen Mfgs offer, most of the ones we have created and qualified are "On Par" or excel beyond those Mfg. norms.

I'd bet your first DIY Screen was not a "best Effort" or you just might of stayed an advocate. or perhaps it was because ...as you comment suggests...you just didn't want to bother making another screen? For whatever reason you switched, "Screens" is the place for such commentary.

So just go on...let us all waste our time in glorious and blissfully mistaken DIY endeavors. We do alright.

I agree. You can make an excellent screen for a whole lot less money. Look at AT screen costs. You can make one for about 1/5 or less the cost of a manufactured screen.
post #14 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Professa Oak View Post

YIKES!!! My projector just shut down after giving me an overheating message! That kinda scared me after never having a problem with the one at home. I guess I didn't bother to switch it from Bright to Cinema mode when I have my laptop hooked up to it. Are there any other things I can do to make sure it doesn't do that? I'm not exactly sure what to do other than turning off all the Brilliant Color, Image AI, True Vivid, and setting it to Cinema mode.

Anyways, I've got all the measurements done, and will be mounting the projector and making the frame tomorrow. If that camera hurries up, I should have some pictures to go along with it

Clean the filter and vents and see if that solves your problem.
post #15 of 21
Thread Starter 
Mjg, thanks! I'll keep that in mind if it comes up again. Turning all the setting down and in Cinema Mode seemed to help. I also have some left over computer cooling supplies so I can always rig up some active cooling to help out the little chump of a fan they put in the projector

Things have been going slow otherwise. Apparently my camera is having some address troubles so I'm not sure how long it will be before it arrives. I really wanted to take some before and after sorts of pictures. I'll see if I can borrow a camera from a friend possibly.

I had some miscalculations with the studs so I'm going to have to do a bit of recalculating or give the drywall anchors a fair shot. Just paranoid about a free-falling projector Maybe I'll hook a chain on the back of it and attach that to the wall as a backup precaution.

I also picked up the frame today so hopefully I'll be giving that a go in a day or two. I'm also thinking of giving the screen wall a coat of midnight blue paint. I like the color and the sample I got was quite non reflective. Are there any tips that could go along with this paint solution to give it a better, non-reflective quality?
post #16 of 21
Thread Starter 
Just got the screen framed and mounted!!! Too drunk to say anything else intelligent so I'll be getting some pics up as soon as the Yahoo I bought my camera from, gets the camera in my hands. For all of $35 including every receipt that went towards the screen, I couldn't be happier. I think it looks great. Again, hopefully some pics will get uploaded soon
post #17 of 21
Professa,

What screen material did you end up using? I did a complete 180 and ended up buying the Casa Platinum Satin from JoAnne's and I am happy with it. The fabric is heavier than the Poly Satin I got from Hobby Lobby and just a better quality fabric. The Poly Satin Silver I got also had too many imperfections (minor discoloration spots) in it that I wasn't happy with.

I made some calibration adjustments using the THX Optimizer from the Finding Nemo movie which required me to increase brightnes and adjust contrast and a few other settings. Overall I am pleased with the image results.
post #18 of 21
Thread Starter 
I decided on the flatter side, not the Poly Satin side. I'm going to probably stick with it since it is mounted and hung up on the wall. I think I will be wonders over the glossy, textured wall it has been projected on up until now. Again, once the camera gets in, I'll be able to get some pictures up.

How do you like the Casa Platinum over the Poly Satin's matte side (not shiny side)? The biggest problem I foresee are in the whites, however, as a screen by itself, it way still look just fine. Give me the down-low on that, cause I'm still very curious on how it performs

UPDATE: Oh, I'm also curious as to what projector you have?
post #19 of 21
I have the Infocus X9 720p projector with 1800 lumens so it is a pretty bright projector. The poly satin had too many hotspots and magnified every flaw in the fabric and was just too reflective. The back side of that material gave a much better image but I think I got a sub par piece of fabric because there were some spots lighter in shade than the rest of the screen. You don't notice when projecting onto it but definitly could see them when the lights in the room were on. As I stated in my previous post, the Casa Platinum was a thicker and better made fabric IMHO. I think if you had to wipe something off, it is less likely to show flaws from the wipe down vs. the poly satin.

I was able to adjust the settings on my projector to get the white levels I needed and the black levels looked good overall.
post #20 of 21
Thread Starter 
Ok, just wanted to check. I now know that it really matters what backing you have with that Poly Satin, at least on the matte side. I only had a pink colored foamulation board to frame it around and even that made it darker than the Casa Platinum. Overall, I am very happy with how it turned out. Daytime use or with lights on are very much watchable. Nothing gets washed out and the blacks are still nice.
post #21 of 21
Professa,
How are the whites compare to casa Platinum when you used back side of Poly satin? How did you frame poly satin? Did the cloth stretch a little when you wrapped it on the foam backing? Does it seem that light goes through Poly Satin?

I have used Casa Platinum. I liked the blacks but not the whites. I also notice that due to stretch the cloth was loosing light and pop for that reason.
Do you think using black backing will be better than using pink one.
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