Originally Posted by Mfusick
What projector do you have now? What screen is your old screen? What's the major difference you notice between screens ?
I have a Panasonic pt-ae700u, yes that's 700u not 7000u. its a 720p model. I got it used in 2006.
I had been using a piece of blackout cloth as a screen since I got the projector. Originally it was just stapled to the studs in the basement. Eventually I built a makeshift frame for it out of 2x4s, but it was always intended to be temporary. It worked, but definitely wasn't ideal.
When I first started using the Seymour XD screen I noticed that the image seemed much brighter and a little sharper. Colors seemed a bit more vibrant also. Once I added the velvet trim the contrast seemed to be better and the overall image just 'popped' more. It's much more viewable with ambient light as well. I really wasn't expecting it to be that much better, but I am very happy with the screen. I'd say that a good screen like this is just as important as a good projector. It definitely breathed new life into my old projector. Keep in mind that these observations are just how I perceive the image, and if tested with proper equipment, might not really be all that different from what I was seeing before. I'm very happy with the results though.
Higher resolution and more brightness would always be nice, but right now the only thing that really bothers me about the 700u is the motion blur I get in some action scenes. I'm sure I'll be blown away when I do finally upgrade. Right now the candidates for a new projector are the Panasonic 8000u or Epson 5020 (really wish it was black). I decided to hold off for as long as I can in order to get the best price and highest performance I can afford. Hopefully prices on those models will come down a bit before new models are available.
Next step is reworking my masking panels. I've decided to make them using a rigid frame to keep the edges nice and straight. Before, they were just fabric weighted down by a metal strip of trim at the bottom, basically just like curtains. That was the way the IKEA panel tracks I used were intended to be set up. It worked ok as a proof of concept, but i'd like the edges to be a bit sharper.
I've got one panel prototype done already using window screen framing. It works well since its nice and light and easy to put together. (and cheap) I simply stretched the fabric around the screen frame and fastened it using the spline. It worked great. Now I just need to attach the assembly to the track and build 3 more panels. Pictures will follow.