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Long time coming. Finally time to build my AT screen!!! Spandex or Seymour (or other)???

post #1 of 44
Thread Starter 
Hello guys,

I have been slowly converting a room in my house into a dedicated theater for a couple years now. I am finally getting to the point to where I have to start the screen portion of the rennovation. I did plenty of research when I first started the rennovation for AT screen materials and their performance tendencies but, as you all know, the HT game changes all the time.

Currently, I have a DIY doable screen and like it but I am twisting my own arm to make the transition to AT (gotta hide my ugly speakers). My dated research led me in the direction of Seymour XD screen material (It is fairly affordable and performs well acoustically). Of course, I would DIY my frame and masking system. Lurking around the DIY screen section I have seen quite a few references to spandex as a great option of an AT screen material.

Does anyone have any references as to how this stuff tests for acoustic transparency (as well as viewing quality)? Are there advantages to spandex over a weave material such as a Seymour/shade fabric? Are there any other reasonably priced AT fabric out there right now? I really cannot see spending gobs of money on a screen.

I calculate my maximum screen size at around 109"-110" and I will be seated approx. 10ft. away from the screen.

Any information would be greatly appreciated. I got a baby on the way so that has quickly accelerated my motivation do speed this rennovation up. smile.gif

Thanks in advance,
Justin
post #2 of 44
I currently have two Seymour XD screens. My interest was piqued with all the talk of spandex and how great it was so I bought a 5' x 5' swath of it and stretched it in front of the Seymour Centerstage XD screen.

I couldn't take the spandex down quick enough. the Seymour is much much brighter and crisper. The spandex looked dull and blurry compared to the Seymour Centerstage XD, which I built DIY, one as a 12' wide 16:9 screen wall and the other as a 10' wide 2.35:1 curved free standing screen.
post #3 of 44
Thread Starter 
Edfowler. Thanks for your input. I have ordered samples of Dazian fabric in the past and to me it seems closer in texture to spandex then a Seymour fabric. It seemed a little dull to me when I projected am image onto it.
post #4 of 44
Seymour will send you a sample free of charge if you check out their website. The XD is very tough and easy to work with. I used a cheap eyelet punch set from Menards to put eyelets in the screen material and used o-rings to attach to the frame I built. I've used several other methods to attach DIY screens to frames and the eyelet/o-ring method is by far the easiest and produces the best results. It tensions the screen perfectly. You can check out my curved screen build in the DIY constant height section of this forum.

Any way I can help let me know.
post #5 of 44
Thread Starter 
Thank you sir,
I have a sample of the XD material already as that was my fabric of choiçe. LIke you, I was doing some reading on this forum and came across several references to spandex. So I figured I'd ask the question.

But I am ready to pull the trigger. I wil most likely call Mr. Seymour today and place the order.

I was looking really hard at doing the eyelets as that seems to me the best option for getting a good universal tension on the screen. I will check out your thread and PM you if I have any questions. I really appreciate the help.
post #6 of 44
I did not document the eyelets in the thread. I was just pleasantly surprised that they worked so well and were so cheap. They aren't much larger than a shoelace eyelet but they work, were very cheap, and were very easy to install. I spaced the about 4 inches apart on the screen.
post #7 of 44
It seems like you're set to pull the trigger on the Seymour XD. I will help affirm you in your decision in that I tried the grey moleskin spandex and found it too dim for my liking. I got a sample of the Seymour and it is far more preferable, IMHO. I am going to be installing it using the screen tight material, which is already installed on my screen. I like it because, in theory, it will be easy to swap out different screens. You just need to buy more splining material (cheap). Here's hoping that I won't need to, though, as I've ordered the Seymour XD material and will be installing it very soon. I'll let you know how it goes. Ed, I checked out your screen build and I like it. Curved screens are awesome.
post #8 of 44
thanks blastermaster. Let me know how the screentight works out with the XD material, it may be too stiff to fit in the grooves. Did you try your sample in the screen tight?
post #9 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by orcarola25 View Post


Does anyone have any references as to how this stuff tests for acoustic transparency (as well as viewing quality)?

See my thread.

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1454505/acoustic-transparency-of-spandex-the-truth

Personally, I'm really impressed with the sharpness and "pop" of my spandex screen BUT, I'm not using moleskin. I found a scrap piece of moleskin was not as good as what I'm using. On top of that, I have lumens to spare and my room isn't light controlled, so the grey is really quite nice. If I had a bat cave and a dim projector, I might not like my screen. There are white spandex options though.

If the Seymour XD stuff is in your budget, that stuff seems to be the cream of the crop. I spent $70 on my screen. My PJ was $800. Perfect. But my experience doesn't align with most peoples setups. Hope that's helpful.
post #10 of 44
Quote:
Did you try your sample in the screen tight?

No. That would make way too much sense. wink.gif

Chris recommended splining, so I'm pretty sure it's been done. I also bought the smaller diameter spline. Worst case scenario it doesn't work and I staple it. PITA, but whatever. But again, I'll let you know. I'm not taking down my screen until the XD gets here - movies are how I unwind at the end of the day!
post #11 of 44
Thread Starter 
Guys,
I am unfamiliar with the spline technique!!!confused.gif Blaster (like the screen name:) ), can you shed some light on the specifics of how this works? Do you plan on doing a build thread for it?

I called and ordered my XD screen material today. Now I am looking into making the frame. Edfowler, your curved screen build is pretty neat. I like the fact that it is a simplistic concept and still yields a high end look. Couple questions regarding curved screens (please forgive my ignorance):

A curved screen would fit into my room design really well at this point. I have an Epson 8100 (no a-lense) and my screen format will be 16:9. Doing some quick research, I am seeing that you can get barrel distortion and other anomilies as far as scews in the screen. Will I have to get an a-lense if I wanted a curved screen?
post #12 of 44
I'm kinda in the same boat needing to make a 120" diy screen with Seymour XD material (got it already). I'm heavily leaning towards using grommets/eyelets with o-rings but not quite sure how that can be done with a wood frame only. I'd rather not to go to the trouble/expense of using 80/20 aluminum for a frame base. But with a wood frame how one puts two support planks in the middle? With the longest size measuring 108" I'd rather put those in. Did any of you guys ever come across any project that accomplished a screen with grommets&o-rings and wood frame with support planks?
post #13 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by blastermaster View Post

No. That would make way too much sense. wink.gif

Chris recommended splining, so I'm pretty sure it's been done. I also bought the smaller diameter spline. Worst case scenario it doesn't work and I staple it. PITA, but whatever. But again, I'll let you know. I'm not taking down my screen until the XD gets here - movies are how I unwind at the end of the day!

If Chris recommended it I'm sure it will work then. I've clamped screens. I've velcro'd screens. I've stapled screens. Lastly I used the eyelet/grommet and o-ring method which I liked the best. If you staple it, make sure the frame is perfectly rectangular and well braced because the tension the screen exerts will make the frame sag if it isn't well braced.
post #14 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by orcarola25 View Post

Guys,
I am unfamiliar with the spline technique!!!confused.gif Blaster (like the screen name:) ), can you shed some light on the specifics of how this works? Do you plan on doing a build thread for it?

The spline method has been done a fair bit on the forums, if you use the search function you should run across several build threads with pictures.

A curved screen would fit into my room design really well at this point. I have an Epson 8100 (no a-lense) and my screen format will be 16:9. Doing some quick research, I am seeing that you can get barrel distortion and other anomilies as far as scews in the screen. Will I have to get an a-lense if I wanted a curved screen?

A curved screen has quite a few detractors on the forum. Curved screens are mostly used with an A-lens and are usually 2.35 - 2.40 aspect ratio, not 16:9. You can have barrel distortion etc. if you do not use a lens. The build was surprisingly easy for me but I have been a carpenter with all the tools for a lot of years so YMMV. Building theater stuff is my hobby. Unless you really like that kind of carpentry stuff and have the tools and aptitude for it, I wouldn't mess with one. But if you want to do it, by all means, go for it. You really should get an A-lens if you plan on a curved screen.

I have had 3 or 4 A-lens' over the years and did not care at all for the first 3. If you plan on it, I would try to find a Panamorph 480 or it's equivalent as far as quality goes. Anything less is frustrating and IMHO degrade the image quality whereas the 480 improves it quite a bit. I don't really think a curved screen is necessary if you do go with an A-lens either. Its just pretty cool.
post #15 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by mkostromine View Post

I'm kinda in the same boat needing to make a 120" diy screen with Seymour XD material (got it already). I'm heavily leaning towards using grommets/eyelets with o-rings but not quite sure how that can be done with a wood frame only. I'd rather not to go to the trouble/expense of using 80/20 aluminum for a frame base. But with a wood frame how one puts two support planks in the middle? With the longest size measuring 108" I'd rather put those in. Did any of you guys ever come across any project that accomplished a screen with grommets&o-rings and wood frame with support planks?

I got the idea to use grommets from searching this forum and the constant height DIY forum for curved screen builds. If you are going to use the grommet method I would recommend that you build a heavily braced frame like the one I built. I simply screwed drywall screws along the outside edge of the frame. After I attached the screen with o rings I covered door casing with velvet and picture framed the whole thing. Sorry I didn't detail that but if you search other builds I think you will get the idea.
post #16 of 44
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mkostromine View Post

I'm kinda in the same boat needing to make a 120" diy screen with Seymour XD material (got it already). I'm heavily leaning towards using grommets/eyelets with o-rings but not quite sure how that can be done with a wood frame only. I'd rather not to go to the trouble/expense of using 80/20 aluminum for a frame base. But with a wood frame how one puts two support planks in the middle? With the longest size measuring 108" I'd rather put those in. Did any of you guys ever come across any project that accomplished a screen with grommets&o-rings and wood frame with support planks?

I was thinking of using small threaded inserts in the back of the wood frame with short machine screws as a post for the o-rings to hook onto. In that case, the frame is your masking system as well. That might not work in your case though since you are looking at 120" (you will need to brace). In that case, you can install inserts on the top, bottom and sides of the frame and secure the fabric over the front of the frame. Then whatever you use to mask will hide the heads of the machine screws. Im just theorizing though!!smile.gif!
post #17 of 44
your theory is dead on
post #18 of 44
Orcarola,

Here's the link to my build:

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1442061/episode-iv-a-new-curved-screen

I attached the screen tight material to the MDF baseboard that overlapped the 2x8's. It was pretty easy. I'm not a carpenter in any way, but it seemed like a good idea at the time. Now, when attaching the screen material there are no center supports. However, after adding the screen material and after turning the screen upright, I added 2 2x4 braces along the length of the screen to account for any potential sag (which definitely will occur). And yes, I'm lazy and I didn't even need to screw them in - the forces of the screen material pulling together held the 2x4's in place. I didn't have to worry about painting the 2x4's when using the spandex, but I will be wrapping the 2x4's in velvet for when I install my XD screen. By wrapping the screen on the back side of the curve (convex) I felt that there was less chance for wrinkles. Whether or not that holds true with the XD material is yet to be seen. Hope that helps. Oh, and FWIW, I have a cheap A-lens, but I still love it and am trying to find a way to convince my better half that a better one is necessary.
post #19 of 44
nice screen blaster, I think you'll love the screen even more with the XD!
post #20 of 44
Thread Starter 
Man you guys are making me want to build a curved screen. Man, anamorphic lenses are an investment. Truthfully, a curved screen will possibly give me the real estate away fro the back wall to be able to place my left and right speakers behind the screen. I could also make the screen bigger. Possibly a 2:35:1 with a 16:9 masking system. I need to call Chris back and possibly change my order.
post #21 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by edfowler View Post

I currently have two Seymour XD screens. My interest was piqued with all the talk of spandex and how great it was so I bought a 5' x 5' swath of it and stretched it in front of the Seymour Centerstage XD screen.

I couldn't take the spandex down quick enough. the Seymour is much much brighter and crisper. The spandex looked dull and blurry compared to the Seymour Centerstage XD, which I built DIY, one as a 12' wide 16:9 screen wall and the other as a 10' wide 2.35:1 curved free standing screen.



I also have to agreed with this. After living with the Spandex for a few months, the image is pretty dull. I just got a sample of the Seymour XD and the image is really bright and clear like edflower said.

I'll soon be replacing the spandex with the Seymour XD.
post #22 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by smokarz View Post

I also have to agreed with this. After living with the Spandex for a few months, the image is pretty dull. I just got a sample of the Seymour XD and the image is really bright and clear like edflower said.

I'll soon be replacing the spandex with the Seymour XD.

You also must take into account that most everyone who has made a decision to use Spandex has a PJ with more Lumen output than you 8100 (1800 lumen in Brightest mode)

None of that matters though when you start mentioning a preference for, or the intended use of Mfg Screen material on this Forum. If such suits your needs, that's understandable, but please take your observations onto a Thread involving Seymour products or author your own Thread on that subject on "Screens".

Promoting Mfg Materials over DIY solutions on this Forum is not allowed.
(...although is seems a few have been ignoring that as of late and trying hard to do otherwise...)
post #23 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by MississippiMan View Post

You also must take into account that most everyone who has made a decision to use Spandex has a PJ with more Lumen output than you 8100 (1800 lumen in Brightest mode)

None of that matters though when you start mentioning a preference for, or the intended use of Mfg Screen material on this Forum. If such suits your needs, that's understandable, but please take your observations onto a Thread involving Seymour products or author your own Thread on that subject on "Screens".

Promoting Mfg Materials over DIY solutions on this Forum is not allowed.
(...although is seems a few have been ignoring that as of late and trying hard to do otherwise...)


Hmm..this is a thread asking for a comparison (opinions) between spandex and XD is it not?

I believe I am within the limitations of this dicussion?

Btw, I keep going back and forth between the spandex and one of my DIY painted screen, and the painted screen is so much clearer and crisper compared to the spandex (yes, my painted screen is a DIY option).
post #24 of 44
The Thread was started under one premise, asking as to if there was any differences between the DIy option and a particular Mfg choice. It asked for "opinions" on such.

Immediately the thread degenerated into a Seymour Love Fest. Something that is not needed nor allowed on this Forum.

Stating how Seymour "White" AT material is better, especially when the poster owns such and has not tried or made a DIY Screen, only draped some Spandex (...never mentioned what type...) over his Seymour screen then proceeding to expound upon it's virtues while dismissing that of the DIY option....that is self evident in it's intended purpose...to sway DIY'ers from considering such less expensive DIY alternatives. When such disparagingly different comparisons are made, there really isn't any relevancy in such efforts. That leaves it to being a case of simply stating one's preconceived preference.

Advocates of Mfg Screens and materials have always attempted to make such inroads into this Forum. Most members realize this, and see such efforts for what they are. Still, every member that purports to observe both the Rules and mandate of this DIY Screen forum should not encourage such actions beyond the simplest of responses that direct the discussion elsewhere if it goes so far as start promoting a Mfg option over a DIY one. There are valid reasons why such a decision should / must be made, of course...but if such a route is taken, it should be taken elsewhere.
post #25 of 44
I am really having hard time understanding what your point is MM.

The OP asked for opions between two screen materials, users here that has experience with both (or one) shared their thoughts and opions, which all seems to be in good manners to me.

And FYI, XD Centerstage is as much a DIY option as Spandex is.
post #26 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by smokarz View Post


And FYI, XD Centerstage is as much a DIY option as Spandex is.

+1

I gotta say though, I understand where the brightness issue is (especially with grey spandex) but what's with the "crisper" "clearer" "detailed" business of the XD? I haven't seen the XD so don't get me wrong, but how are you guys finding the spandex blurry? I've checked mine against white hard surfaces (wall, painted MDF, etc.) and I don't find the spandex blurry, darker yes, but blurry?... confused.gif
post #27 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by tuxedocivic View Post

+1

I gotta say though, I understand where the brightness issue is (especially with grey spandex) but what's with the "crisper" "clearer" "detailed" business of the XD? I haven't seen the XD so don't get me wrong, but how are you guys finding the spandex blurry? I've checked mine against white hard surfaces (wall, painted MDF, etc.) and I don't find the spandex blurry, darker yes, but blurry?... confused.gif


I am not quite sure how to put this technically, but flipping back and forth between my old painted screen vs spandex, the blurryness exists. It just seems that pixels disappeared, and the image on the spandex is less full/dense.

This is not very apparent with blu-ray source, since the resolution is so high it kinda masked the deficiency.

However, when you watch lower resolution source such as TV/cable or youtube clips, it is more noticeable.

Perhaps, it's just me and my setup, so I can't say it is a fact but just my observation.
post #28 of 44
Quote:
I've checked mine against white hard surfaces (wall, painted MDF, etc.) and I don't find the spandex blurry, darker yes, but blurry?... confused.gif

No, it's not blurry per se. But, compared to my old painted screen, I definitely noticed a subtle loss in sharpness. It's not major, and my setup is already incredibly crisp due to DLP and my Darbee, but it is there. Thus, if I can find a way to have an AT screen (I'll never go back to a solid screen - the audio fidelity is just incredible) that is sharper at a reasonable price, I'll do it. Whether other users find the price to be reasonable is up to them.
Quote:
The Thread was started under one premise, asking as to if there was any differences between the DIy option and a particular Mfg choice. It asked for "opinions" on such.

Immediately the thread degenerated into a Seymour Love Fest. Something that is not needed nor allowed on this Forum.

Stating how Seymour "White" AT material is better, especially when the poster owns such and has not tried or made a DIY Screen, only draped some Spandex (...never mentioned what type...) over his Seymour screen then proceeding to expound upon it's virtues while dismissing that of the DIY option....that is self evident in it's intended purpose...to sway DIY'ers from considering such less expensive DIY alternatives. When such disparagingly different comparisons are made, there really isn't any relevancy in such efforts. That leaves it to being a case of simply stating one's preconceived preference.

Advocates of Mfg Screens and materials have always attempted to make such inroads into this Forum. Most members realize this, and see such efforts for what they are. Still, every member that purports to observe both the Rules and mandate of this DIY Screen forum should not encourage such actions beyond the simplest of responses that direct the discussion elsewhere if it goes so far as start promoting a Mfg option over a DIY one. There are valid reasons why such a decision should / must be made, of course...but if such a route is taken, it should be taken elsewhere.

I don't mean any disrespect, but I did exactly what you mentioned in your second sentence - I gave my opinion. In my opinion, the Seymour fabric is far superior. I don't see how other similar comments by other users in an attempt to help a fellow member is considered a Seymour love fest. Not a single person in this thread has anything to gain by offering their advice, save for the knowledge that they are helping someone get the best that they can get at a particular price point (read: learning from our experiences).

As others have said, this is just as DIY as anything else - I buy fabric from a company, it comes in a box/cylinder I and mount it on my DIY screen. How is it any different if I buy it from Seymour's or Joanne's or Spandex World? I'm just trying to help. If that means getting the boot from this forum, then I don't want to be a part of it. /rant
post #29 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by smokarz View Post

I am really having hard time understanding what your point is MM.

And FYI, XD Centerstage is as much a DIY option as Spandex is.

My point is;

You are wrong is as much as Seymour Center Stage material is a specifically mfg Screen material, sold as such, by a Company whose business is selling "MFG Screen Material"

Spandex is used by millions to cover their arses. It's a Fabric intended for clothing use. It is not, nor was intended to be a Screen material. It's use as such constitutes a "DIY Find".

When is the last..or even the first time you've seen someone wearing Seymour Fabric while running a Marathon on CT.?

Crossover requests where people are making inquiries as to how to build a Frame are going to by nature come our way on DIY Screens. and certainly some will entail the poster wanting to use new or used Mfg Screen material. What is contrary to the Rules and ideals of DIY Screens is elaborating on why someone should be using a Mfg Screen material instead of available DIY selections. If they truly need a Mfg product, a simple reference to same and a directed response toward the Frame issue is all that is...and should be offered. Anything else...take it to PMs or suggest that a dedicated Thread on the "Build" be introduced on "Screens".

Really.....this is all just so obvious, and for anyone who regularly frequents this particular Forum to repeatedly state that they do not know the difference between what this DIY Forum stands for...and against, that is very hard to swallow as being anything but a convenient case of ignorance. That's not an intended slight or insult...just an expression of how silly trying to make out that there is no difference between an expensive, dedicated Mfg Screen Cloth and some Spandex Cloth from a Cloth Distributor as far as what is or is not accepted as falling under the stated Rules on this DIY Forum.

The real fact is, DIY applications are not welcome or allowed on "Screens" Not even a little twist like "I bought a Mfg Frame, but I want to apply a Sheet of Sintra painted with a basic Gray paint" will find acceptance. In the reverse, even the mention of using "GOO paint", a Mfg Paint for DIY'ers is something that can only be discussed about on "Screens".

The Forum Owners made these rules to keep promotion of DIY ideals off "Screens" and to keep Mfg Screen products off DIY Screens. The latter to prevent Mfg Screen Products from being promoted (ie: discussed beyond a "mention") by the Sellers of such. That also applies to those who own such products. It's an austere rule...no denying that...but it has to be explicit and unyielding or guess what happens....? A groundswell of threads and responses exactly like what has occurred on several Threads, and initiated and carried on with a purpose by a few individuals. That's it...really. Where's the misunderstanding here?
post #30 of 44
Hey, we have a DIY speaker section in this forum, and nobody I know of in there (except for a couple people making AMTs) build there own drivers. We buy drivers from manufacturers made for speakers, and then we build speakers. Kind of the same as buying screen material, then building a screen. Not sure why this bugs your so much MM. I use my spandex and love it. I'm not ready to spend $22 /ft or what ever XD costs.

Someone send me a piece so I can test it's AT properties biggrin.gif
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