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Converting a front projection to a rear projection screen

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
Newbie here. I am setting up a Benq W1070 in my living room and initially bought a 125" front projection screen (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000Q87LM6) for the display. However, I later realized that mounting the projector in the front considerably compromised aesthetics (WAF) because the ceiling is vaulted and there would be a long mounting rod (more than 3 ft)
from the ceiling to the projector (the top of the screen will be aligned to the lowest point of the vaulted ceiling). Fortunately, I realized that I could set up the projector in the breakfast nook right behind the living room (the nook is big enough to accommodate the throw of the projector). The screen is supposed to hang between the living room and the nook and supposed to recesses into the ceiling (there is an attic above). The breakfast nook doesn't have vaulted ceilings so WAF is much higher. However, I now need to use a rear projection screen instead of the front projection screen that I have already bought.

Returning the front projection screen to Amazon is definitely an option (I would have to pay for a substantial return shipping), but I am wondering if I can convert the screen to use rear-projection material myself. After spending some time on the net, I came across the rear projection screen materials from Carl's Place (http://www.carlofet.com/projector-screen-materials/rear-projection-film-projector-screen-materials.html). I am thinking of cutting out the white 125" front projection material from the screen and sewing/gluing/stapling the rear-projection material to the black border of the screen instead. The black border is roughly 2" all around the screen, so there is substantial support for attaching the rear projection material. I am slightly worried about not being able to provide enough "stretch" to the material in this configuration because there is no tab-tensioning in the screen.

Do you guys think I can make this work, or is this a bad idea? I would appreciate any advice on how I could make the rear projection configuration work. I do need a screen which folds up to the ceiling and not a fixed screen because it will hang in between the breakfast nook and the living room, which is a heavy traffic area during the day. Thanks!
post #2 of 3
Hey! Welcome aboard DIY Screens!

Doesn't seem you'll be doing much DIY Screen making though.

First, going "RP" involves a lot of considerations that go way beyond what you mentioned, with a correct placement of the PJ being the most important.

The w1070 has at least a degree of vertical Lens shift, so unless you've already accounted for such and still wind up needing a 3' Drop, you can probably reduce that Drop by 50% or more.

But above all else, I would strongly advise against trying to re-work the Retractable screen you have into a RP unit but replacing the material. Retractable s in that price range already are noted to have "less than stellar" screen properties as far as waves and wrinkles....and they are Mfg'd....not DIY'ed.

Lastly, if the PJ can be raised even a little, and you get it up and going, two things will almost undoubtedly happen.

1. It will look (...the image) so good the wife will appreciate it more than you think.
2. The PJ seems to disappear from the equation. I've seen people standing directly under a 20 lb PJ and ask where the picture is coming from. Really. If it is at 10' or more off the Floor, it ceases to be an intrusion.

Far better to give it a go and do something "normal" than risk throwing a lot of time and expense into something whose potential for success is problematical at best.
post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 
Thanks MississippiMan, I really appreciate your perspective on my projector setup. I gave the front projection a shot again yesterday after using the maximum possible lens shift, and it helped bring down the image by around 7" or so. If I use 10 degrees of keystone correction, that raises the projector high enough to not be an issue at all. Do you think 10 degrees of keystone correction is ok, or is that too much of a resolution loss? Maybe I could use 5 degrees? Or is keystone correction a complete no-no? Regardless, I think your post has swayed our minds enough that we will end up going with front projection and not attempt to convert the screen to RP. Thanks!
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