Got my DaLite "Audio Vision" material on time and on budget!
And packed like the Mona Lisa! (Well, the Mona Lisa if it was rolled up.) When DaLite packs your screen they do it right!
Anyway, if you are a cheap SOB like me and need a center channel friendly screen, you can't go wrong with this stuff. For less than $150 ($6.00/ft2) I got spot on measurements and heavy black binding on the perforated vinyl AV fabric. I was SUPER pleased with the dealer I used and would recommend them in a second.
Given I had already built a clear pine frame (see below) fastening the material was a piece of cake. While I'd debated using velcro (not an ordering option with DaLite) and grommets, I finally elected to delete the grommets normally done at the factory. Instead, I simply used 3/8" construction staples, tensioning on alternate sides as I went along. Since the material has a good bit of "give" it cinches up tight as a drum, and perfectly flat.
My frame is 1"x3" clear pine, joined at 45 deg. corners with all edges done in a 3/8" radius. I finished this with two (sanded) coats of flat black latex paint. Hidden corner braces were needed to keep the frame from torquing/flexing. This frame is "only" a 75" diag. @ 1.78:1 however. Bigger frames might need more reinforcement.
If I mounted this permanently on a wall, most folks would be hard pressed to tell it from a $1,500 frame from Stewart (OK, stand back a couple feet). Total cost for me $150, not counting labor of course. In my case though, I've designed some pullout arms which extend from a bookcase. This allows me to hook the frame (extended with 6" long black chains) in front of my equipment stack, 36" Toshiba direct view and center channel speaker. It clicks off the arms with two snap rings and slides behind the piano when not in use. I can have it up in less than 60 seconds.
Having struggled with the idea of an RPTV, pull down screens etc. this turned out to be a perfect compromise for my non-dedicated HT room.
While I've only done a few minutes of demos so far, with my newly tweaked Sony 400Q, it it is definitely a quantum leap over my temporary screen (using white speaker cloth). The image is so colorful and bright now that I'm finally seeing line doubler artifacts that were masked before (not that they are that distracting). The perforations are barely discernable, but again, not very distracting. And this is from a 8.5' seating distance. There is some light bleeding thru but it's not a problem, even with the screen hanging in front of my direct view set.
I haven't yet recalibrated my center channel levels (it seems like I'm down a dB or so, but I didn't have a chance to check this with the 'ol SPL meter) but that'll happen tonight with no drama. I did switch off my receiver's "Theater Re-Eq" circuit, and the tonal balance seems perfect this way. Having the center speaker firing right thru the screen really seemed to be the right solution for me. Thanks for the tips. Most cost effective project I've done since I started building subwoofers!
All the best,