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Could this be the ultimate cheap screen fabric ?  

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I might have stumbled unto something good here. This weekend I ventured to a fabrics store (JoAnn Fabrics) in search of some black velvet to line the wall I am using for a screen. After finding the velvet, I ventured and looked through the white fabrics I found what is called "blackout" fabric, which I am told is used to line the back of window curtains and, you guessed, block out light. This fabric has a smooth and vinyl-like texture on one side and a canvas-like surface on the other. At 5.99/yd I bought 2 yds and headed home along with the black velvet. Considering it's so cheap I simply stapled the blackout against a long wooden block at the top and let the fabric hang in front of my old screen-wall. How does it work ? Let me tell you, I cannot imagine getting a considerably better image no matter how much money I spend on a screen, this is GREAT. I am using the canvas-like material side and the image is gorgeous off of a NEC DLP projector. I’m guessing there is very little gain (no problem with bright DLP’s) and the viewing angle seems unending. I am sold on this material, am I the only one who has ventured to try this ???

This week I will try the vinyl-like side and report but guys, this is very good news.

Sergio Rivera
Miami, FL
post #2 of 6

The guys at HT forums here in France swear by the stuff, but mostly because of its price/performance ratio. I read a review of a home theater setup where this was the screen material used (bought at IKEA furniture stores or at fabric stores in France). The journalists thought it was pretty good considering the cost - but then again they couldn't have said so if it was superior to commercial screens at they carry advertising from screen manufacturers!

So your candid opinion is the best I've got to go on so far. Have you compared it to any commercially available screens or is this your first projection attempt? (you mention an old screen wall - ie painted?)

Thanks for your post.


post #3 of 6
I've been meaning to try some of this stuff myself. But first I have to decide on a screen size. A big screen is mighty impressive, but some stuff just looks bad blown up that big, especially regular TV.
post #4 of 6
Does anyone use this material with a CRT front projecor. I am using a 7' diagonal 1.3 gain Stewart. I am thinking of going to a wider 16:9.Using a Ampro with 8" CRT's

post #5 of 6

I am using the curtain backing material with a FPTV, an 8" Barco. I am very happy with this screen, but I still consider it "temporary" since I want to be able to retract the screen when not in use. I can get a 92x52" Da-lite 1.1 gain manual for around $225, so I'm gonna go that route as soon as I save up the bread. My wife is about to kill me as it is...

-Mike Leslie
post #6 of 6
I went ahead and bought some of this material to make a permanent screen for myself. I make a frame out of 1x2s and tentioned it tight by wrapping it around the frame and stapling to the back side of the frame. When I got done the whole was probably less than 10 lbs. I'm projecting onto the fabric side and not the rubbery side. When I tentioned the screen the rubber gave in a couple places too so using the rubber side could be difficult. Made no boarder for the screen. Its simply one big white rectangle I project onto.

I've watched 3 or 4 movies now and they all looked fine. Lots better than my other homemade screen attepts. (Shower curtain fabric, bedsheets, etc...) The thing I really like about this material is you can shine 1000 watt bulbs at it and stand behind it and see no light. I does an absoulte great job at blocking light and you get a brighter picture because of that. I compared it to my samples from Da-lite and Draper and I would guess the gain to be about 1.2. Just not quite as bright as the 1.3 stuff, but brighter than matte white. I highly recommend this fabric if you're on a budget and can't afford a real screen. Or even if you're not and just don't want to pay $600 for a screen.
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