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Is a fixed screen frame flat?  

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I know, a confusing and ambiguous question. I am considering an installation in which the screen (actually 2 screens of different aspect ratio) slides into the HT side wall on heavy duty sliding door tracks. There is a storage room next to my future home theater and I want to take advantage of the space.

I am not worried about the mechanism, which I can engineer. My concern is keeping the screen(s) flat. Does a standard aluminum screen frame have sufficient torsional rigidity to hang from two points along its top rail, and remain flat? This is the question. http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif

I would sure like to here anyones thoughts on this. Could stiffness/flatness be increased somehow, short of building a frame of 2x4's, making the whole assembly somewhat unwieldy? I don't think nominal 2x2s would help much, so I am hoping the frame itself might be flat and stiff enough. I'm sure different manufacturer's offerings differ.

Thanks for anything you would like to share on the subject.

post #2 of 10
Now THAT's an interesting idea.

Would you just simply slide the appropriate screen into place before watching something? I suggested a multi-screen system where the screens would "hang" on hooks, and I would simply hang the right one, but I like your idea MUCH better.

Where would they slide to when they are not in use? Would they be completely out-of-sight?

post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
Hi Milori

Yes, the screen(s) would be totally out of site in an adjoining storage area. I have plans for either multiple screens, or a black masking system that also slides in the same fashion. What I would prefer to do is to use a constant-height variable-width type of configuration, and just use the sliding masks to set the aspect ratio. The masking will be made of acoustic panels, and slide on a second track, 1/2" in front of the screen track. I worked out the geometry to automate the "deployment" of the screen using a screw-drive garage door mechanism (quiet,and r.f. remote).

You mention hanging a screen. This is essentially the support conditions that I would employ. Do fixed-screen frames remain flat under such conditions, or do they require the support of the wall?

post #4 of 10

I have a Stewart 96x54 with the deluxe Velux frame. It is VERY rigid, and would not be a problem for your installation. The corners are held together by solid metal 'L' shaped inserts which are very strong. I can not speak for the regular frame, but mine is very rigid.

post #5 of 10
Jeff, my screen is the Cineperm. A basic rectangle 16:9 screen. The Draper frame is very rigid, 1 inch aluminum. Once you manage to stretch the screen on you get a very slight bend (maybe an 1/8 of an inch?) if you measure the long side in the center.

I'm not entirely happy with my Cineperm. The material I received is not identical to the sample I had received. The material came folded -- and there is still one faint fold line after about 3months (they are slowly getting better).

The screen while it is "flat" -- does not appear to be perfectly flat. Almost as if the snaps that hold the screen on are not perfectly aligned. So I have some visible crease lines (very hard to explain the way it looks). Basically, some small areas of the screen are not "on the same plane" as the rest. So I have some small tall thin triangles (visually).

post #6 of 10

Have you attempted to get rid of the fold marks by using a hair dryer?

If you take a hair dryer and set it on medium, then follow the folds with the dryer about 1 inch away from the screen (keep the dryer moving, but slowly) the heat from the dryer should relax the screen enough for the folds to dissappear.

post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 
Hi Buddy. Thanks for the reply.

Can anyone comment on the frames from Draper or Dalite?

BTW Buddy, I love your home theater. Fantastic!

post #8 of 10
My Draper 80" wide is pretty rigid, but does flex a little. I would say that visually its impossible to tell that its not 100% straight when not mounted on the wall -- but measuring shows that its a little bit bent on the long side. This is due to screen tension and should be considered "normal".

post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks Andrew

It it planar (flat)?

post #10 of 10
Lee, the folds are no longer visible from my seating area so I haven't felt the need to attack it with a hair dryer. The "thin triangles" are more bothersome as I can see these from the seating position -- I suspect its a screen tension issue.

I'm supposed to have a Draper representative actually drop in and see my screen and determine if this is "just how they are" or if it is a defect.

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