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A Screen Showcase & DIY Review - Page 3

post #61 of 244
I only have one question: Did you duct tape those samples to your Firehawk? That's what it looks like. Please tell me no.
post #62 of 244

"Which is darker?
Look at the "0 angle" panels. Now, compare #1's blacks to the background screen, then #27's blacks to the background screen. You'll notice, you actually acheive higher contrast on axis with the #27, because as you move off axis you are just reflecting more ambient light and less projected light. "

Could you please give more details on this black, CR area.
You mentioned "compare #1's blacks", where is the #1 in the pic?
How did the blacks/CR compare on #'s 26 and 27 to the Firehawk?

Thank you.
post #63 of 244
he duct taped all those sampls to his firehawk.
post #64 of 244
Thread Starter 
No, I duct taped them to pieces of cardboard. I hung the pieces of cardboard in front of the screen with coathangers.

Jim Story,
the #1 panel is the sample with the 1 next to it. Should be the Dazian sample.
post #65 of 244
I finally received my new Panny L300u, and am very impressed. I did my own screen with MDF painted with tremclad high heat aluminum paint. The colors and brightness from this paint were good. I will need to repaint it though, as I couldn't get a uniform coat. On pans and movement, you can notice the uneven texture. It shows up as a dirty film on the image.

I think I'll be sanding it down to a nice smooth finish then try applying the aluminum rust paint with a roller. It won't be for a month or 2 as I'm a little worn out from all these diy projects.
post #66 of 244

"the #1 panel is the sample with the 1 next to it. Should be the Dazian sample."

Then you were referring to the 1st set of pic's? Wasn't clear to me, sorry.

Are you gonna write any more (where/when) about blacks/CR vs all those tests?
post #67 of 244

"the #1 panel is the sample with the 1 next to it. Should be the Dazian sample."

Then you were referring to the 1st set of pic's? Wasn't clear to me, sorry.

Are you gonna write any more (where/when) about blacks/CR vs all those tests?
post #68 of 244
Is it just my computer monitor, or are ALL the DIY pictures (the ones with the girls...) under-exposed? Only the second screen sample from the left (the brightest) seems to have acceptable brightness. The girl on the far right is completely in shadow, even in the 0* angle shot. How can this be with the 1.35 gain Firehawk? Perhaps the camera was "tricked" by the extreme brightness of those high-gain panels?
post #69 of 244
Would you have any screenshots gobrigavitch?

In Ontario here and may try the same...........
post #70 of 244

Wow... Great job! Your the screen master!

You indicated that your projector was 600 true Lumens. Is that the same thing as ANSI Lumens?

Is a high gain screen material better in high ambient light conditions?

So now I'm on the fence between picking the Draper M1300 & M2500 material. I have an Infocus X1 projector which claims to be 1000 ANSI Lumens in presentation mode and half that in video mode. The room I am placing the projector in has a relatively high ambient light level. The projector will be ceiling mounted with 60"x80" screen. The room is a multipurpose so the screen will retract into the ceiling in front of the fireplace. The worst case viewing angle is 30 degrees.

Given these parameters which material would you recommend?

It seems to me that a high gain material would allow a lower brightness level and helpful in to extend bulb life. Your thoughts?

post #71 of 244
I don't have any screenshots yet, but hope to soon. Do a search for Neil Joseph. He used the same paint and has pictures posted on his website. He actually ended up with a nice smooth even finish, wheras mine will need to be sanded and repainted. The thread where this paint was discussed is "DIY screen paint material".
post #72 of 244
Thread Starter 

I'd go with the M2500. They are both exceptional products. I would recommend the M1300 if you had wide viewing angle or didn't need any gain. But since you're limited to 30 degrees I'd go for the punch of higher gain. You'll love it!

I'm impressed with Draper in they keep things simple. A simple line up with solid products in all catagories. Maybe they could learn to market themselves better. Maybe they don't have to!

Just remember all the products I've looked at are good. Likely no one would be unhappy with any of them. The only thing I personally would ever shy away from is a gray screen with negative gain. However it's all relative. If I had a 5000 lumen projector I might think differently . I like white screens, a little gain, accurate colors, linear gray scale reproduction, no gimmicks and and enjoying the show.

Enjoy the show!
post #73 of 244
Did anybody else think the DIY pictures seemed under-exposed? That Firehawk background sure looks unacceptably dark to me...

I have wide-angle needs (45* on one side), and was condering either the M1300 or the DIY Firehawk. From your pictures, it seemed like the DIY Firehawk actually has a much wider viewing cone than the real Firehawk. Is this true?

Do you think the "diffusion" (as you call it) of the M1300 material helps to combat screendoor? Wouldn't it tend to soften the picture?
post #74 of 244

Originally posted by DLP_Rocks
It seems to me that a high gain material would allow a lower brightness level and helpful in to extend bulb life

I doubt that this is true with the X1. I'd guess that the brightness control simply manipulates the duty-cycle of the micro-mirrors and has no effect on lamp brightness -- can someone confirm this? Some projectors *do* have a feature allowing the bulb output to be reduced (a bulb-saver mode), but the X1 isn't one of those.

post #75 of 244
Thread Starter 
oops sorry mrwizard.

Yes, the DIY section is slightly underexposed. This was to keep consistent and shoot from the same setting in all tests. Since I chose a manual setting on my camera that was best for the off axis shots I wanted to keep it consitent throughout the review for comparison. And No, you cant trick the camera if you use a manual setting. It shoots the same way every shot unlike an "auto" setting. This is described in the introduction.

All screens should diffuse the light. "Illumination" is what I was talking about and yes it does reduce screen door and I guess soften the picture. But only on a very small level. The softening seams to help the picture not hurt it. It ever so slightly blends the PIXEL EDGES and I really like this effect. It also does a superior job of minimizing/hiding source and compression artifacts.

I love uncoated white pvc vinyl. Its praises are not sung enough in the industry. Unfortunately if you sell the stuff to a customer they probably will think they should be getting more than just $10 material. The positive characteristics are obvious if you do critical comparison/viewing. It's very good stuff.

Overall, still my favorite material. Definately no-nonsense!
post #76 of 244
Tryg, I wonder how all this stuff compares to good ol' ultra white wall paint?!
post #77 of 244
Thanks Tryg, that was very helpful.. I think I will try the M1300... Just need to find a good source for purchasing raw material... Perhaps right here at AVS!

At these prices, I may ALSO build a DIY Firehawk and compare for myself!!!

Thanks again. This all has been very diffusing... oops, I meant illuminating!!....
post #78 of 244
Thread Starter 
didn't I just recommend the M2500 for you?
post #79 of 244

Originally posted by Tryg
The only thing I personally would ever shy away from is a gray screen with negative gain.

WOW! Did you get a prototype sample of the BlackHoleHawk too? I really love the deep blacks the -1.2 gain of this sample gives me. In fact, ever since I've been stuck in this BlackHole(tm), all I ever see is absolute blackness! Now if only I could get over the crushing pain of the immense gravitational field, I could really start to enjoy my home theater!

Mike U.
post #80 of 244
Thread Starter 
Ok. working toward a Third Review!

The DIY review was fun but now it's time to bring in the Pros.

I'm working on the grandaddy of all shootouts.... more later

Any suggestions?
post #81 of 244
I've been comparing the silver spray that you used to 2 samples of the Dalite HP, taped together.

The colors and gain looked very close to each other, however the silver (sprayed on white vinyl) had a sheen/shiny aspect , in some scene areas, that the HP did not.

Did you have similar results? I didn't stretch the silver tight; perhaps that caused some of the sheen?

How do you think the silver would do sprayed on the eztheater material?

More experiments...
post #82 of 244
After lurking on the AVS forum for several months, I was determined to have a DIY screen but avoid painting it because of all the apparent problems with that method. So, after receiving my Sony HS10 last week, I built a 100" (diag) screen using blackout fabric stretched over a wooden frame. This produced a bright, vivid image, with washed out looking blacks. Next, I changed to a gray fabric ("dove grey", JoAnn Fabrics), and WOW!! The image is a bit dimmer, but the blacks are now a very dark gray. Not perfect, but very acceptable. Next: I'll change the supplied Cinema Filter (CC20M?) to a CC40R.
post #83 of 244
You know what is really interesting is that I stumbled on this Aluminium spray paint by accident when I was looking at a DIY screen surface solution. I opted for this paint which I am very happy with.



post #84 of 244
First off, thanks to Tryg for these comparisons.

For anyone thinking about the DIY route, just do it:

Definately try this for yourself. You can read all these comparison's all you want, but there's nothing like seeing it yourself! It's FUN too!!

I got some cheap brown board (like pegboard without the holes and really smooth on one side) from Home Depot for like $8 a sheet and cut it into 1ft squares. I also got flat white primer, gray primer, flat gray, flat white, textrured gray, clear gloss, and high heat silver spraypaint.

I tried all kinds of things:
Gray Primer and flat white paint (looked like white to me)
White primer and flat white paint (looked like white to me)
Gray Primer and flat gray paint (looked like gray to me)
White Primer and flat gray paint (looked like gray to me)
Textured Gray and Clear Gloss (don't do this one)
High Heat Silver - no primer (similar to white - better shadow detail)

I still have to try white/gray primer and silver topcoat
I also want to go get some of that aluminum.

I currently have an HS10 projector on a white wall. It's got the cinema filter installed and has been AVIA calibrated. SMART III and the CC40R are on the way.

If anyone here has not at least done the AVIA calibrations, I recommend that you do that before messing with the screen. It helped shadow detail a lot. Overall black level is still a clear shade of gray, but a ton better than it was out of the box.


I propped the samples up against the wall and sat down to watch. I repositioned them to catch shadows, bright scenes, flesh tones, etc...

I've discovered that I like the accurate colors of white better than gray. However, the gray color I used was a little too dark. I may try a lighter gray this week.

The silver was the next best thing to white. Shadow details were better. Colors were nearly identical to the white sample. Flesh tones actually looked a little better IMO. The only problem was that I noticed my sub-par paint job on the silver sample. The edges weren't as well covered as the center of my 1ft x 1ft sample. So on the edges, white actually had a blue hue to it. I don't know if that was the board showing thru, or what. Especially since the board is brown??? I think so, because noticed a similar blue hue on my white painted board, but a second coat did away with that.

I got Rustoleum textured dark gray on a whim to use it as a base coat. You can definately tell that there's texture there, but it's way too dark. I sprayed some gloss clearcoat over it for fun. That sucked. Don't bother. I will eventually try that textured base with the silver paint soon

My next adventure will be another coat of silver and then textured gray base and aluminium top coat.

No, I don't have any pictures. Since this is easily the cheapest thing I've done since starting my home theater, I recommend that everyone who's curious about these DIY screen with enough free time give it a try.
post #85 of 244
Thread Starter 
Even if you're determined to purchase a screen from the pros, I highly recommend spending a couple bucks on DIY screens first. Make them small or a hodge podge of different samples. You will learn a lot and will probably make your quest for the perfect screen more gratifying.

Plus you can sit back and watch the knuckleheads pound their chest about which screen is the best...and laugh at them
post #86 of 244
"Plus you can sit back and watch the knuckleheads pound their chest about which screen is the best...and laugh at them "

We should probably just close the doors! And the millions spent on automated coating coating equipment, developing advanced substrates with tightly controlled gloss, neutral tinting formulations, characteristics which preserve uniform white field performance, Air and fluid filtration and control, to make every square millimeter uniform? Wasted effort! Heck, use a tarp, paper or masonite, your sedentary neighbors big white arss, anything! Make your own superior screen! Grab a can of Rustoleum silver, or Tremclad, and lap us all, in a couple weeks! Just joking buddy, in keeping with the times. Hardy Har Har! There are plenty of jokers already on this page.
But seriously if you want to use metallic pigments, you won't make anything of any uniformity, worth a monkey's butt, unless it's sprayed, by a robot, with a generously sized conventional spray gun, with a lot of control. And yes it will hotspot, and yes it will color shift, and you'll see stripes at every leading and trailing edge you coated, cause you can't keep it uniformly wet. But you could overcome that if you spent a few hundred grand on pigments, polymers and automated equipment. Of course this depends on your standards and the standards of your customers. And if your planning on staying in business, your customers are who you really listen to, (not self proclaimed internet divas). I suppose I will come in to work tomorrow after all. I've got a couple (thousand) orders to fill. But hey I'm just another knucklehead on the super information hershey highway. Where's my porn links anyway. Oh there they are, See ya!

Mark "Knucklehead" Robinson
Director of Manufacturing
Stewart Filmscreen Corp
post #87 of 244
Thread Starter 
Mark, wow! it's miller time!

BTW I am a knucklehead. I don't even need to say anything for people to realize this. Just look at my first picture.

I am overly impressed by the quality of work that the pros do! And please people don't get me wrong when I say go DIY. Some can, some cant or won't. Either way you will learn something! If there's any doubt, pros are pros for a reason....they produce professional products not amature products.

Now on to Stewart. I'm way impressed with consistency of the splatter on the Firehawk (and your other products). I'm still scratching my head trying to figure out how you do it. I guess I'll have to come down to the factory. What's obvious to any Stewart customer is their service delivery and QC perfection. Thanks for the awesome work Mark.

I hope to be working up another review soon...we'll see what the pros can really do. I hope people had fun with this last one.
post #88 of 244
Ah...now Tryg. we see the pressure to respond getting to a fever pitch. He he!..... He finally had to let that one out! Now you know why I repeat myself so often on the forum.. over, and over, and over.... gah!

BTW, I just happen to know the crew of guys who wander through the companies who make up 'Silicon Valley North', doing all the CNC work. They all have fun in their spare time making custom computerized 3-d beds...... god.. they have so many.... they are rotting away! So the equipment is rather cheap, for me...
post #89 of 244
After a little more tinkering I have a few more opinions:

I viewed Lord of the Rings and some HDTV shows on my HS10 with my DIY samples in place. It may be my lack of painting skills, but you really need to watch a real movie IN PERSON on these surfaces to compare for your own taste.

Rustoleum High Heat Silver - 2 coats of silver looks OK. No more blue tint and it blends fairly well into my flat white wall. Nice image, but consistancy will be a problem over a large area - I had trouble with one square foot.

Rustoleum High Performance Aluminum. I tried it. Too bright for me. Way too easy to create hot spots from a spray can. Possibly decent if you have a table mounted projector. Ceiling mouned will glare back at you. Consistancy will be near impossible. I'll pass.

Rustoleum Premium Metallic - Way way way too metallic. It sucked bad. I just tried it for fun.

Here's a kicker: My old Textured Gray and Clear Gloss from the earlier post... I put frosted glass glaze over it. Actually not too bad. The contrast was really good. Dark blacks, and whites that nearly matched my flat white wall, but the colors were a little dark overall because I should have used a lighter gray base coat.

My favorite DIY is still flat white.

Ooh, one other thing I tried on a whim. Looking for a different surface, I bought a cheap 4'x2' sheet of white light diffusing material for drop ceiling tiles. Styrene-something. Anyway, when you look at the smooth side, this stuff was a near perfect match (apparant color and gain as measured by the naked eye) for flat white wall paint. The strange thing was that it allowed light to penetrate deeper into the material (duh). This caused it to blur very slightly... to the point that I could stand 1 ft away, and not see the screen door. I can usually see the screen door at about 1x the screen diagonal. It really just looked like a softer image. Not out of focus, just softer. Although, I did notice hotspotting on this stuff. It actually made me think and try de-focusing my HS10 just a little. Wham, bam, thank you maam. The screendoor in almost undetectable now! Yeah, I know this is not a new revelation...

So hear's my real point:

Earlier today I went into my local retailer and saw their 110" Firehawk with an HS10 on it. Uncalibrated even. Osmosis Jones was playing in Hi-Def (HBO?) I had seen it about 2 weeks ago on my white wall. All I can say is HOLY SH*T. The Firehawk made it look like I could walk into a freaking cartoon!!! I didn't have a plain white wall for a direct comparison, but I didn't care. It looked awsome!

That alone convinced me to get a professional screen. I had considered Goo before, but again, my painting skills aren't quite up to snuff.

So, here's to you, Mr. Robinson. I'll be ordering my Firehawk this week.

After trying these DIY solutions and dropping about $50, I'm much happier in my decision to buy a professional screen. I think that's worth $50 to me. I still recommend that everyone try the DIY in real viewing conditions, evaluate your skills and budget, and then check out a Pro screen before you decide.
post #90 of 244
If you have one neighbor who is black and one who is white, can you borrow one cheek from each and get a grey-screen equivalent?

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