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HDTV Screen – High Quality and Very Low Cost

post #1 of 1284
Thread Starter 
I replaced my 10-year-old CRT projector with a Sony LCD HDTV model. After doing some research and finding out the high cost of a new screen, I pursued the idea of building my own. My first attempt proved to be better than excellent results with much ease in construction.
I found a piece of 1/16x 48 x 96 plastic waterproof wall panel at Lowe's Home Improvement Store (cost about $13.50). It has a very smooth, low luster surface, lies perfectly fat and only weights about 10 to 15 lbs. Manufactured by Parkland Plastics, Inc.
I used a multiplier factor of 5.3 for the 16:9 ratio which gave me a screen size of 84.8 x 47.7 (97.29 diagonal) for which I only needed to cut about 11 off the 8 foot side. (A regular pair of scissors works fine)
Since I have a wood wall in my rec/theatre room, I tacked the plastic panel on the wall and trimmed it out using 2 ¼ door/window trim painted satin black. Total cost less than $25.00.
For more information freel free to contact me. Ron Geyer RAGEYER@aol.com
post #2 of 1284
Sounds great. How is brightness, hot spotting, etc.?
Too bad there's no way to get a bigger size without a seam. (This has kept me from trying a lot of Home Depot remedies...
post #3 of 1284
went to Lowe's and coundn't find this panel,could you give more info?
post #4 of 1284
I have seen Ron's screen in person and it looks very nice. I have a CRT projector so I may try this myself. I have a crummy roll down now (hot spot city) I could not see any hot spotting. I would say its 1.2 gain but that's just a guess. How do you measure gain? I checked 2 Lowe's in Elkhart and Mishawaka both had it. It was in the paneling section not far from the ceiling tiles if I remember correctly
post #5 of 1284
all the people at Lowe's could find was tile board or some kind of fiberglass like panel that was texterd on one side.i asked if they could look it up by the manf.# but they said that several differnt people might make the same part for them. do you have a part # alonge with manf.name? thanks
post #6 of 1284
I was going to pick up a sheet tomorrow I will get the number for you then.

post #7 of 1284
Thread Starter 
I located this material at Lowe's here in Elkhart and also was available at the Lowe's in Mishawaka, IN. I found it on a shelf by the wood molding and trim area. It is manufactured by Parkand Plastics, Inc. (www.parklandplastics.com) and is called - PLAS-TEX Waterproof Wall Panel (.060 x 4 x 8 Bright White). If unable to find in your area, you might contact Parkland Plastic and see where other dealers are located. This material is excellent and cheap. At Lowe's, it was a little over $13 a sheet. Good luck.
post #8 of 1284
went to website and checked out the panel,looked verrry nice!!! guess i'll have to keep trying to find a place that has it around close.thanks for all the info,the screen look's first rate!!!
post #9 of 1284
I've used the same material myself and have had excellent results. I made a wood frame and hung it from the wall like a picture. I'm about to build my next one for my just purchased Sony 1251 (having sold the old 722) and intend to go a bit bigger than the current 52 x 48....
post #10 of 1284
Ron,I talked to the guy at parkland plastics a minute ago and he gave me the number of 3 differnt home stores close by who shoud be able to get me that panel! very cool!!! And even better news, he said that they have thought of running some 5foot wide panels maybe 8,10,or12 foot long. I told him even if he just ran some trial stock i'd be interested in a panel or two. I can smell a 60x80 or60x106 screen in the future! Thanks for turning me on to this panel,look's like it has some possibiltys
post #11 of 1284
If they do a 60" run let us know.
post #12 of 1284
This biggest problem I can see with the small quantity of panels will be shipping. Shipping costs will far exceed the cost of the panel. I picked one up yesterday at Lowe's and some cheap plastic door casing that I spray painted flat black. I will try to get it up tonight. The bigger size sound great because I was considering a constant height screen. The manufacture is only about 20 miles from me so if you do get some bigger samples let me know I can pick up and then try to figure out how to ship them to you. Any suggestions on how to ship something like this ?The weight is not the problem it the size and getting it to the owner without getting damaged that I see as big problem.

post #13 of 1284
when i talked to the guy earler today he said that they rolled 1or2 panels up and U.P.S. them alot to some customers. Said that if you laid them out flat when you recived them they flattend out well if not rolled for too many days.
post #14 of 1284
Got the screen up last night or I should say this morning. Started at about 2:00 am finished about 5:00 am but that includes resetting all geometry settings on the projector to midpoint refocusing all three CRT's full convergence and geometry on two inputs. The results are fantastic when you consider I have about $35 in the project including an extra can of flat black spray paint I used for the trim. I had to be at work by 9:00 am so right now I'm running on empty. Finally my hot spots and waves are gone. Now all I have to is come up with some type of masking system for 2:35 movies. I will follow up with some pictures tonight but I need to get some rest now.

post #15 of 1284
Thread Starter 
I live about 15 miles from the Parkland Plastic plant in Middlebury, IN. I just talked to Steve Troyer (sales rep, I think) and ask him about the possibilities of making sheets that are in widths of 5 foot. He said it could be done, it just a matter of quantities. I explained how his product is being used other than the original design. He seemed to be somewhat interested. He took my phone number and would get back with me. At present they are not planning on manufacturing sheets greater than four foot with limits you to a 84.8 x 47.7 (5.3 factor) HD screen. The nice thing about this material is -- it can be washed with soap and water.

post #16 of 1284
Ron, you will have to come over and see mine. Of cource it look just like yours. I think you will be suprised when you see how good a 10 year old Data Grade CRT driven with an HTPC or an HD tuner can look. Thanks for the heads up on the material.

post #17 of 1284
I just bought t his too... and only tacked it up currently, and it works great! thanks for this info.
post #18 of 1284
This is REALLY interesting!
The size is perfect for me, as I have a small room.

Two questions:
(1) Does Home Depot have this?
(2) How do you get this thing into a 4-door sedan?
I don't have a mini-van or light truck.

post #19 of 1284
yes, I got mine at home depot. I rolled it up loosely and put
it in the back seat of my car. When I got it home, I just layed
it flat for awhile and it is fine after that.
post #20 of 1284
Sweet!!! I don't even have my projector yet, but I will be going to pick one of these bad boys up tonight!
post #21 of 1284
Anyone happen to know the SKU from home depot? I am going to try there in a little bit, and hope that they have it.
post #22 of 1284
Thread Starter 
Oh Boy! - If too many of you catch on to this, it sure isn't going to be the liking of the Da-Lite and Stewart screen companies. Now you can make an as-good or better screen in 1 ½ to 2 hours of time for about $25 to $30.00. Only a savings of about $1,000.
post #23 of 1284
I just came back from home depot with no success. I saw some things which I believe were similar to what was described but not exactly. Anything that closely resembled this item at home depot was either not the right color, or was not smooth. There was a whiteboard but that was too reflective I think.

For anyone that purchased this item from home depot tell me what section its in, and what they call it? I might have to try the company directly and see if they can send it out to me.
post #24 of 1284
I can't remember exactly what section it was in since I walked the entire store to find it... maybe the same section as the moldings, but not 100% sure. Anyway, the SKU number on my receipt is 637553000012 POLY WHT.
post #25 of 1284
Can anyone compare/critique this compared to the blackout material that was all the rage 'last month'? The blackout material seemed to be the end-all be-all for non-paint based screen solutions.

I'm hoping the gain on this plastic material might be a .1 or so higher than the blackout material... although that blackout material sure looks good!

post #26 of 1284
I'm still trying to get my hands on one of these panels but so far no luck. all the stores that i talked to said they will have to order it in and it could be scratched up in transit.AAARRRR! I think i'll call parkland back and see if they will roll up a couple of sheets and U.P.S. them to me. P.S. Ron,the other day when i talked to parkland,the guy said they have the same panel in a another finish called Silk that is smoother. If i have him ship me some i'll get one of these and report back if it seems better or worse
post #27 of 1284
duell: I cannot compare blackout material because I have never seen a screen made of that material however compared to my roll down screen this one is much much better. The roll down was plagued with wrinkles that caused an annoying wave during camera pans with this material that is gone. My original screen also had color shift or hot spots I have not seen any of this with the new one. Gain, I had a 1.0 with the roll down this material seems much brighter. With a HD 1080i signal the screen is very watchable with the lights on driven with a 800 lumens CRT projector. I don't watch it that way normally but I found it very interesting. The labor required to build a screen is much less with this material. With a screen made from blackout material you must first build a frame out of wood then attach and stretch the blackout material on the frame. Hang the frame and install a border around the frame. I have never built one but I would think it would be fairly difficult to build a frame rigid enough to get the material stretched on the frame wrinkle free. I would estimate it would take a minimum of a day to build such a screen. If someone does so much as touch the screen with dirty fingers it could mean replacing the material. With this material just spray with Fantastic and your fine. With the Parkland Plastics material my screen was done in 30 minutes, no joke. The day before I put the screen up I sprayed painted the window casing for the border with 2 coats of flat black paint that took about 10 minutes most of the time. Most of the time spent after installing of the screen was re-calibrating the projector. I have attached a picture of the finished screen.

post #28 of 1284
Thread Starter 
I saw Mike's screen and it looks really great. If course, it's just like mine. You can't go wrong with this material. I have attached the product info that Parkland Plastic puts on the back of each panel. It has the bar code number so you may be able to locate it at you store.

post #29 of 1284
You've stated that this is actually brighter than your las screen. But how does it affect black levels?
post #30 of 1284

Originally posted by finalwish
I can't remember exactly what section it was in since I walked the entire store to find it... maybe the same section as the moldings, but not 100% sure. Anyway, the SKU number on my receipt is 637553000012 POLY WHT.

Can you check that # again please. I called home depot and they said it was missing a #.
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