Need Advice on DIY Spandex Screen - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 11 Old 07-12-2019, 02:49 PM - Thread Starter
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Need Advice on DIY Spandex Screen

Ok, so finally I am going to be moving into a home and will have an area where I can install a decently sized dedicated projector and screen. I currently own an Optoma UHD50 projector that I only bought because it was a closeout special. Had planned on going with the Optoma UHD 65, but could not pass up the price on the UHD50 for $720.

I've been researching screens from companies as well as different DIY options. I've decided to attempt the spandex screen and was hoping to get some advice on size, etc....Was planning on going with a 2.35:1 ratio and also either using curtains or something else to mask the sides when watching 16:9 content. I've attached a picture of the nook where I plan to place the screen. That area is 5 ft deep and approximately 11ft 10 in wide. I'm looking at going with a screen somewhere between 120 and 140 diagonally.

I am a relative newbie to this arena and am trying to build this theater on a budget but also with quality that will justify the effort.

I know there are some folks on this forum that are well versed in building these screens and am hoping to get recommendations on size of the screen, size of spandex materials, and any other suggestions.

Appreciate the time and advice and looking forward to starting this project!!!
v/r,
8bigman22
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post #2 of 11 Old 07-12-2019, 07:07 PM
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Lot's to address beside just the Screen....we can help you through the entire process.



But first the Screen. Straight and simple:


120" diagonal (max size suggested with UHD50)
46" x 111"
Throw distance 11'-8" (Fl w/Spandex - 17fl)
Frame built from 1x3 x 1x4 Poplar
3 Yards Milliskin Spandex White Click Here

3 Yards Milliskin Spandex Black Click Here

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post #3 of 11 Old 07-13-2019, 04:23 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info. What are your thoughts about replacing the white milliskin with ivory milliskin? I've seen a couple of folks that have done that online and they swear the results are better.

I also found a Black Diamond .8 SI Screen on craigslist last night for super cheap. It is 16:9 and only 100 in. though. I think it is at least worth taking a look at to see the picture quality in person. I have never seen one live.
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post #4 of 11 Old 07-13-2019, 04:25 AM - Thread Starter
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Also, what else would we like to address? Just curious because those are probably answers I already have.
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post #5 of 11 Old 07-13-2019, 05:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 8bigman22 View Post
Thanks for the info. What are your thoughts about replacing the white milliskin with ivory milliskin? I've seen a couple of folks that have done that online and they swear the results are better.
I don't know where you read that....but it wasn't on here, the place where more Spandex screens have been built (...and vetted...) than anywhere else.
IMO, a Ivory tint would shift the Colors, especially Whites. But I'd also note that because of that distinct probability, since no one on here...myself included have used it, that is subjective reasoning. You must decide whose advice to follow on that one.........

Quote:
I also found a Black Diamond .8 SI Screen on craigslist last night for super cheap. It is 16:9 and only 100 in. though. I think it is at least worth taking a look at to see the picture quality in person. I have never seen one live.
You almost assuredly would not like it, as it has too many caveats. Just two of them...Color Shifts...reduced viewing cone (not so much an issue in that "hole"), are bad enough to warrant running the other direction, and it is not Acoustically Transparent. And small.(biggest issue?) Depending on how "super cheap" it is you have to ask yourself two questions: Why so cheap?....and Why is it being sold?

But hey.....do you need A Spandex's AT performance? You don't state such....just a desire to use Spandex. No mention of what Speakers are being considered. If not....well my goodness, we have a myriad of other options that would be better to consider and pretty easy to make.

Chief among them would be to paint out that recess in a great DIY Screen paint and go "Format Free" where you could use the PJ zoom to let the 16:9 be as big as you want (height-wise) and the 2.39:1 be as big as possible (width-wise)

I specialize in budget-oriented Theaters that brook no compromise....but selecting the right components makes a 'bigly' difference in all that.









PS....WHY do you have those outlets on the Screen Wall? TV? Man....they need to get lost. At this stage in construction that is easy to do. They are essentially superfluous.

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post #6 of 11 Old 07-13-2019, 10:19 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MississippiMan View Post
I don't know where you read that....but it wasn't on here, the place where more Spandex screens have been built (...and vetted...) than anywhere else.
IMO, a Ivory tint would shift the Colors, especially Whites. But I'd also note that because of that distinct probability, since no one on here...myself included have used it, that is subjective reasoning. You must decide whose advice to follow on that one.........

You almost assuredly would not like it, as it has too many caveats. Just two of them...Color Shifts...reduced viewing cone (not so much an issue in that "hole"), are bad enough to warrant running the other direction, and it is not Acoustically Transparent. And small.(biggest issue?) Depending on how "super cheap" it is you have to ask yourself two questions: Why so cheap?....and Why is it being sold?

But hey.....do you need A Spandex's AT performance? You don't state such....just a desire to use Spandex. No mention of what Speakers are being considered. If not....well my goodness, we have a myriad of other options that would be better to consider and pretty easy to make.

Chief among them would be to paint out that recess in a great DIY Screen paint and go "Format Free" where you could use the PJ zoom to let the 16:9 be as big as you want (height-wise) and the 2.39:1 be as big as possible (width-wise)

I specialize in budget-oriented Theaters that brook no compromise....but selecting the right components makes a 'bigly' difference in all that.









PS....WHY do you have those outlets on the Screen Wall? TV? Man....they need to get lost. At this stage in construction that is easy to do. They are essentially superfluous.
By the way, I am from Miss. Went to USM and lived in Sandersville.

The vision I have for the nook is to create a fake wall (AT Screen and other black spandex panels) to create an area where my speakers sit behind as well as some type of built-in below the screen for components. So it would basically not look like a nook, but more of a continuation of the main wall. My Def-Tech 9040s will sit behind either the screen or black spandex panels because the entire nook wall will be AT. The plug is there because someone may eventually want to put a large TV on the wall. It also serves as a power source for what components would lie behind the faux wall. There is also a smurf tube built into the wall that you can access either in the middle of the wall, and at the top of the wall.

I believe that painting the actual nook wall would cause too much reflecting off of the nook ceiling and walls, but I could be wrong there as perhaps that could be mitigated somehow. I also considered creating another partial drywall instead of the fake AT wall where I could do DIY paint and have my speakers and components sit just below the drywall screen.

These are all just thoughts at the moment as I have a little over a month before I actually start moving in. Just trying to formulate the plan now so that I can start working on it when I get in. Or I could get a relatively inexpensive 2.35:1 screen and suspend it from the nook ceiling instead of creating either an AT fake wall or drywall.

I'm all about budget-oriented and am just brainstorming to determine the best option for my space. Appreciate all the info and quick responses.

v/r,
B
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post #7 of 11 Old 07-13-2019, 01:12 PM
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Lot's of good info to digest now. I see several takes on the matter....all pretty easy and affordable.


When I return I will have some drawings.

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post #8 of 11 Old 07-13-2019, 04:20 PM
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And back I am.........


These drawings lay out a pretty simple Build. The design employs your forward inside edge of the Nook, with AT Panels / Screen/ Cabinet set-back of 2".

Now to do what you want, and do it right, there has to be tie-ins to the existing structure. What you say you want is something that can be quite incredible once completed. You should be excited!

............and of course, the hoary old premise of "Someone might want to change it later...." came up. The quandary is, you have too much going on to have panels that are anything less than attached to the Walls / Ceiling / Stationary structure. But that only means that if to close a Deal with a cantankerous Buyer...someone who somehow hates the idea of having a spectacular 120" Screen Wall w/Low Boy Entertainment Cabinet..........you just have to disassemble the Framework, patch the "Screw Holes" (...you would use Screws to put this together...) that the perimeter Framing Members leave behind, Paint, then take their money.

They are not worthy.

But I'll say this much, my involvement with 100s of Homes w.Bonus Room Theaters...where some few of the owners had the same concerns.....never happened....nope....in fact,houses sold BECAUSE of such amenities. Potential buyers were attracted to the Home because it "Had" while so many others "Had Not". And bluntly put....the better you do it, the more desirable it will be later. The Screen surface won't need updating, and any future PJ upgrade spends will only keep things fresher and better looking.



But you are here and now....and this can be a fairly easy and affordable do.



Both sides of the Low Cabinet would have adjustable Shelves and be easily accessed from the Rear.
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post #9 of 11 Old 07-13-2019, 05:32 PM
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You want a Painted Wall Screen instead? That would come from a Drywall "Bridge"......with a fully painted 48" x 116" sheet of 1/2" Drywall set onto a Frame that is set "Centered" on the Wall, and toed onto each side to hanging 4- 2x4 Studs coming off the Ceiling. You could then hang Fixed Black Velvet Curtains across the Top that would mask the unused 2" up top, and a Ledge Valance across the Bottom directly under the Screen with more Black Velvet. A free standing A/V Cabinet could be behind those curtains at center. You would still have the two vertical Side Panels.....sadly no Black Velvet is AT-capable, and the Spandex looks best stretched Flat a bit.


This suggestion requires less framing and less "tear-out" if ever needed.


Imagine a Inset Black Velvet Curtain Valance that runs across the Opening at Top, and another that runs across the Bottom.

Something like this:


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post #10 of 11 Old 07-14-2019, 09:44 AM - Thread Starter
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Worked last night until 6AM this morning and then came home and went straight to bed, so just now seeing this. Excellent info and agree on all points. It needs to be done right and can be relatively inexpensively. I'm ordering a 1yd spandex samples to compare to the other samples I have now and are in route. I'm definitely one who likes to research all potential options.

I'll make a small spandex sample screen and compare it to the 3 drywall samples (I've already painted), 2 Elite Screen samples, and 3 SI samples. I did go look at the one SI screen from Craigslist and I will tell you that it does have a phenomenal picture. However, it was a bit too small for my application and it did have a couple of minor scratches that were only visible during extreme bright scenes. So, decided not to go that route. Since I am doing this, I want to make sure I do it right and select the optimal size for the nook.

I do have one question about sound as I know that will be a challenge in the environment I am in as well. Since it is a basement, the floor is concrete, a couple of the walls are concrete although the nook is on the exterior "walkout" basement wall so it is not concrete. I'm planning on leaving the ceiling open with the beams exposed but also might have to do something for the ceiling above where the speakers all the way out to where we will be sitting. Also the floor is concrete. It is a multi purpose "man cave" room so very large. Any suggestions on budget options I can implement to help out with minimizing the effects of the concrete???

Appreciate all the info and really like both options. I am super excited and have a lot to consider.
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post #11 of 11 Old 07-14-2019, 02:01 PM
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You desperately need some Floor Coverings....without them the room will ring like a bell otherwise.....Remenents can be had pretty cheap...especially if you get themfrom a Carpet Installation business. Also...and this is important... it would be simple enough to make up some Spandex Covered 2.5' x 4' x 3" frames out of 1x3sand place some Acoustic Dampening material inside them and then hang them at 48" intervals on the Walls around the Room.

The Joist'ed Ceiling will actually help breakup the sound reflections that go that direction, but stapling up some Black or Dark Grey (Charcoal) Spandex onto the Joists will certainly add more than a little class to the equation. The back of the Room is your most critical...so it would serve you well to put those Boxes on the Rear Wall and rear Side Walls....and hopefully at least 1/2 up toward the Front Wall. And if you do decide to Cover the Joists in Spandex....stuff the Ceiling Joists in the rear of the room with "paperless" Rolls of r-19 insulation out at least 4' from the Rear Wall. Push the insulation all the way up to the Floor above.

This will act like a Low Frequency Trap and help tighten up your Bass response...preventing "booming".

Again...compared to just installing Channels & Clips, and doubled Drywall w/Green Glue, doing the bits I suggested above will go a long way toward correcting aural issues, and for $1000s less. It won't be perfect...but soooooooooooooo much better than not.


Lastly, all the aforementioned additions can be done over a period of time....they need not be factored into the restraining budget at the get-go. If something can be done....do the treatments in Rear of the Room as that should be a priority.

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