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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am closing on a new home shortly and will be eventually converting a play room/bonus loft space to a theater (see http://www.avsforum.com/t/1520410/media-play-room-in-new-construction-recommendations-and-advice-welcome/0_100 ). The room has windows, but they will be blocked using the recommended product in my build thread. The projector distance can basically be whatever is optimal for the specific projector and screen I choose (or choose to build).


Firstly, I was considering a laminate screen before deciding to go with the scope format. Is this still a viable option? I have absolutely no construction/woodworking experience, so building a curved screen is out of the question. Honestly, even the laminate screen is probably pushing it as I have very basic tools, although I'd be willing to try if the price/performance ratio is much greater than low-mid priced screens. My concern is that I will need to have a false wall to hide the speakers, and that is way out of my comfort zone. I really don't want to use in-wall speakers because of the drop in quality, and the speakers need to be hidden as I have young children that could hurt themselves or damage the speakers if they are accessible. Do I have any other options besides building the false wall myself and then mounting the AT screen to it?


Secondly, I know that choosing a scope screen also limits me to the type of projector I should choose, since I'm going to want lens memory to eliminate manual zooming for different types of content. I imagine that I'll spend around $2,000 on the projector, but all the threads I found with recommendations (mostly JVC, it seems) are a few years old or more. Are there any new models I should be considering, keeping in mind that I am not limited to any specific mounting location/distance?
 

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If there is one thing that absolutely blew my mind when I built my acoustically transparent screen, it was how the sound quality was vastly improved from before. I would highly recommend it. If you go that route, check out Seymour AV. The Centrestage XD material is acoustically transparent, gives lots of pop at 1.0 gain and they will install, for a charge, grommets for you so all you need to to is use the rubber o-rings they provide and attach it to nails or whatever that you install on the back of your frame. The material's economical and doesn't have a lot of stretch so it's easy to work with. Chris at Seymour AV is very helpful and can point you in the right direction.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by blastermaster  /t/1523754/considering-scope-zoom-m...iy-screens-and-projectors/0_100#post_24517746


If there is one thing that absolutely blew my mind when I built my acoustically transparent screen, it was how the sound quality was vastly improved from before. I would highly recommend it. If you go that route, check out Seymour AV. The Centrestage XD material is acoustically transparent, gives lots of pop at 1.0 gain and they will install, for a charge, grommets for you so all you need to to is use the rubber o-rings they provide and attach it to nails or whatever that you install on the back of your frame. The material's economical and doesn't have a lot of stretch so it's easy to work with. Chris at Seymour AV is very helpful and can point you in the right direction.

Thanks for the tips, I'll get in touch with them directly for some more info. Any resources on how to actually construct the false wall? On the build threads I have seen, it seems like everybody already knows the exact process, and it's something that I'll need guidance to complete successfully.
 

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 http://www.avsforum.com/t/837848/minimalist-approach-to-screen-wall


Check out the above thread. Also, call avscience sales. They may have some good quality b-stock projectors that will save you some money (I just saw a recent post where they had some b stock Sony projectors...).


Honestly, though, don't be scared off of doing the project. It's not that difficult, but I definitely understand where you're coming from. I just decided to redo my deck. I've just ripped it apart and I'm thinking, "oh crap, I hope I can put Humpty together again!"
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks again, blastermaster. I'm going to read through that build thread. Maybe I'll have more luck if I actually go to a carpentry/woodworking forum.


I've been putting off the call to AVS sales because the house is just nearing completion and I have plenty of other things to spend money on. I know I will tempted to buy something if I call and they have a good deal right now, even though I won't really be in a position to begin setting up the theater for several months.


Edit: After taking a few minutes to look through that thread, it seems that it will be immensely helpful. Thanks again for chiming in.
 

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I'm using a Panasonic AE 7000 with a 2.4:1 138" screen. The projector has automatic sensing and automatic zoom that can be program to zoom the image to a constant height. It has excellent masking of the picture-I don't use any external mask on the screen, and once the picture adjusts, I don't notice the un lit sides of the screen when watching something narrow that doesn't use the full screen width. My room is light controlled, with a dark brown wall surrounding the screen in front and on the ceiling, and a lighter (but still fairly dark) brown side and back wall, and one adjacent wall in textured stone. The screen is a DIY screen using white blackout cloth. My room is about 22'x13.5', and I project through a port from the next room, across the width of the room. The projector is normally controlled with an IR repeater from a sensor on the front wall under the screen, but I found the sensor in the projector can reliably pick up a remote signal bounced off the screen and back to the projector through the port. When it zooms to a widescreen picture, it fills the screen.


Panasonic has a later model than mine, an AE8000. It has most of the same specs and the same autosensing and zoom capabilities. At present, the AE8000 is priced at $2229 .99 on Amazon. The prices are probably comparable on some of the AV supplier sites.


It's not difficult to build a screen. I used pine boards I selected from the stock at Lowes to avoid defects and that were straight. I used a hand mitre box for the cuts, a right angle and tape measure to make the corners square, a power drill and assorted screw drivers and angle iron (actually, they are steel) fittings to secure the corners and a center support. I used a staple gun to secure the fabric, and found a canvas stretching pliers useful (but not required) to hold the fabric while securing it. I also built and hung a frame around the screen, using the same tools. The total cost of the screen (not including the tools-I had everything but the canvas stretching pliers already) was about $135, including the frame.


One additional point. Make sure you can get the screen in from where you build or assemble it, into the room you plan to use it in. I did mine from another area, and moved it in after assembling it. it made it with little room to spare. If it was any larger, I would have had to assemble it in the room I would be using in. It's better to figure that out before you start.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for sharing your knowledge and experience, Bobofbone. I take it that your DIY screen is not an acoustically transparent one. I don't think I would have a problem with the DIY aspect if I didn't have young twins that will have access to this room, because I'd likely just fixed mount the screen. However, since I can't have speakers out in the open, it seems that an AT screen with a false wall hiding the speakers will be the most efficient and cost effective method, and that's going to be a bit of a stretch for me.


I will definitely look into that Panasonic, as it sounds like it has some great features around the price I was expecting to pay. I'll likely give a call to AVS sales when the time comes to make that purchase. I do plan to use a fairly (if not very) dark paint and use blackout plugs on all windows, so it sounds like I'll have a similar result to yours.
 

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If you're building, a false wall wouldn't be hard at all. Locate the studs where you want them, and frame out the area for the screen. I've seen one DIY setup that put the screen on hinges, dropping it vertically, from hinges on the top, and using it as the entrance to get to the back area with speakers. It would be easier to accomplish before putting in the drywall.


You can also get acoustically transparent fabric. try http://www.carlofet.com/material-comparison-chart . I bought my screen fabric there. I can't speak for how their acoustically transparent fabric is, but I was able to get what I wanted in the size I needed.


The section on screens on this forum has a number of posts in DIY section on acoustically transparent screens that may have other suggestions.
 

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I've had a scope screen for a few years, after living with it (the biggest screen I could get with my low ceiling height from a soffit), I learned pretty quick that multi aspect movies like the Dark Knight Trilogy, Hunger Games Catching Fire, Transformers, etc really suck with CIH setup...


If I were building a dedicated room:


1)I'd absolutely do a false wall as others suggested. It really helps with audio imaging when you can put the center speaker behind the screen.


2)I'd do a near-floor to near-ceiling 1.78:1 screen. and use semi-permanent horizontal masks. The only time those masks would remove would be for 1.78:1 or 1.85 movies. Regular TV would stay in the 2.35:1 masked mode.


My viewing modes would look like:


1.78:1 TV: 108" Diagonal, 94" Wide, 53" Tall

2.35:1 Film: 136" Diagonal, 125" Wide, 53" Tall

1.78:1 Film: 144" Diagonal, 125" Wide, 70" Tall


I used to find myself loving widescreen movies, compared to TV content, I still do...I like that movie content is 'larger,' but I really dislike movies like Avatar looking 'puny' on my 136" screen and as mentioned previously, mutli-aspect movies look really dumb as the projectors have lens memory but not electronic lens masking.


If you can do it, do a massive 1:78 screen and use horizontal masking.


One final note, and quite possible the most important: CIH seriously inhibits your projector selection.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobofbone  /t/1523754/considering-scope-zoom-m...iy-screens-and-projectors/0_100#post_24676601


If you're building, a false wall wouldn't be hard at all. Locate the studs where you want them, and frame out the area for the screen. I've seen one DIY setup that put the screen on hinges, dropping it vertically, from hinges on the top, and using it as the entrance to get to the back area with speakers. It would be easier to accomplish before putting in the drywall.


You can also get acoustically transparent fabric. try http://www.carlofet.com/material-comparison-chart . I bought my screen fabric there. I can't speak for how their acoustically transparent fabric is, but I was able to get what I wanted in the size I needed.


The section on screens on this forum has a number of posts in DIY section on acoustically transparent screens that may have other suggestions.

We are building, but unfortunately, it's a spec home with just a few requested upgrades. They don't allow us to make any major structural or pre-drywall changes that don't fit into their list of purchasable upgrades. I may consider ripping out the drywall to do that when the time comes, though. A hinged screen to access behind the wall sounds very convenient.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreamliner  /t/1523754/considering-scope-zoom-m...iy-screens-and-projectors/0_100#post_24677351


I've had a scope screen for a few years, after living with it (the biggest screen I could get with my low ceiling height from a soffit), I learned pretty quick that multi aspect movies like the Dark Knight Trilogy, Hunger Games Catching Fire, Transformers, etc really suck with CIH setup...


If I were building a dedicated room:


1)I'd absolutely do a false wall as others suggested. It really helps with audio imaging when you can put the center speaker behind the screen.


2)I'd do a near-floor to near-ceiling 1.78:1 screen. and use semi-permanent horizontal masks. The only time those masks would remove would be for 1.78:1 or 1.85 movies. Regular TV would stay in the 2.35:1 masked mode.


My viewing modes would look like:


1.78:1 TV: 108" Diagonal, 94" Wide, 53" Tall

2.35:1 Film: 136" Diagonal, 125" Wide, 53" Tall

1.78:1 Film: 144" Diagonal, 125" Wide, 70" Tall


I used to find myself loving widescreen movies, compared to TV content, I still do...I like that movie content is 'larger,' but I really dislike movies like Avatar looking 'puny' on my 136" screen and as mentioned previously, mutli-aspect movies look really dumb as the projectors have lens memory but not electronic lens masking.


If you can do it, do a massive 1:78 screen and use horizontal masking.


One final note, and quite possible the most important: CIH seriously inhibits your projector selection.

This is an interesting idea, and one that briefly entered my brain as I realized that many of the modern blockbusters do change aspect ratio in the middle of the movie. The false wall is almost a necessity with young kids, so I'm going to have to see how comfortable I feel about building one myself vs. hiring a professional. I'm definitely going to put some more thought into this. Even though it may be a small percentage of movies that are multi-aspect, I can see myself getting frustrated with CIH in that scenario. I may PM you to pick your brain more on this when I start to plan in more detail.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreamliner  /t/1523754/considering-scope-zoom-m...s-on-diy-screens-and-projectors#post_24677351



One final note, and quite possible the most important: CIH seriously inhibits your projector selection.

Why would you say this?


People have used all types of projectors in CIH set ups. You can put a lens in front of pretty much any consumer projector and do CIH (or choose one's that have lens memories). What possible serious limitation could CIH put on one's choice of projectors?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by flvinny521  /t/1523754/considering-scope-zoom-m...iy-screens-and-projectors/0_100#post_24678215


We are building, but unfortunately, it's a spec home with just a few requested upgrades. They don't allow us to make any major structural or pre-drywall changes that don't fit into their list of purchasable upgrades. I may consider ripping out the drywall to do that when the time comes, though. A hinged screen to access behind the wall sounds very convenient.
Depending on where you are in the construction process, I'd put some thought into insulating interior walls and ceiling/floors in bedrooms and around this home theater room. I've got a list of about 50 things I want in my next home, but interior wall insulation is at the top.
Quote:
Originally Posted by flvinny521  /t/1523754/considering-scope-zoom-m...iy-screens-and-projectors/0_100#post_24678215


This is an interesting idea, and one that briefly entered my brain as I realized that many of the modern blockbusters do change aspect ratio in the middle of the movie. The false wall is almost a necessity with young kids, so I'm going to have to see how comfortable I feel about building one myself vs. hiring a professional. I'm definitely going to put some more thought into this. Even though it may be a small percentage of movies that are multi-aspect, I can see myself getting frustrated with CIH in that scenario. I may PM you to pick your brain more on this when I start to plan in more detail.
Feel free to PM when the time comes. With 4K arriving soon, you are far better off over-thinking your layout, installing a massive screen and deciding on a projector with a 4K replacement in mind 5 years out.
Quote:
Originally Posted by R Harkness  /t/1523754/considering-scope-zoom-m...iy-screens-and-projectors/0_100#post_24678527


Why would you say this?


People have used all types of projectors in CIH set ups. You can put a lens in front of pretty much any consumer projector and do CIH (or choose one's that have lens memories). What possible serious limitation could CIH put on one's choice of projectors?
99% of CIH users are Zoomers, Lenses are expensive and introduce a whole new set of problems. While I understand lenses should provide a superior picture, the cost of doing so doubles the projector costs.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreamliner  /t/1523754/considering-scope-zoom-m...s-on-diy-screens-and-projectors#post_24678556



99% of CIH users are Zoomers,

I'm curious where you pull that statistic from.



This is obviously the part of the forum where people doing CIH congregate, and I have seen nothing to suggest the reality of your statistic. A good proportion (if not the greater proportion) of people seem to be using an A-lens. Though, using lens memories is now on the rise as well. (I use both).
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreamliner  /t/1523754/considering-scope-zoom-m...s-on-diy-screens-and-projectors#post_24678556


Lenses are expensive and introduce a whole new set of problems.

What does that have to do with limiting the choice of a projector? Most A-lenses will work with most projectors, hence it is simply wrong to say going CIH limits the choice of projector.


You seem to be implying something else...something about a problem of cost. But if the issue is simply someone's budget, budgets by nature limit choices anyway, whether one is talking projectors or cars. (And plenty of folk here have done CIH on pretty low budgets).


I think the way you phrased your claim was seriously misleading, since practically any projector can be used for CIH.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by R Harkness  /t/1523754/considering-scope-zoom-m...iy-screens-and-projectors/0_100#post_24678710


Most A-lenses will work with most projectors.


If the issue is simply someone's budget, well budgets by nature limit choices anyway, whether one is talking projectors or cars.


I think the way you phrased your claim was seriously misleading, since practically any projector can be used for CIH.
If you intend to purchase extra (expensive) hardware to make it work, you are correct. Any projector will work. If you just want a projector, you are stuck with JVC, Panasonic or an aging Sharp.


Everybody has a budget. When it comes to lenses, you'd have to spend half the money on a projector to get an A-lens without increasing cost. The OP could pickup a Sony VPL-HW55ES for the cost of a cheapo projector and an A-lens. Any purchase has an opportunity cost. With 4K being so close, it's probably wise not to spend a ton of money on hardware until there is a standard and a selection of 4K available.


It's the OP's choice. Lenses, like anything else, has positives and negatives. With the OP stating a budget of around $2,000, a lens would never happen.


However, it would probably be a good idea for the projector space to allow the addition of an A-Lens, just in case.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreamliner  /t/1523754/considering-scope-zoom-m...s-on-diy-screens-and-projectors#post_24678738



Everybody has a budget.

Exactly my point. It's budget that is a limiting factor, not projectors. And unless you know someone's budget, you can't say an A-lens is a limiting factor. Plenty of people have managed to get an A-lens within their budget - it has nothing to do with limited projectors. That is the misleading part of how you wrote what you wrote, I feel. Though, the way you were writing it seemed to be a general point about going CIH, not particular to the OP. Was I wrong to take it that way?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreamliner  /t/1523754/considering-scope-zoom-m...s-on-diy-screens-and-projectors#post_24678738



With the OP stating a budget of around $2,000, a lens would never happen.

Depends on the lens and projector. But even if it were the case, a limited budget is a limited budget, which limits projector choices anyway.

You can zoom almost any projector, and you don't need lens memories. Many projectors have remote controlled zoom. I did it that way for years, myself.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreamliner  /t/1523754/considering-scope-zoom-m...s-on-diy-screens-and-projectors#post_24677351


I've had a scope screen for a few years, after living with it (the biggest screen I could get with my low ceiling height from a soffit), I learned pretty quick that multi aspect movies like the Dark Knight Trilogy, Hunger Games Catching Fire, Transformers, etc really suck with CIH setup...
Quote:
Originally Posted by flvinny521  /t/1523754/considering-scope-zoom-m...s-on-diy-screens-and-projectors#post_24678215


This is an interesting idea, and one that briefly entered my brain as I realized that many of the modern blockbusters do change aspect ratio in the middle of the movie.

There are a grand total of, what, 8 films that do IMAX or open-matte scenes in a mixed-aspect format on Blu-ray?


From Josh's post on the subject, also from this forum:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Z  /t/1521574/hunger-games-catching-fire#post_24468913


The only other movies to have selected scenes shot with IMAX film like this are:

Hunger Games: Catching Fire
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R Harkness  /t/1523754/considering-scope-zoom-m...s-on-diy-screens-and-projectors#post_24678710


This is obviously the part of the forum where people doing CIH congregate, and I have seen nothing to suggest the reality of your statistic. A good proportion (if not the greater proportion) of people seem to be using an A-lens. Though, using lens memories is now on the rise as well. (I use both).

Yeah, my gut feeling is it's closer to 50/50 on the forum, and if you go by John's comments from his interaction with dealers, I'd guess it's actually a majority since most people who aren't geeks like us don't even consider zooming.
Quote:
What does that have to do with limiting the choice of a projector? Most A-lenses will work with most projectors, hence it is simply wrong to say going CIH limits the choice of projector.

Yup, in fact lenses actually make your projector options greater, you can use the multitude of DLPs that don't have sufficient zoom range for zoom mode for example. And you can use projectors without motorize (or without any) lens shift, which would be impractical to zoom with.
Quote:
You seem to be implying something else...something about a problem of cost. But if the issue is simply someone's budget, budgets by nature limit choices anyway, whether one is talking projectors or cars. (And plenty of folk here have done CIH on pretty low budgets).

Yup, you've just got to be a little creative and think outside the box. You can get some great deals on lenses if you buy used. And since lenses don't wear out there's almost no risk in that path. I bought my first lens used from a fellow forum member for $500. That with a $1500 projector would be in the OP's budget and with today's projectors being so generally great, you'd get an excellent system for that $2000.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreamliner  /t/1523754/considering-scope-zoom-m...s-on-diy-screens-and-projectors#post_24678738


If you intend to purchase extra (expensive) hardware to make it work, you are correct. Any projector will work. If you just want a projector, you are stuck with JVC, Panasonic or an aging Sharp.

Yup, the zoom method is actually more restrictive as to which projectors you can use vs getting a lens, although there are considerations to be made either way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
As stated in the topic, I did intend to use the zoom method for this setup, not necessarily due to a tight budget, but I don't think I could convince my wife that it was worth the increased expense for what she would perceive as a minor improvements. Honestly, the budget I chose of $2,000 is, again, because I don't think I could honestly say there was a huge jump in quality if we paid to move into the next higher tier. If I am missing out on a major technology or feature by limiting this budget, please let me know.


Also, while there may only be a handful of movies that use multiple formats right now, they are exactly the type of movies I'd want a CIH screen to really enjoy. Also, it seems to be a relatively new trend and one that very may well continue amongst future blockbusters. If I'm going to have to build a false wall and a screen as it is, might as well build that extra large screen and just keep it horizontally masked for the 95% of the time I'm viewing fixed aspect ratio films. That way I get the benefit of CIH with the option to expand when necessary.
 
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