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I'm thinking about getting the Sharp DT-200 DLP projector and will be building a 119"diagonal screen (58"x 104" 16x9). Only, I'm not sure what would be best to acheive the best image for this projector. I thought aboout painting a section of the wall and surrounding it with wood trim (though I dont know what paint or color to use, some say glossy some say flat, and some say white or grey), I also thought about building a baseboard and covering it with canvas (though I don't know what material I could use that will not cost me a small fortune). Anyway, any advice the experts can give me will be much appreciated. BTW does anyone have a website that shows the construction process for your DIY screen? I love pictures. :) Thanks!
 

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A cheap and relatively easy fixed screen is to make a wooden frame with center brace, and then stretch some blackout cloth over it. (pics on my web site if you're interested).


You can get the cloth from most curtain shops, and it's normaly a white cloth one side, and whiteish vinyl the other. It should cost you less than $50 all in. Most people seem to use the cloth side.


I made one as a temporary screen, but used it for almost 3 years! I recently upgraded to a 1.2 gain white screen due to the lower lumen output of my new projector - HT1000. I found a place here in the UK that sold screen material (the same as they used for their own screens) and fitted that over the blackout cloth.


It's obviously brighter, and I now have the bright punchy image I had before. Cost to me was equivalent of $150 including carriage.


Of course cost may be an issue, and the returns in relation to price may not seem worth it - is my $150 screen material 7 times better than my $22 blackout cloth?


No, it isn't, but it is better.


As for grey or white - matt white is fine for a start, depending on the projector, but if it's very bright, and has very grey blacks (lamp projectors produce grey blacks to varying degrees - even at the theater), then painting the wall a light grey will help to reduce the black level, improve apparent contrats ratio, and in comparison to the white screen, may help reduce screen door to some degree (not generally an issue with DLP unles you plan to sit closer than 1.75 screen width away). YMMV. It can also help to reduce ambient light should you not have total light control.


Gloss paint will probably hot-spot, i.e. the center will be noticably brighter then the surrounding image, so is probabaly not a good choice.


HTH


Gary.
 

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If you want a hammer and paint free solution, I can recommend the diy screen I ended up with. You can purchase pre-cut heavy duty artist canvas stretcher bars from dickblick.com for you frame. They are designed for large canvases and interlock at the corners for a perfect 90 angle. Front white screen material is available from various sources (i got mine at iweiss.com), is about as much blackout cloth and is designed for use as a pj screen. You can create a nice black border around the frame using duvetyne tape available at multiple sources (I got mine at the b&h photo site). You can stretch the canvas yourself and staple to the frame (there are a lot of diy sites online for canvas stretching) or you can take it to a frame shop and have it done by a pro. This method produces a very strong light screen that can be easily mounted and hidden away when necessary. I'm very pleased with mine. Total cost for materials is about $120.00.
 
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