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Has anyone ever heard of, or tried to attach a screen to an entertainment center? Does anyone know of an entertainment center with a pull down screen built in?


I've had this plan for a long time. My "theater" is mostly a multi-purpose space. Very bright during the day, with lots of kiddies running through.


I'd like to keep a smaller direct view tv for my wife and kids to use during the day, but be able to convert to something much larger at night when I want to watch a movie.


So I thought, why not put a front projection screen in the crown of an entertainment center. The screen could be up and out of sight during the day, and pulled down (or lowered) when needed). The screen could be accoustically transparent to allow the use of a center speaker mounted above my direct view tv, or if the screen is really huge, to allow my mains to be heard.


The problem is, where can I find an entertainment center like this? Am I crazy? Would the screen be so heavy that the whole deal would likely topple over?


Thanks,
 

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I have a similar situation. I built a blackout cloth screen over 1/4's, with the screen braces spaced so I could hang the top 1x4 on the top lip of the entertainment center, and I just store the screen elsewhere when not in use. A big problem I have found is that the IR remotes for the VCR, DVD, etc will not work through the screen unless you are within a few feet of it. Also, access to the DVD and VCR is blocked, so you have to load them before the screen is in place. I bought a small equipment cabinet to put beside my entertainment center for that reason.
 

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jngf,


Anything is possible, it all depends on how much you want to spend. At the high-end there are custom cabinetrymakers that will build whatever you want. In fact, I was considering just such a design myself, until I decided that I wouldn't need it; instead, I'll be mounting the screen to come down just in front of the entertainment center. But we concluded that it was at least feasible. The remote control problem is easily solved using a strategically placed IR repeater.


As for the balance issue... if I were you I would fasten the cabinet to the wall using a series of wood screws in the studs.
 

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I investigated such an option. The fatal flaw is that an acoustically transparent screen basically cannot drop down in front of a direct view TV or even a RPTV screen. The area behind the screen needs to be entirely non-reflective, otherwise the light that does penetrate the screen (which can be up to 20%) will reflect back with very poor results. I have not see it, but it was described as a huge hot spot in the center of your screen. So, If you are lucky, perhaps you can have a screen drop down with a perforated leader over the CC speaker. This may require raising your CC speaker somewhat. On the down side, these screens are generally very expensive.


You did not mention your ceiling, but perhaps the best option is to install an electrical drop down screen on the ceiling (as Michael mentioned). My guess is that you don't want to do that, otherwise you would have mentioned it.


Maybe a better option is to have a pull up screen. If the bottom of you EC is solid (no legs), then perhaps a nice box can be made that is manually pulled up and stops just below the center speaker. I must admit, I don't particularly like that idea, but I though I would mention it.


HTH


Regards,

- Hal
 

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I would go with a non-perforated screen and lower (or raise) the center speaker.


Just how wide is this entertainment center? I imagine that you'll want a pull down at least 64" wide--maybe much wider. How high is the ceiling?
 

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I have exactly what you are asking about. I mounted a 50x67 Dalite Model B pull down screen to the top of my 72" wide entertainment center. Right now, it's mounted using 3 pieces of PT 1x6 and 2 C-clamps.;) I plan to make some mounting brackets out of oak to match the entertainment center. The mounting brackets place the screen about 5" out to clear the center section where the TV is. This gives just enough room for the DVD drawer to open. (It's also on the bottom of the component stack, so if I don't pull the screen down all the way while watching wide-screen movies, the bottom of the screen is above the DVD player.) A far as tipping, the screen weighs 15 lb, the entertainment center is >100 lb, as is the TV, plus components, books, etc., so no tipping problem. Mounting from the ceiling was not an option; I have 10ft ceilings. I'm still researching IR repeaters.


The only problem is that it is not a perforated screen. I have the 3 front speakers in the entertainment center, so the sound quality has decreased. But, since perf screens are about 10 times the cost, and can cause moire problems when this small, I thought I'd give it a try. I can mount the left and right speakers on the outside of the entertainment center if need be, but the center would be too high if mounted above the screen.


As for reflections from the TV behind a perf screen, I figured I could cover the TV with velvet covered cardboard.


I'm sure many would not like my setup (pull down screen covering speakers, projector placed on a stool then stored when not in use, etc.), but so far it's been great (I think even the wife unit likes it.;) )


Brett
 
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