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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm considering jumping into the ranks of projector owners, but I need to get

some screen issues figured out first. Here's my situation:


Room size: 13.5' x 15'

Ceiling: 7.5' high drop ceiling with white acoustic-textured tiles

Walls: Top 48" white drywall, bottom half T-111 stained a kind of rust color

Projector: Ceiling mounted Mitsubishi HC3800 (this is what I'm leaning towards)

Screen: 100" to 110" (open to suggestions)


It's a basement room so I can control ambient light but I expect to often have to watch with some lights on. The lights are spots in the ceiling on a dimmer.


The projector will be used for sports, movies, HDTV, and xbox.


The 13.5' wall where the screen has to go has an entertainment center with my audio gear and a 36" CRT monitor recessed into a nook with a closet on either side. This is why I need a movable screen solution. The nook is only 58" wide so when my screen is up, it will block access to closets. I need to be able to easily take it down when not in use.


For this reason I have been leaning towards a Gator Foam screen, but I am getting thoroughly confused about what to paint it with. I really don't think I have the patience for S-I-L-V-E-R, and honestly, I'd rather not have to mix anything. I'd really like to just buy something and roll it on.


So after all that, I guess I have 2 questions:


1. What do you recommend for a simple paint for my situation that I can roll on?


2. Any ideas for hanging the screen so I can easily put it up and take it down? I've been thinking about coming up with a way to flip it up and hook the bottom to the ceiling, but I'm a little worried that it might sag over time.


Thanks for any help!
 

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Did you make sure the offset of the projector will work with a 7.5 ceiling and mount? 100" is not that big so it may.. just wanted to make sure you checked, you don't want the screen down at the floor level..
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I think I did. I used a calculator at ProjectorCentral that says the offset will be in the range of 16" to 18" depending on how far away from the screen I mount the projector.


I'm more than capable of screwing something up, but if I'm doing this correctly, since the HC3800 has a total height of 10.6", I'm looking at the top of the screen being about 2 feet or so down from the ceiling.


Is that right? That means the screen is about a foot and a half from the floor. Is that too low?
 

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I just was checking to make sure you had checked! Sounds like you have that part all together. Sorry for transgressing from your original questions!

As to if 18" is to low that is kind of a personal preference If you have 2 rows of seats the back row may not be able to see the bottom of the screen..
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks highside. That's the kind of thing I'm thinking about. I'll study this and try to come up with something that will work in my room.


So you mean to tell me you are watching an unpainted Gator Foam screen? Can't you get get kicked off the forum for that?


But seriously, when you do get around to painting it, what will you use?
 

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You may want to checkout the DIY Retractable Screen Ideas & Development thread. Starting at Post# 53 I worked on a rollable screen idea that worked out fairly well. At Post# 148 you can see the finished product. The idea worked quite well for a situation where rolling it up and down was not required to get at the equipment etc.


My own situation is very similar to yours. In my case I need to retract the screen to get at the DVD player to load DVDs etc. The only solution that really works well is an electric retractable screen. Cheap screen only come in white so I painted mine. You can read about that in the Retractable Screen Painting - The Final Development thread.


Here is my setup:



Click on images to see full size.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks tiddler! That looks great. I'll check out the thread.


Also, what kind of paint did you use?
 

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I recommend using the Behr ULTRA Exterior #4850 paint for painting flexible materials. I use the Behr ULTRA Exterior #4850 paint, because it is self primimg, it is flexible, and it works really well as screen paint. You can add some Minwax Satin Polycrylic to get a bit brighter image.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks again.


I think I'm going to go with some kind of a framed Gator Foam solution, that I will paint with the Behr. The retractable stuff you did is really cool, but it just looks like way too much work for me.


My "honey-do" list is too long for that kind of commitment.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Wow. I don't know. I was thinking a gray, because of the occaisional ambient light, and I guess I just assumed that the Behr #1450 that tiddler recommended was a grey.


I am open to suggestions here.
 

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The Behr ULTRA Interior #1750 (exterior 4850) can be tinted to various neutral shades. It can also be used as is for an ultra white screen.
 

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I have a 1/2" thick 10ft Gatorfoam screen and can recommend it for easy up/down. I use a couple of supports at the base (think "bookends" with a groove for the board) and a keeper on top.


Take a look: My home theater


Also, don't worry about painting for now. You might like the screen just fine the way it is, as I do. I always thought too I could paint the backside if I wanted to, but haven't felt the need. My GF has a 2" band of sticky-back black felt around the perimeter.


P.s. I just set the screen along a side wall when I'm watching TV.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks Laserfan. That looks like a nice setup. I have some questions if you don't mind.


The picture caption says that it's a 2.32 screen. Do you have a 16:9 screen also, or do you just use the 2.32 for both? Other than the black border, is there any kind of frame around it?


I'm going to go with your suggestion to try the GF as-is before painting it, but I'm curious: do you have to get your room completely dark to use the unpainted board?


The reason I ask is that I've been reading this forum fairly extensively and some people seem pretty adamant that you need to have a grey screen if you have any ambient light at all.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by tmarnik /forum/post/18272799


The picture caption says that it's a 2.32 screen. Do you have a 16:9 screen also, or do you just use the 2.32 for both? Other than the black border, is there any kind of frame around it?

I use the screen for all zoom ratios to get to 1.77, 1.85, 2.20, 2.35, 2.40, 2.76, whatever. No other masking than you see, i.e. for 16x9 programs the sides of the screen are there and we just ignore them!

Quote:
I'm going to go with your suggestion to try the GF as-is before painting it, but I'm curious: do you have to get your room completely dark to use the unpainted board?

Yeah, at least no other light IN FRONT OF the screen. I might sometimes light the wall sconces behind the screen (with a dimmer, to pretty dim) but mostly the room is dark. We only use the big screen to watch movies i.e. not TV where you might be getting-up and moving around alot during commercials.

Quote:
The reason I ask is that I've been reading this forum fairly extensively and some people seem pretty adamant that you need to have a grey screen if you have any ambient light at all.

Ha, ha, people here are pretty adamant about EVERYTHING though, aren't they!!!



Front projection plain-and-simple does not work very well with ambient light, because projection screens are designed to reflect light, and they don't know your $3000 pj from a $2 light bulb. Grey screens wanna help "let dark be dark" and you may decide you want to try one if you like ambient light while you're watching your pj (I figured you used your 36" crt to watch tv shows).


So I say get a GF board and try it, then paint it if you must, or throw it away and get a Black Diamond screen but even if you do you're out less than $200 bucks for the GF (and any paint).
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks again Laserfan, this is a big help!


I just called my local distributor for GF and they just shipped their whole stock to Cincinnatti - about 5 hours away - so I may have to go with Sintra instead. I think I'll try to get the light grey and maybe reduce the chance that I'll have to paint.


Either way, it looks like I'll be sticking with this kind of solution - even if I have to paint it a hundred times to get it right. I just checked the pricing on those Black Diamond screens, and at $2,700
, they are not on option for me.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by tmarnik /forum/post/18273714


I just checked the pricing on those Black Diamond screens, and at $2,700
, they are not on option for me.

Nor I!


I haven't studied Sintra but would be interested to hear what you do and how you like it.


One thing you'll want to think about carefully is how you want your supplier to cut it (they have the tools/skills/experience). In my case I made a quick decision hence the odd AR (I didn't think the thing would become permanent). Oh, and hopefully they can deliver it--I had a stress-filled time getting my GF board home safely in my utility trailer...


Lastly, get absolutely the *biggest* Sintra board that will fit in your space. Trust me on this one, you can always cut it down (you won't) but you can't make it bigger. Mine is a 16' wide room and the GF board a 10ft-er which left some air for my Left-Right wall-mounted speakers. We sit 9-10 feet away, which seems close, but we've never felt the screen was "too big"!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
This stuff is not easy to come by!


The gray Sintra only comes in 4x8 sheets 1/8" or 1/4" thick.


Laserfan, do you think 1/4" think is too thin to move around?


Also, it comes in Gray and Light Gray does anybody have any suggestions for which color would give me the best shot at not having to paint?


I also can't find anybody local who will sell it to me. The local wholesaler I talked to will only sell to sign companies. The sign company they referred me to, won't sell me the plain board, I have to buy it with a sign on it!
 

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if you have a menards...


ask for their duratherm lite boards. they have a honey comb core instead of the rigid expanded core of sintra/komatex/celtec/gaterboard. the surface layer is also thicker and more durable as well. they are fairly light and easily framed, screwed, or adhered to a wall.


the picture is weak which is what find with most white screen's in general but liveable.


the only problem is... in some areas... few people know about or use them for there intended purpose... so the boards have been there a long while getting moved around, scuffed, and dented, etc.


but your local plastic distributors and sign companies won't sell you a blank sheet... that may be an option.
 
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