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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've started a DIY masking project that appears to have some real potential for me, after about three other setups that just haven't panned out.


This one uses a tension rod on both sides, that came from an upright storage bin kit from Bed, Bath, and Beyond. Chucked the bins and used the rods only.


The rest is U bolts, 1/2" rigid insulation, j metal, metal grommets (in the back for the U bolt to go through), and a 3/4" grounding rod clamp for the adjustable support under the panel.


Top panel only at this point, as it's limited by the ceiling. Pictures shown are with the top raised all the way up, and down to 2.76:1 .


Got my hopes up on this one.

http://i141.photobucket.com/albums/r...d/IMG_0140.jpg
http://i141.photobucket.com/albums/r...d/IMG_0141.jpg
http://i141.photobucket.com/albums/r...d/IMG_0142.jpg
http://i141.photobucket.com/albums/r...d/IMG_0137.jpg
http://i141.photobucket.com/albums/r...d/IMG_0135.jpg
http://i141.photobucket.com/albums/r...d/IMG_0139.jpg
http://i141.photobucket.com/albums/r...d/IMG_0133.jpg


Lower bar installed:

http://i141.photobucket.com/albums/r...d/IMG_0143.jpg

See post #16. Masking bars completely rebuilt with better U-bolt/grommet hardware, squarer ends, and Protostar fabric
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Other than some tweaking along the line, I wrapped up my masking project today. I'm quite pleased with the results; it adjusts so easily to anywhere you want, knocks those "digital black (gray)" bars down, and gives that perceived pop to the picture you'd expect.


I used Triple Black Velvet from syfabrics.com. Four yards cost only forty bucks, and worked very well. While Fidelio Black is better, nothing I've seen can touch Carada's Black Hole fabric. But to kill the gray bars, the Triple Black can do the job very well.


The first Bluray I've watched in it's entirity since putting the masks up was "Pirates of Caribbean; Curse of the Black Pearl" this afternoon, and it was like seeing it for the first time, visually.


Lights out, no flash, masking in place:
http://i141.photobucket.com/albums/r...d/IMG_0183.jpg


Lights out, with flash, masking down:
http://i141.photobucket.com/albums/r...d/IMG_0182.jpg


Lights out, with flash, masking in place:
http://i141.photobucket.com/albums/r...d/IMG_0181.jpg


Lights out, with flash, masking down:
http://i141.photobucket.com/albums/r...d/IMG_0185.jpg


Lights out, with flash, masking in place:
http://i141.photobucket.com/albums/r...d/IMG_0186.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The Triple Black Velvet has worked well enough that I decided to have some pieces hemmed up to drape over the sides of my six foot tall Dunlavy SC-IVA's and the top of my HRCC center channel. They absolutely kill off all reflected light from the screen and finalize the masking and darkening of the front wall of my system.


Pretty happy about things at the moment. I may rebuild the masks at some point, as I've learned a few things I can improve next time, but for now it's time to just put on the movies.

 

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Looks good. Couple questions - first, what are you using for panels? Are they some sort of foam board? Also, it looks like the U-Bolts are visible - any plan to cover them with the velvet and if so, how would you do it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maestro J /forum/post/17135226


Looks good. Couple questions - first, what are you using for panels? Are they some sort of foam board? Also, it looks like the U-Bolts are visible - any plan to cover them with the velvet and if so, how would you do it?

Thanks. That and the velvet draped on the speakers really have made a big difference.


The boards are 1/2" rigid insulation (white on one side, reflective foil on the other). Styrofoam type products aren't stiff enough, nor are they thick enough to hold the J-metal top and bottom strips securely.


I don't plan on covering the U-bolts and they can't be seen with the lights out and the movie on. I suppose I could adhear a patch of velvet over them, but I don't think it'd look well in the light. Also, removing the masks from the tension bars when needed, if needed, would be hampered.


I have ordered a sample of the Protostar material ( http://www.fpi-protostar.com/flock.htm ), and may be rebuilidng the masks if it works out well. Contact adhesive with the Triple Black velvet works fine, but can create some splotches if not used sparingly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Got the Protostar material in today, and it looks very much like the material on the Carada frames. Self adhesive backing is nice, and the material isn't real floppy like velvet, so it should be easier to work with.


If I decide to rebuild the masks, I may talk to a couple of folks in the sign business that I know. They are quite adept at laying out stock like this I'd bet, and really sharp edges and a flat front are important.
 

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That's interesting. I would probably go with something like that because of the self-adhesive material and it's really black. That solves problem #1 from my DIY masking experiment in that I used too much adhesive and it became very splotchy looking up close. Problem #2 that I have is actually applying the masking to the screen. I used velcro but after just a few times putting them up and taking them down, the velcro was starting to come off and the velvet was starting to come off the masks. So I still have problem #2. Your solution with the tension bars looks interesting but I don't think I can make that work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I worked with a small scale mask and the protostar sample yesterday. It's a real good performer, just like the Carada frame material.


It will adhere instantly, and you get one shot at getting it right. I found the biggest issue for me was to lay it straight on the mask as you go down it's length, so that the overlap on the back is consistent. Also, it will obviously mimic every contour of the mask, and it showed that the j-metal edge may not be the last word in perfection as shadowed on the screen.


I do think this is the better material over velvet, but it may require more thinking on the actual mask base. What could be used in lieu of rigid insulation and j-metal edging that would still not be too heavy to move easily up and down and not be too much weight on the ground rod clamps on the tension rods? And it must come in a 10', one piece length.
 

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I can't think of a product that is that long and still rigid enough not to bend and warp. I wonder if there is something you can apply to the j-metal to smooth that out so it doesn't show? Almost like spackling a wall or preparing drywall to be painted?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maestro J /forum/post/17176121


I can't think of a product that is that long and still rigid enough not to bend and warp. I wonder if there is something you can apply to the j-metal to smooth that out so it doesn't show? Almost like spackling a wall or preparing drywall to be painted?

I think adding any kind of compound onto the Jmetal and trying to sand it out, etc. would not work. First, it'd probably just crack right off and second, I suspect it'd be difficult to get the top edge (or bottom edge of the upper panel), to be any truer than the metal already is.


My thoughts are starting to sway back to using the Triple Black Velvet, as it is a bit more forgiving in showing the flaws of the Jmetal than the Protostar material. The lines that the Jmetal show on the front face of the mask, when covered with Protostar, don't bother me as much.


The goals I had wished to accomplish with the Protostar was to have a very crisp top (or bottom) edge, and have the adhesive nature of it be easier to work with. The first is dependent completely on the material it covers, and the Jmetal is just not perfectly smooth/straight down it's length.
 

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DIY Granddad (w/help)
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I will say this:


The material being used is most likely the absolute best example of a "Stick On" Black Masking I've seen. Many thanks, both current and future should be directed the OP's way for this Gem. At 30" wide and 200" for a Roll ($75.00) it's a very easy "Absolutely BLACK Ceiling Blackout" material, as well as a simple "Stick'em Up" Blackout Boarder for "Painted Wall" Screens.


What's so very great about it is it's being so perfectly designed to absorb Light...(99% of it)...and the "Sticky Back" ain't a bad thing either.
Let's all hope the "sticky" will adhere to a variety of surfaces. I'm thinking this material has to be pretty thin stuff though....so I'm certain whatever material it's applied to has to be pretty darn smooth as well to avoid looking lumpy or bumpy. One thing that helps is it not showing any reflectance so very small deformations should be invisible from anything more than 1' away.


Keep us informed, oh funky fowl one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
After deliberation and experimentation I did order a roll of 30"x200" Protostar material ($75 plus $16.20 shipping). The lack of reflectivity on the Protostar vs. the Triple Black Velvet is hard to deny. The edge of the jmetal turns out to not be that much of a major issue when comparing one fabric to the other. Just got to turn the finished panel to put the best edge to the image.


It actually lays out pretty easily once you get the hang of it, though I may still see what my friends at the sign shop want to charge to do it.


Will build the new panels (10-1/2" x 10') soon, though I do have a busy weekend, and report back.
 

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DIY Granddad (w/help)
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I have my 30" x 200" Roll on the way as well...



By my calculations, I'll be able to do 2 - 85" diagonal Screens and one 110" diagonal that have 2" and 3" wide Trim, and barely use up half of it.


My only real concern will be cutting it to size/shape using something other than scissors. Most likely will use a 'new bladed' utility knife and a gude.


After all the time I've spent expounding on the virtues of Sy's TPV, this is quite a departure. But that 99% Light absorptive figure simply looks too tempting to resist.
 

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This has my curiosity.


I'm wondering if instead of sticking it directly to the wall, if it can (permanently) be adhered to some wood trim AND last for many years stuck to said wood trim?


This way, a person can still have that "framed out" look as well as not have to worry about cutting perfectly straight lines on a 30" wide roll. All you'd have to do is cut slightly larger and wrap it around back. No staples, no 3M adhesive.......


Rob


EDIT: Will they do smaller than 30" wide? Custom maybe?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Highside /forum/post/17204802


This has my curiosity.


I'm wondering if instead of sticking it directly to the wall, if it can (permanently) be adhered to some wood trim AND last for many years stuck to said wood trim?


This way, a person can still have that "framed out" look as well as not have to worry about cutting perfectly straight lines on a 30" wide roll. All you'd have to do is cut slightly larger and wrap it around back. No staples, no 3M adhesive.......


Rob


EDIT: Will they do smaller than 30" wide? Custom maybe?

The adhesive is pretty aggressive and is going to stick to a number of surfaces quite readily, based on the 28"x24" sample I had. I will be rolling it over the top and bottom of the masks I'm building, and will wrap it on the back. Straight cut wouldn't be neccessary in that instance.


It works well in a "peel the backing off as you lay it" fashion. Will be deciding soon as I hear back from the Sign shop whether or not I'll be doing the masks myself. I'm sure I could do it; but I'm also sure they can do it better.


I don't remember who it was who originally came across this product on the Forum here, but it was a good catch.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
My Protostar masking panels are complete and up. Initial impressions are VERY good! I paid a sign shop for an hours labor to have the fabric put on the masks, and they did a much better job than I would have, surely. Nice crisp edges, tightly pulled. The issue of the panel/metal edging contours showing through the Protostar fabric is a good bit less than I anticipated. The fabric does very much resemble the Carada frame covering when the masking panel is in place with the screen. I'd say the only thing I want to watch at this point is to see how the adhesive holds up to warm and hot temperature. I'm not expecting any problem.


I also came up with a better grommet/Ubolt setup than my first set of panels I built using the Triple Black Velvet.


All photos were taken with the digital camera set on "auto" with or without flash.

http://i141.photobucket.com/albums/r...d/IMG_0263.jpg
http://i141.photobucket.com/albums/r...d/IMG_0265.jpg
http://i141.photobucket.com/albums/r...d/IMG_0266.jpg


protostar mask up, with flash
http://i141.photobucket.com/albums/r...d/IMG_0276.jpg


The following were taken with bluray on pause...therefore image is not real sharp.


protostar mask down, lights out, no flash

(greyish bars are hard to see...I need to figure out how to change exposure with this camera)
http://i141.photobucket.com/albums/r...d/IMG_0271.jpg


protostar mask up, lights out, no flash

(again...exposure issue. You can see the movie time bar across the bottom and the pause bars at the top, faintly in real life, but a lot less than with triple black velvet)
http://i141.photobucket.com/albums/r...d/IMG_0274.jpg


I pretty much suck with a camera at this point.
 

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I just finished doing two separate 85" screens using some of the last of my Black Velvet ( SY's Triple Plush variety ) and one thing is for certain....under full room illumination the BV easily looks worlds better than the Protostar. Feels so much better to the touch as well.


I'm going to reserve a final judgment until I actually do a Screen's Trim with the Protostar.....but in a side-by-side comparison under intense light, it seems the only thing the Black Velvet falls short on is not having a total lack of "sheen".


However in a great many previous uses, I've never be able to see the "projected" illumination of any light spill onto the Black Velvet , be it from a image or the PJ's start-up screen.


All that being said, as a "Sticky" the Protostar is still a quantum leap beyond any previously mentioned adhesive backed Black Felt or suedo-Black Velvet as far as having a lack of reflectivity. But is it a viable alternative to actual Black Velvet in the making of actual Screen Trim? Can't say that...yet, because to me, a classy appearance both in the dark and full room lighting is crucial, and as of now....the difference under bright light still shows the Protostar to resemble a Black Felt more than a luxurious "Black" that Black Velvet presents, and the Black Velvet does it all (light absorbing and great looks ) exceptionally well.


Add to that the fact the Black Velvet cost just $6.99 yd for a 52" x 36" section and that for the $75.00 (less shipping) the Protostar costs for 30" x 200", for the same amount (length) of Black Velvet it would cost just $45.00 w/shipping and you'd get over an extra 1-1/2 feet of width as well.


I will however say at this conjecture that no matter what...if stapling or gluing Black Velvet Cloth is not desirable, then the Protostar is the best choice of all the "Stickys"...price not withstanding.


Here is a image of a Screen just done in Black Velvet Trim. Later today while present, I'll do a close up comparison between the ProtoStar and this particular Screen's trim, shoot a few images, and post 'em up.

 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maestro J /forum/post/17236608


Hey Jive - could you test out subtitles on your Pro Star masks? Wondering if you can still see them for movies that incorporate subs in the black bars.

Yes, you can read them. And they are much crisper than when using the Triple Black Velvet.


Pleased as punch with the Protostar material so far.
 
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