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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I saw one thread in the DIY Screen Section regarding a DIY retractble AT screen... but there wasn't any follow up. Does anybody have a good solution for such a project? I would rather go fixed frame, but I already have my plasma on the wall and the screen has to drop down in front of it. And I am limited on space so I will be doing in-wall Paradigm speakers for now, so it must be AT.


Thanks!
 

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DIY Granddad (w/help)
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A lot will have to do as to if you want something "Electric", or if you can be satisfied with "Manual". Most attention is given to the "AR" performance, but truthfully, it's not a wide enough or perceivable enough difference that can be noted by anyone except via Test measurements done with a Microphone and a Audio Wave Form Generator and a Audio Spectrum Analyzer. But at the prices the best AT material brings, such "measurements" do much to justify the cost. One grabs at whatever one can to convince one's self to spend extra.


But that is Audio, and here we discuss Image Quality. That is the issue you must consider when attempting a DIY project such as you desire.


Re-Skinning a Electric screen or Manual with a AT fabric is subject to the variables of how thick the material is, and how well it will keep it's shape (flatness) after being rolled up.


The overriding reason being the introduction of Morie because if even a slight deviation of the angle of the projected beam to the screen surface hits the needed "weave", the Weave will present a shadowy pattern that can even shift and move with the movement of the head/eyes.


AT Screens are almost always "Fixed" and either stretched very taunt, or hung with a very stout and heavy Weighted pole. All to present as flat a surface as possible. Another aspect to consider is just how well made the material is, it's type/design of weave, and how much tendency toward showing Morie artifacts it might exhibit / be guilty of / be bereft of.


It boils down to this...the best material for Image / Sound quality might be the worst for "Roll Up" ability.


If you go with a "manual" approach, and fabricate a Drum Roller of at least 2" diameter (4" is best), you can avoid most issues with "Curl" or "Twist". That is providing that the AT material is applied to the Roller along a "perfectly straight" axis as to it's (Roller) length & diameter, and have "perfect" ripple-free adhesion, and the Roller assembly is hung "perfectly" Level. The Weight Pole at the bottom of the screen material also must be hung in a Sewn Pocket that is absolutely straight and plumb to the angle of the Drum Roller assembly.


The use of a modified Chain Pull w/Clutch completes the project. Simple, eh?


If you contemplate the hybridization of a Screen, manual or Electric, it should be one where you can substitute the AT material by affixing it with fabric Glue to the REAR side of the original "Drop". This also must be done with exceeding care as to getting the material level to the Roller. To do the same at the bottom, and utilize the provided Weighted Drop Border, it has to be a "Sandwich" that is no taller/wider than the original attached "drop". You'll have to order you AT material so that you have at least 6" additional material Top & 4" Bottom. Hopefully the size screen material will be 4" less than the original drop to give some little leeway against possible "Barber Pole" retraction along the Cylinder.


There exist at least 2 distinct Threads on this Forum about constructing Roll-Ups from scratch. both of which that will be richer in detail than my brief foray. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by MississippiMan /forum/post/16918967


A lot will have to do as to if you want something "Electric", or if you can be satisfied with "Manual". Most attention is given to the "AR" performance, but truthfully, it's not a wide enough or perceivable enough difference that can be noted by anyone except via Test measurements done with a Microphone and a Audio Wave Form Generator and a Audio Spectrum Analyzer. But at the prices the best AT material brings, such "measurements" do much to justify the cost. One grabs at whatever one can to convince one's self to spend extra.


But that is Audio, and here we discuss Image Quality. That is the issue you must consider when attempting a DIY project such as you desire.


Re-Skinning a Electric screen or Manual with a AT fabric is subject to the variables of how thick the material is, and how well it will keep it's shape (flatness) after being rolled up.


The overriding reason being the introduction of Morie because if even a slight deviation of the angle of the projected beam to the screen surface hits the needed "weave", the Weave will present a shadowy pattern that can even shift and move with the movement of the head/eyes.


AT Screens are almost always "Fixed" and either stretched very taunt, or hung with a very stout and heavy Weighted pole. All to present as flat a surface as possible. Another aspect to consider is just how well made the material is, it's type/design of weave, and how much tendency toward showing Morie artifacts it might exhibit / be guilty of / be bereft of.


It boils down to this...the best material for Image / Sound quality might be the worst for "Roll Up" ability.


If you go with a "manual" approach, and fabricate a Drum Roller of at least 2" diameter (4" is best), you can avoid most issues with "Curl" or "Twist". That is providing that the AT material is applied to the Roller along a "perfectly straight" axis as to it's (Roller) length & diameter, and have "perfect" ripple-free adhesion, and the Roller assembly is hung "perfectly" Level. The Weight Pole at the bottom of the screen material also must be hung in a Sewn Pocket that is absolutely straight and plumb to the angle of the Drum Roller assembly.


The use of a modified Chain Pull w/Clutch completes the project. Simple, eh?


If you contemplate the hybridization of a Screen, manual or Electric, it should be one where you can substitute the AT material by affixing it with fabric Glue to the REAR side of the original "Drop". This also must be done with exceeding care as to getting the material level to the Roller. To do the same at the bottom, and utilize the provided Weighted Drop Border, it has to be a "Sandwich" that is no taller/wider than the original attached "drop". You'll have to order you AT material so that you have at least 6" additional material Top & 4" Bottom. Hopefully the size screen material will be 4" less than the original drop to give some little leeway against possible "Barber Pole" retraction along the Cylinder.


There exist at least 2 distinct Threads on this Forum about constructing Roll-Ups from scratch. both of which that will be richer in detail than my brief foray. Good luck.

Thank you so much for your reply! So, if I am reading correctly the bolded part.... the perceivable difference in audio from a AT screen to a standard screen may not be that much? Or, the difference between the higher price and more cost effect AT options may not be that noticeable?


Thanks again for your help!
 

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DIY Granddad (w/help)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dooomi /forum/post/16918995


Thank you so much for your reply! So, if I am reading correctly the bolded part.... the perceivable difference in audio from a AT screen to a standard screen may not be that much? Or, the difference between the higher price and more cost effect AT options may not be that noticeable?


Thanks again for your help!

No,


A "AT" screen is designed to allow sound to pass through, a Standard screen is not. Brook no mistake, the worst AT screen will perform better than a Standard screen in that regard.


Yes to the latter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by MississippiMan /forum/post/16919308


No,


A "AT" screen is designed to allow sound to pass through, a Standard screen is not. Brook no mistake, the worst AT screen will perform better than a Standard screen in that regard.


Yes to the latter.

I thought as much, I was just a bit confused as to what you meant.


Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by MississippiMan /forum/post/16968395


Doomi,


Have you gotten started on coating the AT screen yet?



Inquiring minds want to know.

No, unfortunately the funds I had allocated for this project were needed somewhere else. So it will probably be another week or two before I start.


The initial post was actually to make sure this would be possible before puting my speakers in the wall at the proper listening height... I was planning on starting the screen this week.


However, what do you mean by coating the AT screen? Wouldn't painting/coating it change the characteristics of the perferations on the screen... affecting transparency??
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by MississippiMan /forum/post/16976325


Sorry. Gotcha mixed up with another AT person who is coating one


Answer;


No. Not if done right w/right paint. Been there....done that...works great.

Hmmm.... good to know on the coating. I'll have to start researching it as I know I would prefer being able to paint it.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by dooomi /forum/post/16976538


Hmmm.... good to know on the coating. I'll have to start researching it as I know I would prefer being able to paint it.

When your done, come back and I'll let you in on how it's done rightly.



And it MUST be done rightly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by MississippiMan /forum/post/16978063


When your done, come back and I'll let you in on how it's done rightly.



And it MUST be done rightly.

Will do.... or you could just save me the trouble and tell me how to do it right



Actually, I'm pretty thorough in my research... so I'm sure I would still spend hours looking into it anyways.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by dooomi /forum/post/16981225


Will do.... or you could just save me the trouble and tell me how to do it right



Actually, I'm pretty thorough in my research... so I'm sure I would still spend hours looking into it anyways.

If you have that perseverance, go for it. However to my knowledge, only 1-2 individuals have accomplished successful projects, myself excluded from that list, which would only add 1 additional success.


But it's not hard if the right materials, sprayer, and procedure is followed.


What exactly do you want out of the coating that your choice of AT material won't deliver?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by MississippiMan /forum/post/16981432


If you have that perseverance, go for it. However to my knowledge, only 1-2 individuals have accomplished successful projects, myself excluded from that list, which would only add 1 additional success.


But it's not hard if the right materials, sprayer, and procedure is followed.


What exactly do you want out of the coating that your choice of AT material won't deliver?

I have a professional paint sprayer, and can pick up whatever else is required. I actually had not planned on coating it until your post gave me the idea.... so it's not something that I'm planning to do unless there is a good reason. My theater is pretty light controlled, with only one window and dimmable lights... so other than screen gain I can't think of why I would need to coat it.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by dooomi /forum/post/16981526


My theater is pretty light controlled, with only one window and dimmable lights... so other than screen gain I can't think of why I would need to coat it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by pb_maxxx /forum/post/16981804


...contrast &/or color saturation.

So lets explore the "need" if any? As long as it "may' get painted, talking about the material used...even if it's Mfg, and why/if it needs improvement is fine...even important.


What AT material is being considered? Color? Gain?

What PJ are you using?

Throw distance?

How big will your AT Screen be?


We/I can zone in on a exacting recommendation with the requested info.


Be advised that no matter which AT material you use...or what it costs....no AT material in existence can give to both positive gain AND Contrast enhancement. Unless properly treated. Really increasing gain considerably is the hardest....getting better Contrast is much easier. Getting both together is something to aspire to.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by MississippiMan /forum/post/16981987


So lets explore the "need" if any? As long as it "may' get painted, talking about the material used...even if it's Mfg, and why/if it needs improvement is fine...even important.


What AT material is being considered? Color? Gain?

What PJ are you using?

Throw distance?

How big will your AT Screen be?


We/I can zone in on a exacting recommendation with the requested info.


Be advised that no matter which AT material you use...or what it costs....no AT material in existence can give to both positive gain AND Contrast enhancement. Unless properly treated. Really increasing gain considerably is the hardest....getting better Contrast is much easier. Getting both together is something to aspire to.

I haven't gotten too far into what AT material I will be using, as we just bought the house and there are still a million things that need to be done... and because my funds had to be used somewhere else, I kind of slowed my research for now. The main point of making this thread was making sure it was possible to do my retractable AT screen before I mounted my in-wall front channels. I have yet to purchase a projector, but am looking for a 1080p. I was planning on getting some help from the "under $3000" forum on that part. Room size is fairly small.... throw distance will be right at 11 feet. Viewing distance is about a foot less, so I'm not really sure what size screen would be comfortable, any suggestions on that? The other limiting factor is ceiling height, at 78" it is pretty low.


Here is a picture of the room in question... sorry for the quality, it was taken on my phone. I didn't get the ceiling in the pic, but it is about 8" above the top of the plasma. I'll try to get a side view picture later if it will help.




The back side of the room, it's hard to tell depth from the pictures though. Also, the way the ceiling is set up it is highest on the back wall (I haven't measured yet, but guess around 80"), then goes down three steps towards the front to clear duct work.

 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by dooomi /forum/post/16986595


I haven't gotten too far into what AT material I will be using, as we just bought the house and there are still a million things that need to be done... and because my funds had to be used somewhere else, I kind of slowed my research for now.

Now how many times have I seen that in print?
No worries....it happens to most all of us.

Quote:
The main point of making this thread was making sure it was possible to do my retractable AT screen before I mounted my in-wall front channels.

Well that really depends upon what method of construction you are going to consider and whether or not it's something you can accomplish. everything is basically a unknown until actually attempted and finished. Some times afterward, one wishes it was still "unknown'.


Quote:
I have yet to purchase a projector, but am looking for a 1080p. I was planning on getting some help from the "under $3000" forum on that part.

A scary place sometimes.
There exists considerable crossover info between the two forums, as what type of DIY Screen is selected has much to do with the decision made as to what PJ.....and vice versa. We have to often help make the PJ decision for others based on criteria that is sometimes ignored on the other Forum. PJ Specs don't mean nearly as much if a Room's criteria isn't also taken into account. That may seem quite "duh" but on Forums, "Duh" is a common utterance.


Simple facts.
  1. If a PJ is 1080p, it's resolution almost makes pixel artifacts a non-issue
  2. Screen size relates to needed brightness, and how well the PJ can present it's particular resolution without showing pixelation
  3. Room lighting (...or lack thereof...) can dictate what can...and cannot/should not be considered.
  4. Room colors and the proximity of reflective surfaces play a similar role to the last item.
  5. Judicious choice of PJ/Screen match-ups can result in performance far exceeding expectations.

Quote:
Room size is fairly small.... throw distance will be right at 11 feet. Viewing distance is about a foot less, so I'm not really sure what size screen would be comfortable, any suggestions on that? The other limiting factor is ceiling height, at 78" it is pretty low.

Yeow! That's a "Cave" fer sure!


I see something along the lines of 100" as being both ideally suited for your room's situation, as well as the maximum.


Your going to sit at 10' (120") from a screen that is 87" wide (1.4 ratio approx.) There exists a limit as to how close you can sit to a AT screen without obviously noticing the weave pattern under Projected light. If you have 20/10 vision, there is most likely NO location short of a distance that renders a "Big Screen" small that would eliminate the potential to see the weave.


This has always been a weakness for AT screens. One can/will spend the biggest bucks for any AT screen / material the shows the least amount of weave. Introduce low resolution or/and overt pixelation and the weave will jump off the background and become predominant.


Two camps as far as reducing weave presence exist. The easiest way.....provide only 1080i / 1080p resolution in pure or up converted form. Next easiest, providing Black Out / White out material behind the screen. I advocate the latter. Black out only serves to hide speaker components, but it also adds additional attenuation since light passing through is not reflected back, but is absorbed. Draping speaker components with the same AT material works better in my judgment, and results in less a trade off visually than aurally. The Screen is the real showstopper, so you don't want to sacrifice image quality for purist sound that would still sound great if it lost 1.5% off it's flattest possible frequency response.


For those who spend BIG BUCKS for AT material/Screens that tout the highest performance specs aurally...that last statement amounts to a stake through their hearts. They respond accordingly too! In the end, it's a personal choice based on expectations and cost effectiveness/gross expenditure willingness.


You can expect most advice here ...even that made for advanced applications and PJ selections, to represent a more budget minded thought process. But one that brooks as little compromise as well. I thinks that makes DIY unique as it offers those who choose wisely a higher degree of satisfaction index.


Recently, really inexpensive short throw 1080p PJs have been introduced by Optoma (HD-20) and Viewsonic (Pro8100 Projector)


I personally think you should consider the Viewsonic. It's under $1300.00, has a excellent Contrast ratio, H&V lens Shift*, and a simple 2.35:1 anamorphic viewing option that eliminates the black bars in a widescreen cinema aspect ratio with a optional external lens attachment.
* SUPER important with your low ceiling.


If you want "Wide" without going correspondingly to "Tall"...something you cannot do...that PJ will give you by far the most Bang for your Buck. You'll have impressive image whose width & height @ 16x9 is as tall as possible, but when you want WIDE at the same height, a simple zooming out to the desired width will give you a spectacular difference in presentation. All you'd need to mask off the difference at each side is some simple Black Velvet Curtains on a couple of short Travis Rods. Sooooo cool!


At 1000 Lumens and 13,000:1 CR (dynamic) it will more than deliver enough lumens to make up for light lost that passes through the AT material, and can also easily accommodate a High Gain reflective Gray to further help the contrast without also subtracting anymore gain.


OK...I know the Devil is in all the unknown details...and your decisions have to be based on more than a quick determination by myself or anyone else. But I'd take at least the time to consider options than many are not aware of...or might discount out of hand because of personal beliefs or prejudices.


The PJ forums are rife with the latter...and can make you go just as insane as DIY Screens could. But since your a "AT" kinda guy...at least the latter is reduced to a potential case of "Coating madness" and fortunately there exist very little to choose from in DIY paints in that regard.


So in essence, both you, and all of us on here can look forward to your end results as being defining. Your coming into HT/FP at a exciting...and less costly time. The money saved on the PJ end can help you justify spending what it takes on the "Screen" end.


Good luck...and remeber to ask first...do second.
 
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