DIY screen vs. professional screen (projector central article):

Discussion in 'Displays' started by JediFonger, Jun 5, 2006.

  1. JediFonger

    JediFonger Producer

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2006
    Messages:
    3,968
    Likes Received:
    26
    Trophy Points:
    1,610
    Real Name:
    YiFeng You
    http://www.projectorcentral.com/diy_screen.htm

    ^what do you think?

    personally, i'm just not crafty enough to build one. but if i was, i still would leave it to the professionals and would definitely want a acoustically transparent screen like the ClearPIX.
     
  2. Allan Jayne

    Allan Jayne Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 1998
    Messages:
    2,404
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    All the hoopla about contrast, color balance, etc. I say is subjective.

    If you can get the same cloth or paint that a "professional" screen has, your DIY screen will perform identically. If you can get the surface smooth enough and will never use that surface for any other purpose, you can paint a screen on a wall.

    An acoustically transparent screen has myriads of tiny holes in it and there is a slight loss of of light overall.. A hole might "swallow" an entire specific pixel.

    Mine: A DIY screen, about 100", with wood frame similar to that described in the above link and covered with "blackout" cloth.

    Video hints:
    http://members.aol.com/ajaynejr/video.htm
     
  3. James D S

    James D S Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2000
    Messages:
    1,000
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Thanks for the link, Yi. I've just started to research on how make a nice DIY screen and that article was helpful.

    I don't know ifI want to go with paper, fabric seems more elegant and about as cheap. Though, I don't know the benefits one way or the other.
     
  4. Jim Mcc

    Jim Mcc Producer

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2004
    Messages:
    3,757
    Likes Received:
    38
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Oconomowoc, WI.
    Real Name:
    Jim
    If that paper is what I think it is, it's not durable enough for me.
     
  5. David-Wright

    David-Wright Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    May 28, 2006
    Messages:
    68
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    My screen is just a white wall. I painted dark bands at the top and bottom for a fixed height picture. I adjust the width with the zoom to accommodate different aspect ratios. Right now it is still just primer. There are still some uneven sections. You can see them at times. But you would be surprised what your brain will adjust to.

    The linked article is really great. It shows that it isn't that hard to get a good picture on just about any white surface. I also don't like the idea of the greyhawk type screens. I want to make a really big picture so I don't want to give up brightness for contrast.

    Eventually I am planning on using screen goo, and they sell a nice border too.

    (I did make sure this wall was very flat and no texture)

    I will also install curtains to make a side border, just like the movie theater.

    Believe me when you are watching my HT you can't imagine that a $2,000 screen would make $2,000 worth of improvement.

    Without a side by side comparison you will never miss it.

    p.s. my room is completely dark. You could have some light on but the picture will always be better without any extra light.
     
  6. John Besse

    John Besse Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2000
    Messages:
    569
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Trinity, FL
    Real Name:
    John
    I did a 92" DYI screen and got a lot of info off of the AVS Forum in their DYI section. I did my screen for roughly $75 or so to use with a Sanyo Z1. Home Depot sells hardboard (around $10), a brown thin panel that I had cut to just a few inches larger than a 92" screen. I put on two coats of primer, which I bought in a small quart size can (which was probably under $10). Then I put on two coats of Bher Silverscreen paint (1 gallon mixed with one quart of Bher White Opal Perlescent paint). The paint was probably in the neighborhood of $30 or so. So at this point I have a light greyish board covered in four coats of paint. I then took some painters tape and news paper and cover the entire center of the board leaving about an inch boarder going around the outside perimeter of the screen. I took a can of flat black spray paint and sprayed an inch boarder going around the screen. Did about two coats of that. When it dried I removed the newspaper and the painters tape. Took a small paint brush and touched up the newspaper smudge marks and any leaking spraypaint. Wholah, I had a 92" inch screen built. At that point I took six wall anchors and put them at each corner of the screen and two in the center at the top and bottom of the screen. Screwed the screen into the wall and took a Sharpie marker and colored the silver screw heads black.

    All in all with a roller, a paint brush, a roll of painters tape, one peice of hardboard 1/8" thick, a can of black spray paint and a mixture of Bher Silverscreen and White Opal Perlescent paint I spent about $75 to make a 92" screen. This was a temporary screen, that I decided I will probably never replace after I put it up and was extremely happy with my picture!

    There are all sorts of theroies behind colors of a screen, paint mixture and how to design a DYI project. I am very satisfied with mine. If you have money to burn, purchase a screen. If you are a poor college student like myself and/or somewhat crafty, a DYI project can be a lot of fun to build and be very rewarding. I started off building a 72" screen as my first try. It came out nice, but was too small. So, I built a second at 92" inches the exact same way. I wasn't sure what size I orignally wanted, and had all the paint mixed to build about four or five screens. My second try at 92" was the one I went with. And decided to keep it. We ended up making a third 92" screen which my buddy hung on his wall and bought a Sanyo Z2, which he just replaced with a Panny AE900. That screen style has worked well for us on three different projectors.

    If you want my opinion... I'd go the DYI route. There are all sorts of ways to go about a DYI project from a twin sized bed sheet stapled to the wall, to black out fabric from a fabric store, to painting a board, constructing a screen from raw materials or just painting a wall. I went with the painting a hardboard route and was extremely satisfied and will not be replacing mine anytime soon!
     
  7. JediFonger

    JediFonger Producer

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2006
    Messages:
    3,968
    Likes Received:
    26
    Trophy Points:
    1,610
    Real Name:
    YiFeng You
    are these DIY screens primarily fixed? no1's done a manual pull or electronically-based DIY screens right?
     
  8. Leo Kerr

    Leo Kerr Screenwriter

    Joined:
    May 10, 1999
    Messages:
    1,698
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I made an acoustically transparent projector screen. As a screen, which is actually a "temporary" test model, it's held up quite well for close on three years now.

    Is it as high performance as any other screen? Of course not. I'm estimating that the screen proper has about a 70% return - if it hits the threads. I'd also estimate that about half the light goes through the screen, and into the black terry backing/light-trap. I've got a Panasonic PT-LC75, a roughly 75" diagonal, and it's a beautiful picture.

    Leo
     
  9. JediFonger

    JediFonger Producer

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2006
    Messages:
    3,968
    Likes Received:
    26
    Trophy Points:
    1,610
    Real Name:
    YiFeng You
    what clothe did you use and how much$ for your 75" diagonal? just curious =). it's v. hard to find a nice balance. i wonder how professional cinemas do it? where do they buy from? couldn't those same companies turn around and sell to consumer as well? don't they realize the market potential even if it's small?
     
  10. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 1998
    Messages:
    8,332
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Real Name:
    Neil Joseph
    I was close to buying a firehawk screen but decided to go on my own as indicated in my sig and am happy with the results. If I ever change projectors, I may opt for a slightly bigger screen and simply paint the wall the colour I need and apply my border around it.
     
  11. Michael TLV

    Michael TLV THX Video Instructor/Calibrator

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2000
    Messages:
    2,909
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Calgary, Alberta
    Real Name:
    Michael Chen
    Greetings

    I just bought the Dalite screen material that I wanted and built the screen frame around it. $1400 (Dealer cost) versus $400 ...

    Prior to that, I used a gray painted wall surrounded by a black velvet frame ... and painted the rest of the wall black as well.

    Regards
     
  12. Jack Gilvey

    Jack Gilvey Producer

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 1999
    Messages:
    4,948
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    As suggested, using commercial screen material over a DIY frame can guarantee a given level of performance at huge savings. I'm always tempted to try one of the exotic materials over my 2.35 frame, but really haven't felt the need to upgrade from my ~$15 worth of blackout cloth. I think one of the reasons is that I don't need the light-rejection capacity of some of the products like Firehawk since my room is pretty well light-controlled, ambient and external. In fact, I'd venture the BOC might even work better in that there's zero hotspotting which is important given a 'scope screen viewed from fairly close.
     
  13. Leo Kerr

    Leo Kerr Screenwriter

    Joined:
    May 10, 1999
    Messages:
    1,698
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    YiFeng,

    I used a 100% cotton, gray fabric from a JoAnn's Fabric store. It was close on neutral, and, if I remember, was available in 50" width.

    I later went and added , loosely attached at the top and very loosely attached at the bottom corners, some black "terry" fabric to act as a light trap.

    The frame itself was a combination of 3/4" black iron pipe (across the top) and similar PVC pipe for the sides and base. The sides are not "well attached", and the fabric is rolled around those columns. This means that as it stretched over the first six months or so, I could retension the screen without difficulty.

    My big difficulty came with my room, actually; because the sound-system is centered and shares space with the main PC. The screen actually hangs in front of the computer's monitor, actually over the keyboard.

    Leo
     
  14. Chris S

    Chris S Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2000
    Messages:
    2,539
    Likes Received:
    9
    Trophy Points:
    110
    Real Name:
    Chris S
    I built my own screen using Parkland PolyWall, peg board for the backing, 3M adhesive spray, and trimmed it out with some very cheap baseboard wrapped in black duck cloth. The entire project cost me roughly $35 [​IMG]

    I think the final product looks really good. I can't really see a difference between it and the more expensive screens. At least not hundreds and hundreds of dollars worth. And apparently neither can most of my friends since they ask me where I bought my screen. [​IMG]

    Parkland sells sheets upto 120" but all the stores around me only carried the 96" version (.060'' x 48'' x 96'' Bright White). This wasn't a big problem for me since my screen couldn't be that large. Also if you're not happy with the initial properties of the material there are a lot of DIYers that paint over it.
     
  15. hdtvman

    hdtvman Auditioning

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2006
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    use a light out fabric from some place like Joanns fabric with a 40% coupon.
    it's 54in by whatever you want. Put the top and botton frame on. Paint it with interior latex satin enamel White. You can mix in 25% white pearl essence (it just boosts light refraction by about 10%) you dont have to do every layer with pearl mix, (it's $20 for a quart) just the last two. maybe 3-4 layers total. the good thing is, if you mess up, just put another layer on. When your done, stretch it while putting the side frames on. fasten the sides however you like. put any black felt type fabric for borders. I found using a tight roller (or expensive one) was almost impossible to eliminate streaks. use a "fluffier" roller that doesn't leave fabric behind. Don't try to re use a cheap roller the next day either. No streaks is the key. This screen works as well as a 1.3 standard cheap dalite. Of course, if your going for electric. you can get a 135" screen on ebay for $235 after shipping. I have many screens in my garage. The're all about the same. I'm most proud of the ones I made though. Maybe your wife won't make you take it down!
     
  16. JediFonger

    JediFonger Producer

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2006
    Messages:
    3,968
    Likes Received:
    26
    Trophy Points:
    1,610
    Real Name:
    YiFeng You
    the key to building a really good screen is finding material that will be acoustically transparent so you can place speakers behind the screen. that's why i asked about where commercial cinemas buy their screens from since they can place speakers behind it. i'm not talking about these huge multiplexes... even small cinemas with under 300" displays. i don't think they buy from da-lite, etc... do they?
     
  17. Leo Kerr

    Leo Kerr Screenwriter

    Joined:
    May 10, 1999
    Messages:
    1,698
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I'm sure some are sold by Dalite.

    Draper is a well-known brand for professional screens.

    The "big boys" are Stewert. (or is it 'art'? I can never remember.)

    That's one of the things I've found interesting about the six or seven NAB shows I've been to... Dalite and Draper have booths.

    Almost everyone selling projectors use Stewert screens. (Though this year, Sanyo used Dalite, I believe. Didn't spend a lot of time there this year.)

    EDIT: as for Acoustic Transparency - that was key for me. I'm using untreated, stretched fabric, 100% cotton (sometimes the poly-blends "glint".)

    Leo
     
  18. Chad Isaacs

    Chad Isaacs Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2000
    Messages:
    757
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I purchased a 92" Graywolf screen when I bought my Z3 projector. It just was not big enough so a few months ago I did lots and lots of research and decided on a paint mix I found at AVS forum.It was 3 coats of primer, 3 coats of Bher silverscreen and 2 top coats of a mix of the silverscreen ( 2 parts) Minwax poly satin ( 1 part) and Delta pearl white ( 1 part) I had just the silver screen up for a few weeks while it cured and it was nice having the larger image but when I put the top coat on it raised the gain alittle and brought back some of the pop I lost from the Graywolf. It also helped raise the white levels while keeping the black levels.The colors look great too. For a border I taped off a 2" trim and just used flat black craft paint.. Now I have a 110" screen.

    My delima is that in a few months we will be changing the livng room around so I am going to have to loose my diy and get another screen. I have read good things about the screens at www.eastporters.com over at AVS and I guess they are getting a new batch in in a few weeks, supposed to be 1.8 gain... May have to go 135"
     
  19. Ashley Seymour

    Ashley Seymour Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2000
    Messages:
    938
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    With the new Optima 70 out, I am considering this projector and a DIY screen.

    No one discusses a sheet metal screen. Smooth surface easy so spray paint. A couple of strong magnets on a wall could hold it up or magents attached to a board or pvc or metal tube stand. The velveteen could be attached to strip magnets and easily moved to accomodate different screen aspects. It might even allow a curve to mitigate hot spotting. Construction of a wooden frame would not be necessary.

    For negatives it can't be rolled up.

    Any other negatives?
     
  20. Parker Clack

    Parker Clack Schizophrenic Man
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 1997
    Messages:
    12,220
    Likes Received:
    75
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Location:
    Kansas City, MO
    Real Name:
    Parker
    Leo:

    Are you saying that you used a 100% cotton material to build an acoustically transparent screen?

    Thanks,
    Parker
     

Share This Page