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Moving from 16:9 screen to 2.4:1 (1 Viewer)

Paradiso

Auditioning
Joined
Feb 2, 2019
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3
Real Name
Steven
I built my dedicated HT about 10 years ago and am getting tired of the black bars on movies.
I put temporary 12" extensions to theft and right of my existing 8' screen and am now addicted.

Any advice about DIY 2.4 screen would be appreciated. Currently leaning towards a fabric screen stretched over a wooden frame. My present screen is masked by theater curtains so I just plan to tie the curtains back when viewing 2.4.
 

Mark-P

Senior HTF Member
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Sep 26, 2005
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Camas, WA
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Mark Probst
You can build a wooden frame out of 1X3s with bracing wherever you need it to keep the boards from bowing, then get some heavy white fabric from a fabric or craft store (I find that blackout cloth works best), stretch it over the frame and staple the ends on the back side. It really is one of the easiest DIY projects and is way cheaper than a professional screen.
 

Bobofbone

Second Unit
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Jan 24, 2010
Messages
297
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East Tennessee
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Bob
Got my screen material fro Carl's Place when I built my screen several years ago. Between their web site and doing an internet search, I found most of the information I needed. However, I also learned a few things along the way.

I used 1x3 or 1x4 wood (I think it was pine) for the frame. I bought mine at Loew's. After getting it home, I found a couple of pieces were warped. I went back and went through the stack to find straight pieces. You don't have to pay extra for "select grade". You do have to do some looking to do your own selecting, however. I had a mitre box and saw, and right angle braces at home already. While you can do the job without them, they help. I also used a center beam to provide extra support, and used flat angle irons for additional support on the corners. They should be in back, not against the screen. It takes two people to do a decent job of stretching if your screen is large (why make a small one?), one to pull and one to staple. I also used a canvas stretching pliers, but that wasn't necessary (my wife, who did the stretching wound dispute that, however. She tried it both ways). If you are stapling, start in the middle of each side, and then stretch in diagonals from each midpoint, working to the corners.

I originally tried just the frame, and it looked pretty good. I used molding that I cut with the mitre box, painted black and hung around the screen on a hook system. I used more hooks and ran rope lighting around the frame, and set up on a Lutrron system that I'd built in previously, to gradually dim as the lights go down. My screen aspect is 2.4: 1, 155" on the diagonal. That's a length of 144" or 12'. The cost of all the materials (not including the tools-also included a hand drill and hand tools) was less than $125.

A couple other points. Make sure any frame you paint is completely dry before putting it up against your screen material. I'm not sure how short a time that is, as I didn't learn from experience. Try something the same length as the finished screen to see it it fits in the door. You may or may not have to assemble the screen in your viewing area. Get some new, clean plastic drop cloths to use under the screen while assembling it, to keep it clean. Also, leave the material unfolded, at least overnight to get the creases out, or at least reduce them. I'm not sure that it is completely necessary, as the creases may come out with stretching,

I did the actual cutting, assembly and stretching in one morning. I allowed 5 days for the paint to dry, but that is also temperature dependent. I'm pretty satisfied with the result, and don't plan to replace it.

One other alternative is a painted screen. This can be done on prepared wall, or a prepared surface. AVS forum used to have quite a bit on this approach in the DIY screen thread. It probably costs less, but it might be a bit more difficult to get a good result.

I'll see if I can post a few photos later.

One other point. Black out cloth from a fabric store will limit your screen size to about a 4' width. Counting overlap to secure the fabric, no more than 3.5'. Carl's Place, and some others, can supply wider widths for a larger screen.
 

Bobofbone

Second Unit
Joined
Jan 24, 2010
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297
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East Tennessee
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Bob
Theater 003.JPG
 

Paradiso

Auditioning
Joined
Feb 2, 2019
Messages
3
Real Name
Steven
Thanks for advice all. I'll visit Carl's place for addition info. Did anyone have any misgivings moving to a widescreen display ?
 

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