Where can I get really cheap screen material?

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by Mark-P, Apr 15, 2006.

  1. Mark-P

    Mark-P Producer

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    The house I'm living in now has enough space for me to upgrade to a larger screen. Currently I have a 84" wide pull-down screen.

    I want to build my own screen at 105" x 45". I would like to build a wooden frame and cover it with matte-white screen material. I would need material cut-to-size at about 110" x 50"

    Surfing the Internet I've found the cheapest I would be able to get it is about $200. Surely there is somewhere I can get it for less that $100?

    Does anyone know where I can get cheap material, or maybe even something that isn't meant for screens but would work just as well?
     
  2. Robert_J

    Robert_J Lead Actor

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    So you want to build a 2.35:1 screen. Black-out cloth is a great starting point. If it doesn't satisfy your expectations by itself, it can be painted with any number of paint formulas. I posted some information about my DIY screen the other day - link.

    -Robert
     
  3. Mark-P

    Mark-P Producer

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    Thanks Robert. This is precisely what I'm looking for. You did a splendid job on your screen. Where can I get this black-out cloth and is it very expensive? Did you paint your screen or use the cloth as is?
     
  4. Robert_J

    Robert_J Lead Actor

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    It's available at any fabric store like Hancock's or Joann's. Some Wal-Marts even carry it. Mine was on sale for less than $5/yard. It's 54" wide so you can make quite a large screen with it.

    No, I did not paint mine. It looks great without anything. The cheapest treatment is Behr Silverscreen from Home Depot.

    -Robert
     
  5. Mattak

    Mattak Stunt Coordinator

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    If you can limit yourself to 97" wide, then I'd suggest the Do-Able vinyl panelling you can buy from home depot for ~$15 per 4x8 sheet. For almost zero work I'm very happy with how this works.

    I didn't even cut this, just slapped it up [​IMG] I might do a black boarder sometime, but it's fine without it...
    [​IMG]
     
  6. Mark-P

    Mark-P Producer

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    Mattak, your home theater looks quite lived-in. The bag of chips on the speaker is a nice touch! [​IMG]

    But I thought I'd let you all know I took Robert J's advice and got some black-out cloth. In one day I finished building my 105" X 45" screen. I even got some curtains for the sides so I can cover the sides for 1.85 and 1.33 movies.
     
  7. Mattak

    Mattak Stunt Coordinator

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    haha, that's an old navy bag, not chips [​IMG]

    Got any pics of the screen?
     
  8. Jack Gilvey

    Jack Gilvey Producer

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    Cool...2.35 is the way to go. [​IMG] Here's mine, ~7" wide, also blackout cloth with a duvetyne tape border:

    [​IMG]

    I've since added curtains and valances above and to the sides to mask narrower ratios.
     
  9. Cody Davis

    Cody Davis Auditioning

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    Does anyone know where you can get blackout fabric wider than 54" in order to make a bigger screen?
     
  10. Aaron Gilbert

    Aaron Gilbert Second Unit

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    I am using the Coated Celtic Cloth from Dazian. It's cheap, available in insane widths, and works great. It's also reasonably acoustically transparent, if you need that type of thing (I did), but also somewhat light transparent too, for that reason. I used their heavyweight Duvetyne (seems to now be called Supercote) on the entire back of the screen, then cut a hole out in front of the center speaker. Anyhow, Dazian has a large assortment of other types of fabric, including blackout. They're great folks to deal with.

    http://www.dazian.com/cgi-bin/page.p...=305&group_id=


    Aaron Gilbert
     
  11. Jack Gilvey

    Jack Gilvey Producer

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    Aaron, how transparent is it acoustically?
     
  12. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Producer

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    I'm using the same material and its transparent enough that I haven't noticed the dialog being muffled too much for movies. I'm sure they're better material but for what it costs its a fine solution if you must have your speakers behind the TV.
     
  13. Jack Gilvey

    Jack Gilvey Producer

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    Good to know...thanks. I've got a weird center-channel situation and that might come in handy...I have a sample on the way.
     
  14. Marc Pasc

    Marc Pasc Auditioning

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    In a nutshell
    http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...5&page=1&pp=30
    Read the first paragraph and then to see screenshots up against Dazian and other screens go to about page 45 or so and continue. The stuff holds its own against screens that cost thousands. Even has a frame being finalized
     
  15. Joe Rosiak

    Joe Rosiak Agent

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    Anyone else having problems with this link? I would really like to see a photo.
     
  16. Robert_J

    Robert_J Lead Actor

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    When the forum software was upgraded, links to other threads were broken. Here's the new link. Post #12 has the details.

    -Robert
     
  17. Aaron Gilbert

    Aaron Gilbert Second Unit

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    Over at AVS forum, this has been discussed many times. It's been so long (couple years since I built my screen!), I don't remember the exact details. Ah, here we go, found a thread with them. Starts rolling off very gently about 1kHz by about 1 dB/octave, slightly more in the top octaves, to be about 6 dB down at 20kHz. In my setup, I modified the crossover in my center speaker so that it's tweeter output is about 3 dB higher than my left and right speakers, which are not behind the screen. It's not perfect I'm sure, but works well enough for me!


    http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...ht=CCC+rolloff
     
  18. Jack Gilvey

    Jack Gilvey Producer

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    Cool...thanks!

    I actually got a sample of it in the mail yesterday, but it's too small to judge picture quality with. I guess I could put it over my center's tweeter and have a listen. [​IMG]
     
  19. Jack Gilvey

    Jack Gilvey Producer

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    I did do some experimenting last night placing the sample over one of my tweeters and observing the changes using the RTA function of my Behringer DEQ2496/ECM8000 mic. There's certainly a rolloff above 5kHz or so, but removing the grill ameliorates it somewhat, so it seemed to end up at around -3/4dBb @ 20Hz...nothing I can't live with.
     
  20. Greg_R

    Greg_R Screenwriter

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    Theater supply houses carry this (along with Duvetyne).
     

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