new build - Home Theater Forum and Systems -

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post #1 of 22 Old 07-16-13, 04:57 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 16
new build - optoma HD25-LV + 90" diy fixed frame

[updated with demo pics and links to youtube videos]
[More Pictures added on post #6]

Hi everyone,

first time poster/long time lurker... ive now decided to share what i have gone through the last couple years reading this forum and many others. long story i know, i hope some of you find it at least a little interesting. just wanted to share and ask a question in the end.

after 3 years of debating and wanting and waiting, I(wife) finally decided(agreed) to dive into the projector game for our living room in our humble apartment in los angeles. Projector will be set up in our living room. We have a far amount of light from windows on the wall to the right side of where the screen will be and windows on the wall facing the screen wall as well. fortunately they are all covered in blue velvet curtains (i think its velvet?). We like to keep one of the windows drapes open on the wall to the right most of the time as this gives us just the right amount of light for comfortable plasma tv watching and hanging out. Ceiling is white and we don't foresee painting that anytime soon.

The distance from the couch sitting area to the viewing wall is about 9 feet. Projector will be located on the wall right behind the couch. Up about 8 feet off the ground and distance from lens-to-screen to be between 10.5 and 12 feet. I wanted a projector that would be a light canon to allow for daytime viewing. after debating for a couple years on the benq w6000, then the panasonic ar100u, then the benq w1070, i finally settled on the optoma hd25-lv. I should be getting the projector this friday. but now im thinking it might be too bright for a screen between 88" and 92". I will finalize screen size once projector is up.

I went to Lowes yesterday and purchased a 4x8 sheet of parkland plastics plas-tex for $20. Im planning on putting this up directly on to the wall as it is lightwheight, and framing it with a DIY frame wrapped in some black velvet or velveteen.

before i put the parkland plastics plas-tex sheet up on the wall im going to paint it a grey. Im having a hard time deciding on the best shade of grey for my application. I will be going with one of the ots neutral greys but i cant decide which one as i have read that you should probably not go any lower than n7.5 on some other websites (so much information sometimes it can be confusing). At the moment i was thinking of going with either "Seal Grey" or "Icon Grey". My primary concern being not to end up with a dull image due to a too dark grey. should i go with a lighter grey like Dover or Veil?

00NN 25/000 . . . "Seal Grey" [N5.7]
00NN 31/000 . . . "Icon Grey" [N6.25]

what i have/purchased
Optoma hd25-LV (3000 lumens!)
25foot HDMI cable off monoprice
4x8 parkland plas-tex sheet from lowes
wood for building the frame
velvet to wrap frame

need to get:
neutral grey paint
L brackets and shelf to mount the projector on rear wall

Im going to try to take pictures as i go in case anyone is interested in the build process. Thanks again and hopefully i get some feedback in regards to the grey for this light canon projector.

Last edited by bighernan; 07-19-13 at 11:18 AM. Reason: pictures added of living room
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post #2 of 22 Old 07-16-13, 07:32 PM
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Re: new build

The tricky part to grade's choice nowadays is the 3D part. 25 is a quite bright projector and your screen of 92'' will be filled up easily. You can ''choke'' the extra luminosity by going to a N7 for example, but consider that the glasses for 3D will cut off at least another 50-60% of light more. So, your image for 3D will turn out to be dim. If you go for a N8 or N8,5 grade will have the right light for 3D but in 2D will face the problem with extra light that will wash out your image.

If you are not so much fond of 3D, you can pick up the right shade for 2D, calibrate the projector to have a nice balanced picture and in 3D mode put the lamp on high mode, change setting to normal or dynamic and enjoy your 3D movie.

There is another alternative though...if you 'd like to have the best for 2D and 3D as well.

Go with a N9 shade of gray plus an ND2 filter (by Hoya) for 2D. In 3D you can take it off.
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post #3 of 22 Old 07-16-13, 07:53 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 16
Re: new build

Thanks for the reply Yiannis1970.

i guess i forgot to mention it... right now all my viewing is 100% 2d. i had not even given 3d much thought other than "it will be cool to have the option"...

either way, it sounds like i should be fine going with an n7 rated grey... ill try not to get any lower than 7

OR better yet! the ND2 filter route as you recommended. looking into those as we speak and i like the fact that theyre affordable and will allow me to do 3d if i ever feel the urge.
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post #4 of 22 Old 07-17-13, 10:12 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 16
Re: new build


I was doing some reading on the darker black widow thread (BW™ N6.4) and have now decided to go with a mix along the lines of what is listed on there. One of the reasons for this is that I have a gallon of PPG BB sherwin williams paint that I purchased last year with the intention of making a DIY black widow screen but I never got around to doing it since I didnt even have a projector yet. I didnt realize at the time that all i needed was a quart, and the gallon cost me $60 so I am going to put it to use.

i am 50/50 on whether im going to use the formula listed on that other thread to get a N5 grey or go with Grimmy's Grey [N5.2] or Seal Grey [N5.7]. Im leaning towards Seal Grey.

So this will end up 2parts BB, 2 parts Seal Grey, and 1 part AAA F (new formula).

Turns out my projector is arriving tomorrow so I am going to try to get the paint and AAA after work today and get painting.

Last edited by bighernan; 07-17-13 at 11:07 AM.
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post #5 of 22 Old 07-18-13, 10:15 AM
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post #6 of 22 Old 07-18-13, 12:22 PM Thread Starter
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Re: new build

mechman wrote: View Post
Do you have the AAA already? I hope so because they changed that and the base for the newer formula AAA is not BB.
unfortunately, no i dont. I ordered it yesterday off amazon. Prob wont be getting it til next week. But, based on the results that maxposure got in the "darker black widow thread" i assumed it would work. harp seems to have been supportive of his "experiment" and maxposure was satisfied with the results as well. in that thread he indicates that he had to order the AAA off amazon and that he used an N5 grey along with BB. He used a 2:2:1 ratio of the paints to the AAA.

I know im probably going into uncharted territory by going this route but hopefully it works out. If not, i can repaint the sheet or buy another one, theyre only $20.

Status Update:
Last night I ended doing 2 coats of primer on the sheet of plas-tex. I built the frame for 90" screen size with 1 x 3 x 8 Primed Finger Joint Board. I bought 3 pieces, used 2 of them for the horizontal top and bottom, and the third one i was able to get both vertical sides from it.

I painted the Kilz2 using a 1/4 nap roller. I had the sheet laying on the floor.

Once i mitered the corners of the frame pieces, i wrapped each one in the velvet i got at Joann's Frabrics. This took longer than the painting part as i wanted to be sure the fabric would not sag. I used my manual staple gun to attach the velvet on the back of the boards.

once the frame was built and the primer had dried, i cut the screen down to size to fit inside the frame but gave it about an extra inch or two overhang. This allowed me to staplegun the screen to the back side of the frame. Overall I have to say I am more than satisfied with the way the screen is turning out. I plan to use it just with the coat of Kilz until i get the AAA. What I am planning on doing is once i get the AAA next week, to remove the screen off the frame, lay it on the floor, throw on the quasi-Black Widow, and then staple it back up.

Please note that the frame has not been attached to the wall, it is just leaning against it, the tv is still behind it.

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post #7 of 22 Old 07-19-13, 01:38 PM Thread Starter
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Re: new build

the AAA is scheduled to arrive tomorrow so i might be able to get the screen painted by then.

overall im very satisfied with the projector. the blacks could be a little darker but thats what im hoping the darker paint is going to get me.

i did a semi-calibration last night just to tweak the image a bit and my wife was impressed. image is more than adequate for daytime viewing and at night time - WHOA!

im very curious as to how this one compares to the ar100u in terms of brightness once calibrated but oh well... for now im very happy with what ive got.

one more update once the screen is painted.
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post #8 of 22 Old 07-19-13, 05:17 PM
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Re: new build

Pretty nice!!

Enjoy your new H.C.!!
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post #9 of 22 Old 07-19-13, 10:42 PM
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Re: new build

Bighernan, please hold off mixing your screen mix until we know what lot numbers your AAA-F is!!! If you have the new AAA-F the 'Bermuda Beige' will almost certainly ruin mix color neutrality, perhaps even past the point that you can correct for by adjusting the PJ. You may get the old AAA-F, the new AAA-F or even one of each (this has happened already)! It depends on how they are stocked on the shelves.

Haste makes waste (a mistake I continue to make myself ).
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post #10 of 22 Old 07-20-13, 07:46 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 16
Re: new build

You guys are right, hard to go against the advice of mechman and haarp so ill check the numbers when I'm at work on Monday. The aaa was delivered today so once I get to work ill report back.

I must say that I am thoroughly enjoying the screen and it only has the primer on it. I can't wait til it's a darker grey and get the deeper blacks. If the aaa doesn't work out I'm sure I have other options to go with.
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