SI Black Diamond clone? - Home Theater Forum and Systems - HomeTheaterShack.com

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post #1 of 47 Old 11-07-11, 02:03 AM Thread Starter
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SI Black Diamond clone?

Just curious has anyone considered trying to get something that works similarly to the Black Diamond screens? Seems like even in a dark room they would offer a better black level due to how dark the base color is?
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post #2 of 47 Old 11-07-11, 10:07 AM Thread Starter
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Re: SI Black Diamond clone?

Well I was thinking if there was a plastic sheet material that we could find locally that lets light through on one side, but has some sort of anti-reflective coating on the other that maybe it would work. Then behind that you'd have some sort of darker colored projection surface. I'm sure the real thing is a lot more complicated but was just thinking. I'd love to be able to spend 3k dollars on the real thing, but that's way out of my scope lol.
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post #3 of 47 Old 11-07-11, 10:49 AM Thread Starter
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Re: SI Black Diamond clone?

Alright, well thought it was an interesting screen and you are probably right that it's likely going to be expensive to try all these materials to find what works best.
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post #4 of 47 Old 11-11-11, 09:57 PM
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Re: SI Black Diamond clone?

I have always believed that a modified version of the Vutec UHG screen could achieve the same thing as BD. Basically, Vutec's curved screen was a translucent material over aluminized mylar or mirror. It gave a gain of around 5 I think. I think if you put a dark translucent material or coating over the mylar you might be able to reduce the gain.
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post #5 of 47 Old 07-04-13, 12:16 PM
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Re: SI Black Diamond clone?

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Ericglo wrote: View Post
I have always believed that a modified version of the Vutec UHG screen could achieve the same thing as BD. Basically, Vutec's curved screen was a translucent material over aluminized mylar or mirror. It gave a gain of around 5 I think. I think if you put a dark translucent material or coating over the mylar you might be able to reduce the gain.
Hi Hometheatershack! I got interested in this experiment when I stumbled upon this thread. According to me, this is a good idea in theory. A higher quality glass mirror reflects nearly 100% of the light hitting it, in my opinion you wouldn't find anything with more gain than a mirror, right? If you used a mirror as a projection screen you would obviously not see anything but a bright flare from the projector lens, but if we applied a ultra matte coating, wouldn't we get a very high gain screen with no color artefacts? Maybe hot spotting would be a potencial problem, but has anyone heard of someone trying this? I havent seen the Vutec UHG screen, but guessing it must have been some sort of matte semi translucent fabric or coating on top of the reflective surface.

As Ericglo states, putting a dark translucent material or coating on top of a mirror or mirror film ex. mylar may give us a dark screen with a fairly high gain? Mirrors are expensive and hard to come by in these sizes we're talking about, so, as Ericglo said, mylar might be a good option, even though it reflect only 60-80% of the light hitting it.

I'm thinking, MDF-board painted black > mirror film > translucent dark sun film > ultra matte coating.

Would love to have your comments on this idea!

Regards
/Patrik
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post #6 of 47 Old 07-05-13, 11:22 AM
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Re: SI Black Diamond clone?

Quote:
Patrik wrote: View Post
Hi Hometheatershack! I got interested in this experiment when I stumbled upon this thread. According to me, this is a good idea in theory. A higher quality glass mirror reflects nearly 100% of the light hitting it, in my opinion you wouldn't find anything with more gain than a mirror, right? If you used a mirror as a projection screen you would obviously not see anything but a bright flare from the projector lens, but if we applied a ultra matte coating, wouldn't we get a very high gain screen with no color artefacts? Maybe hot spotting would be a potencial problem, but has anyone heard of someone trying this? I havent seen the Vutec UHG screen, but guessing it must have been some sort of matte semi translucent fabric or coating on top of the reflective surface.

As Ericglo states, putting a dark translucent material or coating on top of a mirror or mirror film ex. mylar may give us a dark screen with a fairly high gain? Mirrors are expensive and hard to come by in these sizes we're talking about, so, as Ericglo said, mylar might be a good option, even though it reflect only 60-80% of the light hitting it.

I'm thinking, MDF-board painted black > mirror film > translucent dark sun film > ultra matte coating.

Would love to have your comments on this idea!

Regards
/Patrik
Hi Partik, welcome to HTS!

Simply put, there is no way to make a DIY Black Diamond-type screen. If the processes that make such a critter aren't machine-controlled you will almost certainly get too many imperfections that will show up during use. Even the real BD screens are disliked by many people for having negative visual artifacts such as sparkle or hot spotting. Eric's point was in trying to make a curved screen with similar attributes as a BD. The curve of the screen would help mitigate the hot spotting that will occur if a flat screen is used.

You may find links on the web to another DIY screen forum that purports to have a paint formula that will, in their words "meet or beat" the performance of a BD screen; but don't believe it. The claims of performance for that forums screen mixes are offered without proof of performance, and the few we have tested fell short of the promised performance.
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post #7 of 47 Old 07-05-13, 01:21 PM
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Re: SI Black Diamond clone?

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Harpmaker wrote: View Post
Hi Partik, welcome to HTS!

Simply put, there is no way to make a DIY Black Diamond-type screen. If the processes that make such a critter aren't machine-controlled you will almost certainly get too many imperfections that will show up during use. Even the real BD screens are disliked by many people for having negative visual artifacts such as sparkle or hot spotting. Eric's point was in trying to make a curved screen with similar attributes as a BD. The curve of the screen would help mitigate the hot spotting that will occur if a flat screen is used.

You may find links on the web to another DIY screen forum that purports to have a paint formula that will, in their words "meet or beat" the performance of a BD screen; but don't believe it. The claims of performance for that forums screen mixes are offered without proof of performance, and the few we have tested fell short of the promised performance.
Thanks for your reply Harpmaker!

I've read a lot about DIY diamond screens on the web, just as you said, it appears there are no way such a DIY screen could be built to a low cost. A swedish guy from the swedish forum "minhembio.com" has come up with a recipe named Black Screen™. (Search for "Black Screen from Sweden") I've only judged from the pictures I've seen but I must say I was impressed when he compared it side by side with the BD, but on the other hand, the processes of making the screen is very expensive but also secret.

Just curious to know, even if we won't be able to clone a BD, could we make a high gain screen with the help of a super reflective material such as a mirror? Still curious to find out what would happen if you put a matte coating on top of a mirror (I'll try that when I get back from my vacation). Trying to curve a mirror would most likely end up with seven years of bad luck, so I would bet hot spotting would be the greatest problem to deal with.

Have anyone heard of a DIY screen involving a mirror?

Regards
/Patrik
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post #8 of 47 Old 07-05-13, 04:36 PM
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Re: SI Black Diamond clone?

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Patrik wrote: View Post
Thanks for your reply Harpmaker!

I've read a lot about DIY diamond screens on the web, just as you said, it appears there are no way such a DIY screen could be built to a low cost. A swedish guy from the swedish forum "minhembio.com" has come up with a recipe named Black Screen™. (Search for "Black Screen from Sweden") I've only judged from the pictures I've seen but I must say I was impressed when he compared it side by side with the BD, but on the other hand, the processes of making the screen is very expensive but also secret.

Just curious to know, even if we won't be able to clone a BD, could we make a high gain screen with the help of a super reflective material such as a mirror? Still curious to find out what would happen if you put a matte coating on top of a mirror (I'll try that when I get back from my vacation). Trying to curve a mirror would most likely end up with seven years of bad luck, so I would bet hot spotting would be the greatest problem to deal with.

Have anyone heard of a DIY screen involving a mirror?

Regards
/Patrik
The forum I read about the Swedish Black Screen on is quite famous for painting mirrors on their DIY Screens forum. Unfortunately, they totally ignore the laws of reflective physics there and those screens don't work all that well.

If you are not very careful using a mirror as a screen substrate you will end up blurring the projected image to the point of visibly softening the image, even if a first-surface mirror is used. Think in terms of the path of the light rays striking the screen. Any diffusive front coating will start blurring the image as the rays of the image go through the coating; these rays will continue to diverge even after being reflected from the mirror and will be diffused again on passing through the coating on their way out. Any coatings used on the mirror would have to be very thin to mitigate this effect.

High gain dark screens have problems in a number of areas; they are known for hot spotting, image blurring, color changing of the image, and costing a fortune. They are niche products that are only worth these disadvantages in very special situations.

I don't mean to crush your spirit of invention, but please don't think you can break the laws of physics. Good luck on your endeavors!
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post #9 of 47 Old 07-05-13, 05:42 PM
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Re: SI Black Diamond clone?

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Harpmaker wrote: View Post
The forum I read about the Swedish Black Screen on is quite famous for painting mirrors on their DIY Screens forum. Unfortunately, they totally ignore the laws of reflective physics there and those screens don't work all that well.

If you are not very careful using a mirror as a screen substrate you will end up blurring the projected image to the point of visibly softening the image, even if a first-surface mirror is used. Think in terms of the path of the light rays striking the screen. Any diffusive front coating will start blurring the image as the rays of the image go through the coating; these rays will continue to diverge even after being reflected from the mirror and will be diffused again on passing through the coating on their way out. Any coatings used on the mirror would have to be very thin to mitigate this effect.

High gain dark screens have problems in a number of areas; they are known for hot spotting, image blurring, color changing of the image, and costing a fortune. They are niche products that are only worth these disadvantages in very special situations.

I don't mean to crush your spirit of invention, but please don't think you can break the laws of physics. Good luck on your endeavors!
Well, lets face it, this is complicated stuff I appreciate your comments on my wild ideas though! I'm really glad I've found this forum anyway, I have no plan of giving up trying to find the ultimate DIY screen Unfortunately (for now) I have white walls and white ceiling, and the sad part is, there's nothing I can do about it (of course, technically I can, could paint them black, use black curtains etc. but as the only home theater enthusiast at home, these arguments are tough to win). Light bounces out from the screen, on to the white walls / ceiling and then back in to the projected image, destroying the blacks. A simple grey screen didn't give me what I was looking for, turned the whole image "flat" even though blacks got better. Would like to have a HC screen, reflecting the light back at the audience, not to the walls or ceiling.

Any DIY recommendations?

Regards
/Patrik

Edit: Found a thread here called "Mirror Experiments" in the DIY Development section, haven't posted five posts yet so I can't link, search for it! They discuss practically everything regarding mirrors and mylar as a base for a projection screen, check it out!

Also, English is not my native language (haven't even been to the states or any English speaking country except Scotland once), please be lenient with some grammatical errors and spelling mistakes may occur. //Patrik

Last edited by Patrik; 07-05-13 at 06:24 PM.
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post #10 of 47 Old 07-06-13, 01:57 PM
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Re: SI Black Diamond clone?

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mechman wrote: View Post
A mirror will not work well at all. Mylar, on the other hand, might. I've had some mylar for a long time but I've never done anything with it. It would be a real pain trying to get that attached to a substrate flat without bubbles. But it takes the gap between the mirror and the glass surface out of the equation.
High mechman! I agree with you, a first surface mirror is a must, thinking of what harpmaker said, you can't escape or change the laws of physics! Can't think of anything else than glass or acrylic glass to mount the mylar on and that would also be a significant cost. A company here in Sweden sells a reflective film, as mylar, that shrinks when heated. They recommend to stick the film on to a frame and then heat it up! That would cause the film to shrink a tension it self. Result? A totally flat first surface mirror to a reasonably low cost.

If you search for "DIY first surface mirror" you'll come up with some ideas of how to turn a standard mirror in to a first surface mirror! (or both sides mirror). Works by stripping of the protective sheet on the back side of a mirror. Qoute: To create a front surface mirror, coat one surface of your mirror with a paint remover/stripper that has the key ingredient Methylene Chloride in it.

Also a bit tricky it appears but it might work, might not.
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