Any new cheap, DIY AT screen developments? - Page 2 - Home Theater Forum and Systems - HomeTheaterShack.com

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post #11 of 16 Old 02-23-13, 11:11 PM Thread Starter
Shackster
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: NE AR
Posts: 76
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Re: Any new cheap, DIY AT screen developments?

Well, with my mom's help (she's awesome), and some PVC help from a buddy of mine, I now have a PVC pipe projector screen! I didn't take any pictures, but I will eventually. Here's my recipe:

2" schedule 40 PVC pipe from Lowe's. I bought:
10ft poles x 4.
90 degree elbow joints x 2.
"T" joints x 4.
A $12 hacksaw.
Matte White Milliskin and Matte Black Milliskin Spandex (3 yards each, from Spandex World)

I measured out a 120" 16:9 screen, and with a buddy's help, made the cuts. The screen is basically a simple rectangle with 2 simple legs. Basically, just picture the simplest screen you can make, and that's probably it.

I washed the PVC just like you hand wash dishes, and I did not glue any pieces together (they hold themselves).

I ordered 3 yards each of matte white milliskin and the matte black milliskin. My mom sewed the 2 sheets into a sort of "pillowcase" that just slips down snuggly over the frame. The bottom of the sheets aren't attached to anything, but they don't look bad at all considering this is a portable "fun" screen. The fabric fits snuggly, but not too snug (don't want to dim the picture too much).

Some observations and opinions:

1. I am really impressed!

2. Some people say spandex looks "dull". They may mean "not sharp" as in compared to a hard surface.
If you want a super super super razor sharp image, then you will probably have to go with a painted screen
like on Sintra or something like that. Cloth screens will give you more of a cloth image in comparison, but I
do not for a second think that the spandex looks "dull". If by dull they mean not "white", then yes, it is
slightly darker (but I wanted this anyway). Gray is good for some! I suggest reading up on it.


3. You don't really have to stretch the spandex very far at all. All of the wrinkles that were in the screen slowly disappeared over a time period of about 2 or 3 hours. So, I would advise one to try not to stretch the Spandex very far at all and allow it to work it's own wrinkles out if possible.

4. The black sheet and white sheet are separated by about 3 inches of air. No negative effects that I can tell!

5. Ascend Acoustics Sierra Tower pair behind the screen, and they still sound spectacular. They sound just slightly more quiet overall. Love that volume control button.

6. I own $400 worth of calibration toys so I can color correct for the spandex not being perfectly neutral. I have not done this yet, and I was amazed how good the picture looked without calibration. You could probably just put your projector in it's best "movie mode" and then eyeball it from there.

7. This PVC screen may look slightly "ghetto" to some, but keep in mind that I did this to have a portable screen that I can put up or take down on the fly. So there is no fancy black border or anything around it.
I'm not a fan of black borders anyway (fyi). So, this screen is perfect for me. I'm not against black borders, but I like to let people know that not everyone likes them so they don't feel like they MUST have one.


Who would I suggest this for? Anyone who wants to have a screen they can just throw up in front of their existing sound system, enjoy it, and then take it back down. This was just what I needed.


If anyone has any questions, fire away! Thanks!
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post #12 of 16 Old 02-23-13, 11:51 PM
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Don
 
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Location: Central PA
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Re: Any new cheap, DIY AT screen developments?

Glad this project turned out to your liking! Looking forward to seeing some photos of the build.

The ~3 inch space between the white and black Spandex should not have any negative optical problems. I don't know about audio though. As I said, I'm not into audio so there could be some audio distortion caused by the sound bouncing around between the two sheets, but I'm guessing only a true audiophile with "golden ears" could detect it. It would be interesting if someone with the required measuring equipment tested this scenario.
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post #13 of 16 Old 02-24-13, 11:59 AM Thread Starter
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Location: NE AR
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Re: Any new cheap, DIY AT screen developments?

Absolutely. We were too busy watching movies to notice imperfections in sound. We only have a 2 channel system with a single subwoofer, but it sounded awesome to my ears. Both speakers were behind the screen, and the sub was hidden behind a plant over in the corner. No re-shuffling of speakers or sound equipment necessary. The projector sat on a small box in the floor, and a single HDMI cable was run beneath the screen to the AVR. Once we were finished, I simply put everything away and gave my parents their living room back. lol

I am tickled to death to have the ability to do this for this cheap. The screen, poles, and fittings are now tucked away beneath my bed. Easy peazy.
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post #14 of 16 Old 03-14-13, 04:54 PM
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j0nnyfive wrote: View Post
Absolutely. We were too busy watching movies to notice imperfections in sound. We only have a 2 channel system with a single subwoofer, but it sounded awesome to my ears. Both speakers were behind the screen, and the sub was hidden behind a plant over in the corner. No re-shuffling of speakers or sound equipment necessary. The projector sat on a small box in the floor, and a single HDMI cable was run beneath the screen to the AVR. Once we were finished, I simply put everything away and gave my parents their living room back. lol

I am tickled to death to have the ability to do this for this cheap. The screen, poles, and fittings are now tucked away beneath my bed. Easy peazy.
If you don't mind me asking, how much did it end up costing you?
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post #15 of 16 Old 03-20-13, 10:50 AM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: NE AR
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Re: Any new cheap, DIY AT screen developments?

SeanMc, sorry it took me so long to reply. I've been on a little vacation.

The total cost was around $130 or $140 I think. I think I paid $70 including shipping for the Spandex, and about $60 or $70 in all for PVC including a $10 saw to cut it with. We probably could have spent a little less than we did, but I think it was worth it.
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post #16 of 16 Old 03-20-13, 05:18 PM
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Quote:
j0nnyfive wrote: View Post
SeanMc, sorry it took me so long to reply. I've been on a little vacation.

The total cost was around $130 or $140 I think. I think I paid $70 including shipping for the Spandex, and about $60 or $70 in all for PVC including a $10 saw to cut it with. We probably could have spent a little less than we did, but I think it was worth it.
Thanks for the reply! No need to apologize!
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