Fabric Screens - Home Theater Forum and Systems - HomeTheaterShack.com

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post #1 of 57 Old 02-09-07, 06:25 PM Thread Starter
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Fabric Screens

I'm starting this thread on Fabric screens because this is the type of screen that I'm interested in at the moment..
I'm currently testing a new material that should be an improvement on the tried and tested Block-out Cloth..
Initial tests look promising, but I'll post details when I've completed all testing..

Prof..
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post #2 of 57 Old 02-10-07, 04:39 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Fabric Screens

mech,

I think this material will be available in the US, but it may be under another name..
I will describe the material and the type of store I bought it from..
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post #3 of 57 Old 02-11-07, 08:36 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Fabric Screens

I recently decided to buy an Anamorphic lens and make a new CIH screen..

My current screen is 8' wide, but I wanted to go wider to get the full benefit of the CIH..
It is very difficult in my State to find any solid sheet material longer than 8'.
I had thought about using a material called Foamex ( aka Sintra board) but again was only available in 8' long sheets...I could get it in the Eastern States but the cost of shipping put it out of the question..

So I started looking around for an alternative material...one that came by the metre instead of a solid board..
Blackout cloth has been used by many people, and most seem happy with it, with a few exceptions..Some of their concerns were about the material sagging over time, and that they felt it didn't produce good blacks and whites...

I bought a piece of 3 pass (totally light blocking) BOC and tried it against my current screen...which is a white vinyl coated MDF board..

The first thing I noticed was how grey the whites looked compared to my screen..(I was using the cloth side of the material, which is the whitest side), and the colours overall looked a little darker.
The blacks looked OK, but I think that was because the material produced a darker image...

This material was not going to give me the image quality that I was looking for..
So I started out to try and find some other material that was going to give me a better image...
I won't go into all the types of materials I tested, suffice to say that none of them fitted my requirements..

I had just about given up finding a suitable material when the other day I was at a Rubber Supply Stores, looking for some acoustic foam, when I spotted some coloured rolls of material on a rack. Among the rolls was a white one, so I took a closer look..
It looked like a combination of a vinyl face with a rubber back, only thinner than BOC..
I asked the assistant what the material was called and she said it's NULON...A waterproof material that used for making tents..
It looked to be a fairly bright white, so definitely worth a try...
The Nulon material was 1480mm.(58") wide, and costs $15.95/M.AUD..which is a bit more expensive than BOC..

I compared it in the daylight against the BOC sample I had and it looked a little creamish against the BOC..
Probably another dead end I thought, but since I had bought a half metre I might as well give it a try...

I pinned up the sample of Nulon next to the BOC on my screen, and turned on the projector..
The first thing that really struck me was how white the whites were..The BOC next to it looked dirty and the whites on my screen were not even as bright as the Nulon sample..
This really surprised me since on initial inspection of the material, it didn't look as white as the BOC..

I then started to check out the colours, and without exception every colour was brighter...or more correctly lighter...making it possible to turn down brightness a little..

This was looking very good..BUT, then I started looking for blacks and compared to the BOC there didn't seem to be any real blacks...Was this going to be the weak part of the material?
I continued watching the program, comparing all the different colours, when suddenly BANG..there it was..deep rich BLACK!!.
I froze the image and walked up to the screen to take a closer look..There it was..I could see part of the black on the BOC, and part on the Nulon..The Nulon was definitely blacker.
I then realised that the Nulon actually reproduces blacks ACCURATELY, and what I thought were blacks previously, were only shades of dark grey..
This would indicate that the Nulon would be excellent in showing shadow detail..

On the negative side, this material is a little bit translucent and would need some sort of backing to prevent any light loss through the material...

I will be posting some screenshots shortly to show how this material performs..
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post #4 of 57 Old 02-13-07, 05:02 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Fabric Screens

I tried to get a screenshot that has a good range of colours, with good blacks and whites as well, and have those colours spread across the two test panels..It was virtually impossible, so I've taken several shots to try and cover it..

The panel on the left is the Nulon and the centre panel is the BOC...My screen is a white vinyl..

This first shot shows the comparison of white between the BOC and the Nulon..You can see it on the skirting board..
The black of the pot is almost identical on both materials, and you can see the change in colour between the materials..



This next pic. shows the colour improvement of the Nulon over the BOC..



This is fairly bland scene but clearly shows the lighter background colour and blue sky..



In this shot you can see the true colour of the birds head, which is an orangey red..



One of the other things I noticed with this material is that the image is slightly sharper than the BOC or my current screen..It's not obvious in the screenshots but is very obvious to the eye..

I think this Nulon material would be ideal for anyone who is making a big 16:9 screen and can't find big enough solid sheets or is making a wide CIH screen (as in my case) and doesn't want to use an AT screen material...

Also if your projector is a bit down in lumens, this screen material should help to give a little extra brightness...
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post #5 of 57 Old 02-13-07, 07:09 PM
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Re: Fabric Screens

Looks very nice Prof. Is this material readily available here in the States too?

Would it be possible to take a shot of just the material, one with the flash, one without?
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post #6 of 57 Old 02-13-07, 08:56 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Fabric Screens

Quote:
wbassett wrote: View Post
Looks very nice Prof. Is this material readily available here in the States too?
It should be available in the US..If you go to a Rubber stores and they don't know the name Nulon, I would just describe it to them..
If they don't have it then someone like Johannes or the like should have it..

I'll get some shots of just the material for you..
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post #7 of 57 Old 02-13-07, 11:10 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Fabric Screens

The first shot is taken with the flash...The second is taken without...and the third shot has been taken from 6" away in sunlight..There is almost no surface texture.





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post #8 of 57 Old 02-13-07, 11:16 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Fabric Screens

Quote:
mechman wrote: View Post
And it looks cream colored next to the BOC? From those pics you'd think it was whiter than the BOC.
mech, your right...It doesn't compute!..
The Nulon is definitely creamer than the BOC, and yet it projects brighter...I don't get it!!
The other thing is, it looks like the material has a bit of sheen to it, and yet it doesn't hot-spot!!
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post #9 of 57 Old 02-13-07, 11:21 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Fabric Screens

Quote:
mechman wrote: View Post
Did you find the backing you were looking for?

mech
I've decided that when I make the screen I'll make up the normal type cloth frame and cover it with the vinyl coated MDF material i'm using now..Then I'll wrap the whole assembly with the Nulon..
This will give me a white backing for the Nulon...
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post #10 of 57 Old 02-13-07, 11:28 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Fabric Screens

I was just having another look at the material outside..
In the shade, it looks creamish, but when sunlight hits it, it turns brilliant white..
Whereas the BOC looks the same colour in both shade and sunlight, only a bit brighter in sunlight..
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