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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anyone made a DIY screen from material bought on ebay (or wherever)? I see some pretty inexpensive screen material there, so I'm debating whether to use paint or fabric. Any performance pros or cons?

I'll be using a Panasonic AE900U in a light-controlled room, and probably a 2.35:1 screen of 100"+.

Thoughts / suggestions? Thanks.
 

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I used blackout cloth from the fabric store. There are two sides, and two types of blackout cloth. One type is white/beige, the other is white/white. One side is textured, the other kind of smooth but little gooey or something. I used the white textured side for the picture.

I've found it to be an excellent screen, with extremely uniform gain and extremely wide horizontal and vertical viewing angle. I think because it reflects light equally in all directions, while other screens will reflect light only back towards the front. This also means it has no hotspotting, but it will reflect light off your walls, ceiling, and floor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Joshua. I'm not familiar with blackout cloth, but we do have a JoAnns Fabric store here (not much else though. It's a small town), so I'll take a look.
 

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JoAnns will definitely have it. I purchased mine from Hancock Fabric. Both stores sometimes have coupons and weekend sales, which I've taken advantage of. Regardless of your fabric choice, you'd need to build a frame. There are a few different ways to approach that.

If you use paint, you can paint a wall or a piece of drywall. You do need to sand down either the wall or the drywall either way. But with drywall, you can hang it, frame it, move it out into the room, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Josuah,
Any idea how wide the fabric is? I assume it's for drapes, so I'd guess it's plenty wide for a large screen, but I want to make sure I'm looking at the right stuff.
Thanks again.
 

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It's smooth somewhat on one side and kind of a matte finish on the other side. I built one thats about 80" diagnal. It really does do a good picture. I used the non glossy matte side. :)
 

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72" wide? I think you can find it in either 56" or 72" wide.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Looks like they have 54" wide at our local store. I think I'll need it a little wider, though. How much more material do you suggest over the actual screen dimension? I was guessing I'd need an extra 8 or 9 inches to wrap the frame? More?
 

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I suspect I used the 54" wide cloth, because my screen is 80"x45" = 92" diagonal on the inside. So that left 9" extra to play with.

I followed the approach I found on how to pull canvas for painting somewhere, where you work from the center out and do all four sides simultaneously or something like that. I'm sure Google can find you instructions on how to pull canvas.
 

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Deffinately do from the center out on all sides! Works the best by far. And just get like 3 yards or somthing. They sell it by the yard not the inch ;).
 

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Take a look at the stuff this guy offers, from what I have seen from the pics of samples to compare his is like so much better then most screens I have seen.

SandmanX Screen

~Bob
Sandman's (Ruben) AT material is more expensive than BOC but it also performs thousands of times better. Everyone that has used it really loves it.

BOC is around a 1.0 in gain and works nicely for an entry level screen, but there are other options in the same price range that perform even better. As far as BOC, it won't work well as an acustically transparant screen, so if that is a person's reason for wanting a cloth screen they might want to look at something else, like maybe the SMX material.

A lot of people start off with BOC. Some eventually want better black levels and better performance with some lighting on, so they end up painting the BOC, usually a shade of gray. I am not going to say ambient light, or ambient light screens, I do not believe there are any true DIY ambient light screens... at least not in the sense of a SuperNova. That is a very complex animal. There are a lot of what I call ambient light friendly DIY options though.

BOC certainly is a very well performing method for an inexpensive and relatively easy unity gain white screen.

RoseBrand is a company that deals with the theater and stage community and they have a very large assortment of actual screen material, even gray, as low as $15.70 a yard for 55" width material and they have widths up to 110". They also have different fabrics that would work just as good as BOC or other fabrics people have been using and they are even cheaper than the screen material.

Just a couple of options if you guys weren't aware of RoseBrand. They also have some nice Duve Pro tape that is excellent for screen borders.
 
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