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Discussion Starter #1
I've been reading on this forum, and I'm looking for an easy solution for a DIY screen. I've got an Epson 8500ub that is going to be mounted about 10' 8" away from the screen. This should give me an 82" diagonal screen. Most of my watching is done at night, but some is done during the day, sports, Wii with the kids, etc. I can control most of the light, and at night the room will get extremely dark. The seating area is also just over 10' from the screen, with the widest angle from the screen just over 45 degrees.

I really would like something simple that will help give good blacks, color, and help with ambient light when needed. I don't have hours upon hours to spend, but am willing to invest some time to get it right.

Any suggestions and help are appreciated.

Thanks
Tim
 

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I've been reading on this forum, and I'm looking for an easy solution for a DIY screen. I've got an Epson 8500ub that is going to be mounted about 10' 8" away from the screen. This should give me an 82" diagonal screen. Most of my watching is done at night, but some is done during the day, sports, Wii with the kids, etc. I can control most of the light, and at night the room will get extremely dark. The seating area is also just over 10' from the screen, with the widest angle from the screen just over 45 degrees.

I really would like something simple that will help give good blacks, color, and help with ambient light when needed. I don't have hours upon hours to spend, but am willing to invest some time to get it right.

Any suggestions and help are appreciated.

Thanks
Tim
Budget?

Blackout Cloth is probably the simplest screen to build. You will need 1 vertical brace in the frame. And I suggest using a couple of dowels for the corners. Use can use 1 dollar 2 x 4 for the frame.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I've read a ton about the different paint mixes and was looking to go that route. I don't have the budget to buy a high end screen, but would like to get close with a DIY solution. If I need to spend a couple of hundred bucks to get it I can.
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BOC while inexpensive can also be a pain to stretch.

At 10'8" and an 82-84" diagonal screen you are talking about a very bright image. Also that size screen can easily fit on any 4'x8' substrate or if you paint directly on the wall you won't need a substrate.

Based on the calculator you'll have around 29fL of brightness at the screen, and that is incredibly bright. If you want quick and easy then an OTS gray at least N8. True Value Winter Mountain (paint code 1982) mixed up with Valspar Signature Series in the matte finish would work for you for both lights out and lights on viewing.

Another thing I would do would use a low lamp setting for lights out and a higher mode when you have the lights on. If you want something 'fancy', you definitely can handle Black Widow, Scorpion, or Elecktra N8. Things don't have to be complex or complicated in order to be good.
 

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If you have a nice flat wall, I'd highly recommend simply painting the screen right on the wall. I went that route and do not regret it for a second.

I have the Epson 6500UB and went with the newer Elektra N8 (aka HTS-X2). Much of my journey (plus screen shots) is documented here: http://www.hometheatershack.com/forums/diy-screen-development-testing/23090-hts-x2-experimental-n8-reflective-screen-mix.html

It really is quite straightforward. The paint was simple to mix and if you are careful with a roller, you can roll on a nice finish right on a freshly primed wall.

BTW, why only 82" diagonal? You have the lumens to go bigger and the PJ has plenty of zoom range to throw a bigger picture to. I'd go at least 96" if I were you. My screen is ~126" diagonal and I am sitting 11.5 feet from that screen.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the replies guys. The main reason I can only go to that size is because of where the screen will be located. It is in a bonus room over the garage and the ceiling slopes down. Where the ceiling meets the wall it is 58" above the floor. In order to keep the screen from sitting right on the floor and off the ground about 20", then that's the size screen I have to go with. I'm ok with that for now to get started.

I'd love to be able to paint the wall, but it is not flat and would take too much work to get it there. That's why I think a fixed screen will be my best route.

I read through the link you sent 1canuck2, and the screenies look amazing. We have similar projectors, so that is very promising to me. I like very good contrast with very good black detail, and nice whites. The screen will be used some during the day as well. Based on that, which of the mixes will give me the best multi-use, the BW, Scorpion, or Elecktra?

Thanks for everyone's help, I'm looking forward to getting the materials and putting everything together.
 

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With a smaller screen, you'll have lumens galore, so I'd think you'd be fine with an N8 (I'd vote Elektra, but I am biased) as the best of both worlds.

But, when you say during the day, do you mean with tons of ambient daylight in the room, or do you have good light control?
 

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You don't need a screen to use a projector. Just put it up on the wall and get an idea for the size you want first. Math doesn't tell you what you like.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
That's good advice lsiberian! I'm not very good at being patient, so maybe I will learn some through this process.

1c2 - I have a double window in the room that has blinds and curtains on it, so it will get rid of most of the direct sunlight. I would say the ambient light would be low to medium at best. The worst time of day in this room is the morning, and I very rarely watch anything in that room at that time of day.
 

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That's good advice lsiberian! I'm not very good at being patient, so maybe I will learn some through this process.

1c2 - I have a double window in the room that has blinds and curtains on it, so it will get rid of most of the direct sunlight. I would say the ambient light would be low to medium at best. The worst time of day in this room is the morning, and I very rarely watch anything in that room at that time of day.
I've found blind+ curtains works well. Be aware that you may get some leakage though.

It's also advised that you get some sunlight every now and then. We don't want you going crazy.

I don't even have a screen so I'm living proof that a White wall works just fine. A good projector will still look fantastic on a textured white wall. I've seen no need to build a screen yet. Though I do have my plans.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Unfortunately I have an electrical outlet and cable outlet for a flat panel right in the middle of the wall where I will be projecting onto. I'll only be able to handle projecting onto the wall for a short period of time because those will drive me nuts.
 

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Hi Ted,

While it's a bit late, Welcome to the forum! :wave: :bigsmile:

You are in a good situation in that you can make an very inexpensive screen out of something such as 4x8 1/4" tempered hardboard cut to size where it is purchased (most stores will do this for free). You can simply prime (I would prime both sides if a frame isn't used to prevent warping) and paint it with your mix of choice and then use a French cleat system (bought or handmade) to hang it where desired. Be sure to allow for room for either a real frame or simply applying something like black flock tape around the edge of the screen to make a black border since most feel such improves both the screen appearance when not in use and screen performance during use.

Because of the brightness of your PJ, at your screen size I don't think you need to go with a metallic mix (which are our specialties), but rather a regular neutral gray paint will do just fine. Where the metallic mixes comes into their own is in situations where one wants or needs to combat ambient light and doesn't have the lumens to use a regular gray paint, or they want a really dark mix. A metallic mix will perform like a lighter gray than it is when under projection. Black Widow™ (which is a N7.5 gray) will actually perform like an regular N8 (or slightly lighter) gray paint, but it absorbs ambient light like a N7.5. The Scorpion™ mix is an N8 and the new Elektra™ mix is currently available in N8 and N8.5 shades (with darker shades on the way when I have time to test them).

Depending on how hard it is for you to paint your screen, you could start with a regular N8 paint and see how it works for you and then go darker if the need arises. If you need to "get it right" the first time I would hedge my bet by using Black Widow™.

I have tint formulae for neutral gray paints from N7.5 to N9 in N.5 increments for Behr paints and will be finding them for Valspar paints as well. All you would do is give the formula to the paint-person at Home Depot (Behr) or Lowe's (Valspar) and they can make to paint with that. :T
 
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